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May 27, 2020

Medicaid Recipients In Nursing Homes Are Entitled To Keep Stimulus Checks

Today (May 27, 2020), Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a major advisement to nursing home
residents and a warning to anyone trying to defraud them. General Landry is advising nursing home residents and their loved ones to be vigilant against having their federal stimulus payments improperly taken from them. 

General Landry notes that while Medicaid recipients may have to sign over resources, in some circumstances, to nursing homes where they reside - this does not apply to stimulus checks from the CARES Act. General Landry explains that Congress classified these monies as tax credits; and under the law, tax credits do not count as “resources” for federal benefits programs. So Medicaid recipients in nursing homes may keep their stimulus payments.

“It is imperative these stimulus checks go to those who rightfully belong to them,” said General Landry. “Any illegal seizure of these funds should be immediately reported to my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.” Contact his MFCU by phone at 888-799-6885 or online at http://agjefflandry.com/Medicaid/Fraud/Complaint.

Bush Man Dies in St. Tammany Crash

On Tuesday, May 26, 2020 shortly after 1:00 PM, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L
responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on US 190 near Old River Road in St. Tammany Parish. The crash has claimed the life of 69-year-old Jerry M. Parr, Sr. of Bush.

The initial investigation led Troopers to determine that the crash occurred as Parr was driving a 2006 Lincoln Town Car northbound on US 190. Parr’s vehicle was struck head on by a 2011 Toyota Tundra. The Tundra was driven by 19-year-old Joseph J. Molinary of Slidell. Despite being restrained, Parr sustained severe injuries and was transported to a local hospital before being pronounced deceased.

Seat-belts were used by both drivers and impairment is not suspected.

Molinary was cited for Careless Operation. Any additional charges will be forwarded to the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office pending the completion of the investigation.

Obituary

Robert D. Berry
September 20, 1933 - May 22, 2020

UPDATE: Free COVID-19 Testing in Washington Parish

Please note the addition (shown in red lettering) to testing available in Washington Parish.

In Partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health and the Louisiana National Guard, COVID-19 testing will be available to Washington Parish residents at the locations below in the Parish. 


Details: To be tested, residents must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Louisiana ID.  The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.   Those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. Walk- up testing is not preferred due to safety concerns.  

For our previous story, click on Free COVID-19 Testing in Our Region

LDH Warns About Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Today (May 27, 2020), the Louisiana Department of Health issued the following advisory on Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C):

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. The cause of MIS-C is unknown but many children with this condition had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been exposed to someone with COVID-19. In Louisiana, 13 cases and one death of a young person have been reported. To respect the privacy of the young person and their family, the Department of Health will not share additional information about the death at this time.

The CDC defines a case as MIS-C when:
  • The patient is under the age of 21, with a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation, and severe illness involving more than two organs that requires hospitalization; AND
  • No other plausible diagnoses; AND
  • Positive COVID-19 test, or exposure to a confirmed case, within the four weeks prior to the onset of symptoms.
Among the 13 cases in Louisiana: The age range is 0-19 years old, the median age is 11 years old, 6 of the patients are female and 7 are male, 4 are currently hospitalized and 8 have been discharged. In terms of race, 7 are African American, 3 are white and 3 fit in the other category. In terms of ethnicity, 2 are Hispanic and 11 are non-Hispanic.

Providers who have cared for or who are caring for patients younger than 21 years of age meeting MIS-C criteria should immediately report these cases to the Louisiana Office of Public Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology team.

Obituary

Owen Jules Tufts, Jr.
December 24, 1981 - May 22, 2020

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 25-26, 2020

Larry Dillon was booked on the charge of Resisting an Officer
Vernon Lowe was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule 1/Tetrahydrocannabinols or Synthetic Cannabinoids, Resisting Arrest by Flight, Speeding 11-20 Over Limit, and Expired Drivers License
Clinton Hathcox was booked on the charges of No Taillight, No MVI, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of Marijuana (2nd Offense), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Schedule III Drugs
Christopher Smith was booked on the charges of Domesstic Abuse Battery/Strangulation, Domestic Abuse/Child Endangerment, Resisting an Officer, and Disturbing the Peace/Drunkenness
Kelly Stokes was booked on the charges of No License Plate, No Proof of Insurance, Drivers License Not on Person, Possession of Heroin, and Possession of Schedule III Drugs

D. A. Montgomery Presents Leadership Awards to Class of 2020

District Attorney Warren Montgomery was proud to present his annual leadership awards to
outstanding St. Tammany Parish graduating seniors on Memorial Day (May 25, 2020) at the Justice Center in downtown Covington. (see video of the ceremony below)

Montgomery praised the students and their parents and used the example of former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Montgomery said, “remember that one person can make a difference” and that “leaders are always willing to go out alone and they practice servant leadership.”

These remarkable students were chosen by their principals and teachers for meeting and exceeding the D.A.’s leadership award criteria. They have, in their schools and throughout their communities, led by example, been a positive influence on others, and proven to be outstanding citizens.

At the ceremony, D.A. Montgomery, Parish President Mike Cooper, St. Tammany School Board Superintendent, Trey Folse and Pastor Lawrence Weathersby of Living the Word International Church in Slidell also commended these young women and men and their parents for a job well done.

All in attendance adhered to State and local requirements for holding an event during the current pandemic by wearing masks, social distancing (only people in the same household were allowed to sit together while others were spaced at least six feet apart) and instead of the traditional handshake, D.A. Montgomery and the students opted for an elbow bump.

The award winners were Shawn Anderson, Jr. (Fountainebleau High), Christopher Nelms Barron (Northshore High), Emily Borne (St. Scholastica Academy), Reagan Bundy (Mandeville High), Abigail Claire Cappy (Pope John Paul High), Analiese Donovan (Covington High), Aidan Dyer (Lakeshore High), Analynn Ferr (Archbishop Hannan High), Karisa Greenlee (Salmen High), Chloe Jessie (Pearl River High), Reece Loustalot (Christ Episcopal), Gavin Marolla (Slidell High), Abigail Martin (Northlake Christian), and Ian Timothy McCarthy (St. Paul’s High).

All high schools in Washington and St. Tammany were invited to participate. Washington Parish Schools were invited to participate but opted to have their ceremony in the near future. Mr. Montgomery will be presenting his award at that time.

Today in History May 27th

AP Top Stories May 27, 2020 AM

May 26, 2020

Help TPSO Solve This Theft of Dirt Bikes

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for your assistance in a business burglary which
occurred at Gaines Wrecker Service located at 12330 Louisiana Avenue in Roseland. This burglary occurred sometime between Sunday night May 24, 2020 and the early morning hours of May 26, 2020.

During the burglary, the suspect(s) stole two dirt bikes, one being a 2004 Yamaha 250 and the other being a 2020 Yamaha 450, both blue and white in color.

“If you have information on this case please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1.800.554.5245 or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com and click on the P3 Tips icon or Submit A Tip! Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000! “

Investigation Leads to Arrest of 4 at “Mack Hole” North of Kentwood

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reported today (May 26, 2020) that a three month long
investigation into illegal drug activity at a residence on Schenk Road in Kentwood ended on May 19, 2020. This was in an area that most local drug dealers refer to as the "Mack Hole". This area is also troublesome for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, as numerous cases and arrests are made just north of the Louisiana/Mississippi state line. Heroin is believed to be supplied to individuals in both states from this area commonly known as the "MACK HOLE".

Data and evidence collected throughout the investigation led agents to obtain and execute a search warrant on 34-year-old Keon Mack’s (also known as BLUE) Shenk Rd. residence. As a result of the search conducted of Mack, his residence and property, agents located approximately 3 ounces of heroin, approximately 36 ounces of high grade marijuana, a 9mm handgun, and about 12,000.00 dollars in United States currency that was hidden in a disabled vehicle on the property. The monetary denomination of the currency is consistent with street level narcotics sales. A large amount of stolen property was also located inside the residence with numerous items of drug paraphernalia to include packaging materials and digital scales.

TPSO Narcotics Agents, assisted by criminal investigative detectives, arrested four persons who were present at the time law enforcement executed the warrant: Keon "BLUE" Mack (34), Hosea Walker (47), Claude Varnado (61), and Ladd Mack (26) – all of Kentwood.

Keon "BLUE" Mack was charged with 3 counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute schedule 1 CDS, 1 count Possession of schedule 1 CDS, 1 count Distribution of Schedule 1 CDS (Heroin), Possession of Firearm while in Possession of CDS, Possession of Stolen Property, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Hosea Walker was charged with Possession of Schedule 1 CDS (Heroin).

Claude Varnado was charged with Possession of Schedule 2 CDS (Crack Cocaine).

Ladd Mack was charged with Possession of Schedule CDS (Marijuana) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

St. Tammany Parish Re-Service for New Court Date


Washington Parish Venues for Outdoor Activities Opening Up

To learn about places to enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, tubing, and more outdoor opportunities in Washington Parish, visit the Washington Parish Tourism Commission on Facebook.

Obituary

James Winford Pierce
February 23, 1953 - May 24, 2020

WPSO: Madisonville Woman Booked Drug Charges

Amber Lynn Dunham, age 36 and a Madisonville resident, is in the Washington Parish Jail with her
bond set at $5,000. Dunham was arrested on May 24 by Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy Chad Cassard.

Responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle at a business south of Bogalusa, Deputy Cassard encountered Dunham who was asleep in her car with the engine running and her foot on the brake. He woke her and, as she began exiting her vehicle, she dropped what appeared to be drugs on the floorboard. Additionally, she had an open bag on her console which appeared to contain drugs. A field test of the dropped substance indicated it was heroin and the contents of the open bag were determined to be a mixture of various types of pills.

Deputy Cassard placed Dunham under arrest and transported her to the Washington Parish Jail. She was booked on charges of possession of heroin and other illegal drugs.

“Good job, Deputy Cassard,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Thanks for your good work and thanks also to the alert business owner who reported the suspicious vehicle. This is another good lesson for anyone who observes suspicious activity. Call us and report it. We will investigate, and many times the investigation reveals illegal activity and leads to an arrest.”

WPSO: Mt. Hermon Man Arrested on Numerous Charges

On Sunday (May 24, 2020) Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy Kyle Stogner was on criminal patrol in Franklinton when he noticed a vehicle with no license plate and initiated a traffic stop. While questioning the driver, who initially gave a false name and date of birth, Deputy Stogner observed what appeared to be a handgun protruding from underneath the car seat on the driver’s side. At this time, Franklinton Police Officer James Harper arrived to assist.

Deputy Stogner was able to confirm the driver as Jerry Charles Baker, age 29 and a resident of Reed Road in the Mt. Hermon area. He placed handcuffs on Baker and received permission to search the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, Deputy Stogner discovered not only the handgun, but also a quantity of illegal drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine, Ecstasy pills, glass pipes commonly used to smoke cocaine, a large quantity of different caliber ammunition and cash.

Baker was transported to the Washington Parish Jail where he was booked on several charges including three counts of possession with intent to distribute illegal narcotics, possession of illegal narcotics with a weapon present, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest by providing false information and traffic offenses. He was also arrested on outstanding warrants for battery of a dating partner and contempt of court. Baker remains in jail with his bond set at $30,000.

Baker has been in the Washington Parish Jail on previous occasions dating back to 2011. Those charges included domestic abuse with child endangerment, driving while intoxicated and reckless operation of a motor vehicle.

“Once again, an alert patrol deputy took illegal drugs out of our community,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “I appreciate Deputy Stogner’s good work and the back-up assistance of Franklinton Officer James Harper. Our two agencies work as partners and we appreciate the ongoing relationship with Chief Justin Brown and his officers.”

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.

Today in History May 26th

AP Top Stories May 26, 2020 AM

May 25, 2020

Murder Suspect & Hammond Robbery Suspect Arrested in Pike County, MS

On May 20, 2020, the Pike County Sheriff's Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the U.S. Marshall Fugitive Recovery Task Force arrested Austin D. Cole, aka Rell, last week (May 20, 2020) for the murder of Raheem Brown.

Law Enforcement Officers have relentlessly pursued Cole since the murder on April 12, 2020. Cole was arrested without incident on Summit Drive in Lincoln County, MS, while a passenger in a gray 2017 Nissan Maxima.

During the investigation, officers learned that some individuals were assisting Cole evade authorities. Also arrested for Accessory After the Fact of Murder were Angelica "Jelly" Chapman, Justin J. Monley, Fransheka L. Mark, and Quardavion T. White.

Monley was also booked into the jail for Possession of Controlled Substance Enhanced by the Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. White was also booked into the jail for an active warrant from the Hammond Police Department for Robbery.

Do You Recognize This Person Wanted by Amite Police?

On Saturday (May 23, 2020), Amite City Police began investigating a robbery that occurred in front of Thrift Town Pharmacy in Amite. The victim left the business and walked to her vehicle in the parking lot.

After seated in her vehicle, the black male shown in these photos runs to her vehicle and opens her door. The suspect attempts to take the victims keys and start the vehicle but failed. The suspect was able to take the victim’s wallet that was sitting on the passenger side seat and fled the scene. The suspect was last seen running East on Walnut Street in the direction of US 51.

“If you have information on this case, please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1.800.554.5245 or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com and click on the P3 Tips icon or Submit A Tip! Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000! “

Independence Motorcyclist Killed in Livingston Parish Crash

On May 24, 2020, shortly after 5:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began
investigating a two-vehicle, fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 442 near Louisiana Highway 1036 that claimed the life of Jerry Viola (58) of Independence.

The initial investigation revealed a 2019 Toyota Highlander, driven by 35-year-old Melissa Zapata of Independence, was traveling west on Louisiana Highway 442. Zapata attempted a left turn into a private driveway. This caused her vehicle to travel into the path of and collide with an eastbound 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, operated by Viola.

Viola was wearing a DOT approved helmet; however, he sustained life-threatening injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state. Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving. A lapse in one’s awareness can have deadly consequences. If motorists witness hazardous situations or possible impaired drivers, they may dial *LSP (*577) to be connected to the nearest Troop to report that activity.

All Gave Some . . . Some Gave All


Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 23-24, 2020

Charles Taylor was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana (2 counts), Possession of Firearm With Concealed/Altered Serial Number, and Possession of CDS With Weapon Present
Deandrea Temple was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, Carrying a Concealed Weapon (2 counts), Possession of Marijuana (2nd Offense), Illegal Use of CDS in Presence of Person Under 17 YOA, Failure to Appear (2 counts), and Illegal Discharge/Use of Weapon
Jerry Baker was booked on the charges of Battery of a Dating Partner, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs (2 counts), Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs, Possession of CDS With Weapon Present, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, No Drivers License, No License Plate, No Insurance, Contempt of Court, and Resisting Arrest by Providing False Booking Information
Amber Dunham was booked on the charges of Possession of Heroin, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, and Possession of Schedule IV Drugs
Renjeet Singh was booked on the charges of Driving While Intoxicated, Expired License Plate, No Insurance, No Drivers License, and Open Container in Vehicle
Nicholas Miller was booked on the charges of Burglary of Inhabited Dwelling and Contempt of Court (3 counts)

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.


Today in History May 25th

AP Top Stories May 25, 2020 AM

May 24, 2020

Louisiana State Police Announce the Passing of Trooper George Baker

Source: Louisiana State Police Troop L Press Release

Today (May 24, 2020), the Louisiana State Police is deeply saddened to inform the public Trooper George Baker has succumbed to injuries sustained in the performance of his duties. Trooper Baker sustained severe injuries during the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 20, 2020 as he joined with other Troopers assisting the Hammond Police Department with a vehicle pursuit. Baker was a 33-year-old, 10-year law enforcement and military veteran. A vigil of family, friends, and his fellow Troopers remained at the hospital from the very beginning until his passing. Trooper Baker is survived by his wife Heather, their young daughter Harper, his parents, his sisters, and his extended family. Trooper Baker served as a Trooper at Louisiana State Police Troop L since November of 2017 and is the first LSP line of duty death since Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, Troop D, in August of 2015. Troop L has not lost a Trooper in the line of duty since the passing of Trooper Rudolph H. Miller on September 8th, 1962. Trooper Baker is the 30th Trooper to lose his life in the line of duty in the history of the Louisiana State Police.
Trooper Baker had a lifelong desire of becoming a Louisiana State Trooper. In preparation for that goal, he spent 8 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve including one combat deployment in the Middle East. He began his law enforcement career with the Greensburg Police Department, where he worked for 4 years. He then served the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office for 3 years before joining the Louisiana State Police.

In a statement to Troopers, State Police Superintendent, Colonel Kevin Reeves said, “Trooper Baker passed today leaving our hearts heavy but full of pride as he exemplified our values of duty, selfless service, and personal courage.” Even after his death, Trooper Baker continues to show his commitment to community and selfless service by donating his organs so that others may live. Arrangements are incomplete at this time, but Trooper Baker will be afforded full honors earned with a line of duty death.

For information on providing assistance to the Baker family during this tragic time, please visit www.latroopers.org and direct donations to the Louisiana Troopers Charities – Trooper Baker.

For related stories, click here and click here.

Click here for a powerful message shared yesterday by Louisiana State Police on behalf of Colonel Reeves and the entire LSP family.

Obituary

Dora Lee Brown Miller
April 03, 1938 - May 23, 2020

Obituary

Benton V. Taylor
July 23, 1928 - May 22, 2020

May 23, 2020

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 22, 2020

Michael Haws was booked on the charges of Vehicle Burglary and Resisting Arrest
Dustin Bailey was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery/Strangulation
Kevin Temple was booked on the charges of Failure to Use Turn Signal, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Schedule II Drugs
Donna Rogers was booked on the charges of Introduction of Contraband into Penal Institute, Distribution of Schedule III CDS, Possession of Schedule III Drugs, and Principal to Simple Escape
Natosha Dailey was booked on the charges of Principals and Distribution of Schedule III CDS
Jessica Smith was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault
Syheim was booked on the charge Aggravated Assault With a Firearm
Jeremy Blackwell was booked on the charge of Fugitive Other Jurisdiction

Today in History May 23rd

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.

Obituary

Billie Ann Caves Sumrall
January 18, 1943 - May 22, 2020

Contact Tracing Underway in the Florida Parishes

Dr. Gina Lagarde, the Office of Public Health regional medical director for the five-parish region
(Washington, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, and Livingston Parishes) said,  “Contact tracing can help us quickly identify and contain spread of the virus. Everyone can help protect themselves, their families and the community by talking openly with the contact tracer if called. The call is private and your information will not be shared with other people.”

Contact tracing is crucial as Louisiana eases restrictions on businesses and activities. Contact tracing works as follows: When someone tests positive, a contact tracer will try to call everyone who came in close contact with the COVID-positive person. Everyone called by a contact tracer is advised to watch themselves for signs of illness for 14 days from when they first came in contact with the COVID-19 person.

All contact tracers will call from 877-766-2130. If someone calls from a number other than 877-766-2130, claims to be a contact tracer and asks for personal information, hang up immediately. 

Free COVID-19 Testing in Our Region


In Partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health and the Louisiana National Guard, COVID-19 testing will be available to residents of Washington. St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, and Washington parishes.  
Details: To be tested, residents must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Louisiana ID. The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site. Those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. Walk- up testing is not preferred due to safety concerns.

From May 26 until June 19, mobile test sites will be operating throughout the Florida Parishes. 

Click "Read More" below for a complete listing of test sites in the Florida Parishes.

May 22, 2020

Obituary

Frankie Watson
June 04, 1924 - May 20, 2020

Obituary

Bobby G. Miller
July 29, 1949 - May 21, 2020

Can You ID This Vehicle Burglary Suspect?

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the male in the attached photo.

The male displayed in the photo was caught by security cameras using stolen bank cards after forcefully breaking into a car parked at a local business on Veteran's Avenue. The incident occurred in the daylight hours of May 13, 2020. The suspect was caught on camera at a nearby store using credit cards stolen from the car burglary.

“If you have information on this case please call Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1.800.554.5245 or visit www.tangicrimestoppers.com and click on the P3 Tips icon or Submit A Tip! Be a part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000! “

Three People Shot During Altercation in Slidell Neighborhood

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office advised this morning (May 22, 2020) that three people were
shot during an altercation in a Slidell-area neighborhood Thursday (May 21, 2020) night. Shortly after 9 p.m. deputies were dispatched to the Kingspoint Subdivision area near Slidell in reference to multiple individuals being shot.

Responding deputies learned a group of individuals had gotten into an altercation at a residence in the 200 block of Hollow Rock Court and gunfire was exchanged. Three individuals, one female and two males, were brought to area hospitals with gunshot wounds. They are reported to be in critical, but stable, condition. A fourth individual was treated at a local hospital with other injuries sustained in the fight, which is believed to have originated at a Slidell-area business before the parties relocated the Hollow Rock Court residence.

This is an active and ongoing investigation, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Obituary

Willard Gene Harrell
July 18, 1940 - May 21, 2020

Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 21, 2020

Christopher Collins was booked on the charge of Sexual Battery
Kevin Temple was booked on the charges of Failure to Use Turn Signal, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Schedule II Drugs
William Nelson was booked on the charges of Resisting an Officer and Contempt of Court
Ebony Fortenberry was booked on the charges of License Plate Improper Lighting, No License Plate, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Schedule II Drugs (2 counts), and Possession of Schedule 1 Drugs
Jonathon McCain was booked on the charges of Possession of Schedule II Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.


Today in History May 22nd

AP Top Stories May 22, 2020 AM

May 21, 2020

Washington Parish Woman Jailed for Eighth Time

Tylina Lynn Imboden, age 33 and a resident of Highway 436, went to jail for her eighth time
yesterday (May 20, 2020). She was arrested by Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy James Gregorio for battery of a dating partner, disturbing the peace, resisting an officer and contempt of court.

The arrest was the result of Deputy Gregorio’s response to a report of a woman committing battery on a man. When Deputy Gregorio arrived at the residence, he observed Imboden’s behavior as she threw a camera at him and the victim. As he began to place handcuffs on Imboden, she pulled away and tried to flee. Deputy Gregorio quickly caught up with her, placed her in handcuffs and transported her to the Washington Parish Jail where she remains with her bond set at $3,000.

Imboden’s visits to the Washington Parish Jail began in March 2010. Various charges over the years include possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs, driving while intoxicated, theft, burglary, criminal mischief, several traffic offenses, and at least five counts of failure to appear in court.

“Anger management and poor judgment seem to be issues with her,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “As a young woman, she is carving a treacherous path for herself. Hopefully, someone can intervene and put her on the straight and narrow.”

Two In Custody Related to LSP Officers Being Injured

Two persons in a vehicle being pursued yesterday (May 20, 2020) by Hammond Police, resulting in the injuries to two Louisiana State Police Troopers, are in custody. Click here for our initial story.

Later yesterday, the Hammond Police Department arrested Taylor Cox (26) of Hammond on charges related to the pursuit. Today, Nathan Anding (18) of Holden, was arrested on the charges of Obstruction of Justice, Hit and Run, Negligent Injury, Driving without a License, Switched License Plates, Domestic Abuse Battery, Aggravated Obstruction of a Highway, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Resisting an Officer, and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Schedule I Drugs.

The Hammond Police Department would like to thank members of the following agencies for their assistance in the investigation and arrests: the Louisiana State Police, U.S. Marshals Service Task Force, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Secret Service, Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, Killian Police Department, Ponchatoula Police Department, and Springfield Police Department.

Washington Parish Man Arrested Twice in Same Day

The Washington Parish Sheriff's Office reports that yesterday (May 20, 2020) was not a good day for William Robby Cutrer, age 39 and a resident of Lonnie Duncan Road in Mt. Hermon (Franklinton Police reports Cutrer residing on Manning Drive in Franklinton). While he was being booked into the Washington Parish Jail after being arrested by the Franklinton Police Department on various charges, jail personnel noticed that he had outstanding warrants from the 22nd Judicial District Court.

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Terry Harris responded to the jail and arrested Cutrer again, this time on the outstanding warrants. Cutrer’s bond was set at $5,500.

Franklinton Police reports that Sgt. Chad Dorsett and Sgt. Shawn Rice  came into contact with Cutrer  while investigating burglaries on Manning Drive in Franklinton. Detectives observed a dryer which fit the description of the one stolen on May 19, 2020. Cutrer gave several different explanations as to how he had possession of the dryer. Detectives secured a search warrant for the residence and located several other stolen items taken during the previously reported burglaries and drug paraphernalia throughout the house. Cutrer was charged with possession of stolen property, Possession of drug paraphernalia, 3 counts of Possession of Schedule III drugs, possession of burglary tools and 1 count of burglary.

This is Cutrer’s third time in the Washington Parish Jail. In June 2019 he was arrested for two counts of contempt of court. He returned in October 2019 on charges of burglary of a vehicle, criminal trespass and two more counts of contempt of court.

“With electronic criminal justice data,” said Sheriff Randy Seal, “your past criminal behavior will catch up with you anytime you encounter law enforcement. In Mr. Cutrer’s case, he had the privilege of being booked into the jail twice within a few minutes. Good job, Franklinton Police Department and Lt. Harris.”

Obituary

James Milton Blades
December 27, 1946 - May 20, 2020

Obituary

William Laverne Foster
November 01, 1972 - May 19, 2020

Career Criminal Jailed for Sexual Crimes Against Children

Jeffrey N. Thomas, Jr., age 37 and a resident of Highway 1070, is in the Washington Parish Jail
charged with numerous counts of sexual crimes against children. Washington Parish corrections deputies retrieved Thomas yesterday (May 20, 2020) from Orleans Parish Prison where he was being held on outstanding Washington Parish warrants.

The warrants were issued as the result of an investigation conducted by Washington Parish Detective Demmie Rice. After an intense investigation which involved forensic interviews with the Child Advocacy Center, warrants were obtained from a 22nd Judicial District Court Judge.

Thomas faces seventeen counts of second degree forcible rape of a juvenile, five counts of sexual battery on juveniles, two counts of indecent behavior with juveniles, two counts of crime against nature and one count of molestation of a juvenile. His bond has been set at $800,000.

He has been in the Washington Parish Jail at least ten times dating back to 2008 when he was arrested for domestic violence. Other charges throughout the years include possession of illegal drugs, distribution of illegal drugs, burglary, probation violation and numerous counts of failure to appear in court.

“When I learned the details of these horrendous crimes against innocent children, several words immediately came to my mind,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Disgusting, filthy, evil, repugnant and vile are only a few adjectives to describe these horrible, horrible crimes. Thank you, Detective Rice and Child Advocacy Center for your hard work on behalf of the children of our parish, and thank you, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, for holding Thomas for us.”

Bogalusa Strong - Working to Improve Bogalusa


Bogalusa Strong is a collaborative partnership of community members, leaders, businesses and organizations working together to improve our quality of life by promoting physical, social, and environmental health where we live, learn, work, pray and play. Bogalusa Strong was founded by the Mayor of Bogalusa, the LSU AgCenter, Our Lady of Angels Hospital and Well-Ahead Louisiana.  Bogalusa Strong is supported by the Mayor’s Wellness Council, residents and community partners.

For more information contact Valerie Vincent at vvincent@agcenter.lsu.edu

Virtual Summer School Available in Tangipahoa Parish

High School LEAP 2025 remediation will be offered virtually beginning Monday, June 1, 2020.
Students who qualify will be contacted by the school remediation teacher. Additionally, a letter will be included with the report card to be mailed home. If you have any questions please contact the school counselor.

High School Credit Recovery will be offered virtually at no cost to the student. Credit Recovery courses will begin Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Each high school will have a credit recovery teacher who will monitor courses and contact parents weekly. For additional information please contact the school counselor or credit recovery teacher.

School phone numbers can be found at https://www.tangischools.org/domain/61

Tangipahoa Parish School System 2020-2021 Options

TPSS is gearing up for the 2020-2021 school year and will be offering two alternate learning models. In addition to the traditional classroom model, TPSS will have a blended model and full virtual model. If you are interested in either of these alternative models, please fill out the form at https://bit.ly/TPSS3models to discuss it with school administration.

Washington Parish School System Virtual Academy Option

This is an optional alternative to face to face instruction for the upcoming school year. An application will be posted to the WPSS website (https://www.wpsb.org/) on June 1st. Any student and parent applying will be counseled so that they fully understand the virtual learning environment before they commit to this option.

Questions should be directed to VirtualAcademy@wpsb.info.


Washington Parish School System Office Hours & Rules


Washington Parish Jail Bookings May 19-20, 2020

Antoine Graves was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery and Resisting an Officer
Justin Brown was booked on the charge of Obstruction of Justice
William Cutrer was booked on the charges of Possession of Stolen Things Under 1000, Distribution of Schedule III CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Illegal Possession of Burglary Tools, Simple Burglary, and Attachment (2 counts)
Tylina Imboden was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court, Battery of a Dating Partner, Disturbing the Peace/Loud and Abusive Language, and Resisting Arrest
Jeffrey Thomas was booked on the charges of 2nd Degree Rape (17 Counts), Aggravated Crime Against Nature, Crime Against Nature, Sexual Battery (5 counts), Indecent Behavior With Juvenile(s), and Molestation of a Juvenile
Moses Myers was booked on the charges of Theft of a Motor Vehicle 1000-5000, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Aggravated Assault With a Firearm, and Hit and Run

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.


AP Top Stories May 21, 2020 AM

May 20, 2020

Washington Parish Court Appearance Instructions

Today (May 20, 2020), Washington Parish Court appearance instructions were provided by Rachel
Edelman, 22nd JDC Court Administrator.

“If you were scheduled to appear in Washington Parish Misdemeanor Court or had a traffic ticket date in March, April or May, 2020, please report to the 9-1-1 Building behind the Sheriff’s Office/Jail in Franklinton, Louisiana (also known as the “old Franklinton Police Department”) to get your new court date.  You can report any time between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26; Wednesday, May 27; Thursday, May 28 or Friday, May 29.

If you were scheduled to appear in Washington Parish Felony Court in any of the Court divisions in March, April or May, 2020, please report to the 9-1-1 Building behind the Sheriff’s Office/Jail in Franklinton, Louisiana (also known as the “old Franklinton Police Department”) to get your new court date.  You can report any time between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Monday, June 1; Tuesday, June 2; Wednesday, June 3; Thursday, June 4 or Friday, June 5.”

Two Troopers Injured During Vehicle Pursuit

At approximately 2:15 am today (May 20, 2020), Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L were
dispatched to assist the Hammond Police Department with a vehicle pursuit that started within the city limits of Hammond. During the course of the pursuit, one Trooper (identified as George Baker) sustained severe injuries and another Trooper sustained minor injuries.

Hammond Police had initiated a traffic stop in the 2700 block of West Thomas Street but the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed. The officer observed the occupants throwing things out the vehicle on both sides, indicating at least two occupants. Multiple HPD officers joined the initial officer in the pursuit. As the pursuit moved outside city limits, additional agencies joined the effort. As the pursuit continued on Wardline Road west of Interstate 55, Troopers deployed a tire deflation device to disable the suspect vehicle near the intersection with Kate Street.

After successfully disabling the suspect vehicle’s tires, Troopers were retrieving the device from the roadway when they were struck by a Hammond Police unit involved in the pursuit. Both injured Troopers were transported to North Oaks Medical Center by Acadian Ambulance. One Trooper has been treated and released with minor injuries. The second Trooper remains in critical condition at this time.

After the tires were disabled, the suspect vehicle crashed on Wardline Road at its intersection with Crapanzano Road. The vehicle occupants fled the scene in an unknown direction. An investigation into the identity of the suspects is ongoing.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Chase Zaffuto, with the Hammond Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, at 985-277-5740, by the Hammond Police Department’s Facebook Page, by email at Zaffuto_CB@hammond.org or by contacting Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa’s anonymous tip line at 1-800-554-5245. Be part of the solution and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Council on Aging Updates on Hours and Services

Washington COA administrative offices are open to provide assistance by telephone from 7:30 a.m.
to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Face-to face assistance will be available beginning Monday, June 1, 2020 by appointment only. Please call (985)732-6869 to schedule your visit.

The Bogalusa, Franklinton, Pine and Angie Congregate Meal Sites will remain closed until Phase III of the State of Louisiana's reopening plan. Congregate site participants will continue to receive meals through our home delivered meal service. If you have questions regarding your meal delivery or have other needs, please call your Nutrition Site Manager for assistance. Site Managers are available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Clara-Bogalusa Senior Center (985)732-6869; Sybil-Franklinton Senior Center (985)839-4535; Theresa-Angie Nutrition Site (985)986-4333; Dewanda-Pine Nutrition Site (985)848-2265).

Transit services are now available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to any destination located within Washington Parish. 2 day advance reservations are required and trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve, space available basis. Vehicle capacity is limited to three passengers per load. Riders are asked to wear a mask while on board and submit to a temperature check prior to boarding. Anyone needing transportation should call (985)732-6868 or (985)839-4535 for a reservation.

Obituary

Nellie Luper Hunt
July 10, 1932 - May 18, 2020

Obituary

Reagan Kaye Ballard
October 18, 1995 - May 16, 2020

Senator Beth Mizell's Update on Rural Access to Broadband (SB 406)

Aside from high auto insurance costs, the second most talked about issue I heard on the campaign trail last year was one that uniquely challenges rural Louisiana - closing the digital divide.

The digital divide refers to those who are unable to access high speed internet, along with the economic and educational opportunities it provides. Closing this divide has long been a passion of mine, but the issue took a back seat to issues like taxes, legal and budget reform in previous legislative sessions.

Now, the COVID-19 crisis has made our elected officials acutely aware of the damage the digital divide causes. A recent survey by the Louisiana Department of Education found that only 66 percent of Louisiana students are accessing the internet in their homes. This finding requires immediate action to address the problem.

I have heard countless stories of students and parents in my district struggling to get online to keep up with their education. Some parishes have gotten so desperate to connect their students that they are sending out school buses with WIFI hotspots, so students can do their homework. I even opened my district office, so people can use the internet.

The business community has stepped up with actions, such as signing the Keep America Connected Pledge and providing wireless hotspots to students, but more needs to be done to remove barriers to broadband deployment and get families connected.

That’s why I introduced legislation in January to address the digital divide in rural areas of our state. Because electric cooperatives had served a similar purpose in electrifying our state’s rural areas, they seemed a natural fit to partner with the private sector to close the digital divide in those same areas.

Click here to read SB 406

But what seemed a common-sense and non-controversial bill in January, SB 406 has become a political football for opportunistic special interests. Some tried to use my legislation to increase profits rather than serving rural Louisianans. Despite this, my legislation is on its way to the full House, and it’s still laser-focused on connecting rural Louisiana.

I am committed to working with legislators across the aisle to close the digital divide in all corners of our state. I also look forward to enacting innovative, free-market solutions to address this problem, while rejecting the government- and special interest-led status quo that has stood in the way of getting our state connected.

Local Weather Forecast for the Next Few Days

For an extended forecast and more details, go to our weather page.


Today in History May 20th

AP Top Stories May 20, 2020 AM

May 19, 2020

Obituary

Richard McElveen, Jr.
October 10, 1927 - May 19, 2020

Obituary

Lavell Crain
November 19, 1937 - May 16, 2020

Two Jailed, One Wanted in Pontchatoula Incident

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports that DaJuan Thompson was located by the Baton Rouge Police Department on May 13, 2020, booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, and moved to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on May 15, 2020. Thompson was charged with auto theft, burglary, and attempted second degree murder.

DaJuan Thompson (18), Michael Carney (18) and a 17-year-old male were identified and linked to a string of vehicle burglaries, one auto theft, and for shooting at a man in The Havens Subdivision on Highway 445 in Ponchatoula on May 6, 2020.


Numerous home surveillance videos show the three subjects entering the neighborhood around midnight and immediately begin pulling on car door handles in an attempt to gain access. An alert homeowner interrupted the trio at one residence. Upon being confronted, one of the subjects fired shots upon the resident as they fled away on foot. The homeowner returned fire. The trio then located a nearby vehicle - unlocked with the keys left inside – and took as a get-away-ride. They fled at a high rate of speed heading toward Walker, LA. Later that morning, the Walker Police Department observed the stolen vehicle inside the City of Walker. As officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the driver increased in speed and fled from deputies. The subjects traveled recklessly at accelerated speeds into the City of Baton Rouge where the driver lost control and crashed the stolen vehicle. Two occupants were injured as a result of the crash. Detectives later learned that the third suspect was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Michael Carney was taken into custody, after being released from the hospital, on multiple counts of burglary and one count of second degree attempted murder.

Warrants had been obtained for the 17-year-old juvenile connected in this case.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Walker Police Department, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department for their assistance in the recovery of the stolen vehicle. The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office also reminds residents to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting personal property. Always lock your car doors and keep valuables out of sight.

Obituary

Glenn Smith
October 09, 1963 - May 17, 2020

Abita Springs Man Arrested After Stand-off With Deputies

Chester Lucien Rouquette, age 36 and an Abita Springs man, was taken into custody early Sunday
(May 17, 2020) morning after a six-hour standoff with St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday (May 16, 2020) deputies where dispatched to a residence on Jarrell Road near Abita Springs in reference to an altercation between a couple. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with the victim and determined she had been a victim of an aggravated battery perpetrated by her boyfriend, Chester Lucien Rouquette. Deputies attempted to make contact with Rouquette at the residence, However he refused to exit the home, and it was believed he had armed himself with a gun. 

After numerous attempts were made by deputies to have him exit the residence, the STPSO SWAT team was dispatched to the scene, and negotiators pleaded with Rouquette for several hours for him to come out of the residence peacefully. When Rouquette quit responding to negotiators at approximately 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning, SWAT Team members forced entry into the residence and took him into custody. A rifle was recovered during a subsequent search of the home.

Rouquette was booked on the charges of Aggravated Battery and Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms.

Sheriff Randy Smith thanked the deputies and SWAT team members who worked through the night to negotiate with this individual and achieve a peaceful resolution. “Because of the patience and handwork of all of the deputies and SWAT team members on scene, this standoff ended peacefully and without the loss of life,” Sheriff Smith said. “I applaud our deputies for their hard work and extreme patience.”

Slidell Arrests Made After Woman Held Against Her Will

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested three individuals after a New Orleans-area woman was beaten and held against her will inside a Slidell-area residence Saturday (May 16, 2020).

STPSO responded at approximately 6:30 p.m. to a residence on Mallard Street in Slidell, after a woman called to report her mother had been the victim of a battery and was being held against her will by her ex-husband. Deputies arrived and observed the victim’s vehicle being driven by a female. There were several other occupants inside. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled and a short pursuit ensued. Once stopped, the driver, Alexis Dillon,  and the vehicle’s two additional occupants, Cleavon Brown III and Germeiko Batiste,were detained.  Dillon’s young daughter, a firearm and narcotics were also located inside the vehicle.

The victim was subsequently located at the residence, where she told deputies she had been held and beaten since the night prior. She was transported to a local hospital, where she is being treated for serious by non-life-threatening injuries.

Arrested on numerous charges were Alexis Dillon (29) of Slidell, Cleavon Brown III (30) of New Orleans, and Germeiko Batiste (36) of Slidell. DOB 11/5/90) of Slidell.

Sheriff Randy Smith applauds the hard work the deputies did on this case to not only make these arrests but to prevent this woman for further torture at the hands of these individuals. “This incident had the potential to end very badly,” Sheriff Smith said. “Thanks to the deputies on scene and the use of their training, the individuals responsible have been arrested and the victim is now getting the medical care she needs.”

Obituary

Anna Lee Warren
April 14, 1930 - May 18, 2020

Abraham Introduces Healthy Dog Importation Act

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, May 19, Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, a veterinarian
and medical doctor, introduced the Healthy Dog Importation Act to ensure that dogs entering the U.S. do not pose a health risk to Americans.

Under current law, the importation of canines is overseen by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). These federal agencies estimate that over one million dogs are imported into the U.S. each year. However, only about one percent of those are screened for diseases such as rabies, influenza, hepatitis, distemper, and others. This poses a serious health threat not just to other dogs and household pets, but to our livestock and food supply.

Click here to read the act