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March 31, 2021

La. Attorney General Unveils "Take-Back" Box at WPSO in Franklinton

Louisiana's Attorney General Jeff Landry was in Franklinton today (March 31, 2021) to address the opioid epidemic. Landry said, " I am here because of the commitment by Sheriff Seal, Chief Bullen, Chief Brown, and their law enforcement agencies to stand with me to protect the families from Angie to Mt. Hermon, Bogalusa to Thomas, Franklinton to Varnado, and everywhere in between."

Landry spoke of the acceleration of overdoses: from July 2019 to July 2020, more than 1,700 Louisianans died from overdoses. Our State’s total is 53% more than the number that died during the same time period the year before, a spike twice as steep as the national average.

Actions he has taken to combat the epidemic include

  • holding manufacturers and distributors accountable
  • educational campaigns for parents, co-workers, and others
  • making Naloxone available to first responders

In addition and part of the reason for his visit to Franklinton, Landry unveiled a drug take back box that is available to the public 24/7 at the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office in Franklinton. The take back box is a safe and secure spot for people to dispose of their no-longer-needed medications and keep them from the hands of addicts or potential addicts.

This life-saving opportunity is made possible through a partnership between the Attorney General's office, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.

Sheriff Randy Seal and Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown encouraged all residents to do their part and use the take back box to dispose of medications.

Rape Suspect Wanted by the Bogalusa Police Department

The Bogalusa Police Department Detective Division recently began an investigation into allegations of the rape of a juvenile, as well as narcotics trafficking to juveniles. The results of the investigation led to arrest warrants being issued for the suspect, Kenyatta Gemel Scott Sr., age 43 and of Bogalusa, Louisiana. The arrest warrants issued for Scott are for Second Degree Forcible Rape and Oral Sexual Battery.

On Friday, March 26, 2021, Detectives also obtained a search warrant for Scott’s residence on Avenue I in Bogalusa,  Officers executed the search warrant but Scott was not there. However, during a search of the residence Detectives uncovered evidence of narcotics trafficking. Located in Scott’s bedroom Detectives located 58 grams of methamphetamine, 929 grams of marijuana, 529 tablets of ecstasy, prescription legend drugs, and paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking. 

During a search of vehicles at the residence, Detectives located 27 grams of marijuana and 37 Schedule IV prescription pills. The narcotics were located in a vehicle belonging to Kia Jefferson, who was on scene. She admitted to possession of the drugs found in her car, and was arrested for Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Schedule IV Narcotics. There is no evidence to suggest that she was in any way involved with the narcotics found in the residence.

In addition to the forcible rape and oral sexual battery charges, arrest warrants are being sought for Scott for a number of felony narcotics charges. 

Scott is currently at large. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Bogalusa Police Department Detective Division at (985)732-6238, or after hours at (985) 732-3611. Callers may remain anonymous.


Katherine Lanell Brock Edwards

September 13, 1948 - March 29, 2021


Eddie Jerry Adams

July 19, 1956 - March 21, 2021

Sheriff Seal Asks Public's Help to Identify Trespasser

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal asks the public’s help to identify a trespasser who was observed by a homeowner early in the morning of March 26, 2021 on Highway 1072. Video surveillance captured images of the intruder who is described as a white male with long hair on the back of his head and who was wearing blue jeans, a green shirt and a cap. The intruder held a white bag in his left hand and possibly had a red identification tag on his arm.

“Help us identify this intruder,” said Sheriff Seal. “We don’t know his intentions but we do know he had no business prowling around this residence in the early hours of the morning. A boat, motor and tractor were under the carport and easily accessible to the intruder. Let’s identify him so we can make an arrest.”

Any person who might be able to identify this man is asked to call Detective Randy Reviere at 985-839-3434, extension 1051. Callers may remain anonymous.

SLEEVESUP Vaccination Event in Bogalusa April 1st

Slight to Marginal Risk for Severe Weather Today

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March 30, 2021

Gov. Edwards Eases Some Restrictions - Keeps Mask Mandate

Some restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, including strict occupancy restrictions for bars and restaurants, will be eased this week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today (March 30, 2021). Social distancing of six feet will still be required in businesses and Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate remains in place.

“At this point in the pandemic, our three best tools for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our hospitals operational are vaccinations, masks and distance,” Gov. Edwards said. Saying, “We aren’t yet out of the woods” Gov. Edwards added “Vaccination is the best way we have to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror.”

The Governor’s updated order removes the limitations on when bars and restaurants may serve alcohol, defaulting to local ordinances. People younger than 21 are still not allowed inside bars and bars are only allowed to provide patrons with socially distanced seated service, under the new order.

Salons and beauty shops, gyms and fitness centers, malls and casinos also will not have capacity limits. However, businesses and venues that host larger gatherings, like receptions halls, will remain capped at 50 percent of their capacity, with a maximum gathering size of not more than 500 people indoors and strict social distancing. Outdoor events will be capped at 50 percent capacity and some events may require prior approval by the State Fire Marshal. Indoor and outdoor sporting events will be limited to 50 percent of their capacity. 

Click here to read the order

Man Wanted for Theft in St. Tammany

Wanted in St. Tammany for Using Stolen Credit Card #

Washington Parish Jail Bookings for March 29, 2021

John Ballard was booked on the charges of Contempt of Court (2 counts) and Bond Surrender by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $8750.00.

Daquantas McGowan was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery (3rd Offense), Domestic Violence/Child Endangerment, and Aggravated Domestic Violence Assault by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.

Trevonne Mingo was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana (3rd Offense), Possession of Schedule 1 Drugs (2 counts), Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Resisting an Officer, and Obsstruction of Justice/Evidence Tampering by the Bogalusa Police Department. Bond set at $5000.00.

Ryan Simmons was booked on the charges of Speeding 21-30 Over Limit, Driving Under Suspension, No Insurance, Fugitive Other Jurisdiction, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of CDS in Presence of Juvenile, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $3500.00.

Kyle Bordlee was booked on the charge of Issuing Worthless Checks 300-500 by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $3500.00 bond.


Shelby Gene Strickland

January 27, 1950 - March 28, 2021


Vonzeal Hines Fedele

March 28, 1945 - March 29, 2021


Laura Mannino Collett Hebert

June 8, 1929 - March 28, 2021

STPSO: Man Back Behind Bars - More Than 400 Stolen/Fraudulent Checks worth $538,000

A Meraux man is back behind bars in St. Tammany Parish after an investigation following a routine traffic stop reveals more than 400 stolen/fraudulent checks valued at approximately $538,000.

Gregory Ward Jr., age 21 and of Meraux, was initially stopped by a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy for speeding on January 25, 2021. Ward provided a fake name and was found to be in possession of several checks, credit cards, and debit cards that were suspected to be stolen, altered, and fraudulently manufactured. Detectives were able to identify one of the victims of the stolen/altered checks and Ward was arrested at that time on one count of Bank Fraud, 14 counts of Monetary Instrument Abuse, and two counts of Felony Illegal Possession of Stolen Things, in connection with the stolen altered checks connected to that one victim. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail but bonded out on February 2, 2021

However, the investigation into the more than 415 other stolen/altered checks continued. STPSO detectives learned Ward was stealing checks and altering those checks and also using the checks to create counterfeit checks before depositing the altered checks as well as the counterfeit checks into various bank accounts. During the January traffic stop, Ward was also in possession of check altering and check making items such as white out and blank check stock.

As the investigation progressed, STPSO detectives were able to obtain additional warrants for Ward’s arrest for 4 counts of bank fraud, 62 counts of Monetary Instrument Abuse, 6 counts of Illegal Possession of Stolen Things Over $25,000, 14 counts of Illegal Possession of Stolen Things Between $5,000 and $25,000, 36 counts of Illegal Possession of Stolen Things Between $1,000 and $5,000, and 375 counts of Illegal Possession of Stolen Things Under $1,000.

On Monday (March 29, 2021), Ward turned himself in and was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. No bond has been set at this time.

“This is a prime example of how a well-trained deputy and criminal investigators have worked together to turn a minor traffic stop into a major criminal investigation,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I am extremely pleased with the hard work of all my personnel who worked tirelessly to further this investigation.”

Four Arrested in Mile Branch Settlement Vandalism

 On March 27, 2021 the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of vandalism of several buildings located inside the Mile Branch settlement on the Washington Parish Fairgrounds in Franklinton. Several cabins were forcibly entered by someone kicking in the doors, items in some cabins were broken, some windows were broken and dry chemical fire extinguishers had been discharged inside and outside the buildings.

That same date, after being contacted by the Sheriff’s Office, parents brought their sons to the office and reported their involvement in the vandalism. Three of the young men confessed to the crimes while the fourth made no statement on the advice of his attorney. All four young men were arrested and released to the custody of their parents who were issued juvenile arrest custodial agreements. The young men are scheduled to appear before a juvenile court judge.

“This is heartbreaking,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “The cabins and outbuildings represent the heart and soul of our Washington Parish ancestors. Many years ago, parish pioneers cleared land, cut trees and built houses, barns and other structures for their families. It is so wonderful that these buildings and items have been preserved in one location for many generations of visitors to visit and learn valuable history lessons. It is so sad that these young men vandalized these historical structures, and in so doing created a legal dilemma for themselves and their families. I hope not only that these structures can be repaired, but also that these young men will have learned a life lesson of the consequences of irresponsible behavior. I appreciate the actions of the parents who brought in their sons to take responsibility for their actions.”

Editor's note: The images below were posted on the Washington Parish Fair Association Facebook page. Priceless and irreplaceable items damaged or destroyed. Also posted on the Facebook page are images showing damage from a weather event just a few days earlier. 

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Former TPSO Employee Pleads Guilty to Bribery Scheme

United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Sonja Dyson Evans, age 58 and of Ponchatoula, pled guilty on March 24, 2021 to use of an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity.

Evans was employed by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office as a Criminal Records Division Supervisor.  From January 2016 through January 2017, Evans, along with a co-defendant, Shawanda Dove, used cell phones to carry out a bribery scheme. Evans  solicited and accepted bribe money from Dove in exchange for fraudulent bonds used for the release of incarcerated persons.

Evans faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years incarceration, a $250,000 fine, a three (3) year term of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.

Details of the scheme are interesting and can be found here

Previous related articles about this story can be found here

March 29, 2021


Buster Bennett

September 28, 1940 - March 25, 2021

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Washington Parish Jail Bookings for March 27-28, 2021

Lexy Stockstill was booked on the charge of Theft of a Motor Vehicle 1000-5000 by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released March 28, 2021; no bond information available.

Kia Jefferson was booked on the charges of Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, and No Seat belt by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $25.00.

Emily Boone was booked on the charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts), Possession of Marijuana, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.

Brandon Young was booked on the charge of 1st Degree Rape with Victim Under 13 Yrs Old by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.

Thomas Alsobrooks was booked on the charges of Improper Turn/Accident, No Proof of Insurance, No MVI, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts), Possession of Marijuana, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Drugs by the Washington Parish Sheriff's office. No bond set at this time.

Devin Chalfant was booked on the charges of Domestic Abuse Battery and Criminal Damage to Property Under 1000 by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.

March 28, 2021

March 27, 2021

Washington Parish Jail Bookings for March 24-26, 2021

Mark Braud was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $2500.00.

Amy Seal was booked on the charges of Criminal Damage and Probation and Parole Hold by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.

Chelsa Jones was booked on the charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Resisting Arrest by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $1500.00 bond.

Eric Causey was booked on the charge of Domestic Abuse Battery by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $2500.00

Laziarus Magee was booked on the charge of Illegal Discharge/Use of Weapon by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.

Dennis Davis was booked on the charge of Telephone Communications/Improper Language/Harassment by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.


Eleanor B. Cutrer

February 06, 1962 - March 26, 2021

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Results of 2-Year Joint WPSO and DEA Investigation

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal advises that, for the past two years, the WPSO and DEA have conducted a joint investigation into illegal drug sales in Washington Parish. Several arrests have been made within the past couple of months. 

“We have a great partnership with federal agents in our local Drug Enforcement Administration office,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “By combining resources and personnel, our two agencies are able to identify and arrest drug dealers throughout the parish. These arrests do not signal the end of the investigation. More arrests can be expected as the investigation continues. My thanks to all officers who risk their lives daily as they protect law-abiding citizens of our parish.”

Those arrested included:

  • Guy Adams, 68, a resident of Highway 1075
  • Holly Adams, 65, a resident of Highway 1075
  • Charlotte Jarrell Branch, 57, a resident of Avenue F in Bogalusa
  • Chasity Branch, 24, a resident of Henry Miley Road
  • David Griggs, 45, a resident of Highway 1075
  • Shannon Jenkins, 44, a resident of Jackson Avenue in Bogalusa
  • Boswell Pinkney Jordan, 53, a resident of Redwood Avenue in Bogalusa
  • Majorie Suzette Jordan, 48, a resident of Main Street in Bogalusa
  • Tiffany Kemp, 47, a resident of Highway 21
  • Richard Martin, 56, a resident of Johnny Martin Road
  • Stacey Ann Miller, 37, a resident of Jackson Street in Bogalusa
  • Jermichael Roberts, 23, a resident of Avenue E in Bogalusa
  • Walter Smith, 76, a resident of Highway 62
  • Gregory Tullos, 42, a resident of Mt. Pleasant Road
  • Martin Winder, Jr., 40, a resident of G. T. Stewart Road

March 26, 2021

20-Year-Old Kentwood Man Found With Synthetic Marijuana

Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa, Inc. reports that on Monday (March 22, 2021) evening, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for several traffic offenses. The incident occurred off of Hwy. 38 on 9th Street in Kentwood. 

When deputies made contact with the driver, 20-year-old Kentwood resident Zykeriean Bickham, they reportedly smelled the fresh odor of burnt marijuana from inside of the vehicle. Upon asking the driver if he had marijuana in his possession, he removed a clear plastic bag from his cup holder, then quickly placed the bag back in position. Consequently, a green leafy substance fell from the cupholder and landed on the center console.

At this time, Bickham was detained pending a roadside investigation. As a result, two pounds of synthetic marijuana was seized from Bickham’s vehicle. 

Bickham was charged with possession with the intent to distribute CDS I, having the proper equipment required for a motor vehicle, no driver’s license, and for not using turn signals.

LSU Ag Center Now Hiring 4-H Camp Staff

The LSU Ag Center has advised that they are currently hiring 2021 4-H Traveling Road Show Day Camp Staff. This position is opened to all individuals 18+ years old with a passion for the outdoors, youth education, and positive character development. Preference is given to undergraduate college students. 

To apply, go to https://lsu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/LSU and then search "4-H Camp Staff": 

For any questions, please contact CampGrantWalker@agcenter.lsu.edu

The Bogue Chitto Mountain Bike Trails Grand Opening

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program

On March 24, 2021 FEMA released the interim policy guidance on the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program. It will be a reimbursement program for eligible funeral expenses for deaths related to COVID-19 that occurred after January 20, 2020.

Please see the press release for more information about the newly released policy at https://www.fema.gov/press-release/20210324/fema-help-pay-funeral-costs-covid-19-related-deaths 

The program is not yet active, but is anticipated to begin in early April. This bulletin is simply a notice to provide awareness of the impending launch, allowing individuals an opportunity to begin to gather documentation and case workers time to gain familiarity. If your organization provides funeral assistance please take a look at how your program may interact with the FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program to avoid duplication of benefits. For those accustomed to conventional natural disaster responses please note that FEMA intends to establish a dedicated toll-free phone number for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, separate from DisasterAssistance.gov.

For those looking for more specific details about the program please go to the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance website at https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

Have a comment, question or looking for information? E-mail us at Partnerships@fema.dhs.gov


Paul Lessie Dykes

September 09, 1961 - March 21, 2021


Cecil Lee "Tileman" Ford

April 2, 1944 - March 25, 2021


Margaret Ann Daniels

November 9, 1945 - March 25, 2021


Ruth Neal Platter

February 08, 1931 - March 20, 2021

Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting March 23rd

At their meeting on March 23, 2021, the Franklinton Mayor and Board of Aldermen heard a report about trash pick-up, heard departmental reports, heard a report and took action regarding the Bene Street water well improvements, introduced an ordinance for issuance of Water and Sewer System Revenue Refunding Bonds, decided to discontinue the FPD's canine unit (after considerable discussion). and dealt with other matters.

Mayor Route 

  • spoke of the problem of accounting for trash cans
  • reminded everyone about the trash clean-up scheduled for March 27th
  • spoke about the FOCUS Franklinton sponsored Community Bike Ride scheduled for April 6th
  • announced an Easter Egg Hunt on April 2nd at the Fairgrounds organized by the Franklinton Social and Planning Committee. The event will be from 2:00 to 4:00 and will also feature a petting zoo
  • commended Public Works employees for their work cleaning up weather-related damage at the Mile Branch Settlement
  • announced a free-of-charge COVID vaccine for Wednesday, March 30th at the Town's Council Chambers
  • announced the $90,000 purchase of a tractor for the Public Works Department and
  • expressed his appreciation to voters for approving the sales tax renewal on the ballot and personally thanked the Champions of Change (COCO) organization for their efforts.

Laura Anthony of Amwaste spoke about some of the challenges they have faced and answered questions (beginning at 5:20 into video of the meeting). Anthony answered questions from the mayor and aldermen, as well as from the public. 

Departmental reports were provided (beginning at 27:15 into video of the meeting) by Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown, Municipal Clerk Ellen Waskom, and Fire Department Chief Dustin Wascom.

Jay Pittman with Spangler Engineering reported on bids for the Bene Street Water Well Project, recommended approval of the low bid of $1,558,500.00, and the Board approved the low bid. Pittman also reported on the water system flushing program and installation of a new generator at the Mason Street location. 

During the Public Participation segment (beginning at 51:45 into video of the meeting), Dr. Chip McVea reported on the replacement of the community flag pole and Jamie McCullen advised of the District Attorney's amnesty program at the Franklinton Fairgrounds on May 1st.


Tiffany Ann Smith

August 24, 1990 - March 20, 2021

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William Clayton Felker

August 25, 1954 - March 19, 2021

March 25, 2021

Boating Education Lagniappe Day is April 24th

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the 10th annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 24, 2021 at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.  To register for one of the eight April 24 classes, please visit https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/boater-education and click on the link for “Find A Course Near You”.

The in person classes will follow all local COVID protocols and procedures.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification.

Below is the list of lagniappe class locations:

Help STPSO Locate This Wanted Man


Madelaine Jones

December 10, 1943 - March 24, 2021

Domestic Abuse Complaint in Nov. 2020 Leads to Arrest of Franklinton-Area Man

On November 10, 2020, a Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a complaint of domestic abuse in the Jenkins Road area north of Franklinton. Upon arrival, the officer discovered a female who had been physically assaulted, threatened with a weapon and held against her will. The assailant had fled the scene and could not be located.

The victim identified her assailant and a warrant was issued for the arrest of Tristan Cole Anthony, age 24 and a resident of Alfus Thomas Road. Athey was able to elude officers until a Sheriff’s Office deputy located him and arrested him. He was transported to the Washington Parish Jail and booked on charges of two counts of domestic battery with strangulation, simple kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.

Athey has previous stays in the Washington Parish Jail. In 2013, he was charged with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling. This was followed by a January 2020 arrest for criminal damage to property. In July 2020, he was arrested again and charged with aggravated assault, aggravated flight from an officer, three counts of simple battery and contempt of court.

“Jail is an appropriate place for Mr. Athey,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Even though he had a prior relationship with the lady, he had absolutely no excuse for assaulting her and holding her against her will. Many thanks to my officers for the initial investigation, the continued search for Athey, and the eventual arrest. It might seem good for criminals to run from the law, but sooner or later we will find and arrest you. Time is on our side. While you are constantly looking over your shoulder to see if we are behind you, rest assured that we are and eventually we will catch you and escort you to jail.”


Robert James “Jimmy” Magee

January 29, 1953 - March 11, 2021


Todd Jenkins

August 16, 1969 - March 24, 2021


Joseph Roy Johnson, Sr.

July 8, 1944 - March 10, 2021


Andrew Daley

September 14, 1931 - March 23, 2021

Faith Community Rallies to Support Foster Community

Covington, La. – To highlight the increasing challenges facing foster children in our area, particularly teens who are transitioning out of the system, Dr. Michael Sprague (Louisiana State Chaplain, Capitol Commission) and Judge Scott Gardner (22nd Judicial District Court, Division G) are leading the charge with James Samaritan and two dozen local pastors to educate the faith-based community about the hurdles these youth face and to mobilize forces to strengthen a local mentoring program.

A Pastors’/Leaders’ Gathering will be held on Tuesday, April 20, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church Covington, and the event is open to pastors, church members, and anyone else in the community who would like to learn more. Registration is required.

Attendees will hear from Judge Gardner and James Samaritan staff about the critical needs of the foster care system and the children and youth it serves. Perhaps most important, they will share information about Open Table, a proven mentoring program facilitated by local nonprofit James Samaritan, an organization that supports and empowers children and families in foster care.

Open Table is a program that trains small groups of volunteers to form a support family, or “table,” whose members use their vocational and life experiences as tools to assist marginalized youth who are transitioning out of foster care and accept the offer to join a “table.” Youth as young as 17 use these tools and relationships to develop life skills and achieve life goals while also learning to trust adults who are committed to their wellbeing. By participating, the youth are more likely to avoid human trafficking, substance abuse, homelessness, and unemployment.

“If people of good faith and goodwill come together in trust-filled relationships, it will be possible to solve this crisis. Please come to this event to learn how you can be part of the solution,” Sprague said.

For more information or to register for the April 20 event, email Dr. Sprague at mdsprague00@bellsouth.net. If registering more than one person, please include the names and email addresses of all in the party.

For more information on James Samaritan and Open Table, visit jamessamaritan.org

Parish Council Approves Asphalt Overlay of Ten Roads

The Washington Parish Council approved a resolution Monday (March 22, 2021) evening to authorize the Parish President to sign an agreement with Barriere Construction for asphalt overlay on Lanes Road, Wells Road, Mack Adams-O’ Berry Road, Bill Booty Road, Will Talley Road, Harry Kennedy Road, Fisher Road, C.C. Road, Carol Morgan Road, Lake Choctaw Road, Claud Nobles Road, Hammerstone Road, Pine Lane and West Choctaw Road. The project was made possible by a very low bid from Barriere (about $500,00.00 lower than the next lowest bid) and the availability of funds described in the Finance Director's report.

The Council also

  • received an update from Entergy representative Patrick Hamby on their noise-mitigation efforts at the power plant outside of Bogalusa (beginning at 3:30 into video of the meeting). Hamby stated they are “on-track” with plans previously reported with start time of construction as end of August or first of September. The target level is 45 to 50 decibels. Questions and comments came from Council members and parish residents
  • heard a presentation Ocean Behavioral Hospital representative Cadie Robertson (beginning at 18:20 into video of the meeting). 
  • adopted an ordinance supplementing the “NO THRU TRUCK ROUTES” ordinance
  • approved a resolution placing a moratorium on the approval or permitting of all solar panel farms, commercial solar power plants or operations similar thereto

In his report (beginning 28:50 into video of the meeting), Parish President Richard Thomas 

  • reported on damage during the recent storm, including damage at the Mile Branch Settlement at the Fairgrounds in Franklinton
  • provided an update on COVID-19 in the parish 
  • provided an update on addressing the litter problem in the parish
  • proclaimed April as Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Month
  • encouraged residents to stay weather-aware by going to the Washington Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WPOHSEP/
  • reported on the FOCUS Franklinton community bike ride scheduled for April 6th

A very positive report was provided by Finance Director Donna Graham (beginning at 36:20 into video of the meeting). Graham reported that several fund balances were better than projected for various reasons. Public Works Director Ken Wheat's report (beginning at 43:15 into video of the meeting) included information about the asphalt overlay project and he updated the Council on ongoing projects. Transportation Manager Donnell Merritt provided a report (beginning at 51:00 into video of the meeting). Altogether, 859 bags of garbage were picked up in only two weeks; this, in addition to other work performed.

Local Forecast for the Next Few Days

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Today in History for March 25th

AP Top Stories March 25, 2021 AM

March 24, 2021

All Louisianans 16 & Older Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine as of Monday, March 29th

All Louisianans 16 years old or older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, March 29, 2021, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today (March 24, 2021).

“Based on the doses that we will have available in the coming week, now is absolutely the time to expand vaccine eligibility as broadly as we possibly can, which is to everyone age 16 or older in Louisiana. This is an exciting development, but the hard work of making sure our family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors all have access to the vaccine will continue for months,” Gov. Edwards said.

Currently, all people in Louisiana who are 65 and older, all health care workers, people ages 16 to 64 with certain health conditions and people 16 or older in certain essential jobs are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. Starting Monday, March 29, 2021 all of the eligibility guidelines will be dropped in Louisiana and anyone who is 16 or older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Appointments will still be required and providers may need time to update their scheduling systems, which means that people may have to wait a few days to schedule their appointments for next week. There are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States: two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and a one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson. People ages 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and they should consult their primary care doctor or vaccine provider to ensure the proper vaccine is administered.

Click here to read the press release

Franklinton Man Arrested for Fatal Hit and Run

Tristen Blake Sullivan, age 29 and Franklinton, has been arrested in connection with a  fatal hit-and-run crash which occurred late Saturday (March 20, 2021) night in Madisonville, La. 

Sullivan was taken into custody Wednesday (March 24, 2021) and will be booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on the following charges: Hit and Run Driving; Death or Serious Bodily Injury, Negligent Homicide, Negligent Injuring (3 counts), Improper lane use, and Driving Under Suspension.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office began investigating a fatal hit-and-run at the request of the Madisonville Police Department. The crash occurred near the intersection of Louisiana Highway 22 and Garden Drive. A Ford F250 crossed the center line of Highway 22 and struck a Chevrolet Tahoe head-on. The driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died. Four other passengers of the vehicle were also transported to an area hospital with one listed in critical condition. The driver of the Ford F250 fled on foot. K-9 deputies were called to the scene in an attempt to locate that driver, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

“I would like to offer my prayers and condolences to the family who lost a loved one and had several others injured in this deadly crash,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “I applaud the laser-focused work of our traffic division who worked tirelessly to build a case and ultimately make an arrest.”

Casey Hidalgo Honored as 2021 Officer of the Year

From the Bogalusa Police Department

A/Sgt. Casey Hidalgo was honored on March 23, 2021, by the Bogalusa Rotary Club and the Bogalusa Police Department as the 2021 Officer of the Year.  Casey was hired by the Bogalusa Police Department as a full-time police officer in August, 2017, and graduated the Slidell Regional Police Academy in November, 2017.After spending a little over three years in the Patrol Division, Casey exhibited qualities that led to her assignment as Detective.  In April, 2020, Casey was promoted to Detective, which is her current assignment.  During her first year as a Detective, Casey excelled in her abilities to diversely investigate cases, learn quickly, and function as a vital part of the investigative team.  Casey shows compassion for others, empathy for victims of crimes, and a desire to thoroughly investigate every matter to insure a solid case in court.  

The administration, as well as her co-workers in the investigation division, would like to congratulate her on a job well done.

Severe Weather Threat Thursday Afternoon

The US National Weather Service New Orleans Louisiana is forecasting a severe weather threat Thursday afternoon. Any severe storms will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and hail greater than 1" in diameter. One or two tornadoes cannot be ruled out and 15-20 mph sustained winds with frequent 30-40 mph gusts are expected. These winds could blow around lightweight and loose household items like trashcans. Motorists should also be prepared for sudden gusts that could make driving difficult. 

A flash flood watch also remains in effect for areas along and southeast of a line from Baton Rouge to McComb. Widespread heavy rain is not expected, but saturated ground conditions mean even passing t-storms could lead to localized flash flooding threats.

FOCUS Franklinton Community Bike Ride is April 6th

Tangipahoa Parish Man Sentenced for Drug and Gun Violations

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Redis McGary, age 53 and a resident of Tangipahoa Parish, was sentenced on March 17, 2021 by United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle after previously pleading guilty to a two-count Bill of Information with possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and with being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

McGary prevously pled guilty to charges of possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and possession of a .38 special/357 Mag Derringer pistol and a .22 caliber Derringer pistol. McGary had also previously been convicted of a felony offense punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment in the Tangipahoa Parish Criminal District Court. 

Judge Lemelle sentenced McGary to 64 months of imprisonment and 4 years of supervised release. 

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Hammond Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Bayonle Osundare was in charge of the prosecution.

Hattiesburg Woman Killed in Crash Near Slidell

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, shortly after 2:30 pm, Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 59 at its intersection with Interstate 10 in St. Tammany Parish. The crash claimed the life of 19-year-old Yaquaria Smith of Hattiesburg Mississippi. 

The initial investigation revealed that Smith was traveling southbound in the left lane of Interstate 59 in a 2005 Ford Expedition. For reasons still under investigation, Smith veered right towards the Interstate 10 eastbound off-ramp and exited the roadway. Her vehicle impacted a roadway sign and then a tree on the driver’s side. 

Smith was properly restrained and sustained fatal injuries during the crash. She was pronounced deceased on the scene by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office. A two-year-old passenger was properly restrained in a child safety seat and transported to a local area hospital for injuries sustained during the crash. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor, however, as part of the ongoing investigation, a blood sample was taken from Smith for scientific analysis. The crash remains under investigation. 

Washington Parish Jail Bookings for March 23, 2021

Bryan Mitchell was booked on the charges of Criminal Damage to Property Under 1000, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Schedule II Drugs, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule IV Drugs, Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule III Drugs, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of CDS With Weapon Present by the Bogalusa Police Department. Bond set at $10,000.00.

Mark Amos was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession of CDS With Weapon Present, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released on $25000.00 bond.

Majorie Jordan was booked on the charge of Distribution of Schedule II CDS by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Bond set at $30000.00.

Kardell Robertson was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession of CDS With Weapon Present, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving Under Suspension, No MVI, and Failure to Appear by the Bogalusa Police Department. No bond set at this time.

Boswell Jordan was booked on the charges of Distribution of Schedule II CDS (3 counts) and Contempt of Court by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. No bond set at this time.

Kelsha Johnson was booked on the charges of Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule 1 Drugs, Possession of CDS With Weapon Present, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released on $25000.00 bond.

Tony Roberts was booked on the charges of Illegal Discharge/Use of Weapon and Failure to Appear by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released on $2550.00 bond.

Brooke Lott was booked on the charges of Illegal Discharge/Use of Weapon and Contempt of Court (3 counts) by the Bogalusa Police Department. Released on $8000.00 bond.

Gregory Tullos was booked on the charges of Distribution of Schedule II Drugs (2 counts) by the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office. Released on $40000.00 bond.

Local Forecast for the Next Few Days

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

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Today in History for March 24th

AP Top Stories March 24, 2021 AM

March 23, 2021

Mt. Hermon Woman Sought in Alleged “Road Rage” Incident

Kirsten Martin (age 40 and of Mt. Hermon, is wanted by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office on charges of Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Simple Assault. 

The incident occurred on February 17, 2021 around 11 a.m. A female and her young child were traveling on Hwy. 38 in Kentwood when the accused aggressively passed her – in a no pass zone – before blocking the lane of travel with her vehicle causing the victim to come to a stop. Martin is then accused of exiting her vehicle and walking toward the victim. In fear, the victim turned her car around and retreated. 

The suspect reportedly reentered her vehicle and proceeded to follow the victim. She passed the victim a second time, again attempting blocking the roadway. The victim bypassed Martin’s vehicle and traveled directly to the Kentwood Police Department seeking assistance.

Further investigation into this incident led detectives to discovering Martin’s identity. 

Anyone with information related to Kirsten Martin’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers, 800-554-5245.

Help STPSO Locate This Four-Wheeler

Bogalusa Police Requests Public's Assistance

The Bogalusa Police Department reports that, on the night of March 22, 2021, this motorcycle was stolen from South Columbia Street. It is a 2001 Suzuki GSX/R 1000 cc. It is black with red flames. The motorcycle does not currently have a license plate. 

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of this stolen vehicle, please contact the Bogalusa Police Department at 985-732-3611. If you would like to leave anonymous information, you may call 985-732-6238 for the "Tip" line and remain anonymous.

Get in on the Action! Join a Clean-up Group

We all see it! Trash, trash and more trash that detracts from the beauty of Washington Parish. Washington Parish Government crews pick up hundreds of bags a month and Rayburn Corrections inmates have resumed picking up trash. But they can't do it all and the good people of Washington Parish are organizing to tackle the problem. There may be others, but so far, the following clean-up efforts are being made:

  • Bogalusa District A Councilwoman has announced March 27th as District A Clean-up Day. Volunteers are invited to meet at 8:00 AM at the corner of Poplas and Redmond streets and at 2nd St. and MLK. Click here to learn more
  • A community clean up day is also scheduled for March 27th in Franklinton. Volunteers are asked to meet at 8:00 AM at the Department of Public Works on Lenora Street. Click here to learn more
  • It has also been reported that the Mt. Hermon Baptist Church has volunteered to pick up trash on Highway 38 from Porter's Curve to the Tangipahoa Parish line. Anyone wanting to help is asked to meet at the church for 9:00 AM on March 27th.
  • Bogue Chitto Baptist Church is also picking up trash on Highway 438 from friendly corner curve near the church towards Mt. Hermon. 

As one said, "Looks like a lot of different groups are doing this so no excuse not to find a group and help!!!"