News

Wed
01
May

EF2 Tornado hits LaSalle

A tornado, spun out of a major weather system coming through LaSalle Parish before daylight last Thursday, caused extensive damage in the Searcy and Summerville areas, according to Sheriff Scott Franklin, who also serves as Homeland Security Director.

Representatives with the NOAA’s National Weather Service was in LaSalle Parish on Friday and after visiting the Searcy and Summerville areas, rated the tornado as an EF2, with maximum winds of up to 125 miles per hour. The same tornado struck both areas of the parish.

Sheriff Franklin said he usually gets notification as soon as a tornado is suspected of heading toward the parish, but shortly before 3 a.m. Thursday morning when he received the first alert, the tornado had already touched down in the Searcy community.

 

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Wed
01
May

Sheriff Franklin seeks re-election

LaSalle Parish Sheriff Scott Franklin officially announced this week that he will be a candidate for re-election this fall.

In making his announcement, Sheriff Franklin issued the following statement to voters of LaSalle Parish:

“It was twelve years ago this week that I first announced I would be a candidate for sheriff in the fall election of 2007. I left my career with the Louisiana State Police to seek the office of Sheriff to address the drug problem we had in the parish.

“During my first year in office, my team was able to purchase pounds and ounces of illegal drugs, and we made it known to drug dealers and users that this type of activity would not be condoned in LaSalle Parish.

 

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Wed
01
May

Sign-up for updated CSP program slated

The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2019 is May 10, 2019. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019.

The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level.  

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Amanda Mathis, NRCS acting state conservationist in Louisiana. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”   

 

Wed
24
Apr

Fifth Annual LEDD Luncheon

Leaders from across LaSalle Parish gathered in Jena last Tuesday, April 16, to hear glowing reports from industry officials about the economic condition of the parish. The session was held at the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church in Jena.

The LaSalle Economic Development District’s (LEDD) fifth annual “A Greater LaSalle” luncheon heard from several of La-Salle’s top employers and taxpayers who shared with mayors, parish officials, and LEDD members how their businesses are fairing.

Without a doubt, each one shared exciting news about LaSalle’s robust economy and how the now diversified parish economy is providing huge dividends for employment and overall economic stability and growth.

 

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Wed
24
Apr

Survey reveals support for several items in state

By Madeline Meyer

BATON ROUGE—Majorities of Louisiana residents support legalizing gambling on professional sports and possession of a small amount of marijuana for recreational use while opposing stricter gun laws, according to an LSU survey released Thursday.

The Legislature is expected this spring to consider legalizing sports gambling. Statewide, 59 percent of survey respondents support the idea while only 35 percent oppose it.

There is virtually no difference in opinions on the issue between Republicans and Democrats. The distinctions lie among the age groups.

 

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Wed
24
Apr

Drax Biomass becomes partner with CLTCC

Drax Biomass, specifically its LaSalle BioEnergy facility in Urania, recently became a full industry partner with Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s (CLTCC) Huey P. Long Campus in Winnfield.

According to Jeff Johnson, CLTCC Campus Dean at Huey P. Long, the forestry program offered at their campus is only in its second year but is proving to be a valuable asset to students aspiring to enter the forestry field after high school graduation.

“Our school is focused on meeting the needs of the community by equipping our students to be ready for available jobs,” Johnson said. “This partnership is one way we are meeting this goal and we hope to expand to other businesses in the future.”

 

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Wed
17
Apr

Ex-LaSalle school administrator dies

Dr. Cleveland Riser, Jr., 86, a former LaSalle Parish School System administrator, answered the call of God’s angel and left this earth to go home to a peaceful rest on Monday, April 8, 2019.

He was born August 28, 1932 in Winnfield to Cleveland Riser, Sr. and Mable Hobdy Riser.

Growing up in Winnfield during those hard times was not easy, but he became a very loving and obedient child. His faith in God was evidenced early as he accepted Christ, was baptized and became a member of Union Hill Baptist Church.

He attended public school in Winnfield and graduated from Winn Parish Training School, Class of 1948. Grambling College was his institution of choice for undergraduate studies. He successfully completed his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and later enlisted in the United States Army.

 

Wed
17
Apr

McLendon seeks Sheriff of LaSalle

Scott McLendon has formally announced his candidacy for Sheriff of LaSalle Parish, subject to action of voters in the parish at the fall 2019 election.

In making the announcement, McLendon issued the following statement to voters of the parish:

“I am a life-long resident of LaSalle Parish, and I currently serve as the Chief of Police for the Town of Jena; which I feel completely humbled to be able to do.  During this time, I have met and befriended residents, business owners, and leaders of this great parish.

“At the urging of many of the influential and supportive people, I have decided to expand my service to the office of Sheriff.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my service as Chief of Police, but I feel my honest, conscientious, and hardworking persona would be best utilized in a position to serve all citizens of our parish.  

 

Wed
17
Apr

Ground broke for new Library in Jena

LaSalle Library officials and staff, along with the contractor, architect and guests, gathered on the site of the new LaSalle Library in Jena to break ground for the facility last Friday morning. The new main office of the LaSalle Library will be constructed on the old Humphries Motors Company location along First Street between Elm and Courthouse. The $2.6 million state-of-the-art facility will comprise 12,500 square feet, doubling the size of the facility across the street, which has been used since 1964. Those taking part in the ground breaking included, from left: James Womack, partner of Womack and Sons Construction Group, contractor for the building; Mark Weeks, project superintendent; Chase Womack, partner of Womack and Sons; Wayne Coco, architect; Bard Lambeth, President of LaSalle Police Jury and ex-officio member of Library Board; Simeon Rambo, bookmobile assistant; LaDawn Edwards, Mayor of Jena; Becky Robertson, Administrative Assistant; Sammy J.

Wed
10
Apr

Fellowship Elementary Third Graders Addison Crooks and Shelby Norris

Fellowship Elementary Third Graders Addison Crooks and Shelby Norris study a butterfly perched on their fingers while behind them their classmates Randy Waits, Ethan McClure and Ashton Stapleton study another butterfly on a flower outside their school as part of a class butterfly project. The FES third graders along with other LaSalle Parish third grade classes at Nebo Elementary, Olla Elementary and Good Pine Middle took part in a project that  involved growing butterflies in a special butterfly kit in an over 20-day process of metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly.

 

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