2 robbery suspects arrested

Joshua Wells

Two Zachary men suspected in the Monday night armed robbery of Southern Belle Truck Stop near the south end of West Feliciana Parish have been arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish. Joshua Wells, 21, 421 E. Flanacher Road, and Reginald Jackson, 21, 474 E. Flanacher Road, each face one count of armed robbery, said Erin Foster, public information officer for the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office. The two men were found in the East… Continue reading →

2 arrested in East Feliciana rape case

Joe Loyd, left, Darrell Anderson

In this single stoplight village in rural East Feliciana Parish, horrifying allegations surfaced this week leading police to arrest two men and issue arrest warrants for two other people accused of raping and sexually exploiting two girls inside a mobile home with living conditions authorities described as unsuitable for human life. The disturbing claims came to light about two months after the girls, ages 3 and 7, were removed from a Grant… Continue reading →

Baker council urges more oversight of teen parties

Clinton celebrates July 4th with two separate festivals

Trey Hopper is standing in the white shirt, Landen Halbrook (front, left), Brooks Kelly (front, right), Logan Longmire (back left) and Logan Halbrook (back right).

Small town festivals are a fixture in Louisiana. And, come the Fourth of July, the rural town of Clinton in East Feliciana Parish will be bustling with not one, but two festivals this year: the established Red, White and Blueberry Festival hosted by town officials and the new Red, White and Blue Festival organized by the local Lion’s Club. While the names are similar, the two festivals are not connected. However, both festivals will run… Continue reading →

Officials warn of insurance rate hikes if Baker keeps deep cuts to fire, police

Deep cuts to public safety, such as police and fire, are possible under a proposed $15.2 million Baker city budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The council voted unanimously Tuesday to introduce the budget. A final vote should be scheduled for the July 22 meeting, Mayor Harold Rideau said. Council member Joyce Burges told the council her constituents have expressed concern over the possible cuts. “I’d like to see the… Continue reading →

Baker SB settles lawsuit in librarian incident

Convenience store owner booked with distributing drugs in Slaughter

Drug arrest at My Fair Mart convenience store.

Narcotics agents shut down an over-the-counter illegal narcotics operation in a Slaughter convenience store this week, just days before the owner was preparing to open a second location in East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Talmadge Bunch said Wednesday. The Delta Narcotics Task Force, which includes deputies of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, arrested Ahmed Hussein Mana, 45, the owner of My Fair Mart, 1711 La. 67 in East Feliciana Parish. A… Continue reading →

Services for longtime East Feliciana coroner held Monday in Clinton

For the past three years, East Feliciana Parish Coroner Michael “Mike” DeJohn Sr. quietly battled pancreatic cancer. DeJohn lost that battle on Friday when he died in a local hospital from complications related to the terminal illness. When he was first diagnosed, his wife Laura said doctors gave him only three months to live, to which DeJohn responded, “I don’t think so,” she said. He was buried Monday in Clinton. He… Continue reading →

Baker City Court offers payment extension for warrant fee

The Baker City Court will begin a program July 1 in which the court will offer a payment extension to people who have had a bench warrant issued for their arrest after they failed to appear in court. Normally, to avoid arrest a person must first pay a $50 warrant fee to have it recalled, said Shannan Williams, deputy civil department clerk in the City Court. During the month of July, the court will recall a… Continue reading →

West Feliciana council approves pay raises

Electrical problem may be cause of St. Francisville fire

Firefighters in West Feliciana battled a house fire early Monday in St. Francisville that destroyed the home and felled a telephone pole. Members of the West Feliciana Fire Protection District No. 1 and St. Francisville Fire Department arrived at 9851 Duncan St. after getting the call at 3:50 a.m., said Chief James R. Wood, of the West Feliciana Fire Protection District No. 1. The fire had already engulfed about a third of the home when… Continue reading →

West Feliciana firefighters get FEMA equipment grant

The West Feliciana Fire Protection District No. 1 received a federal grant of more than $120,000 to go toward new protective equipment for firefighters, the district announced Monday. The Assistance to Firefighter grant for Operations and Safety from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide the district $121,567 to buy new boots, helmets, gloves, protective hoods, and bunker pants and coats to replace older gear, Chief James R. Wood said in a news release Monday. A… Continue reading →

Baker council nixes utility increase, leaving budget still out of balance

Despite facing a $171,000 shortfall in the city budget, the Baker City Council voted Tuesday against raising sewer and water rates. The move might mean decreased police and fire services and possibly salary cuts for elected officials and department heads. Before the vote, the council heard from residents such as Betty Johnson, who argued that the city should ask for a tax if it needs more money instead of raising… Continue reading →

Senate bill sparked by arrest of Baker Middle teacher

Advocate Photo by MICHELLE MILLHOLLON -- Aurelia Young with the Louisiana Association of Educators told legislators Tuesday that it is humiliating for teachers to be arrested in the classroom for misdemeanors. Next to her are state Sen. Troy Brown, D-Geismar, center, and Vernon Wells, president of the Baker Teachers Association.

Legislation filed after the arrest of a Baker schoolteacher sparked debate and a spat Tuesday at the State Capitol. State Sen. Troy Brown, D-Geismar, filed Senate Bill 608 to prohibit arrest warrants to be issued against school employees for misdemeanors committed upon students during the course of employment unless a law enforcement officer witnesses it or the child suffers physical injury. Only a summons could be issued. Both an arrest warrant and a summons… Continue reading →

Baker council considers water, sewer rate increases

Central blazed trail for St. George incorporation effort

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --

CENTRAL — If the battle to form a new City of St. George has a familiar ring to it, there’s a reason. Ten years ago, residents of Central embarked on a similar campaign. It, too, began with an effort to create their own school district. And after that failed, they also turned to a petition drive to form their own city to achieve their goal of creating their own school system.… Continue reading →

Baker school system buys old All Star Chevy property

The Baker school system has purchased the old All-Star Chevrolet property off Plank Road for its district offices, paying $1.1 million for the 3.4 acres, which contain three buildings. “We don’t owe a penny on it and we won’t pay a penny of interest in it. We paid cash,” School Board President Dana Carpenter said Tuesday. The board’s lease on its offices behind Whitney Bank on Ray Weiland Drive expires March… Continue reading →

Baker teacher’s arrest raises questions of discipline

Deborah Anderson

How far can a teacher go to maintain discipline as an effective educator? Baker School Board President Dana Carpenter said that question is at the heart of Thursday’s arrest of Baker Middle School teacher accused of grabbing an eighth-grade student by his shirt and yanking him out of her classroom. Carpenter said Friday the Baker Police Department’s decision to arrest and jail 47-year-old teacher Deborah Anderson was… Continue reading →

Baker council considers water, sewer rate increases

Baker councilwoman suggests requiring security for teen parties

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Baker SB agrees to marketing services contract

Edward Pratt, Southern University

Baton Rouge man accused in rape of 11-year old girl

Laderick T. McClain

Baker Police arrested an 18-year-old man accused of raping an 11-year-old girl early Sunday morning after the child’s mother asked the teenager — a family friend — to come over and repair a broken shelf while she was at a party in Baton Rouge, police said. Police booked Laderick T. McClain, 18, 2732 Appleton Ave., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of aggravated rape, aggravated burglary and an unrelated misdemeanor theft, Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps… Continue reading →

Virginia man booked with fourth offense DWI in W. Feliciana

A Virginia man remained in West Feliciana Parish jail Friday, accused earlier this week of a fourth offense of driving while intoxicated, West Feliciana sheriff’s deputies said. Charles T. Moorehouse, 38, of Covington, Virginia, was arrested along Highway 61 near Bains Road about 11 p.m. April 29 after he was pulled over by deputies who suspected him of drunk driving, sheriff’s spokeswoman Erin Foster said in a news release. Moorehouse was taken… Continue reading →

East Feliciana deputy: Two dead in double homicide

The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double homicide that occurred in Ethel on Sunday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies were called at about 4 p.m. to Lillian Lane, where they found the bodies of a man and a woman, said Sgt. Kevin Garig, an East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Garig said late Sunday that he could not release any additional information about the slayings.… Continue reading →

Baker school officials criticized for not attending crime forum

West Feliciana schools seek millage increase

West Feliciana Parish voters will consider a 14-mill property tax increase for the public school system when they go to the polls May 3. Some voters are casting their ballots during early voting, which ends Saturday. If passed, the 10-year, 14-mill property tax for the parishwide Consolidated School District 1 is expected to bring in an additional $3.8 million annually for the school system. There are four public schools in… Continue reading →

St. Francisville receives strong financial audit

The St. Francisville finance department lacks proper policies to provide proper internal control of the town’s finances, according to an audit released Monday by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office that otherwise painted a strong financial picture of the small town. Mayor William “Billy” D’Aquilla characterized the audit as “great” and said the critique from the auditors is something he’s been told in the past. He said the small size of the… Continue reading →

Baker residents air views on proposed utility rate increases