Four Alexandria men accused of robbing two Grant Parish men

By EverythingCenla staff

Four Alexandria men are accused of using a weapon to rob two Grant Parish men near Fatboy’s on North Texas Avenue Sunday afternoon, according to Alexandria police reports.

The four men are:

  • Dominik Rose, 18, 11414 Marilyn Dr.
  • Cederius Span, 18, 1205 Magnolia St.
  • Delmartrius Span, 19, 1205 Magnolia St.
  • Jerome Harrell, 26, 1525 Madison St.

Each has been charged with armed robbery

The four men allegedly brandished a handgun and robbed the men taking a credit card. The victims from Dry Prong and Colfax told police the men left the scene in a gray van. While responding to the call, officers reported seeing a gray van traveling east on Rapides Drive turning left on Veterans.

The men were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Jail.

Pill Box Pharmacy open and ready to serve the Lower Third community

Pharmacist Michelle Smith talks to customer Martha Lowe about the pharmacy's services. Lowe lives on Lower Third Street in Alexandria.

Pharmacist Michelle Scott

The Pill Box is located at 3203 Third St., Alexandria.

By Sherri L. Jackson
EverythingCenla

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here.

It is a pharmacy, and here is on Third and Douglass streets in the Lower Third community of District 3.

And Martha Lowe, who lives in the community couldn’t be prouder that there is finally a pharmacy in her community.

“I’m proud that they put something down here for us. I am ecstatic,” Lowe said as she was questioning Pharmacist Michelle Smith about the business’ services.

Joe Williams and Smith, who has been a pharmacist for 23 years, are the owners of The Pill Box, a full-service pharmacy located at 3203 Third St. Smith previously worked at Rite-Aid on MacArthur Drive.

The Third Street location is the second Pill Box Pharmacy in Alexandria. The first location, which opened in January, is located at 4740 Jackson St. The Pill Box is the former The Medicine Shoppe.

The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  All forms of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, are accepted.

Though the Third Street location has not had its official grand opening, it is open for business and awaiting customers, especially the community’s elderly who’ve expressed concerns about the lack of a community pharmacy.

And service is what Williams and Smith hope to bring to the community.

Williams said his desire is to bring the pharmacy to Lower Third Street surfaced about a year ago when he noticed there was not a pharmacist near Rapides Primary Health Care Clinic located on Willow Glenn River Road and that people were outside of the clinic waiting on a bus.

“I looked at a building next door to the clinic, but that didn’t work out. Then the word got out and the city approached me about (participating in) SPARC,” he said.

SPARC stands for Special Planned Activity Redevelopment Corridors. It is the City of Alexandria’s infrastructure investment project that includes three Cultural Restoration Areas known as CRAs. Lower Third Street is one of those CRAs.

In March, Williams was one of the potential investors Mayor Jacques Roy said was interested in bringing retail development to Lower Third Street.

“The ultimate goal is to bring something bigger to the community, but I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to get going,” he said.

Smith said the pharmacy located in the small building that once served as a food establishment has the same amenities as a larger pharmacy.

“We are full service, and we have the top 200 medications in stock. What we don’t have in stock, we can get the same day or the next day. If we have the drug in stock, we will fill the prescription right away. The service goal is 10 minutes, Smith said.

“Also we can match any competitor’s price, and it’s easy to transfer transcriptions. If you need a refill, we can call the doctor and get it for you,” she said.

Additionally, as business picks up, both Williams and Smith said there will be job opportunities available to community residents. Until then, Williams and Smith are working at the pharmacy.

Meanwhile, Attorney Jonathan Goins, who represents the Lower Third community on the Alexandria City Council, said having the pharmacy in the community is a “positive beginning to a bright future of economic development in the Lower Third Area.”

“I applaud Mr. Williams for taking the step that many businesses are afraid to do. Even before I became a councilman, one of the main concerns of the elderly is that they didn’t have any way to get their medicine in the community,” he said. “When the opportunity arose, I was excited to hear Mr. Williams was coming to the community.”

“This is the catalyst needed to spark other businesses to come down and participate in the growth and development of our community.”

Goins said he encourages the community to visit the pharmacy and to spread the word throughout their communities that the pharmacy is available and open for business.

State police suspect alcohol a factor in Natchitoches Parish fatal crash

By Everything Cenla staff

Lauren D. Delrie,  21, of Chopin, was killed in a one-vehicle accident  early Sunday morning when the vehicle she was in went off of the right side of Louisiana Highway 490 and hit a tree, according to Louisiana State Police Troop E.

Delrie was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver, Joseph D. Delarcerda, 21, also of Chopin, was seriously injured.

State Police report the accident occurred about 9:15 a.m. east of Interstate 49. Delarcerda was driving a 1997 Honda Accord eastward on Highway 490 when he lost control of the vehicle resulting in it hitting a tree on the right side of the highway.

Delarcerda or Delrie were not wearing seatbelts. Delarcerda was taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Routine toxicology tests and charges are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

Unused, unneeded and expired prescription drugs to be collected Saturday, Sept. 25

By Everything Cenla staff

The Alexandria Area Four Safe Streets/Community Program will collect unused, unneeded and expired prescription drug medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Martin Community Center, 2301 Mill St.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Program  is in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

For more information, call Pamela Marshall, Safe Streets liaison, at (318) 473-1132.

Rodney Alexander receives Guardian of Small Business Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business association, today named U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, a Guardian of Small Business for his outstanding voting record on behalf of America’s small business owners in the 111th Congress.

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner, who presented Alexander with the decoration, said “In the 111th Congress, Representative Alexander proved that he is a champion of small business. The Guardian of Small Business Award is a token of the deep appreciation that small business owners have for elected officials who promote and protect their right to own, operate and grow their businesses.”

Alexander said he was pleased to receive this important recognition.

“I am proud to be named a Guardian and vow to do everything I can to keep the American Dream alive,” said Alexander.

“These days, small businesses are hesitant to hire and scared to expand due to the uncertainty created by Washington’s harmful policies. It frustrates me to imagine how many potential entrepreneurs and small business owners have been discouraged because our tax policies hamper the entrepreneurial spirit.

“Especially during these trying times, raising taxes will essentially eliminate even more jobs; it will bring job creation and economic recovery to screeching halts. When approximately 15 million individuals remain unemployed, for us to continue down this reckless path is unfathomable.”

Annual Homeless Stand Down offers services to homeless, veterans

By Everything Cenla staff

The 7th annual Homeless Stand Down was held today with “much success,” said Rena Powell, Health Care for Homeless Veterans coordinator for the Veterans .

The annual event was held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Sept. 23, at the Bolton Avenue Community Center.

“It was excellent. We had higher attendance this year and about 60 booths,” Powell said.

The idea behind the event, Powell said, is to gather service agencies in one place in order to increase the community’s awareness of the services provided to the homeless, veterans and displaced persons.

The Alexandria VA Medical Center (VAMC), in conjunction with the city of Alexandria and Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition, will sponsor the 7th annual ‘Homeless Stand Down’ from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Bolton Avenue Community Center, 315 Bolton Avenue in Alexandria.

Effie bank robber captured near Libuse

Michael David Gordon, 46, of 46 Gunter Road near  Libuse, was arrested at his home shortly before noon today, Sept. 23, in connection with the Effie bank armed robbery, according to published reports.

The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force and the FBI, jointly served Gordon with a warrant for armed robbery and false imprisonment.

Published reports indicate Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators “received a break in the case today.”

Law enforcement authorities have been searching for the bank robber since Tuesday afternoon, when a lone gunman first came into Cottonport Bank  acting as if he wanted to make a loan. He left and returned a short time later pointing the gun at the teller while demanding money.

Gordon is accused of waiting to brandish the weapon until after the single bank customer left the bank. He allegedly took an undetermined amount of money and left employees bound at the wrist in a storage closet.

Michael David Gordon, 46, of 46 Gunter Road near  Libuse, was arrested at his home shortly before noon today, Sept. 23, in connection with the Effie bank armed robbery, according to published reports.

The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force and the FBI, jointly served Gordon with a warrant for armed robbery and false imprisonment.

Published reports indicate Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators “received a break in the case today.”

Law enforcement authorities have been searching for the bank robber since Tuesday afternoon, when a lone gunman first came into the bank acting as if he wanted to make a loan. He left and returned a short time later pointing the gun at the teller while demanding money.

Gordon is accused of waiting to brandish the weapon until after the single bank customer left the bank. He allegedly took an undetermined amount of money and left employees bound at the wrist in a storage closet.

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