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.”

Cenla NAACP hosts rally that seeks to unite community

By EverythingCenla staff

The Central Louisiana NAACP will host a “Invest in Unity Rally” at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10,  at Peabody Magnet High School.

“We are calling the citizens and communities to walk in unity, stand up for unity, work together, pray together and pull together for the good and health of the people and the community,” said the Rev. Ameal Jones Sr.

Jones is the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and is serving as the local president of the civil rights organization.

“We challenge you to make a serious deposit and invest in unity. Do not let this October 2010 election divide us and we fall again for a mouth full of political cotton candy,” Jones said. “Do not become a puppet nor a muppet who is dangled and manipulated by the philosophy of Willie Lynch. The forces that seek to conquer or souls, crush us and extinguish the light of hope are far greater. These forces and powers manifest themselves in poverty, disease, broken families, fatherlessness, disrespect, drugs, violence, joblessness, mass unemployment, miseducation, incarceration, racism, homelessness and moral devastion.”

“Do not let people who look like us betray us and divide us,” Jones said.

In addition to entertainment, the rally will include a political forum that will include the City of Alexandria mayoral and council candidates.

Jones said the NAACP hopes to accomplish the following and among others:

  • Demonstrate unity by walking together
  • Bring community leaders and activists together to discuss community issues and solutions
  • Develop advocates who work on behalf of “the least of the these”
  • Increase the membership of Central Louisiana NAACP

Pineville man killed in Avoyelles Parish crash

On Thursday, July 15, at 9:35 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a single-vehicle crash on LA 454, mile post 9.7. Preliminary investigation revealed the driver, Robert Gibson Loudin, 39, of Pineville, was traveling west when he lost control of the 1988 Ford pick-up he was driving. The vehicle exited the roadway, re-entered the roadway, and then overturned several times. The vehicle continued traveling on its roof, again left the roadway, then impacted a tree on the passenger side.

Loudin, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Routine toxicology test results are pending and the crash remains under investigation.

Troop E troopers have investigated 33 fatal crashes for the year of 2010, resulting in 38 fatalities.

20 laptops stolen, recovered at Alexandria Middle Magnet School

By Everything Cenla staff

Stefon Bassett, 17, 3224 May St., Alexandria, and two juveniles were arrested in connection with the theft of 20 computers from Alexandria Middle Magnet School, according to Alexandria Police.

Principal Tim Thorp received an alarm about 2:55 a.m. Thursday, June 10, relating to motion in the library. Thorp told police he arrived at the school to find the side door open on the far right side of the building leading into the Home Economics classroom.

The suspects entered the building through the Home Economics room door and proceeded to the computer class. The door from the computer room to the library had a vent at the bottom kicked out and the door was unlocked. The desktop computer on the librarian’s desk was knocked over. A shovel that had been outside was apparently used to open the locked cabinets containing the laptops, which were pulled out and thrown to the ground. One of the laptops had been stepped on and officers found a large shoe print from an Air Jordan tennis shoe.

Thorp reported that the two sets of double doors leading to the outside of the building had the chains removed and the chains could not be located.

Video from surveillance cameras showed one of the suspects checking the doors and window at the school. Thorp said he recognized one of the suspects as a former student. Video also showed suspects walking away with backpacks.

Magnolia State Peace Officers Association holds annual conference in Alexandria through Saturday

By Sherri L. Jackson
Everything Cenla

The 54th annual Training Conference of the Magnolia State Peace Officers Association will be held Wednesday, June 9 through Saturday, June 12 at the Alexander Fulton Hotel & Convention Center.

The non-profit community service organization is made up of Africa-American law enforcement officers, who come together for training and to discuss issues that are important to members and to law enforcement, said Lt. Charles Muse Jr., president of the organization. Muse is a member of the Hammond Police Department.

“The fundamental purpose of this conference is training for its Magnolia members,” Muse said.

Magnolia State Police Officers Association began in 1956 with the purpose of improving law enforcement and how justice was administered in the state. According to the organization’s Web site, William B. Hines, who was the first black police officer hired in Shreveport, founded the organization after attending the 20th annual convention of the Texas Negro Peace officers in Beaumont, Texas.

Hines continues to be an active member of the organization serving as a board member.

“Though the purpose of the organization has evolved, there is still a need for such an organization to look out for its officers and to be abreast of all of the issues throughout the state that involve officers,” Muse said. “We lobby elected officials if we need to do so. Our voice needs to be heard just like other organizations.”

During the conference, Muse said, the organization will consider the issue of local sheriffs and police chiefs “shying away from supporting their officers financially to attend the conference.”

“I want to thank those who support their officers. Some chiefs and sheriffs are not familiar with Magnolia and what we do or they don’t take Magnolia as a legitimate organization,” he said.

Muse said the organization will establish a committee that will visit with local sheriff’s agencies and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association in hopes of sharing the organization’s story and goals.

“We want to let them know we are legitimate and you’re going to have to deal with us,” Muse said.

The conference begins Wednesday with registration and an executive board meeting. The President’s Reception will be Wednesday night.

Thursday’s activities include a Pistol Match and training sessions regarding emergency preparedness. On Friday, June 11, the organization will recognize its deceased members in a memorial service and recognize officers in an Awards Luncheon. Alexandria Police Chief Darren Coutee, who retired earlier this year, will receive a plaque recognizing his retirement. The conference will end Saturday with additional training sessions and entertainment.

Kent House to host two summer camps

Applications are currently being accepted for two summer camps sponsored by Kent House, one held in June and the other in July.

June 21st through 25th will be the annual Jane in June Camp for young ladies ages 10 – 15.  This camp revolves around pastimes for young ladies in the Jane Austen era.  Each year the campers learn duties, games and pastimes of young ladies in the early 1800’s.  Each day they will attend an authentic tea party and on the last day, they will host a tea party for their parents.

The main theme for the camp this year is to sew an empire dress for an American Girl doll.  Under the guidance of an expert seamstress, at the end of the week, the girls will take home the finished garment as well as their own American Girl Doll.   The camp hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The cost is $150 for the week which includes lunch, snacks and supplies.

The July camp is for boys and girls ages 7 – 12 and will be held on July 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The theme for Camp Kent House 2010 is “Life on a 19th Century Farm”.  The campers will learn how our early ancestors lived, worked and played.  Each Friday will focus on different farm-related activities.  Campers can attend one or all camps.  One Friday, campers will visit a real farm where they can experience how life is lived on a modern day farm.

The cost is $20.00 per day and includes craft supplies, snacks and drinks.  Campers should bring a sack lunch.

For additional information or to receive a registration form, please call (318) 487-5998.  Enrollment is limited.

Catholic school teacher, coach accused of having sex with student

By EverythingCenla staff

A teacher and coach at Holy Savior Menard Catholic High School was arrested on a warrant at 4:30 p.m. today and charged with four counts of simple rape and three counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, according to Rapides Parish Sheriff Chuck Wagner.

Cross, 28, of 323 Philadelphia Rd., Pineville, is accused of having an improper relationship, including sexual acts, with a 16-year-old girl, who attended the school where he worked, Wagner said.

Wagner said the incidents didn’t occur on school property.

Cross was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail. No bond has been set.