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.

Pineville mayor, council members take oath of office to serve city

The inauguration ceremony for the Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields and the city council was held Thursday,  July 1 Main Street Community Center in downtown Pineville.

Fields and the city’s five council members all were re-elected. Councilman Kevin Dorn was the only councilman to face opposition.

The ceremony featured several local ministers as well as an address from Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard.

Council members Mary Galloway, Kevin Dorn, Carol J. VanMol, Tom Bouchie and Nathan Martin each took the oath of office.

Galloway won a special election in 2008 to finish the term her brother, Joe Bishop, vacated when he was elected to the Rapides Parish Police Jury.

Cenla Red Cross celebrates volunteers

The American Red Cross of Central Louisiana welcomed over 100 volunteers and donors to their 2010 Annual Membership Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner held last night at their office building- 425 Bolton Avenue.

In the spring of each year, the Red Cross hosts the Annual  Membership Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to review the organization’s current financial status,  the impact of Red Cross services, to elect new board members, and to show appreciation to all the members, people who donated time, money and  resources in current fiscal year.

The program began with a welcome by Red Cross Executive Director Leann Murphy, followed by the invocation by Dr. Joshua Joy Dara, Zion Hill Baptist Church Pastor and the Red Cross 2010 Hero Campaign Chairman.

Board Chairman Gil McKee opened the Annual Membership Meeting by welcoming the members, reviewing financial reports which reveal of  current shortage of approximately $50,000 in unrestricted monetary contributions.  He challenged members to help by inviting others to join in support of the American Red Cross.

“If 100 of us present went home tonight and called 4 friends to give just $10 a month for one year, then we would make up our shortage,” said McKee.  He also presented a motion from the Governance Committee to re-elect Cleco Executive Russell Davis for a third term  and to elect three new board members: Jacqueline Greene with the Bureau of Health Standards, Christie Wood with Gold Law Firm, and Regina Washington with Procter and Gamble.  The motion passed unopposed.

Murphy gave a brief overview of the organization’s Annual Report of the past fiscal year.  Mckee adjourned the meeting to start the volunteer award ceremony

All Red Cross Volunteers present received certificates and special pins recognizing their voluntary service.

Special Commendations were presented to more than 40 volunteers for extraordinary service to Central Louisiana:

2008-2009 Central Louisiana Volunteers of the Year Awards

Dennis Botts – Overall Volunteer of the Year

Gil McKee—Board Member of the Year

Donna Young – Health and Safety Volunteer of the Year

Chris Everett – Fundraising Volunteer of the Year

Rae Strickland – Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year

Pastor Joshua Dara – Hero of the Year

Special Commendations

Outstanding Health and Safety Volunteers

Donna Young

Patsy Boykin

Herb Boykin

Dennis Evans

Outstanding Disaster Service Volunteers

Rae Strickland

Frances Vanderlick

Richard Clark

Donna Ledet

Jo Harper

Outstanding Military Service & Support Volunteers

Renee’ Botts, RN

Danny Cannon, LCSW

Vincent and Cindy Escandel PhD
Bart Liles  LPC
Dana Carrington LCSW
Libbie Triche DSHR

Board Service Commendations

Duane Blackwell, Owner, SoSo Solutions, LLC

Randy Briggs, Chief Deputy, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Dept

Tina Coker, CNO, Rapides Regional Medical Center

Russell Davis, Vice President & CAO, CLECO

Rodney Hatch, Forester, ROM Company

James Lee, Retired, Concordia Parish School

Gil McKee, CFO, Odor-Tech

Acie Murry, Retired, Murry HVAC

Goldia Mustain, Retired

Tracy Nash, Vice President, Capital One Bank

Freddie Price, Owner, Dempsey Business Systems

Cathy Robinson, Director of Allied Health, LSU-A

Reldon Owens, Marketing Director, Bossier Group

Ben Sandifer, Retired Catahoula Parish School Board

Ann Brame Silver, Sr. Vice President, Red River Bank

Michael Truelove, City President, Peoples State Bank

Charlotte Wasmer, Owner, Wasmer Group

Hero Campaign Chair

Pastor Joshua Joy Dara

Champion Award (for raising $5,000)

~McDonald’s of Alexandria & Glenda Stock

Hero Awards (for raising $1,000 or more)

~Jeralyn Young (Avoyelles Women’s Alliance)

~ Chris Everett (Red Cross Volunteer)

~Brian Thomson State Farm Insurance Company

~ Rose Vanburen  (Zion Hill Member)

~ Noah’s Ark Learning Center (Linda Burgess)

~Healthy Living Cenla

~ Zion Hill Ministers

~ Brame Middle School

~Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department

~Alexandria Middle Magnet

~ Bethany Fields

Hero Campaign Team Members

~Deep South Chiropractic (Dr. John Johnson)

~ Judith Williams

~ Liz Pace

~ LSUA Student Organizations

~ Zion Hill Youth Department

~ Phoenix Magnet

~ L.S. Ruggs Elementary

~ W.O. Hall Elementary

~ Zion Hill Baptist Church Team of Heroes

~Christian Love Baptist Church

~Peabody High School

~ Chancy Daigle

~ Vernon Middle School

After the award ceremony, 20 guests received door prizes provided by area businesses.

“I want to say thank you to the Red Cross staff for a fabulous Annual Meeting and evening,” said Cathy Robinson, Red Cross volunteer and board member.  “The whole evening was fun, uplifting and motivating!”

To become a member of the Central Louisiana Red Cross visit  Donate. Volunteer. Be a Hero.  Save a lif

Pineville group to discuss new mobile home parks and zoning

The Pineville Concerned Citizens Inc. will host its monthly neighborhood meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 29, at Kees Park Community Center on Highway 28 East in Pineville

This meeting will cover issues concerning new mobile home parks and zoning. All citizens are encouraged to attend. For more information, call (318) 709-5220.

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.

Three Cenla municipalities win state’s cleanest cities contest

Three Central Louisiana municipalities were named winners of the 2010 Cleanest City contest sponsored by the Louisiana Garden Club Federation.

The City of Pineville won in Category G, the City of Alexandria won in Category I and the Town of Lecompte won in Category C, according to a press release.

The first week in April, Pineville was judged in District competition and advanced to the State Cleanest City Contest finals, which were the held over the last two weeks.  This is Pineville’s fifth such award in the last eight years.  After winning their district many times previously, Pineville was selected as the state’s cleanest cikty for the first time by the Louisiana Federation of Garden Clubs in 2003, and repeated in 2004, 2006 and 2008.  Pineville’s entry is sponsored by the Alexandria Garden Club, which includes many Pineville members.

In 1958, the Louisiana Garden Club Federation Inc. was first among members of the National Council of state Garden Clubs, Inc. to sponsor a statewide “Cleanest City Contest”.

“This award is a victory for all city employees and our citizens.  I really want to commend our Public Works Department, the Pineville Beautification Committee and the Alexandria Garden Club.  It is obvious that our citizens and employees share the same sense of passion and pride in our community and about litter abatement, and what we can accomplish when we work together.”

National Day of Prayer Gathering to take place today

The Pentecostals of Alexandria will host a  Community National Day of Prayer Gathering from  12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. today, May 6, at the church, located at 2817 Rapides Ave.

The public is invited to the gathering, which will take place in the sanctuary, and also is invited to visit the church’s prayer room from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6. The prayer room includes books and interactive items to help visitors focus on
praying, according to Patricia Owens, events

Meanwhile, in Pineville, the event will take place on the steps of Pineville City Hall, said Pastor Nathan Martin

For more than 15 years, citizens of Cenla have been gathering at this location on the National Day of Prayer for an informal time of prayer for the nation, state and city.

Martin said there is no agenda, no set leader and no program. Prayers will be offered by anyone who desires to pray. The event will end with a hymn.

All faiths and denominations are invited to participate in this national event.