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Amanda Crane

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The Bossier City Police Department joined the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department and Kansas City Southern Railroad today to promote railroad crossing safety by taking part in Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit education and awareness program dedicated to ending tragic collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights of way in the state.

bossier city policeAs part of today’s operation, traffic officers and deputies were stationed near the railroad crossings on the tracks that run along Barksdale Boulevard from Central Park Drive to Sligo Road while other officers and deputies rode on a KCS train to observe motorist behavior at each crossing as the train approached.

In all, 29 citations were written today for railroad crossing violations. 10 additional citations were issued for non-moving violations.

When a motorist was seen violating the grade crossing traffic law, the train officer would radio an officer or deputy stationed near the crossing, who then issued the motorist a citation.

SheriffLogoLouisiana law requires motorists to stop at railroad crossings when:

(1) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train

(2) a crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train

(3) a railroad train approaching within approximately nine hundred feet of the highway crossing emits a signal, and such railroad train, by reason of its speed or nearness to such crossing, is an immediate hazard

(4) an approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing

(5) when a stop sign is erected at the approach to a railroad grade crossing.

State law also prohibits motorists from driving a vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed when an approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing.

The latest statistics compiled by Louisiana Operation Lifesaver show 8 people were killed in railroad crossing crashes in Louisiana during 2012. The last railroad crossing fatality crash in Bossier City occurred in 2008.

Operation Lifesaver is conducted periodically with law enforcement agencies across Louisiana to bring awareness to the dangers of vehicle-train collisions. For more information, log onto www.laoperationlifesaver.org.

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LifeShare Blood Centers reports an urgent need for O negative blood donors in order to stabilize the supply.

Patient use of O negative blood has exceeded recent blood donations of the same type, resulting in an immediate need for blood donations.

“Patients in trauma situations, those with O negative blood and most infants can only receive type O negative blood. Because of this, it is vital to increase the current supply to support and be prepared for local patient needs,” says Tina Hooper, spokesperson for LifeShare Blood Centers.

lifeshare-blood-centersAfter blood donation, testing and processing takes a minimum of 24 hours before the blood is available for patient use. People who are eligible to give blood and know they have an O negative blood type are needed immediately.

Persons who are unaware of their blood type are also being asked to donate now, as it will be tested upon collection. Donations of all blood types are needed for constant replenishing.

The following LifeShare Blood Centers’ locations are open for blood donations along with mobile blood drives. To locate a mobile blood drive, call your nearest center or go to www.lifeshare.org.

LifeShare Blood Centers locations:

Shreveport
8910 Linwood Avenue Shreveport, LA 71106
318-673-1471
8:00am-5:30pm M, W, F
8:00am-7:00pm Tu, Th
8:00am-3:00pm Sat

Bossier City
1523 Doctors Drive Bossier City, LA 71111
8:00am-4:00pm M, W, F
11:00am-7:00pm Tu, Th

Texarkana
1321 College Drive Texarkana, TX 75503
903-794-3173
8:00am-4:00pm M, W, F
10:00am-5:30pm Tu, Th
8:00am-1:00pm Sat

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SheriffLogoThe North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy is conducting the state-required annual Peace Officer Standards and Training Council’s firearms instructor retraining this week.

Seventy police firearms instructors from all over the state are attending the three-day training session, which will be completed today, Wednesday. These instructors will teach law enforcement trainees throughout the state in their home agencies.

The North Louisiana Criminal Justice Academy is the Training Division of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.

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The Louisiana Department of Education released its annual report card for school districts Tuesday. Among Bossier’s accolades are increased school letter grades, three Top Gains Schools and an overall  score that proves the district, as a whole, continues to improve.

The District Performance score for Bossier Parish increased from 96.6 in 2013 to 98.3 in 2014. This increase places Bossier Schools among the top 12 districts in the state.

BPSB for school web#3F3AE0ESuperintendent D.C. Machen also noted that Bossier’s score is just 1.7 points away from an ‘A,’ a goal that he said the district strives to meet each year.

“We are very pleased by the continued growth and improvement being made at our individual schools and district level,” Machen said.

Apollo Elementary is just one example of a school that made significant improvements. Part of Apollo’s success comes from attaining high passing rates on the fourth grade LEAP tests (100-percent passing in mathematics and 96-percent passing in English Language Arts).

Apollo is the eighth school in the parish to receive an A rating by the state. Other schools that showed improvement were Haughton High School and T.O. Rusheon Middle School, both of which moved up letter grades from last year’s scores.

Several Bossier schools received Top Gains distinction. To recognize schools that make significant growth from one year to the next, Louisiana designates schools that achieve their growth target as a Top Gains school. Top Gains schools are eligible for monetary awards that can be used for any educational purpose within the school.

Schools receiving Top Gains distinction include Apollo Elementary, Legacy Elementary and Stockwell Place Elementary.

2014 Letter Grades and School Performance Scores for Bossier Parish Schools:

Airline HS – B (90.6)
Apollo ES – A (105.9)
Bellaire ES – B (94.1)
Benton ES – A (103.6)
Benton HS – B (98.6)
Benton MS – A (106.8)
Bossier ES – D (62.2)
Bossier HS – D (65.7)
Carrie Martin ES – C (80.7)
Central Park ES – D (63.1)
Cope MS – A (101.6)
Curtis ES – A (105.0)
Elm Grove ES – B (98.0)
Elm Grove MS – B (91.2)
Greenacres MS – B (95.7)
Haughton HS – B (88.2)
Haughton MS – B (95.0)
R.V. Kerr ES – C (80.2)
LA New Tech @ Plain Dealing – C (71.2)
Legacy ES – A (118.9)
Meadowview ES – D (60.3)
Parkway HS – B (90.0)
Plantation Park ES – D (68.1)
Platt ES – B (91.6)
Princeton ES – B (95.6)
T.L. Rodes ES – B (91.6)
Rusheon MS – C (69.8)
Stockwell Place ES – A (117.5)
Sun City ES – B (90.2)
Waller ES – C (79.6)
W.T. Lewis ES – A (117.3)

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Students in Bossier Schools’ Talented Music Program will present a recital that is free to the public Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The Talented Music Recital will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Bossier Instructional Center, which is located at 2719 Airline Drive. The performance will feature musicians from Benton Middle and High Schools, Parkway, Airline, Bossier High and Haughton High.

Everyone is welcome to attend. Please come support these talented musicians and enjoy a free evening of entertainment.

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Secretary of State Tom Schedler is encouraging all Louisianians eligible to vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 4th Congressional Primary Election to consider voting early.

GeauxVoteLogoEarly voting begins on Tuesday, Oct. 21st and continues through Tuesday, Oct. 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, excluding Sunday, Oct. 26.

“This election has garnered a lot of interest throughout the state and early voting is a great way to conveniently cast your ballot,” said Secretary of State Tom Schedler. “The ballot is extremely long so voters should do their homework, especially reading the 14 constitutional amendments, before going to early vote. A great resource for doing that is our GeauxVote Mobile app. By casting your ballot early, you can vote on your own schedule when it’s most convenient. Don’t make excuses. Go vote!”

Voters should utilize Louisiana’s award winning smartphone application, GeauxVote Mobile, to find out where to vote, what’s on their ballot and their voting districts.

Citizens who want to vote early may do so in person at their parish Registrar of Voters’ Office or at other designated locations. For a complete listing of early voting locations, visit http://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/Pages/EarlyVotingLocations.aspx.

 

For more information about the Secretary of State’s Elections Division, visit www.GeauxVote.com or call 225.922.0900.

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A Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputy took home 2nd place in his division during his first-ever motorcycle competition at the 16th Annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Competition Oct. 7-11 in Gonzales, La.

Deputy Jonathan Colgin, along with Sgt. Jeff Pleasants from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, competed in the competition last week against more than 140 deputies and officers from law enforcement agencies in nine different states.  When the three days of practice and two days of competition were completed, Colgin was elated to hear he took 2nd place in the Novice division…impressive news for a deputy who has been riding motorcycles for the department for only three months.

Photo courtesy of Becky Landreneau | Sgt. Jeff Pleasants from the BSO

Photo courtesy of Becky Landreneau | Sgt. Jeff Pleasants from the BSO

“We were told the competition this year was one of the toughest in the country,” said Colgin, an eight-year veteran of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office.  “It really makes us safer and allows us to bring back handling skills to pass on to the rest of the unit.”  Competition consisted of a speed course, slow-ride course and challenge course.

The event also allowed riders like Colgin and Pleasants a chance to support a great cause.  The motorcycle competition partners with Dream Day Foundation which raises money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and the deputies were able to meet some of the St. Jude patients and hear their success stories.

“That humbled all of us and brought things in perspective,” said Colgin.

During the first year of the competition, the group raised $12,000 for St. Jude, and this year, they raised nearly $100,000.

At last year’s competition, Pleasants, supervisor of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office traffic unit, took top honors in his Novice division.  This year, he competed in the Expert division, and even though he didn’t place in the top tier this year, he was thankful for the experience.

“I am grateful to have had an opportunity to compete against some of the best riders in the nation and also have had the privilege to help the children at St. Jude,” said Pleasants.  “Representing the Bossier Sheriff’s Office in south Louisiana is rewarding and an awesome experience, and we’re glad to have returned each time with accolades for our motorcycle handling talent.”

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Benton United Methodist Church will be hosting the Stampede Hunger 5K run/walk fundraiser for the Food Bank of NWLA and The Table Food Ministries of Benton UMC on Saturday, November 15, 2014.

Lynnse Terhune

Lynnse Terhune

Lynnse Terhune, a sophomore of Benton High School and member of Benton UMC, started Stand Up 2 Hunger in 2013 by selling t-shirts to raise funds to fight hunger and spread awareness.  Stampede Hunger is another avenue for Lynnse to further her cause.

As of now, Bossier Parish has a 12.4% food insecurity rate. That equals 14,580 people in Bossier Parish that are unsure where their next meal comes from. That has grown by 680 people since last year.

Join the stampede! The 5K (3.1 mi) course will start and finish at Benton United Methodist Church, 4615 Palmetto Road, Benton, Louisiana – next door to the 911 station.  The race will wind through the lovely lanes and small, rolling hills of Woodlake South subdivision. This is a scenic and challenging course for runners, walkers, and sightseers.

For the parents: Nursery for ages 4 and under with pre-registration and events for children over 5 for during the race. For the children: ½ Mile Fun Run, nursery for ages 4 and under, carnival games, face-painting and the Benton Fire Department will bring their fire truck for display.

To register, visit www.bentonumc.org/Stampede and register online by October 28, 2014 to receive a t-shirt. Race day registration begins at 7:00 a.m. (t-shirts are not guaranteed if not pre-registered). Registration fee is $25 per person for the 5K and $15 for the children’s ½ Mile Fun Run.

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UPDATE: Grayson “Blayne” Bell was found around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at a residence about five miles from his home after being gone for about 25 hours.  He was hungry and tired after spending the night in the woods and was found by a family who called the Bossier Sheriff’s Office after hearing about him on the news.

Bossier Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s assistance in locating an 11-year-old boy who has apparently run away from home in northeast Bossier Parish.

SheriffLogoGrayson Bell, 11, who resides with his dad at the 700 block of Kilgore Road just north of Highway 2 east of Plain Dealing, left his house around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday and hasn’t been seen since.

Grayson was last seen wearing a white LSU jersey, blue jeans and silver tennis shoes.   He is 4 feet 10 inches, weighs 85 pounds and has green eyes and brown hair.  He may be riding a turquoise Mongoose bicycle.

Bossier K-9 crews and deputies are searching the area near his home and areas beyond, including Springhill.  Grayson attended Carrie Martin Elementary School in Plain Dealing last year, but has been home-schooled since.

Bossier Sheriff’s detectives do not suspect foul play but are concerned for Grayson’s safety.  Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Grayson is asked to contact the Bossier Sheriff’s Office at 318-965-2203.

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Registration is underway for the 2015 Bossier Parks and Recreation Youth Basketball season and now sign ups can be made online.

TBPAR_LOGOhe registration fee is $45.00 per child and $35.00 for each sibling. Leagues are forming for boys and girls ages 5 through 14. The deadline to register for all leagues is November 5, 2014.

Online registration is available by logging on to the Bossier Parks and Recreation webpage: http://www.bossiercity.org/Parks-&-Recreation/.

Hardcopies of registration forms can be picked up at the BPAR office located in the Bossier City Public Service Complex, 3223 Old Shed Road.  Forms can also be downloaded from the BPAR website.

The season is scheduled to begin on January 10, 2015. For more information about registering or coaching opportunities, call (318) 741- 8450.