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Amanda Simmons

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Bossier City police have arrested five men in connection with multiple vehicle burglaries that happened over the weekend in the Greenacres neighborhood.

bossier city policeAn alert resident called police at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday after seeing several individuals rummaging through his neighbor’s car in the 2500 block of Tilman Drive. While police were headed to the scene the suspects reportedly got into a GMC Yukon and drove off.

A responding officer spotted the suspect vehicle parked down the street on Tilman Drive with multiple subjects standing nearby who took off running upon noticing the patrol car. Officers gave chase and followed the subjects as they jumped a fence into a backyard where one of them was immediately caught. Two others were found a short time later hiding in another backyard.

They are identified as 19-year old Marlon Latwaine Kelly of Bossier City, 19-year old Brodrick Dwayne Jefferson of Shreveport and 19-year old Robert D’Shawn Green of Bossier City all of whom face simple burglary and resisting charges. A fourth suspect, 18-year old Micah Davon Lacy of Bossier City was located in the Yukon and arrested for simple burglary.

Detectives with the Property Crimes Unit arrested a fifth suspect this afternoon as the result of a subsequent investigation. 19-year old Carltrell Williamson of Bossier City was also booked on burglary charges.

Detectives were able to link all of the suspects to a total of five vehicle burglaries that occurred in the Greenacres neighborhood early Sunday.

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As a part of January’s National Stalking Awareness Month, BPCC’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Relations will welcome Norma L. Whitaker, clinical certified domestic violence counselor and director of You Are Not Alone Counseling Services in Shreveport, to campus at 11:00 am on Thursday, January 29 to BPCCdiscuss the topic: “Stalking on College Campuses.” The discussion will be held in Building G, Room 321 on the BPCC campus, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City, LA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 14 males between the ages of 11 and 17 were the victims of stalking. The U.S. Department of Justice also states people ages 18-24 years of age experience the highest incidence of stalking.

“Stalking is a serious, but often overlooked crime in all 50 states that is punishable by law,” said Dr. Cindy Darby, coordinator of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Relations.

The 2015 awareness campaign is being co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Relations, Multicultural Affairs Advisory Committee, and Division of Liberal Arts.

For more information about stalking awareness, visit www.stalkingawarenessmonth.org or contact Project Celebration, Inc.’s 24-hour telephone crisis line at (318) 227-7900.

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An ACT Prep Coach employee contracted by the Bossier Parish School Board was arrested Thursday afternoon for sexual relations with a high school student.

Jonathan Gill

Jonathan Gill

Jonathan Gill, 46, of the 900 block of Montrose Dr. in Shreveport, was charged with prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student for having sexual relations with a 17- year-old female student off-campus in December.

At that time, Gill was an employee with The Princeton Review and was contracted as an ACT Prep Coach by the Bossier Parish School Board, however, the victim was not enrolled in one of Gill’s ACT Prep courses.

Louisiana Revised Statue 14:81.4 states prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student occurs when the student is between 17 and 21 years of age and the victim is a student at the school in which the educator is assigned, employed or working at the time of the offense.

Gill was booked into the Bossier Maximum Security Facility Thursday afternoon with a $5,000 bond.  Bossier detectives continue their investigation.

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bossier city policeThe Bossier City Police Department has released its annual crime stats for 2014, which show a 3.6% increase in the total number of reported crimes compared to the previous year.

A total of 10,914 crimes were reported to the Bossier City Police Department in 2014 compared to 10,529 in 2013. Each of the major crimes categories of burglary, aggravated assault, theft, auto theft and rape rose in 2014 while homicides and armed robberies decreased.

These crime stats are based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting categories.

2013

2014

Homicide

6

5

Rape

23

29

Armed Robbery

40

33

Burglary

469

506

Aggravated Assault

333

345

Theft

2,790

2,809

Auto Theft

162

175

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Crime statistics released by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office show a5.2% decrease in 2014.

BSOcrimestatsStatistics show there were 851 crimes in the parish in 2014, which comprises 411 person crimes and 440 property crimes.  In 2013, there were 898 total crimes.  Person crimes are homicide, rape, robbery, battery and assault, while property crimes are burglaries, thefts and arson.

In 2014, there was one homicide (negligent homicide), one rape and one robbery.  Batteries rose from 308 to 348 in 2014, primarily due to the increase in simple battery cases.  Assault cases stayed about the same.

The biggest change in property crime was in the reduction in thefts from 409 to 329 in 2014.  Residential burglaries slightly increased, while business burglaries and vehicle burglaries lowered.  Arson cases were nil, while auto thefts remained the same.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington

Public safety and the reduction and elimination of crime are primary goals for Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington, and seeing overall reduced crime for 2014 is great news, especially when coupled with the increased population of the parish.

“When you look at the rapid growth of our parish and see a reduction in crime, that’s a solid indicator why Bossier Parish remains an outstanding place to live, work and raise a family,” said Sheriff Whittington.   “The growth rate for Bossier Parish is three times that of the state average, and we have been dubbed the fastest growing parish north of I-10. The 2010 population in Bossier Parish was 116,979 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Census estimates for 2013 show the population at 123,823. For 2014, the population estimates increase to around 126,000.

“With rapid population growth comes the propensity for more crime.  However, public trust is something I take very seriously.  Our professional team of deputies, staff, Posse and Reserves who work to prevent and solve crimes, combined with outstanding residents who are committed to keeping their neighborhoods safe, means one thing…crime remains low here in Bossier Parish.”

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BPCC’s Division of Communication and Performing Arts and the Cavalier Players has set auditions for the 2015 Annual Spring Festival of One-Act Plays for 5:30 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2015 at the Performing Arts Theatre, Building C, 6220 E Texas St., Bossier City, LA.

BPCCThere are nine short plays, showcasing the work of nine student directors: Richard Boudoin, Jarious Courtney, Taylor Green, Shaquille Jefferson, Jamie Johnstone, Elizabeth Jones, John Medlin, Allison-Rebekah Miller, and Timothy Monroe. The Spring Festival will offer a full evening of theatre and will round out the theatre program’s fifteenth season of student-directed work.

Roles are available for males and females, aged 18 and up. Anyone interested in filling technical positions should also attend auditions to complete an application and to meet the directors.

Those auditioning are asked to dress comfortably and be prepared to be creative and have a good time. Reading selections will be provided at the audition.

The performance of the nine plays will be at 6:30 pm Tuesday, April 28th.  Generally, the one-act festival may contain mature subject matter and/or language and may not be suitable for children.

For more information or for directions to the theatre, contact call 318-678-6021.

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Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington is accepting applications from Bossier Parish students for a $500 college scholarship with the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program.

SheriffLogoThe scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school student from Bossier Parish and is made available through the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program.

Applicants must be permanent residents of Louisiana, and the scholarship will be utilized in higher education within the state of Louisiana.  Students must also be enrolled as full-time, undergraduate students, and applicants must be eligible for admission to the school indicated on the application.

Other Sheriffs’ Offices in Louisiana where the Sheriff is an affiliate of the Honorary Membership Program are also awarding scholarships within their parishes.

“The scholarship is a commitment we have here at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office to higher education of our young men and women,” said Sheriff Whittington.

Students must submit their applications to the Bossier Sheriff’s Office by April 1, and the scholarship winner will be announced by May 1.  To find out more about the program or obtain an application, contact Deputy Mary Kerry at (318) 965-3409.

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Community College Week recently released its 2014 top community college rankings and Bossier Parish Community College is the only Louisiana community college ranked in the top 50 fastest growing community colleges in the nation with enrollments 5,000-9,999.
BPCCBuilding
BPCC ranked 11th on the list of top 50, and of those eleven, the College was one of only two community colleges ranked from the South. The rankings, published annually, are based on growth between Fall 2012 and Fall 2013. The college achieved an all-time record enrollment of 8,695 this past fall (2014), an indication the college’s rapid growth is not slowing down.

BPCC Past 7 Fall Enrollment numbers
2008               4665
2009               5430
2010               6473
2011               7077
2012               7917
2013               8512
2014               8695

“Since 2008, we have grown by more than 4,000 students,” said Interim Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr.  “No other college in the state can claim such an amazing increase in productivity; however, we have yet to satisfy the needs of this regional economy. Even in this tough economic climate, we will continue develop innovative ways to provide students with unparalleled paths to opportunity and give our employers a talent-based competitive advantage.”

BPCC has continued to create programs aligned with the needs of employers and employment opportunities in the regional economy. The College has accomplished this while being the lowest funded college in the state according to the Board of Regents funding formula for higher education.  The formula is based in part on performance and is designed to create incentives for colleges to respond to market forces.  BPCC is currently funded at 39% of the funding formula, by far the lowest in the state.  The median implementation rate is 54.51%.

For the college rankings, visit http://ccweek.com/article-4291-fastest-growing-community-colleges-2014-rankings.html    Bossier Parish Community College is listed on page 11.

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Detectives with the Bossier City Police Department’s Juvenile Unit arrested a Bossier City daycare worker Thursday in connection with an incident last week that injured a child.

Amanda Marie Swanner, 25, of Shreveport was arrested on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile. The charge stems from an incident that occurred at the Bellarie Baptist Church Learning Center in the 1200 block of Bellaire Boulevard in Bossier City.

Amanda Marie Swanner, 25, of Shreveport was arrested on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile. The charge stems from an incident that occurred at the Bellarie Baptist Church Learning Center in the 1200 block of Bellaire Boulevard in Bossier City.

Amanda Marie Swanner, 25, of Shreveport was arrested on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile. The charge stems from an incident that occurred at the Bellarie Baptist Church Learning Center in the 1200 block of Bellaire Boulevard in which Swanner pulled a sleeping mat from under a 5-year old boy.

According to the investigation the boy was lying on the mat at the time and had placed the mat’s elastic straps around his neck and hands. When the mat was pulled away, the straps pulled across the boy’s throat and neck with such force that it caused a bruise and burn mark on his neck.

The incident reportedly occurred on January 8, 2015. Police began their investigation after the child’s parents filed a complaint with the Bossier City Police Department later that same day.

Swanner was placed under arrest at the Bossier City Police Department and booked into the Bossier City Jail. Bond has not yet been set.

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Bossier City locations remain open, operating

Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (“CEOC”) has voluntarily filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

HorseshoeA statement released by CEOC outlines the steps it has taken to implement a restructuring plan in order to strengthen its financial position. A full statement found on the company’s website is as follows:

“On January 15, 2015, Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (“CEOC”), a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment that owns and operates many of the properties in the Caesars Entertainment network, voluntarily filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. CEOC took this action with the support of certain of its bondholders to implement its previously announced restructuring plan. The plan is intended to significantly reduce long-term debt and annual interest payments, while providing for significant recoveries for creditors and ensuring no interruption of operations across the company’s network of properties.”

Despite this action, all Caesars Entertainment properties in Bossier City are open for business and all operations at Louisiana Downs and Horseshoe Bossier City continue as usual.

The statement from Caesars Entertainment notes that their “top priority” of “maintaining the highest level of service” remains. It also says that “guests will continue to have the same great experience and receive the same great service they are accustomed to.”

Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (“CEOC”) is a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment that owns and operates certain properties in the company’s network. Chapter 11 is a court-supervised process that enables companies to reduce their debt while continuing to operate in the ordinary course.

For additional information about CEOC’s financial restructuring, including a list of properties included in the Chapter 11 filing, please go to our website at www.ceocrestructuring.com.

Key points about the restructuring plan from Caesars Entertainment:

-All Caesars properties are open for business. All Caesars Entertainment properties – including those that are owned and operated or managed by CEOC – continue to operate as usual.

-Our Total Rewards program remains the same and guests’ status within the program is unchanged. Guests can still earn and redeem Total Rewards credits at our network of properties, and maintain their tier status and other accumulated benefits.

-We are continuing to host meetings and events as scheduled.  Our convention guests will continue to receive the same outstanding service and experiences they have come to expect from us.

-The company has sufficient financial resources to continue operating as normal. Our properties generate strong operating cash flow.

-Our top priority remains maintaining the highest level of service. Guests will continue to receive the rich experiences and quality service we are known for providing at our properties.