Click It or Ticker Child Passenger Seat event held in Pineville

Louisiana State Police Troop E, in partnerships with Rapides Regional Medical Center, the Pineville Police Department, St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, and DestinationZeroDeaths (Central Region), conducted the annual Click It or Ticket Child Passenger Seat (CPS) event in Rapides Parish (Pineville) on May 30.
This campaign, from May 22 – June 4, reminds drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling up and the legal consequences – including fines – for not wearing a seat belt.
During the event, 9 CPS were distributed to individuals by the Louisiana Passenger Safety Checkpoint and 33 CPS were checked for proper installation.
Also, Troopers issued the following citations during the course of the detail:
3-Child restraint
9-MVI violations
3- Driving under suspension
3-Registration violations
2-window tint violations
3-individuals were arrested for possession of marijuana.
For all information related to car seat safety and traveling safely with children in the vehicle, please contact your nearest Public Information Officer at, visit Buckle Up Louisiana’s Facebook page, or

Sheriff’s Office Firewood Sale: June 1

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office will hold a Firewood Sale on Thursday, June 1 from 7am-1pm as part of its Firewood Project.
Firewood is $60 per ric, which is a 4×8-foot stack. There’s a two-ric limit. Money orders only. Receipts for money orders will be given at the guard shack on John Allison Drive. Pick up will be on Vandenberg Drive. For more information call 318-709-8489.

LSUA Celebrates Additional Funding for SPERO Program, Expanding Inclusive Education Initiatives Statewide

LSUA is excited to announce that the Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council has granted funding approval for expanding inclusive education programs at nine institutions across Louisiana. These transformative programs are designed to provide comprehensive support, cultivate an inclusive campus culture, and equip students with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the necessary skills for success.

LSUA’s SPERO program launched in the fall of 2022 with four students under the leadership of Brittany Soden. On the funding announcement, Soden remarked, “As an advocate and member of Louisiana’s first Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council, I am proud to witness the approval of this funding for programs serving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am honored to take part in this powerful alliance. SPERO’s receipt of the award will allow for the expansion of support, staff, and supplies for the upcoming years.”

This round of funding fulfills the Council’s stated goal to expand programs across the state while paying special attention to the northern part of the state and ensuring HBCU participation. Further, results of a statewide survey indicate that eleven additional institutions are considering participation, reflecting the opportunity for future expansion of inclusive education across Louisiana. 

“Inclusive education programs have the power to transform lives, families, and communities,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “I am delighted that so many institutions are seeking to open their doors to these amazing students, providing life and employment skills while enriching the campus experience for all.” Reed extended her sincere appreciation to Senator Gerald Boudreaux for his unwavering support in championing this groundbreaking effort, positioning Louisiana as a leader in creating educational opportunities for learners of all backgrounds.

LSUA’s Soden noted the SPERO students have completed their first year of college. Their dreams of a life similar to that of their siblings, family members, and friends are now being realized. She explained, “On the last day of their freshman year, I asked them how they felt about their first year of college. After a moment of silence, they expressed that they were experiencing an emotion that they have never felt before…the feeling of equality. Their participation in college courses, activities, and events has also been successful. Walking with them and hearing a SPERO student’s name shouted with a big ‘Hello’ from across campus is heartwarming and a testament to the diverse, accepting, and inclusive university that LSUA is. The students’ progress in daily living, social, and employment skills have exceeded expectations and they cannot wait for the next cohort of SPERO students to join in August!”

Written by Adam Lord

Photo credit – Nathan Parish | LSUA Strategic Communications

LCU announces New Worship Arts and Production degree

The Department of Music at Louisiana Christian University is pleased to announce a new degree program beginning Fall 2023: a Bachelor of Arts with an Emphasis in Worship Arts and Production. 

This new degree is designed to prepare majors to be successful in music ministry, both during and between church services.

“In addition to receiving instruction of core music knowledge and working in ministry, coursework includes specialized classes that prepare students to work with musicians in worship contexts,” said Jacob Wittkopp, chair of the Division of Fine Art. “Through newly created music courses, students will gain experience working with sound equipment, recording and editing with digital music software, and creating digital music media.”

This degree program is unique from previous programs in that it equips students to use music technology and to implement multiple facets of music production, which are becoming increasingly valuable skills in a 21st-century landscape. The degree is an ideal fit for those who seek to lead church ministry, be involved with live sound and production, or to those seeking to become more involved with digital and recorded music media.

Media Production Associate Professor Jeff Young said almost every church has transitioned into the electronic age of worship. Young, who is also LCU’s director of technical production, said this degree will enable students to be well-versed in lighting, sound, graphics, and video production.

“When a student learns to direct music and couples it with an understanding of the technical arts, there is a higher opportunity of success in the local church,” Young said.

To create this degree, LCU invited input from worship leaders. Caleb Willis, a 2016 LCU graduate and worship minister at Fairview Baptist Church in Alpha, served on the advisory committee.

“In our state, there is a great need to raise up a new generation of worship leaders,” Willis said. “A few years ago, I read a book that talked about a study of the fastest-growing churches in America. One of the common denominators was ‘Celebration Worship.’ In all these churches, people were gathering in a corporate worship service and passionately worshipping the Lord with one voice.”

LCU is uniquely equipped to educate and train worship leaders to have a generational impact.

“We are praying that God would use this program to equip a wide range of churches that exist in our state,” Willis said. “From the faithful country church to the sprawling urban church, we need leaders that will challenge people to worship with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

President Dr. Rick Brewer said LCU’s Worship Arts and Production program will equip future worship leaders with the requisite skills to effectively respond to the needs of the local church today and into the future.

“We have intentionally designed this program to offer a solid blend of technology, music, and theology amplifying our commitment to academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment,” Brewer said. “Church leaders can confidently send future worship leaders to LCU for relevant training and spiritual development.”

For more information about this program, email

Community gathers for Memorial Day ceremonies

Pineville Mayor Rich Dupree, Cheneyville Mayor Derrick Johnson and Ball Mayor Gail Wilking spoke at the Memorial Day ceremonies on May 29 at the National Cemetery in Pineville, hosted by the VA Medical Center as a tribute in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service.

Alexandria police arrest individuals for firearm possession

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) made two arrest in two separate incidents for Illegal Possession of Firearms.

The APD conducted an investigation into a report of an illegal firearm on May 24. During the course of the investigation, officers located Shaheem M. White, a convicted felon, in possession of an illegal firearm. He was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with Unlawful Handling of Machine Gun, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Aggravated Resisting of an Officer.

This is currently an ongoing investigation.

The APD conducted an investigation into a vehicle burglary at a local motel on May 25. During the course of that investigation, officers learned that Charles R. Augustus of Alexandria, a convicted felon, had burglarized a vehicle and stolen a firearm.  Alexandria Police Detectives were able to locate the stolen firearm and arrested Augustus. Augustus was also arrested on outstanding felony warrants from Mississippi. He was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with Simple Burglary, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Fugitive from Mississippi.

This is currently an ongoing investigation.

If anyone has any information about this incident or any other type of crime in the Alexandria area, please contact the Alexandria Police Detective Division at the phone number (318) 441-6416, or APD Dispatch (318) 441-6559.

For a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers of Cenla at (318) 443-7867.  The Crime Stoppers P3 Tipster App can also be downloaded to leave tips and get a claim number for a cash reward at

Crime Stoppers is a private non-profit organization.  Crime Stoppers is not a law enforcement agency.

Elmer man extradited to Rapides Parish for sexual battery charge

Rapides Sheriff Patrol Deputies responded to a complaint on Feb. 19 in reference to criminal sexual conduct involving a juvenile. Deputies took the initial report and Detectives with the RPSO Special Victims Unit began their investigation into the allegations.
From their investigation, Detectives were able to identify James Dyess, 28 of Elmer, as the suspect.
Through the investigation, which included an interview of the victim through the Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center, sufficient probable cause was established to support the original allegations as well as other alleged crimes. Detectives were able to obtain warrants for Dyess’s arrest on the charges but not before he left the area, so the warrants were entered into the national database (NCIC).
Dyess was located in Dumas, Texas on May 17 and taken into custody on the active warrants by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office. Dyess was extradited back to Rapides Parish on May 19 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center for sexual battery, indecent behavior with juveniles and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Dyess remains in jail at the time of this release, being held on a $225,000 bond.
Detectives say their investigation is ongoing and if anyone has any information on this case, they are asked to contact Detective Tamiko Paulk, RPSO SVU at 318-473-6755.
James Dyess, 28
52 Hatwig Road, Elmer, LA
Sexual Battery
Indecent Behavior with Juveniles
Contributing To The Delinquency of Juveniles

TRAFFIC UPDATE: US 167 (Pineville Expressway) project

The Louisiana Department Transportation and Development advises motorists that beginning on Wednesday, May 24 at p.m., weather permitting, the LA 3144 (Edgewood Drive) exit and entrance ramps on US 167 northbound in Rapides Parish will be opened to traffic.

Additionally, the northbound outside lane of US 167 will be opened.

The northbound inside lane of US 167 will then be closed from the Donahue Ferry Road overpass to US 165 following the opening of the northbound outside lane and ramps.

In order to help alleviate congestion and delays, all truck traffic is encouraged to avoid utilizing US 167 between I-49 and US 165 and to seek an alternate route when possible.

Permit/Detour Section:

There will be a 12’ lane restriction on US 167 associated with these lane closures.

Safety reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.

Additional information:

Call 511, visit, or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Out-of-state travelers may call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website at, by selecting MyDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rapides Parish Police Jury Receives 10 Trash Receptacles to Prevent Litter in Cotile Recreation Park

The Rapides Parish Police Jury was selected as one of 98 recipients of the 2023 Keep Louisiana Beautiful trash receptacle grant program made possible with funding from the State of Louisiana and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Rapides Parish Police Jury will install 10 trash receptacles at Cotile Recreation Park, located at 75 Cotile Lake Road in Boyce.

Through the 2023 trash receptacle grant program, Keep Louisiana Beautiful distributed 879 receptacles to 98 organizations in 40 Louisiana parishes.

As part of the requirements of this grant, the Rapides Parish Police Jury will perform a post installation litter scan and compare the data collected to preliminary scan results. Data will be shared with the public once available

Litter is hurting our quality of life in Rapides Parish,” said Joe Bishop, President, of the Rapides Parish Police Jury. “With these new receptacles installed, we will be able to reduce litter and keep our community clean and beautiful.”

Recent data collected by Keep Louisiana Beautiful shows a reduction of litter by 56 percent in areas where trash receptacles are properly installed and maintained,” says Susan Russell, KLB Executive Director. “One of our organization’s key initiatives is to help build infrastructure that supports clean, beautiful communities. Funding trash receptacles is one way we do that. Congratulations to Rapides Parish for being selected as a 2023 grant recipient.”

To learn more about Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s grant opportunities, visit

Pineville sets up recycling drop off at Kees Park

Recycling is now available in the City of Pineville thanks to its partnership with the Louisiana National Guard, there are options at Kees Park. Bring cardboard, plastic bottles, office papers, and aluminum cans! This is the first of three drop off points the City will set up. More information will be released.

LSUA Announces New Deans for College of Liberal Arts and College of Social Sciences

LSUA is proud to announce the promotion of two esteemed faculty members to the positions of Dean in their respective colleges.


Brenda Ellington, Ph.D., a dedicated English professor with a long-standing history at LSUA, has been named Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Beth Whittington, Chair of Criminal Justice, has been appointed Acting Dean of the College of Social Sciences.

Ellington brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role as Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. With her extensive background in English and education, Ellington has been a cherished member of the LSUA faculty since 1987. She holds degrees from Louisiana Tech University and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (ULL), including a Ph.D. in English. Throughout her career, Ellington has made significant contributions to the field, serving as a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant and holding the prestigious Mark Eugene Howard Endowed Professorship. Her teaching areas encompass Technical Writing, Professional Writing, Linguistics, and Grammar. Under Ellington’s guidance, the College of Liberal Arts will continue to foster a rich educational experience for students pursuing majors in Art, Communication, English, Humanities, and Religious Studies, preparing them for successful careers in a variety of fields.

Of her appointment to Dean, Ellington commented, “I have loved teaching at LSUA for more than 35 years now but am also excited about moving into a new role for the next couple of years. The amazing Dr. Beard will be a hard act to follow, for sure, but I am committed to upholding her high standards and to keeping the College of Liberal Arts robust and productive.”

As Acting Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Beth Whittington brings her impressive background in criminal justice and law enforcement to her new role. With nearly three decades of teaching experience at LSUA, Whittington has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, receiving the Bolton Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017. She currently holds a Howard & Eloise Mulder Endowed Professorship. Prior to her career in higher education, she served as a Sergeant and Criminal Investigator at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. Whittington’s expertise in the field is further evidenced by her qualifications as an expert in the areas of Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Investigation in multiple jurisdictions. Her dedication to teaching extends beyond LSUA, as she continues to share her knowledge at regional police academies. As the Acting Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Whittington will guide students in their pursuit of degrees in Criminal Justice, Disaster Science, History, Political Science, Psychology, and various other social science disciplines, empowering them to shape society and make a positive impact on the world.

Whittington said, “I am most grateful for the opportunity to facilitate the day-to-day operations as well as long-term goals for the team that comprises the College of Social Sciences.  It’s the best of both worlds in that I get to work closely with both students and faculty.”

Ellington’s appointment to head the College of Liberal Arts comes after the former Dean, Elizabeth Beard, was promoted to Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Whittington’s stead as Acting Dean of the College of Social Sciences ensures seamless leadership during Mary Treuting’s extended leave.

LSUA congratulates Brenda Ellington and Beth Whittington on their well-deserved appointments as Deans of their respective colleges. Their passion for education, commitment to their fields, and dedication to students make them exceptional leaders for LSUA. The university looks forward to the continued growth and success of the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Social Sciences under their guidance.

For more information about LSUA’s College of Liberal Arts and College of Social Sciences, please visit

Written by Adam Lord | LSUA Strategic Communications

Photo credit – Nathan Parish | LSUA Strategic Communications

Deville woman arrested for criminal sexual conduct involving a juvenile

Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies responded to a complaint on April 4 in reference to criminal sexual conduct involving a juvenile. Deputies took the initial report and Detectives from the Tioga Substation responded to begin their investigation.
From their investigation, Detectives quickly identified Danielle Sober Trapp, 29 of Deville, as the suspect.
Through their investigation, which included interviews of the victims through the Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center, sufficient probable cause was established for the original complaint, as well as additional allegations and complaints. Detectives were also able to identify several additional victims.
Warrants were obtained for Trapps’s arrest in reference to four counts Obscenity and two counts Sexual Battery. Trapp was located on April 17 and taken into custody without incident and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center where bond was set at $30,000. Trapp was released on bond the following day.
As their investigation continued, Detectives were able to uncover more alleged crimes and warrants were obtained on Trapp for First Degree Rape of a Juvenile under 13 years of age, two additional counts of Sexual Battery, Human Trafficking and 31 counts Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles.
Trapp was re-arrested on April 28 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on the outstanding warrants. Trapp currently remains in jail being held on a $528,000 bond.
Detectives say their investigation is still ongoing and if anyone has any information on this case, they are asked to contact Det. Susan Mosley at 318-641-6000.
Danielle Sober Trapp, 29
128 E O’neal Lane, Deville
two counts–Obscenity – unlawful exhibition of sex material
two counts–Obscenity – sexual acts prohibited in public
two counts sexual battery
one count – 1st Degree Rape of a Juvenile < 13 Years
two counts – sexual battery
one count – human trafficking
thirty-one counts – Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles

Deville Man Killed in Rapides Parish Motorcycle Crash

Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a two-vehicle crash on May 23 around 2:30 pm on Hwy. 28 East near Holloway.  The crash claimed the life of 61-year-old Walter Ray Tarver Jr.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2006 GMC Envoy, driven by 65-year-old Leslie Tam of Deville, was traveling west on Louisiana Highway 28 East. For reasons still under investigation, Tam attempted to make a U-turn, but failed to yield to an eastbound 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle. As a result, the Envoy struck the motorcycle causing Tarver to be ejected. 

Tarver, who was wearing a helmet, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Tam, who was restrained, sustained no injuries. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state.  Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving.  A lapse in one’s awareness can have deadly consequences.

In 2023, Troop E has investigated 22 fatal crashes, resulting in 25 deaths.

Alexandria Police Department issues BOLO for burglary suspect

The Alexandria Police Department is asking for the Public’s help in identifying the white male in the attached picture.  The picture was taken from the scene of a burglary that occurred in Alexandria LA.        

This is currently an ongoing investigation.                            

If anyone has any information about this incident or any other crimes in the Alexandria area, please contact the Alexandria Police Detective Division at the phone number (318) 441-6460, or APD Dispatch at (318) 441-6559.  

For a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers of Cenla at (318) 443-7867.  The Crime Stoppers P3 Tipster App can also be downloaded to leave tips and get a claim number for a cash reward at 

Crime Stoppers is a private non-profit organization.  Crime Stoppers is not a law enforcement agency.

Pineville Utility customers can apply for Low Income Home Water Assistance Program

Cenla Community Action Committee, Inc. will accept applications for the Low Income Home Water Assistance Program for City of Pineville Utility customers on Thursday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 30, 2023 from 9 am – 2 pm (both days) at the Kees Park Community Center, located at 2450 Highway 28 East in Pineville.

Information needed to apply:
Picture ID or Drivers License;
Social Security Cards for all HH members;
Proof of all Household Income;
Most recent City of Pineville Utility Bill & Cutoff notice (if applicable);
Proof of Residency (if address on bill and ID are not the same);

Please note these two events are for City of Pineville Utility (water/sewer) customers only.

Deputies attend National Police Week

Last week, deputies with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office attended National Police Week in Washington, DC to represent RPSO.
Deputies, officers and troopers fro all over Louisiana were in attendance and helped with the activities for the families of the fallen officers.
So far this year, 44 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty.
Last year our country had 246 line of duty deaths.
The RPSO was honored to send deputies to Washington and assist the Louisiana COPS organization in their role in the National Police Week.
“When a police officer is killed, it’s not an agency that loses an officer, it’s an entire nation.”
Chris Cosgriff, ODMP Founder

BOM holds Groundbreaking Ceremony at new branch location in Woodworth

BOM will hold a Groundbreaking Ceremony of its newest location in Woodworth on Thursday, May 25 at 10:30 am! Refreshments will be served. The event is being held in conjunction with the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce.

BOM Bank is excited to begin construction in Woodworth. This full service location will be the first stand-alone bank in the town. It will serve as the fifth location for BOM in Rapides Parish and its nineteenth location in total. For residents of Woodworth, this means no longer having to travel for banking.

The Town of Woodworth has experienced an increase in growth over the past five years as families and businesses spread out across Rapides Parish. What was once just a sawmill town, now has a growing economy. Outdoor recreation, conference centers and great education all make Woodworth an attractive location for newcomers. BOM looks forward to providing needed banking services to all residents.

Mayor David C. Butler, II has served his hometown in this role for 41 years. He said, “As you go through life you need a pastor, a lawyer and a good banker. I look forward to a lasting relationship with BOM.”

BOM Bank is a certified Community Development Financial Institution with a focus on volunteerism and servicing the unbanked and underbaked population. It offers tailored resources including a credit builder program and a certified BankOn checking account for those outside of the mainstream financial system and those working to have healthy financial habits.

BOM gives back heavily to the community. In 2021, it donated $34,000 to causes in Rapides Parish alone and bank-wide its staff volunteered 4,000 hours of community service.

BOM Bank has been providing customers with a variety of products and services since 1903.

BOM moved into Rapides Parish by opening a Loan Production Office in 2016. The bank now has three full service locations in Alexandria and one under construction in Pineville. BOM employees 18 individuals in Rapides Parish and is creating more employment opportunities with the construction of new locations in Woodworth and Pineville.

For a complete list of locations, as well as products and services, visit or follow us on social media @bomest1903. BOM a face you know, a bank you can trust.

Two juveniles arrested for aggravated cruelty to animals

A report was filed with the Alexandria Police Department on May 15 in regard to an incident that occurred on May 13 in the Bocage Subdivision. A resident said that her dog got out of her fenced yard and when it returned, she noticed it was injured from possibly being shot with a BB gun. The resident took the dog to a local vet where it expired. The initial complaint said the suspects were believed to be juveniles.
On May 16 the case was assigned to the Alexandria Police Department Juvenile Division. Upon completion of the investigation, two juveniles were arrested for Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.
This is currently an ongoing investigation.
If anyone has any information about this incident or any other type of crime in the Alexandria area, please contact the Alexandria Police Detective Division at the phone number (318) 441-6416, or APD Dispatch (318) 441-6559.
For a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers of Cenla at (318) 443-7867. The Crime Stoppers P3 Tipster App can also be downloaded to leave tips and get a claim number for a cash reward at Crime Stoppers is a private non-profit organization. Crime Stoppers is not a law enforcement agency.
Photo: File Photo

Alexandria Officers recognized for life-saving measures

Alexandria Police Chief Chad Gremillion recently recognized two officers for performing life-saving measures to save the life of a victim of a recent crime. Cpl. Mark Stroud and Cpl. Darren Luneau recently leaped into action without hesitation and performed CPR, saving the young man. Our officers strive daily to go above and beyond, serving in any way they can. The Alexandria Police Department commends these officers for their selfless actions.

Sheriff’s Office welcomes two new deputies

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office welcomed two new graduates of the 92nd Session of the Alexandria Regional Police Acadeny to its ranks on May 18, Deputy Rundell and Deputy Tigner, who are both second generation police officers.
After completing several weeks in the Field Training Program, they will patrol on their own answering calls and protecting and serving the citizens of Rapides Parish.
Pictured: Chief Deputy Mike Jones, Deputy Rundell, Lt. Eric Collins, Deputy Tigner, Sheriff Mark Wood and Captain Phillip Jordan.