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Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Chief Deputy Brad Walker Appointed to Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement


Sabine Parish Chief Deputy Brad Walker


Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Bradford D. Walker has been appointed to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice. The prestigious appointment was made by J. Cameron Henry, Jr., President of the Louisiana State Senate, in accordance with R.S. 15:1202, which grants the Senate President the authority to appoint three members to the Commission, each serving a term concurrent with that of the Governor.


Chief Deputy Walker, a dedicated and experienced law enforcement professional of 27 years, will bring his extensive expertise and leadership to the Commission. His appointment reflects his commitment to improving the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems, as well as his dedication to promoting public safety.


“I am looking forward to serving on the Commission. It is my hope I can bring real world solutions to the issues that are faced in today’s justice system,” Chief Deputy Walker said.


The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) was established in 1967 and has since evolved into a central entity for criminal justice policy planning and development in the state. The Commission, consisting of 58 members, plays a crucial role in coordinating and leading efforts within the criminal justice community.


The mission of the LCLE is to enhance the operations of the criminal and juvenile justice systems by providing progressive leadership and fostering collaboration among various criminal justice organizations. The agency supports critical and innovative operational initiatives through its grant programs, promotes high professional and ethical standards in law enforcement via excellent training programs, and offers quality services to the criminal justice community and victims of crime.


Chief Deputy Walker’s appointment to the LCLE underscores his commitment to these goals and his readiness to contribute to the advancement of law enforcement practices in Louisiana.


About the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement:


The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice provides a forum for the development of multi-agency programs serving diverse criminal justice organizations. It promotes the highest standards in law enforcement through training and support, adhering to both state and federal laws and policies.



On Monday, June 10, at approximately 10:28 p.m., the Many Police Department responded to a hit and run incident on Highway 171 North.


Upon arrival, officers found the victim, a white male, lying on the edge of the turn lane with severe injuries. Despite EMS's efforts to save him, he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries at the scene.


Many Police started their investigation and through surveillance video, soon identified a suspect vehicle.


A Many Police officer recognized the vehicle from a recent prior contact. Officers working on the case identified an affiliated address through record searches, and Sabine Deputies and Many Police officers located the subject at his residence where he had been washing his vehicle.


Biological samples were taken from the front of the damaged vehicle.


The suspect, Frederick Myers, age 60, was arrested and booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center. He was charged with three felonies:  Hit and Run (death), Vehicular homicide and Obstruction of Justice.


The investigation continues. The Many Police Dept. and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office worked together to locate the vehicle in the Fisher area and to arrest the suspect.



Cade Dillard celebrates his big $100,000 win in Wisconsin recently.


Cade Dillard brought home a $100,001 win June 1 on the Mississippi Thunder Speedway at the inaugural Big Deal 24 in Fountain City, WI.


Dillard, a Robeline native, has been racing for 18 years and has more than 150 career victories. He earned this monumental win in his own No. 97 CDR Modified. Although he lost his lead briefly in the start of the race, he fought to get it back and led for the final 38 laps. 


Dillard was welcomed out of his car by family as they celebrated his massive win. While friends, family and fans have since showered him with congratulations, Observations encourages you to wish your local superstar cheers and good luck. 


(Special thanks to Observations Intern Lauren Ray for the above article.)




Sabine historian and author Ms. Mary Lucille "Betty" Rivers


Mary Lucille “Betty” Rivers, B.A. and M.A., of Zwolle has a group of books about Sabine Parish for sale. Her latest is “Veterans of Sabine Parish, 2013-2024.” The price of the book is $40.


Interested persons may contact Ms. Rivers at (318) 645-9939 or at bettylucillerivers@yahoo.com.


In addition, she has three other books for sale. They are “The Good Ole Days” by Travis Ebarb Jr., “Around Ebarb and the Toledo Bend,” co-authored by her and Travis Ebarb Jr., and “Folklore in an Indian and Spanish Community: Zwolle, LA,” co-authored by her and a nephew, Sabine native Dr. Cody Bruce, now of Austin, TX.



Noble man arrested for Arson, Attempted Murder


ARRESTED:  George Ebarb

All persons are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.


State Fire Marshal Chief Bryan J. Adams announced on Monday, June 10, the arrest of a Noble man accused of setting fire to a camper trailer with two people inside, including a teenager.


George Ebarb, 68, was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center on Saturday, June 8, on two counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Arson.


Just before 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7, the North Sabine Fire District responded to a call for a camper fire located in the 100 block of Weathy Lane in Noble. Two people were inside of the camper at the time of the fire, including a teenage girl. Both were able to escape safely. The camper was destroyed.


During the investigation, which included assistance from the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, deputies determined the fire was intentionally set and identified Ebarb as the suspect. It was learned Ebarb had been involved in a dispute with the camper owner earlier in the day.


A warrant was obtained for Ebarb’s arrest, and he was taken into custody late Friday evening before officially being booked early Saturday morning.


The State Fire Marshal extended his thanks to the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office for their partnership on this case.



Northwestern State University has 24 Theatre and Dance Students or recent alumni who are performing across the country in professional theatre this summer. Included is Kaylee (Astrophel) Herr of Many who was hired by Canterbury Summer Theatre in Michigan City, IN.



$ $ $


State Treasurer John Fleming’s office announced Tuesday that $5.1 million worth of unclaimed property checks will be mailed out across Louisiana on Thursday, June 13. The 27,842 unclaimed property checks to be mailed follow a data match to update addresses with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Checks will be mailed to individuals living in every parish in the state. Treasurer Fleming advises citizens to be on the lookout for the checks and to be sure not to mistakenly toss a check if one arrives.


“I want to stress to all of the recipients that these are real checks from the Louisiana Department of Treasury, so please cash them,” said Dr. Fleming. “Every year, some of the checks we mail out are not cashed. This is due to people changing addresses and others not believing the checks are real. Let me guarantee that these checks are real. It’s your money,” he said.


Assets known as “unclaimed property” can include payroll checks, old bank accounts, royalties, utility deposits, interest payments, stock certificates and life insurance proceeds. One in six individuals in Louisiana has unclaimed property, with claims averaging $900.


To see if you have unclaimed property, search LaCashClaim.org or call the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division toll-free at 1 (888) 925-4127 Monday – Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.


On the Treasurer's report, Sabine Parish had unclaimed property checks mailed to 71 persons from the Louisiana Treasury totaling $12,065.25. Watch your mail.



After two days of searching, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported the body of a missing fisherman was located on Monday evening, June 10.


John "Buddy" Martin Jr., age 64, of Joaquin, TX, and his boat were located near Jolly Rogers Marina in the northeast area of Toledo Bend Lake.


Martin left the Huxley Bay, TX area on Saturday evening, June 8, and never returned. Texas and Louisiana Wildlife Agents searched for Martin and his boat for two days.


After the recovery of Mr. Martin’s body, Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell and the Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office extended their thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Martin.



The May Sales Tax Report for Sabine Parish has been issued by Sales Tax Collector/Administrator Wanda Rivers. Total collected was $2,418,139.27, which is $521,124.94 less than was collected in May of last year. The Towns of Many and Zwolle were the only taxing bodies collecting more taxes this year than last.



Mrs. Juanita Martinez Coutee


A scholarship has been established at Northwestern State University to honor the memory, career, achievements and service of a highly accomplished alumna.  The Juanita Martinez Coutee Memorial Scholarship was established by her husband Ellis Coutee of Baton Rouge, along with family and friends, to continue Mrs. Coutee’s legacy at the university and in the community.


Mr. Coutee initiated the scholarship with the generosity of friends and family who made memorial donations to the NSU Foundation.  The scholarship will reach fulfillment at $100,000.  


Upon his death, the scholarship name will change to the Ellis and Juanita Martinez Coutee Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a Catholic male or female student majoring in mathematics or accounting with preference given to students affiliated with the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 


“Juanita Coutee embodied the values of faith, family and work with remarkable grace,” said Dr. Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation. “This scholarship will ensure that her memory at NSU lives on through the students who benefit from the Coutee family’s commitment and generosity to NSU.” 


Mrs. Coutee passed away March 18 after a brief battle with cancer. 


“Over the years, the Coutees have funded numerous endowed scholarships for Northwestern students and supported many programs and projects at the university,” said NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones. “Their assistance to NSU is an extension of the importance of philanthropy in education, religion and other important causes.”


Mrs. Coutee was a Zwolle native who earned an undergraduate degree in business and mathematics in 1958 and a master’s degree in mathematics in 1960, graduating from NSU with honors. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society, and a member of the NSU College of Business Hall of Distinction.  Mr. and Mrs. Coutee were the first couple to be inducted together into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s alumni hall of distinction, the highest honor the university bestows on graduates. 


Mrs. Coutee earned her education by working on campus and was awarded academic scholarships. She taught geometry at Fair Park High School in Shreveport while earning her graduate degree. She was the first professional female at Exxon, where she was employed as a systems analyst in the Math, Computing and Systems Department at the Baton Rouge refinery where her technical expertise for the business and information systems was recognized. She was also a key component to the payroll systems for Exxon. Mrs. Coutee served on the salaried Federal Credit Union Board as was president of the Retirement Club. 

Mrs. Coutee went above and beyond as a trailblazer to leave her mark in the workplace. She retired from the company as senior associate after 33 years. 


Barbara Beckmann, a senior associate for ExxonMobil, was Mrs. Coutee’s long-time colleague and friend.  Ms. Beckmann joined the company a year after Mrs. Coutee, and the two shared many experiences – both humorous and groundbreaking -- as the first women employees who were not part of the secretarial pool. 


“She did a huge job of paving the way,” Ms. Beckman said. “There were a fair amount of meetings we were in together and if Juanita had something to say, she said it, and she contributed to the meeting.”  


“Juanita was always a mentor for the new kids on the block, even if they weren’t women,” added Ms. Beckmann, who herself has and continues to mentor many young professionals.  

Mr. and Mrs. Coutee were members of the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  They were awarded the Papal Honor membership from Pope John Paul II. Mrs. Coutee was later promoted to Lady Grant Cross.  She served the Diocese of Baton Rouge for 10 years and was an active and devout member of St. Thomas More Parish, serving as a lector and on various committees. 


According to family, Mrs. Coutee was a born leader, fiercely independent and excelled in many areas of life, but her favorite honors were the titles of mother and grandmother. She and her husband were well-known for their altruism and generosity. The couple often cited their educational training and experiences at NSU as a major force in their successful business careers and productive lives.


“The Coutees have for many years been devoted to Northwestern State and the entire university community has benefitted,” said Jill Bankston, director of Development. “We were so deeply saddened by the loss of Mrs. Juanita, but are eternally grateful that she will be continually honored for years to come.”


Friends may contribute to the scholarship by visiting https://northwesternstatealumni.com/coutee-scholarship/.  


(Special thanks to NSU Communications Director David West and Director of Public Information and Media Relations Leah Jackson for the above article.)



WANTED, CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS:

Jeremiah Deshawn Davis, shown above and below.



Early Tuesday afternoon, June 11, Sabine Sheriff Aaron Mitchell reported an arrest warrant had been obtained for Jeremiah Deshawn Davis, age 17, of Many for Attempted First Degree Murder, Illegal Carrying and Discharge of Weapons and Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property in reference to the shooting that happened in Zwolle on Friday afternoon, June 7.


Davis, Earnest McCray IV, age 20, Maurice Shelby, age 23 and others were also involved in the shooting.


Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on June 7, Zwolle Police Department and Sabine Parish Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to Magnolia St. in reference to a shooting. Deputies located a Chevrolet passenger car with numerous bullet holes and several shell casings in the street. One victim was taken to Sabine Medical Center in serious condition and was later flown to a Shreveport hospital. The second victim went to the Florien Police Department and was later transported to Byrd Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.


Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives processed the scenes, collected evidence, and two vehicles were seized. The vehicle with bullet holes was located on Magnolia St. and another vehicle containing bullet holes was located on Allens Loop off of Hwy. 474 near Florien.


It was determined by Sabine Parish Sheriff Detectives that the above subjects met on Magnolia St. near Horton St. in the Town of Zwolle. For unknown reasons, gunfire was exchanged between the men, striking them and the two vehicles.


Shelby was treated and released from the hospital for a gunshot wound. McCray IV is being treated at a Shreveport hospital for multiple gunshot wounds. Detectives believe Davis also received a minor gunshot wound.


Sheriff Mitchell said Davis is wanted and is considered armed and dangerous at this time. A cash reward has been offered for information that leads to his arrest.


The case remains under investigation and more arrests are pending.


If anyone has any information, they are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (318) 256-9241, and select Option 5, or to submit an anonymous tip through the free Sabine Parish Sheriff App.


(Thanks to Det. D. W. Seegers for the above report.)



I was taught that climate change is spring, summer, fall and winter.



SIGNS ALONG LIFE’S HIGHWAY


Speaking of the Green New Deal, above is pictured the most expensive vehicle to operate in 2023-24. And it continues. Seems that windmills nor solar panels help.




Freddie Grappe posted a video containing this shot of his Aunt Bessie Mowad who, at 94 years young, continues to dance. “Love this lady with all my heart,” Freddie said, and we agree with him. May she continue to dance for as long as possible.




Sheriff Aaron Mitchell recently reported the felony drug and gun arrests for the months of April and May in Sabine Parish.


Over one and one-half pounds of suspected methamphetamine, over 10.5 ounces of marijuana, numerous pills, various drug paraphernalia, 17 firearms, and over $3000 cash were seized during these arrests and investigations during the last two months.


Arrested in April were:


Anthony Scott Potts, age 42, of Oakdale - Possession of CDS in presence of persons under age 17, Contributing to the delinquency of juveniles, 10 counts of Possession of firearm in presence of CDS, 10 counts of Possession of firearm by persons convicted of certain felonies, Operating vehicle while license suspended, Failure to signal and Warrant from Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office.


His bond was set at $150,000, and he remains in jail.


Sherry Tullier Stevens, age 41, of Gonzales - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Adderall), Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Possession of drug paraphernalia and No vehicle insurance.


Her bond was set at $7,000, and she remains in jail.


Katrina Racheal Miller, age 42, of Burkeville, TX - Possession of schedule II (Meth).


Her bond was set at $5,000, and she bonded.


Charles Lee Rutherford, age 31, of Noble - Warrant for Distribution of schedule II (Meth).


His bond was set at $30,000, and he remains in jail.


Raymond Dean Goodman, age 46, of Many - Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Driver must be licensed, Failure to signal and License plate light required.


His bond was set at $3,500, and he was transferred to CADA.


Leo Shane Guy, age 49, of Hemphill, TX - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Driving left of center, Modification of exhaust system and Expired driver’s license.


His bond was set at $7,500, and he bonded.


Louis Stephens, age 63, of Natchitoches - Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Vehicle in unsafe condition (cracked windshield) and No vehicle insurance.


His bond was set at $2,000, and he bonded.


Jessie Marie Fredin, age 33, of Hornbeck - Possession of schedule II (Meth) and Possession of drug paraphernalia.


Her bond was set at $0, and she was released.


Chantell Moncibaiz, age 35, address unknown - Possession of schedule II (Meth) and Possession of drug paraphernalia.


Her bond was set at $2,500, and she bonded.


Garvis William Hickman, age 48, of Florien - Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts of Possession of firearm in presence of CDS.


His bond was set at $20,000, and he bonded.


Robert Leonard Hickman, age 49, of Florien - Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of Possession of firearm in presence of CDS, Possession of firearm with obliterated serial number and Warrant for Distribution of schedule II (Meth).


His total bonds were set at $60,000, and he remains in jail.


Kevin D. Hickman, age 45, of Florien - Possession of schedule II (Meth).


His bond was set at $5,000, and he bonded.


James Howard Golden, age 58, of Zwolle - Warrant for Distribution of schedule II (Meth).


His bond was set at $20,000, and he bonded.


Arrested in May were:


Jonathan Dwight Bryant Jr., age 34, of Bon Wier, TX - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia and Improper lane usage.


His bond was set at $7,500, and he remains in jail.


Joey Lee Beason, age 47, of Many - Possession of firearm by person convicted of domestic abuse battery, Domestic abuse battery (Child endangerment, Pregnant victim) and Simple battery.


His bond was set at $20,000, and he bonded.


Everett Coy Fisher, age 59, of Many - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Operating vehicle while license suspended and Taillights required.


His bond was set at $4,000, and he bonded.


Kenneth Perry Barnhart, age 56, of Many - Possession of schedule II (Meth) and Possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles.


His bond was set at $4,000, and he bonded.


Lee Roy Demoraes, age 54, of Anacoco - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Improper lane usage and No vehicle insurance.


His bond was set at $3,000, and he bonded.


Shaquenta S. Williams, age 42, of Many - Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Possession of CDS in presence of persons under age 17, Driver must be licensed and Failure to signal.


Her bond was set at $2,500, and she bonded.


Christopher Delane Malmay, age 30, of Zwolle - Possession of schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth), Possession of schedule II (Crack Cocaine), Possession of drug paraphernalia, Possession of firearm with CDS, Possession of firearm by person convicted of certain felonies, Resisting an officer and Probation/Parole violation.


His bond was set at $10,000, and he remains in jail for probation hold.


Mikkah Dayton Sepulvado, age 33, of Zwolle - Possession with intent to distribute schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of schedule II (Meth) and Warrant for Possession of schedule II (Meth).


His total bond was set at $20,000, and he remains in jail.


Jessica Nicole Behan, age 34, of Many - Possession with intent to distribute schedule II (Meth), Possession of legend drug (Cyclobenzaprine), Possession of CDS in presence of persons under age 17 and Contraband in penal institutions prohibited.


Her bond was set at $25,000, and she remains in jail.


(Thanks to Det. D. W. Seegers for the above felony arrests report.)



LET'S TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK




“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -  attributed to Edmund Burke




Roadwork done along Zachary Taylor Road, shown above and below, is receiving complaints from those who live there.


Observations has received several complaints from folks who live in the Zachary Taylor Road area about the work now being done there in Fort Jesup. In fact, someone even sent us pictures.


Among the complaints were that the grades were different, and water would not drain properly. One party said the road is holding water when it rains and will not drain. There were also complaints that the ditches were not properly worked so that folks who live along the road can mow. In other words, seems that folks there are not only hoping for improvements to the road, but also want to see the job done right.


In another problem, Pat Scarborough who was defeated for the Police Jury seat several months ago, posted the following on Facebook: “Remember that nice ‘election resurfacing’ that Merritt Mountain Rd. got last fall? A drive down it shows it’s failing in several places.”


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