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Morning Radio Newscast — December 20th
from Michelle Peyroux
December 20, 2016 - ListenUpYall.com

(LRN) — Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office announces the arrest of three people involved in armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape. Chief Deputy Mike Haley says a woman in her early 50s and her husband were targeted for the heinous crime because of their large gun collection. He says the woman was home alone when 17-year-old Deonta Miller of Franklinton knocked on the door, posing as a package delivery person. “As soon as she opened the door, he rushed in at gunpoint and overtook her, tied her up, and then he ransacked the house, looking for weapons,” Haley said. Haley says Miller then loaded up the weapons in the woman’s vehicle and kidnapped her. He says they drove to a remote part of Washington Parish, where Miller pulled off onto a hunting club road. “While they were on that hunting club road, he sexually assaulted the lady two different times and the drove a little further, and the vehicle became stuck in the mud,” Haley said. Haley says Miller fled into the woods on foot, and the victim ran in the opposite direction. He says after Miller apprehended in the woods, and they learned that 48-year-old Robert Lester was the mastermind of the crime. He says Lester followed Miller after the burglary. “Miller would throw weapons out of the window of the car. Lester would stop and pick them up, and then after Lester got the weapons, he went into Franklinton and picked up his niece and found out from her a place that he could hide the weapons,” Haley said. Haley says Miller’s niece, 18-year-old Victoria Lester, was charged with accessory after the fact. He says Miller was charged with two counts of aggravated rape, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, and carjacking. Haley says Lester faces charges of principle to aggravated kidnapping, principle to carjacking, and principle to aggravated burglary.

TERRY, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say the bodies of a man and a boy were found after an early-morning fire was put out at a deer camp in Terry. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart tells news outlets the blaze was reported about 2:30 a.m. Monday. She says investigators believe the two were father and son, but DNA or dental confirmation is needed to identify them positively.

(LRN) — Thirteen parishes in north and central Louisiana have been declared a natural disaster area by the US Department of Agriculture because of drought conditions during 2016. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says crops were damaged because of the drought, and this declaration could help them recover. “Farmers that are in these parishes are eligible for low interest emergency loans from the Farm Services Agency,” Strain said. Several weeks of drought conditions followed the two historic floods Louisiana endured this year. Strain says these farmers have 8 months from the date of the declaration to apply for assistance. “You can apply for low-interest loans in these areas that were affected by pretty severe drought during the month of November,” Strain said. Strain says more information is available in each affected parish. “For more information, farmers and ranchers may contact their local parish Farm Services Agency office,” Strain said.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than $2 million in federal funds will go to 11 communities in three southern states to restore and improve passenger rail service. The Southern Rail Commission on Monday announced the Federal Railroad Administration funding for the communities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The communities will get money for station-area planning and construction projects to improve safety, access and convenience. Four Alabama cities are among those chosen: Anniston, Birmingham, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. Mississippi also has four cities that will get funds: Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula. In Louisiana, the cities of Baton Rouge and Gonzales, as well as St. John Parish, will benefit.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Prosecutors have dismissed charges against the co-defendant of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith. Judge Larry Roberts granted a motion Monday by Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders to drop charges against Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Jamie McBride. McBride, like Smith, had been indicted on felony charges of conspiring to hinder prosecution of accused drug dealer Christopher Butler. Smith's trial opened Monday with jury selection.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Hattiesburg pastor Kenneth Fairley has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing federal housing money and fined $30,000 and ordered $60,000 in restitution. Fairley will turn himself into prison within 60 days. Starrett overruled objections by Fairley's attorney to a sentencing report prepared by a federal probation officer. Fairley was convicted Sept. 12 on three counts of conspiracy and theft for skimming money from a federal housing program. Co-defendant Artie Fletcher was sentenced to three years' probation and $69,000 in restitution yesterday.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans' mayor says a difficult chapter of the city's history has ended with $13.3 million in settlements to relatives of four men killed by police. They include a man beaten to death in the month before Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, and three men shot in the chaotic days immediately after the storm. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he is "intensely sorry" that they were looking for people to protect and serve them, and got the opposite.



 
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