The Light’s 2008 Election Guide

Sept. 15, Pages 1-8 Sept. 15, 2008, Pages 9-16


Inside you will find profiles of candidates in races that may affect you. Read carefully and make your decisions on Oct. 4.

Pineville resident and banker Willie Spears to be inducted into Grambling’s Hall of Fame


GRAMBLING- Willie Spears of Pineville is one of 16 Grambling State University alumni who will be inducted into the GSU Alumni Hall of Fame during the annual homecoming weekend celebration. The reception, banquet and induction ceremony will be Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the university assembly center.

The honorees represent the university’s academic colleges and athletics. Other honorees are:

This year’s inductees include the following distinct graduates:

Bettye J. Davis-Professional Studies
Thomas Harvey-College of Education
Dr. Willie L. Hill, Jr.-College of Education
Fred Irby, III-College of Education
Fred Marsh-College of Business
Ira Wayne McConnell-College of Business
Betty Jean S. White-College of Education
Dr. Neari F. Warner-College of Education
Dr. Allen Williams-College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Leon Whitaker-College of Education
Patricia C. Bibbs-Athletics
Lee Fobbs-Athletics
Aaron James-Athletics
Michael Lyons-Athletics
Benjamin Williams-Athletics

Noted journalist, entreprenur, philanthropist and talk show host, Tom Joyner will be the keynote speaker at the semi-formal annual event. Tickets are $85.00 each, $165.00 couple, non-profit group/organization (table of 8) $655.00 and corporate (table of 8) $ 1200.

For further information, contact the Division of Institutional Advancement at (318) 274-6265 or (318) 274-2217.

Central Louisiana Emergency Contact Numbers listed here

Emergency numbers

Central emergency number: 911
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office: (318) 473-6700
Alexandria: (318) 449-5099
Pineville: (318) 442-6603
Ball: (318) 640-4673
Louisiana State Police Troop E: (318) 487-5911 or
(800) 256-4160
Louisiana State Police Troop D: (337) 491-2511 or
(888) 225-5577

Natchitoches Parish: (318) 352-6432
Evangeline Parish: (337) 363-2161
Avoyelles Parish: (318) 253-4000
Allen Parish: (337) 639-4353
Beauregard Parish: (337) 463-3281
Catahoula Parish: (318) 744-5411
Concordia Parish: (318) 336-5231
Grant Parish: (318) 627-3261
LaSalle Parish: (318) 992-2151
Winn Parish: (318) 628-4611
Vernon Parish: (337) 238-1311
Sabine Parish: (318) 256-9241

Alexandria: (318) 441-6911
Pineville: (318) 442-4452

Alexandria utilities: (318) 441-6310
Alexandria Electric, to report a utility emergency: (318) 473-1301
Alexandria Gas, to report a gas leak: (318) 441-6026
Pineville utilities: (318) 449-5660
Cleco: 1-800-622-6537
Entergy: 1-800-368-3749
Atmos Energy, natural gas: 1-800-692-4694

Rapides Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness: (318) 445-5141
Rapides Parish Health Unit: (318) 487-5282
National Response Center for toxic chemical spills: 1-800-424-8802
Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222

American Red Cross, Central Louisiana Chapter: (318) 442-6621
Salvation Army: (318) 442-0445

Online sites

Louisiana Hurricane preparedness:

Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness:

Louisiana State Police:

Federal Emergency Management Agency:

LSU AgCenter:

American Red Cross:

The Disaster Center:

National Weather Service:

The Weather Channel:



CNN Weather:

Live Weather Images:

Weather Underground:
Weather radio

The following radio stations serve Central Louisiana as official National
Weather Service NOAA.

Weather Radio stations:
Alexandria: WXK78 at 162.475
Natchitoches: WXN87 at 162.500
Lake Charles: KHB42 at 162.400

Sandbags available in Alexandria in preparations for Hurricane Ike’s rain

The city of Alexandria will have sand bag distribution at the following locations:

Bringhurst Park, Johnny Downs Complex, Cheatham Park, City Compound (for the handicapped and elderly) and Civitan Baseball Complex (bring your own shovels to this location)

Open from noon until 7 p.m. today and 7 a.m. to sundown each day afterwards.

Emergency foodstamps in Alexandria, LA

BATON ROUGE, La. (September 9, 2008) – Department of Social Services Secretary Ann Silverberg Williamson reiterated her call to the federal government to waive the face-to-face interview requirement for Disaster Food Stamp applicants tonight. “The main reason we requested that waiver was to avoid many of the challenges we faced today,” said Williamson. “This is not an average disaster, we have a very widespread area of people impacted by this storm and they need assistance in a more efficient and timely manner.”

Despite long lines, DSS employees processed 30,290 Disaster Food Stamp applicants were processed from the 31 parishes. Here is a breakdown of those numbers:

Applications processed on 9/9/2008:

Region 1
New Orleans
Region 2
Baton Rouge
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Lake Charles
Region 7
Region 8
Region 9
Total *

* Applications processed are estimates based on hand counts

The parishes declared eligible for Disaster Food Stamps are: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

Substantial progress has been made to increase capacity with the opening of five new sites Wednesday, including the New Orleans Convention Center and the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish. Click here for an updated list of application sites. Louisiana’s Unified Command will ensure that all sites have full security and that water is provided to applicants. “These two sites will give us what we were seeking as we began to work with local officials; an indoor site out of the heat of summer,” said Williamson.

Today, the Department of Social Services trained an additional 328 staff to be deployed in these new locations. A call has been sent to each of Governor Jindal’s Cabinet members asking for additional staff to be trained for any new locations that open and to supplement the six highest volume sites which include the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish, St. Maria Goretti Church and Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Mount Pilgrim Baptist and the East Baton Rouge Office of Family Services, Sorrento Civic Center in Ascension, Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette and North Park in Denham Springs. Emergency medical services will also be deployed to these sites.

The Department of Social Services is also working on an additional option to help our elderly population. Council on Aging staff will be trained and enabled to register applicants by Thursday.

After reports of citizens becoming upset when they learned that they not getting cash cards, Williamson stressed that Disaster Food Stamps has strictly defined income eligibility and can only be used for the purchase of food. Williamson announced that she visited the Ag Center in Assumption Parish today and will travel to sites in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes tomorrow to assess the progress being made in this emergency program.

Williamson reminded participants in the regular Food Stamp Program that they do not need to apply since their benefits will automatically be lifted to the maximum amount allowable for September and their August benefits have been increased by 20% in order to replace lost food.

The Disaster Food Stamp application process will last for at least seven days and DSS will monitor the need for these services in order to determine whether a request for an extension will be necessary.

For the latest on the recovery from Hurricane Gustav, you can visit or call the state’s emergency hotline at 1-866-288-2484 to listen to a recorded message with the most up-to-date information.


Remnants of Gustav in Alexandria, LA

Today, people in Central Louisiana are trying to regain a sense of normalcy. However, that won’t be as easy as talking about it because people are cleaning and clearing out water that invaded the city on yesterday.

Flooding in Alexandria, LA

Residents in Central Louisiana spent the second day after Hurricane Gustav pushing water out of their homes as the heavy rains caused flooding in the entire city.

Many people were caught off guard when they woke up Wednesday morning to find that water was in their homes or close to getting in.