Coverage of community events and issues.

courtesy OCA

Monroe Police arrested a man early Friday morning for the murder of a Ouachita Council on Aging employee.

Shirley Cagle, assistant director of OCA, was found dead in her home by Monroe Police.  Smoke was coming from the Isabelle residence when police and firefighters arrived at the scene.  Officials have not released a cause of death.

Police had responded to a burglary at the Fort Miro Apartments around 1 a.m. Friday.  They were able to locate the suspect, Robert Nelson, and placed him in custody.  

Fire Engulfs Abandoned Apartment Building

Apr 24, 2015

Monroe firefighters responded to a fire that engulfed an apartment building at the intersection of Blanks Avenue and King Street just after 6:00 this morning.

The blaze began in one building of an apartment complex and spread to a second building.  It is believed to be the abandoned Kingston Village Apartments.  Investigators are on the scene preparing to begin their work into the cause of the fire.  

It is unknown at this time if any injuries occurred from the incident.  

ARCO Celebrates 60 Years

Apr 23, 2015

A Day of Appreciation recognizes the relationship between ARCO and the community.

On Saturday, family-friendly activities fill the grounds of the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.  The Hamiltons created what would become ARCO, a service focused on assisting those with developmental disabilities.  The agency now assisted individuals with a broad range of disabilities.

Smiles and Slides Welcome Zoo's New Playscape

Apr 22, 2015
B. Lenox

Smiles and squeals of excitement surrounded the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo newest addition.  A Playscape area for children officially opened.  

A number of boys and girls from area schools immediately put the playground to good use.  Zoo Director Joe Clawson says this attraction fits well into a dedicated children’s area for visitors.  "This is a natural addition to our children's garden and greenhouse," he said.

The Giant Vermin /

Some things just go together. Laurel and Hardy. Steak and potatoes. Simon and Garfunkel.  KEDM's Morning Edition and your morning cup of coffee.

As a boy, I never looked forward to hay-cutting time.  It seemed to be scheduled for the hottest days of summer and stacking the bales in a low, tin-roofed barn aggravated the situation. 

Blistering spears of profanity were sometimes launched by the driver of the hay cutting tractor, and were triggered by a small, bare-tailed mammal with buck teeth that was derisively called a 'damn salamander.'

Update 1:21pm

The lockdown at Richwood High School has been lifted.  No gun was found on campus.  OPSO continues investigation into boys involved in argument Thursday that may have led to intial call about possible weapon. 

Ouachita Parish Sheriff's deputies are at Richwood High School, investigating a report of a weapon on campus.

The school is on lockdown as deputies conduct a sweep of the building.


A conversation on race relations and law enforcement began with the background of police agencies, and quickly moved into how technology has impacted interaction between police and urban communities.  

Panelist Robert Hanser, Criminal Justice Department Head at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, says there is a new level of transparency in the age of cell phone videos.  He says as officers respond to any situation there has to be awareness that their actions could be documented by a passerby.  

Abrams: Reeducation Essential in Communities

Apr 14, 2015

KEDM hosts "Policy And A Pint today at 5 p.m.  The discussion topic is Race Relations and Law Enforcement.

Michael Abrams, founder of Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow, an economic development and advocacy group, serves as a panelist in the discussion.  Abrams feels there needs to be a push toward re-education of the black community.  He believes more leaders could provide influence and demonstrate a positive image.

On Tuesday, KEDM hosts "Policy And A Pint".  The discussion topic is Race Relations and Law Enforcement.

Dr. Robert Hanser, Criminal Justice Department Head at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, serves on the guest panel.  He says one of the keys in a better relationship between police and community is  programs to improve that relationship, and more diversity.

The public discussion is at 5 p.m at Avocado's Restaurant on North 18th Street in Monroe.