Monroe

Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo / http://monroezoo.org/project/bald-eagle/

Saturday May 20th, the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo will be having an unveiling of their new interactive animal sculptures donated by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The dedication will begin at 2:00 p.m. 

Bernadette Dayton / Georgia Street

The Monroe Quota Club is a local branch of Quota International that meets twice a month to discuss projects to help serve the community. Quota means to share, and this year,the Monroe Quota Club's annual fundraiser will be sharing something big.

OPSO.net

Sheriff Jay Russell and members of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office are mourning the loss of a Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputy in the line of duty early this morning, Sunday, April 30, 2017. 

Deputy Justin L. Beard, age 26, was killed in a one vehicle traffic accident while responding to a burglar alarm during a severe thunderstorm. 

Deputy Beard had been employed by the OPSO for 3-1/2 years and assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. 

He is survived by his wife and 3 young children. 

Cory Crowe / KEDM

A huge converting and logistics facility will be built in Ouachita Parish near Ouachita High School and the now vacant Guide Plant. The facility will house Graphic Packaging’s Carton Folding Plant and DHL’s Logistics and Distribution Operation.  The 1.27 million square foot facility will be bigger than the Louisiana Superdome.

DHL will construct the building and the adjoining distribution center. The total construction investment for the new Monroe facility will be over $84 million.

ULM Office of Public Information

A discussion is underway between The University of Louisiana Monroe and an unnamed non-profit medical school to locate a campus in Monroe. ULM and the partner signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding between the two institutions on April 25.  

Dr. Nick Bruno, President of ULM says "A lot of work still has to be put into this project." 

finchlake2000 / flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Financial problems are making upkeep difficult on the Ouachita –Black River system.

Tracy Hilburn, Operations Superintendent of the Tensas Basin Levee District says the system has $30,000,000 in outstanding work that could determine the amount of commercial river traffic that uses the Ouachita River.

Hilburn says if the river traffic doesn’t pick up the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could walk away from the project. 

house.gov

It has been one year since floods hit Louisiana and Governor John Bel Edwards was in Washington this week asking for more money for flood assistance. $1.6 billion dollars has been approved for Louisiana but Washington hasn’t released that money to Louisiana for distribution.

Congressman Ralph Abraham thinks the process is taking too long.

“Everybody is frustrated on both the state and federal level that the money has not yet got into anybody’s hands.”

Patrick Lewis / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Ouachita River system is in a perilous situation. The lack of commercial barge traffic on the river may mean reduced federal funds for dredging and repairs to locks and dams. This lack of upkeep has forced some shippers off the river and if total commercial tonnage doesn’t pick up the river could return to a natural state.

Randy Denmon of Ouachita River Valley Association (ORVA) will be a panelist at KEDM’s Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry. We will discuss the dangers of a declining river system.

CORY CROWE / KEDM

John Stringer talks to Cory Crowe about the potential for budget cuts concerning the Ouachita River. He shares the risks associated with lower funding, why the river is important to the area, and sheds light on organizations that are trying to help.

Mr. Stringer shares that if action is not taken, "we'll have a meandering stream going through sandbars" where we once had the Ouachita. 

Cory Crowe / KEDM

90.3 KEDM Public Radio hosts Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry-The Decline of a River System on Tuesday April 11 at 6 p.m. Topics to be discussed include river health, drinking water, economic impact, agricultural impact, industry and recreational use of the Ouachita River.

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