Monroe

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.

Dean Hochman / Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The following schools are closed on Monday:

 Morehouse Parish Schools

 Prairie View Academy

 LaSalle Parish Schools

 Franklin Parish Schools

A high speed chase southbound on Jackson Street led to a car crash at University Health Conway in Monroe.

Officials chased 29 year old Martis Smith after he almost hit an officer who was off duty. The officer tried to stop Smith but he continued on.

Authorities chased Smith until his car drove off road, after losing control, crashing into an empty car at the University Health Conway in Monroe.

ULM SOAR Campaign Reaches Seventy Percent Threshold

Mar 23, 2017
Jay Curtis / KEDM

The University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation, ULM Athletic Foundation, and ULM Alumni Association announced that the SOAR Campaign had reached its 70% threshold.

The goal was announced at a celebration in Scott Plaza featuring faculty, students, and staff with ULM’s Sound of Today and Cheerleaders

Cory Crowe / KEDM

John Stringer, Executive Director of The Tenses Basin Levee District says the Ouachita - Black River System is facing challenges. He says the river systems lack of full funding places the Ouachita River in peril and says the underfunded river system could be abandoned under a worst case scenario.

Stringer says, “It can happen and you know if it does happen, I’ve always said it will be a catastrophe for our region.”

An enforcement agent for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries who was shot in a January traffic stop is back home in Ouachita Parish, but multiple surgeries from returning to work. 

Tyler Wheeler is awaiting surgeries to reattach a portion of his skull and to repair jaw damage. He says until the skull surgery, someone must monitor him around the clock and he can't do most physical activities.

Pages