Hometown Heroes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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  • Hometown Hero: Annette Ballard

    Hometown Hero: Annette Ballard

    Friday, August 17 2018 4:43 AM EDT2018-08-17 08:43:13 GMT

    When she was a student at Central School back in the 1940s, Annette Ballard knew that teaching was in her blood.

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    When she was a student at Central School back in the 1940s, Annette Ballard knew that teaching was in her blood.

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  • LSU ring saved the life of this Korean War veteran

    LSU ring saved the life of this Korean War veteran

    Thursday, August 2 2018 7:51 AM EDT2018-08-02 11:51:08 GMT
    Henry DoironHenry Doiron

    Korean War veteran Henry Doiron says his LSU ring saved his life.  

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    Korean War veteran Henry Doiron says his LSU ring saved his life.  

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  • Hometown Hero - J.W. Stine turns 100

    Hometown Hero - J.W. Stine turns 100

    Thursday, July 26 2018 6:16 AM EDT2018-07-26 10:16:32 GMT
    Stine familyStine family
    Stine familyStine family

    Any celebration held by the Stine family is a big one, but this one's especially notable. J.W. Stine is celebrating his 100th birthday this week.  

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    Any celebration held by the Stine family is a big one, but this one's especially notable. J.W. Stine is celebrating his 100th birthday this week.  

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  • Rob Robin got his broadcast start in the U.S. Air Force

    Rob Robin got his broadcast start in the U.S. Air Force

    Thursday, July 19 2018 8:29 AM EDT2018-07-19 12:29:28 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    Many of our viewers remember Rob Robin when he delivered his weathercasts, but they may not know that Rob got his start while serving in the Air Force. 

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    Many of our viewers remember Rob Robin when he delivered his weathercasts, but they may not know that Rob got his start while serving in the Air Force. 

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  • McNeese NAACP gets out of its comfort zone to help others

    McNeese NAACP gets out of its comfort zone to help others

    Thursday, June 28 2018 8:52 AM EDT2018-06-28 12:52:36 GMT

    Students at McNeese State University wanted to get out of their comfort zone for their latest community project. A day full of games, gardening and food was part of the project by members of the McNeese State University NAACP at Brookdale Assisted Living on Country Club road in Lake Charles. "So it was pretty cool to actually sit down and interact and just get together with people who probably grew up in a whole different world than today," said Tyler Dixon, chapter preside...

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    Students at McNeese State University wanted to get out of their comfort zone for their latest community project. A day full of games, gardening and food was part of the project by members of the McNeese State University NAACP at Brookdale Assisted Living on Country Club road in Lake Charles. "So it was pretty cool to actually sit down and interact and just get together with people who probably grew up in a whole different world than today," said Tyler Dixon, chapter preside...

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  • Hometown Hero - Harry Sommers

    Hometown Hero - Harry Sommers

    Monday, June 11 2018 5:38 AM EDT2018-06-11 09:38:55 GMT

    Harry Sommers served in the air police from 1956 to 1960 at Chennault Air Force base in Lake Charles. . 

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    Harry Sommers served in the air police from 1956 to 1960 at Chennault Air Force base in Lake Charles. . 

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  • Letters from WWII soldier in Lake Charles being donated to museum

    Letters from WWII soldier in Lake Charles being donated to museum

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:18 AM EDT2018-05-24 11:18:54 GMT

    Letters sent by a soldier serving in the Pacific to his mother back home in Lake Charles will soon be donated to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. From 1942 to 1945, 

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    Letters sent by a soldier serving in the Pacific to his mother back home in Lake Charles will soon be donated to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. From 1942 to 1945, 

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  • SWLA man starts WWII aviation museum

    SWLA man starts WWII aviation museum

    Thursday, May 17 2018 6:59 AM EDT2018-05-17 10:59:18 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    Harry Tanner loves to talk about flying. It started when he was a little boy.

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    Harry Tanner loves to talk about flying. It started when he was a little boy.

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  • Army veteran helps other vets and families with VA benefits

    Army veteran helps other vets and families with VA benefits

    Thursday, May 3 2018 7:23 AM EDT2018-05-03 11:23:31 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    Houston Fruge of Vinton spends a lot of his time these days helping veterans and their families get the benefits they are due. He's an unpaid volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans. "I feel like it's kind of a payback. When I went into the military, I didn't go to Vietnam. I've got some good friends that got drafted and came back in body bags. I feel like this is part of my payback."  Fruge is a Vietnam era veteran, having served in the Army from 1962 to 1965. ...More >>
    Houston Fruge of Vinton spends a lot of his time these days helping veterans and their families get the benefits they are due. He's an unpaid volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans. "I feel like it's kind of a payback. When I went into the military, I didn't go to Vietnam. I've got some good friends that got drafted and came back in body bags. I feel like this is part of my payback."  Fruge is a Vietnam era veteran, having served in the Army from 1962 to 1965. ...More >>
  • Sulphur woman celebrates 105th birthday

    Sulphur woman celebrates 105th birthday

    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:07 AM EDT2018-04-26 09:07:44 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    When Evalise "Tiny" Rentrop celebrated her 103rd birthday two years ago, everyone there had a certain feeling that they'd be back to celebrate again.  "I'm not hard to please. I just like it my way." April 25 is Tiny's 105th birthday.  Mayor Chris Duncan was on hand for a special proclamation.  "We want to make it your day in the city of Sulphur," said Duncan. "We want everybody to recognize that it's your day in the city of Sulphur...More >>
    When Evalise "Tiny" Rentrop celebrated her 103rd birthday two years ago, everyone there had a certain feeling that they'd be back to celebrate again.  "I'm not hard to please. I just like it my way." April 25 is Tiny's 105th birthday.  Mayor Chris Duncan was on hand for a special proclamation.  "We want to make it your day in the city of Sulphur," said Duncan. "We want everybody to recognize that it's your day in the city of Sulphur...More >>
  • Hometown Hero: Dr. Buck Halley

    Hometown Hero: Dr. Buck Halley

    Friday, March 30 2018 4:59 AM EDT2018-03-30 08:59:45 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    Not too many people can claim they retired from three careers. But Buck Halley did. He signed up for the U.S. Navy during the Korean War before he even finished at Sulphur High. "I went in two weeks before I graduated high school. I still got my diploma. I got there and I went into the medical field. I became a hospital corpsman. I went to hospital corps school."  After his medical career in the Navy, Halley went to work for Cities Service. But then he decided that de...More >>
    Not too many people can claim they retired from three careers. But Buck Halley did. He signed up for the U.S. Navy during the Korean War before he even finished at Sulphur High. "I went in two weeks before I graduated high school. I still got my diploma. I got there and I went into the medical field. I became a hospital corpsman. I went to hospital corps school."  After his medical career in the Navy, Halley went to work for Cities Service. But then he decided that de...More >>
  • Owner of old U.S. flag being sought

    Owner of old U.S. flag being sought

    Friday, March 23 2018 5:10 AM EDT2018-03-23 09:10:58 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    McNeese library archives director Pati Threatt is looking over an old U.S. flag that currently has no owner.  The 48 star flag was brought in by Vietnam veteran Greg Foreman.  "You want to share it with others," said Threatt. "We want to spread our knowledge to the community. We don't want to just keep things to ourselves. You have to let your knowledge shine. What you know." Foreman got the flag from a friend, who found it in a house he was demolishing...

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    McNeese library archives director Pati Threatt is looking over an old U.S. flag that currently has no owner.  The 48 star flag was brought in by Vietnam veteran Greg Foreman.  "You want to share it with others," said Threatt. "We want to spread our knowledge to the community. We don't want to just keep things to ourselves. You have to let your knowledge shine. What you know." Foreman got the flag from a friend, who found it in a house he was demolishing...

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  • Lake Charles man was part of the Normandy Invasion in WWII

    Lake Charles man was part of the Normandy Invasion in WWII

    Thursday, March 15 2018 5:14 AM EDT2018-03-15 09:14:13 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    It was known as Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy during World War 2.  Philip Krausman arrived a few days after the initial invasion, helping to unload trucks and tanks onto the beach.   "We took off the vehicles off the barges in about six feet of water," said Krausman. "I had to stand on the seat and reach down and drive with the gas turned up." There wasn't air support in the first few days. Krausman says he looked up a few days late...

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    It was known as Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy during World War 2.  Philip Krausman arrived a few days after the initial invasion, helping to unload trucks and tanks onto the beach.   "We took off the vehicles off the barges in about six feet of water," said Krausman. "I had to stand on the seat and reach down and drive with the gas turned up." There wasn't air support in the first few days. Krausman says he looked up a few days late...

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  • New additions to Veteran's Memorial in Lake Charles

    New additions to Veteran's Memorial in Lake Charles

    Thursday, March 1 2018 7:33 AM EST2018-03-01 12:33:37 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    Improvements to the Veteran's Memorial on Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles should be completed by late March. The memorial has seen plenty of changes over the years, but not as drastic as the ones added over the winter. "We are trying to commemorate the different conflicts and wars," said Lori Marinovich, with the City of Lake Charles. "This edition is celebrating all the different branches of the service. So we're trying to make it a very holistic, world-class plaza an...

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    Improvements to the Veteran's Memorial on Lakeshore Drive in Lake Charles should be completed by late March. The memorial has seen plenty of changes over the years, but not as drastic as the ones added over the winter. "We are trying to commemorate the different conflicts and wars," said Lori Marinovich, with the City of Lake Charles. "This edition is celebrating all the different branches of the service. So we're trying to make it a very holistic, world-class plaza an...

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  • WWII vets being sought for Heroes flight to Washington, DC

    WWII vets being sought for Heroes flight to Washington, DC

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:27 AM EST2018-02-22 14:27:20 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    Since the opening of the World War 2 Monument in Washington DC, many groups have sponsored free Hero Flights for veterans who normally would not get a chance to visit. We've spoken with several World War 2 veterans who made the trip. "I've been to Washington many times, but I had not see the WWII one," said Erbon Wise. "So I was more impressed with seeing it for the first time and how they had placed it there in the mall." Brookshire Grocery Co. is curr...More >>
    Since the opening of the World War 2 Monument in Washington DC, many groups have sponsored free Hero Flights for veterans who normally would not get a chance to visit. We've spoken with several World War 2 veterans who made the trip. "I've been to Washington many times, but I had not see the WWII one," said Erbon Wise. "So I was more impressed with seeing it for the first time and how they had placed it there in the mall." Brookshire Grocery Co. is curr...More >>
  • SWLA native to go for hiking Triple Crown

    SWLA native to go for hiking Triple Crown

    Thursday, February 8 2018 7:34 AM EST2018-02-08 12:34:37 GMT
    MIKE WINKLEMIKE WINKLE
    A Southwest Louisiana native is continuing his quest to hike the three most challenging trails in the U.S. We first met Michael Winkle in the fall of 2016, when he completed hiking the 2100 mile Appalachian Trail. In 2017, he hiked the 2600 mile Pacific Coast Trail. "114 to 120 degree days in the Mojave desert," recalled Winkle. "I ran out of water. I was injured in the Sierras in the snow, which was melting. 11 people died on the trail this year. It was very difficult...More >>
    A Southwest Louisiana native is continuing his quest to hike the three most challenging trails in the U.S. We first met Michael Winkle in the fall of 2016, when he completed hiking the 2100 mile Appalachian Trail. In 2017, he hiked the 2600 mile Pacific Coast Trail. "114 to 120 degree days in the Mojave desert," recalled Winkle. "I ran out of water. I was injured in the Sierras in the snow, which was melting. 11 people died on the trail this year. It was very difficult...More >>
  • Mapping AEDs in Calcasieu Parish

    Mapping AEDs in Calcasieu Parish

    Thursday, February 1 2018 6:22 AM EST2018-02-01 11:22:54 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    A Moss Bluff teenager is raising awareness about a proven life-saving device. Dylan Burleigh wanted to make a difference when he chose his project to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  After talking with Paramedic/EMT Billy Vincent about the need for AEDs in buildings like gymnasiums, auditoriums and churches, he got to work.   "The AED makes the largest difference combined with early and effective CPR in the survivability of the individual that suffers cardia...

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    A Moss Bluff teenager is raising awareness about a proven life-saving device. Dylan Burleigh wanted to make a difference when he chose his project to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  After talking with Paramedic/EMT Billy Vincent about the need for AEDs in buildings like gymnasiums, auditoriums and churches, he got to work.   "The AED makes the largest difference combined with early and effective CPR in the survivability of the individual that suffers cardia...

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  • World War II vet has #1 fan in great-grandson

    World War II vet has #1 fan in great-grandson

    Friday, January 12 2018 6:07 AM EST2018-01-12 11:07:18 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    A World War two veteran and his great grandson have developed a special relationship the past few months, and it's all due to a classroom project. When Prien Lake Elementary third grader Henry Hoffpauir was choosing a theme for his shoe box Mardi gras float entry, he knew just what to do. He would honor his great grandfather, Delbert Pearce, who served in the U.S. Navy in World War 2.    #6   He like remembers a lot of stuff. He's super intelligent, should I say....

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    A World War two veteran and his great grandson have developed a special relationship the past few months, and it's all due to a classroom project. When Prien Lake Elementary third grader Henry Hoffpauir was choosing a theme for his shoe box Mardi gras float entry, he knew just what to do. He would honor his great grandfather, Delbert Pearce, who served in the U.S. Navy in World War 2.    #6   He like remembers a lot of stuff. He's super intelligent, should I say....

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  • Hometown Hero: Al Cochran

    Hometown Hero: Al Cochran

    Thursday, January 4 2018 7:33 AM EST2018-01-04 12:33:01 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    When Al Cochran went to Vietnam in 1967, he had completed the ROTC program at McNeese. He was an Army engineer. "The first thing I built was an airstrip for Caribou and C-123 for Special Forces at Bin Ton." Al went on to maintain roads and other structures for the army. "As we were told, we were stopping Communism and basically we did that. There was a job that needed to be done and I was picked to do that and I did it." Once he got back, he experienced the ant...More >>
    When Al Cochran went to Vietnam in 1967, he had completed the ROTC program at McNeese. He was an Army engineer. "The first thing I built was an airstrip for Caribou and C-123 for Special Forces at Bin Ton." Al went on to maintain roads and other structures for the army. "As we were told, we were stopping Communism and basically we did that. There was a job that needed to be done and I was picked to do that and I did it." Once he got back, he experienced the ant...More >>
  • Friends come through for boy who needed Braille typewriter

    Friends come through for boy who needed Braille typewriter

    Thursday, December 21 2017 8:35 AM EST2017-12-21 13:35:49 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    A 7-year-old Lake Charles boy who was born blind, got an early holiday present from friends and family. Christmas came  early for Trey Bennett the third this year. The Lake Charles resident is a student at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge.  "He was born with Optic Nerve Hyperplasia and it means that the nerves connecting the brain and the eye were underdeveloped during my pregnancy," said Trey's mom, D'awndra Kirkwood.  At school...

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    A 7-year-old Lake Charles boy who was born blind, got an early holiday present from friends and family. Christmas came  early for Trey Bennett the third this year. The Lake Charles resident is a student at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge.  "He was born with Optic Nerve Hyperplasia and it means that the nerves connecting the brain and the eye were underdeveloped during my pregnancy," said Trey's mom, D'awndra Kirkwood.  At school...

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  • Lake Charles veteran to attend service for Korean War MIA

    Lake Charles veteran to attend service for Korean War MIA

    Sunday, December 10 2017 3:37 PM EST2017-12-10 20:37:11 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    An Army veteran of the 35th Infantry division in Vietnam, Raymond Maylen didn't just sit back in his rocking chair when he retired from the Lake Charles Fire Department. 

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    An Army veteran of the 35th Infantry division in Vietnam, Raymond Maylen didn't just sit back in his rocking chair when he retired from the Lake Charles Fire Department. 

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  • SWLA teen going to Carnegie Hall - again

    SWLA teen going to Carnegie Hall - again

    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:38 AM EST2017-11-23 14:38:31 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV
    Ethyn Evans is going to be getting plenty of air miles on his tuba next year.  He starts the new year off marching in the U.S. Army's All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Later trips in 2018 include Carnegie Hall and Sydney Australia. For him , it's the second trip to Carnegie. "It was absolutely amazing," remembers Evans. "It's been one of my dreams since I was a little kid. Ever since I began playing tuba, to play at a nice concert hall like that. So it was really ...More >>
    Ethyn Evans is going to be getting plenty of air miles on his tuba next year.  He starts the new year off marching in the U.S. Army's All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Later trips in 2018 include Carnegie Hall and Sydney Australia. For him , it's the second trip to Carnegie. "It was absolutely amazing," remembers Evans. "It's been one of my dreams since I was a little kid. Ever since I began playing tuba, to play at a nice concert hall like that. So it was really ...More >>
  • Local DJ to be inducted into Cajun French Music Hall of Fame

    Local DJ to be inducted into Cajun French Music Hall of Fame

    Thursday, November 2 2017 5:14 AM EDT2017-11-02 09:14:12 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    A Lake Charles radio DJ is being inducted into the Cajun French Music Hall of Fame this month. The fruit certainly doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to Mike Soileau. He grew up watching his dad, the late David Soileau, playing french music on the radio.  "When I was growing up 8 or 9 years old, I would go up to the radio station and see him. Growing up, I saw him the entire time, doing what he did. One day he was sick and asked if I could do his show for him. I t...

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    A Lake Charles radio DJ is being inducted into the Cajun French Music Hall of Fame this month. The fruit certainly doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to Mike Soileau. He grew up watching his dad, the late David Soileau, playing french music on the radio.  "When I was growing up 8 or 9 years old, I would go up to the radio station and see him. Growing up, I saw him the entire time, doing what he did. One day he was sick and asked if I could do his show for him. I t...

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  • Gillis High School reunion planned for this weekend

    Gillis High School reunion planned for this weekend

    Thursday, October 26 2017 8:33 AM EDT2017-10-26 12:33:09 GMT
    Clyde DennisClyde Dennis
    Before there was a Sam Houston High School, Gillis High School served students in the northern part of Calcasieu Parish. This weekend, students will gather to remember their alma mater, and an event that almost wiped out their campus. This group of now-retired adults were some of the last students of the old Gillis High School.  In 1961, the school had it's last graduating class and students moved to the new Sam Houston High School in Moss Bluff. "You start off going to col...More >>
    Before there was a Sam Houston High School, Gillis High School served students in the northern part of Calcasieu Parish. This weekend, students will gather to remember their alma mater, and an event that almost wiped out their campus. This group of now-retired adults were some of the last students of the old Gillis High School.  In 1961, the school had it's last graduating class and students moved to the new Sam Houston High School in Moss Bluff. "You start off going to col...More >>
  • Hometown Hero: Dr. Elwyn Cavin served in WWII

    Hometown Hero: Dr. Elwyn Cavin served in WWII

    Thursday, October 12 2017 5:51 AM EDT2017-10-12 09:51:34 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    Elwyn Cavin had just graduated from LSU when he was called up to serve in the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor.  

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    Elwyn Cavin had just graduated from LSU when he was called up to serve in the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor.  

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  • Westlake couple honored by Kiwanis for community service

    Westlake couple honored by Kiwanis for community service

    Thursday, October 5 2017 2:17 PM EDT2017-10-05 18:17:11 GMT
    Skeeter HayesSkeeter Hayes

    Mention the names Skeeter and Mimi Hayes in Westlake, and you'll hear words like public service, volunteerism and giving.  

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    Mention the names Skeeter and Mimi Hayes in Westlake, and you'll hear words like public service, volunteerism and giving.  

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  • NYFD volunteers help in Harvey flooding cleanup

    NYFD volunteers help in Harvey flooding cleanup

    Thursday, September 21 2017 7:39 AM EDT2017-09-21 11:39:35 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    The recovery process continues for residents flooded out by Hurricane Harvey in southwest louisiana and southeast Texas. 

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    The recovery process continues for residents flooded out by Hurricane Harvey in southwest louisiana and southeast Texas. 

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  • Navy Reservist serves patients in Lake Charles

    Navy Reservist serves patients in Lake Charles

    Sunday, September 10 2017 12:40 PM EDT2017-09-10 16:40:42 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    When Tammy Mitchell graduated from LSU Medical School in Shreveport, serving in the United States Navy was not on her radar. "After I finished medical school I winded up joining the military because I went to a medical conference in New Orleans," said Mitchell. "The Navy was there recruiting. They said, 'We saw where you were a doctor and we need doctors to come in. So would you consider coming into the Navy?'" She did and eventually found herself in the Naval Re...

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    When Tammy Mitchell graduated from LSU Medical School in Shreveport, serving in the United States Navy was not on her radar. "After I finished medical school I winded up joining the military because I went to a medical conference in New Orleans," said Mitchell. "The Navy was there recruiting. They said, 'We saw where you were a doctor and we need doctors to come in. So would you consider coming into the Navy?'" She did and eventually found herself in the Naval Re...

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  • VFW post honored as All-American Post

    VFW post honored as All-American Post

    Thursday, August 24 2017 4:58 AM EDT2017-08-24 08:58:04 GMT
    KPLC-TVKPLC-TV

    Moss Bluff VFW Post 7321 is being honored for its service to the community. The post was recently honored by the National VFW as an All State All American Post.  "It's all due to our members getting out and working in the community for community service," said Charlie Woolridge, Post Commander. "That's a big part of being recognized by the state and by national." Many of the projects include promoting patriotism in schools, food distribution and helping othe...

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    Moss Bluff VFW Post 7321 is being honored for its service to the community. The post was recently honored by the National VFW as an All State All American Post.  "It's all due to our members getting out and working in the community for community service," said Charlie Woolridge, Post Commander. "That's a big part of being recognized by the state and by national." Many of the projects include promoting patriotism in schools, food distribution and helping othe...

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  • Hometown Hero - Caretakers

    Hometown Hero - Caretakers

    Thursday, December 24 2015 5:13 AM EST2015-12-24 10:13:28 GMT
    Thursday, December 24 2015 5:19 AM EST2015-12-24 10:19:23 GMT

    John Singleton has been helping his wife Mary cope with Alzheimer's for a few years now. 

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    John Singleton has been helping his wife Mary cope with Alzheimer's for a few years now. 

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