Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:05 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:05:22 GMT
End of life decisions are incredibly tough to make, yet every day, family members make arrangements for the death of a loved one. But what about for a beloved pet? I take you inside the region's onlyMore >>
600 family pets were cremated at the region's only retail pet crematory, Pet Angels in Lake Charles, last year. KPLC's Britney Glaser finds out how the operations work and talks to a family that knows the pain of losing pets.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:14 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:14:05 GMT
Travis Matte and the Kingpins will take the stage at "Downtown at Sundown" in Lake Charles from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 24. Since 2004, the group has blended together various musical stylesMore >>
Travis Matte and the Kingpins will take the stage at Downtown at Sundown in Lake Charles from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, May 24.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:04:58 GMT
One family in Iowa, La. felt helpless as the EF5 tornado touched down in Moore, Okla., a town where relatives lived. For Lisa Farque and Sara LaFargue, it was a terrifying moment watching the tornadoMore >>
Imagine having family in the pathway of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. For one family in Iowa, that nightmare was a reality. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:01 AM EDT2013-05-22 12:01:06 GMT
It was a call from coworkers on April 24, 1989 that led Calcasieu Sheriff's deputies to the 923 S. Division Street after Beryl Robichaux, 35, failed to show up for shift at a local cab company. "OnceMore >>
It's been more than 24 years since a Lake Charles woman was discovered stabbed to death inside her apartment and authorities still don't have a suspect. In this week's Cold Case Investigation, KPLC's Lee Peck takes a look at the circumstances leading up to the murder of Beryl Robichaux.More >>
Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports, Stocks, Movies on your Cell PhoneMore >>
Get local news, weather, sports, and video on your mobile device.More >>
DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) -
Karen Hillery is a single mother who has served as a sergeant at the C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center for the past six years. Needing two jobs to stay afloat for herself and her children, her job at Phelps served as the primary money maker. When she heard on Friday that her job would be taken away come November, she was devastated.
"It hurts. It really does," said Hillery. "We work hard here. We're like a family and I feel like our work here has just gone unappreciated."
She's not alone in her feelings. Assistant Warden Jolene Constance has been connected to Phelps since she was 20 years old in 1978. Now, she's forced to retire and come up with money for a down payment to purchase a home since she currently resides on the prison's grounds.
"It would have been nice to have some prior notice," Constance said. "I don't know how budgets work, but even if this could have been a Dec. 31 decision, that would have been a little better."
These concerns of lost jobs and alternate lifestyles was one of the reasons DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan called a special meeting on Sunday with the mayors of Sulphur, Lake Charles and Vinton, city council members and state Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek.
"I have yet to receive a call letting me know what's going on," said Henagan. "There was no warning, no heads up, nothing."
Phelps does not lie directly in Hill's district but she feels a very close connection to the people the closure is affecting.
She said the effects of the closure are going to be felt all around Southwest Louisiana, not just the city limits of DeQuincy. Currently, Phelps inmates perform services in Calcasieu cities and outlying municipalities. She said all of that will be lost.
There are plans to come up with a resolution between an alliance of Calcasieu Parish districts that would go before Gov. Bobby Jindal for further consideration.
As of now, employees have been told that there may be spots for employment at other facilities in the state. But as Hillery said, that's impractical, having to uproot children from schools and find alternate places of residence hours away from where she calls home.
From Pam Laborde with the State Dept. of Corrections:
"Closing Phelps and moving its prison population to prisons with sufficient capacity will save taxpayers $12 million dollars a year, while maintaining our strong commitment to public safety.
"Phelps was chosen for consolidation because the facility was old and inefficient, making it very costly for taxpayers to operate. The majority of Phelps offenders will be transferred to Louisiana State Penitentiary where they will be housed separately from those serving life sentences, and have access to comparable reentry services than they did at Phelps.
"This is a good deal for Louisiana taxpayers and will result in significant savings while maintaining public safety."