Hometown Heroes

  Hometown Hero - William Howell, Jr.

A Moss Bluff man served in the Green Berets and was sent to Afghanistan right after 9/11

  Hometown Hero - Phayo “Bud” Grindol

  Hometown Hero - Keith Waddell

  Hometown Hero - Vincent Circello

  Hometown Hero - Chase LeBeau

  Hometown Hero - Allen Trahan

  Patients hope to 'E-Lemon-ate’ Cystic Fibrosis

Continued Coverage

Hometown Heroes: VFW Post Christmas Card in July program

  Hometown Hero - Allen Landry

  Hometown Hero: Korean War vet was Westlake’s first volunteer fire chief

  Hometown Hero - George Farque

  Hometown Hero: George Guillory, Jr.

  War aviation museum draws regional interest

  Avenue of Flags back on track after theft of poles

Several businesses have come forward to help Avenue of Flags after the theft of its flagpoles.

  Hometown Hero - Clint Welch

Lake Charles resident served in Vietnam War, later became police officer

Jr. Beta students visit veterans in Jennings

Jr. Beta students visit veterans at a nursing home for military veterans

  Hometown Hero - Hershel Frazier

DeQuincy man promotes patriotism

  Hometown Hero: Lamar Robertson

  Hometown Hero: Kent LeDoux at Gray Ranch gives back to youth

Hometown Hero - Bill Sampson

Ned Melancon survived two wars and Hurricane Audrey

Students helping prepare for WWII exhibit coming to Lake Charles

  La. Special Olympian heads to World Games

  Hometown Heroes - Pantry of Hope

Lake Charles food pantry serves the low income in SWLA

Search is on for Mossville Heroes

Nominees are being sought for Mossville Heroes project

  Army veteran helping youth wanting military experience

Moss Bluff man helping youth with Louisiana Army Explorers

  Barbe teacher keeps veterans program going

Barbe High School teacher helps coordinate annual veterans program

  New play on autism to be performed at McNeese

McNeese Theatre will present a play this spring on autism.

  Lake Charles vet witnessed WWII German concentration camp

Lake Charles man remembers German concentration camps

  Sulphur man finishes hiking’s Triple Crown

Sulphur native has hike all three of hiking's hardest trails.

  Lake Charles man served in Operation Deep Freeze

A Lake Charles man served in the U.S. Navy during the Cold War and spent time in Antarctica.

  Korean War POW remains returned to SWLA

The remains of a Korean War soldier who died as a Prisoner of War are returned to SWLA.

  Lake Charles Veterans Memorial Park turns 50

Veterans Park in Lake Charles started as a bird tower.

  Hometown Heroes: WWII service animals

Many animals like dogs, horses and even bats were used during WWII.

  Hometown Heroes: Little Troopers

Local group helps purchase Christmas gifts for military children.

  Hometown Heroes: Doc in a Box

A Lake Charles church is putting together a sea container that will be turned into a medical clinic for Cambodia.

  Hometown Hero - Josh Droddy

Josh Droddy helps other veterans with PTSD.

  HOMETOWN HERO: Kelly Stawecki has a heart for the homeless

The creator of a program to help the homeless in Lake Charles is this week's Hometown Hero.

  Hometown Hero - J.W. Stine turns 100

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.

Hometown Hero: Joy Snyder served as a secret courier in the Cold War

A Welsh native entered the military during the Cold War with a special duty. It was 1950 and at the age of 19, Joy Lee Snyder was sworn into the United States Marine Corps for Women. The Welsh native was assigned to a base in North Carolina as a top secret courier. "I used to take secret and confidential documents to different officers on the base. I had to carry a briefcase and had to have it locked on my wrist."  Joy says she was taken seriously by most of those on ...

Hometown Hero - Keith Cating retires from McNeese BCM

A McNeese State University graduate who returned home to lead the Baptist Campus Ministry the past eleven years is retiring.

  Hometown Hero: John Griffin served at Pearl Harbor during WWII

92 year old John Griffin remembers his Navy days at Pearl Harbor. Like other servicemen, Griffin was in his teens when he was drafted. "Yeah, I was, I was 18 years old when I went in there. 18. 21 when I got out. I stayed in there 2 years." Serving as a Seaman First Class, Griffin helped move supplies from the U.S. mainland to the war in the Pacific. "We would stack and restack the stuff after it would get there. I don't care what it was: Lumber, anything. flour, oil...

  Hometown Hero - Harry Sommers

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

  Hometown Hero: Dr. Buck Halley

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...

  Hometown Hero: Gerard Arthur Becnel

Gerard Arthur Becnel was 17 when he graduated from high school and signed up for the U.S. Navy in World War II.

  Hometown Hero: Al Cochran

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...

Hometown Hero: Steve Rice

A Lake Charles man is still beaming after his Honor Air flight to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

HOMETOWN HERO: ‘Ranch sorting’ event will benefit St. Nicholas Center

Each fall, a group of rodeo enthusiasts get-together at Burton Coliseum to test their skills.

Hometown Hero - Martin Bilbo, Sr.

A longtime community volunteer with Little League Baseball is retiring this week from his job at the Calcasieu Parish School Board. The name Martin Bilbo, Sr. is familiar to many who are involved in Mid City Little League Baseball. Bilbo coached many youth over the years and even took a team to the Little League World Series in 1992. "We were family. That was the key. If you became family as a team and became one, you'd be successful. You know what the next person wants....

  Hometown Hero: Dr. Elwyn Cavin served in WWII

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

Hometown Hero: Columbus Bond

In the days following the end of World War II, Columbus Bond left his home in Pitkin and signed up with the Army.

  Hometown Hero: Annette Ballard

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

  Experience Dutch oven cooking this weekend

If you've never tried food cooked in a Dutch oven before, this weekend is your chance. The Le Chien Cookers are a chapter of the Louisiana Dutch Oven Society that work to promote the art of Dutch oven cooking.

  Breakfast and haircuts for veterans

A hot coffee and bacon and eggs -- it's a great way to start the day. and for many it may sound ordinary, but for some veterans in the lake area, it's the first freshly made breakfast in while. Some are disabled, some are injured, some are homeless. regardless of the condition, the American legion wants to take care of them. It's hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary and the American legion, post 179 in Sulphur. "It's a great benefit because they can do this for themselves, they can in...

  McNeese brings new technology with the new year

McNeese students are back for the Fall semester and with a new school year came some new changes.

  Westlake City Council discusses clubhouse funds

"We're fixing to turn what was a liability against us into an asset," Westlake Mayor Bob Hardey, said. Ever since the city opened The National Golf Club of Louisiana, it's been missing a clubhouse. "We've been waiting on it forever, we've lost money for forever," Pat Ellender, concerned resident, said. Mayor Hardey said the project could cost up to 4 million dollars, at least 2 million of which Hardey said could be borrowed.  "We did not go out t...

  Topsy homicide suspect found

The search for the suspect in last Friday's homicide in Topsy has been found. Authorities in Beaumont, Texas spotted a vehicle suspected to be driven by the suspect, David Wade Clark. After being spotted, Clark lead Jefferson Country Sheriff's deputies on a pursuit through a neighborhood. Clark was traveling with a man named Michael Castille from Lake Charles, who had been helping Clark in his travels. The two were able to escape the authorities and abandon the vehicle at a sma...

Final report released in rope incident at 3topia

The Lake Charles Police Department has released its final report after the owner of a local business reported finding rope tied as a noose on the door of his business. KPLC obtained a copy of the final report through a public records request. The Lake Charles Police Department began investigating after Darrell Bennett, the owner of 3topia, posted a Facebook Live showing a rope on the door to his business, saying he had arrived to find it hanging there and tied like a noose. The LCP...

47 dogs rescued in Allen Parish

The Humane Society of Louisiana and Allen Parish Sheriff's Office rescued 47 dogs at a residence, according to a Facebook post.  Humane Society's post says the dogs had matted hair, heartworms, dental problems, heart murmurs, ear infections, and other injuries. For example, one dog had an abscess in his mouth that created a hole in his face:    Humane Society of Louisiana The dogs were found in crates living in urine and filth, says the post. They were malnouri...

  Iowa hosted 10th annual Arts & Crafts Festival

The town of Iowa celebrated it's 10th annual Arts and Crafts Festival at the Iowa Community Center Saturday. The event had a petting zoo, live entertainment from New Orleans entertainer Matthew Noel, also known as "The Magic Yo-Yo," and RD 'Red Dog' Hebert. Balloon art will also be provided by "Hobo Bill" and Friends, courtesy of The Shriners. Several local artisans were at the event demonstrating their crafts including basket-...

  Model Aviation Show held in Carlyss

The Lake Area Radio Kontrol Society celebrated their 50th anniversary Saturday with a Model Aviation Day. Those who attended the event, held at  at Larksfield Road in Carlyss, were able to see flying demonstrations throughout the day,  Model jets, war birds, helicopters were on display, and in the skies. There were also free introductory flying lessons given so that attendees could test their piloting skills. Bo Hinch, the organizer of the event, says he h...

  Veteran sues New Orleans VA Office saying his rights violated concerning benefits

George Jackson is a navy combat veteran from the Vietnam war.  he's bedridden since a fall fourteen years ago... "I cannot walk around.  I can feed myself, and basically that's the extent of what I can do.  I can brush my teeth.  Other than that I get help from my wife to do everything else that I need to do." Jackson explains, his disability became so  severe because of injuries  stemming from his SERVICE. "I didn't have the problem befo...

  McNeese State's President on students returning for fall semester

McNeese State University students are heading back to school for the fall semester Monday. Dr. Daryl Burckel will be starting his second year as president of the University. he says the number one priority for this semester if the students. "We are looking forward to having out students back on campus and having them have a great experience, but also, not only in the classroom, but also on campus, so we're focused on our students having a great college experience and so we are ...

Fire put out at DeRidder Best Western

Deridder Fire Chief Kenneth Harlow says that the fire department received a call at 5:31 P.M. on August 19, 2018 regarding a fire at a Best Western on North Pine Street. After arriving on scene the fire department was able to safely evacuate everyone from the building. Chief Harlow says that the fire was contained by 7:00 P.M. The fire department believes the fire began in the attic of the drive thru awning near the main office. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Scattered showers continue through this week

Through this afternoon expect continued pop-up showers thanks to southerly flow providing ample moisture. Hot and humid conditions will persist across Southwest Louisiana for those of us not seeing a cooling shower.  Overnight warm and humid conditions persist with lows only dropping into the upper 70s. But, with ample moisture present we will feel like the 80s for much of the night.

  FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Scattered showers this weekend

Through this afternoon expect continued pop-up showers thanks to southerly flow providing ample moisture. Hot and humid conditions will persist across Southwest Louisiana for those of us not seeing a cooling shower.  Overnight warm and humid conditions persist with lows only dropping into the upper 70s. But, with ample moisture present we will feel like the 80s for much of the night.

Man allegedly steals two buses and crashes into building

Lake Charles Police say that shortly after midnight on August 18, 2018 a man stole a Vinton bus crashing it in the 2900 block of Broad St. Police arrived on scene after the man had fled on foot. Sgt. Keenum with the LCPD says that later that morning police received a report that a second bus had been stolen from Chennault airport. The bus was spotted by officers shortly after who pursued the bus which then crashed into the side of a building on the intersection of Holly Hill and We...

  Too much crime, say people living at Lake Charles apartment complex

People who live inside the Place Vendome apartment complex where a man was shot Thursday night say the violence must stop. "They're always talking about guns back here, they're always talking about something crazy," said residents Ashley & Ivy Lee. "Normally stuff like this is just shots..random people playing around just doing stuff like that, this is one where somebody actually got hurt and someone we know," said Ashley. Right now few detail...

Second swarm: Lovebugs about to reach peak swarm across the South

Our second lovebug season is quickly approaching and is expected to reach a peak in September.  Some bugs have already been seen! Some think this bug was created by the University of Florida. While others believe that the intensity of swarms warns of a bad hurricane season. I'm here to let you know that neither of these are true!

Police release images of forgery suspects

The Lake Charles Police Department is investigating multiple forged checks that have been cashed at various local businesses in the Lake Charles area. Police are requesting the public's help with this ongoing investigation. Lt. Richard Harrell asks that if you can identify the suspects or have any information regarding the case to please contact Detective Larry Newingham or Detective Colby Thompson at 337-491-1456. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

VPSO searching for suspect in firearms burglary in New Llano

Police are searching for the suspect involved in a theft on Stanton Street in New Llano, according to a post on the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office Facebook page.  VPSO investigated an early afternoon burglary at a residence on August 12, according to the post. Numerous firearms were stolen, as well as a tan 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis, licence plate number MAG 251. The vehicle's front bumper is faded.  Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact VPSO at 337-23...

  Jeff Davis Parish bus driver celebrates 45th first day of school

We all know the first day of school is special, but when it's your 45th first day of school, that calls for celebration. Peter Leblanc has been driving students to Hathaway High School for 45 years; the same route his father had before him for over 38 years. "My dad was a bus driver for 38 and a half years. The guy that I was working for was working part time and he was on the school board and when my dad decided to retire, he asked me if I would like to fill that position, and...

Crash involving hazardous materials shuts down I-10 westbound

All lanes of I-10 westbound near milepost 117 have been closed due to a crash involving hazardous materials. State Police Troop A are currently assisting the Henderson Police Department divert traffic. Sgt. James Anderson states that the alternate route will be I-10 westbound at exit LA 415 traveling along US 190 west to I-49 south where traffic will reenter I-10 at I-49 in Lafayette. State Police also say that I-10 Eastbound at I-49 is currently closed. All traffic eastbound is b...

New KFC in Jennings gives away free chicken for a year

A new KFC located at 1498 Elton Road in Jennings is scheduled open its doors on August 21, 2018. On August 22, 2018 it will host a grand opening celebration featuring a "free chicken for a year" coupon giveaway to the first 50 customers. South Louisiana Market Coach for KSP Foods, Masi Carter says, "Our restaurant staff has been preparing diligently for the store opening, and we look forward to welcoming the community to our new restaurant next week." The n...

FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Limited rain chances for now, then higher rain chances next week

To end the week, there will be a few small showers this afternoon. The rain chances are still at only 30%, so not everyone will see rain. It will be another hot day. Temperatures will reach the lower to mid 90s. Heat indices will be around the 103-106 degree range. It should be nice weather to end the week and start the weekend. Overnight, it will be generally clear with only a few passing clouds. I do not expect any rain. It should be a nice evening if you have any outdoor plans.

WEATHER WITH BEN: Emily Grace Guillory

This morning, Emily Grace Guillory is KPLC's junior meteorologist.  Emily is a 3rd grader at T. S. Cooley Elementary. She is 8 years old and enjoys dance, cooking, fishing, playing outdoors, reading, and eating good Louisiana food.  During school Emily enjoys P.E.  Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  New Sulphur teacher returns to his first grade classroom

Schools in the Diocese of Lake Charles went back to class this week, and one of the newest teachers is Ryan Rapp at Our Lady's Catholic School in Sulphur.

  Jennings fire department in need of volunteers

Volunteer firefighters play a critical role in the safety of communities across the country, especially in our communities. More recently the state has seen a steady decline in firefighters. Over in Jennings, they're feeling that shortage now more than ever. "There's a big shortage with the volunteer firefighters on our department," said Chief training officer, Ashley Navarre. Navarre says they usually have about 25 volunteers available to help assist with emergencies...

  Pride of McNeese Band hosts 'Cowboy Kickoff'

The Pride of McNeese Band welcomed local high school bands, fans and alumni to Burton Coliseum Thursday, to get the community excited for the upcoming football season and raise some money.  One alumna and band mom, Ann Ellender, has two sons in the McNeese band, and one in the Sulphur High School band.  While she says while the event is meant to support the band, it's really beneficial for the community. "It supports the bands, yes, but it's really arts for the commu...

Topsy homicide suspect captured in Texas

The suspect in a homicide in Topsy has been captured by authorities in Jefferson County, Texas, according to Chief Deputy Christopher Ivey.  David Wade Clark, 28, was the main suspect in the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office investigation into the death of Devin Marc Sanders on August 10, 2018, in Topsy, Louisiana. Just before noon on Aug. 14, the Lake Charles Police Department found Clark's truck in the Big Lots parking lot on Highway 14, said Ivey.  ...

LCPD investigating shooting on Prejean Drive

The Lake Charles Police Department is investigating a shooting at the Place Vendome Apartments, according to Lt. Harrell. Harrell says there is one victim. There is no word of any arrests at this time. KPLC will continue to update this story as we receive more information. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.