Author

Frances Madeson

Frances Madeson

Frances Madeson is a Central Louisiana-based freelance reporter with a special interest in accountability journalism.

Remi Tallo holds up a sign that reads "Jesus wore a dress, too" as a supporter of a proposal to remove content deemed unsuitable for children and teens is discussed at the Rapides Library Board Control meeting

AG Jeff Landry asked to weigh in on Rapides library policy

By: - January 19, 2023

ALEXANDRIA – The board with oversight of the Rapides Parish Library is asking Attorney General Jeff Landry to weigh in on their attempt to remove books deemed inappropriate for children and teens. The Rapides Library Board of Control met Tuesday to consider the new policy. Following the advice from the parish attorney, members chose not […]

Terry Brown stands outside his home on the property where his family first settled in Grant Parish in 1817.

Tight-knit Colfax community combats open-burn pit: ‘We are the flush toilet…’

By: - January 15, 2023

COLFAX, Louisiana – The drive to Terry Brown’s farm is peaceful and scenic no matter which route one takes. The Central Louisiana roadside is lined with woodlands, pecan groves, vast open fields and, nearer to the Browns, a well-kept horse farm. The 71-year-old Colfax native planted 50,000 daffodil bulbs in fields where watermelons and cotton […]

A sticker the windshield of James Kittling's pickup truck indicates it passed inspection before a Rapides Parish deputy pulled him over Nov. 6, 2022, for suspected illegal window tint and muffler modifications.

Rapides traffic stop shooting shines light on window tint enforcement

By: - January 3, 2023

ALEXANDRIA – James Kittling remembers Nov. 6 starting like many other Sundays during football season. He was going to watch the Saints game with his brother, Derrick. “I was gonna smother some pork chops,” James Kittling said, “make some rice and gravy, string beans, probably put some corn on the side. Before he left, I […]

Neighbors of the Clean Harbors hazardous materials disposal facility in Colfax take part in a Dec. 15, 2022, public hearing

Neighbors oppose Central Louisiana burn pit permit renewal

By: - December 20, 2022

COLFAX – Neighbors of a Grant Parish hazardous waste disposal facility are fighting the renewal of its state operating permit. They say Clean Harbors Colfax has faced few repercussions for serious past violations at its burn pit, and they fear the continued open burning of materials there will lead to further groundwater and soil contamination […]

several stacks of books

Rapides Library Review Board considers removing ‘unsuitable’ material

By: - December 15, 2022

ALEXANDRIA – An overflow crowd showed up Tuesday for a public hearing of the Rapides Library Review Board, whose newest member has proposed removing material on sexual orientation and gender identity from the public library system’s collections for children up to age 17. Events and displays at libraries could also be deemed unsuitable and not allowed. […]

A screen capture of police dashboard camera video shows Rapides Sheriff's Deputy Rodney Anderson struggling with motorist Derrick Kittling

Video shows Rapides deputy’s fatal shooting of motorist after traffic stop

By: - November 21, 2022

ALEXANDRIA – Body-worn and dashboard camera video was released Sunday from a Nov. 6 shooting in which a white Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy killed a Black man during a traffic stop.  Louisiana State Police are investigating the death of Derrick Kittling, 45, after Deputy Rodney Anderson pulled him over in Alexandria’s Lower Third neighborhood. […]

Arsonist of three Black Louisiana churches sentenced to 25 years in federal prison

By: - November 4, 2020

The white St. Landry Parish man who  torched three Black churches in March and April 2019 to curry favor with “black metal” music fans has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison after multiple members of the incinerated churches described the suffering he had caused them. Earnest Hines, a deacon at Mt. Pleasant Baptist […]

Cameroonian asylum seekers said to be one day away from deportation back to the oppression they fled

By: - October 12, 2020

There is a peaceful room in a safe, joyful home in the Washington metro area waiting for Micah, an English-speaking Cameroonian refugee who spent his 20th birthday on hunger strike in Pine Prairie Detention Center. His 19th birthday was also spent in ICE detention. His uncle, who raised him, has been counseling patience while waiting […]

African asylum seekers jailed in Louisiana stop eating in protest

By: - August 21, 2020

In the Mankon language, spoken in northwest Cameroon, mughu is a word for hell. Northwest Cameroon was home to more than a dozen of the 48 African asylum seekers now confined in Louisiana at Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, where COVID has taken a firm grip. Along with men from Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and Burkino […]

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, parents and advocates push for a release of juvenile inmates

By: - July 22, 2020

Like so many other Louisiana mothers with a child in juvenile detention, Latoyia Porter wants her 19-year-old son home with her during the pandemic. He’s already been jailed for five years for stealing a car, she said, and with the pandemic, she worries about his health. “Treyjon’s had symptoms of COVID, has asked to be […]