Over the next two days, the Press-Herald will recap the 10 biggest news stories of 2011 in Webster Parish as chosen by the editorial staff.
As follows are numbers 6 through 10.
City of Minden lowers fire rating
Thousands of man hours over the past two years paid off for Minden residents and property owners.
According to the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) report, Minden's fire department moved from a Class 3 to Class 2 fire rating. It will mean a savings in property insurance for local homeowners.
City of Minden fire fighters and city employees worked diligently toward the lower fire rating and recently trepresentatives from PIAL pored over three years of documentation, studied man power and inspected and tested equipment and gave Minden a thumbs-up for the lower rating.
Chamber Changes: Moore leaves as Chamber Head, Matamoros hired
Citing several factors, including the defeat of a property tax for the South Webster Industrial District, local economic development officials decided not to renew the contract of Chamber of Commerce chief Mike Moore.
In a statement provided to the Press-Herald, Chamber representative Gina Almond, Minden Mayor Bill Robertson and SWID Chairman Ty Pendergrass said, "As of Monday, April 11, 2011, the Minden-South Webster Economic Development Foundation has voted not to renew the contract held currently by Director Mike Moore."
In July, the chamber board announced the hiring of Susan Matamoros as their new president.
Matamoros, originally from the Shreveport-Bossier City area, now lives in Sibley with her husband and two children. She has a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Texas, Austin.
She officially assumed the role August 1.
Dirt turned on new AFRC at Camp Minden
In September, dirt was turned during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Reserve Center located at Camp Minden.
Once complete, the $19.8 million project will consolidate and more efficiently house three units currently located at Camp Minden. The units included are the 1083rd Transportation Company, 39th Military Police Company and the 122nd Air Support Operation Squadron.
The AFRC will have a staffing strength of seven personnel. These full-time support personnel will provide the active duty support for more than 430 soldiers and airmen.
Sexton keeps badge in a landslide
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton had no problem keeping his badge in the 2011 fall election.
Returns show the two-term incumbent beat his opponent, Alton Hortman by a margin of more than 90 percent.
"Now we are fixing to go right back to doing the same thing we have been doing – just trying to take care of the people of the parish," Sexton said.
Imprisoned mom returns to family
Carolyn Hite, a north Webster resident, was in a prison of sorts when her daughter, 62-year-old Mary Tonia Hanson of Springhill, had her committed to a nursing home with no money, one change of clothing and no way to leave the premises.
In October, Webster Parish Sheriff's detectives Scott Tucker and Tommy Kemp, Jr. arrested Hanson at her residence after an investigation that took them from Shreveport to Springhill and finally to Taylor, Arkansas.
Hite is now safe and living with her granddaughter.
Read the entire story at press-herald.com. Search for Carolyn Hite.