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Fake news stories generate unwanted attention for DeQuincy

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 4:41 PM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

A fake Internet article is generating a lot of unwanted attention for DeQuincy.

The fictitious story about the town imposing a ban on twerking — defined by Oxford Dictionary as a dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance — was posted Monday on the website, which presents fabricated stories. The story soon went viral, generating a constant stream of phone calls to DeQuincy City Hall.

“It’s all a bunch of baloney, whoever this is, I don’t know why they decided to put their sights on DeQuincy,” said DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan.

“Anybody that reads the article, it says the mayor is Maynard Wilkens, everyone knows that isn’t true. Bobby Jo Williams is the sheriff in the town (in the story), we don’t have a sheriff in the town we have (Calcasieu Parish) Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

“Anybody who knows anything about city or state government knows that, as mayor, I don’t dictate laws, there is a council that introduces an ordinance that puts something into law, and you have a public hearing a month later at the next meeting and you pass or don’t pass the ordinance. I don’t think that’s my job as mayor of the town, to go banning a certain kind of dance rather I think it is appropriate or not. I think that’s the parents’ decision.”

A story on the site last month claimed that the city issued guns to elementary school students and teachers.

Henagan was contacted by media outlets throughout the state on Tuesday, while calls from throughout the country came into City Hall.

“Some people call laughing, some call asking if it’s true, media sources, mostly people calling asking if we have really done that,” he said.

“A few weeks ago, they put out that we were giving guns to all the kids at school. The first couple of times you might laugh, but find some other town to have fun with, get DeQuincy out of your sights. The phone has been ringing off the wall, it has really been kind of disrupting (staff members) trying to do their job.

“If you want to come put DeQuincy in the limelight, come here and I will show you the positive things we have in town, the things we are doing to make it better. I don’t appreciate or like someone trying to make fun of it or trying to make it sound like simple-minded people live here.”

Henagan said he has been unable to contact anyone from the site.

“I have forwarded the site to (Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John) DeRosier and his staff to have them to look at it,” he said. I doubt seriously there is anything you can do about it. I don’t imagine if you call this group, it would be a legitimate number. I would pursue legal action if I could.”

Henagan said he is proud of his city.

“What they need to know about DeQuincy is the good people that are in it, the positive things we are doing, the good things we try to promote. They should know about the 30-something churches, our RR Museum, come enjoy RR Festival, a family-based festival, they should know about our old time museum, we have uniforms from 4-star generals, people that have accomplished great things in their lives. Come up here and have coffee, I will take you around and show you the good things about DeQuincy.”

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