Israel LaFleur Park upgrades

{{tncms-inline content="<p><em>A photo of Prien Lake Park was originally posted with this article in error. The photo has been removed.</em></p>" id="156cc57f-2b4b-4ccc-99af-21e9e3c82bb4" style-type="correction" title="Correction" type="relcontent"}}

<p class="indent">Planned upgrades to Israel LaFleur Park could start as early as January and include protection along the south shore of the beach, a fishing pier, additional parking and lighting, officials said.

<p class="indent">The Police Jury on Thursday approved changes to its contract with H. Curtis-Vincent-Steven D. Shows Architects. Dean Kelly, parish director of facility management, said a new contract was needed because initial project estimates were made roughly three years ago. The cost grew over time as officials and designers worked on the park improvements and acquired permits through various agencies.

<p class="indent">The project’s original estimate, based off initial concepts, was $850,000. The current estimate is $1,737,892.

<p class="indent">The cost of the architectural contract increased from $77,489 to $148,811.

<p class="indent">Kelly said a peninsula will be built into the water, along with 1,500 linear feet of sheet pile wall. The peninsula will go underneath the Interstate 210 bridge and end right before the boat launch.

<p class="indent">The peninsula, Kelly said, is being built to stop erosion issues that have kept the beach closed.

<p class="indent">“The way the old (Calcasieu) River channel runs underneath the bridge … creates an eddy effect with the current,” he said. “So it’s eroding that peninsula, picking up that erosion and depositing it back in our neighbors further to the east.”

<p class="indent">The peninsula is designed to break up the eddy and deposit the land in front of the park property and build it out further.

<p class="indent">The new parking area will provide 10 new spaces on the park’s southwest corner.

<p class="indent">Kelly said the project has to be advertised for bids.

<p class="indent">The boat and kayak launches at Israel LaFleur Park reopened in December 2015 after being closed since March 2014 to accommodate construction on the Cove Lane interchange.

<p class="indent">The park, at 2937 Kiwanis Drive, is open from 5 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.

<hr /><p class="indent"><em>Online: <span class="text_link link_wrap type_url" data-link-type="URL" data-link-target="http://cppj.net">cppj.net</span></em>

<em>A photo of Prien Lake Park was originally posted with this article in error. The photo has been removed.</em>

      556a3718-55ed-11e8-9a74-8f7d4bb790a92018-05-12T18:00:00Z#localcrime,indecent behavior,sommer nicole odom,lake charles charter academy,teachernews/crime,news,news/localFormer teacher sentenced for indecent behaviorVICTIMS WERE STUDENTSLisaAddisonCrime and Courts Reporterhttps://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/4/39/103/439103f2-3a5d-11e7-8912-a70d9d672a56.269b42a392c68396b8cb8ae2e47fc9d8.pngSommer Nicole Odom

      <div class="article_viewer_container"><div class="this_article"><div id="articleViewerPopup_articleViewer" class="article_viewer ArticleViewer text ltr use-3d" data-olive-control="ArticleViewer"><div class="animation-wrapper"><div class="align-wrapper offset-wrapper"><div class="zoom-wrapper"><div class="article" lang="en" xml_lang="en" data-view-mode="text"><div class="Content"><p class="indent">A woman who pleaded guilty in February to three counts of indecent behavior with juveniles was sentenced Friday in state district court to five years on each charge with the Department of Corrections with all but 18 months suspended on each charge and to run concurrently.

      <p class="indent">Sommer Nicole Odom, 39, a former Lake Charles Charter Academy teacher, was taken into custody after being sentenced. Odom, who was fired from her job within days of her arrest, was indicted on the charges in June 2015 and had been out on bond while awaiting sentencing.

      <p class="indent">The victims were two 13-year-old boys and a 14-yearold boy.

      <p class="indent">Lake Charles police began their investigation after a student’s mother reported that Odom had inappropriate contact with her son on multiple occasions.

      <p class="indent">Prosecutors said Odom sent one victim nude photos of herself via a text message, and they said she performed oral sex on him in a classroom.

      <p class="indent">On Friday, the mothers of two of the victims spoke in court.

      <p class="indent">The first one spoke softly and said she was “astonished at the whole thing when it happened because I considered myself to be an awesome parent. This flipped my household upside down. We send our kids to school to be taught but also to be protected by their teachers. It was wrong. It was so wrong.”

      <p class="indent">She said it has been three years since what occurred, and “my son is still seeing a counselor.”

      <p class="indent">The mother of another victim, at times raising her voice, turned toward the defendant and said, “You sexually abused our boys. You abused them physically and mentally. And with your lies and your behavior, you destroyed our boys. The shame and guilt is on you now so that you can feel the weight of your actions.”

      <p class="indent">Prosecutor Denisse Parrales told Judge Robert Wyatt that as recently as two months ago Odom was seen in the parking lots of two different high schools, putting her in close proximity to teenagers, which Parrales said is something that Odom knew she was not supposed to do.

      <p class="indent">“She is belligerent and obstinate and she doesn’t believe that the rules pertain to her,” Parrales said.

      <p class="indent">Wyatt, before sentencing Odom, and through her defense attorney Walter Sanchez, asked if she wanted to make any comments and she said she did not.

      <p class="indent">Addressing Odom, Wyatt said, “I don’t think I’ve ever received a pre-sentencing report quite like this one. It is so sordid. You have some issues, young lady.”

      <p class="indent">Odom will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

      </div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div class="odn-icon close_button"> </div></div><div class="status_bar articleView"> </div>

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