City administration seeks to rectify water bill situation

Some residents in Ruston were surprised by their water bills this past month, and as a result of previous inaccurate readings, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said he and the city administration has fixed the inaccurate readings and is working to rectify the bill situation.

“We as a city administration — starting with me at the top — we found a problem. We found the solution,” Walker said. “We have corrected it, but we want to mitigate it. Basically, (there will be) no (water) charge for the month of January.”

Walker said the city knew for a fact that every meter in January was read accurately, which gave the city a starting point.

“The past six months, we couldn’t say that,” he said. “We know for a fact now we have gotten all the systems fixed. We’ve got new equipment, everything. We know that (for) January we have perfect readings for everybody. Therefore, we can move forward.”

According to city officials, Ruston contracted with Cooper Eaton to install advanced metering infrastructure nodes which collect and remit metering information electronically to the city. Because of this, the city began to downsize its Meter Reading Department and did not replace antiquated handheld meter reading equipment as the process was no longer manual.  Later in this period, the city began having failures of the newly installed nodes and began working with Cooper Eaton on a solution. Cooper Eaton continued to assure the city that the situation would be fixed in the short-term.

“We entered a contract with a company called Eaton,” Walker said. “So we don’t have meter readers who go around reading everybody’s house. It’s all automatic. So we decided to do that with water because it is much more efficient. So they installed 10,000 nodes. The node actually fits on top of the meter. Well, six months in, they started failing. So (Eaton) said we’ve got a problem with our manufacturing plant, but we think we have a fix. So they came in and replaced the whole 10,000 again. Okay, same thing. Six months, they start failing. So in the end, they found that they had a major issue in their manufacturing plant far beyond what they thought.”

City officials said the Cooper Eaton faulty nodes continued to fail. The high failure rate put a burden on the Meter Reading Department required them to perform manual reads. City administrators became aware of issues related to the reliability of antiquated handheld meter reading equipment and availability of manpower to complete all manual reads necessary due to the continuing failure of the nodes. At times, some readings were estimated based on prior year consumption.

The decision was made to hire additional meter readers and purchase new handheld devices. However, at that time, the city was in the process of upgrading its MUNIS software system, which included an upgrade to the utility billing system. The new handheld devices were not compatible with the old MUNIS system so they could not begin using those until the upgrade was completed. New handheld devices were ordered, but with current supply chain delays, were not received until late December 2022.

Now, however, the MUNIS upgrade has been completed. New handhelds have been received, and the city began a comprehensive meter reading effort to obtain accurate readings for all water meters within the city of Ruston.

With the new meter readers in now, Walker said the city knows that every meter in this past month was read accurately.

“If you received a bill in the month of January, we’re going to refund them their water piece – only the water piece – in the February bill,” Walker said. “So if you’ve already gotten your bill for January, it was already on there. You’re going to pay it. But we’re going to turn around in February and you’ll have a credit for whatever that water charge was.

“Because this was a self-inflicted wound our devices, our personnel, our protocol and how we do things did not work. So we’re refunding everybody’s January bill on their February bill. Now, there’s two exceptions. There’s two cycles that have not printed yet. So on those the water usage will be there, but the dollar amount will be zero.”

Another adjustment the city is making is to go back to the old water rates for a period of time.

“We had a new water pricing going out, starting Jan. 1. We’re suspending that,” Walker said. “We’re going back to the old rates indefinitely. Now that might be two months, maybe three. We don’t know yet. We just want to be sure everything’s working properly for a couple of months before we go back and raise the rates to what they’re supposed to be.”

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Autumn Moon experiences Miss Alabama competition

By Cheyanne Admire

Cedar Creek alumna Autumn Moon recently competed in the Miss Alabama competition. 

Moon is currently a nursing student at the University of Alabama, where she is studying to become a CRNA after graduation. 

She describes herself as a “nerd” because of her investment in her academic success. 

“Something I’ve learned is that being a nerd isn’t a bad thing,” Moon said. “In fact, it is something that I take pride in. I’ve been on the President’s List every semester that I’ve been here — which in nursing is no easy feat.”

Apart from her academics, she is also involved in various extracurricular activities, including the Best Buddies Special Needs Program. 

“I have always had a passion for working to understand a group of people that are commonly misunderstood,” Moon said.

She is also a part of the Student Recruitment Team and tutors chemistry to be an encouragement to other girls who are also nursing majors. 

Between activities in her busy schedule, she decided to try something new and compete for Miss Alabama. 

Moon said that she had never competed in a pageant before but stayed optimistic through the entire experience. She wanted to show herself and others that you don’t have to fit a certain description to put yourself out of your comfort zone. 

“I’ve always wanted to take part in pageants, but I let my own fear hold me back from that,” she said. “A valuable life lesson I’ve learned from this experience is that you’ll never know if you never try.”

She encourages those that are planning to compete in pageants to keep an open mind. As a competitive person herself, she explained that it is very easy to let the competition aspect steal the joy out of the adventure by overlooking the uniqueness of it all.

“It was such a unique experience and regardless of if you walk away with the crown or nothing, you still get to walk away with such an amazing experience,” Moon said. “For me, pageants are what I was afraid to do and it was something that I always thought would be cool. If there’s something you think would be cool to try, don’t let fear be a barrier.”

She describes the Miss Alabama competition as a once in a lifetime opportunity and is excited to see where this new journey of trying new things will take her. 

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Local broadcasting legend Lanny James remembered following death

Local broadcasting icon Lanny James called the play-by-play for Louisiana Tech Lady Techster basketball games during part of his career.

By Malcolm Butler

He was a staple in northeast Louisiana households for decades.

Local broadcasting legend Lanny James just had that voice that every broadcaster would love to possess. And he had his share of charisma and flamboyance too.

From the way he dressed to the way he talked to the way he interacted with people He was one of a kind.

James passed away Thursday at the age of 82.

For more than two decades he was the sports director for KNOE-TV. And his iconic sign-off of “We’ll be right back … after this timeout” is stuck in the brains of those of us who watched him for more than 20 years.

James was a story teller, both as part of his job at KNOE and just in life in general.

Aaron Dietrich, another long-time sports director at KNOE-TV, said James was one of a kind.

“Lanny was a broadcasting pioneer in Louisiana,” said Dietrich. “With his style and booming voice, the Big L was a personality that fans talked about decades after his final broadcast on KNOE.”

James did more than just anchor the sports on a nightly basis in the Monroe-based station. He used his story-telling talents as both a radio broadcaster and as a TV show talent.

“Lanny was a true sports legend in our part of the world,” said former LA Tech AD Jim Oakes. “He played a vital role in covering the Lady Techsters, Tech Football, and so many other championship teams. Channel 8 Sports was must see TV thanks to Lanny’s fantastic coverage of the area sports scene. He will truly be missed.”

Legendary Lady Techster basketball Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore said James was more than just a voice. He was a friend.

“There is about a 15- to 20-year span where he covered us, did our TV show, and we were golfing buddies,” said Barmore. “We were really good friends. I thought he was really really good with what he did. When we came out of Lincoln Parish and the state of Louisiana and got national attention, I thought there were four people who were integral with helping the Lady Techsters get on the national scene in Dr. F. Jay Taylor, Sonja Hogg, Buddy Davis and Lanny James.

“Lanny was really good for the Lady Techsters and he was really good for me. I enjoyed him. He was good at what he did. He really promoted the Lady Techsters. We had really the only playback TV show in women’s basketball back then. Maybe Tennessee had one too. He really got us off the ground along with Buddy Davis. He was a valuable player in the rise of the Lady Techster basketball team.”

I was fortunate to get to know Lanny on a personal level. My first year as the Sports Information Director at Louisiana Tech was spent traveling with Coach Barmore, Lanny and the Lady Techster basketball team as Lanny handled the radio play-by-play responsibilities during that 1999-2000 season. Lanny is the first person to put a headset on me as I sat by him.

I will never forget his words sitting courtside in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“Hey kid, put this headset on and help me with some analysis,” that voice boomed. I was 29 years old at the time, but to Lanny I was a mere kid. And even at my age, I was almost fearful not to do as told so my radio career was born.

And here I am 24 years later serving as the Voice of the Bulldogs after following Lanny as the Voice of the Lady Techsters for 22 years.

Although I haven’t seen Lanny in probably 15 years, the memories from that one year are still ingrained in my mind. He never met a stranger and he never shied away from a microphone or any opportunity to entertain. He loved to tell stories, most of them I believed.

To say Lanny had a big personality would be an understatement. And a big heart.

And now northeast Louisiana has to say goodbye to one of the great TV personalities. You can almost hear the Friday night Sports Scope music playing in the background and Lanny’s booming voice … “We’ll be right back, after this time out.”


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Drugs, wanted person found on traffic stop

The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Dubach man on warrants and drug charges following a traffic stop Wednesday.

Daniel B. Jumper, 22, was a passenger stopped by a deputy Wednesday afternoon on Sybil Drive off Cooktown Road. A records check confirmed three warrants for Jumper—two for failing to appear in Ruston City Court for traffic charges and one from Union Parish for theft.

As Jumper was being arrested, he told deputies he had an unused needle in his jacket and a small bag of marijuana in his front pocket.

Jumper’s criminal history showed a previous conviction for possession of marijuana. He was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center on the three warrants, plus second offense possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Tigers top Aggies in battle of Lincoln Parish schools

Simsboro’s Kalep Wright (0) scored 26 points in the Tigers win over Choudrant. (photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Simsboro’s boys basketball team continued its recent trend of turning slow starts into strong finishes Friday night in a District 2-B home showdown against Choudrant.

Despite falling to a five-point deficit in the game’s opening four minutes and trailing at the end of the opening stanza, the Tigers used a late surge to pull away for a 67-52 win over the Aggies before an overflow and boisterous crowd at the SHS Gym.

Choudrant entered the game undefeated in district play, but the Tigers — winners of three of their last four contests — are now tied with the Aggies atop the 2-B race with both standing at 3-1.

“It’s a good win, but just like the way this season has gone, it was tough to get,” said first-year SHS coach Randy Carlisle, whose Tigers moved to 10-17 overall with the win. “We’re getting better, thank goodness, after a tough start to the season. It’s been a long run, and we’ve still got a long way to go. But we’re getting better, and that’s a good thing to see.”

The Aggies led Simsboro 16-13 at the end of the first quarter, but the Tigers picked up their pace in the second quarter to tie things up 29-29 at intermission.

Simsboro outscored the Aggies 7-3 over the first four minutes of the third quarter to build a 36-32 lead, but Choudrant didn’t panic, pulling within a point at 36-35 on Lawson Stevens’ hook shot with 3:21 left in the period.

But the Tigers then used a 7-1 run over the last 3:04 of the stanza to build a 43-36 lead moving into the final eight minutes of play.

Three straight baskets by the Tigers  — a layup by Jalen Outley, a jumper by Kalep Wright and a layup by Trumarion Smith — pushed the Simsboro advantage to 49-36 before the Aggies got their first basket of the quarter on a 3-point bucket by Parker Batterton, cutting the SHS lead to 10 points with 6:32 left on the clock.

But playing from behind the Aggies were forced to foul to try to pull back in it and slow the clock. However, Simsboro connected on 14-of-21 of its free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter to keep the Aggies from getting any closer than nine points that coming on Mike Jones’ putbuck that cut the deficit to 53-44 with 5:01 remaining.

“It was a great game and the atmosphere was incredible,” said Choudrant coach Ryan Smith. “We got off to a good start, but it felt like Simsboro was motivated and they played hard. Coach Carlisle had those guys ready.

“They were getting loose balls and we struggled getting some defensive rebounds. Give credit to those guys for the effort they put in to get the win.”

Wright led all scorers with 26 points, with 18 of those coming in the second half, while Earnest Chatman added 16 for the Tigers.

“Earnest only became eligible a few games ago and he’s still trying to get used to playing in our system and doing things the way we do things,” Carlisle said. “But he did a job out there. The thing is, with focus and getting more and more in tune with this team, he really can still get quite a bit better.”

Smith added 11 points for the Tigers, who also received nine from Outley.

Batteron led Choudrant with 24 points while Eli Callender added 11 and Jones chipped in with nine points.

“We were right there, it just got away,” Smith said. “I was excited about the way we played for the most part. I know the group we have will bounce back and be ready to go for our next game. Now we just focus our attention on Downsville and Forest and see what happens.

“I know if we get a chance to play Simsboro again, our guys will be really excited about that opportunity.”

Choudrant, 24-11 overall, will next play host to Downsville (0-25) on Tuesday while Simsboro will play at Forest (9-10, 1-2) the same day.

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COLUMN: How to use certain types of discipline to help a child develop

By Brandon Ramsey

While I was preparing this article, I found myself battling with the voices in my head.  Yes, no matter what they say, counselors do that a lot. The voices were saying that no one else deals with this issue.  Everyone else’s children were born understanding responsibility and work ethic, having a good sense of right and wrong, and willing to share every toy they have with their little brother or sister.

What?  The voices were wrong?  Of course they were!  When children are born, they only know how to perform a couple tasks such as eat, sleep, breath, cry, and …… well you know the rest.  And they have to be helped along with some of those.  So how do they learn these things?  Discipline.  Not power driven, controlling, frightening discipline, but loving, thoughtful, purpose driven discipline.  Many times we don’t associate the latter with discipline, and if I took a poll at the local high school, I am sure I would be voted off the island.

Think of it this way.  Why would we make the effort to do some of the things we do to discipline our children?  Most of the time, the results of discipline make our lives one hundred times harder.  Taking the car away, grounding, taking away phone privileges, just make us have to run more and listen to much more whining and attitude.  It’s our love and concern for them that drives us to take on these burdens some time.

Pick which one you would rather have: a child that might behave for the three seconds you are in public or a child that grows to be well rounded and accepts the responsibilities placed on him or her by a job or family.

Many times I have had a parent come in to a session saying they are tired of always having to punish or discipline their child and that they feel their child is angry at them for it.  Some phrases that I focus on in these sessions are “You’re parenting for the future and, parenting is a lifelong task.”  It seems like you are disciplining your child for right now because you want them to stop doing it right this second, but the reality is that you are teaching the child a small lesson for his or her future.  The goal is not to focus on the attitude of the child this minute, but to evaluate what beneficial behavior your child will gain in his future.

Using discipline that is based on power and control is worthless.  It is only beneficial when you are within sight.  The second the child believes he or she can get away with it, which spans from seven to twenty-five with an emphasis on any year that ends with teen, they will surely try their luck.  Then you are stuck in reactive mode.

Using discipline based on love and purpose helps a child to develop his or her own decision making skills.  Communication with your child about your discipline coming out of love and concern for their future is critical. This communication should be allowed to be two way communication.  Allowing constructive questioning of discipline fosters understanding and respect for that discipline and the one issuing it.  More often than not this manifests itself in the future, not at the moment of the discipline.

It is important to remember that inconsistent discipline is more harmful because it causes stress and inconsistent lessons for the child.  The more you are consistent with redirection, although giving in could be easier, the more beneficial it is for the learning process.


Brandon is the Owner/Director of Faith in the Family Counseling. He has been practicing in Ruston for over 16 years. His website is Brandon was born and raised in Ruston and is a graduate of Ruston High and Louisiana Tech. He is married to Marcie Ramsey and has three childen. 

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First blows struck in battle over Lincoln Parish

By Wesley Harris

Lincoln Parish is commemorating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1873. This is part three of the LPJ’s examination of the early days of our parish.

In the early 1870s, U.S. Army units moved into seven former Confederate states to support federal marshals in the trying days of Reconstruction as Southern Democrats and Radical Republicans struggled for political control. North central Louisiana saw more violence and bloodshed in the ten years after the Civil War than during the conflict itself. Lynchings of freed blacks and white criminals, the assassination of Republican officeholders, and a host of brutal crimes filled newspapers. To many Louisianans, the soldiers were not peacekeepers but an occupying enemy force.

By September 1874, troops had been stationed all over Louisiana. Portions of the 7th Cavalry Regiment moved into the state in October without its celebrated leader, George Armstrong Custer, but under the command of Major Lewis Merrill. The cavalrymen were distributed through the state, including to Monroe and Shreveport. Merrill would become so despised in north Louisiana that Democrat-leaning newspapers referred to him as “Dog Merrill,” or simply “the Dog.” 

Under Merrill’s command in the Red River district, Lieutenant Benjamin Hodgson led a company of 7th Cavalry troopers working with U.S. Marshals in north Louisiana. On October 24, 1874, Hodgson and his cavalrymen accompanied Deputy U.S. Marshal Edgar Selye to Homer in Claiborne Parish where he arrested the parish judge, parish recorder (clerk), and the mayor of Homer.   

The men were charged with an attempt to break up a “peaceable assemblage” of black Republicans in Homer on July 11. The prisoners claimed they were trying to prevent a riot. 

U.S. Congressman Frank Morey and U.S. Commissioner David J. M. A. Jewett accompanied the troopers and the marshal. Jewett had issued the arrest warrants for the men the posse sought. Although he kept a low profile away from the arrests, Congressman Morey appeared to oversee the operation. 

Morey represented the Southern Democrats’ epitome of the Northern carpetbagger. Born in Massachusetts, Morey joined the Union army in 1861. Once he was stationed in Louisiana, he served as a captain for the 92nd U.S. Colored Infantry until December 1865. Assigned as the Freedmen’s Bureau representative in Monroe after the war, he married a local woman and became a cotton planter and insurance agent, all the while preparing for a political career. While Morey had been elected in 1868 and re-elected twice prior to the roundup, Democrat newspapers blasted him at every opportunity. One called him “a soulless wretch and cowardly adventurer. His very name has become synonymous with all that is base and mean, low and degrading.”  

Selye and the cavalrymen left Homer with their prisoners bound for Vienna in Lincoln Parish where more arrests were anticipated. Just over a year since its creation, rumblings of discontent over governance of Lincoln Parish had reached the state capital and Washington. On the way to Vienna, Morey stopped at Greensboro, the home of the parish’s leading Republican, Allen Greene, who likely helped identify which locals to arrest. Greene and his sons had moved the parish seat to their plantation, increasing animosity among local Democrats. Selye took his prisoners a few more miles east to Vienna and placed them in the parish jail. 

Most of the 78 men wanted in Lincoln Parish eluded the marshal. Selye arrested James Grisham Huey, former sheriff of Jackson Parish; Ainsley H. Mayfield, a Lincoln Parish deputy sheriff; and P. L. Phillips. The warrants accused the men on the list of being part of an August 17 meeting “upwards of a thousand citizens” who rode to Greensboro demanding the resignations of Republicans holding parish offices like Greene and his sons as well as Commissioner Jewett. Huey, Mayfield, and Phillips surrendered without resistance and were “hurried from home without time to consult their families or get a change of clothes.” When Huey asked by what authority he was being arrested, Lieutenant Hodgson drew his revolver and retorted, “This is my authority.” 

The arrested men joined the Claiborne prisoners in the Vienna jail overnight. Local men armed themselves and gathered in Vienna. The next morning, the authorities hurried their prisoners to the federal court in Monroe. 

Worried a hostile party might be waiting for them in Ouachita Parish, Hodgson and the deputy marshal decided to cut the telegraph wires so the enraged citizens of Vienna could not alert Monroe of their impending arrival. 

Eleventh District Judge James Trimble issued a writ of habeas corpus for the marshal and troopers to deliver the prisoners to his court and explain their detention. Hodgson and Selye spurned Trimble’s writ when Claiborne Parish Sheriff W. F. Aycock served it. In a letter published in several newspapers, Aycock recounted Hodgson’s response when approached at Vienna:

“. . .I introduced myself as the sheriff of Claiborne parish. He ordered his troops to surround me, with loaded guns at a ready. . .When this was done I informed him that I was a sworn officer with a writ to serve and that I would discharge my duty, and then I read the writ. The Lieutenant informed me that he was a United States officer, and should not respect parish officers. He further said ‘Give our compliments to Judge Trimble and tell him to go to hell. I will use his writ the next time I go to the privy.’” 

The Claiborne men appeared before Commissioner Jewett on October 27. Jewett found sufficient evidence to proceed with the cases and set the trio’s bail at $1,000 each. They were able to immediately arrange for bond to be signed for their release.                           

On October 28, Huey, Mayfield, and Phillips of Lincoln Parish appeared before Jewett. After reading a lengthy ruling quoting the complaint against them, Jewett set the men’s bail at $1,000 each. 

A crowd collected as the men arranged bail. The New Orleans Republican reported,      “The bands of Trenton and Monroe are serenading the released prisoners and a large number of citizens are in attendance.” 

After Huey’s release, Selye arrested him again on a second warrant for a violation of the Enforcement Act. When Huey asked for the marshal’s authority, Selye grabbed him by the arm and led him to the jail. Huey posted a second bond. 

The Enforcement Act was actually three laws passed by Congress in 1870 and 1871. The first, the Enforcement Act of May 1870, prohibited people from banding together “or to go in disguise upon the public highways, or upon the premises of another” with the intention of violating citizens’ constitutional rights. 

The second and third laws, known as the Ku Klux Klan Acts, were designed to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The second placed administration of national elections under the control of the federal government and empowered federal judges and United States marshals to supervise local polling places. The third empowered the president to use the armed forces to combat those who conspired to deny equal protection of the laws and to suspend habeas corpus, if necessary, to enforce the act. Huey’s alleged transgression is not described in the news accounts.

The failure to heed Trimble’s order and the damage to the telegraph wires led the judge to order the arrest of Lt. Hodgson and Marshal Selye for contempt of court and damage to property. On November 6, Lincoln Parish Deputy Sheriff Edgar Howard, bearing warrants signed by Trimble, arrived in Monroe with a posse of 20-30 men. 

Lt. Hodgson’s arrest at the Ouachita House occurred without incident, but Selye managed to escape the hotel. Howard and his posse split up and searched through Monroe. 

One group set out for the home of John T. Ludeling, Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. A member of the posse reported, “Chief Justice Ludeling met the posse on the piazza. He said Selye was not in the house. He had been there half an hour before but had gone off, he did not know where.” Ludeling said Seyle came for legal advice, but the chief justice did not want to involve himself considering his position. Ludeling told the posse he advised Seyle to surrender. 

The posse insisted on searching the house. Ludeling showed them around. The men found a locked door leading upstairs. After a “considerable delay,” Mrs. Ludeling produced a key and the posse searched, finding nothing in the upstairs rooms. Looking up, they saw an attic hatch. With a candle lighting the way, they located their target in a dusty, cramped garret. Seyle was disarmed without a fight and escorted downstairs where he nearly fainted from fear.

While Deputy Howard returned Hodgson and Selye to the Vienna jail to await Judge Trimble, Congressman Morey, still lingering in the background, alerted Major Merrill in Shreveport of the arrests. “Lieutenant Hodgson and Deputy Marshal Selye arrested just now by sheriff Lincoln Parish, and two hundred men, and taken to Vienna. Twelve cavalrymen have followed for protection in case of attempted mob violence. Additional force should be sent at once to Vienna.” 

The brief message spurred Merrill to action. He sent telegrams to Army headquarters in New Orleans, to Hodgson care of the Lincoln Parish sheriff, to Morey in Monroe, and Jewett in Vienna. The frenzy of messages revealed Merrill’s alarm at the arrests and his opinion the lives of the two men were in jeopardy. He believed a swift military response was warranted. But would it spawn all-out war in Lincoln Parish?    

Next: The fate of the lieutenant and the marshal

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Lillo, Lewis headline Creek powerlifting weekend

by Malcolm Butler

Quincy Lewis and Lawson Lillo headlined another impressive weekend for the Cedar Creek boys powerlifting team at a meet hosted at the D’Arbonne Woods Charter School Saturday.

Lillo was named the Most Outstanding Lifter for the light platform while Lewis earned the same award for the heavy platform. Four Cougars finished first in their respective weight classes and a total of eight made it to the podium.

“Simply put, the boys did great,” said coach Jacob Angevine. “I think we had one of the best bench press days that we’ve ever had in our program. They were fired up from the start. I was unable to attend to most of the meet due to a personal matter, but I would argue we have one of the best staff’s in the state and they stepped up big time.”

Lillo’s total of 1,320 pounds won the 148-weight class. His bench press mark of 365-pounds is an unofficial composite state record.

“To my knowledge there have only been a small handful of 148s that have totaled 1300+ in LHSPLA,” said Angevine. “We are lucky to have him on our team.”

Lewis won the 198-pound weight class with a three-lift total of 1,400 pounds. Lane Thomas captured the 165-pound division with a total of 1,255 pounds while Owen Robinson won the 181-pound weight class with a three-lift total of 1,245 pounds.

Other Cougars who earned a spot on the podium during the meet included Blake Wade (2nd in 123-pound weight class with 830 pounds), Austin Webb (2nd in the 165-pound weight class with 1,180 pounds), Landon Amidon (2nd in the 220-pound class with total of 1,245 pounds) and Parker Newman (3rd in the 148-pound class with 1,085 pounds).

Seven more Creek lifters competed, including:
Noah Durrett – 865 total 148 class
Aidan Crosby – 780 total 148 class
Josh Robbins – 790 total 165 class
Reagan Pike – 1145 total 181 class
Nicholas Thompson- 1125 total 220 class
Aidan Woods – 870 total 242 class
Conner Rolen – 1075 total 242 class
There wasn’t a team award at the end of the Meet. The Cougars competed against stout competition from West Monroe, Ruston, D’Arbonne Woods, Wossman, Claiborne Christian, Lakeside, Wossman, and Quitman

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Multiplatinum recording artist ‘E-40’ donates $100,000 to GSU 

Multiplatinum recording artist, actor, and entrepreneur, Earl “E-40” Stevens expanded his philanthropic reach with a $100,000 donation to Grambling State University.  

The funds will benefit the Music department, the World Famed Tiger Marching Band, and the upkeep of the newly installed recording studio, which has been named in his honor with signage unveiled during a ceremony held Friday at the Conrad P. Hutchinson Performing Arts Building.  

 “I just wanted to make a contribution to my school, Grambling State University, so I talked to the Doc (GSU Band Director Dr. Nikole Roebuck) and she said, ‘Let’s see what we can do,’ and this was what I came up with,” Stevens said as he unveiled the $100,000 check to the Grambling University Foundation. “I feel good about it, too. I feel really good. God is great.” 

The Vallejo, California, native has firmly solidified his status as a living hip-hop legend, having released several multiplatinum and gold studio albums, mixtapes, collaborations, and hit singles, including “U and Dat,” “Tell Me When To Go,” “Choices (Yup),” and “Function,” among countless others.  

As a solo artist, E-40 holds the record for most solo album entries on the Billboard 200 charts by a hip-hop artist (32) and has collaborated with fellow heavyweights such as 2pac, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Big Sean and many more. He is also part of the hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore comprised of himself, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Too $hort that  was profiled in the New York Times. As an actor, E-40 has shined in select roles, most notably starring alongside Jamie Foxx in “The Jamie Foxx Show.”  

“E-40 has used his success as a recording artist to create an entrepreneurial empire,” said GSU President Rick Gallot. “We are so grateful that he is giving back to his alma mater in such a substantial way. Our current and future students will benefit from his investment in our state-of-the-art student recording studio.”   

GSU Vice President for University Advancement and Innovation Melanie Jones expressed her thanks for Stevens’ return and donation to the university. 

“Grambling State is incredibly grateful for Mr. Stevens’ appearance at the university and especially his donation,” Jones said. “It’s gifts like this from our alumni and supporters that are the driving force that keep the university moving forward and creating bigger and better futures for our students.”  

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Lady Tigers take control in District 2-B race

Ikeia Brown led Simsboro with 33 points Friday night in a District 2-B home win over Choudrant. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

It took fighting off a late surge by Choudrant, but the Simsboro Lady Tigers took firm control in District 2-B Friday with a 56-45 win at the SHS Gym.

Simsboro remains undefeated in district play at 4-0 while Choudrant is now 2-2 in 2-B action.

Both teams got off to a sluggish start, with Simsboro scoring the first six points on a pair of buckets by Ikeia Brown and an inside shot by Amani Dean, but the Lady Aggies battled back with a 5-2 run to cut Simsboro’s lead to 8-5 at the end of the opening stanza.

Simsboro pushed its lead to as many as 14 points on a 3-pointer by Kayla Mitchell with 48 seconds left before intermission, but Choudrant’s Mattie Johnson’s basket with 34 seconds left on the clock cut the Lady Tigers’ advantage to 27-15 at halftime.

The third quarter went much like the second, with Simsboro building as much as an 18–point advantage at 36-18 on a Dean layup midway through the stanza before the Lady Aggies began battling back, cutting the Lady Tiger’s to 40-30 on a Johnson layup just before the final horn sounded to send the contest into the fourth quarter.

Choudrant capitalized on a 6-0 run to start the final stanza with a inside basket by Sadie Jones, a pair of Johnson free throws and a layup from Heather Murphy to cut Simsboro’s lead to 40-36 with 5:17 remaining, but the Lady Tigers followed with a 7-2 run a pair of Brown free throws pushing their lead back to nine points with 3:29 left on the clock.

“I had to tell the girls to calm down,” said SHS coach Matt Herring. “We let our emotions get to us tonight with senior night and everything going on. We didn’t play our best tonight. We didn’t hit our shots. We missed 19 free throws. 

“We didn’t play our style of basketball. We just got totally out of whack. I just had to get them to call down.”

The Lady Aggies got as close as seven points back on an inside basket by Johnson to cut Simsboro’s lead to 47-40 with 3:14 remaining, but could get no closer as the Lady Tigers closed out the quarter with a 9-5 run.

“It’s a sigh of relief,” Herring said. “We knew Choudrant would come in here and give us a real test. To get total control of the district is a big thing as we wrap up the regular season. It’s huge.

“But I just don’t want to only win district. I want to be playing our best ball heading into the playoffs. We need to be playing our best and not just win because we’re a better team. I want to see us playing our best at every aspect of the game as we move into the playoffs.”

Brown topped all scorers with 33 points while Mallory Mitchell added nine points for the Lady Tigers.

Choudrant coach Geoffrey Underwood was pleased with his team’s play despite the loss.

“We’re just going to battle and fight to the end and win as many ballgames as we can,” Underwood said. “That’s all we can do.  We played so hard … I like what I saw. We’ve got young players who are stepping up, working hard and learning. We’ve got seniors who are leaving behind a legacy of hard work and doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s been fun to watch and be part of.

“What we did tonight is we competed, and that’s what we stress. If we do that, we learn to do a lot of good things on the basketball court, and in real life, too.”

Johnson led Choudrant with 20 points while Murphy added 14 for the Lady Aggies.

“She’s turned from a role player to our leader,” Underwood said about Johnson. “She’s our scoring leader, our leader in rebounds and our leader in assists. She just does it all — just non-stop and full speed all the time.”

Choudrant, 5-25 overall, will next play host to Downsville (5-17 overall, 1-3 in 2-B)  on Tuesday while Simsboro will play at Forest (11-7, 1-2) on the same day.


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Weekly events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of non-for-profit upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list or advertise your for-profit events, please email us at

Monday, Feb. 6
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome 
5:30 p.m.: Ruston City Council meeting
6 p.m.: Teen Advisory Board (Lincoln Parish Library)

Tuesday, Feb. 7
6 p.m.: Lincoln Parish School Board meeting
7 p.m.: Winter choir concert with the Louisiana Tech Pop Ensemble (Howard Auditorium, Tech)

Wednesday, Feb. 8
7-8 a.m.: Veterans Coffee Club (PJ’s Coffee)
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome

Thursday, Feb. 9
5-8 p.m.: Two Are Better: Art Exhibit (Fringe: An Art Experience, Ruston)
6 p.m.: LA Tech women’s basketball v FIU
7 p.m.: String area recital (Recital Hall, Tech)

Friday, Feb. 10
8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Live2Lead workshop (Depot coffee house)
7 p.m.: Voice area recital (Stone Theatre, Tech)

Saturday, Feb. 11
8:30-11:30 a.m.: Hazardous Waste Material Recycling and Collection (2609 Farmerville St.)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market 
2 p.m.: LA Tech women’s basketball v FAU
3:30 p.m.: GSU women’s basketball v Texas Southern
5:30 p.m.: GSU men’s basketball v Texas Southern

Sunday, Feb. 12
Noon: Lincoln Parish Museum and Historical Society hosts a Lincoln Birthday Party and Open House (609 N. Vienna Ave.)

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LA Tech Athletics weekend roundup

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Track and Field

The Louisiana Tech men’s and women’s Track & Field team competed at the Jaguar Invitational for a final tune-up before the Conference USA Indoor Championships Sunday afternoon in Birmingham, Ala.

LA Tech earned eight top-five finishes and four podiums and added six more PRs to bring the indoor season total to 39 in four weeks of competition. Two gold medal performances from Mateo Smith and Nemoy Cockett highlighted the Sunday meet.

Smith, a freshman from Broward, Fla., shined on the track and the field with a gold medal finish in the men’s long jump on a new personal best of 7.28m (23′ 10.75”). It was Smith’s second finish atop the podium in the event this season.

Smith followed his leap with a second-place finish in the men’s 60m with a 6.83 in an event LA Tech took three of the top-seven times. Gerard Sapena grabbed fourth place with a 6.85, and Devin Walton posted a 6.86.

In the Men’s Weight Throw, Cockett earned his second gold in as many weeks, shattering his personal best with a 19.38m (63′ 7.0”) which now ranks No. 2 all-time in men’s indoor weight throw in program history. It was the Kingston, Jamaican native’s third career first-place finish in the event.

On the track, Tech added PRs from Logan Bailey in the men’s mile with a 4:41.05, and Faith Tarver earned a personal best in the women’s 400m with a 56.87 and a top-ten finish in Sunday’s event. Kayla Watson also earned a top-five finish in the women’s 60m with an 8.80.

Tia Reder registered a PR in the women’s triple jump on her third attempt of the day and earned a second-place finish with a leap of 11.68m (38′ 4.0”), and Jiana Stewartburgess grabbed a top-five spot in the women’s high jump with a 1.64m (5′ 4.5″).

In the throwing events, Elizabeth Sebera earned a top-five finish in the women’s weight throw with a PR of 16.73m (54′ 10.75”), and Shania Parkinson produced her best throw of the season in the women’s shot put with a throw of 13.16m (43′ 2.25”), which was good for a sixth-place finish.

In the relays, the LA Tech women’s team comprised of Faith Tarver, Ulanda Lewis, Chanel Honeywell, and Victoria Datta ranked fourth with a time of 3:57.89, and the men’s A Team (Laeden Tucker, Micah Pernetter, Rodney Heath Jr., Marshall Ellis) earned a top-10 finish with a 3:22.13.


Men’s Golf

Louisiana Tech put together two solid rounds of golf to kick off the spring portion of its schedule, ending day one of The Hayt in third place at the Sawgrass Country Club on Sunday.

LA Tech shot 291 (+3) as a team to put itself in fourth after round one.  The Bulldogs then moved up a spot with two holes still left to be played by Thomas Henson to put a wrap on round two (stopped due to darkness).

The ‘Dogs quickly jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the early going, sinking a combined eight birdies on the first five holes (started on No. 7).  Three of those were courtesy of James Swash who shot a bogey-free 69 (-3) to lead the squad.

The remaining three scores came from Lake Juban, Hunter Battles, and Henson who all carded 74s (+2).

Round two started out much the same way for LA Tech, capitalizing on the par fives to shoot -6.  Juban tore up the front nine, carding a 32 in route to leading the squad with a season-low 68 (-4). 

Swash was able to erase back-to-back double bogeys on No. 13 and 14 with four birdies.  A bogey on No. 1 gave him a 73 (+1).  Both Swash and Juban going into third round tied for 11th on the player leaderboard at 142 (-2).

Battle matched his first-round effort with a 74 (+2) while Henson is bogey free at 64 (-1) with No. 5 and No. 6 still to play.

LA Tech trails only Vanderbilt (No. 1 team in the country) and host North Florida. 


  • LA Tech’s 291 tied for the fourth best round of the 2022-23 season for the Bulldogs.
  • James Swash reached red numbers for the third time this season (69 is his second best round of the season).
  • Lake Juban reached red numbers for the fourth time this season. His season-low 68 is the second best round of any Bulldog this season.
  • Lake Juban’s five birdies in round two tied for the third most birdies in a single round this season


Tennis 7, Southern Arkansas 0

Tennis 4, Southern Arkansas 0

After being away from competition for the last two weeks, the Louisiana Tech Tennis team put together a pair of shutout victories over Southern Arkansas on Sunday at the LA Tech Tennis Complex.

LA Tech (5-1) extended its winning streak to four, first defeating SAU (1-2) by a final score of 4-0 followed by a 7-0 victory.  Including unfinished matches, the Lady Techsters dropped only two of the 25 sets played.

In both matches, it was the duos of Najah Dawson/Leonie Schuknecht and Olga Bienzobas/Ana Rodrigues clinching the opening point in doubles. 

Dawson and Rodrigues were also part of two of the three singles wins in match one, winning 6-0, 6-1 on court three and 6-1, 6-0 on court six, respectively.  The clinching fourth point came from Tiffani Nash who also only surrendered one game, winning 6-0, 6-1 on court four.

All six of the singles matches were played out in match two and LA Tech swept all six.  Bienzobas, Dawson, and Ilana Tetruashvili combined to drop only two total games to provide the three points needed to clinch the victory.

Schuknecht remained undefeated in dual singles this spring, taking it 6-2, 6-0 on court one.  Rodrigues and Nash rounded out the day with straight-set victories on courts three and five.


  • LA Tech now leads the all-time series over Southern Arkansas, 2-0. These were the first ever meetings between the two programs.
  • LA Tech improved to 27-6 in dual singles and 12-4 in dual doubles this spring.
  • Leonie Schuknecht and Ilana Tetruashvili remained undefeated in dual singles, improving to 5-0 and 3-0, respectively.
  • Ilana Tetruashvili claimed her 45th career dual singles match, tied for the seventh most in program history.

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Grambling Athletics weekend roundup

Virshon Cotton netted 22 points in the G-Men’s win over Alabama State. (Courtesy photo)

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

Tigers 73, Alabama State 60

Virshon Cotton scored a career-high 22 points to help lead the Grambling State University men’s basketball team to a 73-60 road victory over Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Alabama State on Saturday afternoon at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

Cotton, who did most of his damage from behind the arc, going 5-of-9 from deep, led four Tigers into double-figures in the contest. The Milwaukee, Wis. native shot 7-of-13 from floor, snagging four rebounds and dishing two assists in the process. 

Jourdan Smith (12), Shawdarius Cowart (11) and Cameron Christon (10) were the other GSU players to score at least 10 points. 

Carte’are Gordon made his impact on the contest as well, not necessarily through scoring, but by dominating the boards. Gordon pulled down 11 rebounds paired with six points. 

Grambling State (14-8 overall, 7-3 SWAC), who led for just over 39 minutes, shot 49 percent from the field (25-of-51) while holding ASU to just 36 percent. 

Alabama State (6-17, 4-6) held its only lead of the afternoon, when it led 3-2 early in the first period. A 3-pointer by Christon put the Tigers up 5-3 at the 18:01 mark. GSU eventually opened up a 12-point advantage, 30-18, with 5:27 to go. 

After an extended delay due to an injury on the court, the Hornets settled down, trimming the the Tigers’ lead to 33-27 at the half. 

Alabama State pressured the GSU early in the second half, pulling within one point, 37-36 with 16:30 to play. 

Leading 41-39, Grambling State gave itself a nine point cushion to work with, using a quick 7-0 run capped by another trey from Cotton, extending the lead to 48-39 with 13:43 remaining. 

The Tigers continued to wear the Hornets down for the remainder of the contest. GSU opened up it’s largest lead the day, 73-55, on two more threes from Cotton with 2:03 to go.

Antonio Madlock paced the Hornets with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double. 


Lady Tigers 52, Alabama State 51

It was a miracle in Montgomery for the Grambling State University women’s basketball team as they ended their three game losing streak with a 52-51 road victory over Alabama State University on Saturday afternoon at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

Miracle Saxon not only clinched the win for GSU with a last minute jumper but she also recorded her second double-double of the season scoring 12 points and snagging 12 rebounds.

The first quarter started off slow for the Lady Tigers as they only made 3-of-15 ( 20 percent) of their shots from the field and 1-of-5 (20 percent) from behind the arch. GSU trailed 20-10 entering the second quarter.

Both teams struggled during the second quarter, only shooting a combined 2-of-27 from the field. GSU’s lone field goal in the period was 3-pointer by Tiana Gardner early in the quarter. Marissa Tell sank a pair of free throws, helping the Lady Tigers cut the gap to seven points and trail 22-15 at the half.

Grambling State started to kick into high gear in the third quarter, scoring 17 total points in the quarter. The Lady Tigers tied the game 28-28 with 3:11 left in the the third on a jumper by Leah Morrow.

A 7-0 run by the the Hornets put ASU on top 35-28 with 55 second to go. A bucket by Colbi Maples halted the run. Phylicia Allen closed the quarter with a fas tbreak bucket bringing the Lady Tigers within five points, 37-32.

Despite ASU’s effort to finally pull away from GSU, freshman Jazmyne Jackson came through late in the final period with back-to-back 3-pointers giving GSU its first lead of the game 50-49, with 22 seconds remaining. After Ayana Emmanuel put ASU back in front 51-50 with six seconds on the clock.

After the Lady Tigers inbounded the ball, Saxon received a pass near half court, dribbling to the free throw line and nailing floater to down the Hornets and cap an 11-2 run down the stretch for GSU.

Shmya Ward notched a double-double for Alabama State, scoring 20 points and puling down 15 rebounds.

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Creek cruises to non-district wins

Sophomore Jack Bell and the Cougars defeated FCCS Friday night at the Brickhouse. (Photo by Darrell James)

Cougars 63, FCCS 19

Three Cougars scored in double figures Friday night as Cedar Creek ran away from Family Community Christian School 63-19 at the Brickhouse

Davis Walsworth scored 16 points, Carter Hill added 14 and Jack Echols 12 as the Cougars (11-12) picked up the non-district win on Senior Night.

Echols hit a trio of three-pointers and Walsworth added two more in the opening quarter as the Cougars raced out to a 21-5 advantage against the Class C opponent. The onslaught continued in the second quarter as Walsworth scored eight more points to help the Cougars extend their lead to 40-16 at the half.

Hill lead the way in the third quarter with eight points as the Cougars defense held FCCS without a made field goal in both the third and fourth quarters. FCCS’ only points following halftime came via three made free throws.

Connor Johnson added six points, while Luke Waldron and Connor Norris each scored five points in the win.

Creek hosts St. Frederick Tuesday at 7 p.m.


Lady Cougars 55, FCCS 13

Lizzie McAdams connected on a career-high six three-pointers to lift the Lady Cougars (19-5) to a 55-13 win over Family Community Christian School at the Brickhouse.

McAdams hit a pair of three-pointers in the first, second and third quarters as Creek built a double digit lead in the opening minutes of the game and never looked back in picking up the non-district win on Senior Night.

Allie Furr added 12 points (all in the first half) and Mallory Smith scored seven points and Lillian Soto six points in the victory.

The Lady Cougars raced out to a 22-5 advantage in the opening eight minutes of play and then extended the advantage to 40-7 at halftime. Furr and McAdams combined for 16 of the 18 points for Creek in the second quarter.

Head coach Gene Vandenlangenberg utilized his reserves for much of the second half as the Lady Cougars outscored FCCS 15-6 over the final two quarters of action.

Cedar Creek hosts St. Frederick Tuesday night with a 6 p.m. tip-off.

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Remembering Marilyn Jo Ward

Marilyn Jo Ward

Funeral services for Ms. Marilyn Jo Ward, age 78 of Ruston, LA were held Sunday at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Ruston with Dr. Chris Craig officiating. Burial followed in the Salem Cemetery in Dubach, LA under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston.

Marilyn was born August 29, 1944 in Haynesville, LA to Hazel and Hollis Ward, and she passed away February 2, 2023 in Shreveport, LA. She always worked in commercial insurance and in worker’s compensation insurance. Marilyn loved working in her yard and tending to her flowers. She really liked to watch the hummingbirds when they would come into her yard. Marilyn adored spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved to go shopping with her friend Brenda Brown. Marilyn was a faithful member of First Baptist Church in Ruston. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Randy Ward; and great-grandson Colt Johnson.

Marilyn is survived by her daughter Tammy Kennedy of Conway, AR; son Chris McCullin of Ruston; six grandchildren: Ashley and husband Andy Pierce of Conway, Holly and husband Austin Clevenger of Sherwood, AR, Sara and husband Kaleb Lucas of Kansas City, KS, Jacob Garrison of Little Rock, AR, Patience Evans of Calhoun, LA and Maddie McCullin and Jerod Romans of Ruston; great-grandchildren: Jenna Pierce, Logan Pierce, Bentley Evans, Brycen Evans, Alainah Romans and Jaylah Romans; sister-in-law Janice Ward of Nacogdoches, TX; nephew Cory Ward and wife Kaela of Spring, TX; great-nephews: Casen Ward, Coen Ward, Callen Ward and Kenson Ward; and a host of family and friends.

Serving as pallbearers were Todd Smith, Jerod Romans, Andy Pierce, Cory Ward and Byron Judd.

To leave an online message for the family, please visit

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Remembering Janis Renee Smith Serpas

Janis Renee Smith Serpas

Funeral Service for Janis Renee Smith Serpas, age 61, of Ruston, will be Monday, February 6, 2023, at 1:00 P.M. at First Baptist Church of Ruston. Visitation will be from 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. Officiating will be Dr. Chris Craig, under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston.

Janis was born on August 14, 1961, to Jean and Evelyn Marie Smith, in Baytown, TX and passed from this life on February 01, 2023.

Janis graduated from Alexandria High School.  She moved to Ruston, LA where she met and married Ken Serpas, and they raised their family there.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ruston.  Jan was known for her love of cooking, especially a southern meal in its finest form.  She also had the uncanny ability to make anyone love her and her outgoing spirit.

Janis is preceded in death by her husband, Ken Serpas, and her father, Jean Smith.

She is survived by her children, Shannon Bordelon Serpas Davidson and husband Tim, and Dustin Serpas and wife Jodi; grandchildren, Chandler Davidson, Kenlea Davidson, Brody Davidson, Harper Serpas, Barrett Serpas, and Bennett Serpas; mom, Marie Hickman Ivy; sister, Jeanie S. McCartney; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials made to First Baptist Church of Ruston, 200 S Trenton St, Ruston, LA 71270.

Online condolences may be extended to the family at

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Remembering Timothy Wayne Davis

Timothy Wayne Davis

Memorial services for Mr. Timothy Wayne “Tim” Davis, age 57 of Arcadia, LA were held Saturday at Ansley Union Church in Ansley, LA.

Tim was born September 17, 1965 in Bernice, LA to Sarah and Lonnie Davis, and he passed away January 25, 2023 in Arcadia. He was a loving father to his two children. In his spare time, Tim loved to hunt and to fish. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Tom Davis.

Tim is survived by his children Lauren Davis of Ruston, LA and Matthew Davis of Ruston; sister Janie Ryan of OK; brothers Scott Davis of Vienna, LA and Lance Davis of Vienna; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of family and friends.

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Remembering Lanny Ray James

Lanny Ray James


Memorial Services celebrating the life of Lanny Ray James, age 82, will be held Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. in the chapel of Mulhearn Funeral Home, Sterlington Road Monroe, Louisiana, with Deacon Tom Deal officiating. Lanny passed away peacefully on Tuesday February 2, 2023, in Houston, Texas. Visitation will be held from 1:00 P.M, until service time at the funeral home.

Lanny was born in Flint Michigan April 24, 1940, to Lettie (Morris) and Carl Lincoln James. He attended Flint Tech High School in Flint, Michigan and after graduation went to Keegans Radio School in Memphis Tennessee graduating in 1958. After graduating from Radio School, he took his first job as a Disc Jockey at KLPL radio station in Lake Providence Louisiana. In 1966 he was a DJ, newsman and sportscaster for WRBC radio in Jackson, Mississippi. He moved into television as a news anchor and sportscaster in 1968 at WJTV also in Jackson. Moving to Monroe in 1969 Lanny was a sports and news reporter for KNOE TV and served as Sports Director from 1974 to 1989. While working and raising four young children he attended Northeast Louisiana University and was the first graduate of the Associates in Broadcasting program in 1973. He served in the US Army National Guard 1962 -1968 as a member of the 157th Engineers’ Battalion Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Beloved by many as the host of his weekly show Sportscope; Lanny also hosted playback shows for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters and Northeast Louisiana University Football (Now ULM). He traveled extensively with both the Techsters and Grambling during the 1980s. Lanny was Radio Play by play announcer for many High School football games over the years including Neville, Ouachita and later Mangum and Bastrop. He also was the Television play by play announcer for the Shreveport Steamer’s in 1975 and the LSU Tigers on Tigervision in the mid-1980s. After leaving KNOE he owned and operated LJ Productions providing voice on hold for numerous businesses throughout the United States and also hosted a talk radio show on AM 540 in Monroe until late 2020.

Lanny was privileged to meet and interview numerous coaches and athletes during his career and could always be counted on to recite a story related to how he met many of them including Mohammad Ali, Terry Bradshaw, and numerous others throughout the years. Lanny was an avid golfer and hunter and music (Oldies) lover. That DJ never left him, and he could still intro all the songs in that distinctive radio and TV voice (which his grandchildren loved) and offer a backstory related to them and the year they came out. He was always on the go and traveled extensively either to visit friends and family and of course play golf.  He was a beach and sun lover and moved to Fort Lauderdale Florida until relocating to Spring, Texas in 2021. As a devoted grandfather one of his greatest joys was spending time and traveling with his grandchildren Megan, Rachel and Ethan and most recently his great grandchildren Benjamin and Jude. His life was blessed especially by his “best Friend” Calvin his Jack Russell Terrier who went everywhere with him.

He was known for his signature pause for commercial line “We’ll be right back, after this timeout”. 

Lanny was preceded in death by his Father Carl Lincoln James, Mother Lettie Morris James, Brother Duane Chrisco, Sister-in-Law Darlene Chrisco and Son in law Michael Stone.

He is survived by his four children: Daughters: Jennifer James Stone, Judy James, and Jessica James; and son, Chris James (James Alexander). Grandchildren: Megan Droesser and fiancé Antone Rosales, Rachel Stone Robinson (Caleb) and Ethan Stone. Great Grandchildren: Benjamin Dale Robinson and Jude Michael Robinson, Twin Sister, Sandra James Prince (Ralph), Nieces: Danell Nicholson, Lisa Prince Kellogg (Walt), Cindy Prince and Nephew Carey Chrisco (Karen); Great nieces, Kelly Beard, Julie Kruger, Kaylee Kellogg Kennedy, Krista Kellogg and Amber Chrisco; and Great Nephew, Arlie Chrisco. 

His family would like to extend very special thanks to the Staff of Park Manor Cypress Station Nursing Facility, Always Best Senior Care Services of Spring, Texas, Mike Downhour, Neil Shaw, Eddie Murphy and Aaron Dietrich  for their assistance, support and kindness during this difficult time. Memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project or St. Jude Medical Center.

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Notice of death — Feb. 5, 2023

Janis Renee Smith Serpas
August 14, 1961 – February 1, 2023
Visitation: First Baptist Church, Ruston, Monday, February 6, 2023, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Service: First Baptist Church, Ruston, Monday, February 6, 2023, 1:00 pm

Lloyd White
Saturday 04/18/1942 — Monday 01/30/2023
Visitation: Friday 02/10/2023 4:00pm to 6:00pm at King’s Funeral Home
Celebration of Life: Saturday 02/11/2023 11:00am at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 2586 Highway 150, Grambling
Interment: Saturday 02/11/2023 Following Service at Grambling Memorial Garden, Highway 80 West, Grambling

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Lady Bearcats advance after win over Beau Chene

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston High School soccer advanced to the second round of the playoffs after a 2-0 win Friday night at home against Beau Chene in its first playoff appearance since the 2018-19 season.

“We had chances early in the match,” Ruston head coach Jacquelyn Bean said. “We just kept pressing, and we felt like what we were doing would eventually work. It paid off with two goals in the second half.”

Going into the halftime locker room tied 0-0, Ruston’s offense surged in the second half with two goals; first by Mia Tapia on a free kick from 25 yards out, and then by Elliana Ramos for her first goal of the season to give Ruston its 2-0 lead.

Morgan Foster was moved to keeper in the last game of the regular season and recorded six saves in the shutout win.

Ruston will play the winner of the Teurlings Catholic/South Lafourche match, which will be played Saturday afternoon.

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Tough night as Cats fall at Ouachita

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Malcolm Butler

It was a tough night on the hardwood for the Ruston Bearcats Friday as the state’s No. 2 team fell for the second time this year to Ouachita, losing 62-52 at the Madhouse on Millhaven in Monroe.

After leading by four at the half, Ruston (22-3, 5-2) saw the Lions (17-9, 6-1) dominate the third quarter and then hold off any form of a Bearcats comeback over the final eight minutes of play.

Ruston coach Ryan Bond pinpointed one major component in Friday night’s loss.

“Toughness,” said Bond when asked in the difference between the two halves of basketball. “Toughness. You know we have a lot of nice guys, but Ouachita just out-toughed us. They out-toughed us at the end of the game at our place. They out-toughed us at the start of the third quarter tonight. They just out-toughed us.

“It’s as simple as that. Are we going to be tough enough? Are we going to go rebound? Or are we going to let Ouachita go rebound? We gave up so many second chance opportunities. No transition defense. Toughness is also on the offensive end. Finishing around the rim with contact.”

Behind the outside shooting of guard Aiden Anding who connected on four first half three-pointers (a total of six in the game), the Bearcats led for the majority of the first two quarters, taking a 25-21 lead into the halftime locker room. The Bearcats defense was also solid in the opening 16 minutes of action, holding the Lions to a mere 21 points.

However, all of that changed in the third quarter. The Lions came out of the gate swinging and outscored the Bearcats 24-11 to take a 45-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We gave up 24 points in the third quarter,” said Bond. “It’s simply unacceptable if we have all these aspirations of doing something special in the playoffs. You can’t do that. You will lose in the first round. We have to be tougher.”

As the game wore on, the Bearcats had less and less success in the paint. Ruston hit eight three-pointers, but seemed to be hesitant to take the ball to the basket as strong as their head coach expected.

“(Ouachita) had a couple of blocks early,” said Bond. “But you want to keep attacking the rim. You want to attack their best offensive guy and not rest on the defensive end. We just settled. Aiden was hitting early. I’m okay with Aiden shooting as many outside jumpers as he wants to because he is a consistent shooter. But the rest of the guys we were stressing to get it inside, get it inside, get it inside. But guys didn’t want to because it’s a lot more physical in there as opposed to 20 feet from the basket.”

With their shots not falling at a high enough percentage, the Bearcats weren’t able to get many freebies either. Ruston didn’t attempt its first free throw until the 5:32 mark of the fourth quarter and was just 2-of-4 at the charity stripe on the night. However, Bond wasn’t going to blame officiating.

“I heard a lot of people say the referees, referees, referees,” Bond said. “I thought the referees were fairly consistent. I wouldn’t bail us out either if we start the second half with leaping leaners as Jim Woolridge used to call them. Off one leg, leaning, falling away. That’s not something that we work on (in practice). As a referee I am not going to bail you out either. It’s simple toughness.”

Anding led the Bearcats with 18 points while Lonnie Dimmer added 14 points.

Ouachita was led by Jonathan Bradshaw with 24 points.

“We have played Ouachita eight quarters, and I feel like we have outplayed them for six of those,” said Bond. “We just really, really laid a big fat egg in two quarters. And that’s the way I’m going to spin it. We have to battle through out.

“I challenged them in the locker room that we have to be ready for Pineville because Pineville just beat Ouachita and Ouachita beat us pretty easily.”

Ruston will host Pineville Tuesday night.


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McWain, Lady Cats race past Ouachita

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Malcolm Butler

Jaliyah McWain never ran out of gas Friday night.

And it was a good thing for the Ruston Lady Bearcats.

McWain scored a game-high 25 points to lead Ruston to a 40-36 win over Ouachita (11-15, 5-3) at the Madhouse on Millhaven as head coach Meredith Graf’s team picked up a big district win.

With the victory, Ruston (12-13, 6-2) is now alone in second place in the District 2-5A standings, one game behind Alexandria Senior High (7-1) and now one game ahead of Ouachita (5-3).

“I am very proud of how hard and under control my team played tonight,” said Graf. “It was definitely a physical ball game and with the great ball pressure from Ouachita, I thought we really competed on both ends. Our effort was what allowed us to create enough separation. A great team win for us tonight.”
Through the opening eight minutes of play, it appeared as though the first team to 20 points might win. The Lions missed every field goal attempt they took — and they got plenty of them thanks to offensive rebound after offensive rebound — as the Lady Bearcats held a 6-2 advantage after one quarter of action.
McWain started to catch fire in the second quarter, scoring nine of the team’s 11 points, including burying a contested fade away three-pointer as the buzzer sounded giving the Bearcats a 17-10 advantage at the half.
As important as McWain’s points were for the Lady Bearcats, so was her ability to handle the consistent Ouachita defensive pressure throughout the game.
“Jaliyah obviously does a lot of things for us and tonight she did what was needed,” said Graf. “I thought her ability to not be denied the ball was very important. We need the ball In her hands to create opportunities for our team as well as for herself. She competed and lead the way she is capable tonight. Thought she showed great trust in her teammates and a great desire to win.”
The third quarter saw Ruston push its lead out to as much as 25-16 before Ouachita scored the final five points of the quarter to close the gap to 25-21 entering the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded blows in the fourth. With Ruston holding onto a 31-26 advantage, a couple of big buckets from players not named McWain helped the Lady Cats maintain the lead.
Jordan Tate buried a huge three-pointer from the far wing with 3:30 to play to push Ruston’s lead to 34-26. After the Lions closed the game to 36-32, Samiya Lewis drained an 18-footer with 2:03 remaining to increase Ruston’s lead to six points.
In addition to McWain’s 25 points, Lewis added six points for Ruston. Ouachita was led by Mikera Abrams with 14 points.

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