Tech police make arrest in indecent exposure cases

Louisiana Tech University police officers quickly apprehended a suspect Tuesday after receiving a report of a man exposing himself on campus.

On Monday, Sept. 20, Tech Police received a report that a man in a gray car had exposed himself to a woman he asked to approach and provide directions. Police located surveillance video of the suspect in a gray Honda Accord at the edge of campus but could not locate the vehicle.

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Tech Police received a second report of a man in a gray Honda exposing himself to another woman in a similar manner. Tech Officer C. Porter located the suspect vehicle matching the video from the previous day and the clothing description given by the second victim. 

Derick Lamar Young, Jr., 22, of Grambling, admitted exposing himself while asking for directions. He was arrested for two counts of obscenity for the two separate incidents.

Bail is set at $50,000.


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Friday Night Lights: Meet Lincoln Prep’s Khyla Brown

Meet Lincoln Prep’s Khyla Brown

Parents: Chandra Hall and Brimmer Brown Jr.

Siblings: Kendra Brown

School: Lincoln Preparatory School

Grade: 12th

Spirit Squad: Cheer Squad

Honors (Academic, Spirit Squad, Athletic):  I am a 3.6 GPA student currently working to get my associates degree at Southern university Shreveport, Louisiana. I am also a part of 4H. Miss LPS.

Favorite Subject in School: English

Favorite Show on Netflix? On My Block

What is on your play list? R&B, rap, and 90’s music

Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl

Who is your biggest Role Model? My Mom

Favorite meal? Beef tips with rice and gravy

Question: What do you love about your school?

Answer: I love the school spirit my school has and the educational opportunities it offers.

Question: How long have you been cheering and what is it about it that you enjoy?

Answer: I started cheering at the age of 5 and I stopped in 8th grade. I decided I wanted to dance. Eventually I met my coach, Coach Kaniya, and she convinced me to finish what I started. I enjoy the feeling cheering brings me, and it is an outlet that provides so much joy.

Question: What is your favorite high school cheer moment? I love making the posters to show school spirit.

Answer: What are your plans after high school? After high school I plan to attend Florida A&M University to become a nurse.

Question: What three people from history would you like to sit down and eat dinner with and why?

Answer: Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, and Harriet Tubman. Maya because of her wit and wisdom, Malcolm because of his daring spirit, and Harriet Tubman because of her leadership qualities.


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Ruston hosts defending 4A State Champion Carencro

The Ruston Bearcats (2-1) will continue non-district play Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at home against the defending Class 4A state champions Carencro Bears (1-2).

Ruston dominated the Airline Vikings last week for homecoming by a final score of 50-0. The Bearcats were in complete control for the entire night.

“I think our kids came out ready to play,” Bearcat head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “I thought we executed well from the time the ball was kicked off until the final horn. That’s really nice to see. I really commended our second and third groups.”

Junior running back Dyson Fields finished the night with another high yardage game with 236 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Junior quarterback Jaden Osborne completed 4-for-6 passing for 50 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dawson Willis.

Baugh was very pleased with how his team stayed focused during the homecoming festivities last week.

“A lot of things were going on that could have been a distraction, and we had a lot of reasons to not play well with it being homecoming and having the 1990 (national championship) team getting recognized,” Baugh said. “And the weather was a factor, but our guys stayed focused and did really well.”

Carencro is coming off of a 31-28 loss to Lafayette. Last year’s Bears’ team finished 13-1 on the season and won the state championship.

“(Carencro) has a really good program,” Baugh said. “It’s an opportunity to play a really good football team. We get to see how well we play football. They will run it at you over and over again, and we’ll have to dig in and get after it.”

The game will kick off at James Field at Garrett Stadium at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on KXKZ 107.5 FM. The pregame show will start at 6 p.m.

Photo credit: Reggie McLeroy

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Two wrecks lead to fatalities in Lincoln Parish

Ruston – Early Thursday morning, shortly before 6:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a single-vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on LA Hwy 544 just east of Tarbutton Road.  This crash claimed the life of a pedestrian that was walking in the roadway.  

The initial investigation revealed a 2006 Toyota Scion, driven by 58-year-old Joseph Jeffers of Arcadia, was traveling east on LA Hwy 544 over a small hillcrest.  A pedestrian, 68-year-old Milton Woodard of Ruston, was standing in the eastbound lane of travel.  Jeffers was unable to take evasive action and struck Woodard.   

Woodard was pronounced dead at the scene.  Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis.  Jeffers was not injured during the crash.

Pedestrians and motorists alike are urged to remain vigilant while on area roadways and pay close attention to their surroundings.  Crashes involving pedestrians can often be avoided by following some basic safety guidelines.  Pedestrians should wear light-colored or reflective clothing and should always avoid walking on the roadway in dark areas.  Pedestrians must also assume that approaching motorists cannot see them, especially at night.

The crash remains under investigation. 

___________________________________________________________________

Clay – Shortly after 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on Old State Road just west of LA Hwy 818.  This crash claimed the life of an unrestrained Minden man.

The initial investigation revealed a 2014 Ford Focus, driven by 24-year-old Zachary Hickingbottom of Minden, was traveling westbound on Old State Road.  For reasons still under investigation, Hickingbottom was traveling in the eastbound lane of travel and sideswiped a 2021 Ford F350.  After impact, the Ford Focus traveled off the roadway into a ditch.  Hickingbottom was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected during the crash. 

Hickingbottom was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis.  The driver of the Ford F350 was not injured during the crash.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash.  Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences.  Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

In 2021, Troop F has investigated 40 fatal crashes resulting in 49 deaths. 


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Q&A with Marcie Nelson, interim library director

With Lincoln Parish Library up for a millage renewal in November, the LPJ decided to ask Marcie Nelson, interim LPL director, about some of the programs, activities and opportunities the library offers the parish.

What children’s activities does the library offer?
We are still running our current football themed reading challenge as well as our virtual story times on Mondays at 10 a.m. and virtual crafts on Mondays at 2 p.m. and our in person story time on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. New take-and-make crafts are also available each week in the children’s department.

What teen activities does the library offer?
We offer a monthly craft or challenge for teens and will be partnering with the Princeton Review to host a virtual ACT practice program on Saturday, Oct 9.

What adult activities does the library offer?
We also offer monthly themed adult reading challenges as well as monthly take-and-make crafts for adults. We also have an ongoing in person program sponsored by Trailblazer RC&D on the first Tuesday of the month where we will host a free workshop on various topics. Oct. 5 is Basic Estate Planning with featured speaker Attorney Paul Spillers in the Event Center. Johnny’s Pizza will be provided at 5:15 p.m., and the program begins at 6 p.m. The second part of the series for Advanced Estate Planning will be on Nov. 2. We will also host investigative journalist and Louisiana author Stanley Nelson on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Event Center. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his works written in the Concordia Sentinel and efforts investigating several cold cases from the Civil Rights era in our state which led to his first book, “Devils Walking,” published in 2016. His second book, “Klan of Devils,” will be available Oct. 6.

Basically, there’s something for everyone, right?
Absolutely! we have programs and resources for all ages and walks of life. From physical materials like books and movies to digital access to databases, ebooks, movies and music. 

What book are you reading right now?

Ooh, fun one! I’m reading a book on a list for a grant I’m actually applying for. It’s called “The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow. It’s Salem meets the Women’s Suffrage movement.

What has been your favorite book of 2021?

I recently finished “The Last Chance Library” by Freya Sampson. It came out at the end of August and is about a band of misfit patrons who, with the help of a young librarian, fight to save their local library from closure due to budget cuts. You can see the appeal I’m sure. It’s a feel good read with vibrant and varying characters that ends on a good note but not in the way you’d expect. Of all the books I’ve read in ’21, however, I would say my favorite so far has been “South of the Buttonwood Tree” by Heather Webber. I am a huge fan of magical realism. Particularly when it has a southern setting. I devoured her first book “Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe” and was excited to find she had written another. In this story a young children’s book author is sort of the black sheep of the community. Her family has a sordid past and is considered cursed by all the locals. It’s a great tale of a small town set in its ways and how things aren’t always what they seem, especially people.

Why are libraries so important to the community?

Libraries are the heart of the community. A public library is the only place in today’s society where you can come as you are and simply be. We welcome everyone and we try very hard to serve everyone and help them grow in their journey. Within the four walls of a library connections are made and lifelong friendships are nurtured. We foster a love for literacy, the arts and culture through programs and resources for all ages. Our goal is, and always will be, the help people thrive and to make our community better each and every day. 

What is the best part of your job?

People. Plain and simple. I have always said that public librarianship is a lot like mission work. We meet people where they are and we help them to move toward the next step. Weather that’s obtaining a college degree or a GED, applying for a new job or natural disaster relief, or even just simply helping them find their next favorite book; libraries sometimes find people in their most challenging times and we help them move forward. For me it’s the absolute look of joy that lights up their face or the audible sigh of relief when they realize they aren’t in this alone. I would say only one thing can top that, and that’s when they come back a second or third or fourth time because they trust us and they know we are really here for them. When they keep coming back, we know we are doing our job and doing it right.


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Bulldogs open C-USA play Saturday at home


Who: North Texas (1-2, 0-1 C-USA) at Louisiana Tech (1-2, 0-0)

Where: Joe Aillet Stadium (Ruston, La.)

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

TV: Stadium

Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KDBS 1410 AM (Alexandria), KDBS 94.7 FM (Alexandria), WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KZBL 100.7 FM (Natchitoches), KOKA 980 AM (Shreveport), KOKA 93.3 FM (Shreveport), KNCB 1320 AM (Vivian), KNCB 104.1 FM (Vivian), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield)

Radio Talent: Malcolm Butler (PxP), Teddy Allen (Color) and Luke McCown (sideline) w/ pregame at 1:30 p.m.

If history is any indication, the scoreboard at Joe Aillet stadium could be in for another workout when Louisiana Tech hosts North Texas Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Conference USA opener for the Bulldogs.

The annual match-up between the two West Division foes is usually a wild one. Tech won last year’s meeting 42-31 in Denton in early December.

“There have been some great games in this series history,” said Holtz. “Seth has done an unbelievable job of putting a lot of talent together. I know the competitive nature between these two teams and the history between these two teams, and I know it’s one our players are excited about.

“This is only the second time in my nine years here that we are opening conference play at home. How awesome is that. And this three-game homestand has been great.”

Well, most of it.

Tech was six seconds away from defeating SMU last Saturday when a successful Hail Mary gave the Mustangs a 39-37 win. Holtz said his team has responded well this week in practice.  

“It’s been a good week of practice,” said Holtz. “They lived what we always talk about. You have 24 hours to celebrate or 24 hours to mourn after games. I said something to one of the players Tuesday in practice, and he looked right at me and said, ‘Coach, the 24-hour rule. That game is over.’

“We aren’t going to have a pity party. We aren’t cursed by the football gods. None of that is going on. We had plenty of opportunities in that football game from the start to the finish. We have gone up the rough side of the mountain the last few weeks and we have learned a lot about our team. We just look at it as an opportunity to tighten some things up and clean some things up.”

North Texas enters the game coming off a 40-6 loss at home to UAB in its Conference USA opener last Saturday. And although the Mean Green comes into the game having lost its last two games, Holtz knows better than to take any game for granted … especially a league contest.

“I have great respect for Seth Littrell,” said Holtz. “North Texas always has high scoring offenses and they have playmakers. And this will be an unbelievable challenge for us. I know our players are really excited about getting into conference. We said we would learn a lot about our team during the first three weeks, and we have a lot of things to get cleaned up for league play. I like our focus and I know our guys are excited about playing again at home this weekend.”

North Texas is led by running back DeAndre Torrey, who ranks seventh in the country in all-purpose yards per game at 162.3, including a career-high 320 in a season-opening win over Northwestern State.

“They’ve had some really, really tough losses that could’ve gone either way,” said Littrell about the Bulldogs. “They could just as easily be 3-0.”

Photo: Tim Smith

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Ponderings with Doug

Did any of you get up on the “wrong side of the bed” this morning?

There is something even worse than “getting up on the wrong side of the bed.” It’s eating breakfast across from someone who “got up on the wrong side of the bed.” Nothing starts the day off on a more sour note than a crabby crash encounter with a wrong-side-of-bed person while you are both still in your pajamas.

These days the overwhelming scapegoat for our a.m. bad behavior is “sleep deprivation.” All the talk shows and on-line docs decry the blood-shot, bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived state of our Union.

But are we really sleep deprived? Or are we just waking badly?

Before the comforts of electricity, central heat and/or air conditioning, sleeping “through the night” was unheard of. Especially in the wintertime when someone had to keep the fire going so the family would not freeze to death.

Let’s think back a century or more. . . when houses were smaller, the number of young children typically large, and the continual needs of livestock on a farm more demanding than anything we can comprehend. Live like our ancestors and the myth of a good night’s sleep seems even more distant. Half of Indiana still refuses to go on the government-standard “daylight savings time” because milk cows just “don’t get it.” Farmers know that Washington D.C. can say “spring forward” all they want. But Bossy still needs to be milked at 5 a.m. — HER 5 a.m., or everyone will “fall backward.”

Ask farmers. Ask big families with small children. Ask central heating challenged households. All have never known about some magic “eight hours” of sleep.

In fact, earlier cultures embraced the night, accepting that while it might be a time of different activities, or even of “rest,” it was not necessarily a time for sustained sleep. In fact, our ancestors most often lived out of a tradition of “two sleeps.”

Every 24 hours used to be divided into a day of “work” and a night of “two sleeps.” When the sun set and the warmth left the air, it was time for the “early sleep.” But the demands of keeping a warm house, tending to children, or just keeping an attentive ear out for intruders, necessarily meant this “early sleep” might be brief. After waking from a couple hours of “first sleep,” this gap of time in the midst of the night was a traditional moment for personal prayer and meditation, tending the fire, reading by candlelight (for those wealthy enough to afford candles) and quiet contemplation. This “personal time” in the middle of the night brought meaning and purpose to a life crowded with noise and people and duties.

But then it was time for “second sleep,” the second shift of sleep that hopefully took the sleeper to just before dawn.

The question upon rising for our ancestors, then, was not “How did you sleep?” but “Did you wake well?” And which “waking” was better, our first waking or your second waking?

Perhaps “waking well” is an endangered species. But it seems scripture is filled with the admonition to “wake up.” Perhaps there was something to the gap between the sleeps.


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Grambling looks to get on winning track in SWAC starting with Prairie View

Who: Grambling State (1-2) vs. Prairie View A&M (1-1)

Where: The Cotton Bowl Stadium (Dallas, Texas)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Radio: 96.3 FM (Ruston), 103.1 FM (Monroe)

Radio Talent: Santoria Black (PxP), Ossie Clark (Color), Nick Harrison (Sideline), T Lay Collins (Sideline)

By T. Scott Boatright

It’s not Christmastime, so Ebenezer Scrooge isn’t around. And Halloween is still over a month away.

Still, the ghost of “future recent” has tormented the Grambling State Tigers football team for at least the past year, if not longer.

But GSU coach Broderick Fobbs is hoping that “ghosts of the past” will help inspire and propel his Tigers to a brighter future starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, when GSU kicks off against Prairie View A&M in the Texas State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The game will be the 2021 fall season Southwestern Athletic Conference opener for the Tigers.

After not playing in the fall of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic before going 0-4 during the virus-shortened season last spring, and then defeating Tennessee State in the season opener before dropping the last two games, albeit to FBS opponents, getting his Tigers back on a winning track in the SWAC is on Fobbs’ mind.

Fobbs was a GSU running back in the mid 1990s, when the G-Men dominated the Panthers in the annual Texas State Fair Classic.

But that hasn’t been the case in recent years.

After the short-term disbanding of the Prairie View football program in 1990, the State Fair Classic featured Grambling and Elizabeth City State that year. 

Although Prairie View brought football back in 1991, that season Grambling played North Carolina A&T, so it was not until 1992 that the State Fair Classic returned to the annual showdown between the Panthers and Tigers.

Grambling won every contest between the teams until that changed with the 2009 edition won by the Panthers.

Since then, Prairie View has won seven of 12 games against GSU, including the last three.

Between 1950 and 1964, Prairie View won five black national titles and eight of its 11 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, defeating the legendary Eddie Robinson’s Grambling teams 10 out of 15 times.

Then, after going 5-5 1972, Prairie View only once finished above .500 over the next 17 seasons, going winless in 1974 and 1979 before losing 28 straight games in the early 1980s.

Because of internal problems and financial struggles, Prairie View dropped football in 1990 before bringing it back the next season. 

The Panthers went 0-11 every year from 1991-96 before going 0-9 in 1997. Combined with the two losses at the end of the 1989 season, the Panthers began the 1998 season with the longest losing streak in college football history at any level — 77 games.

But eventually things slowly and surely began turning around for Prairie View’s football team. Grambling won every game between the teams from 1999 until 2009. Since then, Prairie View has won seven of 12 games against GSU, including the last three.

“Wow it has been three years since we’ve won this ballgame,” Fobbs said. “(Panthers coach Eric) Dooley has done an exceptional job of really coaching his team and being prepared and ready to play. We’re looking forward to this and looking forward to this challenge.

 “We feel really good being back here in the Cotton Bowl where all the ghosts of the past, the great players have played. We’re just looking forward to playing Grambling Tiger football.” 

Dooley and Fobbs are no strangers. Before taking over as head coach of the Panthers, Dooley was offensive coordinator under Fobbs at GSU.

And Grambling hasn’t defeated the Panthers since Dooley took over at Prairie View,

“We don’t normally talk,” Fobbs said of his current relationship with Dooley. “He participated here. And, he was really instrumental in us being successful. He’s got his opportunity to be a head football coach. We do speak when we see each other. At the end of the day, we’re focused on our programs and running our programs.”

GSU (1-2) enters Saturday’s conference opener following back-to-back losses to Southern Miss and Houston, while Prairie View A&M (2-1) is coming off a 37-27 victory over Houston Baptist last Saturday.

“It was good to get back out there and play last week and we played against a really, really tough University of Houston football team — a very deep football team that can really throw the football and run the football really well,” said GSU coach Broderick Fobbs. “I thought for a quarter and a half we played really good defense. Offensively we struggled and we weren’t able to sustain any drives or put any points on the board.

“Those are the types of games where you’ve got to be prepared to jump over those types of hurdles in order to have a chance to win. We just didn’t overcome much of the hurdles in order to have a chance to win the football game.”

Grambling and Prairie View will be meeting for the 63rd time with GSU leading the series 51-20-1.


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Weekend events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list, please email us at lpjnewsla@gmail.com

Friday, Sept. 24
Dubach’s Louisiana Chicken Festival
6 p.m.: Loyal Blue Weekend: Art in the Park (Railroad Park)
7 p.m.: Ouachita Christian at Cedar Creek Football (Cougar Stadium)
7 p.m.: Lincoln Prep Football at Arcadia (Arcadia, La.)
7 p.m.: Carencro at Ruston High Football (James Stadium)

Saturday, Sept. 25
Dubach’s Louisiana Chicken Festival
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
6 p.m.: North Texas at Louisiana Tech Football (Joe Aillet Stadium)


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A Thankless Job  

We’ve all, at one time or another, had those jobs that nobody else wants. Those jobs, where no matter what decisions you make, everyone will not be happy. If you’ve ever run a bass tournament, you’ll find out quickly that there’s not a bigger bunch of whiners on the planet than bass fishermen. If you feed them hamburgers for good performance, they want to know why they didn’t get a ribeye. They really are the most selfish and spoiled outdoorsmen that exist. They like to be catered to and hailed for their skills and abilities to catch bass. Another way to say it…they’re brats!    

Without Tournament Directors (TD’s), anglers would be the inmates running the asylum. TD’s are the guys that run bass tournaments for different organizations all across the country and have a tough job trying to satisfy bass fishermen. They don’t write the rules, they just enforce them, even when they know it will hurt an angler or a team. That’s not their intention to hurt anyone, but it’s a part of the job that goes with being a tournament director. Sometimes they have to be the bad guy whether it’s a one-pound penalty for a minor violation, or worst, a disqualification, which is rare. An example of a one-pound penalty would be weighing a dead fish. If there’s one thing that’s really emphasized in bass tournaments today, it is keeping your fish alive before weigh-in. An example of a disqualification would be not wearing a life jacket either during practice or on tournament day.

But without good TD’s, bass tournaments would be a mess. They constantly have to hear anglers complain about this and that including, but not limited to, accusations from other anglers like… they were fishing too close, they were fishing my spot, they ran through a no wake zone, they weren’t wearing their life jackets….and the list goes on and on! Bass fishermen love rules, as long as they don’t apply to them. No matter what the TD decides on a situation, someone will not be happy. But for a fishing circuit or tournament trail to be successful, it better have a good strong TD who’s not afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Nothing will ruin a tournament trail quicker than a weak director who does not enforce the rules, or even worse, changes or alters the rules the morning of a tournament. This will make anglers load their boats and leave….. never to return. Every tournament trail that’s ever failed, was usually because rules were not enforced with consistency. If things aren’t run the right way, anglers will abandon ship quicker than setting the hook on a big bass.

So today, I salute all the guys who have taken on that role of TD and had to be the bad guy every once in a while. They spend countless hours on the road and away from their families just like anglers do. In some cases, they literally go from one event to the next, loading and unloading, breaking down and setting up. They make sure the polygraph exams are done correctly. They coordinate all take-offs the morning of the tournament and they make sure all anglers are off the water safe and on time. Then they have to run the weigh-in and pass out checks, before packing up and heading to the next event. So, the next time you’re in a bass tournament or following a bass trail, tell the tournament director “thank you” for doing a great job. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Owner/Co-host

Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live


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Notice of death

 Ruth Hagel Wall 
September 18, 1929 – September 23, 2021 
Arrangements pending 

Alverne Perry 
August 28, 1931 – September 22, 2021 
Visitation: 
King’s Funeral Home 
September 24, 2021, 3-6 p.m. 
Service: 
Liberty Hill Baptist Church, Dubach 
September 25, 2021, 2 p.m. 
Interment: 
Rocky Valley MBC, Simsboro 
September 25, 2021


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Active and Aware: A strategy if abuse is suspected

It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to prevent abuse.

Donna Bernard, child advocate with the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team, said adults need to realize that a child who is being abused may not act like a stereotypical victim.

“Kids want those adults they respect — a parent, or a teacher, pastor, or friend — to respect them,” Bernard said. “The image they present to the world is important, and they do not want to be considered a victim.”

As a result, kids react and handle bullying and abuse in dozens of ways — some healthy and some not healthy.

“Some retaliate; some withdraw and isolate as much as possible,” Bernard said. “Without intervention, depression, failing grades, and/or substance abuse is possible. What we would like them to do is include a caring, competent adult who will take the issue very seriously.”

Unfortunately, though, Bernard said kids are often reluctant to tell an adult about any abuse.

“Studies show that it is possible that the older the child is, the more he or she may feel that they should be handling it themselves,” she said. “Another reason, if they find refuge in a classroom setting or when they finally walk through the door at home, they want to enjoy the ‘escape.’”

One way to recognize abuse, Bernard said, is to watch for red flags.

“To recognize problems — including bullying — that a child may be experiences, the number one thing I tell volunteers, interns, our staff and parents is to spend time with children, making sure your listening ears are turned on,” she said. “Don’t be shy to share with them minor obstacles in your day so they can see how adults calmly handle conflict — for instance, having a repair made and being overcharged. If they see an adult handle conflict in a calm manner, they are more likely to come to that adult with a problem of their own.”

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services reported that 3,271 cases of abuse and neglect had been reported in the Monroe region in 2020. Lincoln Parish is included in that area. 

If abuse is suspected in a child, the child’s feelings must come first.

“When you suspect a child is being abused, make the child’s feelings the number one priority,” Bernard said. “As you move forward in reporting, include the child in decision making about resolving the bullying. Remember, sometimes it may be the choice of the child — especially at first — to talk to a trusted adult other than a parent.”

Bernard is available to speak on bullying and teen dating violence for a class, school, club or school organization. Call 318-243-4522 for more information.


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Part II: An inside look at Grambling State VP for Athletics Dr. Trayvean Scott

(Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part look at GSU Vice President for Athletics Dr. Trayvean Scott. The first part of the series was published by the LPJ on Wednesday.)

By T. Scott Boatright 

After 10 years as a member of the athletic staff at his collegiate alma mater— Southern University -— Dr. Trayvean Scott was introduced as the new Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Grambling State University on July 1.

Scott admits that he has already been questioned about what being part of the annual showdown pitting Grambling against Southern in the Bayou Classic at the Caesar’s Palace Superdome in New Orleans will be like for him after trading Jaguar spots for Tiger stripes.

“Somebody asked me if the Bayou Classic is going to be weird for me?,” Scott said. “And I said, ‘Why would it be?’ I’m almost the equivalent of a guy who everybody in the room loves at some level. Obviously there’s going to be some people who don’t, but by and large, I have two families now.

“What I’ve been part of accomplishing as a Southernite is something that no one can ever take away from me. But the road that lies ahead here at such a storied institution, what I think is the most recognizable brand out of all the HBCUs, is far too great an opportunity to pass up, especially under the leadership of Richard J. Gallot, Jr. 

“The fact that he and the search committee thought that high enough of me to bestow us with this opportunity to lead such a storied institution is incredible. I’m in Baton Rouge all the time, I’m in Ruston all the time, and it’s like having two families. I don’t think I can go wrong. But right now my tone and tenor as it relates to my mentality on moving this department forward lies with ‘The G’ on Exit 81. We’re going to make Grambling State University athletics as powerful of a program as we can, and I’m going to use the ‘E’ word — an elite program.

Scott said he’s ready for the opportunity as well as the challenge to work toward making that happen.

“As a matter of fact, I embrace it,” Scott said. “We’re looking at working to establish an elite level athletic department across the board — not just football, not just basketball. I don’t want to lose a game at hopscotch. That’s just going to be our mentality. As administrators, we’ve got to create that culture that will trickle down to our coaches, and then down to our student athletes. 

“And we’re well on our way. We’re excited about it — beyond excited about how we can move this department forward over the year to two years, tops.’

Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) athletics, and football in particular, are riding a wave of increased number of televised games and interest in HBCU athletics, and that’s something Scott said he realizes and wants to work to take advantage of.  

“I think it’s an exciting time, but I think it’s also a time for us to go back and reflect on the history of our leagues, especially the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and chart a path forward in developing strategic partnerships and branding opportunities for our member institutions,” Scott said. “Thus far I believe (SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland) has done a great job of leveraging the SWAC’s brand and has been able to provide clarity and understanding through our university presidents and athletic directors on what the strategic direction of the conference office is. 

“Obviously we were able to bring the two Florida schools (new SWAC members Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman, which joined the conference this fall) in. And then bringing that football coach to the school on I-55 (new Jackson State head football coach Deon Sanders) has really drummed up some attention.

“One thing about being a Southern grad and Grambling AD is that as both I feel the same way about that school on Interstate 55. I will never mention their name. But with that we’ve got an incredible opportunity not only to highlight our institutions and brands but to also be advocates for social justice and come of the racial issues that are permeating throughout our country. So all of this has given us an additional platform.”

Scott gave the trip to Canton, Ohio, that the GSU football team took earlier this month to face Tennessee State in the Back College Hall of Game Classic in the 2021 fall football season opener as an example.

“We went to Canton and our student athletes had the opportunity to tour the Pro Football Hall of Fame museum and play the game on the NFL Network and play at the Hall of Fame Stadium,” Scott said. “The team was given that opportunity because first, they’re Grambling and the outstanding leadership we have from legends like Doug Williams and James Harris. Think about the notoriety provided to Grambling State and Tennessee State by playing that game.

“But also, think about the cultural experience those student athletes got that they will cherish for the rest of their lifetimes. I’m a first-year AD and had never been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I got to check that off my bucket list. That kind of thing is critical when trying to advance the brand and mission of these institutions — to play on a platform like the NFL Network.

“Then to be victorious while gaining that cultural experience and providing an opportunity for social advocacy throughout our nation through the platform of sports is priceless. We’ve become the benefactor of a heightened level of play across the Southwestern Athletic Conference because of the visionary leadership of our presidents.

“I will continue to laud my president for his ability to be transformative and Dr. McClelland for coming in as a former AD at the one of the schools (Texas Southern University) that has the most resources in the league and being able to leverage that to provide clarity and understanding through the presidents to the ADs in taking that additional step to provide that platform throughout the league is something that we will continue to really be able to advance based on.”

Scott said he has many things to be excited about right now, and being a part of “The G” is the foundation of all of it.

“I’m at what I believe is the  most reputable and recognizable HBCU. Even with the expanded league and coaching changes and some of our opportunities with the level of play for our sports elevating, this is still Grambling. This is still ‘The G.’

“Knowing and understanding that, we have a big responsibility to be able to elevate even further and at a more accelerated rate, to ensure that we can keep up with the competitive excellence and success that is so great a part of not only Grambling’s history, but also its future.”


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