Update on Lincoln Parish Schools Providing Student Info for P-EBT for 2020-21 School Year

DCFS worked with the Louisiana Department of Education and schools around the state to produce a list of schools that have students who are eligible for P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year and the status of information gathering from those schools.

P-EBT, or Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, is food assistance for families of school children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP), but are not receiving those meals due to campus closures and/or reduced in-person class schedules related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The P-EBT program was authorized by Congress in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 for the 2019-20 school year and later reauthorized for the 2020-21 school year.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Louisiana Department of Education are partnering to provide the program to Louisiana’s eligible students.

Status of the information that your child’s school has submitted to DCFS:

A.E. Phillips Laboratory School – Awaiting Response/Submission
Choudrant Elementary School – Student Information Received
Choudrant High School – Student Information Received
Cypress Springs Elementary School – Student Information Received
Dubach School – Student Information Received
Lendale Elementary School – Student Information Received
Hillcrest Elementary School – Student Information Received
Howard School – Awaiting Response/Submission
I.A. Lewis School – Student Information Received
Lincoln Parish Early Childhood Center – Student Information Received
Ruston Elementary School – Student Information Received
Ruston Junior High – Student Information Received
Ruston High School – Student Information Received
Simsboro High School – Student Information Received
Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy – Student Information Received

P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will be issued in installments over the Summer of 2021. Due to the number of cards being issued, it may take several weeks for you to receive your child’s card. Please be patient and do not request a new card, as that would only cause more delay.

Cards will be issued as DCFS receives information from each school. Therefore, families with more than one child may receive their children’s cards at different times, according to when each child’s school submitted their information.

If you have questions about your child’s school’s status, please contact the school or the school district. PHONE LIST ATTACHED

Will we get Summer P-EBT?

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced that funding is available for P-EBT for families of K-12 students for Summer 2021, and DCFS is working with the Louisiana Department of Education and local school systems to develop a plan to distribute those benefits to eligible families. We do not expect there to be an application process. Summer P-EBT benefits would be distributed automatically to eligible students on the same card they received for the 2020-21 school year. More information will be released.

Lincoln Community Health Center Provider Spotlight

Angela Odom-Austin, MD – Board Certified Pediatrician

Dr. Angela Odom-Austin was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. She attended Dillard University of New Orleans, Louisiana for undergraduate studies. She then proceeded to Duke University School of Medicine. Upon graduation, her pediatric studies took her to eastern Virginia where she practiced, taught medicine, and raised a family over the next twenty-plus years. Her professional work has included 15 years of residential care of children at the Virginia School for the Deal, Blind, and Multi handicapped management of moderate-severe asthma and extremely premature infants: and the study of adult addiction medicine. Other medical interests include neurology, genetics, space-health, and community health.

Lincoln Community Health Center
1140 South Vienna, Ruston, LA 71270
Phone: 318-224-7190 Fax: 318-224-7194

Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Still time to register for Saturday’s free LSHOF Junior Training Camp

There’s still plenty of room for parents to register their kids for the free Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp Saturday morning on the Northwestern State campus in Natchitoches.

Boys and girls ages 8-17 are eligible to attend. To guarantee a spot, they should be pre-registered through the LaSportsHall.com website or by calling 318-238-4255. Walk-up participation Saturday morning is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Webb Wellness and Recreation Center (WRAC) in the heart of the NSU campus, just northeast of Turpin Stadium.

The Natchitoches Parish’s Sheriff’s Office and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center are the presenting sponsors for the JTC.

Campers will get individualized skills instruction in basketball, football and basic sports fundamentals, and will also receive messaging and items promoting healthy lifestyles. Each camper receives a T-shirt and a free achievement certificate from Raising Canes good for a lunch meal at the popular restaurant.

Instruction comes from experts – the members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, some past inductees including five-time USA Olympian Danielle Scott, and Northwestern State football and basketball coaches and players.

The new inductees include two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman of the Chicago Bears, eight-year NBA standout (Brooklyn Nets) Kerry Kittles, Harlem Globetrotters legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, and Angela Turner Johnson, the MVP of the 1981 Final Four for the national champion Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

Also on hand will be Mr. Duck Dynasty, the Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who was a starting quarterback with Terry Bradshaw as his backup at Louisiana Tech. Fox Sports announcer Tim Brando might be doing some play by play or offering his ample expertise in football and hoops.

Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman will be enjoying his own kids in the clinic and will be a football contributor, since he was a middle linebacker from 1983-86 for the Eddie Robinson-coached Grambling Tigers.

Ruston student-athletes among over 200 named to Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll

Full listing of NSU student-athletes attached as is a photo from the Spring 2021 Student-Athlete Stoll Ceremony. Photo credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes upon Northwestern State student-athletes, it did not stop their classroom success.

203 of its student-athletes honored on the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll – normally a biannual list that was combined to a one-time announcement because of the shifting 2020-21 athletic calendar.

Jalen Garrison and Reagan Lee, both of Ruston, were among those to appear on the list. Jalen is a sophomore on the Football Team who’s majoring in History with a 3.67 GPA. Reagan is a sophomore volleyball player majoring in social work with a 3.0 GPA.

Northwestern State’s total made it one of seven SLC schools to place 200 or more student-athletes on the list, led by Central Arkansas’ 251. To be eligible for the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll, student-athletes must maintain a 3.0 grade point average during the semester of competition.

Despite competing in an unfamiliar time frame, Northwestern State fall sports student-athletes saw a higher percentage of their competitors reach the honor roll threshold as 58.1 percent posted at least a 3.0 GPA compared to 55.2 percent in the Fall 2019 semester.

All 13 Northwestern State volleyball players were named to the honor roll, helping the program notch a 9.3 percent gain in awardees.

The Lady Demon tennis team was a perfect 8-for-8 for the second straight season while women’s basketball (13.3 percent), men’s basketball (10 percent), soccer (4.3 percent) and football (3.8) also saw their overall percentage of student-athletes honored grow from the previous academic year.

Learning experience goes beyond teaching, looks at mindfulness

Parents, students, and educators in Lafayette Parish were able to participate in a two-week experience to learn about psychological first aid, mindfulness and positive psychology interventions thanks to a collaboration with Lafayette GEAR UP through a U.S. Department of Education federally-funded grant.

Participants utilized both personal and professional applications of positive psychology. The faculty and staff who led the experience reviewed topics such as mindfulness, self-care, utilizing an individual’s strengths, growth mindset, empathy, well-being, grit, and happiness.

“I enjoy being able to help educators access tools and learn skills that will improve their classroom experience,” said Landrum Alexander, project coordinator. “Happy teachers help create happy students. Anything that we can do to help support teachers and empower them is our goal.”

Other faculty and staff from Louisiana Tech who assisted in this effort included Mary Margaret Livingston, Brandon Waits, Julie Shrubb, Erika Jones, and Diane Madden from the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences and the Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) divisions. Grambling State’s Dr. Coleen Speed also collaborated for the learning experience. Coursera, a digital learning platform utilized by Tech, was accessed by the participants in order to ensure they had opportunities to complete a professional Psychological First Aid credential through the engagement.
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Lofton, Jr. among 17 finalists for 2021 USA Basketball U19 World Cup team

FORT WORTH, Texas – Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Lofton, Jr. was named one of 17 finalists for the 2021 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team, an announcement made late Monday night.

The decision came following four practice sessions over two days at TCU that involved 26 players. Selections were made by the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee.

“Every one of the 26 players put in a lot of effort and showcased high level skill sets for the committee to consider which is what made things so difficult,” said Matt Painter, USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee chair and Purdue University head coach.

“The 17 finalists we identified offer coach (Jamie) Dixon and his coaching staff outstanding athleticism and versatility, and it puts us in excellent position to name the best possible USA team for the FIBA U19 World Cup.”

Lofton, Jr., who does not turn 19 until August, was named Third Team All-Conference USA and C-USA Freshman of the Year after helping leading LA Tech to a 24-win season and a third place finish in the National Invitation Tournament.

The finalists, made up of 10 players who completed their first collegiate season in 2020-21 and seven players from the high school class of 2021, will continue training twice a day in Fort Worth.

The final 12-member USA U19 World Cup Team will be announced prior to the team’s June 28 departure for Latvia, with the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup taking place July 3-11.


Patrick Baldwin, Jr. (Hamilton HS/Sussex, Wis.)
Kendall Brown (Sunrise Christian Academy/Cottage Grove, Minn.)
Kennedy Chandler (Sunrise Christian Academy/Memphis, Tenn.)
Jonathan Davis (Wisconsin/La Crosse, Wis.)
Caleb Furst (Blackhawk Christian School/Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Jordan Hall (Texas A&M/Wildwood, N.J.)
Chet Holmgren (Minnehaha Academy/Minneapolis, Minn.)
Harrison Ingram (St. Mark’s School/Dallas, Texas)
Jaden Ivy (Purdue/South Bend, Ind.)
Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton/St. Louis, Mo.)
Kenneth Lofton, Jr. (Louisiana Tech/Port Arthur, Texas)
Mike Miles (TCU/Lancaster, Texas)
Adam Miller (LSU/Chicago, Ill.)
Trey Patterson (Villanova/Somerset, N.J.)
Deivon Smith (Georgia Tech/Loganville, Ga.)
Jabari Walker (Colorado/Inglewood, Calif.)
Peyton Watson (Long Beach Poly Tech HS/Long Beach, Calif.)

PHOTO:  Photo by Cooper Neill.

Notice of Death – June 22, 2021

J. T. “Tiny” Goodwin
February 21, 1931 – June 15, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe; Saturday, June 26, 2021, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe; Saturday, June 26, 2021, 10:00 am
Cemetery:  Hasley Cemetery;  Saturday, June 26, 2021

Charlie Bart Welch
April 16, 1930 – June 19, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe; Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe;  Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Hasley Cemetery, Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Doris L. Bourgeois Copeland
February 1, 1939 – June 19, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe;  Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe;  Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 3:00 pm
Cemetery:  St. Paschal Catholic Cemetery,  Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Bienville Parish Man Killed in Shooting at Gas Station just off I-20 in Ruston

Police in Ruston are investigating a shooting which claimed the life of a Bienville Parish man.

According to KSLA News 12, the shooting happened on June 19 at 2:23 a.m. at the Chevron/Subway gas station located at 110 Woodward Avenue.

Ruston police received a call about the shooting and quickly responded to the scene. There they saw several vehicles and a crowd of people. Police immediately secured the scene.

While police were investigating the shooting, the North Louisiana Medical Center Emergency Room contacted the police department about an unidentified man who arrived at the emergency room with a fatal gunshot wound. Police determined that he was shot at the gas station. He was later identified as 21-year-old Brandon Rallins, aka “Big B.”

Rallins played football for the Hornets and graduated from Arcadia High School in 2018.

Police questioned approximately 10 to 12 individuals who were at the gas station when police arrived. They learned that the people involved were all from Bienville Parish, more specifically, Arcadia and Ringgold.

Police towed several vehicles, confiscated several firearms, and arrested two individuals on drug charges.

The investigation is still active.

YOU CAN HELP!!! Ruston Police Investigators are asking that anyone with information on this case call the police department at 318-255-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 318-255-1111. You can also submit tips online at rustonlincolncrimestoppers.com, or text “TIP515” to Crimes (274637) to send a text message. Tipsters will remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if information leads to arrest or indictment.

John Belton Discusses the Ronald Greene death investigation

John Belton Discusses the Ronald Greene death investigation

John Belton joins Billy West Live and comments on why he referred the Ronald Greene investigation to the United States Department of Justice and the state of that Investigation.

Billy West Live Profile


Billy West has been a practicing attorney in Louisiana for 32 years with an active practice in all areas of civil and criminal law.

Mr. West has been recognized as a distinguished Alumni of Louisiana State University and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Mainstay Independence Bowl. Mr. West has hosted sports related radio shows for years in Louisiana and has been a frequent color commentator for High School and Collegiate radio and television broadcasts.

Billy West has long been involved in Louisiana politics and has been an acute observer of the political landscape that has drastically changed in Louisiana and the United State of America from the late 1970s to the present date. The Billy West Live Podcast will inform, entertain, promote debate and potentially anger the listeners. Billy West will have present, former and potentially future elected officials join the show to talk about issues. Billy West Live will cover topics related to politics, sports, science and general information of interest to Louisianian’s, southerners and all Americans. Archive and link the Billy West Live Podcast to stay informed and be entertained.

Construction engineering technology alum serves in leadership role on multimillion-dollar projects in Texas

Less than a year after graduating from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology, Monroe native Riley Smith has begun to make his mark on Zachry Construction Corporation and north Texas.

Smith is helping set up a batch plant in Roanoke, Texas, which will pave main lanes and supply concrete and earthwork for three multimillion-dollar,multi-year projects in the area. As one of only three field engineers serving under two project engineers and a project manager at the plant, he will take a leadership role, helping keep the jobs on track.

Smith helps manage the nearly $100 million Texas State Highway 170 project, overseeing the removal of more than 1.2 million yards of earth and the laying of more than 100,000 cubic yards of concrete and developing four overpasses and six Texas turnarounds.

Smith also helps lead the $33 million State Highway 114 project, which involves lying roughly 40,000 cubic yards of concrete around traffic. In addition, he oversees the submission of forms for lane closures and communication with law enforcement to ensure an officer is at the closure each day.

The third job that Smith is working on is the Avondale-Haslet Connector, which will connect an Amazon warehouse to Interstate 35W and into State Highway 170. The connector is projected to come in at more than $200 million and take more than 110,000 cubic yards of concrete.

As part of his duties, Smith manages a batch plant superintendent, the traffic control foreperson, and the traffic control crew members over the three job sites, each of which he regularly visits to ensure that the work is on schedule.

Smith says that he believes that Louisiana Tech’s Construction Engineering Technology program prepared him for success with these projects and helped him land the job.

“I consider myself fortunate to have gotten a position with a company that treats its employees so well. I quite enjoy my job and the people I work with. I credit my success so far to what I learned from the Construction Engineering Technology program faculty.

“Mr. [Jeff] Pike’s structures and concrete design classes helped me learn the techniques I need as a field engineer at a concrete batch plant who works with mix designs all day, every day. Mr. [Reginald] Jeter’s estimating classes helped me learn the cost estimation skills, figuring out how much things will cost right now and into the future. And that goes with Dr. [John] Easley’s engineering economics class, as well. Dr. [M. Amin] Azimi’s material concrete lab helped me learn to design concrete and work with it. I appreciate all the teachers that I had in the program. They all contributed to who I am as an engineer, even if it was just through conversations outside of class.”

Although he doesn’t have a favorite class, Smith says that some of his favorite memories at Tech were small but fun tasks and late nights finishing the most challenging projects.

“Mr. Jeter made the classes fun. I don’t know why, but my favorite project was one from an estimation class. We had to estimate the cost of building a fence. I enjoyed that. I got to meet a lot of people that I’ve kept in contact with.

“That project and all the late nights working on Pike projects are some of my favorite memories. There were so many nights that Mike Knowles, Todd Wilson, and I would be working on a project for one of Mr. Pike’s classes at 2 or 3 in the morning when it would be due in a few hours. So those are my favorite memories: the fence estimation project and all those late nights.”

What advice does he have for students enrolling in the Construction Engineering Technology program? “Always show up on time for Mr. Pike’s classes. You might think that missing five or ten minutes won’t make a difference, but with Mr. Pike’s classes, you could miss project deadlines or important project information.”

Choudrant opens Farmer’s Market

Choudrant will have its very own Farmer’s Market offering locally produced AG products including fruits, vegetables, honey, local berries and much more. June 26 is Opening Day! The market, located at 3911 Elm Street, will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting as early as 7AM.

Thinking about joining as a vendor? Spaces are FREE for AG products only for 2021 but registration is encouraged for promotional purposes. Bring your setup. Tables, canopies, chairs, displays, decorations, bags and containers. Whatever you may need! Consider a debit card reader or paypal or Venmo account. Remember cash always works!

Head on over to the Choudrant Farmer’s Market this weekend!