Domestic disturbance call leads to arrest 

A Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call about a domestic disturbance which led to charges of domestic abuse battery, disturbing the peace, three counts of resisting an officer, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.  

The deputy responded to 210 Garr Road the evening of Dec. 23 and talked to an individual who said that Jermaine O. Williams, 30, of Ruston, and another male were separated inside the residence. When WIlliams came out of the residence, the deputy noted he was highly agitated and began to get into a verbal argument with the woman.  

The deputy attempted to place Williams in restraints, and Williams pulled away. When Williams was handcuffed, deputies attempted to search him, and Williams became combative and actively resisted deputies. He forcefully pushed and twisted his body away as to escape custody while yelling. 

Williams continued resisting and then stated that something was burning. At this point, he lunged away from deputies. Deputies controlled Williams’ body and completed the search. He was then placed in the back of a patrol unit. 

The two individuals inside the residence said the female was doing Willams’ laundry, and he became agitated and pushed her. The male intervened while the female grabbed a knife in self-defense. The female stated Williams was on methamphetamine, and due to his erratic behavior, she was afraid to be around him.  

Deputies found a backpack belonging to Williams and found methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe. Williams was taken to the parish detention center and booked on the charges listed above. 

GSU announces basketball promotions

The Grambling State University Department of Athletics is pleased to announce its basketball promotion schedule for the 2022 men’s and women’s basketball season at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. 

“We’re excited about the opportunity to engage our students, our faculty and staff, our fans and the Grambling State community with this promotional lineup,” Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics, Dr. Trayvean Scott, said. “We want to continue to make the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center the most exciting and engaging venue in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) as we enter conference play.” 

Grambling State will open SWAC play on Jan. 3 and 5 at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center against Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern, respectively. GSU invites the community and local churches to cheer on the Tigers! Group tickets are available for all home basketball games for groups of 10 or more at $7.  

This year’s Legend’s Night will honor Grambling State’s own and former NBA Legend Willis Reed.  

Reed will be honored at the halftime of the men’s game with the unveiling of the Willis Reed Court and Willis Reed Tunnel. The Department of Athletics welcomes the Tiger community to be a part of a what is sure to be another exciting basketball season.  







Monday, January 3 

Prairie View A&M 

Community Day 


Wednesday, January 5 

Texas Southern 

Church Night 


Saturday, January 15 


Legend’s Night 


Saturday, January 22 

Mississippi Valley State 

Freshmen Night 


Monday, January 24 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 

Sophomore/Greek Night 


Saturday, February 5 

Alabama State 

Kid’s/High School Day 


Monday, February 7 

Alabama A&M 

Junior/Church Night 


Saturday, February 26 

Florida A&M 

Senior Night 


Monday, February 28 



Public intoxication, open containers lead to Christmas day charges  

About 4 p.m. Christmas Day, a Ruston Police officer responded to a complaint near Tech Farm Road about an intoxicated driver. 

The officer conducted a traffic stop on Riser Road at East Tennessee Avenue. The driver of the vehicle was Courtney Adams, 45, of Ruston.  

Adams had slurred speech and was using the vehicle to provide support so he wouldn’t fall over. Adams then became belligerent and started threatening officers on scene. Adams started yelling profanities.  

The officer also found two cold open beer cans. One was empty. 

Adams was charged with disturbing the peace by public intoxication, possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles and an expired driver’s license.  

Behind the scenes with Lincoln Parish’s college athletes

By Sara Howell-Floyd

When people think of college athletics the first thing that comes to mind for most is the game itself or the game-winning plays that cause the crowd to erupt with excitement. But student-athletes put a lot of  blood, sweat and tears in to get to those amazing moments.  

Morgan Adams, a softball player at Grambling State, and Praise Okorie, a football player at Louisiana Tech, shared their stories of what life as a student athlete looks like in Lincoln Parish.

“A normal game day is pretty simple,” Adams said. “I am the nervous type, so I pretty much stay to myself during the process of getting ready and warming up. I listen to the same playlist.”

She said that her playlist is a mix of R&B, gospel and rap to get her ready for the game. Adams also shared she has some superstitions.

“I have to eat a red sucker before the game and my parents and siblings have to send me a message before the game,” she said.

Okorie also shared what his typical game day looks like for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

“A game day is staying at a hotel with the team and having a wake-up call at around 9 a.m. for breakfast,” he said. “Then we have some walk-thru’s to go over plays and other specifics.” 

After the team does that, they get a break and have a pregame meal. 

“Buses leave at 3:30 p.m. so we are at the stadium by 4 p.m.,” he said. “We then have a 15-minute team meeting. Then we head to the locker room to get ready for the game.” 

While those are what a typical game day looks like for Adams and Okorie, those game day moments do not just happen. 

Both Okorie and Adams described long days with workouts, practices, classes, homework, as well as physical therapy treatments. 

“I (also) work at a medical supply store from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day,” Adams said.

While carrying these busy schedules, Adams and Okorie still have hobbies and are active in clubs on their respective campuses. Both are members of their schools Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Adams serves as the vice president and Okorie is co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. 

“I am a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and I also like to participate in research studies with a couple of my professors,” Adams said.

Okorie said he had musical hobbies he liked to focus on.

“A hobby of mine is playing the ukulele and trying to learn music and also going outdoors and traveling when I can,” he said.

Notice of death — Dec. 28, 2021

Brenda Crawford Hill   
June 23, 1945 – Dec. 17, 2021   
Visitation: 9:30-11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2586 Hwy. 150, Grambling   
Funeral Service: 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2586 Hwy. 150, Grambling   

Skatepark of Ruston hopes to meet fundraising goal by May 2022

By William Midkiff

Due to various delays, such as the devastating 2019 tornado, Hurricane Laura in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, construction on the Skatepark of Ruston was pushed back as far as necessary. Fundraising is still going strong, however, and director Joey Slaughter believes that funding should meet its first major goal by its due date—May of 2022.

“The city has told us that if we get $100,000 – our goal by May —that the park would start in the fall,” he said.

This project began in 2016, with hand-drawn skatepark ideas by skaters in the Ruston area. These drawings were combined into one plan, then rendered in 3D by Hunger Skateparks to serve as an official concept, and the project was on its way to becoming a reality.

The Skatepark of Ruston was then put on hold due to the aforementioned delays, but in the fall of 2020, Slaughter revived it with an online petition. The petition gained 2,500 signatures, which garnered the attention of Ruston Parks and Recreation.

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker has been working with Slaughter and his team ever since, and the state recently updated their agreement to provide funding by pledging $125,000 to the construction of the skatepark. Slaughter’s team is working to raise $100,000 on their own. They are currently at $40,000.

So far, the money has come directly from passionate people in the community.

“We put together a corporate fundraising packet about 5 months ago, and so we’ve gone to local businesses and asked people, and we’ve done fundraisers, and all kinds of stuff,” Slaughter said. “And that’s how we made that $40,000. It’s just local people pitching in because they believe in the project.”

Troy Ketchum, owner of Rock Island Physical Therapy in Ruston and personal friend of Slaughter, said this skatepark gives Ruston children another way to express themselves athletically. This is why Ketchum decided to sponsor the Skatepark of Ruston through his physical therapy business.

“I see the alternative sports as filling a real need in the area for a different kind of creative outlet for youth and for athletic development and competition that aren’t served by traditional sports,” Ketchum said.

Slaughter and his team are also seeking funds through potential grants and through an upcoming board fundraiser inspired by Project Loop, a community organization that was able to raise money for a skatepark in Taylor, Texas, by auctioning off custom skateboards designed by well-known artists. Slaughter is planning a similar auction for May 2022.

“We hope to raise $30,000,” Slaughter said. “It’ll be an online auction, and we’ll have other art and music and stuff going on with that.” 

He said it’s expected that 150-200 artists and musicians will participate.

Helping Slaughter with all of this is an entire board of people, including Kacey Richard, secretary and media manager. Richard is responsible for releasing information about the project, which is especially important for raising awareness and money.

The official Instagram page for the Skatepark of Ruston (@skateparkofruston) has been running multiple marketing campaigns to generate hype for the project, all of which are scheduled and posted by Richard.

“Right now we’re in the fundraising stage, so we’re selling merch, like t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and various raffle items,” Richard said. “So I make sure I have pictures and graphics and campaign pushes scheduled for all of our fundraising and promotional items.”

In recent years, social media has become one of the most effective methods of advertising, so for a project like this one, a relevant and up-to-date Instagram page is a vital aspect of marketing.

“Our social media presence has really been the key in how quickly our interest has grown,” Richard said. 

Anyone interested in learning more about the Skatepark of Ruston can visit the project’s website at

Dave and Sharon St. Andre: Building toward their best Christmas

By T. Scott Boatright

Sometimes the best gifts of all are worth waiting for.

And often, creative ones are the best of all.

That was the case for Ruston’s Dave and Sharon St. Andre, who received one of their best Christmas gifts ever after spending the past six years slowly putting together a new home that finally all came into place only a couple of weeks ago.

“We had an existing structure that was a garage with a small apartment upstairs that we built around 2005,” Sharon St. Andre said. “We had a plan to turn it into a larger house about 10 years after that. Well 10 years rolled along and we hadn’t started. Our family was growing and we were outgrowing that tiny little space upstairs.

“So it sounds crazy, but I was driving to a friend’s house at Briarhill Farms listening to an advertisement for general steel buildings. They were on sale, and while I was still driving, I called and bought one, sight unseen.” 

The company she bought the building from had specialists who told her they had contractors nearby that they worked with who could help put the building up. An architect friend drew the specs for the house and put the floor-plan together the building process began and as far as walls being put up and the house being wired for electricity.

After that shell to start the home was complete, the rest was up to the St. Andres.

“Maybe around 2013 we had started saving house parts — things we could use in a new build that we wanted to look like it was old,” St. Andre said. “Just by word of mouth people who call us and say, ‘Hey, we’re about to take this down, do you want to come see if there is anything you can use?’ Sometimes we might pay them $100, sometimes we might pay them nothing because they didn’t want anything. We’d go do that every Tuesday and Thursday because we didn’t work those two days, and on Saturdays.

“We harvested as many house parts as we possibly could — flooring, doors, lots of shiplap (wooden boards often used for constructing sheds, barns, and other rustic buildings) and lots of tongues and grooves (a method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge, used mainly with wood, in flooring, parquetry, paneling, and similar constructions — tongue and groove joints allow two flat pieces to be joined strongly together to make a single flat surface).

“Everyday we would come home and measure and catalog what we had added and group like things together. We cleaned them, sprayed them for bugs, demolded and ran them through the planer before starting to install them.”

Slowly but surely, a dream began being built piece by piece. And by Dec. 17, the inside of the house was finished, just in time to celebrate Christmas.

“For four or five Christmases we said it would be finished, but it never happened,” St. Andre said. “We could only work on it on our days off. We’re talking about harvesting, preparing and installing. All of that took a lot of time. That was working two or three days a week, sometimes less if something else was going on.

“But the further along we got the more it started snowballing. And eventually it all came together.”

The St. Andres showed off the new home during open houses they held last Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s not the most convenient location,” St. Andre said. “You have to be coming here. It’s not like you just drive by and stop in. We say our door is always open and that anyone who wants to come see it can do it now. So many friends have heard about it for so long, and now it’s finally finished.  

And on Christmas Eve, the St. Andres hosted a family Christmas for son Dustin and daughters April and Allie along with their families, including eight grandchildren, for the first time in six years.

“I hadn’t decorated for Christmas in six or seven years,” St. Andre said. “I can’t remember the last time I had done it. This year it was a family effort. The kids helped. My sisters came from Bossier and helped. It was a lot of family time spent getting the little things done to get what I started calling ‘The Beast’ across the finish line. 

“Doing that was a long time coming, but the whole process has really been a blessing.”

Lady Bearcat powerlifting prepares for upcoming season

By Madison Remrey 

Ruston High School’s girl’s powerlifting team, Lady Bearcat Powerlifting, is preparing for their upcoming season with hopes of competing in the state powerlifting meet in March 2022 and winning their first state title.

For a lifter to qualify to compete in the state meet, they must be in the top 10 of all girls from all schools of the same division in the state. The top 10 lifters are determined at regional level meets.

Sarah Wages, Lady Bearcat Powerlifting’s head coach, said that the team began preparing for the season over the summer and has been working hard ever since.

“The experienced girls on my team have been so dedicated to their training this year and have also shown a strong, positive mindset,” Wages said. “We are all just training and working hard to prepare for the season.”

Preparation involves being both physically and mentally dedicated.

Gabi Prewitt, a senior Lady Bearcat powerlifter, said she is preparing for the season by being more active, maintaining a balanced diet and being in a good mental state every time she goes to practice. 

There are various other competitions that the team will be competing in leading up to the state meet. The team members have set specific goals for themselves to meet during the competitions. One of these goals is never giving up and continuing to push themselves no matter what.

Wages said that she loves that the sport encourages and challenges the team and that it teaches them dedication to such goals along with stimulating positive self esteem.

“I love the long-term commitment that is required [of powerlifting] because it allows me to teach my girls the value of commitment to a goal,” Wages said. “Powerlifting also allows them to appreciate and be proud of what their bodies can do, rather than focusing on their body image from a negative perspective.”

To support the team through the season, there will be opportunities to sponsor them as well as being able to attend powerlifting meets.

The first meet for the junior varsity team is Friday, Jan. 7 at West Monroe High School. The first meet for the varsity team is Saturday, Jan. 22 at West Monroe High School.

Those that are interested in sponsorship can choose to do so for the North Regional Girls Powerlifting meet, which will host approximately 200 girls at Ruston High School. The meet will be held on February 26, 2022. 

For more information, contact Sarah Wages at

1873: A Year of Epidemics

By Wesley Harris

As we face many unknowns regarding the current situation with coronavirus, or COVID-19, our current medical technologies have advanced far beyond what our ancestors had available in mid-19th century Louisiana.

The angst experienced in Louisiana during Reconstruction after the Civil War was not limited to physical violence and political turmoil. Outlaws and assassins rampaged across the state, and the carpetbag government was under constant assault by local citizens. North Louisiana was also imperiled by several deadly epidemics. 

America is fortunate to avoid most of the deadly epidemics that still afflict much of the world. Modern medical techniques, including vaccinations, have all but eliminated the most frightening diseases that once terrorized the country. But 150 years ago, the spread of fatal illnesses instilled panic in a community like nothing else. Three contagious diseases struck the north Louisiana in 1873, the same year hundreds were slaughtered in the infamous Colfax Massacre. While smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever rarely worry Americans today, they frequently ravaged communities in the 19th century.


Smallpox struck northwest Louisiana early in 1873. The epidemic occurred in pockets throughout Louisiana as it was spread by infected carriers traveling between communities. One household a few miles from Arcadia experienced seven cases with two resulting in death. A nearby family suffered five cases with one death. In the Brushy Valley community southwest of Arcadia, five others were afflicted with two victims dying. 

In Mansfield, an official named John Wiggins died of smallpox.  Wiggins had returned from New Orleans where he apparently contracted smallpox while caring for his brother who died from the disease. When Wiggins became ill, he and his family were taken to a house about a half mile outside Mansfield where he died.

Despite Wiggins’s standing in the community, no one was willing to touch his body to bury it properly. Such was the terror created by smallpox that his friends deserted him in his death. His family left the death scene and he lay unmolested for three days. A large sum was offered to entice someone to bury him, and after much difficulty, two men agreed to take the job. He was buried near the house where he died, and the building burned down.

Eventually the outbreak subsided, as all epidemics do, only to be followed by another dreaded disease.


In May and June, an epidemic of cholera replaced smallpox as the scourge of the summer. While the bacteria that causes cholera was discovered in 1854, most people would not learn for decades that it spread through contaminated water and food. While it is no longer a significant problem in the U.S., underdeveloped countries with poor water sanitation still battle the disease.

At first, 1873’s outbreak was mild and sporadic, although it ranged from New Orleans to Monroe to the northwest Louisiana hills. As summer progressed, however, the number of cases and their severity increased. Over the course of ten days, about ten persons, young and old, died on a single plantation in Concordia Parish from the dreadful disease.

By mid-July, Monroe had experienced 85 cholera deaths. A Monroe newspaper lamented that the summer had been “the sickliest known for ten years” but seemed relieved that cases were reported throughout the state and “there is no special local cause to which the sickness can be attributed.”  From May 1 to July 15, 25 adult males and 20 adult females died in Monroe, but the disease hit children the worst with 40 deaths. Black victims outnumbered white ones 65 to 20. The number affected statewide is unknown.


A virus carried by mosquitoes, yellow fever still kills 30,000 worldwide each year, mostly in Africa. Many yellow fever epidemics struck America from the 17th to 19th Centuries, including the 1873 scourge that killed one-quarter of Shreveport’s population.

The first indication of an illness began on Aug. 20, 1873, when the Shreveport Times reported three men had died three days earlier, one dropping dead in the street. A host of incorrect causes were blamed as people speculated, including congestive fever, bilious fever, diarrhea, malaria, and other diseases. No one even suspected the mosquito as the mode of transmission for the deadly virus.

Since yellow fever had struck Shreveport twice before 1873, the population knew its dangers. As much as a third of the populace may have fled before quarantines were enforced. In her book, “The American Plague,” author Molly Caldwell Crosby describes yellow fever as “the most dreaded disease in North America for two hundred years. It did not kill in numbers like cholera or smallpox, and it was not contagious; yet it created a panic and fear few other diseases, ancient or contemporary, can elicit.”

The outbreak, killing as many as 33 people a day at its peak, caused a quarantine of the city and an almost total cessation of business and social life in the region. Federal troops attempting to enforce Reconstruction pulled out. People rushed to leave Shreveport by any means possible. Those who fled early toward Dallas by train were lucky because word spread as rapidly as the disease. Texas cities soon established quarantines against Shreveport. A train was stopped at the Dallas city limits by armed citizens who told the engineer he would be shot if he continued. Cities on the Red River south of Shreveport refused to permit boats to dock.

Although yellow fever was known to be extremely virulent and fast spreading, doctors and nurses and others from towns as far away as New Orleans courageously volunteered to help Shreveport fight the epidemic. Many died.

Lieutenant Eugene Woodruff of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was working on the Red River supervising clearance of a logjam when yellow fever struck Shreveport. The dense logjam formed a formidable obstruction to river navigation. Woodruff left his workboats and crew on the Red River to visit Shreveport to recruit a survey party. When he arrived, Woodruff learned of the yellow fever epidemic. Fearing that he might carry the disease back to his men if he returned to camp, Woodruff elected to remain in Shreveport and tend to the sick. 

Volunteering his services to a Louisiana disaster relief charity, Woodruff traveled house to house in his carriage, delivering food, medicine, and good cheer to the sick and dying. He contracted yellow fever himself and died in Shreveport on September 30. 

Woodruff’s commanding officer wrote, “He died because he was too brave to abandon his post even in the face of fearful pestilence, and too humane to let his fellow beings perish without give all the aid in his power to save them.”

Five Catholic priests died nursing the sick, including one from Monroe and one from Natchitoches. Two nuns from St. Vincents Academy who volunteered to minister to the sick also died. These servants have been memorialized in wall portraits and stained glass windows of the Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Fannin and Marshall Streets in downtown Shreveport.

A quarter of Shreveport’s population that remained died of the disease. The cases numbered close to 3,000 with about 1,000 deaths. Many families were wiped out completely. Most of the dead were relatively young and healthy. The epidemic led to the establishment of a board of health in Shreveport and completion of a charity hospital. Nearly 800 of the victims are buried in “Yellow Fever Mound” in Shreveport’s Oakland Cemetery.

While America’s health issues still exist, they present themselves in different forms, sometimes related to lifestyle and bad habits. Substantial strides in medicine and sanitation have largely defeated the insidious communicable diseases that once claimed unsuspecting victims. While no one in 1873 knew yellow fever was carried by mosquitoes, today we know enough about the coronavirus to take life-saving precautions.

Prep Hoops: Panthers push forward during holiday week

By T. Scott Boatright

While most parish teams took the holiday week to rest and heal up, the Lincoln Preparatory School Panthers kept scratching and clawing forward.

The Panthers roared to a pair of wins sandwiched between a loss to a big-school opponent. Following is recap of last week’s prep basketball action”:

Lincoln Prep started slow before igniting in the second quarter as the Panthers defeated Arcadia 63-36 last Tuesday.

Both teams started cold, with Lincoln Prep leading only 8-3 at the end of the first quarter.

But the Panthers outscored the Hornets 44-13 to road away with the convincing win.

Bralyn Mayfield led the way for Prep with  21 points, eight rebounds, three steals and assist.

Dmitry Payne added  12 points, four rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists while Emanuel Bryant chipped in to the winning effort for nine points, boards three assists and two steals.

Then on Wednesday, Class 1A Lincoln Prep tested itself on the road against 4A Neville, falling 60-42.

A slow start saw the Panthers down 18-6 at the end of the first quarter, and the early deficit proved too much to overcome.

Payne was the top Panther against Neville, totaling 24 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal and one blocked shot.

On Thursday at Union Parish High School, it came down to the final seconds.

The Panthers fought off a second-half rally by the Farmers to take a 53-51 victory.

After both teams started slow, with Union Parish leading 9-5 at the end of the opening stanza, Lincoln Prep battled its way to a 28-20 halftime advantage.

But the Farmers came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring Prep 18-6 to lead 38 -34 heading into the final eight minutes.

Three Panthers scoring in double figures and another with eight helped Lincoln Prep outscore the Farmers 19-13 in the final stanza ro earn the win and move to 12-5 on the season.

Two Panthers double-doubled with Mayfield chalking up 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals and blocks while  Bryant tallied 12 points and 10 boards along with two assists and a blocked shot.

Joseph Spann added 10 points, two rebounds and an assist for the Panthers while teammate , Brandon Heard totaled eight points, two boards, an assist and one point

Greene chosen as Betty Robbins Volunteer of the Year

On behalf Junior Auxiliary of Ruston, the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce announces that C. Alisa Greene has been chosen to receive the Betty Robbins Volunteer of the Year award for 2021. This award is presented to a Lincoln Parish resident who has made a difference in the lives of the children in this community. Betty Robbins was a former President of the local chapter, as well as the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA).

C. Alisa Greene has committed much of her life to volunteering. Alisa worked as a law enforcement officer for many years and created a crime prevention program using the GSU “Tiger Cop” mascot to teach safety to children. Alisa is a Social Worker by trade; however, she has discovered a love for teaching, coaching, serving, and mentoring. She has inspired so many people, and she demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to anyone that she comes in contact with.

Alisa is a passionate volunteer and cares deeply about serving her community. She has been a volunteer Cross Country Coach at both Cypress Springs Elementary and Cedar Creek. She has volunteered as the Chess Coach at Cypress Springs and as a fitness coach for the Ruston High School Pep Squad. 

Alisa has sponsored a Free National Run Day Event and volunteered for the Healthy Kids Running Series. She co-sponsored Kidspreneur Camp to help children gain a better understanding of entrepreneurship in Grambling, Louisiana. She has provided self-defense classes with a local community agency. To promote growth, Alisa created Field Day Friday for young children to experience educational activities in Lincoln Parish which included visits to banks, museums, the library, and various parks.

Having a heart to serve local senior citizens, Alisa collects and donates bags of apples and oranges to local nursing homes and provides home visits. She helped collect $500 to donate to the Desaird Street Shelter and she volunteers with Lincoln Parish youth serving meals at the shelter.

C. Alisa Greene is a role model for volunteerism. The ultimate goal of Alisa’s volunteer work is to motivate, encourage, and show love while bringing people together to create a strong community. She is an asset to our community.

This award will be presented at the Chamber’s 102nd Annual Banquet, title sponsored by Northern Louisiana Medical Center on Jan. 25, 2022, at the Ruston Civic Center. Tickets for Chamber members are $50/individual or $400/table of 8; for non-members $55/individual or $440/table. Reservations can be made at The banquet is also sponsored by Origin Bank and Hunt, Guillot & Associates.

Piney Hills Harmony tells area women, ‘Let’s sing!’

Ruston’s Piney Hills Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines spent more than a year of singing online and, thankfully, went back to in-person rehearsals this past summer – and now in January 2022, they’re inviting area women to “Let’s Sing!” guest nights.  

“COVID-19 couldn’t keep us down,” President Lynette Murphy, of Choudrant, said. “We met via Zoom from March 2020 to June 2021, and we even learned new songs and had guests visit us online. Then, the first night we rehearsed ‘live,’ a guest drove in from Farmerville – and in the fall she became our newest member.”  

The chorus is now issuing a formal invitation for area women to visit with the four-part a cappella group that’s part of one of the world’s largest singing organizations for women. Rehearsals are from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner. Guest nights are scheduled for Jan. 13 and 20.  

Director Candice Bassett, of Grayson, said, “What better time than the New Year to begin something that can be so rewarding? It’s a great time to get out and start doing things that make you happy and bring you joy. Singing offers so many rewards – from health benefits to increasing your social interaction – and so much more. So that’s why we’re saying, ‘Let’s Sing!'”  

Ages 13 and up are welcome along with all voice parts – high, low or anywhere in between. Sweet Adelines International says that any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, can find a part that fits her voice range with the help of chorus directors and leaders. The ability to read music is not required.  

Attendees will get to sing with the chorus and learn multiple new songs right along with them, such as “The Loco-Motion” and “L-O-V-E.”   

During rehearsal, chorus members observe safety protocols such as singers being spaced out; masks are optional.  

“Visitors will find Piney Hills Harmony a warm and welcoming place,” Murphy said. “Singing and music education are only part of the benefits that Sweet Adelines members enjoy. They also experience sincere friendships, increased self-confidence, renewed energy, and the steadfast inspiration from others that’s priceless.”  

For more information contact Sallie Rose Hollis, vice president and membership chair, at You can also visit and Piney Hills Harmony Chorus / Sweet Adelines International on Facebook. 


Tech’s Wurm earns honors

Louisiana Tech freshman Mackenzie Wurm was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week Monday following her performance in the Lady Techsters 74-57 win over McNeese State last Wednesday.

Wurm is the second Lady Techster this season to earn C-USA Freshman of the week honors, joining classmate Amaya Brannon (Nov. 15), after posting her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win against the Cowgirls.

In the win, Wurm helped the Lady Techsters shatter a 37-year old school record for most made free throws in a game (40), by going 8-of-8 from the line.

The Allen, Texas native entered last week with only six points and five rebounds before providing a spark off the bench to become the second Lady Techster this season to grab double-digit rebounds (12).

She is just the eighth Lady Techster to be named the Conference USA Freshman of the week since Tech joined the league back in 2013.

Wurm and the rest of the Lady Techsters will travel to Marshall on Thursday to open up Conference USA play at 6:30 p.m. inside the Cam Henderson Center.

Physics professor Lee Sawyer to chair APS historic sites committee 

Louisiana Tech University Professor of Physics and Academic Director of Chemistry and Physics Dr. H. Lee Sawyer will chair the American Physical Society (APS) Historic Sites Committee for the 2022 year. 

The APS Historic Sites Committee is made up of six members selected by the Committee on Committees and appointed by the President-elect for three-year terms. This year, the president-elect has selected Sawyer to head up the committee after his performance as a member of the committee for the 2021 year. 

The committee selects sites where individuals and institutions have made outstanding contributions to physics and approves wording on plaques at the sites. 

“As someone who has always had a deep interest in history, as well as science, this is a perfect position for me to serve APS and give back to the physics community,” Sawyer said. “I look forward to working with the committee throughout the 2022 year.” 

Since its founding, the committee has named 54 historical sites around the world, including 52 historic sites throughout the United States, one of which is in Louisiana. 

“The APS and the APS Historic Sites Committee share important historical landmarks of physics while promoting new physics research and building networks of physicists who can collaborate on new and exciting projects,” Sawyer added. 

The APS is a volunteer organization that was established in 1899. The organization provides a welcoming and supportive professional home for an active, engaged, and diverse membership; advances scientific discovery and research dissemination; advocates for physics and physicists; amplifies the voice for science; shares the excitement of physics; communicates the essential role physics plays in the modern world; and promotes effective physics education for all.