An undercover operation has led to the arrest of a Ruston man for soliciting a minor for sex. https://www.agjefflandry.com/CyberSafetyCameron Jarrell Swan, 23, was arrested last week and charged with two counts of Indecent Behavior with Juveniles and two counts of Computer-Aided Solicitation of a Minor. Swan is currently being held at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center under $200,000 bail. The operation was a joint investigation involving members of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force including the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Louisiana State Police. “We are thankful for everyone who participated in this investigation and work tirelessly to rid our communities from child predators”, said Sheriff Stephen Williams. “This investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible. “We encourage all parents to discuss the dangers of online predators with their children,” Williams said. “The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has a website where parents can get tips on how to keep their children and families safe online.” A link has been provided below:
Many times, people deserve second chances.
However, sometimes the party providing the second chance has to weigh the pros with the cons.
Enter Art Briles and Grambling State University.
GSU announced the addition of the former Baylor head coach to new Tigers head coach Hue Jackson’s staff last week. That announcement has caused some pretty significant chatter, both locally and nationally.
And some of it isn’t positive.
Briles’ hiring isn’t etched in stone.
According to a story in the Monroe News-Star Saturday, the University hasn’t notified the University of Louisiana System of the decision. And once it does, Briles will need a majority vote from the 16-member board which doesn’t meet until April 28.
“It’s up to the board and our board takes things very seriously,” Cami Geisman, vice president of external affairs and chief of staff for the UL System, told the Monroe News-Star. “They’re not a rubber-stamp board by any means.”
Briles hasn’t worked in college football since being dismissed by Baylor University following a sexual assault scandal in 2015. It was an ugly, national story that tarnished Baylor’s reputation and all-but-ended Briles’ career in collegiate football.
That is until last week.
Finding information about what allegedly occurred at Baylor that led to Briles’ dismissal isn’t hard to locate online. It was everywhere in 2016 and it’s resurfacing now that Grambling State has elected to make the hire.
Here is a look back at the timeline for the Briles’ story.
2016: Baylor released findings of fact documents by the board of regents based on an independent investigation by the law firm Pepper Hamilton. The report stated that the findings “reflect significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of athlete misconduct.”
The Board of Regents held Briles responsible and suspended him with a plan to fire him as soon as they were legally allowed to do so.
Briles claimed he was never shown the evidence for why Baylor chose to fire him. He sued the University for wrongful termination, but later withdrew the lawsuit. Along with Briles, Baylor president Ken Starr and AD Ian McCaw resigned in the way of the scandal.
2017: The Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats hired Briles as an assistant. However, coming under intense criticism for the hire, the franchise reversed its course just hours after the announcement.
2018: Reports surfaced that cast some doubt as to Briles’ knowledge and participation in the scandal, claiming school administrators and local police buried the reports on the players without telling the football staff.
Later that same year, McCaw testified during a deposition that the sexual assault football scandal was “manufactured” by investigators and the Board of Regents to cover up a larger university-wide issue. McCaw alleged that the school created “an elaborate plan that essentially scapegoated black football players and the football program for being responsible for what was a decades-long, university-wide sexual assault scandal,” according to court documents.
Months later, Briles turned over new documents pursuant to a subpoena, which had not been previously produced by Baylor. The documents showed multiple senior Baylor administrators knew about a serial sexual assault assailant in fall 2011; but, along with Briles, failed to act.
Baylor’s legal counsel Christopher Holmes sent a letter addressed to Briles, clarifying Briles did not fail or discourage victims from reporting to law enforcement or university official.
2019: After coaching one year of football in Italy, Briles returned to the states and was hired as the head coach at Mount Vernon High School in Texas. In two seasons with the high school, Briles led the school to a 20-6 record. He resigned following his second season.
Bottom line is Briles is not officially 100 percent guilty of anything. However, right or wrong, a cloud of doubt and moral lack of judgement will follow him for the rest of his life.
Sam Rothman, of KTAL-TV, had an exclusive interview with Briles Friday. During the interview, she asked him what he would do differently.
“I’ll do exactly what I’m required to do and what they expect of me which is to be a very solid citizen, to be a positive leader on a day in and day out basis, to do everything I can do to protect our students and our student-athletes on campus and to represent the Grambling University to the best of my ability because I’m very humble and grateful to be at this University,” Briles said.
So, is the decision by Hue Jackson and Grambling State worth the smoke?
Former Grambling State quarterback and head coach Doug Williams told the Washington Post that he doesn’t see why the school has hired Briles.
“I don’t know Art Briles; I’ve never met him in my life,” Williams told the Post. “But the situation, nobody else would hire him for whatever reason. I don’t know why Grambling State had to go be the one to hire him, so I’m not a fan at all.”
Williams even took it a step further when asked if he would continue to support his alma mater.
“Oh, no. I can’t do that,” said Williams. “No. No. No. If I support them, I condone it.”
So, at a time when Grambling State faithful should be united together in the excitement over a new era in the storied history of their beloved Tigers football program, it appears as if they are instead divided by the decision.
Will the feedback from alums such as Williams cause GSU to reconsider and call an audible?
One can almost hear Peyton Manning hollering, “OMAHA. OMAHA.”
A 23-year-old Monroe male was arrested last week and charged with disturbing the peace by fighting at the Dawg House restaurant.
Ruston Police officers were dispatched to the Dawg House at 102 N. Homer Street in regards to a disturbance caused by Phillip K. Anderson.
The security officer working the Dawg House door advised that Anderson was told to leave the bar after berating bartenders for several hours. The security officer said Anderson was escorted to the front door and then made statements about his bar tab. After the security officer went to check the tab, Anderson then hit him using the front door.
The security officer said he pushed Anderson back with the door, and Anderson attempted to strike him. Then Anderson was restrained by security guards and placed in handcuffs.
After speaking with all parties, Ruston Police transported Anderson to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and booked him on the above charges.
The Lincoln Parish Journal caught up with newly named Cedar Creek head coach Steven Ensminger to talk about his plan for his new job. This is the first of a three-part Q&A with the new Cougars coach.
LPJ: What was it about the Cedar Creek job that interested you?
Ensminger: Having lived in Ruston multiple times, coaching at Ruston High School and playing high school football at West Monroe, it has made me very familiar with the type of kids Cedar Creek has. I have learned that they are some of the most competitive, hard-working, and dedicated kids you will find throughout the state of Louisiana. North Louisiana has had very successful programs along I-20 for a very long time.
I am excited for the opportunity to take the reigns of this athletic program at Cedar Creek and build on the success they’ve had both athletically and academically. They have great community support. It just felt like the perfect opportunity for me. I am eager to mold this program. I believe it has endless potential to become what I envision to be one of the best programs in the state of Louisiana, where kids will want to come play at for years to come, while most importantly receiving one of the best educations you can find in this state.
LPJ: What will be your top priorities in your first month on the job?
Ensminger: The list of things I have made over the past couple of days is up to four pages long now, and there’s so many things that need to get done. But I feel like it is very important for me to meet every single coach, athlete, teacher, parent, and supporter and create a relationship with these people and gain their trust and share my vision. I want to let them know in order for my vision to come true, it is going to take everybody coming together and working together and supporting one another because in my life family is everything to me. That’s number one on my list. Here in the first week, as far as football goes, we will meet as a staff and come up with detailed schedules for the kids as far as off-season training, summer workouts, spring ball, etc.
I will meet with every player individually and learn everything I can about them as far as their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and so many other things. I want to be able to know exactly what needs to be done in that aspect to mold this team into a championship team. I am ecstatic to hit the ground running. In addition to that, I have another list of different things I would like to do as far as facilities, uniforms, fundraisers, social media, and more in order to create a culture here that is exciting for these kids and this community. It is all about these kids and getting them excited about the opportunities they have in front of them to do great things. I can’t go into detail on some of the ideas and plans I have, but I can promise that Friday nights at the Creek are going to be something you won’t want to miss and everyone in this state will be talking about it. But in order for that vision to come true, it’s going to take the entire Cedar Creek family to come together and trust me when I say that championships are coming. And not just in football, but in all athletics.
LPJ: What is Steven Ensminger’s offensive philosophy and what is the game-plan for installing it?
Ensminger: Before I answer that question, I would like to be able to evaluate the roster in more depth and evaluate the staff. I need to figure out the pieces of this puzzle that may or may not be missing that are needed to for this year’s team to be successful. It would be easy to say that I am going to do this and I am going to do that. But I believe to be a championship team, extra time needs to be spent evaluating what is needed for us to play to our full potential. But if you must have an answer, it’s simple: light up the scoreboard.
In its 339th commencement exercises, Louisiana Tech University conferred degrees on 319 graduates.
Commencement speaker Katie Samuels, a two-time graduate of Louisiana Tech, challenged graduates to face uncertainty and fear on their paths in the future.
“Why is being able to deal with challenging situations important?” Samuels said. “First, we all recognize that challenges are a part of life and we’ll need to have the ability to deal with them. The more powerful reason is that working through challenges not only helps us achieve our goals, but it is also ‘good for us.’”
Success is born from facing challenges and overcoming them – sometimes failing – multiple times, Samuels said. An individual’s work to overcome two types of challenges can be empowering.
“The first type might occur in work or family or social situations. The challenge may ignite a classic phobia, or a fear of failure or rejection, or negative impacts on your job,” Samuels said. “A lot of challenges will find you throughout your life. The key is to face them and learn from them.”
Samuels said the second type of challenge for graduates face was the one that they would choose for themselves.
“You seek those challenges and walk into your fear for your growth,” she said. “These bring you even more benefit, because they are targeted in the direction of your personal goals and help you reach your full potential.”
Louisiana Tech graduates, she added, are uniquely prepared to face environmental or chosen challenges.
“You will fail sometimes,” Samuels said. “And if you don’t, then you are not asking enough of yourself. Failure is a valuable tool, even a requirement, of success.
“Your time at Tech has changed your life. You have the educational and experiential foundation to move forward from this commencement, this start. To build your capabilities: Lay out your goals, seek out your challenges, walk into your fear and discomfort, learn from your failures. You will have many successes to celebrate.”
Samuels earned her bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1986 and her master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1988 from Louisiana Tech. While she was a student, she served as a leader for Alpha Phi Omega, the Society of Women Engineers, and a number of honor societies.
Since leaving Louisiana Tech, Samuels has served the petroleum industry in a number of roles and has volunteered her time as a mentor for many and as a reader for Sight into Sound, increasing accessibility for books for the blind. She has served as a leader for the Louisiana Tech University Foundation for more than a decade.
Louisiana Tech begins Spring Quarter classes March 9.
By T. Scott Boatright
After a tight first half in a Class 5A boys first-round playoff game against Dutchtown, the Ruston High School Bearcats rode a third quarter surge to a 57-44 victory Friday night at the RHS Main Gym.
The third-seeded Bearcats (25-4) will next play host to 14th-seeded East Ascension (16-9) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets to that game will cost $8 at the door.
Against 30th-seeded Dutchdown, Ruston led only 10-7 at the end of the opening stanza before Dutchtown’s Stephen Aguillard netted the second of his five 3-point shots on the night to tie things up at 10-10 at the 7:20 mark of the second quarter.
The Griffins moved on top at 12-10 with 6:45 left in the first half on an inside shot by Lathan Webster before Ruston’s Lonnie Dimmer’s offensive rebound and putback shot tied it up at 12-12 just 31 seconds later.
The Bearcats built a five-point lead at 17-12 on an inside shot plus a free throw by McNeal with 5:02 left in the first half.
The only basket scored in the final four minutes came on a 3-pointer by Anding off an assist from McNeal with 1:19 on the clock, and the Bearcats took a 20-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“If I had to give it a grade, we passed,” Bond said. “But we’ve got to play better. We knew they weren’t your typical No. 30 seed. They started out the year 3-9 and then won 10 of their last 15. So, I knew and had told the guys repeatedly that Dutchtown is a good basketball team. They’re really, really well-coached. They play hard for all 32 minutes and never quit, and they’ve got five seniors that play.
“We came out with some nerves, which is to be expected. We got some traction in the second half, but it’s in my nature not to give up anything easy. We missed too many layups. It should have been a (larger margin of victory).”
The Bearcats came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring Dutchtown 21-9 in the stanza behind a 10-0 run as the Bearcats led 41-24 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
That lead was good enough for the Bearcats to withstand being outscored 20-16 in the fourth quarter, but the fact the Griffins were able to do that left Bond with some concerns
“I was pleased with the run in the third quarter,” Bond said. “I was pleased that we pushed the lead to 22 points. But then we decided we weren’t going to rebound anymore. We let people drive by us. We let their best player shoot the ball.
“We knew No. 2 was their best player and No. 12 made some good shots tonight. But we were helping off the shooter, and you don’t help off the shooter, you help off of somebody on the weak side. It was just some defensive breakdowns that concern me. It was a great crowd, and I appreciate the people for coming out. We absolutely need more people here Tuesday night.”
McNeal led Ruston with 20 points while Dillon Wilson added 11 for the Bearcats and Anding chipped in with nine.
“If we want to get to where we want to get to, we’ve got to play better,” said Bond. “If we play Tuesday like we played tonight, we’ll probably get beat. We’ve got to play smarter and play harder. It’s not going to get any easier from here on out.”
Weather permitting, Baldwin Street between the South Service Road and Lee Avenue as well as Lee between Howard Street and Baldwin Street will be closed to through traffic beginning 8 a.m. today until further notice. The City of Ruston has announced the closure is necessary for the Monroe Street Corridor Project development.
The multimillion-dollar project involves realignment of streets, new road surfaces, new drainage facilities, 12’ wide sidewalks and multi-use paths, efficient LED lighting, and relocation of electrical and fiber optic utilities underground.
The City of Ruston apologizes for the duration and impact of this closure. For any emergencies, please call 318-255-1316.
Louisiana Tech took sole possession of first place in conference USA’s West Division standings tonight with a 62-54 win over North Texas inside the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston.
“I am so proud of our team,” said Brooke Stoehr. “It’s finals week. We played double overtime Thursday night. Our kids were worn out, but they still found a way to win. I got to give a lot of credit to North Texas. They are a really good team, but we dug deep to win this one.”
The win over North Texas (14-11, 8-7 C-USA) coupled with Southern Miss losing earlier in the day to Rice, moved LA Tech (17-10, 9-7 C-USA) a half-game ahead in first with a week left to play in the regular season.
The Techsters finished the night shooting 43.6 percent from the field and held UNT to just 33.9%.
Keiunna Walker, coming off a triple double on Thursday, led Tech with 22 points, marking the 28th straight game in double figures.
Anna Larr Roberson, who battled foul trouble most of the second half, finished with eight points and six rebounds. Bates added eight of her own while Kate Thompson contributed seven.
In another classic close game between Louisiana Tech and North Texas, the Bulldogs narrowly fell to the Mean Green by a final score of 56-49 on Saturday afternoon inside The Super Pit.
“We had chances,” said Eric Konkol. “Proud of our guys for the grit and resolve that they had. This is a tough environment to come into. North Texas is obviously good and have had a great season. I thought defensively, we were really, really good. I thought our guys really emptied their tanks Defensively. Fourteen turnovers ended up being too many for us and we had some key ones down the stretch that really hurt us.”
LA Tech (20-8, 11-5 C-USA) trailed for much of the game and faced its largest deficit at 40-49 with 5:35 to go. However, the Bulldogs put together their largest run, a 9-0 spurt that included four straight points by Kenneth Lofton, Jr., a three-pointer by Amorie Archibald and a driving layup by Keaston Willis.
Unfortunately, that would be the last time the ‘Dogs found the basket. Three missed shots and two turnovers occurred in the final three minutes after tying the game up at 49-49 as the Mean Green outscored Tech 7-0 down the stretch.
Tech hosts Old Dominion at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Lady Techsters recorded five singles wins to help claim its 10th victory of the season, a 5-2 decision over Arkansas State on Sunday afternoon at the LA Tech Tennis Complex.
“The team delivered another solid win today,” said Amanda Stone. “Sometimes it is hard coming off a big win like Friday to get up for the next match, but I thought we showed a lot of mental toughness against Arkansas State. Even though doubles did not go our way, I am really proud of how we rose above and toughed out our singles. We are looking forward to tomorrow and closing out our home stand with what we hope is another good performance.”
LA Tech reached double-digit dual wins for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons (fourth time under head coach Amanda Stone).
The 10-2 start to the season is tied for the second-best start in program history (best since 2016).
LA Tech extended its winning streak to eight, the fifth longest in program history.
Tech hosts Tarleton State today at 2 p.m.
After an emotional win over No. 8 LSU Wednesday night, the Bulldogs fell short in two of three against a talented Tulane Green Wave team at JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Tech (5-2) won 6-1 on Friday night before dropping both ends of a Sunday doubleheader by scores of 4-1 and 13-5.
“We are not defined by three or four bad innings, and that is what it was today. Offensively we weren’t good. Truly we did not pitch good for three or four innings out of the 14. We didn’t defend the field very well in those innings. We have got to put it behind us, come to work tomorrow and lift some weights.”
Tech will face Nicholls State Tuesday night in Thibodaux.
Head coach Josh Taylor and the Lady Techsters posted a 3-2 record over the weekend playing in the Mardi Gras Mambo in Youngsville.
Tech recorded wins over St. Thomas (10-2), Eastern Illinois (10-3) and Lipscomb (3-0) while falling to 2nd ranked Alabama (2-0) and Portland State (4-1).
“I was very, very pleased with our pitching all weekend,” said Taylor. “All of them threw well. (Lauren) Menzina pitched really well against Alabama on Saturday. Audrey was solid all weekend. We played a very clean game today and we were petty good defensively most of the weekend. We just need to continue to move forward in getting better in all phases.”
Senior Audrey Pickett picked up the decision in all three wins for the Lady Techsters, while Lindsay Edwards (2) and Brooke Diaz (1) hit home runs over the weekend.
Tech will face McNeese State Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Lake Charles before hosting Southeastern Wednesday at 4 p.m.
It’s been years in the making — and now it’s here.
Ruston’s first Beer Crawl is slated for March 11, and tickets are on sale now.
“Our first crawl was scheduled for March 13, 2020 — literally the day the world shut down from the pandemic!” said Amy Stegall, Main Street director and community coordinator. “So this is the first — and you’ll get those throwback tasting cups when you participate this time.”
The event, which is limited to 500 attendees, is a walking beer tasting that will take individuals from business to business in downtown Ruston. Snacks, entertainment, special deals — and of course beer — will be enjoyed.
“Getting out and hanging out with friends is one of the things our community enjoys most,” Stegall said. “This event takes you all over our beautiful downtown and is a great way to see just what our merchants have to offer. You can also grab a bite at one of our fantastic restaurants, who will be having specials. that night, too. Or maybe try axe throwing for the first time — there is just so much fun to be had in downtown. This is a great night to get out and enjoy it.”
Twenty-one craft beers will be available to try — one at every stop on the crawl.
Tickets are already on sale, and Stegall said more than half of the 500 have already been sold.
“I would say if you’re planning on going — you better get one now,” she advised.
For more information, visit facebook.com/downtownrustonla or visit the Instagram page @downtownruston.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, Feb. 28
5:30 p.m.: Grambling Women’s Basketball vs. Bethune-Cookman
7:30 p.m.: Grambling Men’s Basketball vs. Bethune-Cookman
Tuesday, March 1
5:15 p.m.: Domestic abuse survivors support group (For information, contact Erika McFarland at 318-513-9373)
6 p.m.: Lincoln Parish School Board meeting
Wednesday, Mar. 2
6 p.m.: Louisiana Tech Men’s Basketball vs. Old Dominion (Thomas Assembly Center)
6 p.m.: Louisiana Tech Softball vs. Southeastern
Thursday, March 3
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Kool Kids Consignment sale
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theater presents “Matilda, Jr.”
Friday, Mar. 4
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Kool Kids Consignment sale
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theater presents “Matilda, Jr.”
6 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Eastern Illinois
Saturday, Mar. 5
7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Kool Kids Consignment sale
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
2 p.m.: Lady Techster Basketball vs. UAB (Thomas Assembly Center)
3 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Eastern Illinois
3-6 p.m.: WRLDINVSN presents March Madness Celebrity Basketball Game (Ruston Sports Complex)
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theater presents “Matilda, Jr.”
Sunday, Mar. 6
1 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Eastern Illinois
2 p.m.: Ruston Community Theater presents “Matilda, Jr.”
An average of 55 percent of households across Northwest Louisiana are struggling to make ends meet. In response, United Way of Northwest Louisiana, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, promotes the annual free tax preparation options available to the public. These programs, sponsored in part by Capital One, help relieve the financial burden of tax preparation fees for thousands of local households.
Now through April, nine local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites will be open to the public. To qualify for free tax filing through the VITA program, individuals must earn less than $58,000. Volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified with extensive hours of training. They are trained to do simple returns with W-2 and 1099 forms (no itemized or business taxes).
“VITA is a simple solution to save money on a service that could cost hundreds of dollars,” said UWNWLA Vice President of Financial Stability, Rashida Dawson. “We encourage residents to take advantage of this free resource and keep more of their hard-earned money. The money saved by taking advantage of the VITA program could help create asset-building opportunities for working families such as establishing a sustainable savings.” During the 2021 tax season, 4,322 returns were completed, and taxpayers saved $1,188,550 in preparation fees. In total, these free tax preparation programs issued $3,521,376 of federal refunds to taxpayers.
VITA locations include churches, community centers, independent living facilities, and more. These sites are available in Bossier City, Coushatta, Minden and Shreveport. There are designated sites for AARP members, active military, and a Spanish-speaking interpreter is available upon request.
If qualifying residents prefer to file their own state and federal taxes, MyFreeTaxes.com offers free filing software online. United Way has partnered with TaxSlayer, which powers MyFreeTaxes.com, to help people easily and accurately file their state and federal taxes online. MyFreeTaxes.com is a safe, easy, and free way to file for taxpayers. This software is available across the United States.
The following locations will operate as a VITA site during the 2022 tax season. Masks are required at all locations, and some will require temperature checks. All sites are by appointment only, so please call ahead for hours of operation and to set up an appointment:
Now through April
Caddo Community Action Agency – David Raines
1625 David Raines Road, Shreveport, LA 71107
Caddo Community Action Agency – St. Vincent
4055 St. Vincent Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71108
Caddo Community Action Agency – Lakeside
1729 Ford Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
Creighton Hill – Great St. Paul Baptist Church
510 High Street, Minden, LA 71055
Highland Center Ministries – Highland Center
520 Olive Street, Shreveport, LA 71104
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church – Sadie’s Arms, Inc.
5340 Jewella Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71109
New Horizons Independent Living Center
1701 North Market, Shreveport, LA 71107
Southern Hills Recreation Center – AARP
1002 W. Bert Kouns Ind. Loop Shreveport, LA 71118
Barksdale Air Force Base – ACTIVE MILITARY
2nd Bomb Wing Tax Center
Barksdale AFB, LA 71110
For the sites listed below, YOU prepare your federal & state return. Gross income must be under $73,000. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment. Computer, printer, Wi-Fi, & tax coach are provided free of charge.
Red River Council on Aging
1825 Front Street, Coushatta, LA 71019
Baptist Bible Fellowship
8900 Kingston Road, Shreveport, LA 71118
CLICK to COMPARE: https://www.humanateam.com
If you are enrolled in a Medicare/Medicaid plan rated less than 5 stars, you may switch to a Humana 5-star plan even after the Annual Election Period ends. The 5-star Special Enrollment period runs from December 8, 2021 through November 30, 2022.
A Humana Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan has everything Original Medicare has – and benefits you might not get with Medicare Part A and Part B alone. Your Humana Dual Eligible Special Needs plan works with your Medicaid benefits, so you can get the benefits you need – and even more – like:
- Healthy Foods Card – $75 each month for approved groceries
- $200 over-the-counter allowance every three months*
- Hearing benefit includes annual exam and $0 copay for advanced TruHearing hearing aids
- Unlimited rides to your doctors**
- $3,000 dental coverage annually for select services, plus exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings and more
*, Available only through participating retailers and Humana’s mail-order pharmacy, Humana Pharmacy, always consult with your doctor or medical provider before taking over-the-counter medications.
**, This benefit is not to exceed 100 miles per trip.
CLICK to COMPARE: https://www.humanateam.com
For couples tying the knot, they want to invite friends and family to participate in the celebratory day with them. After all, it’s a monumental occasion for them – as well as the guests. While the bridal party wears special attire, prepares months in advance, and celebrates with showers and parties, the guests also have preparations to make – one which includes the RSVP.
Responding to a couple’s RSVP allows the couple to best prepare for their wedding – and to prepare for their guests. To be a good guest, one does “please respond,” as the RSVP indicates. An RSVP not only confirms whether a guest will be able to attend or not, but it allows the couple to adequately prepare tables, food, and even plus-one guests, if offered.
As wedding season kicks off this spring, make sure if one is invited to a wedding to RSVP as soon as possible to allow the couple to finish final wedding preparations. If the invite offers a plus-one, indicate whether a guest will be attending as well – but wedding etiquette states that if a plus-one is not indicated on the invite, don’t request one. Also, be mindful regarding children. Some couples wish for their weddings to be child-free. Be respectful of their wishes.
RSVPs can be in a variety of forms, from physical versions to digital. If the couple asks for a physical card, don’t text them a response. Make sure to follow the instructions, whether the couple asks for an emailed RSVP, a response on their wedding website or a mailed physical card.
By RSVPing to weddings in a timely, accurate fashion, guests allow the couple to prepare well for the big day so the bride and groom – as well as the guests – are able to celebrate fully.
July 13, 1954 – February 24, 2022
Lady Techsters 90, Rice 80 (2OT)
Anna Larr Roberson scored 44 points and Kieunna Walker recorded only the fourth triple double in program history to lead the Lady Techsters to a 90-80 double overtime win on Thursday.
Roberson, whose previous career-high was 22 points, hit 20-of-26 field goal attempts and 4-of-5 free throws as the 44 points are the fifth most in a single game in program history. She added nine rebounds.
Her 44 points is the fifth most points ever scored in a single game for the Techsters and her 20 made field goals is tied for the most in program history with Belinda Jones who did it back in 1975-75.
Walker was everywhere, scoring 27 points, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds and recording a career-high 10 assists to record the first triple double since Tasha Williams accomplished the feat in 2006.
Walker’s 27 points also moved her past both Erica Smith-Taylor and Tasha Williams to place her No. 31 on the all-time scoring list with 1,261 points.
In a game that sat at just 3-2 five minutes into the contest, there could not have been much chance the fans inside the TAC expected to see the wild, crazy, and historic finish that ended with 170 points on 147 shots and saw 92 rebounds combined between the two teams.
Both teams slowly began to heat up over the course of the second and third quarters as Tech worked to build their largest lead of the game with 5:49 left to play in the third quarter (44-34).
Rice’s Ashlee Austin then caught fire scoring 14 straight points of her team-high 27 to close the gap to just three entering the fourth (54-51).
With Tech clinging to that three-point lead later in the fourth, the Owls went on a 9-0 run over a minute-and-a-half to take a 58-52 lead with just three minutes remaining, but eight points from Roberson, including the game-tying basket with 42 seconds remaining, would help send the game into overtime.
In the first extra period, teams traded the lead five times including Tech taking a 78-76 lead off two Walker free-throws. With just 10 seconds remaining, Rice had an inbounds opportunity near their bench when Roberson was called for a delay of game technical foul that gave the Owls two free-throws and the ball.
Austin connected on both attempts, but Rice was unable to score on the next possession which sent the game into a second overtime.
Rice would regain the lead one more time off two more free-throws to start the period, but the combination of Roberson and Walker would score the final 12 points of the game. The clutch baskets mixed with timely defensive stops sealed the 90-80 double OT victory and move the Techsters only a half-game back of the division lead behind Southern Miss and North Texas.
Bulldogs 83, Rice 79
Louisiana Tech picked up its 20th victory of the season and remained tied for second in the West Division standings after defeating Rice, 83-79, on Thursday night inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
“Winning 20 games is one of the goals,” said Konkol. “We feel like we have much bigger ones that we are trying to accomplish. We have talked about a standard of excellence and the team knows what that means. To win 20 games in college basketball is a great accomplishment and I am proud of the team.”
LA Tech (20-7, 11-4 C-USA) led for almost 37 minutes of the game, but was never able to pull away from one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country in Rice (14-13, 6-9 C-USA) who connected on 11 triples.
“We knew we were going to play a really good Rice team on its home floor,” said Konkol. “They have had some big wins at home. I thought we gave great effort and contested a number of shots. We had a total team effort with five guys in double figures. I thought our bench was really good. We knew we were going to have to score it to come away with a very good win.”
The Bulldogs grabbed their largest lead of the game on the opening possession of the second half when Keaston Willis drained the team’s first three-pointer of the contest to make it 37-27.
The Owls stayed within striking distance though, slicing the deficit down to two at 50-48 after Travis Evee’s fifth three-pointer of the game with 12:48 to go.
Kenneth Lofton, Jr. started to take over in response, scoring or assisting on six of the ‘Dogs next eight possessions, including dishes to Cobe Williams, David Green and Amorie Archibald who each buried three-pointers of their own.
Rice refused to go away, getting to within four at 70-66 to force a timeout by head coach Eric Konkol with 3:06 left. After the teams traded turnovers, LA Tech got a big triple from the wing by Willis to push the lead back out to seven with less than two minutes to play.
From then on, the Bulldogs made 10 of their last 12 free throw attempts and got one key defensive stop at the end of the game to prevail. After holding a low-scoring first half with the ‘Dogs holding a 34-27 lead, they ended up scoring 49 second-half points and needing all of them to win for the first time in Houston since 2016.
LA Tech had five players score in double figures – Lofton, Jr. (16), Archibald (14), Green (12), Williams (12) and Willis (11).
The Bulldogs face C-USA leader North Texas Saturday in Denton. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.
Former Louisiana Tech quarterback and Ruston High School quarterbacks coach Steven Ensminger, Jr. has been named the new head football coach and athletics director at Cedar Creek High School.
Ensminger’s name has been mentioned by the Lincoln Parish Journal in numerous coaching search stories about the opening, following the resignation of Matt Middleton who took the OC job at Southern Arkansas.
The Lincoln Parish Journal mentioned another former Louisiana Tech quarterback in Gene Johnson. However, the LPJ learned that Johnson pulled his name from consideration earlier this week.
Ruston High head coach Jerrod Baugh feels Ensminger is ready for his first head coaching job.
“I think obviously he’s a good football coach,” said Baugh. “It did not take them long to realize that after visiting him a couple of times. His dad has been around a lot of great schools, and he’s had a lot of opportunities to learn about football organizations. He benefitted from his time here and was a big part of our success while he was here.
“It is his first head coaching job so there is always a lot to learn. As much as you feel like you are prepared, there’s nothing like learning on the job. He’s as prepared as he can be. This is always something that he was wanted to do. He developed some good relationships with the kids and the coaches here. It was tough on him to make the decision. But he’s got to make the best decision for him and his career.”
The school released the news this morning via email to the parents and school staff: “Cedar Creek School is excited to announce the hiring of Steven Ensminger, Jr. as our new head football coach and athletic director, effective immediately. Steven has been the quarterback coach at Ruston High School this past year.”
Ensminger prepped at West Monroe High School and Opelika (Ala.) High School. He led the Rebels to the 2005 state title as a senior, while earning all-state honors. He originally signed with Auburn before transferring to Louisiana Tech in 2007.
He served as the quarterbacks coach for the Bearcats this past season, helping lead the program to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. He also coached at Assumption (2020), Patterson High School (2012), and Convenant Christian (2011-12).
From 2012 to 2020, Ensminger worked in the corporate world.
Ensminger comes from a football coaching family as his father, Steve, has been in the collegiate coaching world for decades.
Cedar Creek returns the nucleus of last year’s 6-4 team that earned a spot in the Division IV playoffs.
Jeffrey Southern, 50, of Quitman, and James Pittman, Jr., 40, of West Monroe, were taken into custody in Webster Parish Saturday with over 3.3 pounds of methamphetamine.
The arrests stemmed from a long-term investigation by the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team and other agencies.
Both Southern and Pittman were charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Southern faces an additional charge of aggravated flight from an officer.
Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker said initially the men were stopped on Interstate 20 near mile marker 49 in Webster Parish around 12:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
“We had been contacted by a DEA agent to be on the look out for the vehicle traveling east on I-20,” Parker said. “The vehicle was said to be carrying a large amount of drugs.”
Parker said WPSO Sgt. Shane Garner and Deputy James Rowland reported Pittman as the driver of the vehicle and knew he was driving under suspension.
“While we were trying to arrest Pittman, Southern, a passenger in the vehicle, jumped into the driver’s seat and took off,” said the sheriff. “A short pursuit followed, and he was taken into custody at Stuckey Road and Solomon Cemetery Road.”
Pittman and Southern are currently housed at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.
Lincoln Parish authorities were notified of the arrests. Sheriff Williams expressed his gratitude to all the dedicated officers and agencies involved in this investigation and subsequent arrests. In a Facebook post, Williams said, “These arrests would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
Federal charges will be pursued also, according to Sheriff Parker.
As Cedar Creek took its team photo with the Division IV runner-up trophy Thursday afternoon at the Alario Center in New Orleans, a range of emotions could be seen on the Lady Cougars faces.
Pride. Sadness. Disappointment. Togetherness
The 60-42 loss to Southern Lab in the state title game wasn’t the final result they wanted, but the game culminated an impressive season that was capped by a historic run to the first state title game in program history since joining the LHSAA ranks in the late 1980s.
“I am very proud of these girls,” said Cedar Creek head coach Vandenlangenberg. “They competed hard. They played together. We have a special group of girls.”
Creek won 28 games to only three losses. And they did something that no other Lady Cougar basketball team had ever done. And they did it together, emptying their tank even down to the last seconds of the title game loss.
“The girls never quit,” said Vandenlangenberg. “They kept fighting and competing hard. When they give you their best, I don’t know what else a coach could ask. I told them after the game that I saw this team change: the chemistry and their effort. We stepped it up in the playoffs. We were playing our best basketball. We had a great run. We just ran into a better team.”
Despite being the No. 5 seed, Southern Lab (20-11) had played an unbelievably tough schedule. In fact, when the brackets were released Vandenlangenberg had said he felt that the Kittens could very well be the darkhorse of Division IV based on their talent.
And Southern Lab proved they were the best team in the classification, defeating both the No. 1 seed Ouachita Christian and the No. 2 seed in the Lady Cougars.
“To be in that game, we had to be really efficient offensively, because Southern Lab was going to score some points,” said Vandenlangenberg. “I thought defensively we were doing what we felt like we needed to do. We didn’t do anything different than what we did all year, they are just pretty good team. The game was a physical game. I’m okay with that but we just didn’t have the same level of physicality.”
Southern Lab started the game strong, hitting four three-pointers in the opening quarter to grab a 17-7 advantage. The Kittens eventually pushed it to 36-18 at the half and out to as many as 25 in the third quarter.
“When you are facing an athletic team that can get to the basket and on top of that they are hitting three’s, we kind of all know the end result,” said Vandenlangenberg.
Senior Sarah Adams ended her highly-decorated basketball career with 20 points, eight steals and five assists while fellow senior Millie Venters added four points. Junior Allie Furr added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds for Creek.
Southern Lab shot 54 percent (23-42) from the field, including hitting six three-pointers, and outrebounded the Lady Cougars 27-15.
Earlier this week, a Ruston Police officer received a complaint from a citizen about an unoccupied vehicle playing extremely loud music at the Ruston Chevron Subway. As the sergeant approached the gas station, the music could be heard from about 150 feet away.
The sergeant pulled in behind the vehicle and waited on the driver. Matthew Bell, 40, of Simsboro, was the driver, and he provided his name and driver’s license. The sergeant learned from dispatch that Bell’s license was suspected and he had an active warrant through Ruston.
Bell was then placed under arrest, and he requested the sergeant look through his vehicle. A marijuana grinder, hypodermic needles, two small bags of suspected synthetic marijuana, a small bag of suspected xanax, and a small bag of suspected ecstacy were found.
Bell was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for simple possession, disturbing the peace and for the outstanding warrant.
By T. Scott Boatright
PONCHATOULA — Sometimes it falls. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Early on for the Ruston girls basketball, it didn’t Thursday night as the Lady Bearcats fell 64-46 at Ponchatoula in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs.
A cold-shooting first half was too much for the Lady Bearcats (27-7) to overcome. They maintained pace in the second half, but the hole was already too deep to dig out of. Ruston trailed 20-7 at the end of the first quarter and 39-17 at the half.
“We came out and they hit their shots and we didn’t,” said RHS coach Meredith Graf. “That’s what it boiled down to. We were OK in the second half. We were just too far behind.”
Ruston outscored the Lady Greenies 14-7 in the third quarter before realization set in and Ponchatoula pulled away for good from the Lady Bearcats.
“We just didn’t hit the basket,” Graf said. “It was one of the nights where it just didn’t happen.”
Zaccheya Jackson was Ruston’s leading scorer with 18 points, with 10 coming in the first half.
Alexis Foster and Jaliya McWain added eight points each for the Lady Bearcats, while Kiona McCallister and Kemiah Spencer added five points each.
It wasn’t the high goal the Lady Bearcats had set for themselves, but Graf said they should still hold their heads high.
“I love this team,” Graf said. “They have accomplished so much this year and have so much to be proud of. I can’t express how proud I am of how hard they have worked, how they have competed, and how they have represented Ruston all year.
“It’s hard to put into words how special this team is and what they have done for the program as a whole. I can’t say enough about the senior class (Cassandra Evans, Kemiah Spencer, Mariah Hintze, Alexis Foster and Kinona McAllister). They were so influential and gave great leadership. They have set the new bar for girls basketball, especially at Ruston.”
Noting illegal tint on a car ended with charges of possession with intent to distribute for a Ruston man.
A Ruston Police officer observed a white Honda Accord driving on South Farmerville Street with possible illegal tint on the front window earlier this week. The officer initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as Daniel Jackson, 27.
While confirming that the window tint was too dark, the officer smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Jackson, under the officer’s orders, stepped out of the vehicle and advised the officer there was a gun under the driver’s side seat and that there was about once ounce of marijuana in a plastic bag in the passenger seat.
The officer found these items as well as a small digital scale, small sandwich bags, a small plastic bag with random colored pills resembling ecstasy, two plastic bags containing a green leafy substance resembling marijuana, and $60 cash. The officer also collected $1,966 between the center console and driver’s seat.
Jackson was transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and booked on the above charges as well as bench warrants and illegal use of a firearm. Bond was set at $47,500.
Today kicks off the start of Crappie Masters National Qualifier on Lake D’arbonne. One-hundred and eighteen teams from across the country will be competing Friday and Saturday for the grand prize of $10,000. While you are sitting there drinking a warm cup of coffee reading this, just know that I will be out there freezing my tail off from 7am-3pm today & tomorrow.
Crappie tournaments are slightly different from bass, as we will be weighing in our 7 best fish each day. Every other angler and I will be targeting the largest crappie in the lake (aka 2+ pounders). Anders will be my teammate once again and our adult/youth title from 2021 is on the line.
I should be rigging tackle and prepping the boat right now, as it’s almost my bedtime and 430AM is coming soon. However, I will tell you a little about what’s going through a tournament angler’s mind the night before the tournament.
- Anxiousness- I’m not one to suffer from any type of anxiety, but this is different. I can only compare it to back when I played competitive ball and was in the locker room awaiting to take the field. I’m ready to go but there is some doubt in my mind that I’ve made the correct game plan. Nervous excitement might be a better explanation.
- Where am I going to fish? Most of the time, I’ve narrowed down a few places and know where I will start. It’s 10PM right now and your guess is as good as mine. I caught some decent fish today but never found the quality I need to win the tournament. I might just throw a dart at the map.
- What lures do I need to use? I will probably be using a hair jig that is natural in color (silver minnow like). I like to keep it simple but will change to something a little more flashy based on the fish’s reaction.
- How do I fish with the weather Mother Nature has dealt? The wind is going to be relatively brisk out of the north, cold, and some rain mixed in. I will start by hitting my open water areas at first light, and as the wind picks up will move to more protected areas. I will be solo today, so I have trouble being accurate on my casts when I’m fighting the wind. The next two days will be an ABSOLUTE grind.
- Do I swing for the fences or play it safe on day one? This one is probably my weakness. I like to be conservative as I don’t want to fall on my face and fail right out of the gate. However, my limited pre-fishing has forced my hand today. I’m on some decent fish, but nothing that will win the tournament (I don’t think). I think I can catch 12-13 pounds, but I think it will take 14-15 pounds per day to win it.
- I can’t let my son down. Day one, I will be fishing alone, as Anders will be at school. I want to make sure I keep us in contention so we can have something to fish for on day two. He has been looking forward to this for months, so there is a lot of pressure on me.
- What am I going to eat? Jalapeno and pepper jack cheese summer sausage on a Ritz cracker. I’m hoping the fishing is so good I won’t have time to eat it though.
- Why am I writing this article right now? I’m not sure… I guess I don’t want to let you all down. Having said that, I need to get out in the boat and get prepared.
Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about the tournament. I want to win this tournament so bad. I’ve had some good finishes, but never gotten the W. Nobody will fish harder than me tomorrow, but it is called “fishing”, so you just never know. I just hope to catch 7 and luck up on a few big ones in the process.
Weigh in will be at Rhett’s Tails and Shells beginning at 3:30PM. I hope to see you there with a heavy sack of crappie in tow. If you can’t make it in person, you can watch it on Facebook Live. Just search “Crappie Masters” and the live feed will begin around 3PM. For better or for worse, I will let you know how I fair. Vegas odds have me at a big longshot to win it all but favored to win the adult/youth division.
Dusty McGehee is a native of Downsville and a 2006 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelors in wildlife conservation. He is currently employed by WestRock and serves as an environmental engineer at the Hodge Mill. Dusty is an avid hunter and crappie fisherman, fishing crappie tournaments with his son when he is not in the woods. He and his wife Rachel have three young outdoorsmen/women: Anders (9), Ridge (7) and Mae (5). If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at email@example.com.