‘Run Like a Girl’ 5K slated for Saturday

By Taylor Woods

The Society of Women Engineers is back again for another annual race. At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30, the “Run Like a Girl” 5K is taking place at the Integrated Engineering and Science Building (IESB) on Louisiana Tech’s campus. Prior to the beginning, there will be a warmup led by Camp Gladiator at 8 a.m. 

“The ‘Run Like a Girl’ 5K is one of the Society of Women Engineers’ biggest events that we put on throughout the year,” Grace Roberts, Society of Women Engineers Chairwoman, said. “It gives us the opportunity to give back and help our community.”

The 5K is used to help raise awareness of the importance of volunteering or considering pet adoption when looking for a family pet. For the first two races, the organization raised over $2,500 for the Northern Louisiana community and around $1,500 for 4 PAWS Rescue.

Having considered this, the SWE is ready for this Saturday and the turnout. The 5K is open to the community so all are welcome to show support and donate.

There is a $15 registration fee for the race and adding an additional t-shirt will cost an extra $15. Although, if guests wish to support without joining the race they can buy the t-shirt alone for $20 or donate however they would like.

Registration is done with this link: https://runsignup.com/Race/LA/Ruston/RunLikeaGirl5K2022.

If guests can’t register online there will be a day of race registration but the price will go up by $5 which will make it $20. In addition, guests are also welcome to bring their pets to walk for an extra $5.

“We will have some dogs from 4 PAWS that are ready to meet everyone the day of the race,” Roberts said. “All the dogs that will be attending Saturday will be ready to be adopted.”

After the race, there will be refreshments for all runners that include water and fruit. Furthermore, each participant will receive an official time from a timing chip, a commemorative medal, and trophies will be awarded to winners of the male and female runners.


RHS trio signs on to join Tech Band of Pride

By T. Scott Boatright

Officially inking offers to join Louisiana Tech University’s Marching Band of Pride was much like music to the ears of three Ruston High School seniors on Wednesday as the trio signed scholarships with first-year Tech band director Christopher P. Heidenreich looking on.

Their hard work with the Bearcats band will earn the students paid books and tuition at Louisiana Tech along with the opportunity with the chance to pick up a little extra funding should they push to earn a band service award or by participating in a side group like Tech’s Concert Ensemble or the “Hoop Troop.”

Earning scholarships to join Tech’s Band of Pride, with band duties and intended major in parenthesis, were upcoming RHS graduates J. Bean (euphonium/ aerospace engineering or computer science); Zoe Brownfield (flute and piccolo/environmental education); and Emily Tooke (trumpet and color guard/business).

Bean is the son of Jacquelyn and Paul Bean. Brownfield is the daughter of Tina and Dale Hogan and Chad Brownfield. Tooke is the daughter of Jan and Landon Tooke.

“It’s crucial to the success of our band,” Heidenreich said of the pipeline from Ruston High to Louisiana Tech that has sent many new members to the Band of Pride in recent years. “I taught high school and this pipeline is crucial not only because we have a Tech alum here (RHS band director Walter Moss) but also because it’s a local school. It’s just one more way we can reach out to grab those students who might not be in music otherwise.”

Moss said the familiarity he has with the Band of Pride that he passes along to RHS band members has played a role in helping him send so many of his band students to Louisiana Tech.

“It’s not exactly the same, but there definitely are some similarities between the Tech Band and the Ruston High School band,” Moss said. “I think that makes them feel more comfortable joining the Band of Pride. They know what to expect going in.”

Moss had one other RHS senior band member recently sign a college scholarship to continue their music training on the next level — his son Garrett Moss, a percussionist who has signed on to join the Northwestern State University band.

“It was one of those deals where he just wanted to get away from home to go to college,” Moss said. “I’m proud of him and all three of the Band of Pride signees. They’ve all worked hard to earn this and are very deserving of the honor.”

 
 

DWI, switched license plate charge leads to arrest

A crash into the woods resulted into an arrest for a Mamou man right after midnight Wednesday.

A Ruston Police officer responded to the area of Highway 167 South and Champions Way in reference to a vehicle that had possibly crashed into the woods west of the roadway. Upon arrival, the officer observed Terrance Fisher, 57, walking north on 167. 

The officer spoke with Fisher, who said he had run out of gas in his vehicle and was walking to the gas station to obtain more. The officer noticed that Fisher had slurred speech and saw a Chevrolet Cobalt that appeared to have run off the roadway into the trees.

Fisher stated when he run out of gas, he had attempted to push the vehicle off the road but lost control of it, which was why it was in the trees.

The RPD officer ran the license plate, which came back as a 1996 Honda.

The officer also conducted a standard field sobriety test and determined Fisher to possibly be under the influence and unable to operate a motor vehicle. Fisher said he hadn’t had any alcoholic beverage but did take several of his prescribed medications earlier in the evening. Fisher was transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and his BAC was determined to be .069g%.

Fisher was booked at the Detention Center, and bond was set at $1,500.

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


LA Tech’s Sacco among NFCA Top 25 Freshmen

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

And the hits keep coming.

Not surprising since Louisiana Tech freshman Sierra Sacco ranks No. 2 in the country in hits.

On Thursday, Sacco was among 25 finalists for the 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Award.

The winner will be announced prior to the start of the 2022 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Sacco is the first Lady Techster to ever be a finalist for this prestigious award and her inclusion isn’t surprising for Tech head coach Josh Taylor.

“Sierra has been a force at the top of our line up all season,” said Taylor. “Her presence on defense is also impressive for a freshman. What she has accomplished this season is impressive, and I look forward to her being a force at the top of our line up for years to come. I am very proud of Sierra.”

The Marrero, Louisiana, native who prepped at John Curtis High School is batting .437 with 69 hits, 47 runs, 17 RBI and 20 stolen bases this year. She ranks in the top five in numerous statistical categories in Conference USA, including hits (No. 1), runs (No. 2), batting average (No. 1), on-base percentage (No. 2), and stolen bases (No. 2).

She has 20 multi-hit games this year and has hit safely in 39 of 49 contests and reached base safely in 45 of 49 games.

Defensively, Sacco has committed just one error all season while recording seven outfield assists, including six at home plate. She also took a three-run home run away from UAB in a 3-2 win over the Blazers last Sunday.

On May 12, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 and the three finalists will be released on May 26. The 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year will be announced on June 1.

 

2022 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25

Jordy Bahl – Oklahoma

Mac Barbara – San Diego State

Megan Bloodworth – Alabama

Jada Cecil, UC San Diego

Ella Chancey – Charlotte

Jessica Clements – Cal Poly

Alyssa Costello – Stony Brook

Mya Dodge – Northern Iowa

Michaela Edenfield – Florida State

Brooke Ellestad – St. Thomas

Bri Ellis – Auburn

Kendra Falby – Florida

Tatum Kresley – UMES

Jane Kronenberger – Notre Dame

Emma Lemley – Virginia Tech

Grace Loftin – UNCG

Jackie Masone – Drexel

Kya Matter – UMBC

Cori McMillan – Radford

Savannah Pola – UCLA

Sierra Sacco – Louisiana Tech

Cydney Sanders – Arizona State

Emma Schutter – Dayton

Emily Winstead – UNCW

Koko Wooley – Texas A&M


Wreck leads to warrants arrest

A Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to Highway 80 and Shaman Road in reference to a vehicle crash.

The deputy saw a Ford Expedition in the ditch with visible damage to the front of the vehicle. The deputy spoke with Christopher Millage, 28, of Grambling, who first first stated he was not the driver of the vehicle. Millage said the driver had fled on foot into the trailer park. With more questioning, Millage then admitted to being the driver.

The deputy ran Millage’s name in the system and saw he had three active warrants with LPSO. He was then placed under arrest and additionally charged with careless operation for causing the wreck. 

He was taken to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center and booked. Bond was set at $10,000.

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


GSU history department receives $94K NEH grant for digital oral history project

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in partnership with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) recently awarded a $94,817 grant to Grambling State University’s (GSU) Department of History to research and record the history of the African American experience in northern Louisiana. 

“Voices of Grambling: A Digital Oral History Project,” intersects with the 120-year history of the institution and will be led by project investigator Dr. Edward Holt, an assistant professor and interim department head for GSU’s Department of History along with Dr. Roshunda Belton-Cardoza, a professor and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; Yanise Days, a Department of History instructor; Dr. Gaidi Faraj, an assistant professor; and Dr. Brian McGowan, an assistant professor. 

This team will collaborate with GSU undergraduates and scholars from across the U.S. on a digital oral history project to preserve voices from historically disadvantaged populations that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected.   

“Many of the ones that have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, including the loss of lives, have lived through so much history, some of which has been lost along with lives lost to COVID-19,” Holt said. “This project will help us gather much of that history and use understanding of the past to try and help build for a better future for GSU students and the population centered around Grambling itself.” 

GSU’s award is part of a $2.5 million grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) Act of 2021 initiative. NEH/SSRC SHIP grants were designed to address the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact on higher education and the humanities sector by offering organizations and academic departments a direct opportunity to rebuild and recover. 

The University is one of 21 grantees, ranging from research universities, HBCUs, and small liberal arts colleges to nonprofit and community organizations, who will receive awards of up to $100,000 each to support the full spectrum of humanities infrastructure. 

 


Dusty McGehee: Outside the Box Birds (Part 1)

 

As the turkeys in our area become harder to come by, sometimes we have to adjust and do things a little different.  I’ve been fortunate enough to bag my limit of two birds, but both were not the “typical” ways I prefer to hunt them.

My first bird, which was killed in Union Parish, went against all methods I prefer to hunt.  I headed to the hunting club for the first time on the second weekend of the season and listened on the Arkansas state line.  I enticed one gobble, but he was in the wrong state, so I headed back south.

I drove into the middle of a pine plantation and walked a mile to the border where some beautiful hardwoods were.  I made a few calls and heard a bird as far as I could hear onto property I couldn’t hunt.  I sat there for 20 minutes to see if that bird would head my way and he never did.  As I was making the long trek out, I got about 300 yards from my truck, and I heard a Canada goose flying over.  I knew if any bird was close, the goose’s honking should solicit a shock gobble.  As the goose was fading out of hearing distance, one sounded off, so I did a 180 and headed that direction.

I entered a part of the hunting club I had never stepped foot on.  The thinned pines were relatively thick with an ATV trail going in the general direction I heard the bird.  I started slipping down the trail, looking at an aerial map on my phone.  I figured out he was down in a creek bottom about a mile away.  As I slipped through the pines, I paused when I got to the top of a ridge to listen for him again.  I heard him gobble and began to take a step, and I heard something that made me freeze.

Ffffft zooooooom!  It was the unmistakable sound of a gobbler drumming about 150 yards away.  I scrambled to find a suitable tree to lean against and got set up.  I made some calls but there was no response.  This bird was drumming his tail off but never said a word.  I knew he must have been showing out for his girlfriends, and I just hoped I was setup in the correct location.

After 10 minutes, I see a bird heading towards me up the ATV trail.  I click the safety off and said to myself “this is too good to be true.”  I was correct, as it was just one of his hens.  She got about 15 feet from me and decided something wasn’t right.  She didn’t spook too bad and just eased back towards the drumming gobbler.  I sat patiently for another 15 minutes, and the drumming kept coming closer.  I knew I was in a race against the clock because the forecast called for the winds to pick up around 9 AM.

Slowly but surely the drumming was coming closer.  Also, slowly but surely the wind was beginning to pick up.  I’m squinting through the underbrush of the pines, and I finally see the culprit of the noise.  A beautiful longbeard, about 100 yards away; in full strut with the sun beaming off his feathers.  I made a few calls to no avail.  Just like I had thought, he was showing out for some girls he was eyeing.

As soon as he had gotten out of my view, the winds picked up to 20-30 mph.  The only way I could keep tabs on this silent mouthed gobbler was now gone.  I sat patiently for 20 minutes and decided to go into full “Indian mode.”  The wind was blowing so strongly that I thought I could actually sneak up on him.  I wasn’t sure where he went but I knew he did not come my direction so I thought he may have headed up the trail.

I sneak out into the trail and start making my way slowly up it.  I’m taking about 5 steps per minute and surveying each inch of the understory.  I make it about half a mile down the trail and I see a deer stand.  I’m looking at it and looking all around when some movement catches my eye.  It’s a hen about 25 yards away and she is looking right at me.  I’m frozen like a statue and see another hen to my left about 15 yards.  Neither of them get spooked because the wind is howling so I go to the ground.

I have no clue where the gobbler is, but I assume he is within vision of these hens.  I belly roll across the trail to get to a vantage point where I can see the hens and get ready.  I make a few calls but again, am met with silence.  I knew I was staying there for the next hour, so I got comfortable.  I hadn’t been there 15 minutes and I see one of the hens making her way across the opening in front of me.  I catch movement behind her and BOOM I see a gobbler go into full strut. 

My heart is pounding, and he is heading to my right almost out of sight.  I try to stop him, but the wind is blowing so bad, he doesn’t hear me.  I shift into the trail and make another call, but he still can’t hear me and continues further out of sight.  I go for broke and scoot out into the middle of the trail and make a noise that probably sounded more like a peacock than a turkey, but it stopped him.   I settled the red dot on my 20 gauge on him and let it rip.  He immediately went down so I sprinted to him and put my hands on him.

It was a 2-3 year old turkey with a 10 inch beard, weighed 20 lbs, and had 7/8 inch spurs.  This was an unorthodox method of killing a bird and definitely not my preferred way, but I felt like I earned him.  With the conditions Mother Nature dealt me that day, there was no other way to do it.  Had the wind not kicked up so bad, I could’ve done it in a more “traditional way” but on the flip side if the wind wasn’t that bad, there is no way I could’ve gotten that close to them.

Sometimes you just have to play the cards that are dealt.  This was the first bird I have killed on the club in over a year.    It wasn’t the most exciting hunt by any means, but there was something primal about stalking up on your prey like they did thousands of years ago.

Turkey season is winding down in 2 more days.  I’ve got another story to tell but will save it for later.  Good luck to those hunting this final weekend!

________________________________________

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 dusty.mcgehee@westrock.com.


Odds and ends from around the parish

By Wesley Harris

Next year Lincoln Parish will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding. Ruston and Lincoln Parish have commemorated milestones in the past. Perhaps the biggest occurred in 1959 marking Ruston’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond Jubilee celebration featured a parade, a play, a beard growing contest, a small book on the city’s history, and other activities. 

Next up was the parish centennial in 1973 followed by the American Bicentennial 1976. In 1984 Ruston celebrated its centennial with a play called Russ Town, USA!, an antique car show, a patriotic musical, art exhibit, the minting of a centennial coin, and a series of concerts, speakers, and dinners. 

We have an opportunity in 2023 to surpass them all, celebrating not only the history of our parish and each of its communities, but its institutions, significant events, and the men and women who have made our community great.

* * *

If you intended to take in a Louisiana Tech baseball or softball game this season, you are quickly running out of opportunities. The Lady Techsters have just one three-game series remaining on the schedule. Coach Josh Taylor’s squad will take on Southern Miss May 6, 7, and 8 to wrap up the regular season. 

Bulldog baseball’s remaining home schedule is down to a face-off against ULM on May 3 and two 3-game conference series on the weekends of May 6 and 13.

* * *

Fine Line Supply isn’t going anyway, according to owner Henry McCoy. A change announced earlier this year may have confused some customers, McCoy says. The art supply side of the business is going to Creative Exchange at 112 W. Alabama Ave. in June. Fine Line will continue at its current location at 207 N. Trenton, concentrating on the service side of its business, including photo printing, laser engraving, photo restoration, and framing.

* * *

Lincoln Parish ranked 19th out of 64 parishes in the number of wild turkeys harvested in 2021 with 47 birds taken. Claiborne Parish topped them all with 173 of the 1,886 harvested last year.

In our immediate area, this year’s season runs from April 2 – May 1.

My father and grandfather, who both lived in Lincoln Parish their entire lives when much of the land was under cultivation, never saw a turkey. I spot them on White Lightning Road at least once a week on my way to work. The bird Benjamin Franklin wanted to designate as the national symbol has made a huge comeback in north Louisiana.


Bulldogs, Techsters on road in C-USA play

BASEBALL

Louisiana Tech is set to face Old Dominion for the seventh conference series of 2022 beginning tonight at 5 p.m. CT at Bud Metheny Baseball Stadium.

The three-game series also includes a Saturday 2 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. start times. Friday’s contest will be on ESPN+ while Saturday and Sunday’s games will be on CUSA.tv.

Tech fans can tune into 97.7 FM for all three games with Teddy Allen providing a call of the action.

LA Tech (28-14, 12-6) is coming off of two straight losses coming from Little Rock Wednesday night and the series finale against Middle Tennessee in extra innings.

However, the Bulldogs are in a two-way tie for second place with UTSA in the Conference USA standings, both teams four full games behind league leader Southern Miss.

Old Dominion (28-10, 10-8 C-USA) rolls into the weekend having won three out of their last four games taking their last conference series two out of three games over Florida Atlantic in Norfolk. 

The Monarchs sit at number two in the country in home runs as a team with 88. First baseman Matt Coutney is tied for first in the nation with 21 homers thus far.

The Bulldogs and Monarchs will meet for the 22nd time on Friday night with Old Dominion leading the all-time series 12-9.

________________________________________________

SOFTBALL

The Lady Techsters roll into Middle Tennessee as one of the hottest teams in Conference USA, having won 12 of its last 15 league games.

Tech (32-17, 12-6 C-USA) is in a two-way tie for third place in the league standings, one game behind both WKU and North Texas.

All three games this weekend can be seen on CUSA.tv.

The Lady Techsters have an opportunity to position themselves for a run at the C-USA title, just one year after finishing 22-30 overall.

Middle Tennessee (19-28, 6-12) are fighting for their C-USA Tournament lives as the Blue Raiders are currently in 10th place in the 12-team league standings.

The two teams haven’t played since 2019 when the Lady Techsters defeated MT 10-0 in a quarterfinal match-up of the Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham.


TOP DOG New Venture Championship winners announced

A total of $12,000 in cash and prizes was awarded during the TOP DOG New Venture Championship at Louisiana Tech University. Awards were given to the top three finishers as well as for entrepreneurial spirit.

This past October, teams developed ideas and competed in the TOP DOG Idea Pitch. After the pitch, student teams had the option to continue with their ideas and build an investor deck to enter the preliminary round of the New Venture Championship. After the preliminary round, five multi-disciplinary teams advanced to compete in the TOP DOG New Venture Championship.

Team SNAP City Domes won first place and $3,000 with their approach to rapid-relief housing for disaster victims that provides safe and secure shelter while home repairs or home replacements are completed. Members of the team are Trey Achee, Management/Entrepreneurship; Lori Hawkins, Civil Engineering; Kyla Wilkens, Management/Entrepreneurship; and Bob Simmons, Mechanical Engineering.

Second place and $1,500 was awarded to Team My Why Apparel. The team’s plan offers affordable high-quality streetwear which inspires wearers to find and then follow their life’s purpose and aspirations. The team is led by Daquonte Bell, Biology.

Med-In-Case was awarded third place and $1,000 with a pill case that detects if you have taken your medicine on time and reminds you to take it if you haven’t. Amelia Boudreau, Biomedical Engineering student, made the pitch.

My Why Apparel also won the $2000 Jones Walker Entrepreneurial spirit Award. 

Judges for TOP DOG included  Brenda Brombacher of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Houston Baptist University, Michael Leachman of the Jones Walker Law Firm, Keith O’Briant of LaCerta Life Sciences, and Miriam Russell of MEPOL.

Teams are scored on the quality of their new venture investment deck and the overall viability of their business concept. The TOP DOG was established in 2002 and is coordinated by Debbie Inman, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. Members of Bulldog Entrepreneurs, the student organization which empowers entrepreneurs and promotes innovation on the Louisiana Tech campus serve as facilitators for the event.

Supporting sponsors for the TOP DOG include Jones Walker Law Firm, the Louisiana Tech College of Business, Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT), the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center, the Innovation Enterprise Fund, and the Technology Business Development Center (TBDC).

Additional final round teams

Mr. Tsunami: A Roomba type device which attaches to a pressure washer to help homeowners and commercial cleaning companies wash parking lots, sidewalks, driveways. Team members are Zack Broussard, Electrical Engineering; Jacob Bridges, Management/Entrepreneurship; and Nolan Taylor, Mechanical Engineering.

Heal Your Sole: The product combats foot and ankle pain brought on by sports and physical movement. Team members are Anna Quinlan and Jackson Meyers, Management/Entrepreneurship; and Mike Marchman, Nanosystems Engineering.


West Monroe woman killed in 2-vehicle crash

West Monroe – On Wednesday April 27, 2022, at approximately 11:45 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two-vehicle crash which occurred on Louisiana Highway 34 south of Louisiana Highway 840-1. This crash claimed the life of 68-year-old Paula Roye of West Monroe. 

The preliminary investigation revealed that Roye was driving south on Louisiana Highway 34, in a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  At the same time, a 2021 Peterbilt (loaded log truck) was traveling south, in front of the Jeep.  For reasons still under investigation, the Jeep struck the rear of the Peterbilt’s trailer.  

Roye, who was restrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Ouachita Parish Coroner.  The driver of the Peterbilt was not injured.  Impairment is not suspected to be a factor; however, routine toxicology samples were submitted for analysis.

Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers would like to remind the public of the following: inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state.  It is important for motorists to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving and to get plenty of rest in order to remain alert.

In 2022, Troop F has investigated nine fatal crashes, which have resulted in 10 fatalities.


Weekend events

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

Friday, April 29
6 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Southern
7 p.m.: Louisiana Tech Baptist Collegiate Ministry’s Second Annual Dawg Jams
7:30 p.m.: “River Pirates and the Treasure at Point Coupee” (Tech)

Saturday, April 30
8:30 a.m.: Run Like a Girl 5K (Tech ISEB Building)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: H2GO Outside (Camp Alabama, home of MedCamps of Louisiana)
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Shedfest Makers Market (Community Men’s Shed, 2782 Hwy. 33)
3 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Southern
6 p.m.: Joe Woods Wildwood Express Show (Dixie Theatre for the Arts)
7:30 p.m.: “River Pirates and the Treasure at Point Coupee” (Tech)

Sunday, May 1
1 p.m.: Grambling Baseball vs. Southern
2 p.m.: “River Pirates and the Treasure at Point Coupee” (Tech)


Ponderings by Doug

In his book The Mustard Seed Conspiracy, Tom Sine shares the story of his parents’ friends and their love for gathering wild mushrooms. One weekend this couple came home with several baskets of wild mushrooms and decided to invite friends over for a mushroom party. Together they had a wonderful time eating mushroom crepes, omelets, and soufflés. When they could not eat another bite and they scraped the leftover mushrooms into the cat’s dish.

Around midnight, as the guests were getting ready to leave, someone went into the kitchen and noticed the cat sprawled out on the floor in convulsions. Next to the cat was an overturned dish of mushrooms. The guest screamed, “The cat!” Everyone ran into the kitchen and, after seeing the cat, called the doctor, fearing they would meet the same fate. The doctor instructed them to immediately go to the hospital to get their stomachs pumped. The dinner party ended up in the emergency room of the local hospital lined up on gurneys having their stomachs pumped.  What a way to end a party!

About 1:30 in the morning, they dragged back into the host’s house to get their belongings.   Sick and exhausted, they sarcastically thanked the hostess and were heading home, when someone asked, “What happened to the cat?” The group tip-toed to the kitchen, quietly opened the door, and found the cat asleep on the floor … with eight newborn kittens.

The moral of this story is that we need check our assumptions. We are often ruled by our confirmation bias. We assume something is true and therefore will not accept evidence to the contrary. Christians are guilty of committing confirmation bias fueled assumptions. For those moments, I apologize. When you check the New Testament, you find Jesus throwing open the doors of the kingdom of God saying to all, “Y’all come.”

God’s love, grace and acceptance of humanity is broader than mine. I need to grow out of some of my spiritual assumptions.

I am going to check my assumptions. I assume you will too.


Diggin’ Dawgs wins battle of the bands

By Aaron Mainiero

Last week, the Louisiana Tech Music Society put on its battle of the bands, Dog Jams. Several bands performed, but Diggin’ Dawgs was the band that came out on top.

Many bands performed, including Diggin’ Dawgs, Slow Cheetah, and Papa and the Kittens. For their prize, the Diggin’ Dawgs will be allowed to use the Louisiana Tech School of Music’s recording booth to record their own demo.

The bassist for Diggin’ Dawgs, Louisiana Tech music student Garrett Aldridge, is a musician of many talents. He plays alto saxophone in the Louisiana Tech Band of Pride, as well as bass guitar for the Louisiana Tech Jazz Ensemble II, and his two bands: Diggin’ Dawgs and Papa and the Kittens.

Aldridge started playing music early in life, at first learning to play the saxophone.

“I started actually playing music in about fifth grade after hearing what I would now describe as one of the worst songs ever: ‘Mr. Saxobeat,’ and decided that that was a good a reason as any to start playing saxophone,” Aldridge said.

Since then, Aldridge hasn’t stopped learning. He’s since learned to play guitar, bass guitar, piano and is learning to sing.

“Since then, my taste has definitely… let’s say changed for the better,” Aldridge said. “But it’s definitely fun to go back and poke fun at 11-year-old me for letting such a bad song permanently change my life. All things considered, though, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Aldridge helped to create his first band, Papa and the Kittens, while he was in high school with some of his childhood friends.

“Papa and the Kittens is a band I helped create from the ground up,” Aldridge said. “About a year and a half ago myself and five of my childhood friends decided to just start jamming together. We played two or three small school-related events and then graduated. Now that three of us are at Tech together, we’ve just been making new friends and jamming when we get the chance.”

While playing with Papa and the Kittens, his musicianship drew quite a bit of attention, specifically from the Diggin’ Dawgs, a jazz ensemble at Tech which was looking for a bass player.

“The Diggin’ Dawgs are a student-led jazz ensemble here at Tech,” Aldridge said. “I was lucky enough to be approached about joining and I haven’t looked back since.”

Aldridge currently has no plans to stop playing music and is looking to perform with both Diggin’ Dawgs and Papa and the Kittens in the future.

“Papa and the Kittens are here to stay,” Aldridge says. “We’ll keep practicing through the summer to bring Ruston some awesome jams come fall quarter.”

Aldridge has an upcoming Jazz Ensemble performance at 7 p.m. May 6 in Howard Auditorium at Louisiana Tech. At 7 p.m. May 7 in Howard Auditorium, Aldridge will play alongside his fellow music major Maddie Prattini for her senior recital. Diggin’ Dawgs have a performance scheduled for May 28 at Railroad Park.