New LPSO gun range to be open to public

Members of the community celebrated the opening of the new Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office Gun Range, including a building that will allow for classes. The range will be open to the public at designated days and times.

by Malcolm Butler

Surrounded by a room full of local government leaders, local police, and members of the public, Lincoln Parish Sheriff Stephen Williams talked about a dream coming true Thursday morning during the ribbon cutting for the new Lincoln Parish Sherrif’s Office Gun Range in Simsboro. 

“I’ve been here since 1993,” said Williams. “It’s been 30 years I have wanted to see something out here. We were able to build something that will be used by so many of our citizens in Lincoln Parish. It’s been long needed. We get hit up all the time by people wanting to use our range or asking if there is another place to shoot. It’s a common question. We were able to solve that problem finally.” 

Located at 160 Old KOA Road in Simsboro, the new facility was built with Cares Act funding and will serve a need for not only the general public, but also local law enforcement agencies.  The facility includes three run ranges of 50-, 100- and 300-yards, but the newest asset is a fully-conditioned building that will be able to host numerous classes and events. 

“What a great investment for all of Lincoln Parish and really and truly for north central Louisiana,” said President and CEO of Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Will Dearmon. “This is going to be a facility that is utilized not only by local business but a great training facility for local law enforcement agencies.  

“I am hoping that we along with local partners are going to help shine a brighter light on these facilities. We want to not only draw as much business investment to our community, but we want to show all the types of partnerships available through investments like this in our community. This is a great facility.” 

Williams said that he hopes the gun range will soon be open to the general public — hopefully around Sept. 1 — and that more details would be made public in the coming weeks. Hours of operation for the general public will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. and Saturday’s from 8 a.m. until either noon or 2 p.m., depending on use.  

The construction of the new building, complete with bathrooms, a kitchen area and meeting space, will allow for a variety of classes: conceal handgun, familiarization courses, tactical and more.

“We host a tremendous amount, hundreds of hours, of training since we are centrally located in the northern part of the state,” said Williams. “There were a lot of events that are tactical-related – use of tear gas, use of less lethal – that we weren’t able to host because of the inconvenience of having the classroom in Ruston but then having to drive out here to do other things.  

“But now we will be able to expand. It’s good for us. It’s good for law enforcement in general but it’s also good for the community. If we get 300 to 400 police officers from out of town, they will be going out to eat, they will be renting hotel rooms. It’s just good for the entire community.” 

Williams said that the Lincoln Parish Police Jury was instrumental in helping with the project, using its resources to tear down and dispose of the old structure.  

“As we try to do with all other parish agencies, we were able to provide a partnership with some of our heavy equipment and crews to come out and provide some dirt work for the berm,” said Parish Administrator Doug Postel. “We did some cleanup on the property that needed to be done. Just trying to help shape it up for them to provide this wonderful facility.  

“It’s a tremendous asset for the citizens of Lincoln Parish. We live in an area where people are avid outdoors people. A lot of folks are firearm owners and users. It’s important that they have a facility and an opportunity to practice safety with those firearms. I think this provides them a wonderful safe place to come out and practice. You won’t find a better facility around than this for the citizens to do those things.” 

Williams said the new building was used for the first time last Friday for some pre-Academy training and that it would be utilized for youth academies, hunter ed classes, tactical training and more.  

He also thanked Jay and Melanie Martin at Dubach Air and Heat for donating more than $8,000 for heaters for the new building as well as Kilpatrick Funeral Home for donating the marker in the entrance of the new facility.  

 


Milner, Sanderson running for mayor of Choudrant

Brandon Milner (left) and Bill Sanderson (right) are running for the mayor of Choudrant.

With the Nov. 8 elections approaching, candidates can contact the Lincoln Parish Journal for advertising rates at lpjnewsla@gmail.com. 

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By T. Scott Boatright

 

It’s been 16 years since Bill Sanderson has had to face opposition for his longtime role as mayor of the village of Choudrant.

But another lifelong Choudrant resident, Brandon Milner, has tossed his hat into the ring to run against Sanderson in the Nov. 8 election.

Sanderson has been mayor of Choudrant for 30 years since filling the unexpired term of his father, Lynn “Ikey” Sanderson, who died in office. 

The last time Sanderson faced opposition in an election was in 2006, when he brought in 57.50% of the vote. The second-place finisher that election, Democrat Jimmy McGrew, collected 39.06% of ballots.

“It’s a brand new feeling,” Sanderson said of having to campaign for the position instead of running unopposed. “But the way I’m going to do it is actually pretty simple.

“”When I went into office I developed a master plan for the community of some things that were in the works that dealt with some water and sewer infrastructure that needed to get completed. I put together a 10-year plan to try to get those done. That was in 1991 and it was all completed in 1997.”

Sanderson, who doubles as Choudrant fire chief, zoning director and certified building official (which he also serves the role of for the city of Ruston), said he and the Choudrant aldermen then started looking at longer-range plans and within a three- or four-year period developed a 20-year plan.

“In all of that, we questioned what makes Choudrant attractive,” Sanderson said. “What does the community want? What are they looking for? We actually did a survey of the entire community household to household, we came up with several things the community wanted. They wanted a safe neighborhood, they wanted good schools, they wanted the amenities that made life attractive,which included things like recreation, the safe neighborhoods, good quality water that was safe to drink, good sanitary services, and  a cost of living that was affordable.”

Sanderson said the fact that Choudrant’s population — from around 500 to more than 1,000 — has more than doubled since he took office makes him feel that village residents have  been satisfied so far.

“Where we stand currently, Choudrant is a very economical place to live,” Sanderson said. “If you choose to make Choudrant your home, you pay to the village of Choudrant zero dollars in the way of any property taxes. We have none assessed. You pay no fire service fees or dedicated taxes toward fire or police protection.

“The town operates on a 1 1/4 cents sales tax that covers our expenses for what we need to do. We work hard to keep our rates down to a minimum. Looking at the water and sewer rates, you have a very minimum base rate ranging in the $10-12 range based on your meter size and $2 per 1,000 gallons of water after that. The base sewer rate is $16 and we encourage anyone considering living here to compare cost of living to anywhere around us.”

Sanderson said it’s those primary reasons and the fact that Choudrant residents appreciate them are his motivation for running for another term as mayor.

Milner is also a lifelong Choudrant resident who has served as a Union Parish Sheriff’s deputy and a Ruston Police officer.

After being injured in a motorcycle accident in 2017 that has put him into a wheelchair, Milner said a big reason he’s running for mayor of Choudrant is that he can devote himself to the role 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“My entire life, even at a young age, has been devoting myself to public service,” Milner said. “I can’t be a cop anymore. I’m in a unique position now. I’m more mobile now than I was when I ran for the (Lincoln Parish) Police Jury (in 2018). I can drive now and have a track wheelchair that I can throw on the back of the truck and go wherever I need to go. So I can move around and handle whatever situations that arise a lot better.

“I’m not employed by anyone else. The only boss I want is the people of Choudrant and I have the time and the energy to put into being mayor — to be available during office hours and at night. I want to have an open door policy. I’m not running for mayor for Brandon Milner to run this town solely on what I believe. I’m running for mayor so that we can do things that the people want to do.”

Milner said involving the residents of Choudrant is a part of his platform.

“I want the people of Choudrant to share in the government here,” he said. “I want them to share ideas and work with us anytime they feel they need to express something.

Milner said he would like to recruit more businesses to Choudrant.

“The way Choudrant is positioned, if it’s done correctly, we can attract people from three other parishes — north Jackson, west Ouachita and south Union along with Lincoln,” Milner said. 

Milner said better recreation for Choudrant residents is also important in his mind.

“I would like to establish a park — somewhere where people can go and enjoy themselves. A nice park. Park and recreation is something I’d like to try and improve on,” Milner said. “And I also want to finish the sewer system here. Not everybody is on city sewer, so I’d like to explore that and maintaining upkeep and drainage of city streets.”

Making Choudrant neighborhoods safer is another of Milner’s goals if elected.

“I’d like to see the speed limits lowered in certain neighborhoods,” he said. “Because right now the lowest we can get is 25 (mph) is what residents have been told. That’s a little too fast in certain areas – certain neighborhood streets – for me.

“And I’d like to improve the lighting on certain streets. We need to make sure people who might be out walking and children who might be out playing are kept safe.”

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With the Nov. 8 elections approaching, candidates can contact the Lincoln Parish Journal for advertising rates at lpjnewsla@gmail.com. 

 


Woman caught breaking into house

A Ruston woman was arrested Wednesday after she attempted to force her way into a house.

Lincoln Parish deputies were dispatched to a residence on Tarbutton Road about 6 p.m. Wednesday. On arrival, they found the bottom corner of the door pried open with Laura Gonzales, 26, caught halfway in the opening. Her torso was inside the home while her legs and feet were outside on the ground.

The homeowner stated Gonzales pried the door open and attempted to enter the house. The victim said Gonzales bit him on the hand. He also sustained scratches on his upper torso and face as Gonzales attempted to enter.

Gonzales appeared to have bruises on both knees and left ankle. She seemed to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and spoke little English. She refused medical treatment from the Ruston Ambulance Service.

Gonzales was arrested and booked at the detention center for simple battery, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, disturbing the peace, and simple criminal damage to property. Additional charges of misdemeanor probation violation were added later.

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. 


Chalk creations highlight art encounter

Ray DeOliveria, left, and Tommy Folk, right, and Dean Kirby (not pictured) built the chalk boards for Saturday’s event.

By April Clark Honaker

Through a collaboration initiated by Ruston Artisans owner Judi Null, a unique series of art encounters is scheduled to engage viewers and delight the senses on the last Saturday of every other month beginning July 30.

The first Ruston Art Encounter will take place in downtown Ruston this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. with a walking trail featuring the work of over 100 artists and over 20 art-related businesses and organizations within a one-mile area. 

According to Null, this will not be a typical art walk. Together, Ruston’s art-related businesses, its downtown community and the Friends of Ruston Main Street have planned something truly special.

“Our vision has always been to create Ruston as an arts destination,” Null said. “It already is an art destination, but people don’t realize it.” 

This series of Ruston Art Encounters has been planned with the goal of raising awareness of Ruston as an arts destination both in the community and beyond. The following people comprised the planning committee: Ryan Botts and Dylan Sanders, Creative Exchange; Judy Copeland, Dixie Center for the Arts; Henry McCoy, Fine Line Supply Co.; Amy Stegall, Ruston Mainstreet; and Judi Null, Ruston Artisans. 

When the committee got together, Null said they asked, “How can we create a series of art walk events that are so compelling people come from all over?”  

The answer was to have a fresh and unique theme for every encounter and to include interactive, family friendly activities in an atmosphere that encourages creativity and engagement. Null said the idea was to make each event so different that no one would want to miss it.

The highlight of this first Encounter will be large chalk art pieces created by artists specifically for the event. These pieces will be created Saturday morning live, on site at businesses downtown on chalk boards made locally at the Ruston Community Men’s Shed. These pieces will then be on display starting at noon at businesses throughout downtown Ruston, and maps will be available at all participating businesses as well as Experience Ruston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Artists creating chalk art pieces include Jessica Ann (Creative Exchange); Ron Mckinney (Dixie Center for the Arts); Chlese Jiles (The Frame Up); Katelyn Vaughan, (The Fabric Shop); Keldrick Dunn (Cotton Top); Ruston Mirror by Creative Exchange (Railroad Park); Ashley Greer (Heard Freighthouse Food Park); Jean DeFreese Moore (The Depot Coffee House); Meredith Anderson (The Children’s Shoppe); Adam Williams (Limitless Grooming); Daniel Myers (Fine Line Supply Co.); Emily Ezell (No. 9 Books & Studio 301); and Noah Blessing (Ruston Artisans).

There will also be pop ups and activities along the walk to and at the Origin Depot Bank on Alabama and Monroe. At the bank, kids can create their own works of art, and everyone can vote on a favorite chalk artist. The winning artist will receive $500, and prints of all the chalk works will be available for purchase at Fine Line Supply Co. for $45 each.  

Null said she imagines the Ruston Art Encounters being the type of events people can plan a whole day of fun and leisure around. They can visit the Farmer’s Market, have lunch downtown, spend the afternoon on the art trail, have dinner afterward, and maybe stay the night. 

This Ruston Art Encounter is sponsored by Origin Bank, Century Next Bank, Experience Ruston, Ruston Cultural District, Ruston’s Main Street, Ruston Artisans, Fine Line, Creative Exchange, and an anonymous donor.

    


Domestic disturbance ends with arrest

The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a Ruston man early Wednesday morning after responding to a domestic disturbance on North Chatham Road.

About 1:30 a.m., deputies met with the victim who stated her boyfriend, Milton C. White, 63, had beaten and choked her. She said White became angry when he tried to take her purse and leave, and she would not allow it. The victim said White began hitting and choking her. 

Deputies observed a large welt on the victim’s head and two deep cuts on her arm. She also had red marks on her neck. The bedroom where the incident allegedly occurred showed signs of a struggle, including the door ripped out of its frame.

White appeared heavily intoxicated as he slurred his speech and swayed as he stood. He was arrested and a search revealed the victim’s credit card in his front pocket. The victim said he did not have permission to have it.

White was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for domestic abuse battery, domestic abuse battery by strangulation, simple criminal damage to property, and theft.

Bail was set at $31,500.

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. 


Dusty McGehee: Q&A with Bulldog Jonathan Fincher

Dusty McGehee
 

 

A few weeks ago, a friend had shared Jonathan Fincher’s ad on Facebook about pitching lessons he was offering to kids. Anders is no pitcher by any stretch, but he could definitely improve his throwing mechanics, so I reached out to him. He happily accepted; up to the Tech baseball facility we go. I quickly noticed a couple of things. First, Jonathan is a great teacher of the game. And second, he had a Sitka cap on.

The cap piqued my interest, so I had to ask if he was a hunter. He replied, “Yes, I love hunting!” I’ve never had the opportunity to interview an All-American pitcher, so here goes:

How did you get into hunting/fishing?

I grew up hunting and fishing on our family’s farm in Homer. Me and my dad would walk the creek shooting wood ducks. He was too impatient for deer hunting, but we had a 30/30 in the gun cabinet, so I decided to take it out in the woods my junior year of high school. My girlfriend and I went out in the woods, and I got one.

What similarities do you see between preparing for a hunting trip and preparing for a baseball game?

The mental mindset that it’s going to be a grind. Whether you’re working a group of ducks in the freezing temperatures or in a deep count with a batter, you have to be at the best of your abilities. If you’re hunting that big buck, you have to build a scouting report on it, just like we do in baseball.

Who has been the most influential person in your life for hunting and baseball?

Hunting and fishing-wise it would be Steele Netterville. He has way more experience than me and he has taught me most everything I know about deer hunting, duck hunting, and working the land.

Baseball- Mike Silva, the pitching coach that was here for three years.

What is your most memorable moment on the field … and in the field?

On the field- I started the opening game of the first regional we ever hosted last year. As I was walking to the mound, Coach Matt Miller and Coach Burroughs stopped me and said, “No pressure but we are keeping the first pitch, so it better be a strike.” LaTech’s first time to host a regional, stands are packed, I knew I HAD to throw a strike and I did. It was an amazing feeling.

In the field- It was a span of two days of my best hunting ever last year. Duck season opened November 12 in the west zone. The day before the opener, I went out for a morning deer hunt at my girlfriend’s property and killed my biggest buck, a nice 8-point. The following a day me and my buddy limited out on gadwalls in less than 20 minutes.

If you could make a living playing baseball or hunting, which would you choose?

I would choose baseball, but hunting would sure be fun. I don’t think I would want to get burned out on hunting if it was my job. I’ve devoted the last 17 years of my life to baseball, so it would be a pretty cool payoff if I could play in the MLB.

What if this interview results in you getting a NIL deal with Sitka?

Funny story, I tried that last year. Steele got me this hat as a Christmas present. I emailed Sitka and filled out a form and they wanted to know how many social media followers I had, and I guess I wasn’t popular enough at that time, so nothing came of it.

Can you get us to Omaha next year?

I hope so! We have to replace a few really key players, but I think we can get there! I’m going to use my experience to coach up and guide the new players we have coming in, but the best is yet to come for LA Tech baseball.

What are your plans if you don’t play professional baseball?

I’m studying for the MCAT right now and taking the test in August. Hopefully, I can get into medical school, and if so, I want to be a sports medicine doctor.

Could you kill a deer with a baseball?

If I’m really close and hit it in the forehead maybe, but I’d probably just hit it and make it mad.

Who is the best outdoorsman on your team?

By far Steele Netterville.

Who is the best player you’ve ever played with?

Taylor Young

Favorite thing about LA Tech/Lincoln Parish?

I like the family aspect of the community here. Everyone here is awesome and it’s like one big family. The support we get from the community here is incredible.

Best hunting snack?

Jalapeno and pepper jack deer snack sticks for duck hunting! It’s like a Slim Jim but made from venison.

What is the legacy you want to leave?

When I leave here, I want to leave a legacy as a someone the team enjoyed playing with and my fellow teammates knew I had their back at all times. That they could come to me for anything they needed. Also, as a guy that the university was proud to have represent them every time I took the field.

Can you still hit bombs?

I can. I have my Demarini voodoo from 2015 in my bag. When we do get the chance to hit pitchers BP, I’m putting some out of the yard.

If Anders guided you on a successful 8-point trip, how many free lessons could he get?

Anywhere from 15-20 lessons. I think that would be a fair trade off.

Alright…guess we’ll see you in October.

Hahaha, sounds good!

Would you rather win a national championship or kill a world record buck?

Because of my love for the game, this university and all it’s done for me, it would be an honor to bring home the first national championship trophy for La Tech baseball

Coach Burroughs has assembled an incredibly talented group of players and that is obvious from the results we have had. These young men are also high in character, and Jonathon is a testament to this.

The future is bright for LaTech baseball, but even brighter for “Finch.” He could hang up the cleats today and there is no doubt he would go on to lead a very successful life. I interviewed an All-American athlete and walked out knowing I was NOT the smartest guy in that room. 3.92 GPA, lover of the outdoors, potential MLB player, and undoubtedly, a future doctor.

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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, Ridge, and Mae. If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at dusty.mcgehee@westrock.com.


Hot Grill Summer – Vol. 8: “Gourmet on a Budget” 

Hot Grill Summer with Kyle Roberts

Ah, Maruchan Ramen Noodles. 

A familiar name to any college student. It meets the literal bare-minimum definition for human nutrition and sustenance, and even at inflation prices, it still comes in amazingly affordable. 

And this week, we are taking these cheap ramen packets and turning them gourmet. 

I know, I know; you were excited last week to finally be out with your grill. Trust me here, though, this is an amazing recipe that you can make as mild or “Send-me-to-the-ER” hot as you want (I prefer the latter). 

Gourmet ramen was another pandemic discovery for our family. I used to keep ramen around just for a carbo-boost if I needed, as the taste packets weren’t quite my jam. However, now, we can create a bowlful of taste and spice without a ton of effort. 

The recipe this week is another Halfbaked Harvest for the base, but I will be adding a recipe for katsu chicken breast that requires only an egg, Panko, and flour before frying in a skillet with oil. 

And just look at this picture at the bottom. Good grief; this was one of the prettiest plated dishes I’ve ever made. 

While I admit it may feel a little hot for ramen as we currently reside on the surface of the sun, you can wow your friends with an incredible recipe that will showcase your amazing culinary prowess. 

As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy. 

Recipe 

Ramen recipe here

Katsu chicken 

Ingredients for four servings: 

2 chicken breasts, fileted and flattened 

All-purpose flour (enough to cover the chicken 

2 eggs, beaten 

Panko bread crumbs 

Salt and pepper 

Canola or vegetable oil 

Directions 

  1. Heat oil in skillet or wok over medium heat. Pour enough to where there is about a half inch of standing oil at the bottom. 
  1. Separate three bowls: one for flour, one for the beaten egg, and one for Panko. 
  1. Salt and pepper chicken breasts. 
  1. Dip chicken breast in flour first to completely coat. 
  1. Dip floured chicken into egg mixture and completely coat. 
  1. Dip chicken in bowl with Panko, and completely coat (Seeing a pattern here?). 
  1. Fry chicken breast (2 at a time) in your pan, 3-5 minutes on each side. Golden brown is the goal. 
  1. Cut chicken into strips. 
  1. Top the ramen with the chicken. 
  1. Enjoy! 

More than 200 attend Bearcat Football Camp

More than 200 youngsters participated in the Ruston Bearcast Football Camp this week.

By T. Scott Boatright

When it comes to numbers, Ruston High School athletics director and head football coach Jared Baugh feels like the Bearcats scored a touchdown, or maybe even two, earlier this week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Baugh and Co. conducted their annual Ruston Bearcat Football Camp, with a little more than 200 area youth being tutored on gridiron fundamentals.

“We had what I think was a very good turnout,” Baugh said. “We had 210 kids on Tuesday and 211 on Wednesday, so I was very pleased with the turnout. We’ve always had more than 150 but had never been to 200, so it’s the most we’ve had going into my sixth year as head coach.”

All of Ruston’s high school team coaches worked the camp along with the coaching staffs from Ruston Junior High and I.A. Lewis. So we had sixth grade through varsity coaches. We had a bunch of guys out there -— 30 coaches working with kids that were in kindergarten through incoming ninth grade.”

Baugh said getting the incoming freshman players at RHS is one of the big benefits of holding the camp.

“We had 41 freshmen both days there, which was not quite all of them – we had several guys who were still gone on vacation and that kind of thing,” Baugh said. “That’s a good thing because that’s a good opportunity for our coaches to work with kids that will be playing for us and getting an early start on what they’ll start learning next week.”

Baugh said the camp began with the simple pigskin basics.

“We started out  the first day doing what we call ‘County Fair,’ which is just a lot of standard drill work that’s good for kids of any age, any position, and really any sport. It’s good for agility work and footwork and that kind of thing. We split the kids up by age groups and kind of rotated them around at different stations.

“Then we split the younger kids up to fifth grade and sent them up to the grass field, and split the junior high kids off with their coaches. The ninth-grade kids worked with their coaches, and that was structured more like an actual practice and the little kids did some standard drill work — offensively learning how to take handoffs, throw a football, catch a football and defensively they did a little tackling circuit, working with tackling dummies and that sort of thing.

“And then we did some special teams stuff where they got the opportunity to punt some balls and do some kickoffs.”

Baugh said the camp was blessed with what seemed to be slightly cooler temperatures than has left Lincoln Parish simmering in recent weeks.

“I thought the kids handled the heat really well,” Baugh said. “We had water available at any time and gave them plenty of water breaks. Particularly the first day seemed a little cooler. There was a log of cloud cover. We caught a break there. 

“We were fortunate in that and the coaches did a really good job of monitoring that and making sure everyone stayed hydrated.”

Baugh said the Bearcat Football Camps play a crucial role in several ways, including simply by helping build a fan base as well as a potential player base.

“I think that’s why it’s important that we do this and I really encourage all of our other head coaches of other RHS sports to do those camps, like our basketball camp does Bearcat Ballers. We had soccer camp that started (Thursday) and they’ll continue (today). Coach (Zack) Smith, our baseball coach, is planning on doing a summer camp next year.

“It’s something where you get young kids there to the facilities, learn who our coaches are and hopefully become part of the team later on. I think it’s a really good starting point for some of those younger kids – a good building block for later on.”

Now Baugh turns his attention to the “real deal” – the start of preseason RHS football workouts that will begin on Monday.

“Those older kids are fixing to start practice for real next week and I think this gave them an opportunity to kind of see what that looks like, really it’s kind of like an early start, so I was really encouraged by those kids who got the opportunity to do that. Now it won’t be brand new on Monday when they get out there.”

Along with the start of official preseason practice, Ruston will hold its annual Bearcat Madness football fan day at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.

Football parents will meet in the field house before the event at 5:30 p.m. and the event will include hamburger plates, drinks and Kona Ice for sale along with free Blue Bell ice cream as long as it lasts.


Ponderings by Doug

Ken Davis has a book with the intriguing title “I Don’t Remember Dropping the Skunk, But I Do Remember Trying to Breathe.” In it he talks about an assignment he was given in college to teach a class as creatively as possible. He decided to teach the law of the pendulum, a law of physics that states that a pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point from which it is released. If you put a ball on the end of a string and release it so that it is free to swing, when it returns it can’t go any higher than the point from which you released it. In fact, because of friction and gravity, it will fall short of the release point. Each time it swings, the arc gets smaller and smaller until it finally comes to rest. Ken used all kinds of diagrams, mathematical formulas, and models to teach the law of the pendulum to the class, and he could tell by the look on the teacher’s face that the teacher thought he had done well. 

When Ken finished, he asked the class how many believed in the law of the pendulum. All hands flew up, including the teachers. The teacher thought the lesson was over at this point, but it had just started. Ken asked his teacher to come to the front of the room and sit in a chair placed against the wall. Suspended from the ceiling Ken had rigged 250 pounds of weight-lifting disks. This was a big pendulum. Ken brought the 250 pounds of metal right up to the teacher’s nose and said, “If the law of the pendulum is true, then when I release this mass of metal, it will swing across the room and return short of where I am holding it now. Your nose will still look like it does right now.” Ken looked his teacher right in the eye and said, “Sir, do you believe this law is true?” 

There was a long pause as great drops of sweat formed on his teacher’s upper lip. Then weakly, his teacher nodded and whispered, “Yes.” 

Ken released the pendulum. At the far end of its arc it paused momentarily and then started back. Ken says he has never seen a man move so fast in his life! 

Carefully, Ken stepped around the still-swinging pendulum and asked the class, “Does he believe in the law of the pendulum?” 

In unison they answered, “No!” 

Ken’s professor understood the law, but he was unwilling to trust his nose to it. After a short discussion, a student volunteered to sit in the chair. Even though his face contorted in fear as the pendulum started back, he stayed put. But it stopped an inch from his nose and swung away from him again. Now his faith in the law was strengthened. The next time the pendulum swung, he didn’t even blink.

Life is like that pendulum at times. We see it coming at us and wonder how much pain it will cause. Jesus is an antidote to fear. 

Following Jesus is better than blink, flinch, or run. Try Him!


LA Tech Athletics completes highlight-filled 2021-22 season

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

 

Culture. Class. Competitive Excellence.

These pillars were fully embraced during the 2021-22 athletic season as Louisiana Tech put together another banner year on the playing fields and courts, in the classroom and with the growth of the LA Tech brand.

As the 2022-23 quickly approaches, let’s take one more look back at the best moments from the past year.

TEAM HIGHLIGHTS

Bowling made their second consecutive NCAA Regional appearance after receiving an at-large bid to the National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Championships.  The Lady Techsters posted 31 wins over top-25 programs in route to making it all the way to the regional finals (Elite Eight), the farthest the program has ever gone in the postseason. 

Baseball made their second straight NCAA Regional showing (first back-to-back appearances since 1986-87) as well after earning an automatic bid with its Conference USA Tournament title, which came in Hattiesburg, Miss. thanks to back-to-back walk-off victories in the semifinals (8-7 win over Old Dominion) and finals (9-8 win over UTSA).  The Bulldogs received the No. 2 seed in the Austin Regional, claiming win No. 43 on the season against Dallas Baptist (tied for second most wins in program history).

Softball had one of the biggest turnaround seasons in the country under first-year head coach Josh Taylor, going from eight games under 500 (22-30) in 2021 to 19 games over 500 (39-20) this season in route to a C-USA regular season championship.  The Lady Techsters won nine of their last 10 league games, including a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind win over Southern Miss in the regular season finale, to claim their second ever C-USA regular season title (were picked seventh in the preseason).   

After dropping the first four conference games, Women’s Basketball won 11 of their last 14 to claim the C-USA West Division title (their first regular season championship since 2011).  The Lady Techsters ended up registering a 21-win season (the most since 2010-11), a run that included a C-USA Tournament championship appearance as well as participation in the WNIT.

Men’s Basketball recorded its second straight 24-win season, marking the ninth time in the last 10 seasons with at least 20 victories (one of only 18 Division I teams in the country to do so).  They too made a run all the way to the C-USA Tournament championship after defeating Marshall, WKU and top-seeded North Texas.  It marked just the eighth time in C-USA history that both the men’s and women’s basketball teams from the same school reached the title game.

Tennis had one of its best seasons in program history, producing the second most wins ever with 18 and finishing the year ranked No. 9 in the ITA Southern Region.  During the season, they strung together program-setting winning streaks of 14 straight wins and 12 straight home wins. 

INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

One of the biggest individual highlights came way back in July of last year when Kenneth Lofton, Jr. helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia.  Junior ended up anchoring the team in scoring for the entire tournament, averaging 13.1 points. 

Fast forward toward the end of the athletic season when Golf’s Sam Murphy became the second player in program history to earn an at-large bid as an individual to compete in an NCAA Regional.  He went on to finish in a tie for 23rd at the Norman Regional, the third-best finish ever by a Bulldog in the postseason.

Another end-of-the-year highlight came on day two of the 2022 MLB Draft when history was made as four Bulldogs were selected in the first 10 rounds – Ryan Jennings (4th round – 128th overall), Kyle Crigger (7th round – 202nd overall), Taylor Young (8th round – 255th overall) and Cade Gibson (10th round – 292nd overall).  It was the most selections ever in the top 10 rounds and tied for the most drafted players by any school in the state of Louisiana. 

As a whole, LA Tech had a total of 39 All-Conference selections, the most since the 2018-19 season, across 12 sports.

Football – Reeves Blankenship, Tyler Grubbs, Smoke Harris (twice), Tre Harris, Abraham Delfin, Joshua Mote, Mykol Clark, Keivie Rose, Trey Baldwin, Ezekiel Barnett, Baylen Buchanan, Khalil Ladler, BeeJay Williamson and Jacob Barnes

Men’s Basketball – Kenneth Lofton, Jr and Cobe Williams

Women’s Basketball – Keiunna Walker and Anna Larr Roberson 

Softball – Amanda Gonzalez, Sierra Sacco, Audrey Pickett, Brooke Diaz, Madie Green and Kylie Neel

Baseball – Taylor Young, Cole McConnell, Kyle Crigger, Jorge Corona, Cade Gibson and Ryan Harland

Soccer – Josie Studer

Volleyball – McKenzie Johnson

Golf – Sam Murphy

Bowling – Allie Leiendecker

Women’s Indoor Track & Field – Johannon Murray

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field – Johannon Murray and Makayla Edwards

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field – William Terral

There were also a handful of specialty awards earned this past season as Baseball’s Logan McLeod was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, Ryan Harland was named LSWA Freshman of the Year and Taylor Young earned C-USA Tournament MVP honors.  Softball’s Sierra Sacco took home C-USA and LSWA Freshman of the Year honors while head coach Josh Taylor was named C-USA Coach of the Year.  And Kenneth Lofton, Jr. was selected as the LABC Louisiana Major College Player of the Year for Men’s Basketball.

Two of those specialty award winners also earned All-America honors as Taylor Young was named 2022 ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-American and Allie Leiendecker was named 2021-22 NTCA Second Team All-American.

To top it all off, 20 program records were broken by Bulldogs and Lady Techsters during the 2021-22 athletic season. 

ACADEMIC HIGHLIGHTS

Academically, 55 student-athletes earned their degrees during the 2021-22 academic year while the department produced a cumulative grade point average of 3.12 (10th consecutive term with at least a 3.00). 

LA Tech also set program records for the most student-athletes receiving the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal with 75 and being named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll with 230.

Eighteen student-athletes earned conference all-academic honors for their respective sports, including Steele Netterville (Baseball), Jonathan Fincher (Baseball), Conner Killian (Men’s Cross Country), Abraham Delfin (Football), Seth Boullion (Men’s Track & Field), Riley Killian (Women’s Track & Field), Josie Studer (Soccer), Lindsay Edwards (Softball), Sara Howell-Floyd (Bowling), Lindsay Manning (Bowling), Kalia Patterson (Bowling), Emma Koch (Bowling), Allie Leiendecker (Bowling), Emily Rettig (Bowling), Danielle Jedlicki (Bowling), Tara Spridco (Bowling), Baileigh Snow (Bowling) and Allyson Sand (Bowling).

Netterville and Fincher also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, becoming just the fourth and fifth LA Tech student-athletes to receive this award multiple times.  There has now been a total of 26 Academic All-America selections (12 in the last decade).  Netterville was also selected as one of 14 recipients for the Conference USA Jim Castaneda Postgraduate Scholarship.

Other academic honors included James Swash and Hunter Battles of the golf team being named GCAA All-America Scholars and five players – Madison Cefalu, Tiffani Nash, Ana Rodrigues, Leonie Schuknecht and Lara Unkovich – of the tennis program being named ITA Scholar-Athletes.

BRAND/NIL HIGHLIGHTS

The redesigned LATechSports.com had a banner year, generating the most web traffic on record.  For the 2021-22 athletic season, there were 3.06 million page views (12.6 percent increase over last season’s then program record) with over 1.33 million sessions. 

LA Tech also had impressive increases through social media as 31 of the 36 accounts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had at least a 10 percent increase in followers and 18 of those had at least a 20 percent gain.  Overall, there was a 17.9 percent growth in followers.

Between Facebook and Twitter, the social media accounts generated 83.1 million impressions (10 of the 12 Facebook pages produced monthly record highs during the season).  There were also two months of accumulating over one million impressions on Instagram.

Thirteen of the 16 sports had at least one student-athlete sign an NIL deal with an average transaction value of $1,615.  Of those NIL deals, 34 percent were over $1,000 and 12 percent were over $5,000. 


Weekend events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of not-for-profit upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list or advertise for-profit events, please email us at lpjnewsla@gmail.com

Friday, July 29
10 a.m.: Ribbon Cutting for Frosty Factory (2301 S. Farmerville St.)
8 p.m.: Choudrant Movie Night watching “The Sandlot”) (Choudrant Park, 3911 Elm St., Choudrant)

Saturday, July 30
7:30 a.m.: Faith Walk/Run (Cook Park)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
Noon to 4 p.m.: Sidewalk Chalkwalk (Ruston Artisans)


Opportunity: Team Leader (2nd Shift)

AS A TEAM LEADER, YOU WILL: 

  • Supervise utilizing strong interpersonal skills 
  • Use technical knowledge of manufacturing processes, as applies to such supervision 
  • Utilize computer skills to facilitate processes and software used 
  • Pursue objectives with organizational skills to meet goals 
  • Work with personnel at all levels of the organization 

REQUIRED EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE & SKILLS: 

  • Two (2) year Associates Degree, plus one year of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience 
  • Excellent communication skills; both oral and written 
  • Great computer skills (Excel and Word 

BENEFITS

We offer medical insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, 401(k), tuition reimbursement and more. We also provide flexible time-off plans, including parental leave, vacation, and holiday leave.  

Shift is 4:30 p.m. until 3:00 a.m.  Overtime requirements are based on customer needs to meet business objectives. 

If qualified and interested, please apply online at www.emerson.com 

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Emerson is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.  


Opportunity: Production Engineer

AS A PRODUCTION ENGINEER, YOU WILL: 
  • Conceptualize, develop, and initiate process improvements and cost reductions 
  • Use Lean principles to reduce cycle times and reduce waste  
  • Manage problem solving teams from inception to corrective actions.  Will often involve leading a team through the process. 
  • Self-initiate improvement and / or corrective actions for safety, quality, cost and productivity concerns using formal six sigma problem solving tools 
  • Develop documentation for operators and maintenance on proper equipment operation and care 
  • Effectively communicate changes to all levels of the organization and at all stages of implementation 

REQUIRED EDUCTION, EXPERIENCE & SKILLS: 

  • BS degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering or equivalent engineering technology degree 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills  
  • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Excel and Word) 
  • Self-starter able to work independently 

If qualified and interested, please apply online at www.emerson.com 

Benefits 

We offer medical insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, 401(k), tuition reimbursement and more. We also provide you flexible time-off plans, including parental leave, vacation, and holiday leave.  

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Emerson is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.  


Notice of death — July 28, 2022

Therese Brown 
August 4, 1959 – July 26, 2022 
Visitation: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Sunday, July 31, 2022, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
Service: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Monday, August 1, 2022, 10:00 am 
Cemetery: Mineral Springs Cemetery, Monday, August 1, 2022  

Odessa Dunn 
February 6, 1921 – July 24, 2022 
Visitation: Friday 07/29/2022 3:00pm to 5:00pm, King’s Funeral Home 
Funeral Service: Saturday 07/30/2022 11:00am, Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Grambling 
Burial: Saturday 07/30/2022, Grambling Memorial Garden