No. 2 Ruston hosts No. 15 ESJ for second round of boys’ playoffs

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

Expect an electric environment tonight at Ruston High School’s Main Gym as the No. 2 Bearcats look to start their postseason run by hosting No. 15 East St. John for a 6:30 p.m. tip off.

After a stellar regular season campaign ending with a 27-3 overall record and earning a first-round bye, head coach Ryan Bond shared both sides of not having to play an opening round game.

“We are ready to play,” Bond said. “The bye has its positives and negatives. We had an opportunity to work on some deficiencies, but on the other hand we were in a great rhythm. But I have no doubt that our guys will be ready to play.”

Ruston’s last game was a win over Evangel 62-37 in the Red River Classic on Saturday, Feb. 18, which means the Bearcats have been off for 10 days.

East St. John won its opening round game at home against No. 18 Terrebonne by a final score of 47-37.

“ESJ is a very good team,” Bond said. “They are well coached. They like to get the ball inside and have a couple of guys around 6’5″ that post up well. They are the No. 15 seed, but lost some games before Christmas because they had two starters out with injuries.”

Tickets will be $10 for general admission and will be presold in the RHS Ticket Office from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. this morning.

Students with ID’s can purchase tickets for $5 at the door. As a special promotion, the Lincoln Parish Journal is offsetting the cost by sponsoring $1 CatBox tickets, which will be available for RHS students only to purchase today at lunch. Students will need to provide current ID to enter the game with the promotional ticket.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Black Rifle Coffee Company … a brew for the red, white and blue

Louisiana Tech and NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone has a passion for his community and for his country.

And based on those two loves, the Mailman has delivered once again.

The Karl Malone Group opened a Black Rifle Coffee Company franchise in Ruston on Monday, located on East Kentucky Avenue adjacent to 5.11 by Karl Malone.

“The coffee cafe is perfect for people who love America,” said Managing Partner Amy Madsen. “Black Rifle is unique in that it’s not only made in the USA, but its founder is a Veteran who started roasting beans for his troops in Afghanistan.

“Mr. Karl (Malone) is so passionate about our military, law enforcement and first responders that this was the perfect fit for Team Karl Malone. As he always says, ‘I have your six.’ If you know him you know he is proud to be an American in every aspect of his life.”

So if you are a coffee drinker, Ruston has the perfect new spot for you. Black Rifle Coffee Company is a must try for anyone who loves to start their day, continue their day or end their day with a great cup of coffee.

Black Rifle Coffee Company develops explosive roast profiles with the same mission focus as military members serving this great country and are committed to supporting veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. With every purchase you make, BRCC gives back to those men and women.

“Black Rifle Coffee Company wants to continue the tradition of hiring veterans, family members of veterans and law enforcement,” said Amy Madsen. “But we also want to appeal to all members of the community including Louisiana Tech and Grambling State students, who want to have a cool place to do homework, and ladies who want a place to just meet with their friends for a lunch date.

“We hope all veterans who come in and solve the world’s problems over the the best cup of coffee they have ever had join us too. Coffee culture is one of the important facets of the BRCC community.”

The Ruston location is the first and only Black Rifle Coffee Company located in the state of Louisiana. Although it is equipped with a drive thru window, the set-up within the coffee cafe is a great, comfortable setting to meet friends or just sit alone and study, read or relax. BRCC also boasts a robust selection of merchandise, including pour-over carafes, grinders, and insulated mugs for all sorts of coffee aficionados.

The CEO of Black Rifle Coffee Company is Tom Davin, who introduced Mr. Karl and Andy Madsen to 5.11 while he was the CEO of that company. With Davin now being the CEO of Black Rifle Coffee provided the perfect storm to add the cafe adjacent to 5.11 by Karl Malone. Both companies have a passion for military and first responder communities.

According to general manager Stephanie Callender, tying Black Rifle Coffee Company and 5.11 by Karl Malone together was strategic and a great partnership in our area.

“We want to educate more women and men about 5.11 by Karl Malone,” said Callender. “We are hoping that this brings more people to the north side of town to the coffee shop and in return they can see what we offer at 5.11 by Karl Malone. We are not just a tactical store, we are a lifestyle. That’s the concept. We want to integrate the two.”

Founded in 2014 by former U.S. Army Green Beret Evan Hafer, Black Rifle Coffee Company was built upon the mission to serve coffee and culture to people who love America.

What started out as more of a hobby for Hafer has become a life-style and culture that combines great coffee with those who serve and protect the American way.

“I want people to know when they step into the company that it’s owned by the veteran community,” said Hafer in a Youtube video where he describes his background and how BRCC started. “And I want the veteran community to take pride in that.”

The coffee cafe is open Sunday thru Thursday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Team Karl Malone is so proud to be able to offer Ruston and the surrounding communities a comfortable cafe where they can have the best cup of coffee they will ever have,” said Amy Madsen. “Come in and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, conduct business, do homework and stay for a while.”

Black Rifle Coffee Company will hold its grand opening March 25. More information will be available about the grand opening in coming weeks.

This is a paid advertorial

Honoring Black History Month: “No testimony without the test”

Reggie McLeroy holds his print “Hands that Heal” from 2009

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston artist Reggie McLeroy is soft-spoken in person, an artist who truly lets his work speak on his behalf.

And anyone around the Ruston-area is likely familiar with his signature pencil-style strokes on illustration board, his eye for athletics and outdoor photography– passions that he began cultivating in the second grade right here at home.

“We would have art contests in my class, and I would win with my drawings,” Reggie said. “It made me feel good; I knew I had something special. My older brother and sister could both draw; I used to sit down right beside my sister and try to draw whatever it was that she was drawing at that particular time.

“I just fell in love with it. As I got older, I started to focus more on the details within my artwork.”

During the week, Reggie is an art teacher in the parish, making a drive multiple times a week between Exits 93 and 77 between Choudrant and Simsboro to teach other young minds the importance of art and the hope to elevate and cultivate his talented art students.

Reggie is more than willing to share his talent for the world to see. What many don’t get to see, however, is the long journey that he took to get to where he is today and the lessons that he learned along the way.

Reggie has lived in Ruston nearly his entire life, except for a stint as a college basketball player at Union College in Kentucky. As a young black child, Reggie was a student at Lincoln Elementary in the early ‘70s when Ruston finally fully integrated schools and he was moved to Hillcrest as a fourth grader.

“I was excited that I was going to be able to go to a different school because at the time we used to get hand-me-down books from the white schools (at Lincoln Elementary),” Reggie said.

“And they’d sometimes have some racial slurs written inside or some pages would be missing. I remember showing one to my mother one day, and she said ‘Well, baby, you can’t worry about that.’

“So when I was going to Hillcrest, I was excited for my first day. And in the mind of a fourth grader, you’re expecting to have people greeting you and welcoming you, but that was not the case. There were people who held their kids out of school that day. And people that were there, were talking about us when we got off the bus. It was a trying time for a little fourth grader.”

Reggie would continue to attend Ruston’s public schools as he grew up. As a basketball player for the Ruston High Bearcats, Reggie would earn a walk-on spot at Louisiana Tech with the promise that he would be on scholarship. When that fell through, Reggie thought he would try to teach his coaches a lesson by skipping class and purposefully failing classes.

“I became bitter about it,” Reggie said. “I did some foolish things, thinking I would pay them back. And I ended up hurting myself the most of all.”

Reggie’s college basketball career would continue when an opportunity from Bill Peterson, who was a grad assistant at the time that Reggie was on Tech’s roster, called from Union College in Kentucky to see if he would be a fit for their team (Peterson is currently on the coaching staff for the Baylor University men’s basketball team). It was Reggie’s first flight, and as the Delta airplane landed, he immediately had to rush to the court for the try out. And while all of the basketball skills were evident, his academic past at Louisiana Tech threatened to keep him off the court.

Fortunately, a successful round of summer school allowed Reggie to receive his scholarship and become a starting point guard as the season continued. The only downside at Union College? There was no art program, but that didn’t stop Reggie’s coach from helping harness his talent.

“My coach helped me find a young lady who helped me out with what I could do,” Reggie said. “And when I would come home, I would come by and visit Louisiana Tech and visit the art program. It was there that I would see Albino Hinojosa, and he would critique my work. I really envied how he did his work, and I wanted to take what he was doing and make it more like what I wanted my work to look like. I was able to create my own style with it.”

After Union College, Reggie would come back to Ruston and became an assistant basketball coach at the high school, where he started to draw his single-panel inspirational cartoon character, Lil’ Daddy. A few years later, he poured himself more into his drawing and wildlife prints, setting up exhibits in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Alabama. One incident that has stood out happened in Birmingham, Alabama, in the mid-’90s when he met an Outdoor TV show host who wanted to show off Reggie’s art to a crew member on his show.

“He brought this gentleman over to my booth and he said, ‘Yeah it’s good, but let me get this straight: y’all have taken baseball from us, y’all have taken basketball away from us, and now y’all are taking golf away from us. So now you all want to take wildlife art from us, too?”

While the man was jeered away from the booth by bystanders for his racist talk, the damage had been done.

Experiences like these have pushed Reggie to try to be the best artist he can be, while also helping him focus on the One who guides him.

“My life is designed and lined up by God,” Reggie said. “From that little kid up until now, He puts me on the path He wants me to go on. And no matter if I try to get off of that path, He draws me back to it.”

As an adult, Reggie has been back home and involved with students on the court, the sideline, and in the classroom. While he shares his talent and penchant for art, he also has the opportunity to model for youths that life will have struggles that must be overcome in order to be better people.

And that Black History Month is worth honoring, because understanding history helps shape the future.

“When I tell people my story, they can’t believe it’s real because it wasn’t very far off,” Reggie said. “There is a lot of history that has been lost and demolished through the years. I still keep it inside me and what we as kids had to go through.

“There is no testimony without the test. And I know that my life has been a test, but it’s been led by God.”

It’s fitting that Reggie now has the chance to teach students art in the same parish that he attended a school where he did not feel wanted as that little fourth grade boy.

And his experience as a teacher in Lincoln Parish has been a great one.

“I’ll admit I was hesitant at first, because I remember what it felt like as a kid,” Reggie said. “The kids who I teach now accept me for who I am. And they’ve inspired me even more to get back into my art. I’ve really loved getting to watch the kids grow as young artists in the two years that I’ve been teaching them.”

And while Reggie is happy to be known as a photographer, artist, and teacher, he makes it clear where his real identity is found: in his relationship with Jesus Christ.

“I’m a spiritual person; I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,” Reggie said. “I believe that he died for me and everybody else. So there’s nothing that anyone can do to stop me from speaking about Jesus and the opportunity that He has given me. That’s always number one; I truly know where my talent comes from, and I acknowledge Him every time I get the opportunity.”

Teacher Feature: Lauren Pipes ensures fun during learning

By April Clark Honaker

Aware of the stereotype that math is less fun than other subjects in school, Lauren Pipes deliberately chose it. She knew there would be more jobs available in a subject fewer people were brave enough or interested enough to teach.

Pipes grew up in Sacramento, California, and attended East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary math education. After completing her student teaching and earning her degree in Marshall, Pipes took her first job mid-year at Spring High School in Houston. 

After finishing that year, Pipes moved around quite a bit because her husband worked in the oil field at the time. Along the way, she earned a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Texas in Tyler. She’s taught in Texas, Oklahoma, California and now in Louisiana, where she and her family intend to stay. 

Pipes is in her second year of teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade math at A.E. Phillips Laboratory School and said she always wanted to be a teacher. When she was a kid, her older sisters would play school with her. They were typically the teachers, and she was the student, but those playtimes were where the seed to become a teacher was planted.

Pipes said her mom even has some drawings from when she was little where she drew herself as a teacher. In her years of teaching in different states, Pipes gained experience teaching both high school and middle school students, but middle school is her niche. 

“I fell in love with the middle school age,” she said. “They’re still young and moldable, but they’ve also figured out their personalities. They’re just interesting. It’s something new every day. They always keep me entertained and keep me on my toes.”

Although math can sometimes be harder to teach than other subjects, Pipes tackles the challenge by trying hard to make things relatable to her students. She wants them to understand the why behind what they’re learning.

“They’re at the age where they can appreciate it if you can explain why it will help them later,” she said. 

Pipes also takes opportunities to allow her students to learn and discover things in groups. She said they take so much more ownership of what they’re learning if they figure it out themselves, and even at this age, they are capable of taking responsibility for their learning in impressive ways. 

“When you train them to work in groups,” she said, “it’s amazing how productive they can be.”

Pipes uses group learning also to teach life skills, such as how to disagree respectfully. Getting this kind of experience now ensures that they are more comfortable working with others later in life, whether for academic projects at higher levels or in a job.  

Cougars fall to top-seeded Northwood-Lena in regionals

By Malcolm Butler

No. 1 seed Northwood-Lena continued its march towards a possible state title Monday night, defeating No. 16 seed Cedar Creek 83-50 in regional action of the Select School Division IV playoffs.

Omarion Layssard scored 24 points and Jonathan Barron added 22 points to lead the No. 1 ranked team in the state to its 26th win of the season while the Cougars ended the year with a 13-14 record.

Creek first year head coach Lance Waldron said he felt his team left everything on the court.

“I think we gave it everything we had,” said Waldron. “Northwood-Lena is extremely talented, just like we thought they were. (Barron) shot the lights out, and (Layssard) was unstoppable. Our players played really hard and gave it everything they had. I was proud of the way we played and competed. No regrets.”

Northwood-Lena (26-7) hit six three-pointers in the opening quarter to run out to a 36-14 lead after the opening eight minutes of action as Jack Echols led the Cougars with six points. The Gators continued their onslaught on the scoreboard in the second quarter, outscoring Creek 27-13 to take a 63-27 halftime advantage.

“They never got cold,” said Waldron. “They stayed hot the whole game. I thought we had a good game plan. Our players were doing what they needed to do. Those two guys are good.They didn’t have a deep bench, but they have two really good kids. They were phenomenal.”

The Gators led 78-36 after three quarters of action before Creek outscored them 14-5 in the final stanza.

Northwood-Lena hit 15 three-pointers in the win.

Connor Norris and Echols led Cedar Creek with 12 points each while Carter Hill chipped in with eight points.

“I am really proud of our season,” said Waldron. “We got off to a slow start and gradually got better and better and better. I think we were playing our best ball at the end of the season which is always what you want to do. The kids kept believing, and I felt like we had a successful season. I thought all the guys really enjoyed playing basketball with each other this year.”

Creek had five seniors who played their final game, including Norris, Echols, Hill, Davis Walsworth and Brian Osborne.


Becky, Lue Napper named Tower Medallion recipients

Courtesy University Communications

Becky and Lue Napper found each other while students on a Louisiana Tech Rome trip, were engaged in 1969, graduated from Tech together in 1970, and were married in January of 1971.

Now, the couple is scheduled to do something else together: during Tech’s winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4 in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Tech campus, Becky and Lue will become the University’s newest Tower Medallion recipients and be inducted by the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The Tower Medallion Award signifies membership in the Hall and is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities. Loyal friends to the University for more than 60 years, the Nappers easily qualify.

In 2006, to honor the late William and Virginia Marbury, the couple initiated The Marbury Lecture Series, sponsored by Tech’s College of Business and Cedar Creek School.  

In honor of the late Harold and LaRue Napper, Becky and Lue provided funds for a special lab in Tech’s College of Education. They have also helped finance the Walk of Honor in Aillet Fieldhouse and continue to support the Marbury Scholarships through the Tech Foundation.

Both graduated with degrees in Business; Becky also earned her MBA in 1990, is a past board member of the Tech Foundation, and is now a Director Emeritus.

Becky and Lue have long been active in the Ruston community.

Becky continues long relationships with Phi Mu, the Junior Auxiliary, the Girl Scouts, Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics and Finance Fraternity, a former board member and current Director Emeritus of the Tech Foundation.

While working at First National Bank while a student at Tech, Lue volunteered to work the Miss Peach Festival pageant—and ended up as its Executive Director.  He, Judy Burt and David Hedgepeth ran the pageant for more than 50 years, and he has for years served on the board of the Miss Louisiana Pageant.

Student arrested on several charges

A Grambling State University student was arrested Saturday after police responded to a report of a disturbance in a campus dorm.

An officer found a woman standing in the hallway of Tubman Hall talking on the phone. When asked if she needed medical attention, she began cursing “all law enforcement”  and then began to behave erratically. She refused to identify herself or provide her name.

When a backup officer arrived, the woman had moved into one of the dorm rooms. The occupants were asked if they knew the woman and they all responded no. Due to the woman displaying disruptive behavior, refusing to identify herself, and not a resident of that room or that dorm, she was advised to leave. She refused and failed to comply with the officer’s orders. When they attempted to arrest her, she began kicking an officer and became combative. When officers tried to handcuff her, she continued to fight.

To try to gain compliance, an officer displayed a Taser. However, the woman continued to fight officers until they were able to put her in handcuffs.

After the arrest, the woman identified herself as Angel Barnes, 19, of Bethune Halls. She was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for disturbing the peace, remaining after being forbidden criminal trespass, battery of an officer, and resisting an officer with violence.

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. 

Grambling mourning death of Richard J. Gallot, Sr.

Pictured is Rick Gallot Sr. cutting the hair of his son Rick Jr. in 2017. (Courtesy photo)

By T. Scott Boatright

The city of Grambling as well as Grambling State University are mourning the loss of one of the community’s leading pillars — Richard Gallot Sr. –  who passed away on Friday at the age of 87.

Gallot, the father of GSU President Rick Gallot Jr., was a longtime community entrepreneur who was also a GSU alumnus who served as mayor of Grambling from 1981-85.

Coming to Grambling in the 1950s from south Louisiana, Gallot and his wife Mildred soon established as major fixtures at the college and in the community. 

Gallot first worked while his wife attended college before she then became a history professor at GSU for more than 35 years and then served as a member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System from 2005-11.

But Gallot later followed in her footsteps as a nontraditional student, earning a bachelor’s degree in business/accounting himself while also serving as owner of a gas station and liquor store just off Interstate 20 as well as a barbershop he operated for more than 50 years and raising his family.

From 1981-85 Gallot served as mayor of Grambling and under his guidance the city incorporated land north of I-20 extending to Garr Road.

Gallot is also featured as part of Grambling’s Legends Square Walk of Fame. The plaque honoring him there reads as follows:

“Richard J. Gallot, Sr. is a well-known, successful entrepreneur who served as Grambling’s mayor from 1981 to 1985. His parish and government positions included serving as a Grambling City Councilman; Constable, Ward II, Lincoln Parish; member of the Lincoln Parish Democratic Executive Committee, member of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, and as Justice of the Peace. His business ventures include Gallot’s Barber Shop which he has operated for over fifty years.”

A message posted in Gallot Sr.’s honor on the City of Grambling Facebook page reads as follows:

“Many stories of great conversations have been shared on social media by community members, former students and family to honor the memory and service of Richard Gallot, Sr. He was not only our mayor, our barber, our neighbor and our friend, he was a pillar of our community. The thoughts and prayers of the City of Grambling are with his wife, Dr. Mildred Gallot, their children, family and all those who love him.”

Gallot is survived by his wife Mildred as well as children Daphne Knighten of Little Rock, Loretta Lee of Bossier and Rick Jr. of Grambling.

Funeral services for the late Richard J. Gallot, Sr. will be held at 11 a.m. Friday  in the T.H. Harris Auditorium on the campus of Grambling State University.

Visitation will be observed from 9 – 10:30 a.m. Friday with a special tribute from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at 9:45 a.m. The Rosary will take place immediately following visitation. Interment will take place at Grambling Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the GSU College of Business (IN MEMORY OF: Richard J. Gallot, Sr.) at or make checks payable to Grambling University Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 587, Grambling, LA 71245.

Donations will be used to establish a scholarship fund for nontraditional students in the college of business.

Man charged with burglary arrested near scene

A Ruston man was arrested Friday after he allegedly trespassed at a house on Love Avenue and committed a burglary.

Ruston Police were sent to the home regarding a complaint of someone in the backyard.  A suspect matching the description was spotted nearby at the EZ Mart on South Vienna Street. Carlos Jenkins, 49, admitted being at the residence going through items because he thought it was abandoned.

The victim identified Jenkins as the suspect who was then arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for simple burglary, criminal trespass and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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. 

COLUMN: Help us help you

By Malcolm Butler


It’s been 18 months since Kyle and Judith Roberts and myself took over as the publishers for the Lincoln Parish Journal.

Wow, how times flies.

Over the past year and a half we have spent a lot of bandwidth working towards making the LPJ  your go-to, reliable, free media outlet, a source for information that you can turn to on a daily basis for fair and accurate coverage. We feel we have made tremendous strides. And based on the feedback we have received, so do our readers.

But the job is never done. We are always looking for ways to make it better.

We have a great team at the Lincoln Parish Journal. And we are proud of their work towards the above mission. It’s truly a team effort.

One thing that can help us is for our readers to send us already written news releases, story ideas, and other suggestions. Full disclosure: we can’t cover everything. But our goal is to cover as much as possible.

If you are a local school (elementary, junior high, high school) send us information about what is going on at your school. We would love to run your honor roll. We would love to run information about your homecoming court (I do think we got all of those this year), your student council elections, etc. If you have a story, send a photo with it. Sometimes we will have the time to write it ourselves and sometimes we won’t. But we sure can’t cover it if we don’t know about it.

If you are an area high school coach, answer your phone when we call or text. Coming from the college athletics background, I believe in writing a story win, lose or draw. What I don’t believe in is only covering a team when they win. We can’t cover every high school sports team in Lincoln Parish on a daily basis, but we do our best to cover as much as we possibly can. Help us provide coverage for your teams, coaches. Answer our calls or texts in a timely basis. Most are awesome at this. Some, well, we may need to run a few stadiums.

The LPJ exists because of advertising dollars. And we have some great advertising partners at the Lincoln Parish Journal. This wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you.

A lot of times we receive emails or calls wanting us to cover something that is business related. We have to draw a line on free advertising, especially on for-profit events or businesses. However, we have very affordable advertising rates and are happy to come visit on how we can help your upcoming event or your business.

And we’ve had great success with helping promote events through our email ride alongs and advertorials. Just send us an email ( and we will provide advertising rates and additional information.

The LPJ is free to read. It will always be free to read. We won’t ever put our content behind a pay well. That’s not our business model. We know how frustrating it can be to start reading a story and not be able to finish because its behind a pay wall.

At the end of the day, we want to help Lincoln Parish residents know the going-ons in our communities. Email us at if you have something that you feel is worth us covering. Again we can’t cover everything, but we will sure give your story idea our consideration.

Finally, thanks to our readers. Our numbers continue to grow as we exceeded 2.2 million views last calendar year and through our first two months of 2023, we are on pace to shatter that mark. 

The Lincoln Parish Journal … for Lincoln Parish residents written by Lincoln Parish residents.

Man arrested for criminal trespass 

Grambling police arrested a 24-year-old man Friday after he returned to a relative’s home after being warned to stay away.

Officers were dispatched to a Main Street residence Friday morning where the resident said his relative was not to return after being belligerent toward him. The resident told Kevin Martin, of Grambling, to leave the home Wednesday and Grambling Police had removed him from the property.

According to the resident, Martin had continued to come to the home in defiance of his relative’s wishes with the Police Department being notified each time.

Martin was found on the driveway playing basketball and was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for criminal trespass.

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. 

State police announce commencement of Cadet Class 102

Baton Rouge – Recently, a select group of men and women reported to the Louisiana State Police Training Academy for the commencement of Cadet Class 102. To succeed in their career as a Louisiana State Trooper, cadets will learn personal discipline, attention to detail, leadership, teamwork skills, and inner strength.

For their 24 weeks of training, these 48 cadets will receive instruction in numerous areas including firearm proficiency, tactical driving, de-escalation techniques, advanced crash investigation, lawful use of force, implicit bias recognition, impaired driving detection, and effective communication and leadership skills to exemplify the LSP Core Values. Upon successful completion of the LSP Training Academy, the newly graduated Troopers will participate in a 10- to 16-week field training program before beginning their careers of dedication, protection and service to the citizens of Louisiana. The field-training program places new Troopers under the direction of highly trained, experienced Troopers who will coach them to apply lessons learned in the academy to real time patrol duties.

To learn more about how to become a Louisiana State Trooper, go to where information on the recruiting and training process is available. There is also information on LSP’s benefits, qualifications and most frequently asked questions. For those applicants seeking immediate employment opportunities, positions are available within the Louisiana Department of Public Safety Police through the Louisiana State Civil Service System. For more information on the DPS Police please visit and

Recruiters are available to assist applicants through email at or on Facebook at

Wiedemeier leads Bulldog Aquatic Club at state meet


Eighteen-year-old Adam Wiedemeier led the Bulldog Aquatic Club during the recent state meet, capturing three state championship titles in the 50-meter freestyle, the 500-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly.

Members of the team competed at the Louisiana Spring Open State Championship Swim Meet in Sulphur February 9-12.

“I thought the athletes swam very well,” said head coach Rocky Smith. “They raced hard and were always competing.  We had so many personal best times for the athletes.  I was so proud of them and their efforts.”

Wiedemeier also recorded top 10 finishes, including finishing second 2nd in the 200 butterfly, second in the 200 individual medley and fourth in the 400 individual medley.

Adam Campbell was the lone other BAC competitor recording top 10 finishes, finishing seventh in the 100-meter butterfly, seventh in the 200-meter butterfly, ninth in the 200-meter backstroke, and 10th in the 100-meter backstroke.

These athletes from the Ruston area as well as surrounding communities were the fastest 15-and-over swimmers in that state competing in one meet.  The competition included one session on Thursday as well as prelims and finals for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  



Kate Boersma (age 15) — 15th in 100 backstroke, 27th in the 400 individual medley, 28th in the 100 freestyle, 24th in the 200 individual medley, 12th in the 200 backstroke, and 18th in the 50 freestyle. 

Karalinn Hoover (age 15) — 33rd in the 200 freestyle, 18th in the 400 individual medley, 18th in the 200 breaststroke, 22nd in the 500 freestyle, 23rd in the 200 individual medley, and 17th in the 100 breaststroke.

McKenzie Jones (age 16) — 34th in the 100 backstroke, 34th in the 200 freestyle, 29th in the 500 freestyle, 31st in the 200 individual medley, 27th in the 200 backstroke, and 30th in the 50 freestyle.

Lydia Watts (age 16) — 54th in the 100 backstroke, 40th in the 100 butterfly, and 21st in the 200 butterfly. 

The girls’ relays — 18th in the 400 freestyle relay, 20th in the 200 freestyle relay. 



Cade Campbell (age 16) — 89th in the 200 freestyle, 65th in the 100 butterfly, 56th in the 400 individual medley, 98th in the 200 individual medley, and 93rd in the 50 freestyle.

Adam Campbell (age 17) — 10th in the 100 backstroke, 7th in the 100 butterfly, 15th in the 400 individual medley, 7th in the 200 butterfly, 18th in the 200 individual medley, 9th in the 200 backstroke. 

Owen Frick (age 15) — 11th in the 100 butterfly, 20th in the 200 butterfly, 48th in the 100 freestyle, 23rd in the 500 freestyle, 32nd in the 200 individual medley, and 30th in the 50 freestyle. 

Jack Groce (age 15) — 18th in the 100 freestyle, 24th in the 400 individual medley, 32nd in the 200 breaststroke, 46nd in the 500 freestyle, 25th in the 100 breaststroke, and 15th in the mile freestyle. 

Tillman Colton Reeder (age 17) — 11th in the 200 freestyle, 15th in the 100 butterfly, 14th in the 100 freestyle, 31st in the 500 freestyle, 25th in the 200 individual medley, and 26th in the 50 freestyle. 

Adam Wiedemeier (age 18) — 1st in the 100 butterfly, 4th in the 400 individual medley, 2nd in the 200 butterfly, 1st in the 500 freestyle, 2nd in the 200 individual medley, and 1st in the 50 freestyle.

The boys relays — 6th in the 800 freestyle relay, 4th in the 400 freestyle relay, 11th in the 200 freestyle relay, 5th in the 400 medley relay, 7th in the 200 medley relay.

The mixed relay (two boys and two girls) — 8th in the 200 freestyle mixed relay. 



Matulia earns award as Dogs head to Oxford

Phil Matulia (12) was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week. (Photo by Kelsey Chanler)

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

After helping lead the charge offensively for Louisiana Tech, Philip Matulia was named the Conference USA Hitter of the Week in an announcement made by the league office Monday.

Matulia and the Bulldogs went 3-1 this past week, collecting a 10-2 victory over BYU on Monday followed by a series win over Nicholls State.

The senior batted .389 with seven hits (four of those being of the home run variety) and 10 runs batted in. He hit a three-run shot versus the Cougars to blow the game open and then followed that up with a career performance in the series opener versus the Colonels.

Matulia recorded a career-high four hits while collecting two home runs and registering a career-high five RBIs (was his first career multi-homer game). He banked out another home run on Saturday, a two-run opposite field homer that tied the game up, and then extended his hitting streak to five with a single during Sunday’s game.

The first baseman/designated hitter ranks first in C-USA and fifth in the country in total home runs with five. He also ranks top 50 in the country currently in slugging percentage (.960) and total bases (24).

This is the first C-USA Hitter of the Week honor for Matulia. He becomes the 15th Bulldog in program history to earn this weekly award.

Matulia and the Bulldogs go on the road for the first time this season, traveling to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the defending national champions and 4th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels. The two teams will play a two-game series on today and Wednesday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field with both games starting at 4 p.m.

Defending NCAA national champion Ole Miss has picked up right where they left off, having won six of their seven games so far in 2023. The Rebels opened the year with a three-game sweep versus Delaware, then picked up a midweek win over Arkansas State, and took two of three from No. 13-ranked Maryland this past weekend.

Ole Miss, who is ranked as high as No. 4 in the country currently, has been crushing the baseball. The Rebels rank in the top 10 in the nation in batting average (.361), home runs (18), and slugging percentage (.670). They have scored double-digit runs in six of their seven games.

Notice of death — Feb. 27, 2023

Willard Hayes Harrison  
Thursday 08/08/1940 — Friday 02/17/2023  
Family Gathering: Friday 03/03/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Visitation: Friday 03/03/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Notes: Observation window 5pm until Saturday, March 4, 2023  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 03/04/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Burial: Saturday 03/04/2023, St. David Cemetery, Vienna 

Trey White, III 
August 3, 1963 – February 24, 2023 
Visitation: Thursday, March 2, 2023, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home 

Beer Crawl returns to Ruston

By Kelsey Horath

Mark calendars this St. Patrick’s Day for an event crawling back into the streets of downtown.

Ruston’s second Beer Crawl is scheduled for March 17, and tickets are on sale now.  

This event was originally started in 2020 and scheduled for the second weekend in March when the COVID shutdown happened,” said Amy Stegall, Main Street director and community coordinator. “In 2021 we experienced a crazy snowstorm and in 2022 we had an amazing event that people wanted to see happen again.”

Like last year, the event will take each ticket holder to different stores in downtown Ruston as they participate in beer tastings. 

“Everyone with a ticket will receive a tasting cup, a map (with a tasting card) and a souvenir to commemorate the event,” Stegall said. 

This year some new additions will also be added to the event for ticket holders to enjoy during the time.  

The Heard Freight House Food Park will be in full springtime swing and offer some outdoor live music, many of our merchants are adding fun things like face painting or giveaways and the friends of Ruston Main Street Board are adding games and other surprises along the tasting map, too,” Stegall said. “Each year we’ll add to the fun — making it a tradition that always adds a little more to the event.”

The multiple activities the Beer Crawl offers allow a time to explore local businesses and socialize amongst other community members for the night.

“The most important thing about this event is that it brings people downtown to experience community,” Stegall said. “When you have fun in downtown, you’re likely to come back and have more fun, and that is what it is all about.”

To experience all Ruston’s Beer Crawl has to offer, head to downtown Ruston’s Instagram page or Facebook event page and purchase a ticket.

“This event usually sells out a week before the event,” Stegall said. “We encourage anyone who wants to come to buy tickets early.”

Visit or the Instagram page @downtownruston, for more information. 

Domestic incident on I-20 prompts arrest

A Nevada man was arrested at the Interstate 20 eastbound rest area after Lincoln Parish deputies investigated a domestic disturbance.

Deputies found a female victim with a swollen and bruised left eye. A wound on the left side of her head was bleeding. The woman stated she drives a truck and she and her husband had gotten into a small argument that turned physical but she did not want to press charges. The woman then refused to give any other information about the incident.

The husband was located at their truck in the parking lot. When a deputy attempted to advise Aaron S. Crawford, 32, of Las Vegas Nev. of his rights, he constantly interrupted, saying he knew how it goes.

Crawford was arrested for domestic abuse battery under Louisiana’s mandatory domestic violence arrest law. He was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.

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. 

COLUMN: Control is actually out of control

By Brandon Ramsey

Do you feel life sometimes gets in the way of your plans?  Life tends to be unpredictable and challenging most of the time.  It does not seem to follow the plot of a “Leave it to Beaver” episode.  There is no sweet peaceful life that gets interrupted by a practical issue and then is wrapped up in a great little moral lesson within an hour of life.  The characters in your life do not tend to stick to the script you wish you could write out for them.  So many times as individuals we compare our life and all its imperfections to what we see on TV, hear on talk radio, or worst of all, what we think others’ relationships are like.  This is very dangerous because things are “never” what they seem.  Actors have scripts prepared by a host of writers, and we are very good at putting on masks so that others do not see our imperfections.

One of the most destructive actions that many people resort to, in an effort to make our families like Ward and June Cleaver, is to be very controlling.  We say to ourselves that if we just stay on top of everything then our family will be happier because we will have fewer problems.  What is really being said is that I will be happier because I will feel like I have more control over what happens in my life.  This control can actually drive a wedge of resentment into a family.  Dominating control has no place in a family relationship.  We should constantly ask ourselves if we truly seek input from our families in decision making or are we making decisions for them.  As leaders in families or communities we should strive to be a person who finds common ground with all the parties involved, rather than insisting on just what we believe to be right.

I am not stating that we should not sometimes push people to do things outside of their comfort zone.  However, this should happen only when it is in the individual’s best interest and in most cases has been discussed with that person.  It is healthy for you to strive for results that will improve the individual and relationship together, although many times the result you expect is too lofty a goal and often unachievable.  No one is perfect.  And for those of you who want to question that last statement, it especially describes you.

A family I worked with years ago provides a good example.  The mother made little sticky notes for each member of the family with a detailed list of things they needed to accomplish for that day.  She could not understand why everyone had such a problem with her notes and why everyone could not just do what was on their note.  She believed if everyone would just do what she wrote, life would be perfect.  In all my young counselor wisdom I told her it was perfect.  And she would have no problem if life was lived out on sticky notes.  She was afraid to risk two things: doing something different and losing her control.

The way to keep these types of behaviors from becoming prominent in your relationships is to constantly communicate with everyone about their goals for the future.  Have frequent discussions about goals or other topics of interest to your family members, and get their input on how they feel is the best way to achieve a goal or solve a problem.  Interesting enough, these goals and methods of achieving them might change over time.  If you realize that you have made decisions that impact others in the relationship without their input, then control might be your issue.  One of the greatest discoveries in relationships and business is that when people feel they have a part in the planning they are much more willing to work through problems that might arise.


One of the new features we are implementing in this article is to take article ideas from the readers.  This would be a great way for readers to get questions about general topics answered by a professional.  We will do our best to cover every topic throughout the year.  You can submit your topic ideas by email ,, or send them in writing to Faith in the Family, 200 South Trenton Street, Ruston, LA, 71270.  For more specific individual topics, please take a risk and call for an appointment.


Brandon is the Owner/Director of Faith in the Family Counseling. He has been practicing in Ruston for over 16 years. His website is Brandon was born and raised in Ruston and is a graduate of Ruston High and Louisiana Tech. He is married to Marcie Ramsey and has three childen. 


Trawick to keynote Tech winter commencement

Dr. T. Steen Trawick Jr., CEO of CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System since 2019 and a 1991 Biological Sciences graduate of Louisiana Tech, will serve as the keynote speaker for the University’s winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 4 in the Thomas Assembly Center on the Tech campus.

Family and friends unable to attend commencement can watch the event via Facebook Live.

A 1987 graduate of Ouachita Parish High in Monroe, Trawick has been associated with CHRISTUS in Shreveport since 2005, when he joined the health system as a pediatric hospitalist. But his association with Tech, through his family history, goes back much farther.

In 1889, his mom’s grandfather, John Sholars, graduated from Ruston College, a forerunner to Louisiana Tech, founded in 1894 as Louisiana Industrial Institute. His mother, Carolyn Trawick, graduated from Tech in Accounting in 1960 — 71 years after her grandfather, and 31 years before her son.

Trawick blends vital commitment to the Shreveport-Bossier communities, intimate knowledge of healthcare, and deep experience as a physician leader. He is experienced in business oversight of regulatory preparedness, credentials committee issues, and healthcare compliance oversight.

A Board-Certified Internal Medicine physician for nearly a quarter century, Trawick graduated from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, where he also completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics.

Active in local and state medical politics, Trawick has served as past president of Shreveport Medical Society and currently serves as a member of the Governor’s advisory board for physician assistants and vice speaker of the House of Delegates for the Louisiana State Medical Society. He is a former member of LSU Board of Supervisors and Louisiana State Board of Regents.

Trawick enjoys an active role in the community as an Honorary Commander of the 2nd Medical Group at Barksdale AFB, a member of the Shreveport-Bossier Committee of One Hundred and Rotary Club of Shreveport, a former Scoutmaster for Troop 18, and currently is an executive board member for the Norwella Council of the BSA, and a Sunday school teacher at Summer Grove Baptist Church.

As a Tech student, he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and served one and a half years as president. He was also an orientation student leader and served as a Student Government Association Cabinet member.

Members of the University’s Aillet Society, Trawick and his wife Ronda have two children, who are both at Baylor University. Allison is studying Biology/Biochemistry pre-med and Graham is in Pre-Health Studies with aspirations to be a Physical Therapist.

Brown, Furr earn all-LPJ girls hoops superlative honors

Simsboro’s Ikeia Brown (3) and Cedar Creek’s Allie Furr (11) earned the all-LPJ team superlative awards for 2022-23.

by Malcolm Butler, Kyle Roberts and Scott Boatright

A pair of point guards took home the top honors on the All-Lincoln Parish Journal Girls Hoops Team as Simsboro’s Ikeia Brown and Cedar Creek’s Allie Furr earn some additional hardware.

Brown is the All-LPJ Offensive MVP while Furr is the All-LPJ Defensive MVP. Cedar Creek’s Gene Vandenlangenberg is the Coach of the Year for the parish for the second straight year.

Joining Brown and Furr on the five-member team is Ruston junior guard Jaliyah McWain, Cedar Creek senior forward Lizzie McAdams and Ruston sophomore forward Kiersynce McNeal.

Brown earns the Offensive MVP honor after guiding the Lady Tigers to a 15-12 record and the District 2B title and the first round of the Non-Select School Division V playoffs. The 5-foot-2-inch senior jitter-bug averaged 25.2 points and over 5.0 rebounds, assists and steals per game for Simsboro. The Lady Tigers were a perfect 6-0 in district play with an average margin of victory of over 25.0 points per game.

Furr is the recipient of the Defensive MVP for her efforts in leading the Lady Cougars to a 22-7 record and the co-District 2-1A title and the quarterfinals of the Select School Division IV playoffs. The senior multi-sport star — who has signed a college scholarship to play softball at Louisiana Tech — averaged 18.0 points, 7.1 steals, 5.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this year after taking over the point guard responsibilities for the program.

Vandenlangenberg is the repeat winner of the Coach of the Year Award. Despite graduating all-state and all-LPJ MVP guard Sarah Adams from last year’s state runner-up team, the veteran girls coach guided his team to a 22-win season, a co-district title and the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.

McWain, who is only a junior for the Lady Bearcats and the early favorite to be the best girls players in the parish — and one of the best in the state — next season, and McNeal led a heavily-injured Ruston squad to the Non-Select School Division I playoffs. The duo and their teammates came within 60 seconds of leading the Lady Bearcats to a co-District 2-5A title but came up just short in the season finale against Alexandria Senior High.

McAdams, Creek’s top three-point threat, averaged double figures for the Lady Cougars during the season and was an integral part of the team’s success on the hardwood this season.


All-LPJ Girls Hoops Team

Senior Guard Ikeia Brown, Simsboro

Senior Guard Allie Furr, Cedar Creek

Senior Forward Lizzie McAdams, Cedar Creek

Sophomore Forward Kiersynce McNeal, Ruston

Junior Guard Jaliyah McWain, Ruston


Offensive MVP: Ikeia Brown, Simsboro

Defensive MVP: Allie Furr, Cedar Creek

Coach of the Year: Gene Vandenlangenberg, Cedar Creek

Ruston boy’s basketball playoff ticket information

Thanks to a No. 2 seed in the bracket, the Ruston Bearcats enjoyed a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Now, No. 15 East St. John comes to the Ruston High Main Gym on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets will be $10 for general admission and will be presold in the RHS Ticket Office from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

Students with ID’s can purchase tickets for $5 at the door. As a special promotion, the Lincoln Parish Journal is offsetting the cost by sponsoring $1 CatBox tickets, which will be available for RHS students only to purchase on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at lunch. Students will need to provide current ID to enter the game with the promotional ticket.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Black History Month Feature: Miguel Gates encourages others in research

Courtesy University Communications

Dr. Miguel Gates, program chair for Cyber Engineering at Louisiana Tech University, has used his unique experiences to inspire minority students to embrace meaningful careers through cyber education scholarship and research. 

Gates came to Louisiana Tech in pursuit of gaining a doctorate through a Bridge to the Doctorate program at Jackson State University. The program provides students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with the opportunity to attend a Predominately White Institution (PWI) to finish their degree, allowing students to gain broader experience in their chosen degree paths and careers. 

After receiving his master’s from Jackson State University in 2008, Gates transitioned from computer science to a discipline in cyberspace at Tech where he would graduate with his doctorate in 2013. 

“I was a part of the first group that took part in the cyberspace discipline within the doctoral program in Engineering,“ Gates said. “I came from a computer engineering background and segued into cyberspace after I realized that technology and security were at the forefront of where we are as a nation.” 

Education has been an important aspect of Gates’ career. After becoming a teaching assistant, Gates became a mentor for all students but especially those who shared the same experiences as he did as a student at a PWI.  

“The reality is that there are a lot of students, myself included, who feel isolated the first time they step onto campus because there are not a lot of people of color in disciplines like engineering and science both on the student side and educator side,” Gates said. “We were far and few between, so the challenge was to find somewhere that I fit in and fight that imposter syndrome…then you recognize that you are capable of achieving anything as well as anyone else.” 

As a graduate student in engineering, Gates became involved in Louisiana Tech’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Student Union (BSU). 

“Tech does a phenomenal job of trying to bring together students of all walks of life and cultural differences. There are several different organizations and programs here that make students feel included and a part of the Tech family,” Gates said. “NSBE and the BSU made me feel like I had a small family. They made me feel like I was back at home and that made any challenges a little easier.”  

Currently, Gates contributed to various research efforts that will enhance cyber security, education, and the cyber security education workforce. These programs are the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Program (SFS), the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program (NOYCE), the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and the Louis Stokes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Pathways and Research Alliances: Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP). 

Each of these programs enhances STEM education throughout the state of Louisiana, funding scholarships, research opportunities, and postgraduate careers for students of all backgrounds and cultures. 

“If we can increase the number of educators within these fields, it can open up doors for students in underfunded cyber and STEM programs and will bring diversity to these fields,” Gates said. “A part of my mission is to increase research of minority students, especially through LS-LAMP that provides minority students with the resources they need to be successful in their field.” 

Dr. Sumeet Dua, Executive Vice President of Research and Partnerships, recognizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in research for both students and faculty. Dua said Gates is contributing to impactful research and scholarship opportunities that will enhance the STEM student experience. 

“Minority students now more than ever have opportunities to make an impact on the research happening across campus through the efforts of Dr. Gates and his colleagues,” Dua said. “His contributions to various cyber and cyber education programs have offered invaluable support to DEI efforts in STEM fields.” 

Dr. Hisham Hegab, Dean of the College of Engineering and Science, said Gates has been influential in bringing increased awareness and diversity to the college, impacting students through advisor roles and research efforts. 

“His work consistently improves on the existing Cyber Engineering curriculum,” Hegab said. “He is active in outreach efforts, which include serving as advisor for the Association of Cyber Engineers and National Society of Black Engineers, as well as leading summer camp activities that encourage high school students and teachers to pursue cybersecurity topics.” 

In the next stages of Gates’ career, he plans to keep his passion for teaching alive by being a light for students who may be facing the same struggles he did as an undergraduate and graduate student.  

“My goal is not only to be an educator and a teacher but also a guiding light for the other minority students here, to give them a person that they feel safe to talk to,” Gates said. “My door is always open to every student but especially those African-American students who need to talk with someone who has been in their shoes.