UL System honors Dupree as Outstanding Staff Member of the Year

Sandra Dupree (left) with UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson

Courtesy of LA Tech University Communications

Sandra Denise Ashford Dupree, Library Specialist for Louisiana Tech University’s Prescott Memorial Library, has been recognized with the Outstanding Staff Member award by the University of Louisiana System.

A resident of Grambling, Dupree was nominated by Angela Dunnington, Executive Director of Library Services at Louisiana Tech University, for her exceptional contributions to Louisiana Tech and the surrounding communities.

“Sandra has a passion for libraries, a strong desire to provide the best service that Prescott Memorial Library can offer, and an ongoing commitment to ensure the University has the educational resources necessary to cultivate faculty and student research,” Dunnington said.

Dupree holds degrees from Grambling State University and Emporia State University and has over 30 years of work experience in school, public, and academic libraries. She is an active member of the American Library Association, Louisiana Library Association, and the Louisiana Support Staff Association of Libraries, advocating for libraries and the communities they serve.

Dupree also further exemplifies dedication through her involvement in Lincoln Parish. She has served on the Crime Stoppers Board since 2012 and on the Library Board of Trustees for Lincoln Parish Library since 2015. As part of the Library Board, she continuously examines the effectiveness and efficiency of the library and its services.

The award was presented to Dupree on March 27 by UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson during the 2023 Universities of Louisiana For Our Future Conference in Lake Charles. Members from all nine universities in the UL System attended the conference, which focused on engagement, innovation, and instruction.

Buddy Ball offers special times for all

Photo by Karen Boatright


By T. Scott Boatright


Something special for special children.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Buddy Ball is a nonprofit organization that opens up the great American pastime of softball to special needs children from the area that range in age from 4 into their 20s whose disabilities prevent or have prevented them from playing on other baseball or teams. 

The organization holds Fall and Spring seasons every year. Buddy Ball uses tee ball rules for playing, with players advancing one base at a time. No score is kept. The players are assigned “buddies” who assist them in the game, but the players are encouraged to do as much as they can on their own.

Buddy Ball of Ruston held its first game of the Spring 2023 season last weekend and Mike Kane, former baseball coach at Louisiana Tech and a member of the board of directors for Buddy Ball, said the turnout was better than ever.

“It was a great turnout – we had four or five new kids come out, so we’re getting bigger and bigger and better every year,” Kane said. “It’s really very positive.”

“We decided way back that we weren’t going to put an age limit on them,” Kane said. “As long as they want to come play, they’re invited. Some of those kids that we have, they’ve started out with us 11 years. As long as they want to keep playing, we want them to come out and play.”

A longtime assistant and head coach for Louisiana Tech who has also coached high school baseball in the area, Kane admits he has special feelings about Buddy Ball.

“I’ve told people, this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” Kane said. “I love these kids. (Retired Ruston veterinarian) Edwin Davis started this. We were sitting at a (Louisiana) Tech baseball game one day and he asked if I would come out and help. 

“When he asked me to do that, he gave me a gift. I feel like I’ve been given a gift to go out there and do it. I’m thankful to this day that he asked me to help.”

Kane called watching the growth of Buddy Ball of Ruston since its start simply amazing.

“We could have never done this without a city like Ruston,”  Kane said. “This community has supported us so much, from the City Council helping us build our first field and then (Mayor) Ronny Walker helping us get the new wonderful field at the Ruston Sports Complex.

 “When you have support like that you can’t help but succeed. We have fantastic people on our Board (of Directors) that are all giving people. Everybody involved doesn’t want anything in return for what they’re doing. They just enjoy these kids and feel like it’s a gift that’s been given to all of us. They’re giving people that give up their time because of what it means to these kids.”

Buddy Ball of Ruston returns to action on Saturday with members of the Ruston High School Student Council serving as buddies with games for younger players starting at 10 a.m. and older players at 11 a.m.

After a break for Easter weekend, Buddy Ball will be back in action on April 15 with students from Louisiana Tech’s Department of Kinesiology along with Lady Techsters team members serving as buddies before the spring season concludes on April 29 with help from the Ruston High football team.

Returning Buddy Ball players do not need to register. There is no fee for Buddy Ball, but participants must be registered, so new players are asked to contact the organization on Facebook on the Buddy Ball of Ruston page or by calling 318-243-3842.

And if they do, Kane promises a special time for all.

“All you have to do is look at their faces and see that smile, and it’s all worthwhile,” Kane said. “And now that Rick (Godley, who handles public address duties while live-streaming the games) announces them at the plate and does the play-by-play where they hear their names when they score – those smiles melt hearts.

“Some of them slide into home plate, anyone who comes out to watch is going to leave with a heart five times bigger than when they got there. Because there’s no way it can’t be. It’s that special of a deal. Watching those kids during the last games of every spring and fall season get their trophies, it’s a special deal.”

Severe weather outlook for today – March 31


What: Potential strong to severe storms

When: Today and this evening

Where: Most of the Ark-La-Tex

  • Lincoln Parish included in the SLIGHT RISK area
  • Potential for strong to severe storms with all threat forms
  • Timing for Lincoln Parish show between 6 p.m. and midnight

Safety Measures

  • Stay safety aware
  • Sign up for CodeRed
  • Know where your safe place is in the event you need to take shelter

Code RED allows residents to sign up for emergency notifications, general notifications and severe weather warnings. Residents can choose up to sign up for one or all three. 

To sign up, visit ruston.org and scroll down to the Code Red box. From there, the process takes about three minutes to complete.

Healthy Kids Running returns; seeks volunteers, participants

By Olivia Cheatham

Healthy Kids Running is back on after previously being canceled for this year, and the Ruston community has Louisiana Tech track and field alumna Sophia Jackson to thank.

Healthy Kids Running series was created to provide kids with a positive, educational and fun experience in the world of running and has over 300 course locations across the country.

The series is a five-week program that takes place in both the spring and fall. Typically, race day is Sunday afternoon, but varies by location.

The dates of this year’s races are April 2, 16, 23, 30 and May 7.

For the first time in years, the event is being hosted back on Louisiana Tech’s campus.

Jackson started Healthy Kids Running in Ruston during 2017 but moved away shortly after in 2020.

“It was God’s timing placing me at the right place and the right time for me to pick this back up,” Jackson said.

Finding volunteers has made the logistics of the event more challenging to manage. As of now, with around 10 committed volunteers, Jackson is still looking for enough volunteers to cover all five races.

“Ten people would work for one Sunday, but I just need people that will commit to coming,” she said. “Or one organization could claim one Sunday and another organization take the next and so on. Or if kids want to come out all five weeks, that’s even better!”

Sponsorships are always appreciated and important to keep the races going, Jackson said. There are different levels of sponsorship, but if a business or organization is looking to be helpful hands-off, donations can be made online.

The races are divided by age group: pre-k kids ages 2 to 3 years old participate in the 50-yard dash. Pre-k kids, who are 4 and 5 years old, race the 75-yd dash, kindergarten through first grade runs a fourth of a mile, second and third grade runs half a mile and fourth through eighth graders complete one mile.

“I just want to keep the program going for the kids. It is especially hard to find activities like this for kids as young as two and three,” said Jackson.

This weekend’s race will begin at 3 p.m. and last two hours at Joe Aillet Stadium. For more information, email Jackson at rustonla@healthykidsrs.org.

Choudrant’s Hennen selected for All-Star game

Choudrant do-it-all standout Landon Hennen has been selected as an East All Star for the LHSCA All-Star Baseball Game. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

He’s by no means Lincoln Parish’s Lone Ranger, but more of a Lone Rover.

Rover as a baseball utility player.

Choudrant High Senior Landon Hennen is the only player from Lincoln Parish selected to play in the Louisiana High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game as announced Thursday afternoon by the LHSCA.

Hennen has been a key player for the Aggies since he was a freshman outfielder, but that was the 2020 season that ended not long after getting started due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But since then he’s been a Choudrant starter, be it on the mound, in the outfield, at shortstop or pretty much any position he’s been asked to play.

“As a sophomore he was out there bouncing around at multiple positions and especially in the outfield,” said first-year CHS head coach Joel Antley, who was an assistant coach for the Aggies during Hennen’s first three seasons. “Now he splits time at shortstop and pitcher with Bryce McGuire.

“Second base is probably his best spot and he plays that when either Eli (Callender) or Colton (Smith) pitches. Then we put Bryce at short and Landon at second.”

Antley said that it’s Hennen’s versatility that makes him such a key player for the team.

“It means the world to know you have a guy that in Landon’s case you could put literally anywhere on the field,” Antley said. “He’s played first base. He caught when he was younger and if the need ever comes up I wouldn’t hesitate in putting him at any position on the field. He can play any position on the field and do it well.”

Hennen said it doesn’t matter where he plays as long as he’s on the field.

“I just feel blessed whenever I’m out there able to play wherever they need me,” Hennen said. “I used to be a catcher when I was young and growing up one day my summer league team needed a pitcher, so they told me to take off the gear and go out there and pitch. 

“So I started pitching in junior high and just kind of found my groove,”

Hennen’s sister Olivia was an All-State catcher for the Lady Aggies softball team who went on to become a two-year starter for the LSU-Eunice softball team before taking off the gear to focus on her nursing degree at Louisiana Tech.

“I actually started catching before her,” Hennen said. “I was in eighth grade when she was a senior. It’s always been competitive between us. All the teachers around school have always said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to do what your sister did.

“It’s always been fun trying to one-up each other I guess.”

A .390 batter, Hennen isn’t necessarily a power hitter but is a hard hitter who uses his speed to its best advantage.

“He’s a great hitter and because of that speed, he gets a lot of doubles under his belt,” Antley said. “He steals a lot of bases, too. He can pretty much do whatever you need him to do.”

Hennen also serves in a leadership role for the two-time defending state champions.

“He’s one of four seniors and they’re a whole as a group,” Antley said. “It was that way last season, too. He’s pretty vocal as a leader, especially with the younger guys, but not in a negative way. He’s always talking  to them and giving them tips – giving them tips that’s learned be it tips or just the way to think about the game. He passes on a lot of knowledge to those younger guys.”

A straight “A” student throughout his high school years, Hennen on Thursday officially committed to begin his college career at National Park College  in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

“I’m going the JUCO route – I made my decision (Thursday) afternoon that I’m going to National Park (Junior) College in Hot Springs,” Hennen said. “The plan is to go somewhere smaller and grow a little more as a player before trying to move on to bigger-college ball.”

The 2023 LSHCA/Louisiana Baseball Coaches All-Star Game is set for May 19-20 at Louisiana Christian University in Pineville.

“I was actually on the All-Star selection committee,” Antley said. “We put him in the outfield because they needed another outfielder for the East team and he can do it all.

“Initially we had him in the infield, but after talking to the other coaches we filled that outfield hole with him. The coaches will decide where to put him when that game weekend comes around.”

Man charged with stabbing attack near Downsville

A man was arrested by the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office Monday after receiving a report of a stabbing at a residence near Downsville. 

Deputies responded to investigate the incident and learned Nathan Kyle Zaricor, 31, arrived at the residence and asked for a ride. After the elderly female resident agreed, they got into the vehicle. Witnesses told deputies Zaricor then grabbed the female and forcibly removed her from behind the wheel, took the keys, and started the vehicle. An elderly male at the location tried to reason with him but Zaricor produced a knife and began swinging the knife at the elderly man, the woman, and two other victims, including a juvenile. The elderly man armed himself with a wooden walking stick and tried to knock the knife from Zaricor’s hand. Zaricor took the stick from the victim and struck him on the head causing major injuries. Zaricor then chased the remaining residents around the property with the victim’s walking stick and a knife. They were able to get away from Zaricor and into a vehicle as they left to seek medical aid. 

When deputies arrived, Zaricor was exiting the house. The investigation revealed Zaricor took $90 in cash belonging to the elderly female. Both elderly victims received injuries and the male who was struck by the walking stick required stitches to close his wounds. 

Zaricor was arrested and placed into a deputy’s patrol unit to be transported to the Union Parish Detention Center. While the deputies were securing witness testimony, the suspect heavily damaged the deputy’s patrol vehicle, which included the rear door, rear camera, and the interior, totaling an estimated $6,000 in damage. Zaricor also attempted to remove his handcuffs and attempted to run away when deputies opened the door. 

Zaricor was booked into the UPDC for aggravated assault (4 counts), aggravated second degree battery, carjacking, cruelty to the infirmed (2 counts), unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, felony criminal damage to property, attempted simple escape (2 counts), and theft.

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. 

Karl Malone faces Hakeem Olajuwon, Phi Slama Jama during March Madness

Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon squared off in the 1984 NCAA Tournament in Memphis.


Before Karl “The Mailman” Malone was delivering for the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, the third all-time leading scorer in the history of the league was doing the same for Louisiana Tech.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 1984 and 1985, including a Sweet 16 appearance in the latter year.

As the Karl Malone Toyota Bracket Contest presented by Martin Presence comes to a close with the Final Four set for this upcoming weekend, the Lincoln Parish Journal takes a look back this week at some of the Mailman’s top March Madness performances.

Houston 77, Bulldogs 69 (March 17, 1984)

Before they became two of the greatest NBA players in the history of the league, Louisiana Tech’s Karl “The Mailman” Malone and Houston’s Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon met on the collegiate hardwood in the 1984 NCAA Tournament.

Olajuwon and the No. 1 ranked Cougars met Malone and the upset-minded Bulldogs at Memphis during the second round match-up with no one outside of the LA Tech camp giving the underdogs a chance.

Houston was led by an all-star lineup that include everyone’s national player of the year in Olajuwon as well as the likes of Michael Young, Alvin Franklin, and Bernice’s own Benny Anders.

The Bulldogs stayed within striking distance the entire game, falling behind by as many as eight points on several different occasions in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Despite Malone scoring only four points in the first half and Olajuwon netting 11 points for the Cougars, Tech trailed just 34-27 at the half. Willie Simmons and Rennie Bailey combined for 15 points in the opening half to keep the Bulldogs within arms length.

The Mailman started heating up in the second half, scoring 14 points after the break, but despite holding Olajuwon to just five second half points the Cougars shot a blistering 64 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes. 

Houston had a little too much as Franklin scored 21 points and Young added 16 points to lead the Cougars to the 77-69 win. The Cougars beat Memphis State, Wake Forest and Kentucky to advance all the way to the national title game before falling 84-75 to the Georgetown Hoyas and Patrick Ewing.

Malone finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Bailey added 18 points and Simmons scored 12 points.


To see the updated Karl Malone Toyota Bracket Challenge presented by Martin Presence standings, go HERE

Notice: Just one winner of the $1,000.00. The Rules can change without notice. The contest can be canceled without notice to participants. Not responsible for any technical failures. All decisions by Management are final. If you have any questions or feedback, please send an email to: LPJNewsLa@gmail.com

Ponderings by Doug

Let me tell you about one woman who had a special way of sharing her resurrection faith. Her story is told in a book by her physician, Dr. Will Phillips of San Antonio. Her name was Edith Burns. She was an elderly widow who loved Jesus. She would often sit down with someone and say, “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” If they said yes, she would ask them what they believe about Easter. If they talked about Easter bunnies and colored eggs, she had a chance to share with them the real meaning of Easter. Countless people were led to Christ by Edith Burns, including Dr. Phillips’ head nurse.

One day Dr. Phillips called Edith into his office and said, “Edith, I’ve got bad news for you. Your tests have come back positive. You have an aggressive form of cancer, and you may not have long to live.” Edith replied, “Why Dr. Phillips, you need not look so sad. I have had a full life. Now you are telling me that before long I’m going to see my Lord Jesus face to face. I will be reunited with my dear husband, my parents, and so many old friends.”

After several months of chemotherapy, it was clear that the cancer was winning the battle for Edith’s life. She went into the hospital. Everybody who met her was attracted by her warmth and positive faith. And if she got half a chance, she would say to anyone, “Hello, I’m Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” She picked up a nickname in the hospital—”Easter Edith.” But there was one person who was not attracted to Edith. Phyllis Cross was a mean, ornery nurse. She had been an Army nurse for twenty years. She had been married four times. Phyllis told her supervisor, “I don’t want to have anything to do with that religious nut, Edith Burns.”

One day Phyllis had to go to Edith’s room to draw some blood. Edith said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you too, and I’ve been praying for you.” Phyllis said, “Well, you can stop your praying for me. It won’t work and I’m not interested.” Edith said, “I can’t stop praying for you. And I’ve asked God not to let me go home until you have come into His family.” Phyllis replied, “Then you will never die because that will never happen.” Then she walked out.

Edith and Phyllis saw each other regularly over the coming weeks. But Edith never asked her the question she posed to everybody else, “Do you believe in Easter?” Finally, Phyllis’ curiosity got the best of her. She said, “Edith, why have you never asked me if I believe in Easter?” Edith smiled and replied, “I asked God to cause you to ask me about the Easter question, and you just did.” Phyllis was caught off guard. Her defenses dropped. Edith shared Christ with her. This tough old Army nurse invited Jesus into her heart as Savior and Lord. A few days later Phyllis walked into Edith’s room and said, “Hey Edith, today is Good Friday.” “No,” said Edith, “It’s Easter. In the life of a Christian, every day is resurrection day. Happy Easter, Phyllis.”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis walked into Edith’s room and noticed a tranquil smile on her face but it was obvious that her soul had departed to be with the Lord. Phyllis placed her hands on Edith’s and said, “Happy Easter, dear.” Then she assisted the family in making funeral arrangements. Several hours later Phyllis managed to get a few minutes off duty. She sat down in the break room to have a cup of coffee. One of the new student-nurses happened to be there. Phyllis said, “Hello, my name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

Do you?

Women’s History Month: Local Tech, GSU graduate educates through creation

By Brenda Daniel 

In closing out the month of which women have been highlighted and celebrated for their significant contributions to society, today’s local spotlight shines on Ella Davis, of Quitman. Davis has for many years sown into lives of children and families with her profession as an educator.  

Academic degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Louisiana Tech, with a minor in Elementary Education, a Master in Developmental Education from Grambling State, and a Doctorate in Administrative Leadership for Teaching and Learning from Walden University. Ella Davis’s background and experiences as an educator, has led her to an achievement of becoming one of few, who have trademarked a design of a classroom for instruction. The trademark includes visual displays and motivational teaching methods. 

“My goal primarily is to educate children and enhance the educational process, but also to assist parents with tools that can help them in the training of their children to excel in life,” Davis said.

One of the ways she accomplishes her goal is to write and self-publish books related to tried and proven methods and procedures of which she has used with great success in educating children. These books are written for educators, administrators and schools. Two of her books, Be a Success and Rearing a Child are two self-help books she has also written that speaks to children excelling in life. 

Ella Davis has been recognized in Who’s Who in The World of Women, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. 

For details on her publications and work she continues to forge, particularly 10 unpublished manuscripts she is now unveiling, visit her website at www.helpingbooks.com.

Parolee charged with number drug, weapon crimes

A Ruston man was arrested on numerous drug charges Wednesday after agents of the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team investigated suspected drug sales at a local residence.

Re’Edward R. Swafford, 24, was reported by an anonymous source that identified specific drugs and their approximate location. Agents went to a Clinton Circle address, a Ruston Housing Authority property, and questioned Swafford. A subsequent search of
the residence led to the discovery of over 257 grams of suspected marijuana in multiple packages, approximately 24 ounces of suspected promethazine, and suspected ecstasy, methamphetamine, and items of drug paraphernalia.

Additional marijuana, promethazine, and a Glock 9mm pistol with an extended magazine were discovered in a diaper bag. An additional handgun was found in a bedroom.

A records check showed Swafford was convicted in September 2020 for illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of a controlled substance and home invasion, according to police. Swafford was sentenced to five years in prison but was released on parole in December 2021.

Swafford was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance (promethazine) with intent to distribute, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance (MDMA-ecstasy), possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine and hydrocodone), illegal carrying of weapons in the presence of controlled substances, illegal possession of a controlled substance in the presence of a person under 17,
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of controlled substances in a drug-free zone (public housing).

Bail was set at $115,000. Swafford is also being held for the Louisiana Department of Corrections-Probation and Parole for parole violations.

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. 

Marijuana found on speeding stop

Ruston Police arrested a 19-year-old Monroe man after a large amount of marijuana was found in his car on a traffic stop.

At about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, an officer clocked a vehicle on West California Ave. traveling at 51 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. When the officer approached the car, the odor of marijuana was detected. A search of the vehicle located a zip lock bag containing a large amount of marijuana under the driver’s seat. Suspected edible THC was found in a backpack, along with multiple zip lock bags, some of which contained marijuana residue.

When placed under arrest Antonia Dennis admitted he had a bag of marijuana on his person. He was transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center where he admitted he had a scale in his underwear.

Dennis was booked for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Bail was set at $30,000.

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

Weekend events

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

Friday, March 31
3 p.m.: Grambling softball v. Southern

Saturday, April 1
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
10:30 a.m. to noon: Easter in the Village (Village Park, Choudrant)
Noon: Grambling softball v. Southern
2:30 p.m.: Grambling softball v. Southern

Sunday, April 2
Palm Sunday

Diamond Dogs host DBU; Techsters in Baton Rouge

Ethan Bates and the Bulldogs will host Dallas Baptist in a three-game series at JC Love Field this weekend.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletics Communications

Bulldog Baseball

Lane Burroughs and the Louisiana Tech Diamond Dogs are home for what should be a highly-competitive three-game Conference USA series against Dallas Baptist.

Today’s game one start time has been moved up to 3 p.m. (due to weather forecast for the evening) while Saturday is set for 2 p.m. and Sunday for 1 p.m.

All three games can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM and the LA Tech Athletics app and can be seen with a paid subscription to CUSA.tv.

The Louisiana Tech baseball team hosts Dallas Baptist in a three-game conference series this weekend. The Bulldogs and Patriots will face one another three more times in Dallas in late April.

Tech (13-12, 3-3 C-USA) played one of its most complete games of the season this past Tuesday against Sacramento State, defeating the former conference foe, 14-4.

LA Tech currently ranks first in C-USA and 40th in the country in total home runs with 36, nine of those coming off the bat of Philip Matulia. The outfielder has hit nine homers in 23 games played this season, already matching his single-season total of nine from last sea­son (64 games).

Jonathan Fincher is expected to get the Friday night start. The left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA to go along with 39 strikeouts. In his two C-USA starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA. Alec Sparks is scheduled to get his third straight start in a conference series. His last outing versus WKU, he went 6.0 innings and allowed just three runs in the victory.

Dallas Baptist (17-8, 4-2 CUSA), who is in its first season as an affiliate baseball member of Conference USA, heads to Ruston having won 10 of its last 12 games. Among those were conference series wins over FIU and Charlotte as well as victories over Oklahoma and No. 13 Oklahoma State.

DBU has gone to 11 NCAA Regionals since 2008.

LA Tech leads the all-time series with Dallas Baptist, 14-10. The two teams met last season with the Patriots winning a midweek contest in Ruston, 7-4, while the Bulldogs prevailed, 12-5, in the first game of the NCAA Regional in Austin, Texas.

LA Tech is 11-4 versus DBU in Ruston. The first ever meeting came in Ruston, a four-game series back in 1982.


Lady Techster Softball

The Lady Techsters will step out of Conference USA action for the weekend as they head south to participate in the Purple and Gold Challenge hosted by LSU at Tiger Stadium Friday and Saturday.

Tech will play four games, including today against NC State (11:30 a.m.) and BYU (2 p.m.) and Saturday against NC State (1:30 p.m.) and No. 14 LSU (4 p.m.).

Saturday’s contest against LSU can be seen on the SEC Network+ while all four games will be streamed (audio-only) with Malcolm Butler providing the live play-by-play call (find LISTEN LIVE links on the schedule page on LATechSports.com).

Louisiana Tech is 20-12 on the season and led by a six-arm pitching staff that boasts a team ERA of 1.74 following its 5-1 win over Northwestern State Tuesday.

Mary Martinez leads the Techsters in the circle with a 7-2 record and 1.38 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched. Martinez picked up her seventh win of the season in the 4-1 series finale win over Middle Tennessee. Brook Melnychuk leads Tech with a 1.24 ERA in 39.2 innings pitched.

Tech is among the nation’s leaders in double plays turned, averaging 0.50 a contest which ranks 11th among all DI programs.

The Wolfpack are 12-20 this season and coming off a 8-2 win over North Carolina AT&T on Wednesday.

BYU carries a 15-7 record into this weekend, coming off a 14-11 slugfest win over Utah Tech. BYU leads the all-time series with Tech 5-1. This weekend will mark the first meeting between the teams since 2012.

LSU is 26-6 and ranked 14th in the latest NFCA poll. The Tigers secured a 2-1 series win over Ole Miss last weekend. Louisiana Tech and LSU have met 30 times, with the Tigers leading the series 26-4. LSU won the last matchup 3-1 on Feb. 21 in Ruston in front of a record crowd of 1,100 fans at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

Remembering Jerry Wayne Gilley

Jerry Wayne Gilley

Mr. Jerry Wayne Gilley, age 78, of Ruston, LA was born on September 12, 1944 in Monroe, LA and passed away on March 26, 2023 in Mesquite, TX. 

Jerry was an active member of Douglas Church for many years.  He is survived by his wife, Kay Taylor Gilley, 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and many other close family and friends.

Per Jerry’s request, there will be no public services at this time.  Any planned memorials may be made to The American Heart Association.

Online condolences may be extended to the family at


Remembering Willis Reed, Jr.

Willis Reed, Jr.

June 25, 1942, was a day of importance to the Reed family of Hico, Louisiana.  A son was born to Willis Reed, Sr., and Inell Ross Reed. They had no idea that this little boy they named Willis Reed, Jr., would touch so many people across the country by becoming an NBA great.

Willis was educated through the Union Parish School System, upon graduating from high school, he entered his collegiate career at Grambling College, now Grambling State University. 

Willis Reed, a Basketball Hall of Famer whose legacy as a champion was forever embodied by his nickname of “The Captain,” died on March 21, 2023, at the age of 80.

Reed’s unforgettable ten year playing career with the New York Knickerbockers (1964-65 through 1973-74) resulted in five All-NBA designations, seven All-Star Game appearances, and the League’s Rookie of the Year award in 1964-65, the first Knick to be so honored. Among the franchise’s all-time leaders, he ranks third in total points (12,183), second in rebounds (8,414), eighth in games played (650) and forth in minutes (23,073).

In 1969-70, Reed authored one of the single most memorable seasons in NBA history. Leading the Knicks to their first NBA title, he averaged 21.7 points and was honored as the League’s Most Valuable Player, All-Star Game MVP and NBA Finals MVP, becoming the first player to sweep the League’s “Triple Crown” of awards in one season. Hobbled by a painful thigh injury, his last-minute appearance lifted the Knicks to a Game Seven triumph in The Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden, in one of American sports’ signature moments.

Three years later, Reed won NBA Finals MVP honors for the second time as the Knicks again defeated the Lakers for their second NBA title. For his career, he averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds, and remains the only Knick ever to be named NBA MVP.

The first Knick to have his uniform number retired (no. 19 on October 21, 1976), he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History as part of the League’s Golden Anniversary in 1996-97, then was named one of the League’s 75 Greatest Players at the 75th Anniversary in 2021-22.

Reed coached the Knicks for two seasons, and also piloted the New Jersey Nets for two years. He served for 16 years as a coach and executive with the Nets, including eight years as general manager/vice president of basketball operations. In 1996, he was named Nets senior vice president and was a member of New Jersey’s back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams of 2002 and 2003. He returned to the Knicks for one season (2003-04) as special basketball advisor, then served for three years as vice president, basketball operations for the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets before retiring to his native Louisiana in Summer 2007.

He also served as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings, as well as a four-year stint as head coach at Creighton University (1981-82 through 1984-85).

The Knicks’ second-round pick (10th overall) in the 1964 NBA Draft, Reed averaged 18.7 points in four years at HBCU powerhouse Grambling State University under legendary coach Fred Hobdy. A member of Grambling’s 1961 NAIA championship team, he was elected to the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970. In 2022, the basketball court at Grambling was named in his honor. As a senior, he averaged 26.6 points per game and 21.3 rebounds per contest. While a student, Reed became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. In 1963, he helped the United States win a gold medal in the Pan American Games held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The fields and ponds of the wilderness were special places for Willis. He was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his free-time hunting and fishing across the United States with his friends. He retired to a beautiful property in Ruston, Louisiana where he helped design two ponds and much of the house and landscaping on the property at his retirement home.

Willis was also known for the tremendous amount of charity work during his career, especially supporting various children’s charities. In his retirement, he was a strong supporter of Grambling State University and his church.

The family will have an additional memorial service that will be announced in the future. Any donations in his name should be made payable to Grambling State University Athletic Department, in honor of Willis Reed.

Along with his parents, Willis was preceded in death by his son, Karl.

Left to cherish his legacy are his wife, Gale Kennedy Reed; whom he married in 1983 and has been his loyal fan, supporter and teammate for 40 years, his children from a previous marriage, Veronica and Virginia Jackson-Reed; one grandson, Austin Reed; mother-in-law, Mollie Griffin; four aunts, Mattie Bell Woolridge (Larnceen), Maggie Moton, Mattie Daye, and Namoi Ross; two uncles, Curlee Ross, MD, JD, and Charles Wayne Ross; and a host of relatives and friends.

Notice of death — March 30, 2023

Paul Allen Beard 
Sunday 04/21/1963 — Thursday 03/23/2023  
Celebration of Life: Friday 03/31/2023 11:00am at King’s Funeral Home 
Interment: Friday 03/31/2023 Following Service, Shiloh Church Cemetery, Bienville 

Willis Reed, Jr.  
Thursday 06/25/1942 — Tuesday 03/21/2023 A  
Visitation: Saturday 04/01/2023 9:00am to 11:00am, Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, 100 N Stadium Dr, Grambling  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 04/01/2023 11:00am, Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, 100 N Stadium Dr., Grambling

Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce hosts Housing Industry Summit

William Dearmon, President and CEO of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, addresses the crowd at the Housing Industry Summit Wednesday.

The Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce hosted its first industry summit on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Louisiana Tech University’s Davison Athletics Complex. This industry summit, sponsored by Gibsland Bank & Trust, focused on a discussion of housing-related challenges and opportunities in Ruston-Lincoln Parish.

Terrell Smith, City Manager of Marshall, Texas, served as the keynote speaker and discussed strategies that the City of Marshall has deployed to support housing opportunities for its residents, including neighborhood revitalization, housing choices, and sustainable communities. The Housing Summit also featured two panels comprised of local industry leaders from a variety of sectors, such as real estate and banking. Mayor Ronny Walker served as panelist, providing insight into the City of Ruston’s perspective.

“As we work to continue Ruston’s growth, we’re excited to have an ongoing conversation with community partners on housing trends and specific needs,” said Mayor Walker. “I’m encouraged by the attendance and support shown at today’s summit to tackle the issue of housing in our community and ensure Ruston can thrive.”

The Housing Summit is the Chamber’s first event of this type and was attended by industry leaders and business owners relating to the housing industry. The Ruston-Lincoln Chamber is committed to hosting two industry summits each year to facilitate a community-wide conversation about a specific topic.

“We’re excited to bring together local leaders and business owners and provide an opportunity for them to connect and collaborate about critical issues that are affecting this community,” said William Dearmon, President and CEO of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. “I’m grateful to those in the business community who participated in today’s conversation on housing challenges and opportunities and look forward to continuing the dialogue to address housing challenges in Ruston-Lincoln Parish.”

For more information about future Chamber events, visit www.rustonlincoln.org.

Locals react to announcement of Tech-ULM football renewal

By Malcolm Butler

Louisiana Tech and ULM made a joint announcement mid-morning Wednesday that the two schools had signed a contract to play a home-and-home in football in 2030 and 2031.

Yes. That’s still a few years down the road. But for the fans of both programs that have been wanting what was once a yearly showdown to resume, at least it’s on the books.

The two schools haven’t met on the gridiron since Tech won 42-19 at Malone Stadium in 2000. Luke McCown was a true freshman for the Bulldogs to put that into perspective for Tech fans.

Tech and ULM were scheduled to play at Independence Stadium in 2020, a Covid19 game that was signed during fall camp in August of 2020 after the SEC announced its decision to play league-only games — thus leaving both teams with open dates.

However, ULM canceled the game the week of citing a Covid 19 outbreak within its program — thus extending the drought.

So come 2030 … three decades after the last meeting … the two are set to square off again.

So what do fans of both sides think about the announcement?

“I think a renewal of the series will be good for both schools,” said longtime Tech fans and former professor Gary Stokley. “It should generate a lot of interest. But if one program dominates the series the other side will lose interest as we have seen in the past. The initial games should actually make money for each school.

“The only thing we don’t know is what will the state of college football be in eight to nine years for both programs. The changing of conferences, NIL issues, Portal rules more than likely will change. Conference affiliations may as well. So the future may change whether or not the two schools could play one another or not.”

Stokley makes some good points.

Longtime Bulldog fans Dwayne Woodard says his feelings have changed about the two schools playing over the past few years.

“I’m glad they are renewing the series, and I’m glad the first game is in Ruston,” said Woodard. “I just wish it was sooner. My thoughts about the renewal have drastically changed in the last decade or so. I think it’s good for the region and good for both fan bases.”

Local sports talk show host and Tech alum Sean Fox also believes the two schools should be playing in football.

“I think it’s long overdue that these two teams are squaring off again,” said Fox. “I know there has been some bad blood thru the years but time heals all wounds. In an era of big TV contracts and conference realignment where we have teams playing across the country from each other, we have lost what made college athletics and that’s regional rivalries, bragging rights with co-workers, friends, and even family.”

While ULM dominated the series in the 1980s — possibly the golden era in what was then NLU Indians football, including a Division I-AA national title –the Bulldogs owned the series down the stretch prior to it stopping. Tech won the final eight meetings and leads the all-time series 30-13.

However, ULM fan and former Oak Grove mayor Adam Holland believes the two programs should play. He said the game between the two programs led him to his Warhawk fandom back in the day.

“(I think) it’s long overdue,” said Holland. “I remember the glory days of the rivalry as a kid in Malone Stadium with the War Chant shaking the pillars. I’d have to say this is probably what made me fall in love with the University.
“Then when the series rebooted with (former Oak Grove High School alums) Jason Martin, Josh Bradley and Dean Jackson in blue, I was true to the Maroon and Gold. In 2000 it was obvious things were at the end on that miserable night in Malone (Stadium), both teams struggling with 15,000 or less in the stands it made since to hit the breaks, but not for 30 years.”

However, not everybody is in favor of the decision to play.

“I don’t see any upside for Tech in playing a program next door,” said longtime Tech supporter Justin Hinckley. “Tech has been playing on a wider footprint for decades now, and I see this as taking a step back to a time for which no one has any interest. At least I don’t.”

The two sides are set to meet on Sept. 21, 2030 at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston and again on Sept. 13, 2031 at Malone Stadium in Monroe.

One thing is for certain. There will be a lot of feelings and emotions surrounding the Bulldogs and the Warhawks playing on the gridiron again.

Man runs from deputy

A Ruston man was arrested Monday evening after he ran from a Lincoln Parish deputy who stopped him for no license plate.

About 10:00 p.m. Monday, a deputy saw a vehicle on U.S. Highway 80 with no license plate. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle on Rose Garden Stress west of Ruston but when it came to a stop, the driver exited and ran.

The man was chased through the woods until he eventually gave up. Kendrick Harris, 31, said he ran because he had some marijuana in the vehicle, and he knew the vehicle was not street legal. A search yielded a small bag of suspected marijuana and digital scales in the driver’s door pocket as well as a digital scale with suspected marijuana residue in the trunk.

Following the driver’s steps, another bag of suspected marijuana was found in a backyard. While Harris did not claim the bag, he did tell the deputy it weighed 10-12 grams.

Harris said he bought the vehicle in Arkansas and had not registered it or obtained insurance. A record check showed he had not been issued a driver’s license.

Harris was booked at the parish detention center for possession of marijuana—second offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting an office, a no driver’s license, no insurance, and failure to register a vehicle.

Bail was set at $3.000.

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

Buffalo Bills assistant coach, GSU alum Eric Washington donates $30K to alma mater

In the late 1980s, Eric Washington gave his all as a member of the football team as well as working toward graduation as an education major at Grambling State University.

These days Washington is giving back to the sport of football as a 16-year NFL coaching veteran currently serving as Senior Defensive Assistant/Defensive Line Coach for the Buffalo Bills.

Washington is also giving back to GSU, as shown by his recent $30,000 donation to the university’s GAP Scholarship Fund.

GAP scholarships are established through foundation funding and the generosity of donors and are designed to help students in their final semester who have exhausted all student loan and financial aid options, and essentially help students fill the gap needed to graduate.

A native of Shreveport and graduate of Northwood High School, Washington attended Morehouse College, where he was a member of the football team, as a freshman before transferring to GSU.

“My connection to Grambling came through many of my family members who are alumni and avid supporters,” Washington said. “I was also aware of the founding premise of Grambling being a place dedicated to the mission of training and informing future educators.

“Aside from my parents, John and Patsy Washington, there was no greater professional role model than Eddie Robinson. Coach Rob’s passion for teaching, his insistence on striving for excellence, and demand for personal investment are the templates from which I’ve sought to establish my identity as a professional football coach.”

Washington said that Grambling State’s impact on his development is a primary factor behind his successful career as a football coach.

“I am fortunate to recall experiences, mentoring, and spiritual lessons that I utilize to this day,” Washington said. “Dr. Joe Johnson, Dr. Ann Williams, Dr. Faye Avard, and Gwendolyn Trotter were stalwarts during my matriculation at Grambling … amongst many others. They were dedicated, respected, and had attained expertise in their specific areas of academic discipline and positions of leadership.

“In my opinion, Reinvesting or ‘giving back’ is not assessed against a monetary value.   In addition to providing financial support, my desire is to illuminate the responsibility to all who claim Grambling as his/her own … especially those of us who attended Grambling and profited from our experiences.  Do what you can with what you have … and be led by the spirit of great intentions. I would also like to inspire the next generation of leaders who will most certainly be emerging from the confines of our special place in Lincoln Parish.”

GSU’s Interim Vice President for University Advancement and Innovation Brandon Logan said it’s donations like Washington’s that keep the university moving forward in serving the needs of its students.

“Eric Washington represents what every Grambling State University student and graduate should embody – excellence in leadership, significant contributor to society, and a heart to re-invest in our beloved institution. I am deeply appreciative to Mr. Washington for identifying a financial area of need at Grambling that aligns with his investment interests.”

Washington joined the Bills in 2020 as the team’s defensive line coach and was promoted to senior defensive assistant/ defensive line coach prior to the 2022 season. Previously, he was the defensive line coach (2011-17) and defensive coordinator for the Panthers (2018-19), along with holding various positions with the Bears.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 1997 before moving on to serve as a defensive line coach at Ohio University (2001-03) and as a defensive line coach at Northwestern University (2003-07).

“I am extremely grateful to be able to provide support to such an esteemed place of history, pride, self-awareness, and learning,” Washington added about his donation to GSU.

Warrant arrest leads to stolen license plate

A Ruston man was arrested for possessing stolen property Tuesday when Lincoln Parish deputies arrested him on a warrant for domestic abuse battery.

Sheriff’s deputies located Justin Dane Pendarvis, 28, at his residence and arrested him on a warrant charging him with domestic abuse battery with strangulation and child endangerment.

While at the residence, license plates on the vehicles were recorded. One Louisiana license plate displayed on a 2014 Nissan Rouge was reported stolen to the Ruston Police Department the previous week. Pendarvis later told a deputy the Nissan was not supposed to have a license plate on it. He said he let someone borrow the Nissan but refused to identify that person when asked how the plate got on the vehicle.

Pendarvis was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center on the warrant and for possession of stolen things. His bail amount was not available.

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. 

Air show brings ‘sound of freedom’ to area

Photo provided by Kevin Shannahan

The “sound of freedom” was in evidence throughout this past weekend as jet engines from a wide variety of aircraft roared for delighted crowds at the 2023 Defenders of Liberty Air Show held at Barksdale Air Force Base March 25-26.

Well over 100,000 people from north Louisiana and surrounding states took advantage of the opportunity to visit Louisiana’s only Air Force base and see aircraft displays and acrobatic flying.

Barksdale is home to one of only two bases hosting the iconic B-52 bomber, an aircraft that has served our nation in combat from the Vietnam war to the present day. There were several of the massive bombers on display for visitors to see. Another B-52 made a low level flyover of the crowd, demonstrating just how massive the aircraft truly is. Each of the nation’s military services had displays, as did several local police departments.

The airshow also featured several civilian aerobatic flying teams, including Coushatta’s very own Kevin  Coleman. Ruston’s Louisiana Tech was well represented by several students from Tech’s aviation program and Tech’s own aircraft.

The headliner for this year’s show was the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. The Blue Angels flight team put on their show of precision acrobatic flying.

The Defenders of Liberty Air Show is a bi-annual event that is presented to the community by Barksdale Air Force Base and the Shreveport/Bossier Military Affairs Council.