Lady Cougars fall to St. Frederick, defeat Quitman

Anna Grace Lee had four hits in Cedar Creek’s 9-8 win over Quitman Tuesday night, snapping the Wolverines 20-game winning streak. (photo by Darrell James)

By Malcolm Butler

It was a bipolar week for the Cedar Creek Lady Cougars.

Head coach Julie Riser and the Lady Cougars saw a roller coaster of emotions, falling 1-0 to St. Frederick Monday night in Monroe in a game that decided the regular season District 2-1A champion before snapping red-hot Quitman’s 20-game winning streak with an 9-8 win on Tuesday night.

In Monday night’s showdown for the District 2-1A title, a pitchers’ duel broke out between the Lady Cougars and Lady Warriors that was ultimately won by St. Frederick.

Two Warriors pitchers combined for a six-hit shutout, striking out 10 and walking three.

Allie Furr led the Lady Cougars with three hits and two stolen bases while Peyton Muse, Lizzie McAdams and Anna Grace Lee each had one hit.

Chloe Brashear took the hard-luck loss, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

The Warriors scored the lone run in the bottom of the third.

“St. Fred’s was a tough one,” said head coach Julie Riser. “It was hard for the players to get a feel for the game with the strike zone the way it was. They battled through it and never gave up so I was proud of them for that.”

Creek (12-9) came back 24 hours later and responded with an impressive 9-8 win over Quitman (21-5), a team that is ranked No. 1 in Non-Select Division V and that had won 20 straight games.

“I just challenged them to move forward,” said Riser. “Tuesday was a new day and new opponent. I’m very proud of how we played against Quitman. Our offense performed one thru nine, and it paid off in the end. Our defense was very good and kept us in the game for seven innings.”

In the win, Cedar Creek outhit Quitman 14-11, scoring all of its runs in the first four innings of action.

Anna Grace Lee (4-4, 2 runs, RBI), Furr (3-5, 2 runs, SB), Olivia Underwood (2-4, 2 runs), Mallory Smith (2-4, HR, 2 runs, RBI), Muse (1-3, HR, run, 2 RBI), and Lillian Soto (1-2, 2 RBI) paced the Lady Cougars in the win.

Cedar Creek is ranked No. 5 among Select School Division IV teams in the power ratings.



It was the Spring of 1983, and baseball season was underway at Minden High School.  We were coming off back-to-back state championships and had seven starters returning.  Expectations were high.  We were well-known through the State, the community was engaged, and the entire school expected nothing less than a third state championship.  As we progressed through that senior year, like the other seniors on the team, I began to feel the pressure of meeting expectations and winning that third championship.  To be a part of winning two state titles but lose in your senior year would be a major disappointment and a huge letdown for the entire community.  In addition, I wanted to play college baseball, and I had yet to attract any attention from local colleges.  

We won some close games in the state playoffs and eventually won the state championship.  As the team celebrated on the field, I was more relieved than excited.  It was finally over.  We had accomplished what we were expected to achieve.  In addition, while we had achieved our team goal, my goal of playing in college was still up in the air.  I went ahead and enrolled at La Tech and continued to play summer ball trying to do whatever I could to get that opportunity.   

During summer orientation, I made an appointment to meet with Coach Patterson at Tech about trying out as a walk-on player.  Coach Patterson told me that I was welcome to tryout, but I would not make his team.  He was only going to take a walk-on pitcher.  I left there that day disappointed, but on the way home, it sunk in that my expectations would not be met.  While a little sad, it was also an experience of freedom.  I now was completely free from expectations that I could not meet nor impact on my own.  For the first time in a long time, I was excited about going to the ballpark that night.  I couldn’t wait to put that uniform on and experience every second of playing catch, batting practice, playing the game, being a great teammate, and playing as hard as I could possibly play.  For the rest of that summer season, I had a great experience and played as well as I have ever played in my life.  I was finally free to play relaxed and to enjoy every second of the experience.

Expectations can be beneficial when they are focused on helping individuals, organizations, or teams focus on core values, high character behavior, consistent performance, or desired levels of effort.  Expectations are also helpful in communicating to team members and coordinating efforts between groups.  However, expectations can be harmful when they are based totally on results and not the process involved in achieving the results.  Expectations can be unrealistic, impractical, or just not achievable.  Whether we are impacted by external expectations placed on us by others or excessive internal expectations we place on ourselves, we must be thoughtful about how we deal with those expectations.

Here are a few thoughts on how to set, manage, and respond to expectations from the various roles we may fill:

  • Set expectations on what can be controlled and impacted.  Focus on the behaviors, the effort, and the process. Be careful focusing on just results.  
  • As a manager or coach, inspect what you expect.   Be clear and consistent with your team with the appropriate level of follow-up to ensure expectations are understood.
  • Potential should be your guide.  Expectations based on potential are healthy while those going beyond potential can be harmful.  Understand potential!
  • Expectations should raise performance and behavior levels, not hinder them.  
  • Every child, team, and work groups are unique.  Don’t let comparison drive expectations.  

Take some time this week and evaluate the expectations in your life.  Consider the expectations you are dealing with personally and those that you are placing on others.  Let’s be sure those expectations are bringing out the best in us and others and not hindering performance or fulfillment.

Karl Malone delivered for Bulldogs during March Madness – Oklahoma

Karl Malone (32) guards OU’s Wayman Tisdale (with ball) during a Sweet 16 match-up in 1985 at Reunion Arena in Dallas. (Photo courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications)


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.

Oklahoma 86, Bulldogs 84 OT (March 21, 1985)

It was an instant classic in this Sweet 16 match-up during the 1985 NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs came up just short, falling 86-84 in overtime at Reunion Arena in Dallas.

In a rematch of a regular season game earlier in the season — also won by the Sooners — it pitted two of the top power forwards in the country in Tech’s Malone and Oklahoma’s Wayman Tisdale.

The Mailman scored 10 points in the opening half for Tech, but OU shot 54 percent from the field (compared to Tech’s 38 percent) to grab a 32-28 halftime lead.

However, this game was just getting started.

The second half and overtime turned into a shootout as the Bulldogs overcame an eight-point deficit with four minutes to play to send the game into overtime tied at 74-74. An Alan Davis jumper with 2:27 to play in regulated knotted the game at 72-72 and after an OU bucket by Tisdale on the next possession, Willie Bland hit a driving layup with 19 seconds remaining to tie the game at 74-74 … forcing overtime.

In the extra period, OU took a quick four-point advantage but back-to-back buckets by Malone cut the deficit to 84-82 with 47 seconds to play. After a turnover by the Sooners, Robert Godbolt hit two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to knot the score at 84.

Following a timeout, OU got the ball to Tisdale whose turnaround baseline jumper bounced around the rim and fell thru with three seconds left, proving to be the difference.

Malone finished the game with 20 points and 16 rebounds, playing all 45 minutes of the game.

Tech’s season ended with a 29-3 record and a Top 25 ranking. 


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:

Britton’s grandfather’s photo

Britton set a goal for himself that would terrify the toughest of people.  He wanted to become the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on each of the world’s continents, what mountain climbers refer to as the “Seven Summits.”  At the time, less than 100 people had ever accomplished this feat.  When asked why he would make such an attempt, Britton said, “I dreamed of throwing myself at a goal, at a challenge that seemed so insurmountable in the face of the odds, that I was willing to risk death in the name of success.”  By 2001, Britton had climbed Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro, four of the seven highest mountains.  By 2004, Britton had conquered Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.  In January of 2004, Britton reached the summit of Vinson, the tallest mountain in Antarctica.  On January 23, on the day Britton returned home to Greenwich, Connecticut, his 76-year-old beloved grandfather, Bob, died.  Britton was crushed.  

Britton had just one more mountain to go to become the youngest person to reach each of the Seven Summits, Mount Everest.  Within weeks of tackling Vinson, as he began packing for Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, Mount Everest, Britton’s thoughts kept returning to his grandfather.  “His memory will be pushing me to strive even harder than I’ve ever strived before,” he said.  “He really just pushed me to push the boundaries and seek the outer limits of whatever I was doing.”  To honor his grandfather, Britton packed a photo of Bob to take to the summit of Mount Everest. 

Finally, in March of 2004, Britton began his climb up Mount Everest with Bob’s photo in his pack.  For two months, Britton and his team struggled through winds which reached up to 125 miles per hour, had to use ladders tied to each other to cross 50-foot deep and 30-foot-wide crevasses, and, had to wear oxygen masks when the air became too thin to breath.  At one point, a falling boulder barely missed hitting his face by only a few inches.  On May 24, Britton became the youngest person at the time to reach the Seven Summits.  While atop the summit, Britton removed his grandfather’s photo from his pack and carefully buried it on Mount Everest.      

Britton grandfather was certainly an inspiration to his grandson Britton, but he also inspired and entertained millions of children on television.  From 1948-1952, he was Clarabell the Clown on the “Howdy Doody Show.” From 1953-1955 he was Corny the Clown on “Time for Fun,” and from 1954-1955 he was Tinker the Toymaker on “Tinker’s Workshop.”  From 1955 to 1985, Bob hosted a children’s television program for which he is most remembered.  The photo which remains atop mount Everest is of Britton Keeshan’s grandfather, Robert James “Bob” Keeshan, but you and I know Bob as Captain Kangaroo.


1.     Ledger-Enquirer, January 29, 2004, p.2.

2.     The Sentinel, February 3, 2004, p.33.

3.     Rutland Daily Herald, May 27, 2004, p.16.

4.     Daily Record, June 10, 2004, p.1.

5.     “Britton Keeshan ’00 Recounts Seven Summits Quest at All-School Meeting, The Phillipian, accessed March 25, 2023.

Jambalaya Fundraiser today; benefits Rotary community projects


The Ruston Rotary Club will host a Jambalaya Fundraiser in the Super 1 Parking lot today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  To go plates can be purchased on site today for $10 or a quart container of Jambalaya for $15. Plates features jambalaya, corn and green beans. 

Funds raised will be used for Rotary Club community related service. Some of these projects include Coats for Kids, dictionaries for third graders, student scholarships and backpacks for needy students.

The Ruston Rotary Coats for Kids program donated 170 coats for elementary students in Lincoln and Jackson parishes in coordination with Ruston Walmart and Jonesboro State Bank. This year the club will give out four $2,000 scholarships for high school students attending college in the fall.

Rotarians pick up food backpacks every Thursday during the school year at Super 1 and drop them off at Hillcrest Elementary for needy students to take home on Friday for meals over the weekend. During the fall, Rotarians give Lincoln Parish third grade students their very own dictionary to keep for in the classroom or at home. Rotarians are also involved in the Med-Camp Fall Halloween Bash held at Camp Alabama in the Douglas community every year the Saturday before Halloween.

This year the Ruston Rotary club formed a Interact Club at Choudrant High School and assisted with Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) for high school students at the Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center (OWL) in Dubach the last week in June. Approximately 75 high school sophomore and juniors attend from around North Louisiana each year for the week-long event. The Jambalaya Fundraiser will help full these local projects for Ruston and the surrounding area.



Cougars route J-Hodge, fall to St. Frederick

Brady Wade tossed 5.2 hitless innings last week in a loss to OCS. (Photo by Darrell James)

By Malcolm Butler

Cedar Creek baseball defeated Jonesboro-Hodge 11-0 Monday night before falling 8-3 to St. Frederick on Tuesday night in high school baseball action.

In Tuesday night’s District 2-1A loss to the Warriors, the Cougars (4-15) outhit St. Frederick 8-6 in the contest but six errors by Cedar Creek led to five unearned runs, proving to be the difference in the game.

“I am proud of our guys going out and competing the whole game,” said head coach Trey Long. “We made some mistakes defensively that definitely hurt us but it still goes back to what I told them after the game. We have to be better offensively. We are getting runners on but then leave them stranded way too much. As a team we have to have more at bats for the team and less strikeouts, especially when we have runners in scoring position.”

Creek held an early 1-0 lead after three innings, but St. Frederick scored three in the fourth and two more in the fifth and then added three insurance runs in the seventh to pull out the win.

Ladd Thompson was 3-for-4 at the plate for Creek while Jordan Vail (1-3, RBI), JP Moak (1-1, 3 walks, run), Trent Franklin (1-3, RBI), Noah Durrett (1-4) and Max Brister (1-3, RBI) also contributed offensively.

Brady Wade, who threw 5.2 innings of no-hit baseball against OCS last week, allowed three unearned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four.

In Monday night’s win over Jonesboro-Hodge, the Cougars scored 11 runs on just three hits, capitalizing on seven errors and eight walks by Tigers pitchers while Vail tossed a no-hitter in the victory.

“We didn’t have a very good game at the plate, but we found ways to get on base and score enough runs to get the win,” said Long. “I was very pleased with the way Jordan Vail pitched. He attacked the strike zone all game and ended up throwing a five inning no hitter.”

Vail was dominate on the mound, striking out 14 of the 15 outs in the game while allowing just one baserunner on a walk.

Thompson (1-3, 2B, RBI, run), Franklin (1-3, run, 2 RBI) and Durrett (1-2, 2B, run, RBI) all collected hits in the win for the Cougars.

Lady Techster bowlers punch ticket to Arlington Regional

Members of the LA Tech bowling team look on Wednesday during the NCAA Selection Show.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletics Communications

After finishing third at the Southland Bowling Championships last weekend, the Louisiana Tech women’s bowling team has earned a spot in the NCAA Regional in Arlington, Texas April 7th and 8th.

For the second year in a row, LA tech has qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Techsters punched a ticket to the Arlington Regional and will begin play on April 7 when they face Sam Houston. McKendree is the No. 1 overall seed and is also in the Arlington Regional along with Fayetteville State and Prairie View.

“First off, I am very glad that we have made it back to another regional,” said head coach Matt Nantais. “The middle part of our season was a little rough, but the last four events that we went to finishing in the top four shows that we can compete, and we deserve to be there. I’m just very proud of this team with the never quit attitude That they have. We have a week to clean up some of the issues we had at the conference championships, but I feel pretty confident going into this regional.”

The format at the NCAA Regional and Finals will be the same as what the Lady Techsters faced at the Southland Bowling Championship. It will be a best of three mega match format.

Both teams will compete in a traditional team total pinfall set, followed by a team baker set. If they split the first two sets, then the winner will be determined by a best-of-seven baker match.

Remembering Julie Anne Morris Wilkinson

Julie Anne Morris Wilkinson

Funeral services for Mrs. Julie Anne Morris Wilkinson, age 69 of Ruston, LA will be held at 2:00 PM, Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Ruston with Rev. Brad Jones officiating. Burial will follow in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ruston under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston.

Julie was born September 26, 1953 in Rayville, LA to Charles Logan and Louise Geneva Rainer Morris and passed away March 27, 2023 in Ruston. She was always such a caring and kind person and was always willing to help anyone that she could. Julie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She worked in the medical field for most of her adult life and handled billing and insurance. Many people came to Julie with problems concerning their bills, and Julie was always willing to go above and beyond to help solve their problems. She was preceded in death by her father Charles Morris and brother Charles “Louie” Morris.

Julie is survived by her husband Roger Wilkinson of Ruston; daughter Scottie Neathery of Rayville; son Christopher Neathery of Rayville; bonus daughter Elizabeth Halbrook (Justin) of Choudrant, LA; bonus son Justin Wilkinson (Scarlett) of Ruston; four granddaughters: Cammeran Neathery (Reese Holland), Summer Halbrook, Arabella Worley and Avaleigh Worley; three grandsons: Trenton Neathery, Rory Halbrook and Ripp Wilkinson; mother Louise Rainer Morris; sister-in-law Deborah Morris of Rayville; brother Ricky Morris (Judy) of Monroe, LA; sisters Debbie McDonald (Ronnie) of Hamburg, AR and Lisa Rose (Dennis) of Rayville; and a host of many friends and other family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made on behalf of Julie to your favorite charity.

Visitation will be held from 12:00-2:00 PM, Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at the funeral home. To leave an online memorial message for the family, please visit


LAST CHANCE: Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival EARLY BIRD TICKET sale ends this week!


THIS WEEK IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to secure your 2023 tickets at the lowest price possible for the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival on May 12th & 13th

The Early Bird sale ends March 31st at 11:59 pm!

Buy tickets and be entered in the Steel Magnolia’s Getaway Giveaway!

VIP ticket buyers will be entered into an exclusive VIP Giveaway to be announced! STAY TUNED!

Get your tickets here & enter the giveaway here:


Notice of death — March 29, 2023

Maude Elizabeth Brewster 
February 6, 1924 – March 26, 2023 
Visitation: Alabama Presbyterian Church, Thursday, March 30, 2023, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 
Service: Alabama Presbyterian Church, Thursday, March 30, 2023, 3:00 pm 
Cemetery: Sibley Cemetery Choudrant, Thursday, 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 

LA Tech, ULM announce home-and-home football contract

Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech has signed a two-game, home-and-home scheduling agreement with ULM, both athletic departments announced on Wednesday.

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.

The programs have met a total of 43 times with LA Tech leading the all-time series, 30-13. The Bulldogs have won eight straight over the Warhawks, including the last meeting which was a 42-19 victory on Nov. 11, 2000 in Monroe.

The two programs were scheduled to face one another in 2020 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the ULM football program.

Season tickets are on sale for the 2023 season, which kicks off with a week zero game against FIU on Aug. 26 at The Joe. The matchup will be the first of six home games on the slate for the Bulldogs. Fans can visit or call the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631 to purchase their tickets.

Site prep has begun for Old Navy

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston’s Woodward shopping center will soon be home to Old Navy as construction has begun in the grass lot west of Rack Room Shoes.

When asked about the construction on the green space, an unnamed worker on site simply replied “Old Navy.”

Afterward, Jade West, City of Ruston Economic Development Director, confirmed that the site will indeed host the clothing store.

As of right now, there is no known timetable for the opening of the store.

This confirms a previous story reported by the Lincoln Parish Journal from July 2022 in which then-Economic Development Director Phillip M. Smart on record stated that “(Old Navy) will be in the same shopping center strip as TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby. There is a vacant greenfield site all the way at the end by the shoe store. It will be right next to it.”

Originally founded in 1994, Old Navy is an affordable clothing company owned by multinational corporation Gap Inc.


Lady Aggies claim District 2B title

Choudrant claimed the District 2B title with a win over Downsville Tuesday night. (photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Choudrant’s Lady Aggies softball did a little spring cleaning Tuesday afternoon – making it a clean sweep of their District 2-B season with a 15-0 win over Downsville.

That win gave the Lady Aggies the District 2-B title with a 3-0 record with Choudrant outsourcing league foes Simsboro, Forest and Downsville 38 on the season.

It also put Choudrant back on a winning track after the Lady Aggies fell 7-4 on Monday at Mangham.

“We had a big first inning, and we just rode that to the win,” Lady Aggies coach Wayne Antley said after Choudrant’s win over Downsville. 

Zoey Smith got things started for the Lady Aggies with two outs in the bottom of the first as she knocked one out of the park to put Choudrant on top 1-0.

But the Lady Aggies were only getting their only early scoring parade started.

Choudrant added eight more runs before the opening stanza ended with Emma Bell and Faith Milton singling and Smith getting her second hit of the inning with a double for her second and third runs batted in. 

Smith ended up scoring off her hit after Downsville made a pair of throwing errors as she headed to second and then third base before running home.

Addison Worley, Mattie Johnson, Kylie Willie and Bailey Grace Weaver all walked in the opening inning and ended scoring runs while Elissa Guillotte reached first base on a fielding error and added another Choudrant run.

Worley made short work of Downsville from the mound, not allowing a hit and picking up seven strikeouts.

“She can throw,” Antley said about Worley. “For an eighth grader, she’s beautiful. She gets it done.”

After a three-up and three-down second inning at the plate, the Lady Aggies heated up their bats again in the bottom of the third to total six runs and earn the walk-off win with Bell’s two RBI-single scoring both Worley and Guillotte, who had reached base off of singles of their own.

Choudrant, now 19-4 overall, will next play in a tournament with all proceeds going to first responders at French Settlement on Friday. The Lady Aggies will also play Lutcher and Springfield in that Tournament.

“Then we’ll come back on Monday against Airline,” Antley said.

That game will begin a season-ending gauntlet for the Lady Aggies that will also include a home game against Union Parish, road games at Byrd and D’Arbonne Woods before closing out regular-season play on April 13 at home against Claiborne Christian.

“We’re just playing some bigger schools and really good schools just trying to get ready for the playoffs,” Antley said. “I know we’ll be playing out of our class, but that’s what we need to do this time of year to help get ready for the playoffs.

“I feel really good about the way we’re playing. We’ve had a couple of down games where we didn’t play our best, but when you play 30 games a year that’s going to happen. It was good to see the way we bounced back today.”

Lincoln Prep’s Ford semifinalist for State Principal of Year

Lincoln Preparatory School Executive Director Gordan Ford was one of 24 semifinalists for the Louisiana Department of Education’s State Principal of the Year. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Spring 2023 might only be a little more than a week old, but forgive Lincoln Preparatory School Executive Director Gordan Ford if he takes a brief moment to stop and smell the roses.

You see, Lincoln Prep’s remarkable spring continues today as high school students join middle and elementary school for the school’s first day with all of its students within the same building complex for years.

And that comes only days after Ford earned the smell of a little personal success as he was named by the Louisiana Department of Education as one of 24 semifinalists for state Principal of the Year.

But Ford isn’t looking for personal accolades – he’s quick to call his being named a Principal of the Year semifinalist a testament to what he terms the team he’s put together at Lincoln Prep.

“We have an amazing team,” Ford said. “When you’re the leader of a team, a lot of time the credit goes to you but earning his honor is based on the work that our entire team has done. It’s been the effort of the staff, the effort of the kids, and all of that effort goes into a set of results. And some of the things we’ve been able to do, and to do so while we’ve been trying to build a school facility, has simply been amazing.”

After nearly three years of vagabond-like teaching and learning, the faculty, staff and students of Lincoln Preparatory School began moving into the new school two weeks ago as  Lincoln Prep’s elementary school students – somewhere around 200 first- through fourth-graders, attended class for the first time ever in the new $30 million, 100,000-square foot school building, located on a 400-acre site located off of La. Hwy, 150 (Old Grambling Road) where the old Louisiana Tech Golf Course used to be located.

Last week the middle school students started classes in the new school while high school students  made the move this morning.

The school, which formed after a decades-long desegregation order forced the closure of the old Grambling Laboratory School in 2017, had originally held classes in that building before a court order forced the school to move off the grounds of Grambling State University.

That led to the school having to conduct classes at various locations, including the old Fred’s, New Living Word Church, Trinity Methodist, Grace Methodist and Calvary Baptist.

“There’s no way around it – it’s been difficult,” Ford said. “It’s been very hard between The Justice Department forcing us to move off (of Grambling State University’s) campus and delays causing us not to have a place our students could call home, It’s just been amazingly hard.

“But at the same time, the people working at the school and the kids we have here have been so flexible and resilient, they all just made it work. And the community, the movie theater, New Living Word and the churches and everybody who has helped us with facilities to get us over the hump to give us places to teach our kids and make them feel like they had at least a temporary home – there’s not way to express enough gratitude to all the folks in this community who stepped us and helped us.”

Ford said he filled out an application to be considered as Louisiana Principal at the urging of the school’s Chief Academic Officer Crystal Washington.

“There’s been so much going on this year that I filled it out without ever really  thinking about it,” Ford said. “There’s been way too many other things on my mind. And then all of a sudden I found out I’m a semifinalist. I’m proud and I’m humbled. 

“But mostly I’m just thankful for our staff and our student body. They’re the reason I work so hard. They make all of that hard work more than worth the effort.”

He said that preparing the school’s students for success after graduation remains the primary goal, including the school’s Early College Academy program that allows students to amass college credits while still attending Lincoln Prep as well as offering vocational school courses and opportunities for students who might be leaning in that direction.

“The new challenge is going to be expanding opportunities,” Ford said of Lincoln Prep’s future. “Now that we have or will soon have all our facilities, we have more to offer our students, like expanding course offerings. We’re looking at offering electrician classes and some of the things we were doing before COVID along with some additional college electives and everything we can do for kids.

“But our main thing will be buckling down on education. We’re working hard on literacy and making sure our kids have the tools they need to be successful in whatever they want to do.”

All of the LDOE Teacher and Principal of the Year Finalists and Semifinalists will be honored at the 15th Annual Cecil. J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala, which will be held virtually on the evening of July 16.

Grambling Professor Emerita to receive statewide humanities award 

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Billy Nungesser will recognize Grambling Professor Emerita Marianne Fisher-Giorlando with the organization’s 2023 Lifetime Contributions to the Humanities award at the Bright Lights Awards ceremony on May 11, 2023, in New Orleans. The award, which is part of LEH’s annual Humanities Awards, recognize those who have supported and been involved in public appreciation of issues central to the humanities.

For more than three decades, Marianne Fisher-Giorlando has worked to increase understanding of the American criminal justice system, as a professor at Grambling State University, working directly with the staff of the Angolite, and now serving on the board of the Angola Museum.

In addition to the Lifetime Contributions award, the LEH has announced eight Humanities Awards recipients, including 2023 Humanist of the Year Chef John Folse. Now in their 38th year, the LEH Humanities Awards offer a collective opportunity to celebrate all the humanities have to offer and honor those who have made significant contributions to the understanding of Louisiana’s history and culture. 

“For nearly forty years the LEH has honored the individuals and organizations who uplift the history and culture of our state through the LEH Humanities Awards,” said LEH President and Executive Director Miranda Restovic. “We celebrate the documentation, exploration, and interpretation of the humanities—and know that our own work is made possible only through the work of others.” 

Each awardee is selected by committees of experts in their fields and LEH staff and board members. The Humanist of the Year, Champion of Culture and Chair’s Award for Institutional Support are nominated and chosen in-house by members of the LEH board of directors. 




I-20 stop lands Georgians in jail

An Interstate 20 traffic stop by a Ruston Police officer led to the arrest of the driver on drug and weapon charges and the transport of a passenger to the hospital early Saturday morning.

A RPD officer was on patrol eastbound on I-20 when he was passed by an eastbound 2017 Honda Civic at approximately 85 mph. The officer paced the car at speeds of 80 miles an hour in the 70 mph zone.

When the vehicle was stopped, the driver Kamal Dansby, 21, of DeKalb County, Georgia, opened the glove box to retrieve paperwork. The officer saw what appeared to be a tray used for rolling marijuana cigarettes.

When asked if he had any narcotics in the vehicle, Dansby opened the center console and handed over a container with a baggie of suspected marijuana and multiple empty baggies. A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of a Glock 19 pistol between the driver’s seat and center console and three magazines in the driver’s door.

Also discovered in the center console was a bag of suspected psilocybin mushrooms, a Schedule III controlled substance.
During the investigation, the passenger, Lauren Swasey, 21, also of Georgia, requested an ambulance. She was transported to the Northern Louisiana Medical Center where she became extremely hostile and yelled and cursed the nursing staff. She was advised she needed to calm down and stop cursing. She continued to cause a disturbance in the emergency room and was arrested.

Dansby was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of a Schedule III controlled substance and illegal carrying of a weapon. Swayze was booked for disturbing the peace.

Dansby’s 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. 

LTCA presents free concert Monday, April 17

Louisiana Tech Concert Association will present The Tallis Scholars as a free concert Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in Howard Auditorium.

The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by director Peter Phillips.  Through their recordings and concert performances, they have  established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred  music throughout the world.

Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning  and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serves  the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines  to be heard.

To celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary, Phillips has programmed  some of the pieces that have “meant the most over the years.”  He  chose one piece by each of his favorite composers.

For more information email or call 318-257-5275.

Karl Malone delivered for Bulldogs during March Madness – Ohio State


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.

LA Tech 66, Fresno State 66 (March 16, 1985)

In the second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament, Malone and the Bulldogs coasted to a 79-67 win over Big 10 foe Ohio State at the Mabee Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

After easily defeating Pittsburgh in the opening round game, Tech trailed only one time (16-14 with 10:05 to play in first half) in the entire ball-game.

The Mailman and Co. built a 37-28 halftime lead behind a balanced offensive attack that saw five different Bulldogs scored 6 or 7 points in the opening 20 minutes of play as Tech dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Buckeyes 19-11 in the first half.

Malone dominated in the second half, scoring 20 of his game-high 27 points after intermission as he hit 8-of-12 field goals in the second half.  The Mailman scored the first nine points of the second half for the Bulldogs as Tech pushed its lead out to as many as 19 points on several different occasions.

Ohio State tried to rally, closing to within 69-61 with 2:32 to play in the game, but Malone hit a pair of free throws and then sealed the win with a dunk off a pass from Adam Frank in the closing minute to secure the win.

In addition to his 27 points, Malone grabbed 14 rebounds and added three assists in the win.

Wayne Smith added 11 points and 11 assists while Willie Simmons scored 10 points and had three blocked shots.


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:

COLUMN: The magic of sticking together

Standing in line for more than two hours in a receiving line at the funeral home, not just standing in line but moving in line and sharing in line and encouraging in line — living in line — gives you time to think.

For starters, even though you don’t know everyone in line and they don’t know you, you feel a part of a greater good, a part of the force that was this life and this family you are here to honor. This one life, in ways special to each of us, touched all these people and hundreds more who couldn’t be here.

The emotional mix is stunning: the uncomfortable feeling of loss and unfairness, and at the same time gratitude for being able to count among your friends this life that radiated a deep and unselfish goodness.

It’s early spring and yet so many are going through a storm. There will always be storms but if you live long enough, they will now and then come one right after the other and you can’t keep the pieces all picked up, for yourself or for your friends. You are tying but more pieces keep falling. Breaking.

Mercy at the loss lately, and the threat of more loss. It all combines to remind me how little control we have, and how I am blind at times to things I do have control over. Which is pathetic. Sad. I am waiting in line to hug the family of a friend who was a master of doing the little things. I’m not sure he even thought so much about it. He just did them. He was aware that he had control over these little actions. He knew they made the difference.

And the difference is real, because all these people are around me. To thank him.

You can make someone happier today. You can. It might be paying for coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru, or it might be calling an old friend, or thanking your Sunday school teacher, or the custodian who keeps your building clean, or the boss who signs the checks.

You ever color a picture and send it to someone for no reason? I do. It’s stupid. But it’s a surprise, and they’ll always call to thank you, because for one moment an ordinary day held a silly surprise for them, and only heaven knows how those kinds of things make a difference, but they do.

I’ve heard these things called “the smallest acts of love.” Remind someone how strong they’ve been. Compliment them for whatever makes them them. Praise. Encourage. Smile. These little things add up.

Our friend we lost, he did lots of big things. Beautiful things. He made the world prettier, literally. But when I think of him — and this has been for years, not just now — I am always left with how he made me feel. He had plenty to do but when we were together, he was present. Honest. Funny without meaning to be because he was just him. A friend.

We are all just people but somehow, we have the gift inside that, if we share it, has the potential to help a sister or brother over the next hill. The smallest thing, if it’s real, can be the thing that holds up, can be the stuff that works. The smallest thing can make a difference.

And that’s when, in the middle of the storms, the miracles show up. In the smallest, most sincere acts. One thoughtful moment, one honest ear to listen or hand to hold. Be present and be ready. We need you. You can make the difference that makes the difference for someone today, and the difference for today can make the difference for forever.

Contact Teddy at or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Man booked for violating bail conditions

A Dubach man was arrested Monday evening after he allegedly violated the conditions of his bail from a previous charge.

Deputies responded to a Main Street residence in Dubach regarding a disturbance involving Elliot L Daniels, 43, and a female.

Daniels is currently out on bail make connection with a battery of the woman. Daniels told deputies he wanted to press charges against the woman for stealing from him and that when she came home today and he would not let her inside, she threw a rock at the door, shattering the glass. Daniel said the woman had pulled a box cutter on him and slashed at him.

The woman told deputies that Sunday night Daniels dragged her off the bed by her shirt and kicked her in the head. She said when she came home Monday, Daniels would not admit her into the house and told her he was going to get even for her previous call to law enforcement. She stated as Daniels walked to the vehicle, she ran toward the house and barricaded herself inside until deputies arrived. She said when she ran to the house, Daniels threw a rock at her shattering the front door glass. When deputies arrived, the woman was inside the house and Daniels was outside.

The woman said she was not in possession of a boxcutter and had left it at work. The woman produced a supplemental order of by of bail stating Daniels was to have no abusive contact with her. Daniels was arrested for violation of the protective order and 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. 

Historic furniture store revamped into Elephant Room Rental

By Emma Stone

Hidden among Ruston’s historic downtown is the Elephant Room, a rental property available for a getaway.

The history and background of the Elephant Room impacted a local team of four to revamp the space into an Airbnb and Vrbo rental.

The Elephant Room was originally known as Ritchie Furniture.

Until 1970, Bill Rogers purchased and renamed the store Rogers Furniture and Gifts in which he owned and operated. The space was used by Rogers as a “check-in” for inventory and furniture moving into the showing room.

At the time of his death in 2014, Rogers had collected over 3,000 elephants of different shapes and sizes. The space had been left untouched until Feb 2021 when, Bradley Walker, Josh Perot, Rob Owens, and Paul Cavell bought the old furniture store and renovated the space into the Elephant Room named after Rogers’ collection.

Bradley Walker, the host of the rental property, spoke about the creation of the Elephant Room.

“When we bought the place, it was basically just brick and flooring,” said Walker. “We took the floors up, refinished those and put them back down.”

What took trial and error over months of construction, Walker emphasized the importance of having a bit of Ruston everywhere you look.

“We included a lot of little pieces of Ruston and Rogers in the space,” said Walker, “They used a door to get furniture delivered and we turned that into this big window.” The barn door that was the front door, was now moved to open into the bathroom with the old elevator shaft used for transporting furniture was fashioned into a shower.

“Our friend, Emily Pullin, worked for Mr. Rogers and so we got her to do a copy of a painting she made for his store,” said Walker.

The painting is tied to the actual door found in the elevator shaft, and now hangs above the couch. When everything came together, the Elephant Room was listed for renting in July of 2022.

“Typically, when someone stays two nights, we leave a mug out for them that says ‘Elephant Room’ with our logo, so they can go home and keep a piece of us,” said Walker.

Aggies cruise past Downsville in District 2-B opener

Pictured is Choudrant coach Joel Antley talking to some of his players Monday during a break in play against Downsville.  (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

It took the Choudrant Aggies a little while to get their offensive engine rolling Tuesday evening in a District 2-B home game against Downsville.

But the Aggies kicked things up into cruise control in the third inning and gradually pulled away for a 11-1 win over the Demons to begin their district season with a win.

That was the 10th straight win for the Aggies, now 17-4 overall, and their 12th over the last 13 game, including a 24-0 home shellacking of Union Parish on Monday.

Downsville struck first in the top of the opening stanza before the Aggies tied things up in the bottom of the second inning.

Mike Jones led off that inning with a single before being advanced on a pair of groundouts and then tying the game on a throwing error committed by the Demons.

The Aggies led off the bottom of the third inning with the top of their order at the plate, and produced five runs in the process.

Landon Hennen started things off with a single and then stole second before Bryce McGuire and Gavin Murphy turned in walks to load the bases.

The Aggies then plated runs off of a fielder’s choice and two batters being hit by pitches before Eli Callender’s sacrifice fly to centerfield pushed across Jones for his second run to put the Aggies on top 5-1.

The Aggies again led off the bottom of the fourth inning with the top of their order at the plate and this time answered with another three runs. 

Hennen and McGuire both reached base on walks to start things off before Murphy singled in Henned before Kaden Bradsahw blasted a two-run double to score McGuire and Murphy.

Choudrant pushed its lead to 10-1  in the bottom of the fifth inning after McGuire singled and scored on a Murphy double before Bradshaw knocked in Murphy.

TJ Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the sixth before scoring the winning run on a walk-off single.

“We’re going pretty good right,” Antley said. “Last night Union had trouble throwing strikes and we hit the ball well when they did. We don’t hit a lot of runs but just try to score with hard-hit balls.

“It’s good to get off to a good district start and it was good to get some of the younger guys in there last night.”

McGuire picked up the win for the Aggies with Hennen replacing him in the top of the fifth and striking out five of the seven batters he faced.

“It probably wasn’t necessary to make that (pitching) change but we’ll probably come back Saturday and pitch both against Claiborne Christian on Saturday, so we’re just keeping them fresh,” Antley said. “Eli and Colton (Smith) will pitch for us Friday.”

The Aggies will take on Downsville again on Friday with the Demons designated as the home team because their field is undergoing work.