Bearcats host Skippers with ‘Dome trip on the line

(Photo Credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

One more kickoff at “The Hoss” this season.

Regardless of tonight’s outcome, it will be the final chance to watch this 2023 Ruston High football squad put the pads on and walk up the ramp from the Chick Childress Fieldhouse.

And they’ll make that trek with one thing on their mind: a possible repeat trip to the Super Dome to bring home the Division I, Non-Select crown.

But first, a Cinderella story in the making: No. 21 Mandeville, who has been throwing points on the scoreboard this postseason like nobody’s business and has now gotten to the semifinals for the first time in school history.

The Bearcats won’t be going anywhere if the Skippers come to town and spoil Ruston’s run.

“They are another really good football team,” Ruston High head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “It’s kind of for them a tale of two seasons. They swapped quarterbacks late in the year to somebody who has a great feel for the offense; even as a sophomore. He seems to operate their offense really well, and it’s amounted to them scoring a lot of points, and their running back having a lot of yards.”

Baugh is referring to sophomore quarterback Ben Hendricks and senior running back Nate Sheppard, who has totaled 32 touchdowns this year.

“They’s got a big offensive line in front of them that does a good job, and the coaches do a good job of scheming up defenses to give him the best opportunity to win,” Baugh said of Sheppard. “They’re going to try to get him the ball in the a variety of ways.”

Mandeville was 4-4 on the season before winning their next five straight games, including going to Bossier last week and knocking off No. 4 Airline 56-50. 

Ruston is hosting its second consecutive semifinal playoff appearance at home after defeating Zachary last season 37-22 to secure the Bearcats’ first trip to New Orleans since 1998. Baugh spoke to how important this is for his program.

“I think it’s big,” Baugh said. “Before the season started, there were a lot of people just throwing us into the state championship, and that put a lot of pressure on our kids. And I put a lot of pressure on our kids, and probably, too much so early on. But I knew what our possibilities were and tried to make it a reality check. I thought we should be making a run for a state championship, if we maximize what it is that we’re doing on a daily basis. And they have accepted that challenge.

“Last year, I think there were some expectations, but people were like “Yeah, Ruston ought to be good, but let’s just wait and see.” This year, people were saying that we ought to be there. Let’s see how they handle it. And they have absolutely accepted the challegne and done what they needed to do.”

Dixie Center for the Arts gears up for the holiday season


The Dixie Center is truly something to be experienced, and this holiday season is the best time to experience it! The Dixie Center was awarded the 2023 BEST EVENT VENUE earlier this month by the North East Louisiana Music Awards proving that the general public is excited about the programming that the Dixie is bringing to the region. The Dixie Center is housed in the historic 95-year-old Dixie Theater in downtown Ruston and is an iconic part of the Ruston Historic District. Originally opening in 1928 as a silent movie theater and a Vaudeville stage the old theater has undergone many changes, hardships, and triumphs. Over the last two years, we’ve seen many updates and improvements while keeping the historical integrity of the Arts Deco period of the building in mind.

The grand old Dixie is fast becoming North Louisiana’s Premier Entertainment Destination with acts like Tommy Emmanuel, Louisiana’s LeRoux, and Tab Benoit already gracing the stage earlier in 2023, with more to come before the end of the year. In addition to concerts, the Dixie has started showing an occasional movie as an affordable outing for the family, as well as being the place for the Ruston Community Theatre to hold their plays, and other groups and organizations to host their events. If you haven’t been to the Dixie lately, you haven’t been to the Dixie! Come see for yourself at one or all of these upcoming shows! We need our North Louisiana Community to be involved! Follow the Dixie Center on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected and visit the website at for tickets and more information about the Dixie.

  • Friday, December 8, 7pm- Concert- Home for the Holidays Join us for a special concert featuring 3 renowned Texan musicians with a fun night of holiday-themed music. Carolyn Wonderland, Marcia Ball, and Shelley King LIVE at the Dixie Center on Saturday, December 8, 2023, for a special holiday event. THIS CONCERT IS SPONSORED BY MARY ELIZABETH AND ANDY HALBROOK!
  • Saturday, December 9, 7pm- Concert Travis LeDoyt, Sun and the Stars Christmas Featuring the sounds and the style of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison. Travis LeDoyt, heralded by many as “The World’s Best” Young Elvis takes to the stage at the Dixie Center with a brand new concert to delight fans. THIS CONCERT IS SPONSORED BY CENTURY NEXT BANK!
  • Saturday, December 16, 7pm- Concert- John Ford Coley Come relive the memories with 70’s soft rock legend John Ford Coley as he brings a potent blend of smile-inducing enthusiasm and sing-along melodicism to this show. As one half of England Dan & John Ford Coley, this Texas native cut his teeth with 70s radio staples like Love Is the Answer- We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again and I’d Really Love to See You Tonight. The sunny vibe that made these songs hits in the first place still permeates Coley’s warm and welcoming vocals, and his infectious grin is guaranteed to spread to the audience.
  • Friday, December 22, 7pm Dixie Cinema Movie- Disney’s A Christmas Carol- Dress in your favorite Holiday attire or pajamas for photo opportunities and a visit from Santa Claus himself after the movie.

The Dixie Center for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and restored historic theater in Ruston, La. Our mission is “To be the home and heart of the arts in North Central Louisiana. For more information about the Dixie Center please visit our website at

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Domestic incident prompts arrest

Ruston Police arrested a 34-year-old man early Tuesday morning after officers responded to a domestic battery.

Henry Johnson II of Ruston was booked for domestic abuse battery with child endangerment after police investigated an incident on Winona Drive.

When officers approached the alleged victim, they noticed she appeared dazed. She lost her balance and fell to the floor. When asked if she needed medical attention, she

did not immediately answer. She stated she could not hear out of her right ear because Johnson had kicked her in the ear. An ambulance was called to evaluate her.

The victim said an argument started when she informed Johnson she was leaving him. Johnson allegedly became angry and trapped her in the corner of a room and then followed her throughout the home for approximately an hour, repeatedly punching, pushing, and choking her. She stated Johnson twisted her neck to the point of causing pain. The victim reported feeling pain throughout her body and that her four children were present during the incident.

Johnson was found sitting in a vehicle when officers arrived. When asked what had happened, Johnson said he did not want to speak to the police. He was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for aggravated domestic abuse battery.

Johnson’s bail amount was not available at publication time.

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


GSU begins track and field renovations

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

Grambling State University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Trayvean D. Scott has announced the commencement of renovations to the GSU Track & Field Facility.

“Our student-athletes and coaches deserve first-class facilities,” said Dr. Scott. “Our track and field facility was in desperate need of a renovation. This project not only gives our student-athletes a place to practice safely and efficiently, but also opens doors for track meets to return to our wonderful campus” 

Upgrades to the track & field facility includes resurfacing the track surface, the long jump and triple jump runways, the high jump apron, and fixing drainage at the facility.

“The renovation of the outdoor facility helps us in so many ways, “Said Head Track & Field Coach LaMonte Vaughn. “It helps our student athletes train at higher levels, it helps us recruit at a higher level, it helps our staff and program operate logistically at higher efficiency levels, it is a morale boost to our students and staff and shows the commitment by our administration to give our program a safe, sustainable place to continue to pursue excellence. We are very excited and thankful for this resource.”

Grambling State Athletics has been committed to improving the student-athlete experience, making multiple athletic facility upgrades since 2021 with more on the horizon.
Completed facility enhancements: 

  • New netting systems at the women’s soccer and softball complexes
  • Brand new walls and dugouts as well as upgraded drainage at the GSU softball complex
  • Upgraded meeting rooms for men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with Ruston’s own Krewe of Pomona

Krewe of Pomona King and Queen, Stephen and Jesse Bullock, with their sons Chandler and Brody

Laissez le bon temps rouler in Ruston. 

The community’s own Mardi Gras Krewe of Pomona has announced its King and Queen for Carnival 2024, Stephen and Jessica “Jesse” Bullock. 

These sweethearts turned successful business owners are authentic and passionate about Lincoln Parish and want to use their reign as King and Queen to continue to help Ruston flourish. 

“As king and queen, we are looking to bring excitement and interest to this Krewe for not only current members, but potential members who are looking to get plugged in the community,” Stephen said. “We want everyone to feel that they have a place to fit in, have fun, and socialize with their community.” 

Stephen and Jesse are charter members of the Krewe of Pomona, which began in 2022 and hosted its first events during the 2023 Carnival season. The Krewe is responsible for creating floats, holding a parade, and organizing a ball for members. Krewe of Pomona members hope to create a family-friendly Mardi Gras atmosphere to help make Ruston the premier location for Mardi Gras in north Louisiana. 

“Having a Krewe in Ruston is so special and so important,” Jesse said. “Many families in this town grew up being involved in Krewes or have deep roots in famous Krewes from New Orleans. It is only fitting that we have a Krewe here in Ruston and bring the excitement of Mardi Gras to our community.” 

Jesse added that living in Louisiana means celebrating Mardi Gras comes second nature. 

“Being born and raised in Louisiana, you can’t help but have Mardi Gras running through your veins,” she said. “We have always loved the Mardi Gras season and have loved attending events throughout the carnival season. So being a part of this Krewe, in our hometown, makes this experience that much more special.” 

Stephen and Jesse are both graduates of Ruston High School and have two sons – Chandler, 13, and Brody, 10, who attend Cedar Creek School. They are strong local school supporters, holding Corporate Sponsorships for the Bearcat Football Club and Cougar Football Club. 

The Bullocks have been in the retail equipment industry their entire career, starting with JPS Equipment Rental. Since selling Iron Oak Services to Sunbelt Rentals in 2022, Stephen and Jesse are now part owners of Parish Site Services and Southern States Equipment. Along with their businesses, this year’s King and Queen are also highly active in the community, serving in community events and helping with area schools and The Bridge Community Church. From 2017-2022, Stephen served as a board member for MedCamps, and Jesse currently is vice president of Cedar Creek Parent Club and holds committee seats for Cedar Creek and the Green and Gold Foundation. 

“Successfully growing organizations is an area we’re extremely familiar with,” Jesse said. “As King and Queen we’ll be promoting the Krewe and are excited to see some growth in memberships, specifically within our generation.” 

While Stephen has been a member of the Krewe of Endymion for two years, the Bullocks wanted to help get Ruston’s Krewe up and running – and have a little fun too. 

“Stephen and I decided to join the Krewe last year because we love to socialize, and we love to have a great time,” Jesse said. “The Mardi Gras season is such a fun time of year in Louisiana.” 

Membership is currently open; anyone interested in joining can visit for more information. 

“We’re very proud to be part of this Krewe, and we want to see this organization become one with highly sought-after membership,” Stephen said. 

Krewe President Michelle Landry said she is honored to welcome the Bullocks as King and Queen, starting with the King and Queen’s Party on Dec. 2. The event will be a holiday cocktail party themed “Christmas in New Orleans,” which is open to members or by invitation only. 

“Their energy, excitement, and love for all things Ruston and Mardi Gras are exactly what we’re trying to convey to the community and new members. The Bullocks’ vision for how they’d like to see this organization grow complements conversations we’ve had with the Board. They’re visionaries and are already thinking of ways this organization can financially give back to the community with scholarships and community service. This is exactly what we’re looking for in a King and Queen.

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Fish Friday starts today at The Dugout

This is an advertorial.

Get ready for some real, locally-raised fried catfish starting today at The Dug Out.

For only $11.99 per plate, you get three pieces of fish, The Dugout’s famous fries, and hushpuppies.

“Just like the rest of the menu at The Dugout, Fish Friday will be coming from our backyard to the restaurant,” owner Michael Quarles said. “The way we prepare the 100-percent USDA farm raised catfish is a recipe I have been using for 30 years. Ever since I opened The Dugout, I have had requests from friends for me to put my fried fish on the menu. We are going to serve fish only on Fridays and as long as we have a demand for it.”

Nestled along Highway 167 South, and conveniently right next to the Ruston Sports Complex, The Dugout offers the perfect refreshments and dinners, and not just for sports fans– it’s for anyone that wants great food, both for dining in or on the go.

And it’s the mission Quarles to make the Dugout feel like good backyard grilling right in his restaurant.

“When we cook for people here, we want them to feel like they’re eating food cooked in the backyard,” Quarles said. “It’s the same hamburger patties, chicken wings, buffalo sauce, everything; from my backyard to the restaurant.”

Don’t forget Taco Tuesday: $1.25 tacos and two-for-one frozen daiquiris on Tuesdays.

Located at 2008 Champions Way in Ruston, lots of customers make their way from all over Lincoln and Jackson Parish, along with the sports crowd that comes in for the Dixie World Series and other big events.

“We have a lot of regulars that come for lunch,” Quarles said. “We have a really good menu and it’s priced fairly well. You get a lot of food.”

For the kiddos, they have frozen lemonade, and don’t forget the beer-by-the-bucket for the grown-ups.

The Dugout is open seven days a week. On Sunday through Thursday, they’re open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday, they’re open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Come visit The Dugout and see what all the buzz is about.

Cougars clobber J-Hodge; faces Ruston today

Luke Waldron (photo by Darrell James)

By Malcolm Butler

After drawing the ire of their head coach in the season opening loss to Saline, the Cedar Creek Cougars have been playing better defense.

Enter Exhibit A.

Over the past two games, the Cougars (3-2) have played at a much higher level on the defensive end of the floor, including in Thursday’s 64-37 win over Jonesboro-Hodge in the first day of the Quitman Tournament held at the Ruston Sports Complex.

“After losing our home opener to Saline we have been focusing on improving our team defense,” said Creek head coach Lance Waldron. “They have really responded to the challenge of playing better defense. We currently have a winning record of 3-2 and have held our last two opponents to under 40 points each.”

The Cougars held the Tigers to single digits in three of the four quarters while jumping out to a 40-13 halftime advantage and cruising to the victory.

Luke Waldron and Connor Johnson combined to score 11 first quarter points while Creek held J-Hodge to just two field goals made. Cougars led 20-5 at the end of the first.

The Cougars continued their domination in the second quarter as seven different Creek players netted points, led by John Abram Earle and Jake Doan with four each.

J-Hodge came out of the halftime locker room trailing 40-13 and found its offensive rhythm, outscoring Creek 21-12 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 52-34 entering the final stanza. Doan, Johnson and Jack Bell combined for 11 of the 12 points in the frame.

Doan scored eight of Creek’s 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Cougars held J-Hodge to just three points.

Doan led Creek with 18 points while Johnson added 15 and Bell 10.

The Cougars will face Ruston High today at 5:15 p.m. at the Ruston Sports Complex.

The Lady Cougars saw their two-game winning streak snapped in a 55-25 loss to Haughton in their only game of the Quitman Tournament.

“That was a great team that we played tonight,” said Creek head coach Katie Hall. “I don’t think we will play a better team this year. We were undersized and struggled to to score against their length around the perimeter and underneath. We were impatient with our shooting which led to poor shot selections. I was proud of how we remained positive throughout the game and never hung our heads.”

Creek saw undefeated 5A Haughton (8-0), which handed Ruston its only loss of the year, jump out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter and 36-11 at halftime and never look back.

The Lady Cougars were led in scoring by freshman Mary Grace Hawkins with 10 points, while Caroline James added four.

Traffic stop yields marijuana, firearm

Two women were arrested on a traffic stop Monday night after they were stopped by Ruston Police.

Johnae Thomas, 22, of Lafayette, was stopped on Tech Farm Road by a RPD patrol supervisor about 8:30 p.m. Monday for not displaying a license plate. Thomas initially gave the name Jordan Williams, explaining she did not have her driver’s license with her. A records check failed to locate a license under that name.

When asked if she had anything bearing her name, Thomas said she had something on her phone. After scrolling through her cell phone for several minutes, Thomas showed a piece of mail with her true name. A check on the name showed Thomas’s driver’s license was suspended.

A check of a passenger in the car, Makayla Ferguson, 21, of Bernice, revealed she was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a traffic charge.

Both women were arrested and taken to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center. Thomas was booked for resisting an officer by providing false information and driving under suspension. Her bail was set at $1,000. Ferguson was booked on the warrant with bail set at $2,000.

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. 


Aggies down Farmers for seventh win of season

Photo courtesy of Snazzy Shenanigans Photography

By T. Scott Boatright

The Choudrant Aggies boys basketball squad has spent recent seasons as a guard-heavy team, using long-range shooting and tight defense as the team’s foundation.

But times change, and so far this season, it’s been the Aggie’s frontcourt and play of center Michael Jones and forward Lawson Stevens that has helped Choudrant off to a 7- 5 start on the young season.

The Class B Aggies have never been afraid to play up in class, and they showed they can more than hang with the big boys on Tuesday as Choudrant cruised to a 69-32 win over Union Parish on Tuesday night in Farmerville.

And it was the Jones-Stevens duo that took over for the Aggies in that game, with Jones leading the way with 24 points while Stevens added 14 and swing forward Tredon Cage chipped in with eight points.

“These two big kids — our size — are the only real experienced players we have coming back,” Aggies coach Ryan Smith said. “So we’re playing inside ball. We went inside to Mike some last year and had Lawson, too, but they are the force for our team right now under the basket, which is unlike Choudrant basketball and it’s been known. 

“They both are comfortable working with each other and passing the ball to create the open shots. They’re our dynamic duo in the lane right now and it’s just given us. And having two inside guys like that who can score has really helped our team so far.”

But that’s not to say Choudrant’s young guards aren’t maturing game-by-game as they gain experience.

Benton Case added seven points, including a 3-pointer, for the Aggies against the Farmers, while Braden Soto totaled seven points. Including a 3-pointer, while Kahless Carnahan also hit on a long-ranger for his three points.

“We started off 0-3, but I think that knowing coming in that we had to replace all of our guards from the past two seasons, that kind of start could happen,” Smith said. “So we knew they’d need time to learn, and they have. But they are learning and having gotten better and better each game.”

Next up for Choudrant will be a road game at regional rival Weston tonight.

“We’ve either been in the same district or have been regional rivals the past few years, so I won’t have to try to get my time fired up for that one,” Smith said. “They beat us earlier this season, so that’s going to be a tough challenge, but we love facing them and playing the kind of games we always seem to have against Weston is something our kids love doing.”

Then next week the Aggies will face Jonesboro-Hodge before playing in the West Ouachita Tournament, taking on St. Frederick, and Ouachita Christian.

“St. Frederick is really good and then what OCS team we face will depend on if they have their football guys back yet,” Smith said. “We definitely haven’t shortchanged ourselves on the difficulty level.

“This has been one of the more challenging opening schedules that we’ve had playing teams like Zwolle, Hornbeck and Sterlington — it’s just been one powerhouse after another, but I think that’s really helping us out.”

Woman booked on numerous traffic offenses

An Arcadia woman was arrested by Ruston Police on numerous traffic charges late Monday night after she was stopped for running a stop sign.

Amy Lykins, 41, was stopped on West Kentucky Avenue in Ruston about 11:30 p.m. Monday. When Lykins could not produce a driver’s license, proof of insurance, or vehicle registration, a check revealed no license had been issued to her.

Four warrants for failure to appear in Ruston City Court were found for Lykins. She was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for failure to register a vehicle, driving under suspension and the warrants charging her with failure to report an accident and three counts of no driver’s license. Bail was set at $8,000.

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. 


Lady Aggies pick up big win at Union Parish

Photo by Snazzy Shenanigans Photography

By T. Scott Boatright

First year Choudrant Lady Aggies basketball coach Randy Tyler Roberson knew inexperience would cause some hiccups early on in the season, and they have, with CHS starting off the season at 4-7 after defeating Union Parish 62-35 on Tuesday.

“We’ve had some growing pains,” Roberson said. “And we knew we would. But the team has surprised me against a tough schedule, and we knew that going in. I guess I had forgotten how competitive Class B basketball is.”

Playing — and defeating — Class 3A Union Parish is something Roberson hopes to see her team build on.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Roberson said. “We’ve been playing a lot of JV games against bigger schools just trying to get experience like West Ouachita and Ruston do. So we’re working a lot with our younger kids just trying to get them ready. Getting our younger players that kind of big-team experience early on lets them know what to expect with these bigger teams coming in.

“We don’t have a lot of size. So we need that kind of thing.”

Sophomore Reese Brown has been a force for the Lady Aggies early on this season and led Choudrant with 22 points in the win over the Lady Farmers.

Senior Brelyn Pyle added 13 points against Union Parish while sophomore Sadie Jones added eight points and junior Abby Frazier chipped in with six.

While Addison Swift had only four points against the Lady Farmers, Roberson said it’s the junior’s leadership and defensive play that has been a big spark for her team early on.

“Addison has been playing awesome and is picking up a lot of minutes out on the court,” Roberson said. “She’s been an especially consistent part of our defense, and I preach defense to my players.”

Choudrant will play at Weston tonight before playing in the West Ouachita Tournament next Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Aggies will face Jonesboro-Hodge on Friday before taking on West Ouachita on Saturday.

“That should be a good tournament for us again playing against bigger schools and teams,” Roberson said. “It’s challenging now, but hopefully will make us a better team once it all starts getting real after the new year as district play gets closer.”


COLUMN: Ponderings by Doug

I need to talk with my fellow Walmart shoppers. 

First, I wish to commend those of you who shop online and sit in your car with your trunks up, waiting. You are my heroes! I have tried to figure out how to do that, and I have failed on multiple occasions. I gave up. However, you need to go inside and see what happens with all those employees shopping for you. There are multiple employees filling multiple orders simultaneously. Rule number one of Walmart shopping, you don’t get in their way! They can’t see you. They are super busy and moving fast. Always yield to the employees pushing the multi-basket blue carts. I will tell you a secret, these people know where everything is. If you can’t find something, ask them; but ask politely and quickly. They are in a hurry because someone is in the parking lot with the trunk open, waiting patiently.

Now, for our talk. I’m a guy. I shop like a guy. If I have three items to purchase, I’m going to shop quickly and efficiently. If I go into the store for dog treats, I am not going to go visit the hair care product section. When I check out, I have all the codes turned the right way so I can scan quickly. I like to shop and check out quickly. I don’t want to keep the family behind me waiting.

In the past couple of weeks, I have shopped for Thanksgiving. I have been sent with lists of specific items. Some of the food items are hard to find this time of year. Here is what I want to say to my fellow Walmart shoppers. It is hard to look for an item squirreled away on a top shelf, with some of you guys in the store.

Don’t go to Walmart to read. If you are a label reader, go online and read the labels there. C’mon people, there is no significant difference between Libby’s corn and Delmonte corn. Grab the corn and go. If you grabbed the wrong corn and it has too much sodium, well that is why God created colanders and rinse water. If you are reading labels on the vitamin aisle, you are abominable. The vitamins will not restore your hair, fix your joints, restore your hearing, or make you look twenty-five again. You have been duped, move on! There is nothing worse than two people with full carts standing back-to-back reading labels. We are waiting for you to finish so we can move past you.

Walmart is not the place to have your family reunion. I know that some of you have not seen each other for two weeks but having a family reunion at the end cap on the baking row is not pleasing to anyone. You are causing a traffic jam. The people wanting to turn on that aisle can’t. The people wanting to leave that aisle can’t. My friend is waiting for groceries in the parking lot, and you are holding up the Walmart shoppers. Say hi and move on! Agree to meet in the laundry basket section, no one ever shops there. You can talk all day. You can swap recipes and your list of ailments there.

Sorry to grouse, but you guys need to keep your heads down, grab your items, and go. Walmart is not the place for reading, reunions, catching up, or trying to decide. In Greek, Walmart means “grab it and go!” It is a place of commerce not communion.

The next time, I’m in Walmart waiting on all the people not heeding this great article. I’m going to smile and remember that we have entered the season of Advent. It is the church season of waiting. We are waiting for our Christ. I promise, now that I have groused, that I will be smiling knowing that you help me learn patience while waiting for Bethlehem’s baby.

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

Friday, Dec. 1
5:30-10 p.m.: Lincoln Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dixie Theatre)

Saturday, Dec. 2
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Holiday Arts Tour
1-3 p.m.: Christmas on the Farm
5:30-10 p.m.: Lincoln Light up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
7 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dixie Theatre)

Sunday, Dec. 3
2 p.m.: Ruston Community Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (Dixie Theatre)

Geaux Macros offering sweet Black Friday deals

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Grab our Black Friday special available from 11/17/23- 12/1/23 and choose your start date. 

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Macros stands for Macronutrients, which are protein, fat & carbs. Our body needs each macronutrient! We provide our clients with start up target numbers (calories, protein, fat, carbs) personalized to each person. You will log your food daily & each evening will submit your information via a quick method of contact. Your information is reviewed daily & you will receive feedback. The daily accountability of checking in is huge for most & keeps people on track. Weekly, your targets are reviewed & adjusted as needed to keep you making progress. Within the group we post recipes, snack ideas, etc.

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Notice of death — Nov. 30, 2023

Charlie W. Womack  
Tuesday 06/11/1974 — Monday 11/20/2023 Age: 49   
Celebration of Life: Friday 12/01/2023 1:00pm, Seasoned with Love Outreach, 2011 Beacon Light Road, Ruston  

Dorothy Green  
Saturday 03/08/1952 –Tuesday 11/21/2023   
Family Gathering: Friday 12/01/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Visitation: Friday 12/01/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 12/02/2023 11:00am, Shady Grove C. M. E., 775 Shady Grove Road, Simsboro  
Interment: Saturday 12/02/2023 Following Service, Shady Grove C.M.E., 775 Shady Grove Road, Simsboro  

Deborah L Burton (Debra)  
Monday 03/24/1958 — Wednesday 11/22/2023  
Visitation:  Friday 12/01/2023 3:00pm to 6:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 12/02/2023 11:00am, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 521 Mt. Olive Church Road, Grambling  
Interment: Saturday 12/02/2023 Following Services, Grambling Memorial Garden, Highway 80 West, Grambling  

Carl Lee Edmonds  
Wednesday 01/01/1958 — Sunday 11/26/2023   
Visitation: Saturday 12/02/2023 3:00pm to 6:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Sunday 12/03/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Interment: Sunday 12/03/2023 Following Service, Bonner Cemetery, Ruston  

Ruth Z. Osborne  
Wednesday 09/01/1948 –Tuesday 11/28/2023  
Memorial Service: Saturday 12/09/2023 11:00am at King’s Funeral Home  
Interment: Saturday 12/09/2023, Mt. Zion Cemetery, Quitman  

Arlease Dade  
Monday 04/20/1942 — Monday 11/27/2023   
Family Gathering: Monday 12/04/2023 2:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Visitation: Tuesday 12/05/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Tuesday 12/05/2023, Bethel Church Of God In Christ, 1800 Parkview Drive, Monroe  
Interment: Tuesday 12/05/2023 Following Service, Richwood Memorial Gardens, 2705 Richwood Rd 2, Monroe  

Curtis Kevin Kilpatrick     
July 27, 1954 – November 15, 2023     
Visitation: The Bridge Community Church, Saturday, December 2, 2023, 10:00 am     
Service: The Bridge Community Church, Saturday, December 2, 2023, 11:00 am     

Franklin D. Brewster      
Sunday 02/11/1973 — Saturday 11/18/2023 Age: 50      
Memorial Service: Saturday 12/02/2023 12:00pm, King’s Funeral Home      

Violet F Brewster   
September 2, 1928 – November 26, 2023   
Service: Sibley Cemetery, Friday, December 1, 2023, 11:00 am   
Cemetery: Sibley Cemetery, Friday, December 1, 2023, 11:00 am 

Louisiana Tech announces Fall 2023 honor roll

Louisiana Tech University has announced the names of students on its Fall Quarter 2023 President’s and Dean’s honor lists.

Students whose names are followed by an asterisk earned recognition as members of the president’s honor list. That distinction signifies achievement of at least a 3.8 academic grade point average on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher), with no grade lower than a B.

To be eligible for the dean’s honor lists, a student is required to earn at least a 3.5 academic grade point average with no grade lower than a C on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher).

Courses yielding satisfactory/failure grades and courses audited do not count toward eligibility for either recognition. Only undergraduates with no incomplete grades are eligible to make either list.

Here are the Lincoln Parish residents who earned honors:                                           

  • Choudrant: Caroline Marie Antley*, Sarah E. Brackin*, Camryn Laine Burroughs*, Emily Claire Chance*, Valerie Rose Chatellier*, Jessica Paige Crum, Kyleigh Davis*, Jennifer Rosemary Ford, Ayanna Alexis Foster*, Gloria Hinson, Briley Jaden Jones, Heather Lynne Murphey*, Joshua Hunter Pitts*, Anna Claire Simms, Richard Ian Starks*, Logan Michael Stevens, Lachlan Harris Thompson*, Trevor Steven Trevillion*
  • Dubach: Roselyn Marie Bennett, Atlis Joan Britt, Ashlei Nicole Cahill-french, Emma Claire Calhoun, Blake T. Carter*, Brooke Elayne Chrisman*, Bethany Kathrin Collie, Trent Dufour, Jessica Austin Gean, Chloe E. Green, William Hunter Harris, Rebekah Heiden, Morgan Elizabeth Keen*, Kassidy Jean Kelley, Brandy M. Miller, Mia Claire Rabb*, Jolee Anne Roberson, Haydn Mark Shoemaker*, Haylee Belle Shoemaker, Isaiah Jake St. Cyr*, Jonathan Michael Strain, Elly Kate Swanbom, Joshua Michael Thorson*, Maggie Marie Trull                                                    
  • Ruston: Lillian Claire Adcox, Georgia May Albritton*, Emma M. Alexander, Maggie Elizabeth Ambrose*, Ty Camden Baldwin, Ashton Kaine Barber*, Cameron R. Barron*, Zane Christian Bayless, Maygoal Sadat Behbahani*, Emma Claire Bell*, Samantha Bell, Amanda Berg, James Eli Black*, Cameron Scott Blackstock, Shaylee A. Boudreaux, Grant Bowling, Madison Denise Bratton*, Kaylyn Brook Brazzel, Bryton Breeding*, Abigail E. Bridges, Amelia Grace Brister*, Aubrie Rilee Brown*, Ayden Brown, Evelyn Vickers Butler*, Mario Keon Byrd, Arabella Olivia Cashat*, Lindey Anne Castine*, Bradlee Chebny, Araya H. Coleman, Marihanna Diane Colvin, Taryn Elizabeth Davidson, Sierra N. Decoux, Camila Nicole Derosa, Samrina Dhami, Wesley P. Dinh, Emma Rose Duguay*, Daniel Jacob Dunn, William Estes*, Timothy C. Farley, James Beauregard Farrar, Tate Mathewes Farrar*, Michael V. Feduccia, Timothy Fendley, Allison Virginia Furr, Emalyne Grace Gay, Archana Ghimire*, Kendal Lee Glover, Elizabeth Anne Goree*, Rebecca Grace Goure*, Caleb Charles Granger, Mackenzie Grace Gray, Philip Mark Gray, Ellis Harmon Griffin, Ritika Gurung*, Mia Jon’ Hashimoto, Jayden Lamon Henderson, Anna G. Hensley, Dalton G. Herbert, William Edward Herbert*, Lyndsay C. Hogg*, Laerke Mellergaard Holst, Brendan Michael Hood*, Alana F. Hudson*, Ella Caroline Inman, Ashton D. Jackson, Kristin Nikole Jackson, Aryaman Jana*, Anna K. Johnson*, Ginger Lee Johnson*, Jacob James Johnson, Alexandra Johnston, Annie Machelle Jones*, Grayson E. Jones*, Joshua Eric Kaffka*, Janee Letrice Kelley, Lauren Koertge, Alison Elizabeth Kuhne*, Grace Elizabeth Lassiter, Valerie R. Lay, Anna Grace Lee*, Ty Russell Lolley, Hannah Raine Madden, Niilo Matti Maki-petaja*, Kylie Mackenzie Maldonado, Marilyn Chloe Marcus*, Abigail Madison Martin, Elizabeth Claire McAdams*, Elizabeth Grace McBride*, Cameron McCarthy*, Hayden Reign McClusky*, Morgan Anna McCready, Madelin Paige McGaugh, Alexsandra Mendez, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Middleton*, Landri K. Millsaps, Kaiya Elise Mitchell, Riley Atticus Moegle*, Kaiden W. Morace, Andie Elisabeth Moss*, Peyton Marquise Muse*, Zachary Wilson Nalepa, Silvia Nativi*, Joshua U. Nguyen*, Connor Neal Norris, Destiny Lynn O’Connor, Alexis Cheri Odenbaugh, Joshua K. Ogden*, Samuel R. Owen, Rafaela Kiara Palma Zapata*, Jamie E. Palmer*, Saphal Pant*, Sophia Claire Parkman, Chanley Patterson*, Riley Jules Patterson*, Caleb Long Phillips*, Gabriela Pintilie*, Ellie Elizabeth Puljak*, Sophia Marie Puljak*, Emma K. Purifoy*, Liam Purifoy*, Anni Rawal*, Leah Paige Reeves, Katie Paige Roberts*, Ethan Riley Robertson, Heather Simone Robinson, Jackson Alexander Robinson, Emma Alice Scheaffer*, Audrey G. Seney*, Roman Shrestha, Hunter M. Soulie, Callie Stegall*, Joel Thomas Stephens*, Tatum Matilda Stephenson*, Taryn Brynn Sternitzky*, Emma Jane Stone, Sadiksha Subedi*, Alyssa Jade Sylvester*, Valrie Frances Terrell, Teagan Delilah Thomas, Emily Genieve Tooke*, Clairyssa Lynn Tripp*, Oluoma Success Unachukwu*, Jessica Ann Upshaw, James Daniel Vail*, Kristian Mechal Warfield*, Everett M. Watson, Aden N. Weaver, Anna Marie Welch, Blake Weymer, Lucas Tobias Wick, Thomas Wick, Reid Williams*, Courtney Patricia Wilson, Jacob Ryan Wilson, Matthew Wade Wright, Shailesh Kumar Yadav, James Anderson Yates, Matthew Griffin Yates*, Macie Deann Yeagle, Noemi Zapata, Jace Alexander Ziegler*                                               
  • Simsboro: Nathan D. Harlow*, Brooklyn Lester*, Mallory N. Mitchell, Maria Candelaria Ramirez*, Emma Jane Reeves*, Kelcie Nichole Sneed, Aaron Reed Williams*

Below is a document which lists all honor students by their hometowns, with all Louisiana students listed first by parish.

College of Business student receives PCAOB scholarship

Tanecia Boone of El Dorado, Arkansas, has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) intended to encourage outstanding accounting students to pursue careers in audit. A junior accounting major at Louisiana Tech University, Boone was one of only 369 students nationwide selected to receive the scholarship.

“I was shocked to learn that I was named a PCAOB scholar,” said Boone, who is pursuing her Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree concurrently while enrolled as an undergraduate. “I’m both honored and extremely grateful to be chosen and awarded this scholarship.”

Since 2011, the PCAOB has given this merit-based award to select students who exhibit excellence in an accounting degree program, demonstrate high ethical standards, and have been nominated by a professor.

Following the completion of her undergraduate and MAcc degrees, Boone will join Deloitte’s Dallas office.

“The College of Business provides ample opportunities for students to network with employers,” said Boone. “The events hosted by the COB have allowed me to form meaningful connections with significant people. I’m especially grateful for my accounting professors who have not only fostered my growth in the field of accounting but also guided me with their wisdom from past job experiences.”

The PCAOB administers this scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate accounting students enrolled in accredited U.S. colleges and universities. The Scholars Program’s overarching goals are to benefit outstanding students who are likely to become auditors and to make a difference to eligible students who might otherwise pursue a different career path. The PCAOB Scholars Program is mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and is funded through monetary penalties collected as part of PCAOB enforcement actions. For more information about the PCAOB scholarship, visit

Speeding violation leads to drugs

A Bernice man was arrested on drug and traffic charges after he was stopped by Dubach Police late Sunday night.

Noe Cabrera, 32, was stop for speeding on U.S. US 167 in Dubach about 11:55 p.m. Sunday. When an officer approached Cabrera’s vehicle, an open beer was seen on the back seat. When Cabrera handed over the beer, the officer found it was cold to the touch.

Due to a language barrier, Cabrera offered the use of a phone app as a means of communication. When asked if there were any drugs or weapons inside the vehicle, Cabrera said no. A search of the vehicle located suspected methamphetamine wrapped in a $1.00 bill inside a sunglass case.

Cabrera was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, no driver’s license, and open container. Bail was set at $5,000.

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. 

Semaj Jones: Selfless and Tenacious

(Senior cornerback Semaj Jones stares down a wideout from Warren Easton. Photo by Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston High legend Dr. Pat Garrett has the most succinct, yet poetic definition of the word “maturity.”

Challenging the minds of his English students for decades at Louisiana Tech, the now-Professor Emeritus made the word simple:

“It is the foregoing of a current pleasure for a future one.”

And Ruston High School senior cornerback Semaj Jones summed that up perfectly on the final defensive stop during the second round of the 2023 playoffs.

Down 20-18 in the final seconds, highly-touted Westgate Tiger quarterback Jaboree Antoine scrambled out of the pocket to his left and fired the football down the far sideline, desperately hoping the pass would find one of his talented wideouts. Instead, it was Semaj who grabbed his fourth pick of the year, and seeing nothing but green in front of him, he had a split-second to make a decision.

Go for defensive back glory and return the pick-six? Or fall on the football and ensure the win?

Semaj’s instinctual maturity saw him wisely fall to the ground to secure the victory, foregoing the pleasure of a glorious return touchdown for a guaranteed future into the quarterfinals.

Maturity in real time.

“It was much more important for us to get the win,” Semaj said about sealing the deal against the Tigers. “I fell on it because I knew the time and the quarter.”

Of course, Semaj has already felt that glory this year, highlighted by his returning an interception in week two 100 yards coast-to-coast to seal the deal over Jesuit, capping off 28 unanswered points in the second half for a 35-7 Bearcat routing of the Blue Jays.

Throughout the season, quarterbacks and receivers have tested him in the secondary, only to be found wanting as Semaj’s physicality and eye for the football have served the Bearcats well in his senior campaign, even if his 5 foot, 9 inch height “appears” to be a disadvantage against the taller wideouts.

“When there’s a receiver that’s bigger than me, I know I have to be more physical than he will be,” Semaj said. “With my physicality, I’m going to take it on him and just be physical with him.”

Coached in the secondary by Bearcat alum and former NFL cornerback Kenny Wright, he’s seen as a young man who is a hard worker and fun to be around for his coaches and teammates.

“Semaj is a very fun, out-going kid,” Wright said. “He brings a lot of good character; humorous character. And on the football field? It’s his tenacity. He always plays through the full play and has great ball-hawking skills.”

Wright knew early on when he came to coach at Ruston that Semaj would be great for the Bearcats; his skill set just needed a little polish around the edges to become a cornerback that could both cover and be physical. And nobody is better suited than a position coach who spent a decade in the NFL.

“When I saw him, I just wanted to clean up his technique,” Wright said. “He had some technical things going on where, like so many guys, they just haven’t been taught the right way of playing cornerback. I’m teaching him the right way with body position, technique, and eyes. Once he got a hold of that, he really took off.”

Following a state championship appearance last year, the Bearcats’ defense was given a spark during spring football when now-junior Aidan Anding stepped over from basketball to play corner. And even though the talk of the town was Anding’s ability and frame, Semaj felt nothing but excitement to have Anding start on the other side of the hash marks.

“I was like, yeah, I got a person I can trust on the other side,” Semaj said. “We’ve been close for a long time in football and AAU basketball. We have this bond that we can click and make things happen.”

Ruston High head coach Jerrod Baugh said he was impressed with the way Semaj handled both the offseason and with Anding joining the team. In fact, Anding’s presence forced opposing offenses to throw into Semaj’s territory– decisions that they have come to regret over this season.

“I think that raised the level of his game,” Baugh said. “He made some plays throughout the year, and I think he probably took it personally that people throw his direction before they throw to Aidan, and Semaj has made them pay for it.”

Making them pay looks like four interceptions and plenty of tackles and passes broken up throughout another special year for Ruston football.

And now, with the chance to play at home in the semifinals again, it’s all smiles for Semaj in his senior year as he talks about being on this team. His work is paying off, and the Ruston Bearcats are better for it.

“It means so much for me to be on this football team,” Semaj concluded. “My teammates– I love them to death. This team right here? We have a good bond. I feel like we’re going to be good, and we have the chance to take it all the way.”

Parkerson talks new district, 2024 football slate

With the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) scheduled to solidify the new districts for the upcoming 2024-25 school year shortly after the turn of the calendar Cedar Creek head football coach William Parkerson said he is excited about what he believes will be the Cougars new district home.

Preliminary indications are Cedar Creek will be a part of an eight-team district that will include Arcadia, Glenbrook, Haynesville, Jonesboro Hodge, Lincoln Prep, Plain Dealing and Ringgold.

Parkerson feels it will be a good mix of natural rivalries as well as plenty of strong competition for the Cougars.

“I like it,” said Parkerson. “I really like (Coach) David Franklin at Haynesville. They will always be a tough litmus test, just like what we had with OCS in the old district. I really think Glenbrook can be a good natural rivalry for us.

“Jonesboro Hodge will be a rivalry. Lincoln Prep will be. You have some teams that are really close together. You have a school in Glenbrook that is just like us, and there is some genuine dislike on both sides. It’s a healthy dislike. They don’t like us, and we don’t like them. That’s always fun and will make for a good rivalry.”

Two of Cedar Creek’s long-time district rivals are gone as Ouachita Christian and St. Frederick won’t be a part of the newest district make-up. However, Parkerson said he will look at scheduling the two schools as non-district foes in the next round of two-year windows.

“Yeah, I have no problem with looking at doing that,” said Parkerson. “I would assume in the follow up in two years, we will definitely play OCS.”

Although home and away determinations have not been made yet, Parkerson said the order of opponents for next season (barring the district make-up not being what it expected) has been set. Delhi Charter, Parker’s Chapel (El Dorado) and Tensas are the Cougars three non-district opponents for the next two years.

2024 Schedule

Delhi Charter

Parkers Chapel




Plain Dealing


Lincoln prep


Jonesboro Hodge

Events set for Christmas at First Ruston

First Baptist Church of Ruston is gearing up for the Holiday Season and invites you to come join us in spreading the Christmas Cheer and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Below are some of our Christmas at First Ruston events during the month of December. For more information, CLICK HERE.


Joint Service 

Come join us here at First on December 6 at 6:15 pm for our Joint Service with Life church. This is a great opportunity to mingle with other believers in our Ruston community. We will offer all our Midweek activities like scheduled (other than adult classes). We will have our meal beforehand (make sure and sign up). Dallas Witt will be giving us a great word with First Ruston’s very own worship team leading us in a time of Worship.  


“Hope Awakes”

Our Celebration choir has been working on a great Christmas musical for us. Come watch them present “Hope Awakes” on December 13 at 6:30 pm. Childcare will be provided until the presentation is over. Following the musical, there will be a fellowship in the Fellowship Hall. 


Touch Ruston Grocery Distribution

Join us in filling a grocery bag with the attached list of needed items. Then join us again on December 17 at 10 am to distribute the bags to our local community members who need them. 


Festive Dress Sunday

Who doesn’t love to dress up in some great Christmas gear? That funny Christmas suit and tie, an adorable Christmas dress, the funny Grinch costume, and so much more have shown up on this festive day. Grab your gear and come ready on December 17 for all our services. 


Christmas Eve!!!!!!

Come join us for three great services on Christmas Eve. 

  • December 24 @ 10 am: A Christmas worship Service 

  • December 24 @ 4:00 & 5:30 pm: Our Candlelight services

All three of these events are family-friendly with no childcare provided. It’s a time for you all to be together and enjoy a family tradition.  


This is a paid advertorial

Lincoln Lights Up the Pines to start Friday

This is a paid advertorial.

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather in the forecast, Lincoln Lights Up the Pines will start on Friday, Dec  1.

As beautiful as Lincoln Parish Park is on any given day, you could make the case it shines the brightest during the holiday season when Lincoln Lights Up the Pines, with JTB Rentals LLC serving as title sponsor.

Visitors will have multiple chances this year as the event will go from Friday, Dec. 1, through Saturday, Dec. 2, and then again Thursday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Dec. 9, all from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. each night.

The best part: it’s only $10 per car and $20 per bus.

And those on the nice list may even get to see a certain jolly ol’ soul from the North Pole.

Make this season magical for your family and friends– come join us for the ninth annual Lincoln Lights Up the Pines at Lincoln Parish Park, located at 211 Parish Park Rd in Ruston, La.