Bonnie and Clyde: Interest in Depression outlaws hasn’t waned

By Wesley Harris

Eighty-eight years ago this week, outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were ambushed and killed by a team of law enforcement officers a few miles south of Gibsland. While it spelled the end to a reign of terror across the South and Midwest, the notorious legacy of the partners in crime endures.

The 29th Authentic Bonnie and Clyde Festival is slated for this weekend. Friday night at 6:00 p.m., a presentation by historians will be held in the Gibsland Bank Annex. The event is $15 and includes a jambalaya supper. Free events are scheduled all day Saturday from recreated shootouts, live entertainment, bingo, a look-a-like contest, and a parade.

Not that interest in the pair had waned, a 2019 motion picture spurred renewed fascination with the Depression Era bank robbers and spree killers. After debuting in theaters, “The Highwaymen” became available on Netflix. While the 1967 classic film “Bonnie and Clyde” focused on the outlaw lovers, the new movie portrays the efforts of former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) to stop the gang’s binge of robbery and murder. The film aimed to do dramatic and historical justice to the moment the posse opened fire on the duo a few miles south of Gibsland in Bienville Parish on May 23, 1934.

Dozens of north Louisiana banks were robbed during the Depression but there is no evidence Barrow and Parker were responsible for any of the heists.

Not for lack of trying. On April 27, 1933, the Barrow gang sat for most of the morning in front of the Ruston State Bank. After their surveillance, they decided to steal another car to use in the getaway.

Sophie Stone lived a room at the Brooks Boarding House three blocks from the bank on North Trenton Street. The young woman, Lincoln Parish’s home demonstration agent, was home for lunch when she saw a man get into another boarder’s car. She alerted Mr. Dillard Darby who was inside eating with his family.

Darby ran out of the house and tried to jump on the running board of his car as it pulled away. Unsuccessful at stopping the thief, Darby ran back into the boarding house and told L. K. Brooks to telephone the sheriff that his car had been stolen.

Stone suggested they take her car and try to catch the thief. They took off north headed out of Ruston and finally spotted Darby’s car in Dubach as it turned west toward Hico.

In a statement, Darby said, “We followed the car to about a quarter of a mile the other side of Hico and decided to abandon the chase, turned around and headed back toward Hico and Dubach. A car with four persons in it flagged us down and asked us if we had seen a black Chevrolet coach. I jumped out of Miss Stone’s car and ran toward the other car. When I approached the car, the man driving threw a gun on me and asked me why I had been following that car. I told him it was my car, and this seemed to infuriate him, and he struck me with the butt of his pistol on the back of the head knocking me over Miss Stone’s car. One of the two women in the car got out and jerked Miss Stone out of the car and slugged her in the back of the head and told her to get into their car. 

“One of the men jerked me up and made me get into the car also; the car had a man and one woman in the front seat. And in the back also. They turned off on a gravel road toward Bernice as the driver said he was going to kill us.”

The driver who slugged Darby was Clyde Barrow. Stone was pistol whipped by a smelly, dirty Bonnie Parker. The back seat occupants were Clyde’s brother and sister-in-law, Buck and Blanche Barrow.

Clyde and Buck argued about killing or releasing them. They cursed Darby and Stone for spoiling their plans. They only wanted to “borrow” Darby’s car for the bank holdup and would have driven it only about 150 miles.

“As we approached Bernice,” Darby continued, “they told us to make no sound as they had to buy some gasoline, and they didn’t want to kill us there or to kill anyone anybody at the station. At the station they inquired after my car and headed back toward Dubach to look for it. Just as we were leaving the filling station at Bernice, [Ruston] Mayor [C.C.] Goyne and [Town Marshal] W.D. Risinger passed us and the man said, ‘There goes two Ruston laws. I hope they try to stop us, I would like to fill both of them full of lead!’

“When the bandits found out that my car and the driver wasn’t between Bernice and Dubach they went toward Junction City, and then on toward El Dorado. At El Dorado they bought gas and oil and had it put in a can. About five to six miles out of El Dorado they stopped the car and put the gas and oil in it.”

Clyde and Buck again got out of the car to discuss the fate of their hostages. They eventually let Darby and Stone out of the car. “They started to drive off and then stopped,” Darby said. “One of the men got out and threw a $5 bill down on the road telling me that they had probably carried us further away from home than we had planned on going. And there was a money to use to telephone the sheriff, who would be glad to come and get us and take us home.”

Darby and Stone flagged down a motorist, paying him the five dollars to take them to the nearest town. Darby telephoned Lincoln Parish Sheriff A. J. Thigpen to report the crime. Darby’s brother-in-law picked up the stranded victims returned them to Ruston.

Darby saw one submachine gun, three automatic rifles, three sawed off shotguns, six automatic pistols, a revolver, and plenty of ammunition piled in the back of the car. Darby’s car, which had been stolen by young gang member W. D. Jones, was found abandoned at McGee, Arkansas the next morning.

At the time of the kidnapping, Darby and Stone had no idea who had grabbed them. The driver said if they were to recognize their pictures anywhere and it led to their capture, it would mean the electric chair for them. Darby and Stone viewed photographs a day later and identified Bonnie Parker and Blanche Barrow as the two women. A day later, they were shown additional photos and identified the Barrow brothers.

Stone, later Mrs. W. H. Cook, was horrified by the 1967 Hollywood movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Asked about the film, Cook said, “That was just terrible. It was the biggest lot of nonsense I ever saw. I couldn’t believe it. They made those people look like heroes when they were really just common criminals.”

Cook was also incensed that the scene depicting her and Darby at the boarding house featured them smooching on the front porch swing. “Why, he was married and inside eating lunch with his wife when that car was stolen!” she said in an interview. “I was sitting [alone] in the swing on the front porch.”

Perhaps Sophie Stone Cook can now rest in peace knowing a more accurate portrayal of Bonnie and Clyde’s last days has been produced. “The Highwaymen” ambush scene was shot in the exact spot on the road in Bienville Parish south of Gibsland where the final showdown took place. The now-paved state highway was covered in dirt to replicate the original look.

The film recreated the town of Arcadia, where the bullet-riddled car, still containing the duo’s bodies, was towed to a furniture store with a morgue in the back room. The startling scenes of the crowd mobbing the dead criminals in the moving car are accurate, with the director noting he actually had to tone down that visual.


Diamond Dogs open C-USA Tournament today

Louisiana Tech opens play at the 2022 Conference USA Championships today when the Bulldogs face Charlotte at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg.

First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. and every game this week (except Sunday’s title game) is on ESPN+ and can be heard on KNBB 97.7 FM and on the LA Tech Athletics app.

The Bulldogs (38-18, 20-10 C-USA) are the No. 2 seed in this week’s eight-team, five-day event while the 49ers (35-20, 17-13 C-USA) are the No. 7 seed.

Head coach Lane Burroughs team just won two out of three against Charlotte this past weekend as the two teams will face off for the fourth time in the last seven days.

Mother Nature could have an impact on start times Wednesday as the forecast calls for rain in Hattiesburg. Fans can keep up with all the updates on start times through social media by following @LATechBSB on Twitter.

The tournament boasts a field that includes eight teams all ranked in the top 100 of the most recent RPI with Southern Miss, LA Tech, Old Dominion and UTSA all ranked in the top 50.

Current projects have all four teams making the field of 64, but the results over the next five days could have an impact on who is in and who is out when the NCAA field is released Monday.

The Bulldogs and 49ers will meet for the 21st time on Wednesday afternoon with Charlotte leading the all-time series 13-7. Charlotte won the first game of last week’s series 11-3 before LA Tech bounced back to win 8-3 and 14-5 in seven innings.

LA Tech is 8-10 all-time in the C-USA Baseball Championship having put together their best performance a year ago at J.C. Love Field falling to ODU in extra innings in the title game.


Search warrant executed by LPNET

On Monday, the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at an apartment on Goodwin Road in Ruston. The search stemmed from an ongoing drug sales investigation. 

When officers entered the apartment, they detained Braxton Artreyou Morrison, 19, of Bryant, Ark. He immediately said there were drugs in the apartment and on his person. A plastic baggie containing suspected marijuana was retrieved from his front left pocket of his shorts. 

The search of the residence led to the discovery and seizure of two additional bags of suspected marijuana, another bag containing psilocybin mushrooms, and capsules identified as Adderall, an amphetamine. Officers also found a set of digital scales commonly used for weighing drugs. Several hundred dollars of cash were recovered from a hidden compartment in a futon in the living room. 

Among the cash was money used in a previous controlled purchase conducted by LPNET. During later questioning Morrison claimed ownership of all the controlled substances seized from the apartment and stated he was selling them to assist with living expenses and to support his drug habit. 

Morrison was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to distribute (marijuana), possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to distribute (psilocybin mushrooms), possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to distribute (amphetamine), and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Bail was set at $80,000.

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. 


Teen massacres more than 20 in Texas school shooting

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 19 children as he went from classroom to classroom, officials said, in the latest gruesome moment for a country scarred by a string of massacres.

The attacker was killed by law enforcement.

The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.

The assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hooks Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago.

“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent, announcing that all school activities were canceled until further notice. “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”

The attack also came just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, that added to a year-long series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim as in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.

President Joe Biden appeared ready for a fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

Many of the injured were rushed to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where staff members in scrubs and devastated victims’ relatives could be seen weeping as they walked out of the complex.

The gunman, who was wearing body armor, crashed his car outside the school before going inside, Sgt. Erick Estrada of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN.

He killed his grandmother before heading to the school with two military-style rifles he had purchased on his birthday, according to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police.

“That was the first thing he did on his 18th birthday,” he said.

Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but the governor identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos and said he was a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.

Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, Gutierrez said, noting that “he suggested the kids should watch out.”

A Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.

The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement source said.

The school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, said that the attacker acted alone.

It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded, but Arredondo said there were “several injuries.” Earlier, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children were taken there. Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.

Robb Elementary School has an enrollment of just under 600 students, and Arredondo said it serves students in the second, third and fourth grade. He did not provide ages of the children who were shot. This was the school’s last week of classes before summer break.

Heavily armed law enforcement officers swarmed to the school, with officers in tactical vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.

Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.

The tragedy in Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.


Louisiana Tech Nursing holds Pinning Ceremony

The Louisiana Tech University Division of Nursing held a Pinning Ceremony for the Spring 2022 graduates on May 20. Twenty-eight students received their degrees at Spring 2022 Commencement.

Graduates are as follows:  

  • Brandy Boyd* of Ruston
  • Chelsea Breed* of Farmerville
  • Camille Calhoun of West Monroe
  • Layla Dupuy* of Alexandria
  • Mary Kathryn Eastman* of Bartonville, Texas
  • Kaitlyn Elliott of Medford, Oregon
  • Brinley Farque of Cypress, Texas
  • Megan Gallagher* of Ruston
  • Katelyn Gaskin of Shreveport            
  • Anna Goodwin of Alexandria
  • Abigail Hanks* of Ruston
  • Natalie Houston of El Dorado, Arkansas               
  • Kallie Kieffer* of Winnfield
  • Lauren Kirkland* of Chatham
  • Shaniah Lewis of Monroe
  • Rosey Lindsey* of Ruston
  • Tripp Martin of West Monroe
  • Abbey Matejowsky of Ruston
  • Brittney McLelland of Benton
  • Eric McNeal of Alexandria
  • Chance Montgomery of Alexandria
  • Madison Reeves of Shreveport
  • Hailey Roberts* of Alexandria
  • Brylie Stewart of West Monroe
  • Reagan Todd of Shreveport
  • Wes Wilkerson-Spence* of DeLeon, Texas
  • Jameelah Wilson of Monroe
  • Kennedy Worman of McKinney, Texas                                

Members of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society are noted with an asterisk beside their names. Graduates who were members of the Student Nurses’ Association were recognized with the presentation of cords.

The following awards were also presented:

  • Academic Excellence: Megan Gallagher
  • Pennington Visionary Leader Award:  Mary Kathryn Eastman
  • Tenets of Tech Award:  Lauren Kirkland
  • Spirit of Patient Care Awards:  Megan Gallagher and Shaniah Lewis
  • Teamwork and Collaboration Peer Award: Kennedy Worman
  • Military Veteran Recognition: Eric McNeal and Wes Wilkerson-Spence

Each graduate was also presented a commemorative Nightingale Lamp provided by Northern Louisiana Medical Center. Following successful completion of the NCLEX-RN National licensing Exam, the graduates will be Registered Nurses.


RHS looks to familiar face to take over girls soccer program

Pictured are Jacquelyn Bean (far right) with husband Paul and daughter Morgan during Morgan’s signing day with the Louisiana Tech soccer program in 2020.

By T. Scott Boatright

A winning goal in a soccer match often takes patience and timing for a perfectly aligned shot.

Sometimes the same formula is also needed for a winning soccer coach hire.

That’s good news for Ruston High School, with athletics director Jerrod Baugh and new RHS girls soccer coach Jacquelyn Bean both saying the stars finally aligned at the right time for Bean to take over the Lady Bearcats’ girls soccer program.

“Jacquelyn was already on staff here as a French teacher,” Baugh said. “Her daughter Morgan graduated a couple of years ago and is now playing soccer for Louisiana Tech. We’ve tried to talk to Jacqueline about at least helping with our soccer program over the years, but she had so much going on with her daughter and her son, who just graduated this spring, We were fortunate that she finally decided she wanted to get back into coaching. The timing finally just worked out right.”

Bean, who served as girls soccer coach at Ruston Junior High School for 10 years starting in 2010, agreed that the timing finally felt right.

“The stars finally just perfectly aligned and made it the right time for me to do this,” Bean said. “I didn’t realize until Monday when we were holding tryouts how much I had missed coaching. Part of what excites me is having the summer to develop the team. And part of it was seeing a need and filling that need.

“But the biggest part is probably that I’ve missed coaching after coaching both boys and girls at the junior high for 10 years. I just wanted to get back to doing something I love, and the timing is right.”

A big part of the reason Bean stepped down from her coaching role at RJHS was because after 24 years of teaching math, she accepted the Lincoln Parish School Board’s offer to teach French at RHS in 2019.

“After I moved to the high school to coach French, I continued coaching soccer at the junior high for a year,” Bean said. “The going back and forth between the two schools made it really difficult. So I decided to pass the torch and ‘quote’ retire from coaching, if that’s the right word. I stepped down from coaching. Morgan was graduating high school and I wanted to see her last season and not miss anything, because it makes it tough when you’re coaching one team and your kid is on another team.

“So now that everybody is out of the house after our son J graduated this year, and seeing the need at the high school, and having the summer to develop the team, it was like the planets aligned. Everything fell into place. I had told (RHS Principal Dan Gressett) last year that if there was a need next fall that we could visit the idea. And everything just worked out.”

Bean had added motivation to help make the timing right to accept the job.

“Wanted to give back to the program that helped Morgan become who she is. She had such a successful junior year that led to her really being recruited and then having to go through double knee surgery and still moving on to the Division I (collegiate soccer) level. It ade me want to not see the program falter any more than it had. They had struggled to find a coach last season and to be able to give back under the right circumstances is really exciting.”

But Morgan isn’t the only reason Bean decided the time was right to give back to the RHS girls soccer program.

“I coached the girls on the (RHS) team now when they were in junior high,” Bean said. “So taking over a team with players that I have already developed at the junior high level makes it an easy transition. It just felt like the right time.”

Bean said her familiarity with the program and many of the current team members makes her feel the program can make a quick turnaround in the right direction.

“It wasn’t long ago at all where the Ruston girls soccer program was a playoff team and one that was one one of the up and coming teams in Louisiana,” Bean said. “And we can get there again.

“The players know me and I know them, for the most part. It won’t be like I’ll have to coax them into buying into what it will take to accomplish the goals we want to accomplish. It won’t happen overnight, but it all feels right. The time feels right. And we’re ready to get to work and start building this summer the team we want to be next season.”

Photo credit: Photo by T. Scott Boatright

 


Driver passed out on highway arrested

A Bernice woman was arrested early Saturday morning after a Lincoln Parish deputy found her apparently passed out behind the wheel of her car.

At about 1:30 a.m., Deputy S. Anunciation-Taylor came upon a vehicle stopped in the westbound lane of La. Highway 146 (White Lightning Road). The driver had her hands in her lap, head on her chest, eyes closed, and did not respond to the deputy.

After many attempts to arouse the driver, deputies broke the right rear window to enter the vehicle. After shaking the driver, she seemed confused and said she wasn’t sure where she was. She was arrested and taken to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for a breath test with a result of .122g%, well over the legal limit of .08g%.

During a subsequent interview, the driver, Marissa Lamonica Marie Singleton, 25, said she had taken hydroxyzine prior to consuming alcohol. She also failed several field sobriety tests.

Singleton was booked for operating a vehicle first offense and illegally stopping in a roadway. Bail was set at $1,500.

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


Gibson leads Diamond Dog award winners

Former Ruston High hurler Cade Gibson was named a Conference USA second team honoree Tuesday, leading seven Bulldogs who earned postseason honors.

For the second straight year, Louisiana Tech also boasts the best defensive player in Conference USA.

Bulldog third baseman Logan McLeod was named the 2022 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday as the league office revealed the postseason award winners.

Tech added six honorees on the all-conference team — three on the first and three on the second — as the Bulldogs enter this week’s Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg as the No. 2 seed.

Infielder Taylor Young, outfielder Cole McConnell and reliever Kyle Crigger was all named first team all-Conference USA while catcher Jorge Corona, starting pitcher Gibson and reliever Ryan Harland were all voted second team.

McLeod follows teammate Taylor Young, who was named the 2021 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year.

In his first year manning the hot corner with LA Tech, McLeod saw a total of 128 chances while making just three errors and starting in all 56 games. The sophomore remained sure-handed at the position as he made numerous game-changing plays. McLeod was a part of seven double plays turned and sports a .977 fielding percentage. The Sour Lake, Texas native has not recorded an error since April 5 in a midweek game against UL-Lafayette.

In his fifth year as a Bulldog, Young concludes the regular season leading the nation with 81 runs scored. The West Monroe native started all 56 games at shortstop and has played in 222 consecutive games dating back to April 6, 2018. The senior shortstop recorded a .351 batting average and places second in the conference with a .500 on-base percentage. He leads the ball club with 20 doubles, leads the conference with 51 walks and has 23 multi-hit games.

McConnell, a third-year sophomore, sits second in the conference and 10th in the nation with 71 RBI. The Beaumont, Texas native leads the squad with 24 multi-hit games and 21 multi-RBI games while also holding the longest reached-base streak this year at 26 straight. The center fielder started in all 56 games and hit .341 during the regular season.

Crigger rounds out the first-team honors. Crigger has appeared in a team-leading 30 games while tossing in 56.2 innings. The senior right-hander holds a 1.43 ERA ranking him the fourth best in the country. The Corinth, Mississippi native has held opponents to a .211 batting average and ranks tied for first in the conference.

Corona was the first of three Bulldogs named to the second-team. The sophomore catcher started behind the dish in 53 of the 56 games played in the regular season hitting .296 and is tied for first on the team with 13 homers. Corona ranks first amongst the conference in putouts with 467 and runners caught stealing at 17. The Miami native currently takes a seven-game hitting streak into the tournament and his hitting an impressive .600 in that span.

Gibson also earned second-team All-Conference honors in 2022. The left-hander has made 12 starts and holds a 5-4 record. In 78 innings pitched he boasts an outstanding 86 to 18 strikeout-to-walk ratio and his fifth in the conference in punchouts. Gibson recorded career-highs in strikeouts, fanning eight LSU Tigers, nine Golden Eagles and 10 Rice Owls.

Harland, the true freshman out of Baton Rouge, earned himself a spot on the second-team All-Conference and the exclusive All-Freshman team. The left-handed reliever capped off the regular season with a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings. He has a 43 to six strikeout-to-walk ratio and went 24 consecutive innings this year without allowing an earned run.

 

All-Conference – First Team

C – Brock Gagliardi, Old Dominion

INF – Matt Coutney, Old Dominion

INF – Nolan Schanuel, Florida Atlantic

INF – Taylor Young, LA Tech

INF – Jack Dragum, Charlotte

OF – Andy Garriola, Old Dominion

OF – Cole McConnell, LA Tech

OF – Gabriel Rincones, Jr., Florida Atlantic

P – Tanner Hall, Southern Miss

P – Blake Morgan, Old Dominion

P – Hurston Waldrep, Southern Miss

P – Luke Malone, UTSA

RP – Kyle Crigger, LA Tech

RP – Landon Harper, Southern Miss

DH – David McCabe, Charlotte

UTIL – Luke Edwards, Marshall

All-Conference – Second Team

C – Jorge Corona, LA Tech

INF – Leyton Barry, UTSA

INF – Nate Furman, Charlotte

INF – Dustin Dickerson, Southern Miss

INF – JT Mabry, Middle Tennessee

OF – Carter Trice, Old Dominion

OF – Cam Fisher, Charlotte

OF – Dylan Goldstein, Florida Atlantic

P – Hunter Cooley, Florida Atlantic

P – Jaden Hamm, Middle Tennessee

P – Trent Seibert, Middle Tennessee

P – Cade Gibson, LA Tech

RP – Ryan Harland, LA Tech

RP – Collin Taylor, UAB

DH – Christian Hall, UAB

UTIL – Jonathan Tapia, UTSA

All-Freshman Team

P – Blake Morgan, Old Dominion

OF – Carson Paetow, Southern Miss

OF – Cam Fisher, Charlotte

P – Ryan Harland, LA Tech

C/DH – Ty Batusich, WKU

P – Collin Kramer, Charlotte

P – James Sells, Middle Tennessee

INF – Aaron Smigelski, Rice

C – Henry Hunter, UAB

INF – Matt King, UTSA

P – Thomas Ballard, UAB

 

Player of the Year – Old Dominion INF Matt Coutney

Pitcher of the Year – Southern Miss RHP Tanner Hall

Newcomer of the Year – Florida Atlantic OF Gabriel Rincones, Jr.

Defensive Player of the YearLA Tech INF Logan McLeod

Freshman of the Year – Old Dominion LHP Blake Morgan

Assistant Coach of the Year – Southern Miss’ Christian Ostrander

Keith LeClair Coach of the Year – Southern Miss’ Scott Berry


East Bound and Up

Louisiana Tech’s baseball team, proud of its “rally trains” that often opportunistically chug across the tracks beyond J.C. Love Field’s outfield fence, found itself last weekend in need of a rally bus.

Or two.

Or more.

The 12-hour one-way trip to play Charlotte in North Carolina in the final three-game series of the regular season began mid-morning Tuesday aboard a pair of busses. This happens at a school Tech’s size many times each season. Few charter flights at mid-majors.

Most people don’t appreciate the grind of sports travel. You just think it’s hard getting to the family reunion and not losing your mind or getting in a fistfight once you’re there. That’s a ride for a quarter on a drugstore pony compared to moving an entire team from Point Home to Point Lord-Help-Us-All.

Flying commercial with a baseball team is stressful for lots of reasons — cost, long layovers or delayed flights, and mainly airport check-in folk who, God love them, are not usually prepared for the amount of equipment a team needs to transport.

You can get through a line faster at the world’s worst DMV. But say what you will about the DMV, they don’t make you take your shoes off to walk inside.

The friendly skies my ass.

But a bus, you can control. Until you can’t.

And that’s what happened.

I was tagging along with the team and, having driven to Carolina and back many times, knew my butt would be numb. Didn’t know my mind would be too.

Tech’s first leg was to Hoover, Alabama. Six hours, practice, sleep, Wednesday ride the next six hours, practice, sleep, play Thursday and Friday, play Saturday morning and ride all night the 12 hours back to Ruston.

It worked out that way and wasn’t bad, most things considered — unless you consider what should have been a Silver Streak-like, stop-at-Cracker-Barrel-for-lunch, Straight Shot to Hoover.

Unfortunately, you do have to consider it, and it was stupefying.

Our drivers stopped in Tallulah for an emergency kidney transplant. (Check that: for a soda pop.) Then we stopped an hour after lunch and only 80 minutes from Hoover because one of the busses needed to rest for 15 minutes or it might “explode.” Something about calibration or restoration but more likely a fabrication, which in this case was driver talk for “I need a heater and another soda pop.”

We were eastbound, but down. Uneasy riders.

Because there were too many hitches in too many git-a-longs, we finally worked out a compromise with the drivers. It was something like, “Can we borrow the keys?” They drove and there were no more unscheduled stops. Probably just a misunderstanding.

Probably.

The Bulldogs lost to Charlotte’s 49ers, the hottest team in the league at 11-1 against Conference USA opponents in their most recent four series, in Game 1, 11-3. Most things considered, semi-embarrassing. But as they’ve done all season, the ’Dogs rebounded to win the next two, 8-3 and 14-5, making the ride home much less painful.

The busses might have stopped, but they didn’t slow Tech down. Pretty resilient, these Bulldogs.

Funny thing about a baseball team. On the road, they stumble into a restaurant or truck stop and fan out in their street shorts and tees and the people inside don’t know if the carnival is in town, if the roadies for Motley Crue are hungry, or if the church men’s group is stopping for gas and a Peanut Pattie on the way to help clean up after a hurricane. All shapes and sizes, these baseball guys.

But on the field, if you’ve watched them play, who they’ve become is easy to recognize. Tech bussed to Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuesday — you get the feeling they’d have walked if necessary, so eager are they to play — to begin the Conference USA tournament today. They’re 38-18 overall, 20-10, and second place in the league. A tournament title is on the line, maybe a berth in next week’s regionals.

Their coach says his guys are just ready to get the show back on the road.

“This time of year, you need to be playing loose, having fun, and we seem to be doing that,” Lane Burroughs said. “I don’t know how we’ll do this week. But I can assure you of this: these guys aren’t ready for the season to end.”

They don’t want to stop anymore.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu


Man calls police, gets arrested

A Grambling man was arrested Monday after he called police regarding a theft.

About 5:00 a.m., Grambling Police responded to a call from College Avenue regarding a theft. Wilford L. Paige, Jr., 49, told the responding officer a friend he met online was visiting and when she left the house, he noticed $100 was missing from his wallet. 

During the investigation, Paige was told he had outstanding warrants with Grambling. He was arrested and later booked at the Lincoln Parish detention Center for bench warrants for criminal mischief, aggravated obstruction of a highway, and disturbing the peace. 

Bail was set at $36,000.

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. 


Roy Jones to serve as keynote for GSU Call Me MiSTER Conference

Dr. Roy I. Jones, executive director of the Call Me MiSTER program and Provost Distinguished Professor for Clemson University’s College of Education, will serve as keynote for Grambling State University’s Call Me MiSTER Conference. The first event of its kind in Louisiana, the conference will be held on June 30 in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. 

The Call Me MiSTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program was founded originally at Clemson University in 2000. The program strives to increase the pool of available teachers from a more diverse background, particularly among the lowest-performing elementary schools. A partnership with Clemson in August 2020 brought the Call Me MiSTER program to Grambling State University. Earlier this year, the GSU program received a historic 2M in federal funding, the largest one-time gift since the inception of the program at Clemson. 

The Call Me MiSTER program is the most recognized collaborative in the nation for recruiting, retaining, and developing fully certified, career-minded African American male elementary- and middle school-level teachers. It currently represents 25 colleges and universities in South Carolina and 10 institutions in nine other states. 

MiSTER has more than doubled the number of African American males teaching in public elementary school classrooms with a 85 percent retention rate of program graduates still teaching, while 14 percent are leading schools in administrative roles. Through numerous journal articles, citations and awards for both Jones and the program, MiSTER has demonstrated success in diverse academic environments. 

A lifelong educator who has served in South Carolina institutions for nearly 40 years, Jones is a fierce advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as early pioneers in producing Black educators. Under Jones’ leadership, the Call Me MiSTER program has generated millions of dollars in revenue, much of which supports students attending HBCUs. The Association of Blacks in Higher Education awarded him with their Pacesetter Award in recognition of his service. 

Jones previously served as a department chair at Claflin University and was instrumental in it becoming the first historically black, private institution in the state to become accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Jones has also served as director of employment for the Charleston County School District. 

Dr. Jones is a 2020 inductee in the South Carolina African American History calendar, a recipient of The Ohio State University Mac A. Stewart Distinguished Award for Service and the South Carolina Education Association Walker E. Solomon Award for Call Me MiSTER “In Recognition of Outstanding Support of Public Education in South Carolina.”

Dr. Jones earned his Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in educational psychology from Atlanta University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Student registration for the conference is $50 while individual registration is $125. Registration is available online at gram.edu/callmemisterconference. 


Obit: Kristy Cathey Salter

September 3, 1954 – May 16, 2022

Krista Kay “Kristy” Cathey Salter, age 67, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, peacefully passed away on May 16, 2022, after a long battle with liver and kidney disease.  A private funeral for family and close friends was held to honor her life at Aulds Funeral Home in Shreveport, Louisiana, on May 18, 2022.

Kristy was born on September 3, 1954, to Laris and Era Pullig Cathey. She grew up in Hodge, Louisiana, and graduated from Jonesboro-Hodge High School in 1972. She went on to attend Louisiana Tech University where she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority.

She is survived by many including her loving and devoted companion, Richard Mutter, of Shreveport, Louisiana; her 93-year-old aunt, Jimmie Lou Carse of Orlando, Florida; her son, Rob Harrell and wife Heather of Marshall, Texas; her daughter, Mary Beth Fair and husband Jack of Natchitoches, Louisiana; her step-children, Lita Hopkins and Scotty Mutter of Shreveport, Louisiana; her favorite cousin, Vicki Carse Rodriguez and husband Jimmie of Orlando, Florida; her sister, Ann Martin and husband Hadley of Ruston, Louisiana; her grandsons, Austin Harrell, Luke Fair, and Beau Fair; and granddaughter, Halle Harrell.

Kristy is preceded in death by her parents; her high school sweetheart and first husband, Robert Ardle Harrell; her second husband of 35 years, John Thomas Salter; her sister, Terri Cathey; and her brother, David Cathey.

Kristy owned and operated her own business for over 35 years which gave her the opportunity to do a great deal of traveling throughout her life.  She had many talents and an innate ability to make things around her more beautiful.  Whether it was hair styling, applying make-up, painting, crafting, monogramming, sewing, wreath making, or interior decorating, she could do it all.

Kristy loved all things pageants.  She assumed the title of Miss Jackson Parish in 1972 and became actively involved in the Miss Louisiana Organization for nearly four decades. She helped contestants prepare for competition, directed many preliminaries including the Miss Super Derby Pageant, and chaperoned several Miss Louisiana winners at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Kristy was also an avid collector of antiques.  Some of her most memorable times were with her mother at flea markets, estate sales, and auctions buying Depression glass, vintage treasures, bric-a-brac, and her beloved cookie jars.

Kristy would do anything for those she cherished as family and friends. Her four greatest loves in life were her grandchildren, Austin, Halle, Luke, and Beau, who affectionately referred to her a G-Momma.  

Kristy will be fondly remembered for her quick wit and dry humor.  Anyone who knew her always had a funny story to tell about their time together.

The family would like to thank the physicians who took wonderful care of her at the John C. McDonald Regional Transplant Center at Willis Knighton in Shreveport, especially her two favorite, Dr. Gazi Zibari and Dr. Veron D. Browne.  In honor of her life, please register to be an organ donor in Louisiana at lopa.org or donatelifela.org.


Notice of death — May 24, 2022

Patrick Louis Thomas 
July 15, 1985 – May 21, 2022 
Service: Thursday 5/26, 2:00 pm, J.C. Love Field, Pat Patterson Park, Ruston 

Wayne Buchan 
June 13, 1948 – May 22, 2022 
Service: 2: p.m., Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at Center Point Baptist Church in Jonesboro 

Claude McMillan 
July 27, 1930 – May 22, 2022 
Arrangements pending 

Susan “Susie” Lynn Turner 
February 22, 1968 – May 22, 2022 
Service: 2:00PM, Friday, May 27, 2022 at Rock Corner Baptist Church in Dubach 
Burial: Friday, May 27, 2022 at Mineral Springs Cemetery in Dubach 

Martha Britt   
February 3, 1926 – May 18, 2022   
Visitation: 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 25 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, Ruston   
Funeral: 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 25 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, Ruston   
Cemetery committal: Wednesday, May 25 at Unionville Cemetery, 6598 Hwy 822, Dubach 


Ribbon cutting to be held at Butterfly Garden

The North Central Louisiana Master Gardener’s Association and the City of Ruston will celebrate the opening of the Butterfly Garden on the corner of 167 North and Highway 80 East with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. today.

This project was a collaboration of the North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners and the City of Ruston to bring beautification and education to the public on the life cycle of butterflies.

“I want to thank North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners’ Association for our beautiful Butterfly Garden” said Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker. “What was once a vacant corner in the heart of our city, is now a home to gorgeous flowers, wonderful butterflies, and a fabulous gazebo.  This is a perfect example of partnerships with the City of Ruston.”

The garden is home to native plants like zinnias, dianthus, “Texas Star” hibiscus, vitex, milkweed, button bush, blackberry holly, and salvia in a variety of colors.  These pollinator plants bring butterflies to the garden and provide a beautiful space in Downtown Ruston. The butterfly at the top of the gazebo structure is a gift from the gardeners in memory of Kathy Davis, who served as president of the organization. 

The members of the Master Gardeners would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who contributed to this garden. Additionally, they would like to thank the City of Ruston for the use of this space and for their interest in educating the public on pollinators in the area as well as their commitment to beautification in the City of Ruston. They would also like to give special thanks goes to all the Master Gardeners who have donated time, efforts and finances to make this garden possible. 

For more information about how to become a Master Gardener, please visit the LSU Ag Center’s website at https://www.lsuagcenter.com/topics/lawn_garden/master%20gardener.