Podcast: This Week in Cougar Football

Cedar Creek coach Matt Middelton talks about the Cougars season opener last Thursday, this week’s contest at Vidalia, and even talks about the JV and middle school wins earlier this week.

Cedar Creek will kickoff Friday at 7 p.m. at Vidalia. The contest can be heard on 101.9 FM with Kevin Bayles and Scott Hill providing a call of the game.

Podcast: Catching up with Sonny Cumbie

On This Week in the LPJ, Malcolm Butler talks to Bulldog head coach Sonny Cumbie about his two sons, Hays and Grey, the best play of his college career (and the throw he wishes he had back), as well as how involved he will be in the offensive play-calling for the Bulldogs this fall.

Win $100 and gift card … pick your NFL games today

Karl Malone Toyota NFL Pick’em presented by 511 and Black Rifle Coffee

Participation is very simple. Just click on this link below.



Are you ready for some football?!?

Starting in September, the Lincoln Parish Journal will hold the Karl Malone Toyota NFL Pick’em Contest presented by 511 and Black Rifle Coffee.

Anyone is eligible to participate and each weekly winner will go home with a $100 cash prize as well as a $50 gift card to one of our many local advertisers. 

Each week the winner will be the participant with the best record out of 10 selected NFL games (ties will be broken by two separate tiebreakers consisting of guessing the total points scored in two of our weekly contests).

Our contest will be conducted for all 18 weeks of the NFL regular season. There is no entry fee, just like there is no cost to subscribe to the Lincoln Parish Journal. 

It takes 20-30 seconds to sign up and not much longer than that to make your picks.

Entries are open now for the first week’s contest picking the winners from NFL Week 1 (Sept. 11). The entries will remain open until 4 p.m. each Friday leading up to that weekend’s games.

One person will win each week’s $100 cash prize plus the $50 gift card, to be announced in the Journal early the following week as the subsequent Pick’em Contest launches.

All contest decisions by LPJ management are final. Weekly winners will be notified Sunday night and are required to take a photo at Karl Malone Toyota that will run in the following week’s LPJ.

Every participant will receive a FREE subscription to the Journal, if you’re not already signed up for the easily-navigated, convenient 6:55 a.m. daily e-mail.

Enjoy it all, for FREE, and enter each week’s contest. You could collect $100 plus a $50 gift card each week!



  • Identify opportunities to introduce flow and visual management into processes and work alongside area leadership to implement 
  • Utilize process mapping, value stream mapping, and root cause analysis 
  • Capture manufacturing cycle time data in the production department, develop improvement plans, and execute action plans 
  • Create, review, and update standard work 
  • Maintain plant and workstation layouts to reflect the current state and to provide potential future state options to project leaders and management 
  • Lead improvement activity by facilitating kaizen events or acting as a project resource 
  • Develop area leadership through lean daily management process 
  • Train new employees on continuous improvement concepts in Orientation and in other settings 


  • BS degree in engineering, manufacturing, or equivalent degree and a minimum of two years’ experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience in manufacturing identifying opportunities for the efficiency of manufacturing processes and operations  
  • Experienced in lean manufacturing principles 
  • Project management experience 
  • Working knowledge of AutoCAD 2D for managing plant layouts 
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills 
  • Excellent communication skills 

If qualified and interested, please apply online at www.emerson.com 


We offer medical insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, 401(k), tuition reimbursement and more. We also provide you flexible time-off plans, including parental leave, vacation, and holiday leave.  

disability or protected veteran status.  

Equal Opportunity Employer 
Emerson is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, , disability or protected veteran status.

Opportunity: Team Leader (3rd Shift)


  • Supervise utilizing strong interpersonal skills 
  • Use technical knowledge of manufacturing processes, as applies to such supervision 
  • Utilize computer skills to facilitate processes and software used 
  • Pursue objectives with organizational skills to meet goals 
  • Work with personnel at all levels of the organization 


  • Two (2) year Associates Degree, plus one year of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience 
  • Excellent communication skills; both oral and written 
  • Great computer skills (Excel and Word) 


We offer medical insurance plans, dental and vision coverage, 401(k), tuition reimbursement and more. We also provide flexible time-off plans, including parental leave, vacation, and holiday leave. 

Shift is 11:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m.  Overtime requirements are based on customer needs to meet business objectives.

If qualified and interested, please apply online at www.emerson.com 

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Emerson is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.  

PODCAST: Middleton talks Return to Creek

Matt Middleton led Cedar Creek to the Division IV playoffs last year in his first season with the Cougars. After leaving for Southern Arkansas University in January, Middleton has returned to the Creek once again. Hear him talk about the decision to leave, the decision to return and a host of other Cougars topics.

PODCAST: Tori Davis, Marketing Director at Experience Ruston, talks about all things Peach Festival

LPJ Publisher Judith Roberts sat down with Tori Davis to talk about the upcoming Peach Festival this Saturday in Ruston. Topics ranged from kids’ activities to peachy deals to the peach parade. Admission is free Saturday until 5 p.m.

*Music credit: “Voxel Revolution” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License 

LPJ announces plans for summer expansion

Podcast: DA John Belton joins Billy West re: Ronald Greene Investigation

District Attorney John Belton from the Third Judicial District Court joins Billy West Live re: Ronald Green Investigation

DA John Belton has released a timeline of events regarding the investigation of the death of Ronald Greene. Belton updates the public about his decision to defer at this time to the US Attorney’s office and the Federal Government, as they continue to review the actual death of Mr. Green and the subsequent investigation of the Louisiana State Police and their actions and conduct.

NSU announces athletic director transition

Greg Burke

NATCHITOCHES — Greg Burke announced Monday he will step aside after 25 years as Northwestern State’s athletic director to accept another position at the university.

Burke requested to be reassigned to a role in fund raising for the NSU Foundation. He began his NSU career generating revenues as director of the NSU Athletic Association and served for five years as director of athletic development at the University of Akron.

The longest-serving athletic director in Louisiana and the Southland Conference, Burke has guided the NSU athletic department since 1996. Discussions with university officials about his future role at NSU have been ongoing for several months.

Northwestern President Dr. Marcus Jones said, “Greg has been highly respected by colleagues in college athletics in Louisiana, the Southland Conference, and the nation throughout his long tenure at NSU. His fervent commitment to enhancing and expanding the overall experiences of our student-athletes has never wavered.”

Jones said the university will engage a sports consulting search firm to assist in the search for a new athletic director and that an advisory committee of university stakeholders will also be appointed to provide input in the process. He said a new AD should be selected within six to eight weeks.

Vice President of External Affairs Jerry Pierce said, “Northwestern is indebted to Greg for his years of dedicated service and extensive contributions to the university. He has made a positive impact on intercollegiate sports in the state and nationally. I am confident that he will continue to serve the university passionately and effectively in his new role at the school.”

Appointed as Northwestern’s 20th president earlier this month after serving as interim president since July, Jones plans to initiate a major development campaign at the university in 2022. He said Burke’s “experience and expertise in fund-raising will be valuable as we embark on that important campaign.”

Burke’s shift away from athletics comes during one of the most turbulent times nationwide in intercollegiate sports because of such issues as conference realignments; name, image, and likeness rules; transfer portal implications, and COVID-related disruptions.

Pierce said, “With the turmoil surrounding college athletics nationally and the importance of continuity and stability in our intercollegiate sports programs and experiences for student-athletes, we are fortunate that Greg will continue to serve as AD during the national search for his successor.”

Burke, who announced his decision to the Athletic Department staff Monday morning, said, “The timing is right for me to make this transition to the NSU Foundation. Doing so will enable me to focus solely on raising funds for a university which means the world to my family and me. I have always had a great working relationship with (NSU Foundation Executive Director) Drake Owens and look forward to working with him and his staff.”

A native of Alliance, Ohio, Burke is a graduate of the University of Mount Union in Ohio and received his master’s degree from Kent State University.

He was a sportswriter for the Alliance Review newspaper in Ohio and director of news and sports information at Hiram College in Ohio before joining the NSU Athletic Department as an intern in 1985.

Burke held athletic fund-raising positions at Northwestern and the University of Akron before becoming athletic director at NSU in 1996.

Under Burke’s leadership, the NSU Athletic Department produced the lone Southland Conference Triple Crown championship, winning the league’s football, men’s basketball and baseball regular-season titles in the 2004-05 academic year. That trio of championships highlighted a run that included 25 NCAA postseason appearances, 24 Southland Conference regular-season championships, 19 SLC Tournament titles, three Olympians and two individual national champions during Burke’s tenure.

The Northwestern State men’s basketball team produced two NCAA Tournament victories during Burke’s time at the helm of NSU athletics, including one of the most memorable upsets in tournament history – the Demons’ 64-63 upset of third-seeded Iowa on March 17, 2006.

NSU student-athletes flourished away from the competitive surface during Burke’s career, collecting 11 Academic All-American honors, numerous Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year acclaim and Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winners. In the most recent NCAA Graduation Success Rate data, NSU student-athletes posted a program-record 87 percent graduation rate.

Burke recently began his second of a five-year term on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee after previously serving on the NCAA Committee on Academics and Championships/Sports Management Cabinet, the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee and the NCAA FCS Committee.

Said Burke: “There will no doubt be a void, having worked in college athletics for the past 43 years, but Susu and I will continue to be financially and personally supportive of NSU’s teams and coaches as a fan and advocate. I am forever grateful to Dr. Randy Webb, Jerry Pierce and the Athletic Council led by Dr. Vicki Parrish for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to lead the NSU athletic program. Over the past 25 years, it has been a blessing to have developed relationships with so many student-athletes, parents, faculty, alumni and NCAA staff members, as well as with coaches and administrators at NSU and nationwide. Much has been accomplished over the course of time but there is always more that can be done to position NSU Athletics for success on all levels. With that in mind, I encourage those who love NSU Athletics to either keep supporting or to begin supporting our student-athletes and coaches because every single gift makes a difference.”

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Wyatt Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Now Hiring

The time to be awesome is now!

Wyatt Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is hiring a Director of Nursing and LPN’s for all shifts at our long term care facility in Jonesboro, LA.

Director of Nursing position – RN Required, salary and benefit package commensurate with experience.
LPN positions – Licensed Practical Nurse certification required

Please call Ron Frazier at 318-259-3290 for more information.


Roberts takes lead with LPJ

Louisiana Tech assistant professor Judith Roberts has claimed the licensee ownership of the free online media outlet, the Lincoln Parish Journal, solidifying her role as publisher of the media outlet.

Roberts has her Ph.D. in mass communication with a minor in instructional technology from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, but she is also a double graduate of Lincoln Parish. She received her master’s in mass communication from Grambling State University and her bachelor’s with majors in journalism and English from Louisiana Tech University. She has also served as news editor at The Ruston Daily Leader and has written press releases for Tech.

“The field of communication presents itself with so many opportunities,” Roberts said. “I have worked on releases for Tech, written for The Minute Magazine, and even dabbled in fitness blog writing. This is just a new opportunity in my field, and I am so excited to take this challenge on to serve my community.”

In her role as assistant professor of communication and media studies, Roberts teaches a variety of classes, including Social Media, Media Law and Ethics, and Copy Editing. Her research focuses on religion and politics, and she has published works in Roman & Littlefield, Lexington Books and Waterhill Publishing. She has also presented research internationally.

“I am grateful for this chance to further support Lincoln Parish as an advocate for the knowledge of the residents of this area,” Roberts said. “I look forward to telling the stories of those at Tech, at Grambling and throughout the parish.”

Roberts’ family also are strong advocates for Lincoln Parish. Her husband, Kyle, is the play-by-play radio broadcaster for Ruston High Football and is the newest voice of the Lady Techsters’ basketball team. The couple’s two daughters, Alice, age 8, and Penny, age 5, both attended Louisiana Tech’s Early Childhood Education Center and now attend Ruston Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary, respectively.

The Lincoln Parish Journal is a free subscription to keep up with the news in the parish. To subscribe, visit JOIN LPJ TODAY… It’s FREE!

Bearcats Looking for Week 2 Opponent

Following the devastation of Hurricane Ida across the southern part of the state, area high school football teams may find themselves in a similar situation to Ruston High.

On Monday afternoon the Bearcats head coach Jerrod Baugh received a phone call from Archbishop Rummel with the news that the Raiders should not be making the trip north in less than two weeks to face the Bearcats at Hoss Garrett Field at James Stadium.

RHS Principal Dan Gressett said late Monday night that the school was looking for a fill in for the week two opening.

“Right now we looking for anything,” said Gressett. “This year if it’s a Covid cancellation, the LHSAA is not allowing you to reschedule the game. It’s a forfeit. But from our understanding with this being weather-related we can reschedule. We found out today. Rummel called and said it could be three or four weeks before they get power.”

Ruston High is scheduled to open the regular season Friday night at Neville in Monroe as the Bearcats are coming off an impressive performance in their 27-0 jamboree win over Opelousas at the 2021 Bayou Jamb last Friday night.

“We have put some stuff out there,” said Gressett. “I am sure there will be more cancellations in the coming days from teams that are scheduled to play teams from New Orleans, maybe even Baton Rouge. We are just looking for an opponent. It was a home game for us so we would like to replace it with a home game. Jerrod isn’t afraid to travel though. He will go anywhere. We just need to try to fill it. This really doesn’t feel much different than last year when we were constantly trying to fill openings.”

Gressett said any school interested in the opening on Ruston’s schedule can call Baugh at 903-918-2359.

Photo:  courtesy of RHS Bearcat Booster Club

HURRICANE IDA: Local pastor remembers Katrina, houses evacuees from Ida

George Lee IV, pictured here with his wife Ciria and children McKenzie and Kingston, is pastor of The Springs church in Ruston.

George Lee IV was a 17-year-old New Orleans resident in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina swept through his city and neighborhood and devastated the area. Now, 16 years later and a resident of Grambling, he remembers that time as he houses his mom and grandmother, who are still New Orleans residents and evacuated from Hurricane Ida.

“My family decided to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina two days before the hurricane made landfall,” Lee, a pastor at The Springs church, said. “While the majority of my family decided to evacuate, my mom and I did not travel with the rest of my family. At the time, my mom was enrolled at the University of New Orleans, and we lived in an apartment on campus. We developed a strong relationship with our neighbor, who was a quadriplegic. When our neighbor’s family from North Louisiana decided to travel to get him, we were given an opportunity to evacuate with them.”

Lee said watching the news coverage from that time was surreal.

“Honestly, as I watched the news coverage, none of it seemed real. I felt numb,” he said. “I guess I was still processing it all. In some ways, even 16 years later, I’m still processing things. As days progressed, I did wrestle with thinking about family and friends who didn’t evacuate.”

While Lee’s family settled in Rayville after Katrina, he eventually made his way to Lincoln Parish after attending Louisiana Tech. Now he, his wife Ciria, and his two children, McKenzie and Kingston, live in Grambling and are active in ministry.

“I have stated often that I never want to move back to New Orleans,” Lee said. “My mother, along with the majority of my family, moved back to New Orleans. We are from the area of New Orleans known as Holy Grove — in the 17th ward of New Orleans uptown. I love Lincoln Parish because of its pace. Everything moves quickly in the city of New Orleans! I value the relationships here. Lincoln Parish is a close-knit community from what I’ve experienced. Lastly, our ministry is here, and I believe the Lord has called my family to minister to this community for the foreseeable future.”

Lee said last year’s Hurricane Laura that came through Lincoln Parish and this past weekend’s Hurricane Ida brought back many preparedness memories.

“As I think about our community battling Hurricane Laura last year and bracing ourselves (for) Hurricane Ida in South Louisiana and other states, I can’t help but play through the series of ‘hurricane protocol,’” he said. “You start thinking about gathering provisions, purchasing gas, installing generators and sending support to family who will be in the affected area. You really start thinking about loved ones.”

For now, though, as he houses relatives who are waiting to see what damage has occurred, he said he is happy his family is safe.

“As devastating as Hurricane Katrina was, I realize that God used that storm in my life to lead me to this community,” Lee said. “I attended school here, met my wife here, started serving in ministry here, built our family here. Good things can come out of bad situations. While my heart still breaks for those who lost loved ones in Hurricane Katrina, I grateful that it gave me an opportunity to be a part of another community — a community I’m not leaving any time soon.”

LA Tech Announces Depth Chart for Saturday

Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz announced Monday night on the Inside Tech Football radio show that West Virginia transfer Austin Kendall would be the Bulldogs starting quarterback when it takes the field Saturday in Starkville against Mississippi State.

Kendall has been competing all fall for the starting position along with sophomore Aaron Allen and freshman JD Head while senior Luke Anthony continues to recover from off-season surgery.

“Right now Austin Kendall will be our starter going into the first week,” said Holtz on the coaches show. “He has come in here since July and done a great job. Joe Sloan has done a great job with him. He has come in and he has picked up the offense.”

Holtz said that the decision came down to experience and leadership.

“Austin Kendall … with his game experience, with the number of offenses he has been in, with his age, and with how well he has picked up the offense … I certainly think this team has got a vote of confidence in him by evidence by the captains voting,” said Holtz. “They feel like he is a guy who can lead us, and we feel that way as a stay.

“We just had captains votes, and he was in the top five in captains votes. He is really making his mark on this football team and really earning a lot of respect.”

Tech and Mississippi State will kick-off Saturday at 3 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Kendall originally signed at Oklahoma as the No. 4 pro-style rated QB in the country by Rivals coming out of Cuthbertson High School in North Carolina. After seeing action in eight games with the Sooners, passing for 265 yards and three scores, he transferred to West Virginia. During his time with the Mountaineers, he passed for 2,153 yards and 14 TDs.

“Has a good arm,” said Holtz. “He has a very quick release. Can manage the game; get rid of the ball. He can run the ball better than people think.

“He is a guy who has a great feel for the pocket as long as he has been playing. I think Austin is very, very talented. Very smart. Very accurate. I am excited to see him play.”

Holtz said he was very pleased with Allen and Head and feels they both provide quality depth at the position in 2021.

“Both Aaron and JD have done some great things,” said Holtz. “I think we have two great backup quarterbacks. I would tell you that I think these are the best two backup quarterbacks we have had since I have been here.

“I think both of these guys are going to have their day in the sun here, and I think they are both going to be really good here.”

This marks the fifth time that Tech has opened its season against Mississippi State. The Starkville-based Bulldogs lead the all-time series 11-3.