Rodney Parker Named President of Centric Federal Credit Union

Centric Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Rodney Parker to President of Centric.

“Rodney has played a key role in leading Centric’s exceptional growth over the past decade. Our growth and performance have been outstanding during some very challenging times,” said Chris Craighead, CEO of Centric.

Since 2011, Rodney held the title of Chief Financial Officer at Centric. Rodney is a graduate of ULM with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and the Southeast CUNA Management School at the University of Georgia. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Ruston HS basketball teams thank Bearcat Ballers participants – See All Photos

About 150 boys and girls in and around Ruston had great fun this summer in the Bearcat Ballers basketball league hosted by the Ruston High School girls and boys basketball programs, and planning is already underway for the 2022 edition.

Teams played in age-group competition for four weeks, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, utilizing both gymnasiums at RHS. Every participant got a T-shirt and plenty of wholesome fun and competition.

Lady Bearcats coach Meredith Graf and Bearcats coach Ryan Bond are aiming to make the 2022 Bearcat Ballers League even bigger and better. They were very gratified by the tremendous interest and participation this summer, and are determined to make improvements going forward.

Registration for the 2022 Bearcat Ballers League will begin next May.

Revenue generated by the league helps support the RHS basketball teams as they face expenses for uniforms, travel and officials fees. Both Ruston squads had breakthrough seasons in 2020-21, with the girls sharing the district title and each team returning to the state playoffs with the bulk of their rosters back for the 2021-22 season.

The coaches provided the following letter for participants and their families.

Thank you to the Ruston Community for the support of our 2021 Bearcat Ballers League!

In our third year of operation, we saw tremendous growth in our participation.

Our goals are still the same since our inception: to provide youth with the opportunity to play the game of basketball the correct way. We focus on players learning the rules, teamwork, and sportsmanship through in-game experience while playing with age-appropriate goals and equipment. Seeing every child grow in their understanding and love of the sport through our league is something we take great pride in as well.

We will continue to make necessary adjustments and improvements to make our participants’ experience as positive as possible.

We are so very grateful for the opportunity to have met and worked with so many wonderful children across the parish. Once again, thank you for your support and we look forward to next year!


Two SOD students display work in group shows

Two Louisiana Tech School of Design students are part of a pair of lengthy group shows that open in Baton Rouge and New Orleans this summer.

Jennifer Robison, an MFA candidate in Photography, is currently in the group show Iridescence at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum, 100 S. River Road in Baton Rouge. The show opened July 17 and is set to run through July 31, 2022.

Maryam El-Awadi, a senior Studio Art major, will be in the group show Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St. in New Orleans. The show runs Aug. 7 – Oct. 10.

Iridescence is the latest fine art exhibition at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and will explore the phenomenon of color shifting through the works of Robison and other artists. The Museum has partnered with Dr. Nathan Lord, Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology and Director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, and friends from Louisiana State University to make the show possible.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art first launched Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation, in 2012 to establish a vehicle that would bring to the fore the work of artists living in Louisiana and highlight the dynamism of art practice throughout the state. Since its launch, Louisiana Contemporary has presented 780 works by 489 artists.

This statewide, juried exhibition promotes the contemporary art practices in the state of Louisiana, provides an exhibition space for the exposition of living artists’ work, and engages a contemporary audience that recognizes the vibrant visual arts culture of Louisiana and the role of New Orleans as a rising, international art center.

 


Barnes named to Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award watch list

Louisiana Tech’s Jacob Barnes has been named to the 2021 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award watch list.

Barnes, a native of Baton Rouge, was a 2020 Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Semifinalist. The redshirt freshman kicker/punter was named an all-Conference USA honorable mention and was second team all-Louisiana in 2020. He appeared in all 10 games for the Bulldogs in 2020 and was a perfect 33-for-33 in PATS, including a career-best 9-for-9 against Houston Baptist on Nov. 26.

Barnes opened the 2020 season with eight straight made field goals, including a career-long 51-yarder against HBU. He finished the season 12-for-14 in field goals, including the game-winning 35-yarder in double overtime against UAB on Oct. 31.

While the watch list highlights 30 of the best returning kickers in the country, the Groza Committee will be watching all FBS kickers throughout the season, and releasing a weekly “Stars of the Week” feature.

The 30th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the Orange Bowl Committee, recognizes the three finalists during a celebration in Palm Beach County, culminating with a gala awards banquet at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 6.

The Award is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

The 2021 Louisiana Tech football season is almost here and fans will now have the chance to purchase a three-game mini plan package to enjoy LA Tech football within the confines of Joe Aillet Stadium.

The three-game mini plan will allow fans to select any three LA Tech home football games for as low as $50. East general admission tickets will be priced at $50, east reserved seating at $60 and west reserved seating at $90 in the three-game package.

Fans can save up to $25 with the three-game mini plan when compared to purchasing tickets for the games individually.

Fans can purchase the three-game mini plan by calling the Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.

Lincoln Parish: LDWF Accepting Applications for 2021-22 Deer and Waterfowl Lottery Hunts

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is accepting applications for deer and waterfowl lottery hunts on LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for the 2021-2022 hunting season. The deadline to apply for the lottery hunts is Aug. 31.

Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for people with disabilities, including veterans, on select WMAs; see the application for selections. A general waterfowl lottery hunt will be held on Sherburne WMA.

Lottery hunts for deer and waterfowl will be held for youth, those hunters between the ages of 10-17, on select WMAs. Note that a youth under the age of 10 may apply provided he or she will be 10 on or before the date of the hunt for which they apply.

Additionally, general deer lottery hunts will be held on select Louisiana Office of State Parks Property; see the application for selections.

All lottery applications are only available on the LDWF website at https://la-web.s3licensing.com/ . To apply click on the Lottery Applications tab, update or create a customer record similar to purchasing a license and then submit an application. There is a $5 application fee and a $2 transaction fee per application. Paper applications will no longer be accepted.

These hunts offer the opportunity for selected hunters to experience an enjoyable, unique experience. Details of qualifications, application requirements, application deadlines and dates of the hunts are set forth in the application instructions for each lottery.

For more information, contact David Hayden at 318-487-5353.


Notice of Death – July 28, 2021

Charles Wayne Hackney
August 7, 1939 – July 26, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Monroe, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Service:  Bosco Cemetery, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 1:00 pm
Cemetery:  Bosco Cemetery, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 1:00 pm

Sue Reeves
January 20, 1935 – July 26, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

John J. N. Crocker
June 15, 1933 – July 27, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Thursday, July 29, 2021, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Friday, July 30, 2021, 10:00 am
Cemetery:  Beulah Cemetery, Friday, July 30, 2021


Ruston Police Department seeks public assistance with vehicle burglary

Ruston Police Department Investigators are requesting the public’s help with a vehicle burglary.

On Thursday, July 22, 2021, at approximately 4:55pm, officers responded to Lowe’s in reference to a vehicle burglary. Unknown suspect parked beside the victim’s vehicle and broke the driver side window out. Unknown suspect took several bags of hand held tools from the vehicle. Suspect vehicle appears to be a Silver Mitsubishi Mini-Van with a dealership tag.

If you have information regarding this crime, please contact them at 318-255-4141 or CrimeStoppers at 318-255-1111.


Bulldogs’ Grubbs on Nagurski watch list; Tech volleyball schedule released

The preseason accolades continue to roll in for Louisiana Tech freshman Tyler Grubbs as the linebacker was named to the Bronco Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the postseason award given to the country’s top college football defensive player.

This year’s watch list includes at least four players from all 10 FBS conferences plus five from the independent schools. The SEC led the conference list with 20 with the Big Ten (13) and Big 12 (12) just behind, making up half of the list. The Pac-12 (9) was fourth, followed by the ACC (8), Conference USA, Independents, Mountain West and Sun Belt (5 each) and the American Athletic and Mid-American had four apiece. The list includes 29 linebackers, 22 backs, 22 ends and 17 tackles.

Grubbs, who also has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, will follow a breakthrough freshman campaign where he was a 2020 FWAA, ESPN and 247Sports.com Freshman All-American. As a true freshman, Grubbs was named first team all-Conference USA by both the league and Phil Steele while also earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman team.

The New Orleans native registered a team-best 99 tackles and finished second on the team in both solo tackles (45) and tackles for loss (9.5) as a true freshman in 2020. Grubbs finished the 2020 season ranked second in C-USA and 25th in the FBS in tackles per game at 9.9, and he was sixth in C-USA in tackles for loss with 9.5.

The Football Writers Association of America has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org and @NCFAA on Twitter to learn more about the association.

VOLLEYBALL: New coach Amber McCray announced the 2021 Lady Techster Volleyball schedule including 10 home matches played inside the Thomas Assembly Center. After a one-year hiatus, the Lady Techsters will also host the LA Tech Invitational from Sept. 16-18 in Ruston.

LA Tech opens with a road exhibition at McNeese State on Aug. 21 before the regular season slate begins with a weekend tournament at Arkansas on Aug. 27.

The Lady Techsters will open their home schedule against Jackson State on Sept. 1 in the Thomas Assembly Center. Tech’s first home match of the season will then lead into a stretch of seven straight road dates.

I-20 foe ULM will visit the Lady Techsters on Sept. 14 to end Tech’s stretch of seven matches away from the TAC.

Fans will be able to watch the Techsters host their first home tournament since 2019 from Sept. 16-18, which is when LA Tech hosts Southern, New Orleans and Little Rock for the LA Tech Invitational.

After the Lady Techsters compete in their fourth and final weekend tournament of the regular season, they will open Conference USA action at UTSA on Sept. 24-25.

The 2021 C-USA schedule will consist of six weekends of conference matchups. Similar to the 2020-21 season, the pair of teams will play each other twice over the same weekend. The Lady Techsters will host three conference opponents and travel to three conference schools to form their 12-match C-USA schedule.

After LA Tech closes out its regular season with a pair of home matches against UAB on Nov. 5-6, the Conference USA Championships will begin two weekends later in Norfolk, Virginia. Old Dominion will play host to the 2021 tournament held from Nov. 19-21.


The Mansfield State Historic Site – A Fun Day Trip for The Entire Family!

his week’s installment of Kevin Hits The Road takes us to Mansfield State Historic Site, part of the location of the Battle of Mansfield. The Park is located a few miles southwest of Mansfield on Highway 175, a short and worthwhile drive from anywhere in our community.

The Battle of Mansfield was part of the ill-fated Red River Campaign, a Union offensive intended to drive a wedge between Texas and the rest of the Confederacy. Some 30,000 soldiers from the Union and CSA fought a series of engagements over miles of territory around the city in April,1864. The Mansfield State Historic Site’s 178 acres encompasses the place where most of the significant clashes occurred. As one turns into the park, there are several memorials that date from the 1920’s. Shortly afterwards, one arrives at a modern visitor’s center and museum.

As has been the case at every single place I have visited, the staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. Their obvious enthusiasm for their site and its history ensures a wonderful visitor experience. Scott Dearman, the park’s site manager, took my wife and I for a battlefield tour in which he explained the chronology of the battle as well as features such as forested areas that are not the same today as then. Looking at the actual battlefield gives one a greater appreciation and understanding of the events as they unfolded. Interpretive Ranger Aaron Gates gave us a tour of the site’s superb museum. The museum has a range of displays and artifacts that explore many facets of the battle and the era in which it was fought. The staff’s extensive knowledge gives visitors historical lagniappe such as learning that the Mansfield City Cemetery holds a commemorative marker for 86 unknown casualties from the battle.

Did you know that Louisiana supplied 24,000 African American soldiers to the Union Army, the largest number of any state, and that the 84th United States Colored Troops (USCT) fought with the Union forces at the Battle of Pleasant Hill? The museum has a display that traces the history of African American Soldiers in the Civil War, from the 1861 Corps d’ Afrique that went on to become the USCT, the forerunner of the famous Buffalo Soldiers.

The museum has a section on medical care in the Civil War and the role of the surrounding communities in their care. The museum also showcases “Letters from the Battlefield” in which excerpts from soldier’s letters home illustrate the soldiers’ lives.

One of the more interesting displays in the museum details two women who disguised themselves as men and fought in the battle. Jennie Hodgers was born in Belfast, Ireland and fought in 40 battles and skirmishes under the alias of PVT Albert DJ Cashier with the 95th Illinois Regiment. Sarah Rosetta Wakeman fought with the 153rd NY Infantry in the Battle of Pleasant Hill. She survived the battle but fell victim to disease in the retreat afterwards. She died on June 19, 1864 and is buried in Chalmette National Cemetery under her male alias Lyons Wakeman.

From the bronze painted plaster model of the Louisiana Memorial at Gettysburg to a section on Prince Camille de Polignac, a Confederate commander who got his first military experience as an officer in the French Army during the Crimean War, the museum is a true delight for history lovers.

The museum’s admission is $4.00 and is free to senior citizens 62 and older. Children 3 and under are free as well. The museum is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Finance grad receives inaugural CFA Society award

Lauren Killebrew has been named the inaugural recipient of Louisiana Tech University’s Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society Annual Award of Finance. Awarded by the CFA Society of Mississippi, Killebrew received the honor for her outstanding academic achievements and interest in pursuing the CFA charter, widely considered the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program.

“I am very grateful to have been recognized,” said Killebrew, a Shreveport native who graduated in the Spring with her bachelor’s degree in finance. “Receiving this award gave me the confidence I needed to continue pursuing my career in finance post-graduation. Also, I hope to influence more women to pursue jobs in finance.”

During her time as a student in the College of Business, Killebrew served as an analyst for the Student Managed Investment Fund, and looks forward to putting those skills to work as a portfolio manager or research analyst after receiving her CFA designation.

“As a student, I met many amazing professors and leaders who helped me find my place and who taught me so much,” she said. “Being a part of the Student Managed Investment Fund not only inspired me, but gave me real-world experience. I’ve learned to look at the world and news from a financial perspective, and have a better understanding of how events impact the economy.”

Louisiana Tech has been a member of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program since 2017. This status signals to students and employers that the curriculum is closely tied to the practice of investment management and is helpful to students preparing for the CFA Program exams. As a participating institution, the College embeds a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge into the finance curriculum.

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. There are more than 170,000 CFA charter holders worldwide and 161 local member societies.


Remember This?: The Last Request

By Brad Dison

On Wednesday, June 19, 1957, workers drilled, moved and crushed the earth at the Rattlesnake Uranium Pit Mine, 37 miles north of Monticello, Utah. 46-year-old James W. Rodgers normally worked outside the open pit mine and had only been moved inside the mine that very day to help in drilling operations. 33-year-old Charles “Chuck” Merrifield operated a power shovel, a bucket-equipped machine used for excavating earth or fragmented rock. June 19 was the first day that James and Chuck worked together.

At about 3:30 p.m., Dee Gardner, a truck driver at the mine, saw James walk from the pit to the red pickup truck assigned to James for working in the mine. The truck was owned by the mining company and painted a high-visibility red for safety. James told Dee and other workers nearby, “I guess I’m going to have to kill him (Chuck) before I leave this job.” James retrieved a .38 caliber revolver from the truck and headed back into the pit. James walked back past Dee and toward Chuck’s power shovel. Another mine worker told Dee, “I guess Rodgers is going to scare Chuck with a gun.”

At the power shovel, James motioned for Chuck to get off of the machine. Chuck stood up, put one foot down out of the cab, and James began firing his pistol. The first shot was not aimed at Chuck and hit the ground. A split second later, James aimed the pistol at Chuck and fired until the revolver was empty, with each shot taking effect. Chuck fell to the ground. Dee was afraid to move because he “felt Rodgers didn’t like [him] either.” James turned to Dee and other witnesses and said, “Well, I guess that takes care of that.” James put the pistol back in his belt and walked toward the pickup truck. He passed another mine worker as he neared his truck. James calmly told him, “Well, he asked for it and he got it.” James got into the pickup truck and drove away. Chuck died within a few short minutes.

Law enforcement officers in Utah set up roadblocks on the main roads in the area but James had taken a back road into Colorado. Utah law enforcement officers notified Colorado police near the Utah line of the shooting and told them to be on the lookout for the bright red mine truck. A policeman near Cortez, Colorado, about 100 miles east of the mine, recognized the vehicle immediately and initiated a traffic stop. The officer told James that a lot of policemen were looking for him, to which he replied, “Yes, I guess you are.” The officer arrested James without incident. He was armed with a .22 caliber rifle and the .38 caliber pistol he used in the shooting. James reassured officers that he “wasn’t going to shoot anybody else.” While in custody, James eagerly confessed to killing Chuck.

When questioned about the shooting, James told reporters, “I can’t tell you why I did it. He’d been getting on my nerves for some time and I knew it was going to lead to serious trouble… But I just can’t explain why I did it. He came at me one time with a wrench in his hand and I thought he was going to hit me. He didn’t, but I felt he didn’t like me and he kept on needling me. Not anything in particular, but all the time. I just couldn’t take any more of it. But I can’t tell you why I shot him.”

In court, James pled not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorneys argued that James was suffering from Syphilis which impaired his mental processes. The disease, his attorneys argued, had deteriorated his brain, which affected his thinking and reasoning capabilities. After two trials and a host of appeals, James was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad.

In the early morning hours on March 30, 1960, Sheriff Seth Wright and prison warden John Turner sat with James and waited for daylight, the time of his execution. The sheriff held a black hood that would be put over James’s head during the execution. James looked at the hood and asked the sheriff, “What you got there?” Sheriff Wright replied, “something to keep you warm.” “Don’t worry,” James answered, “I’ll be where it’s warm pretty quick.” When it was time to go to the prison field, Sheriff Wright asked if he was ready. James quipped, “Yes, give me an hour’s head start.” Just before the five riflemen “blasted him into eternity,” Sheriff Wright asked James if he had a last request. “Sure,” James replied, “how about a bullet-proof suit?” His request was denied.

Sources:
1. The San Juan Record (Monticello, Utah), June 20, 1957, p.1.
2. The San Juan Record, December 12, 1957, p.1.
3. Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), December 9, 1958, p.21.
4. The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah), March 30, 196