Creek powerlifters finish as state runner-up

Head coach Jacob Angevine (center with trophy) with the Cedar Creek senior powerlifters following their state runner-up finish.

By Malcolm Butler

Oh so close.

Quincy Lewis and Lane Thomas led a valiant effort by the Cedar Creek boys powerlifting team who finished as the state Division V runner-up Wednesday at the Cajundome in Lafayette.

The Cougars were barely edged by Ascension Catholic 47-44 for the team title after winning it in 2021 and finishing third in 2022.

“Today was one for the books,” said head coach Jacob Angevine. “I’m so proud of our boys and coaches. We battled some adversity and our seniors stepped up to keep the team’s spirits high.”

Lewis earned the state title in the 198-pound weight class with a three-lift total of 1,475 pounds. He broke the Division V deadlift record with a mark of 585 pounds.

Thomas finished as the runner-up in the 181-pound weight class with a three-lift total of 1,375 pounds. He was named the outstanding lifter despite not winning his class (decided by the most weight lifted divided by body weight).

“Lane Thomas and Quincy Lewis both had impressive days,” said Angevine. “We came up a few points shy today of our goal. This senior class is a special one and I’m going to miss them tremendously. They have made our program into one of the best in the state and have set the standard for Cedar Creek Powerlifting.”

In addition to Lewis and Thomas’ big days, Owen Robinson finished as the state runner-up in the 165-pound weight class, totaling 1,295 pounds while Landon Amidon finished as the state runner-up in the 220-pound weight class with a total of 1,325 pounds.

Other podium finishes included Blake Wade finishing third in the 123-pound class with 875 pounds and Parker Newman finishing third in the 148-pound class with 1,050 pounds. Brett Johnson (1,245 pounds) finished third in the 198-pound weight class while Nicholas Thompson (1,260 pounds) finished third in the 220-pound weight class.

Austin Webb (1,280 pounds) finished fourth in the 165-pound class while Reagan Pike (1,200 pounds) finished fourth in the 181-pound class.

The Lady Cougars will compete for a state championship today in Lafayette.

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Bojangles projected for mid-April open

Chicken fans in Ruston are very likely have another tasty option available next month.

Bojangles on Farmerville Highway is planning for an opening to the community in a window between Monday, April 10, and Thursday, April 13.

“We’re getting everything lined up,” Ruston Bojangles owner Michael Quarles said. “We feel like we’re moving and we’re pretty much ahead of schedule.”

Offering what is known as “Frontier” menu, meaning the location will only offer hand-battered and breaded chicken tenders rather than bone-in options, Bojangles ownership prides the company on its robust and spicy flavor, as well as the never-frozen and daily handmade biscuits.

“The chicken has a very bold flavor, and it’s good,” Quarles said. “And you’ll notice that we’re always rolling fresh biscuit dough.”

For the City of Ruston Economic Develop Director Jade West, having another fast food company is a sign of the community growth and offerings to the residents.

“We are so excited for Bojangles to open in Ruston,” West said. “I have heard lots of chatter among residents over the last few months, and I know our community is looking forward to having another dining option in Ruston.

“We are thankful for Mr. Quarles and his investment to get Bojangles into our community. It is always great to see new restaurants and businesses opening in Ruston.”

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Bringing a bit of home to the students

Photo by Sarah Brackin

By Sarah Brackin

Homemade Hugs is a new group run by three women who decided to get together and share their gift of love with collegiate students.

Earlier this week Susan King, Trish Albritton and Lenda Freeman, three grandmothers from Choudrant, joined each other at Louisiana Tech’s Centennial Plaza with various pets to bring hugs to the students. They knew that some students felt homesick from their family so they wanted to provide an opportunity for them to taste homemade desserts and hug a grandma once again.

Albritton said, “We knew that this was exactly what we needed to do so we just kept rolling with it until we got it all together and this our first time.”

For their first outing, they brought with them a Golden Retriever puppy named Jinx, two pygmy goats named Julie and Lily, and a squirrel named Scratch. These animals are Choudrant residents’ own pets that they lent King, Albritton and Freeman for the event.

Nursing student Haylie Davis said, “I’ve been going through a rough time right now, and they’ll have dogs, yeah they’re cute, but seeing a goat, that’s unique, and to me it was like a boost of happiness…It’s absolutely a stress reliever, this is a serotonin boost.”

The women of Homemade Hugs want to get to know the students more and put a smile on their faces.

Choudrant Mayor and owner of the pygmy goats Bill Sanderson said, “The part that I love is I get to talk with them and hear stories; a neighbor had goats or they had goats at some point in time and how much they enjoyed them.”

The women aim to hold this event on the third Tuesday of every month from 11-2 p.m. with different animals each time.

Next month expect to see a litter of kittens. Students can play with them, hold them and even have a chance to take them home as their pet.

Albritton said, “The goal is to let everyone know that we care, that there’s someone out here that does care.”

The only price to pay for home is a hug.

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Driver runs from crash scene

A man was arrested last Friday after he crashed his car and then ran from deputies during the investigation.

Lincoln Parish deputies responded to Heard Road where the driver said he attempted to make a U-turn but struck a sign and got stuck in the mud. The driver identified himself as Jose Rivas, 24.

A deputy smelled marijuana in the vehicle, but a search failed to turn up any contraband. An identification card for Domiciano Maldonado-Perez matching the driver was found in a wallet in the vehicle.

The driver stated he lied about his name, was in the country illegally, and had been taken into custody before and returned to Mexico.

When a deputy attempted to arrest Perez, he ran away. The deputy caught him and took him to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.

Perez was booked for no driver’s license, careless operation of a vehicle, resisting an officer by providing false information, and resisting by flight. Bail was set at $6,000.

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. 

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 Let’s stop counting down and start investing in

I have come across more people recently that have talked about counting down the days until retirement, marking off the days until graduation, anxiously watching the clock tick down until quitting time, or biding their time until the next job opportunity comes along.  It’s one thing to look forward to the future with eager anticipation, but quite another to “wish time away”.  To be honest, I have been there before with these same thoughts. 

I can recall my time in college at Tech just thinking if I could just get through that test and make it to the weekend that life would be great.  I recall studying endless hours for the CPA exam and just wanting that entire process to be over and to have that burden behind me.  I can go on with personal examples, but there’s no need.  We all have those times in our life.  Again, it’s one thing to look forward to overcoming a challenge or to experiencing new opportunity, but let’s don’t miss out on what today offers.

As I have gotten older, I am much more keenly aware of the value of each day and all the opportunities within the day.  Some of these opportunities are more appealing than others, but they are all opportunities.  The opportunity may be a challenge to overcome, a person to help, a lesson to learn, a problem to solve, or an event to experience.  The key is to recognize each day as an opportunity.  

One of our problems today is our extreme fixation with accomplishment.  Whether we are talking about our personal life, our vocation, our family, or any other aspect of our life, we can become so consumed with a desired outcome, that we fail to recognize the blessing and value of the journey to get there.  I don’t totally disagree with the phrase “keep your eye on the prize” as motivations to stay focused on what’s important to you, but that concept taken to an extreme can be problematic as well.  I have found it much more meaningful to start with purpose and let that drive a process and lifestyle that is impactful and fulfilling.  

When we can find joy in the process and not just the results, life takes on new meaning.  It’s when we fall in love with the process that each day matters as we move toward that next “thing” in our life.  We still look forward to new things and better circumstances, but we make the most of each day along the path.  More than likely, we will look back on the process as a blessing and the destination as a bonus.

Too many people go into retirement with no clear purpose.  Total self-absorption only lasts for a short while.  We are created for purpose and need that each day.  If you are in that category now or approaching it, spend some time and find purpose for that stage of life.  That purpose will drive your process each day.  For the younger generation, keep in mind that craving the results in life without making the most of the process will generally guarantee disappointment.  

For those of you marking off days on the calendar, watching the clock tick, staring at the bigger office, or endlessly dreaming of that new _____________, don’t give up on those dreams or wishes, but seek to find purpose in today and start making the most of the opportunities in front of you.  Finding joy in the ups and downs may just be the secret you are searching for in life.

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Tinted window leads to drug arrest

A Simsboro man was arrested Sunday on drug charges after he was stopped for excessive tint on his vehicle windows.

A Lincoln Parish deputy sheriff on patrol spotted a car at an oil well location with extremely dark windows and a cracked windshield. By the time the deputy turned around to go back to check on the vehicle it had left. It was located again on North Pine Tree Road at La. Highway 3074.

Ariandus D. Burks, 31, had a child in the car who was unrestrained. A strong odor of marijuana was also detected coming from the car. 

A search of the car discovered a large bag of suspected marijuana hidden in the dash, a set of scales, plastic bags, and other paraphernalia. 

Burks was arrested and the child released to his mother.

Burks was booked for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance in the presence of a minor, illegal window tint, improper child restraints, and obstruction of driver’s view.

Bail was set at $20,000.

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. 

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The residents of the Fourth Precinct

The residents of Washington Township’s Fourth Precinct in Ames, Iowa were unenthused about the upcoming 1972 presidential election.  The Democratic Party’s nominee was Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against the incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon.  The residents of the Fourth Precinct cared nothing for the campaign promises of either candidate.  In fact, because of a new redistricting plan, the residents of the Fourth Precinct showed no emotion at all about the upcoming election. 

In the spring of 1971, the Iowa Supreme Court drew up new legislative districts in an effort to produce House and Senate districts of equal size.  Iowa state law required all precincts to be of nearly equal population but the precincts could not cross legislative lines.  The law about legislative lines took precedent over the population provision.  In not so simple terms, a precinct had to be wholly contained within a legislative district.  No part of the precinct could extend into another legislative district.  As the Des Moines Tribune explained, “the precinct is bordered on the north by a legislative line, and on the other three sides by the City of Ames to which it cannot legally be attached for voting purposes.”  Therefore, the new redistricting plan created the Fourth Precinct.

On election day, Nixon won in a massive landslide and received nearly 18 million more votes than McGovern, the widest margin in presidential history, and all without the help of the Fourth Precinct.  Not a single resident of the Fourth Precinct visited the polls on election day.  Not one.  None of the residents of the Fourth Precinct gave an opinion on the presidential election before or after the election.  You see, due to the quirk in the Ohio State Legislature’s new redistricting plan, there was only a single building in the Fourth Precinct, a facility known as the Experimental Animal Production Area.  All of the residents of the Fourth Precinct were pigs.


1.      Des Moines Tribune, November 2, 1972, p.1.

2.     Sioux City Journal, November 3, 1972, p.15.

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Regional semifinals begin today for Karl Malone Toyota Bracket Contest presented by Martin Presence


The regional finals begin today as only 16 teams remain in the pursuit of the 2023 NCAA National Championship.

A few Cinderella’s are still alive. A number of blue bloods have been ousted.

It is what makes this time of the year so much fun.

One lucky participant in the Karl Malone Toyota Bracket Contest presented by Martin Presence will take home $1,000 in cash come early April.

It will be one shining moment in more ways than one.

It’s free. It’s fun. It’s March basketball.

To see the update standings, go HERE

Notice: Just one winner of the $1,000.00. The Rules can change without notice. The contest can be canceled without notice to participants. Not responsible for any technical failures. All decisions by Management are final. If you have any questions or feedback, please send an email to:

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LQHBA SCHOLARSHIPS: $6,000 to be awarded

This is a paid advertorial.

Join us for the Mardi Gras Futurity and Louisiana Downs Futurity at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, March 25, 2023

Three scholarships will be awarded through a LIVE drawing in the Louisiana Downs winner’s circle on Saturday, March 25th, immediately following the 4th race.

Applicants must register in person beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Registration will close promptly after the third race.


  • For more information on the scholarship eligibility or the rules, please see the attached flyer or visit LQHBA.COM

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Tech Softball Alumni Weekend set for April 14-16

More than 50 former Tech players returned for Alumni Weekend last year at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

When Josh Taylor was hired as the Louisiana Tech head coach, one of his goals was to connect with more than four decades of Lady Techster softball alums.

Last year was a great starting point when more than 50 former players returned for the inaugural Alumni Weekend at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

This year Taylor and Co. hopes to see that number grow when Tech hosts UTSA in a three-game Conference USA series April 14-16.

“Our alumni weekend is special,” said Taylor. “The turnout and reception from last year’s event was second to none, and our current staff and players couldn’t be more excited to welcome back everyone this year. Our alumni encompass more than 40 years of Tech softball and they represented and helped build this program and put it on the collegiate softball map. It should be another great weekend and we hope to see another great turnout. “

All former Louisiana Tech softball players, managers and coaches are invited back for the weekend with single games set for Friday (6 p.m.), Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

To RSVP for the weekend, all former players, managers and coaches are asked to fill out this form. RSVPs are due by April 1 but alumni won’t be turned down if they RSVP after the requested date.

A number of events are scheduled for Saturday, April 15.           Following the contest on Saturday, all alumni who are in attendance will be recognized on the field along with the current Lady Techster players and coaches followed by a “team” photo.           An open house of one of the best softball facilities in the country – including locker room, team meeting room, players’ lounge, coaches’ offices, sports medicine and the indoor hitting facility with the Origin Bank Soccer and Softball Complex – will be given to all alums following the on-field recognition.Following the open house, an Alumni Cookout (RSVPs are required) will be held as parents of current Lady Techster players have volunteered their time to cook for the alumni and their families as well as the current team.           The day will be capped by “Hitting Under the Lights,” an opportunity for all former players to take some swings at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

“We had so much fun watching so many of our former players take some cuts and flash some leather on our new field last year,” Taylor said. “It’s really laid back and a lot of fun for everyone.”        

All alumni returning for the event will receive up to two free tickets for the weekend while additional tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate ($10) for the weekend’s 3-games.  

Weekend Itinerary

Friday, April 146 pm Lady Techsters vs UTSA

Saturday, April 1512 p.m. Dr. Billy Bundrick Gates Open12 p.m. Alumni Check-in begins2 pm Lady Techsters vs UTSAFollowing the end of gameAlumni Recognition on FieldAlumni/Team Photo on FieldOpen House of Origin Bank Softball and Soccer FacilityAlumni/Team MealHitting Under the LightsSunday, April 161 pm Lady Techsters vs UTSA

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Local swimmers shine in regional meet

By Malcolm Butler

A number of local swimmers from the Bulldog Aquatic Club competed in the Big River Age Group Swim Championships last weekend in Shreveport.

The regional event features some of the fastest athletes from the state’s of Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and north Texas (DFW area).

The age groups included 10-and-under, 11-12 and 13-14.

Joseph G. Amiano and Camdyn Napper highlighted the weekend competition with each competitor earning the high point award in their respective age groups.

Amiano dominated in his age group, finishing first in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter backstroke, the 100m butterfly, the 50m backstroke, the 100m freestyle, the 100m individual medley, the 200m freestyle and the 50m butterfly.

Napper also had a strong showing, winning the 500m freestyle, the 200m breaststroke, the 100m butterfly, the 200m backstroke and the 200m freestyle.

“These athletes came in and competed well,” said BAC coach Rocky Smith. “This is a meet with great athletes from multiple states in this region.  This team was represented well at the meet.  I am so proud of these young athletes.  The Bulldog Aquatic Club has a bright future ahead.”

JJ Hoover won the 100m breaststroke while finishing in the top 5 in all eight events he entered.

13-14 Girls

Bre Senn (13) — 15th in the 50 Freestyle, 15th in the 100 Backstroke, 8th in the 100 Butterfly, 8th in the 200 Individual Medley, 14th in the 100 Freestyle, 10th in the 200 Backstroke, 10th in the 200 Freestyle, and 5th in the 100 Breaststroke.  

11-12 Boys

Joseph “G” Amiano (12) — 1st in the 50 Freestyle, 1st in the 100 Backstroke, 1st in the 100 Butterfly, 1st in the 50 Backstroke, 1st in the 100 Freestyle, 1st in the 100 Individual Medley, 1st in the 200 Freestyle, and 1st in the 50 Butterfly. 

13-14 Boys

 John “JJ” Hoover (13) — 3rd in the 200 Butterfly, 4th in the 100 Backstroke, 2nd in the 200 Breaststroke, 2nd in the 100 Butterfly, 4th in the 200 Individual Medley, 3rd in the 200 Backstroke, 3rd in the 400 Individual Medley, and 1st in the 100 Breaststroke. 

Camdyn Napper (14) — 2nd in the 200 Butterfly, 2nd in the 100 Backstroke, 1st in the 500 Freestyle, 1st in the 200 Breaststroke, 1st in the 100 Butterfly, 2nd in the 200 Individual Medley, 1st in the 200 Backstroke, and 1st in the 200 Freestyle. 

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NLMC Job Opening: RN-ICU (Full-time days)

Position: RN-ICU (Full-time Days)

Description: Responsible for the delivery of patient care through the nursing process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Responsible for directing, coordinating all nursing care based on established clinical nursing practices. Collaborates with other professional disciplines to ensure effective and efficient patient care delivery and the achievement of desired patient outcomes. Population: Patients requiring mechanical ventilators, invasive lines/procedures, temporary pacemakers, vasoactive intravenous infusions and invasive hemodynamic monitoring.

Benefits: Competitive salaries, 401k, benefits

Apply: go to ABOUT US and click on CAREERS

This is a paid Job Posting

To get rates to advertise your businesses job posting, email

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NLMC Job Opening: Med Tech (Full-time)


Position: Med Tech (Fulltime)

Description: Med Tech performs routine and specialized moderate and high complex laboratory tests on all types of blood and bodily fluid specimens under minimal supervision. Insures accurate and reliable test results by adhering to strict quality control programs. Performs instrument checks and preventative maintenance procedures according to department’s policies and procedures. Maintains records and statistical data according to regulative requirements. Assists as needed in all laboratory areas as required to maintain appropriate patient care.

Must have a Louisiana License for Clinical Laboratory Science

Benefits: Competitive salaries, 401k, benefits

Apply: go to ABOUT US and click on CAREERS

This is a paid Job Posting

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Remembering Thuyen Thi Do

Thuyen Thi Do

Funeral mass for Mrs. Thuyen Thi Do, age 54 of Ruston, LA will be held at 12:00 PM, Friday, March 24, 2023 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church with Father Kevin officiating. Services will be held under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston.

Thuyen was born December 10, 1968 in Vietnam to Xu Nguyen and Kiem Do and passed away March 16, 2023 in Ruston.

Thuyen is survived by her husband and the owner of Tina’s Nails, Den Tran; two daughters: Quynh Nhu Tran and husband Dang Dinh Nguyen and Hainhi Tran and husband Duc Trong Le; son Hai Dang Tran and wife Thao Nguyen Truong; four grandsons: Nathan Nguyen, Jaden Nguyen, Eden Le and Aiden Le; one granddaughter Selena Tran; and a host of other family and many friends.

Visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM, Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Ruston. To leave an online memorial message for the family, please visit

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Remembering Curtis Otwell

Curtis Otwell

Funeral services for Curtis Otwell, 96, of Quitman, will be held at 10:00 A.M., Friday, March 24, 2023 at Sweetwater Baptist Church in Quitman, Louisiana. Brother Stuart Toms will officiate. His final resting place will be at Sweetwater Baptist Church Cemetery.

Curtis Otwell passed on to Heaven’s gate on March 21, 2023. He was married to the love of his life, Marguerite Doomas Otwell for 67 years. Curtis worked at the mill in Hodge, Louisiana as a machine tender on #1 paper machine for 39 years. Being a man of many talents, he was also a painter, roofed houses, and worked at the laundry and cleaners in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Curtis attended Sweetwater Baptist Church for 63 years. He loved the Lord first and was an ordained deacon, July 20, 1997.

Curtis was preceded in death by his wife, Marguerite Doomas Otwell; son, Stephen Michael Otwell; parents, Eula and Ester Franklin Otwell.

Curtis is survived by his children, Phillip Dennis Otwell and wife Barbara, Patricia Lynn Otwell Reed; grandchildren, Syble Otwell Deal, Sallie Otwell Finn, Burt Reed, Kendell Reed, Nathan Reed; great-grandchildren, Cam, Codi, Addison, Allie, Paxton, Jordyn, Raylan; special “grandchildren”, Gabe and Brian McMillan; and many nieces, nephews, and other cherished family and friends.  

Pallbearers will be Barry Donar, Gary Brown, Todd Cooper, Roger Counsel, Burt Reed, Nathan Reed and Buddy Burnham. Honorary Pallbearers will be Paxton Reed, and Raylan Layfield.

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Remembering Diane Guidry Lebrun

Diane Guidry Lebrun

Diane Guidry Lebrun, a loving mother, a courageous woman, loyal friend, and an ever contagious energy of joy, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home on Monday, March 13, 2023. She was surrounded by the love of family and her beloved pets. 

Diane was born a fiery redhead with a glowing spirit, on April 5, 1954, in Lafayette Louisiana. She attended Lafayette High School and graduated in 72. Diane never missed her high school reunions for 50 years. She was a proud Ragin’ Cajun woman, who never missed an opportunity to exchange stories, laughs, and intoxicate anyone in her presence with her genuine smile. With her fun loving personality, she was a force to be reckoned with, and admired by many who had the luxury to meet and know her in their life. She never met a stranger whom she wouldn’t give her all to, or make laugh with her bold sense of humor. 

Diane was a highly skilled and cherished Hairdresser in Ruston area for over 49 years. Her clients were not just clients, they were family to her. She was a celebrated, vibrant multitalented woman, recording many records, and serenaded many audiences with her beautiful voice at festivals, weddings, funerals, and just about any event in life that brought people together. Singing was her passion, and her stunning voice, is one that will resonate in the choir of heaven for eternity. 

With her great love and adoration for her children, she led with loyalty and love beyond measure. Diane pushed through every moment in life, where a tragedy or challenge would hinder most, she shined brighter from within, and these moments only refined her already glowing spirit to shine brighter. She has proven to be a remarkable example of grace, resilience, and a woman whose faith in God was worn proudly on her heart and through her smile. The way that she lifted others, even when she was met with her own obstacles, was the purest example of selfless kindness and compassion for others. 

She was a dynamic woman who made her mark on this world, encouraging us all to live vibrantly, bravely, colorfully, and remember to sing loudly even in the rain. Don’t forget to have fun along the journey, dance till you drop, and love deeply every aspect of your life. That’s so Diane! 

She was preceded in death by her mother; Esther Mouton; her father, Alton Guidry; her brothers, Steve and Morgan Guidry; as well as widow, Ty Lebrun. She is survived by her siblings; Mitchell Guidry and Joy Cyrus. She has two children Jacob and Alana Hogg. In addition, she has many loving cousins, nieces and nephews. 

Please join family and friends for Diane’s Celebration of Life at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, March 25, 2023, in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Home, 209 N. Bonner Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1:00 P.M. until service time.

Online condolences, flowers and family pay may be sent to the family at


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Remembering Littie Kirkham Yarbrough

Littie Kirkham Yarbrough

Memorial services for Littie L. Kirkham Yarbrough, 76, of Ruston, will be held at 2:00 P.M., Sunday March 26, 2023 in the chapel of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes, 209 N. Bonner Street. Ruston, Louisiana. Pastor Thomas Ussery will officiate. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1:00 P.M. until the time of service at the funeral home.

Littie was born on January 3, 1947 to Isaac C. Kirkham and Janie Rebecca Edwards of Clay, Louisiana and passed away peacefully on March 14, 2023 after a brief illness. She was a member of LifePoint Church in Ruston. Littiewas precededin death her daughter, Tina Cryer.

Littie is survived by her two sons, Ben Brittingham and Thomas Larry; Littie is also survived by her brother, Louie Kirkham; grandchildren, Crystal Southerland, Jeff and Christian Brittingham, along with Anna, Emma, and Amelia Larry; 9 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and other cherished family and friends.

Online condolences may be made to the family at



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Notice of death — March 22, 2023

Horace Norman Williams 
Wednesday 04/09/1930 — Sunday 03/19/2023  
Family Gathering: Friday 03/24/2023 2:00pm to 3:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Visitation: Friday 03/24/2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Celebration of Life: Saturday 03/25/2023 11:00am, Asberry Missionary Baptist Church, 604 Paine Rd., Chatham 
Interment: Saturday 03/25/2023 Following Service, Asberry Cemetery, Chatham 

Sally Guffie 
July 22, 1946 – March 21, 2023 
Services pending 

Orville Schroeder  
June 13, 1938 – March 18, 2023  
Visitation: Friday, March 24, 2023, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home  
Graveside Service: Friday, March 24, 2023, 2:30 PM. New Hope Cemetery. 292 New Hope Road, Choudrant  

Reverend Henry Island  
Died: Sunday 03/12/2023  
Visitation: Saturday 03/25/2023 11:00am to 1:00pm at King’s Funeral Home  
Celebration of Life: Saturday 03/25/2023 1:00pm, New Rocky Valley Baptist Church, 2155 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Grambling  
Interment: Saturday 03/25/2023 Following Service, Grambling Memorial Garden, Highway 80 West, Grambling  

Thuyen Do   
December 10, 1968 – March 16, 2023   
Services pending   

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BREAKING: Hall named girls varsity hoops coach at Cedar Creek

Katie Hall will be the new Cedar Creek School varsity girls basketball coach. (Courtesy photo)

By Malcolm Butler


A familiar face and a household name in the Lincoln Parish area is the new Cedar Creek School varsity girl’s basketball coach.

Katie (Cochran) Hall will follow in the footsteps of recently retired Gene Vandenlangenberg.

Cedar Creek Head of School Cindy Hampton and Hall met with the team this morning to inform them of the news. Vandenlangenberg announced his decision to retire from coaching two weeks ago, while Hall has spent the past two years serving as the middle school coach for Cedar Creek.

“We are so happy to have Katie Hall as Head Coach for our varsity and junior varsity girls’ basketball teams,” said Hampton. “She has the experience as both a collegiate player and coach and we look forward to seeing this program continue to grow under her leadership.”

Hall said she is eager to get started in her new position.

“I am very passionate about the game of basketball and these kids and this school,” said Hall. “I fell in love with this school and these players. It’s a unique place to be and I feel a part of it. I think this is all about God’s timing. Everywhere I turned it was like this is what God wants me to do.

“(My daughter) Kennedy was on board and wants me to coach the team. That was important to me. I want to make memories with her and all of these girls. I have so many great memories from my high school playing days, even things off the court. I want to help these girls make those types of memories.”

Hall has a basketball background that runs deep.

An all-state performer for the C.E. Byrd Yellow Jackets, leading the program to a pair of Louisiana Class 5A state titles in the mid-1990s. She was named the MVP of the 1993 state title game the year Byrd was ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Top 25 poll.

Following her prep career, she signed a national letter of intent to play for legendary Hall of Fame coach Leon Barmore and the nationally renowned Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. During her four years with the program, the Lady Techsters posted a 121-15 record and won four Sun Belt Conference titles.

Hall experienced four NCAA Tournaments. She served as the co-Captain her senior year on the 1998 team that made a run to the NCAA National Championship game against Tennessee.

“Cedar Creek has hit a grand slam home run in the hiring of Katie as their girls basketball coach,” said Barmore. “They just hired a winner that knows her basketball and how to coach. Players will love playing for her. It’s a perfect fit.”

Following graduation, Hall was an administrative assistant for one year at both Ole Miss and for two years at LA Tech before being promoted to full-time assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Lady Techsters for four years. She was a member of four straight Western Athletic Conference title teams and four NCAA Tournaments.

Hall has been the owner and instructor of Hall of Hoops since 2007, conducting private lessons, camps and clinics for boys and girls throughout the past 16 years.

She said she wants to continue the winning tradition that has been established at Cedar Creek.

“I love what Gene and Nicole (Barron) have done with this program,” said Hall. “It’s been so successful, and they laid such a great foundation. These girls love the game. They play hard and know what it takes to win. That’s a reflection of what Gene and Nicole have done with this program.”

Vandenlangenberg said he is excited about the hire and the future of the program.

“She has a great relationship with these kids already,” said Vandenlangenberg. “With her coaching the middle school girls already, she already has the respect and love of those kids and is the perfect person for the job. The girls love her. She checks all the boxes for what you would want at Cedar Creek, and I know she will do an awesome job. I am very excited for her and for the girls.”

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Grambling, NBA Legend Willis Reed dies at 80

Photo courtesy Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

By T. Scott Boatright

Sometimes one sentence is all that needs to be said about someone.

“They called him Captain for a reason.”

Those words came from Larry Wright Sr. as he remembered former Grambling basketball great and NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 80 in a Houston hospital.

Reed, who grew in Bernice, led what was then known as Grambling College to its only men’s basketball national championship in 1961 before moving on to become an NBA legend with the New York Knicks, who he led to two NBA titles. 

At Grambling, Reed helped lead the Tigers to an NAIA National Title and three Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, scoring 2,280 career points and averaging 26.6 points per game and 21.3 rebounds per game during his senior year.

He was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1965 and its Most Valuable Player in 1970, as well as a seven-time All-Star and a five-time All-NBA selection during his 10-season, injury-shortened career. Reed was also eventually named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams.

“The Knicks organization is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Captain, Willis Reed,” the Knicks said in a statement on Twitter. “As we mourn, we will always strive to uphold the standards he left behind — the unmatched leadership, sacrifice and work ethic that personified him as a champion among champions.”

Aaron James, who starred at Grambling and then in the NBA for the New Orleans Jazz in the 1970s, first got to know Reed when James came to play under the late Grambling State University Coach Fred Hobdy.

“I’ve known Willis since 1970, but especially after he came back around here we’ve gotten pretty close,” James said. “All of Hobdy’s old stars always came back to talk to us before the season began. I was a freshman and could tell right there he was a good person who cared.”

During his time in college, Reed led Grambling to an NAIA National Title and three Southwestern Athletic Conference championships. Reed scored 2,280 career points, and averaged 26.6 points per game and 21.3 rebounds per game during his senior year at Grambling.

Later, when James started playing in the NBA, Reed was there to serve as a mentor.

“There were a lot of things that an NBA rookie was obviously green about,” James said. “So I called Willis. I’d ask about pointers on offense and defense and things I needed to do, or some things you’re having problems with. He always gave good advice.

“But not just pertaining to basketball. He gave good advice about a lot of life issues, too. A lot of times he wouldn’t tell you what to do. He’d tell you what his feelings about it were, but he left it up to you to do what you need to do. And he still liked to joke and tell lies. That was another big part of Willis.”

James and Wright agreed that the college coach of all three of them, Reed included, was the glue that bonded the three together for life.

“Playing for Fred Hobdy, you always had the bond with the people that came before you and played after you, because he kind of united people,” James said. “During our time in school here all the old players used to come back.

“Coach Hobdy and Willis even had a basketball camp – the Hobdy/Reed Basketball Camp. All the old players would come back and work the camp and then after we’d play against each other. And then we’d sit down and hear a lot of their stories. And Willis didn’t have to try to get our attention. We all knew who he was.”

After retiring as a player, Reed coached the Knicks in 1977-78 before moving on to  Creighton University for four seasons.

He later became head coach of the New Jersey Nets in 1988 before taking a job in New Jersey’s front office as general manager and vice president of basketball operations.

Reed remained with the Nets through the 2002-03 season before taking over as the executive VP of the New Orleans Hornets, a spot he held for three years.

He was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. And in 1996, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

In January of 2020, Grambling State named the court at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center for Reed, whose close friend Wilbert Ellis called a crowning achievement for the man known as Captain.

“He wanted a good athletic program, that’s why he donated like he did,” Ellis said. “One of his greatest moments was when he walked out there with his name on the floor of that court. That was a great night when they pushed him out there and he saw and felt his appreciation for all he gave to Grambling. That’s the heartbeat I’m talking about.

Like James, Wright called Reed a father-figure who was there for him and many others over the years including after Wright first met Reed as a youth attending a Hobdy/Reed Basketball Camp.

That was close to the same time Wright watching a badly-injury Reed turned in a still legendary performance to lead the Knicks to a Game 7 NBA Championship Game win.

“They don’t call you Captain unless you’re special,” Wright said. “To see a Gramblinite, who had talked to you in one of those Hobdy-Reed Basketball Camps, walk out there against Wilt Chamberlain. That made me believe I could do anything. 

“Because when I was young, Willis said I could.

Reed leaves behind wife Gale along with two children.

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Bearcats, Cougars among Bayou Jamb participants


Both Ruston High and Cedar Creek are among the 14 schools that will participate in the 17th annual Bayou Jamb in August.

Last year’s event was held at Joe Aillet Stadium on the Louisiana Tech campus. However, due to the facility being used for the Bulldogs regular season opener against FIU on Saturday, Aug. 26, event organizers were forced to find a different location.

This year’s event will move east to Don Shows Field inside Rebel Stadium.

“Choosing a venue for a sporting event of this magnitude is one of the most important decisions we make,” said Patti Thurmon, Owner of Bayou jamb, LLC. “Everything from facility access, football schedules, campus events, parking, venue layout, catering, and fan experience impacts the decision. While we maintain the right and look to host the Bayou Jamb on a collegiate campus again in the future, the City of West Monroe and West Monroe High School has all the ideal qualities in terms of facilities, location, environment, and amenities for the Bayou Jamb to be a success.”

Joining the Bearcats and the Cougars are Evangel High School, Ouachita High School, West Monroe High School, Red River High School, D’Arbonne Woods Charter School, Jonesboro Hodge High School, St. Frederick High School, Mangham High School, Jena High School, Ouachita Christian High School, Many High School, and Oak Grove High School.

Seven games in two days will comprise the preseason football jamboree with each team having the opportunity to compete in two 15-minute halves.

Ruston is scheduled to face West Monroe Friday, August 25 while Cedar Creek will face Mangham on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The Bayou Jamb Football Jamboree highlights local high school players and gives each team a chance for an exhibition tune-up before the regular season begins.


Friday, August 25, 2023

6:00 pm Evangel High School vs. Ouachita High School

8:00 pm Ruston High School vs. West Monroe High School

Saturday, August 26th, 2023

11:00 am Red River High School vs. D’Arbonne Woods Charter School

1:00 pm Jonesboro Hodge High School vs. St. Frederick High School

3:00 pm Mangham High School vs. Cedar Creek High School

5:00 pm Jena High School vs. Ouachita Christian High School

7:00 pm Many High School vs. Oak Grove High School

It is important to note that all games are subject to changes, and some could be moved to accommodate participating schools. A promotional schedule of additional Fan Jamb Week activities will be released at a later date. 

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Ruston Art Encounter focuses on food this weekend

Saturday, March 25, 2023 marks the date of the fourth Ruston Art Encounter with unique art activities planned for area residents.  

Participants can begin their walk at any of the participating businesses. This one-mile walking art trail features over 100 artists. A juried food art exhibition will be on display at several local businesses, many of which will also have a tempting treat inside. 

Visitors will be able to experience 2- and 3-D visual, textile and culinary artistry created by local student and community artists. This art is all about food; the art will reflect food, be made with food, or be food. Interactive demonstrations have been planned throughout the day and include: 

12:15-12:45 pm – “Farm-to-Table” at the Ruston Farmer’s Market 
1:00-1:30 pm -” I HeART You Coffee” at The Depot 
1:30-2:00 pm – “Wear Your Food” at Ruston Artisans 
2:00-2:30 pm – “Painting with Coffee” at Fine Line Supply Co 
2:30-3:00 pm – “Brew Tour” at Utility Brewing 
3:00-3:30 pm – “Play with Your Food” at Board and Bottle (Railway Coffee) 
3:30-4:00 pm – “Cook Like a Rock Star” at Heard Freighthouse Food Park

Many local businesses, corporations and non-profit groups are supporting local art talent through their sponsorship and donations. This event is managed by Friends of Ruston Mainstreet and sponsored by Origin Bank, Century Next Bank, Experience Ruston/CVB, Ruston Cultural District, Driggers Outdoor Advertising, Fine Line Supply, anonymous donors and Ruston Artisans.  

The Ruston Art Encounter conducts unique, bi-monthly events designed to celebrate the arts and community. The organizers believe that art provides an opportunity to generate conversation and education and they invite residents to join them for this art event.  

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