BOM sponsors 15th Annual Ray Forcier Memorial Tri-State Rodeo 

BOM continued sponsorship of the 15th Annual Ray Forcier Memorial Tri-State Rodeo presented by Rockin J Rodeo Company. Pictured left to right: BOM’s Nancy Simpson and Ed Jorden. 

Shreveport man killed in Rapides Parish crash

Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a one-vehicle crash on Nov. 2 around 10:50 am on I-49 near Mile Post 78. The crash claimed the life of 76-year-old Tandy McElwee Jr. of Shreveport.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by McElwee, was traveling north on I-49. For reasons still under investigation, McElwee’s vehicle traveled off the roadway, entered the median and struck the cable barrier.

McElwee, who was restrained, sustained severe injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Routine toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state.  Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving.  A lapse in one’s awareness can have deadly consequences. 

In 2023, Troop E has investigated 45 fatal crashes, resulting in 50 deaths.

UPDATE: Louisiana State Police investigating officer-involved shooting

A Shreveport Police Department officer conducted a traffic stop Sunday around 8:45 a.m. in the 2700 block of Marquette Avenue.  The officer encountered a male subject, an occupant in the vehicle.  Shortly thereafter, the subject fled, and a foot pursuit ensued.  At the termination of the foot pursuit, the subject produced a handgun.  As a result, shots were fired.  The subject was struck and was transported to a local trauma center, where he was later pronounced deceased.  No officers were injured during this incident.  

The Shreveport Police Department requested Louisiana State Police (LSP) to investigate this officer-involved shooting.  LSP Investigators are working diligently to process this crime scene and gather further information.  

Anyone with information and/or pictures and video is urged to share that information with LSP Investigators by calling 318-741-2739.

In addition to the option above, citizens can anonymously report information through the Louisiana State Police online reporting system by visiting or calling the LSP Fusion Center Hotline at 1-800-434-8007.

Information will be updated as it becomes available.

See below for the initial news release from 10:21 Sunday morning.

Louisiana State Police Investigators have been requested by Shreveport Police Department to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Shreveport.  Investigators are working diligently to process the crime scene and gather further information.  Additional details will be released when available.

Biomedical Research and Industry Day builds bridges between science and industry

A biomedical researcher can’t just wake up one day and decide to “do science.”

Building a team and securing funding are key aspects along with the academic exercise of “doing science,” Dr. Kevin Lin told more than 100 aspiring researchers at the Biomedical Research and Industry Day (BRAID) hosted by LSUS.

Lin, an associate professor of neurology at LSU Health Shreveport, emphasized that “the science” that everybody loves to perform requires networking, grant writing, and relationship building.

“The best way to go about this is that you need to get grants before you publish your papers,” Lin said. “People and the relationships you form help you get funded, and faster.

“A lot of people say they got into science because they want to hide behind the bench and never talk to anybody, but that’s not the way the world works.”

The BRAID event is designed to build bridges between research and industry, making connections that will foster future scientific innovation.

LSUS hosted the event in partnership with LSU Health Shreveport entities such as the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences, the Center for Brain Health and the Louisiana Addiction Research Center. Other university partners included Centenary, Grambling, Louisiana Tech and ULM.

“BRAID is more than just a conference, it’s a vibrant ecosystem of ideas fostering innovation among students, scientists and clinicians,” said Wayne Nix, chief innovation officer at LSU Health Shreveport. “We celebrate the great minds of academia and industry brought together for a collaborative effort from all of our partners.

“We aim to build bridges between research and the industry world. We’re all about starting conversations that lead to new discoveries and giving tomorrow’s leaders the educational resources, the collaborative networks, and the real-world experience that you need to explore every career possibility in biomedical science.”

Lin was one of three presenters and part of a full-day conference that featured two panels.

Dr. Prashant Nedungadi, the national vice president for guidelines from the American Heart Association, discussed how to translate research into clinical practice.

Dr. Gaurav Sharma touched on how artificial intelligence assists in the drug-making process.

The panels explored career trajectories for biomedical scientists and empowering biotech entrepreneurs. The latter panel delved into legal strategies and government initiatives as well as the role of artificial intelligence.

Student and faculty researchers from the partner institutions made up the majority of the audience.

These researchers submitted a total of 71 research abstracts and completed posters to illustrate their research interests.

LSUS chancellor Dr. Robert Smith highlighted the importance of such an event on this campus and in this region.

“This is an opportunity for students, researchers, clinicians and industry partners to interact with each other on a range of important topics to our state and country,” Smith said. “Louisiana has made significant investments in biotech and biomedical applications, and we have an opportunity in the next few years to create a major national hub right here in northwest Louisiana.”

Shreveport Police Department swears in new officer, says goodbye to retiring superintendent

The Shreveport Police Department swore in a new addition to its police family. Jailer 1, Al’Kerione Johnson, was sworn in on Oct. 31 at the Shreveport Police Complex.

The department is very happy to have “Al” and are excited to see him grow in his new role as a public servant.

The same day was also bittersweet as the department said goodbye to Superintendent Joe Smith who’s served the city of Shreveport with compassion and integrity as a jailer for 29 years. He will be missed.

Congratulations on your retirement, sir.

Caddo Parish DA Victim’s Assistance Program director receives Petrina G. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award

Caddo Parish District Attorney Victim’s Assistance Program director Leone Fitzgerald is the recipient of the Petrina G. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented at the recent annual Butterfly Brunch, created by Vickie Kinnard to show gratitude to advocates, law enforcement, and all who work to assist and advocate for victims of domestic violence.

New Assistant DA sworn in for Caddo Parish

Caddo parish District Attorney James Stewart swore in Hilary Hileman on Oct. 31 as the newest Assistant District Attorney, First Judicial District. Hilary is a native of Dallas, and graduate of Texas Woman’s University and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She comes to us from the Caddo Parish Public Defender’s Office and private practice. She also previously worked at Legal Services of North Louisiana. Welcome aboard Hilary (aka “Wednesday Adams” in her Halloween outfit)!

Ribbon cutting for the LTRI facility

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Commissioner Jay Dardenne, Louisiana Tech University President Les Guice, and staff, a host of elected officials, along with Bossier Parish President Doug Rimmer and several members of the Bossier Parish Police Jury gathered at the Bossier National Cyber Research Park for the ribbon cutting of a new building for cyber research and national defense.
The Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) building will house 400 employees, including faculty and staff, who will conduct classified research in cyber technology. LTRI is a collaborative project between Louisiana Tech and the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC).
Governor Edwards said the new LTRI facility will provide a significant competitive edge in attracting the most talented and brilliant students and retaining them in North Louisiana. “The I-20 Cyber Corridor is thriving, and it has caught the attention of everyone in the private sector to the Department of Defense,” said Governor Edwards.
The LRTI building is one of three in the park aimed at creating high-paying, highly skilled jobs.

Centenary Theatre Program presents One-Act Festival November 9 and 10

The Centenary Theatre Program (CTP) will showcase student talent during a unique two-day festival format next month. CTP’s One-Act Festival, featuring six one-act plays with six different directors and casts, will be presented at Centenary’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on Thursday, November 9, and Friday, November 10. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday with three plays presented each evening.

The One-Act Festival represents an exciting evolution of class projects historically known as “Dem Labs,” which were usually smaller scenes directed by beginning student directors.

“Students in the Production I class are now getting the opportunity to work with designers, as the scope of the project has changed and they are now producing in our second main stage slot of the fall,” explained Logan Sledge, associate professor of theatre and chair of the theatre department at Centenary. “The trick has been making sure the core goals of the directing project remain in place, and that adding the technical elements for a main stage production doesn’t detract from those core goals. Our student directors are showing that they are up for the task and we can’t wait to present these one-acts to the community.”

The One-Act Festival opens with three plays on November 9 and concludes with three different offerings on November 10.

Night 1 – Thursday, November 9
Butterfly Kisses by Ashley Nader, directed by Kaeleigh Graham

This Property is Condemned by Tennessee Williams, directed by Abbie Phelan

Horse Girls by Jenny Rachel Weiner, directed by Emma Greer

Night 2 – Friday, November 10
A Game by Dennis E. Noble, directed by Hailey Chiasson

Letters For Adelaide by Grace Everett, directed by Za Brown

Anniversary by Rachel Bonds, directed by Josie Hodges

“The tagline of A Game by Dennis E. Noble is, ‘This is my land. It is mine. It is beautiful, and it is mine,’” shared student director Hailey Chiasson. “Rehearsals are filled with dialogue about the themes and characters of the show and we are constantly playing with ways to communicate those ideas. This show would not be what it is without the wonderful cast and crew behind it, and I am incredibly excited to share this impactful show with the community.”

Tickets for the One-Act Festival are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/military members, and $5 for students with ID. Tickets are free for Centenary students, faculty, and staff with ID. Visit to purchase tickets.

For more information about the Centenary Theatre Program, visit

Caddo Grand Jury returns eight indictments

The Grand Jury of Caddo Parish returned eight indictments on Oct. 26.
Brandon Batiste, 29 of Shreveport, is charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. These are in connection with the shooting death of John Henry Ruffin J., 41, and the wounding of another man outside a downtown Shreveport nightclub July 15.
Batiste was also indicted on two counts of aggravated battery, five counts of aggravated criminal property damage and illegal carrying of weapons, also on July 15.
Steven Darnell Davis, 46 of Shreveport, is charged with second-degree murder, four counts of attempted second-degree murder, possession of a firearm or carrying of a concealed weapon by a convicted felon and carrying of a firearm on school property. He is charged with the Aug. 4 slaying of Bre’Anna Hall, who was shot multiple times while driving in the 1900 block of San Jacinto Street.
Kenavion Baker, 26 of Greenwood, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the July 5 slaying of Terry Morris. Morris, 20, was found in the trunk of a car involved in a police chase that ended in San Augustine County, Texas. The indictment also charges Baker with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and armed robbery by use of a firearm.
Baker also was indicted for aggravated assault with a firearm and theft of a motor vehicle in connection with the events that day.
Three men also were indicted in connection with crimes of a sexual nature.
Demetrius Washington, 38 of Shreveport, is charged with first-degree rape, indecent behavior with a juvenile and sexual battery.
Calvin Johnson, 29 of Shreveport, is charged with first-degree rape.
Rodney Lowery, 59 of West Monroe, is charged with first-degree rape and two counts of sexual battery.
Due to the nature of the charges, the indictments for Washington, Johnson and Lowery were filed under seal, with no further details available.

Caddo Parish Child Support Investigator receives 2023 Trey Hutchison Memorial Award

Child Support Investigator Jackie Winston with the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office recently received the 2023 Trey Hutchison Memorial Award, presented by the Caddo Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force.

LSUS’s Pierce inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame

Dr. Kyle Pierce stood on the International Weightlifting Federation stage, handing out plaques of appreciation to various officials.

With no more plaques in hand, he was told to stay put with another batch on its way.

But the officials came back with just one certificate, and it had Kyle Pierce’s name on it.

Pierce was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame during the organization’s annual congress on Sept. 12 during the IWF World Championships.

“I had no idea that was going to happen in Saudi Arabia,” said Pierce, a weightlifting giant in the state, the country and throughout the world. “I wasn’t really paying attention (as I waited for more plaques to hand out), and they were talking about Hall of Fame awards or whatever, and then they called my name.

“It means a lot, especially since my nomination came from the athlete’s commission on the board. One guy from Ghana that I coached particularly made the push as I understand it, so it’s neat that it would come from the athletes.”

Pierce’s decorated coaching career includes finding and developing three-time U.S. Olympian Kendrick Farris, a Shreveport native who broke the U.S. national record in 2016 by lifting 831 total pounds combined in the snatch and clean and jerk. Farris finished in the top 11 in all three Olympic trips (2008, 2012 and 2016).

Weightlifters Pierce recruited to LSUS have spread out into the professional ranks, reaching heights such as positions with the Cincinnati Reds and the U.S. Olympic Training Center to Michigan Wolverines hockey and the University of Pittsburgh.

But Pierce’s impact is global, whether he’s traveling around the world or bringing the world to LSUS’s USA Weightlifting Development Center.

The U.S. Weightlifting Hall of Famer coached national teams from Ghana and Seychelles in addition to the U.S. at various commonwealth and Olympic games as well as bringing teams and lifters from all over the globe to train at LSUS.

Just in the last 12 months, Pierce has set foot in Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Cuba to deliver training to coaches and athletes or to present as an academic.

But the Marco Polo of weightlifting almost didn’t pursue the sport, and his journey has taken as much of a circuitous route as his world travels.


Growing up in Hollywood, Florida, north of Miami, Pierce dreamed of playing for the New York Yankees while taking swings on his dad’s Little League baseball team.

But Pierce wasn’t great – at anything.

The high school football player said he started two games in his career at an actual position, but he could kick – sort of.

“I loved sports, but I was never really that good,” Pierce said. “I wasn’t great at kicking either, but I did walk on at (then Division II) Western Kentucky.

“I got a half scholarship in my fifth and final year.”

Pierce attributed that scholarship to weightlifting and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge to improve.

He read a variety of books on strength and conditioning, nutrition and physiology among other topics.

A pair of Kentucky shot putters transferred to WKU, and Pierce said they introduced him to weightlifting. Pierce started competing in weightlifting competitions while at WKU.

“I was doing the wrong things to try and get more power in my legs – like running long distance or doing leg extensions,” Pierce explained. “I was actually taking power and explosion away from my legs.

“Weightlifting is what made the difference for me. I also always searched for information and trained diligently. I wanted to share what I had learned.”

Pierce was a part of the 1973 Hilltoppers team that won a program record 12 games before falling to Louisiana Tech in the Division II national championship game. That team was inducted into the WKU Hall of Fame this fall.

Armed with a sports recreation degree, Pierce headed back to Hollywood as a janitor at the local recreation center and a substitute teacher.

“I had a putty knife to scrape gum off the machines, and I cleaned the toilets,” Pierce said. “So I started taking classes to get certified as a teacher, and I thought I might as well get a master’s degree.”

One common thread no matter where Pierce was or what job title he had – he started or continued youth weightlifting clubs.

“I just loved the sport and wanted to teach it,” Pierce said.

Pierce finished his masters at Florida International while coaching and teaching at the high school level.

“I loved all the sports science, exercise physiology, motor learning and motor development,” said Pierce, who’s been on a mission to inject science into the coaching and sport world.

After starting his doctorate at LSU under renowned weightlifting researcher Dr. Michael Stone, Pierce switched to Auburn University after the creation of The National Strength Research Center.

“All of these places and people I encountered were great opportunities to learn about sports science, and now I could help train others correctly,” Pierce said. “No more long runs on the beach to build power.”

Pierce ping-ponged from there, serving as Auburn’s assistant women’s track coach, an LSU football graduate assistant, and a Tulane assistant strength coach. One of his more interesting stops was working with the Alabama prison system assisting psychiatric patients with therapeutic exercise.

He was a member of LSU’s 1986 Southeastern Conference Championship team as a 35-year-old offensive line graduate assistant before joining Tulane’s staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, teaching classes on top of his athletics work at his various stops.

But $1,000 monthly in New Orleans didn’t pay the bills, and Pierce left athletics to work at General Electric’s corporate fitness center at its aircraft engine plant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“I hated it,” Pierce recalls. “It was an office job, and it took me away from academics, athletics and the South.

“I wanted to really break into the strength and conditioning world, but people were suspicious of me having a doctorate’s degree and wanting to do that.”


Pierce lasted less than two years in Ohio.

LSU mentor Ronald Byrd, a trailblazer in the sports science field in his own right, pointed Pierce to a one-semester appointment at LSUS as the university started its athletics competitions in 1990.

“I was about ready to go work with my friend in his shark fishing business down in Florida, but Byrd told me about a position at LSUS,” Pierce said. “I was involved in the strength program to take Larry Rambin’s spot after he became the athletics director.”

It didn’t take long for Pierce to fire up weightlifting clubs, both for LSUS students and for local youth.

“We hosted our first weightlifting meet in 1991 in the theater, but we didn’t have any weights,” Pierce said. “Louisiana Tech’s Billy Jack Talton and (now ULM’s) Barry Rubin let us borrow weights, so I drove over there to pick them up.”

LSUS quickly became a hotbed for weightlifting, hosting various national collegiate championships, three U.S. National Championships and various youth and Pan-American championships.

Pierce attracted weightlifters from 20 states and four countries to attend LSUS through the years on top of the countless youth that have lifted at LSUS’s center.

Future LSU and San Diego Chargers running back Jacob Hester started lifting with Pierce at nine years old.

Pierce did leave in the mid-1990s to work as the training room manager at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta before taking a position with the National Strength and Conditioning Association in Colorado Springs.

But the latter was another office job out of the South, so Pierce found his way back to LSUS in short order.

Pierce was back in Shreveport by the late 1990s, in time for Kendrick Farris’ uncle to read about Pierce’s weightlifting club in a newspaper article.

Farris became one of the most accomplished U.S. weightlifters in the modern era.

He gave a video interview in 2017 when Pierce was inducted into the U.S. Weightlifting Hall of Fame.

“He’s meant everything,” said Farris after awarding Pierce the honor. “There’s this saying that the athlete is like the seed and a good coach is the soil. He’s been great for me. He’s given me an opportunity to take root and grow.

“I’ve learned so much from him, not just weightlifting but how to be an upright person. He truly embodies what the Olympic creed is about – peace through sport. He treats everyone the same. I’m truly thankful for him.”

International teams like Canada, Japan and Colombia have flocked to LSUS through the years. The Japanese trained at LSUS every year from 2009-2016.

Most recently, Pierce orchestrated a deal for Linwood Charter Middle School students to train at LSUS.

One Caddo Magnet student wanted to get involved in powerlifting, but the school didn’t have a team. Pierce is now the powerlifting coach at Caddo Magnet.

LSUS is also putting together a powerlifting team in addition to its weightlifting team.

But Pierce is much more than just a coach – he’s one of the most respected academic voices in sport.

An educator for more than four decades, Pierce infuses his coaching experience into the classroom and his academic research into the weightroom.

A scholar who has authored or co-authored 71 publications with nearly 119,000 reads and 3,000 citations according to, Pierce received the Doc Counsilman Award in 2006 from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Recipients are recognized as coaches who employ scientific techniques or equipment as an integral part of their coaching methods.

“Of all the awards or honors that I’ve been given, the Doc Counsilman Award may be the one I’m most proud of,” Pierce said.

Pierce remains an engaged LSUS faculty member, most recently crafting a kinesiology concentration in coaching to add to his strength and conditioning concentration.

Both concentrations place a heavy emphasis on sport science.


When Pierce teaches seminars or presents at academic conferences around the world, he does so with the backing of three organizations.

Pierce serves as the director of international relations at USA Weightlifting, a member of the coaching and research committee with the International Weightlifting Federation, and as the George A. Khoury Endowed Professor in Kinesiology at LSUS.

He uses funds from all three entities for his travel, although it’s not uncommon through the years for Pierce to dig into his own pocket if the need arises.

“This creates opportunities to go see countries and help out in countries that may not have the grants to do this kind of stuff,” said Pierce, who donned a Western Kentucky polo shirt, a jacket with ‘Kenya’ emblazoned on the back and pants with ‘Ghana’ running down the leg. “Most of my trips involve me participating in seminars for coaches and athletes in other countries.

“It’s an amazing opportunity because you go and stay in people’s homes and see what life is like in other countries.”

Many of Pierce’s trips this past decade have been to Africa, which started in 2014 when the IWF sent Pierce to Kenya to instruct coaches.

Kenya recommended Pierce to other African countries.

Pierce, who had never traveled out of the U.S. until his 40s, ended up coaching Ghana in the 2016 Olympics and regularly visits countries in both East and West Africa.

He worked with Ghanaian weightlifters remotely and in person since 2014, and when the country unexpectedly needed a coach, Pierce answered the call leading up to the 2016 games while also coaching Farris in those games.

Pierce was named Coach of the Year in both the U.S. and Ghana in 2016.

More recently, Pierce visited a Burundi coach who built homemade weights after the coach made his way to a Pierce seminar in Kenya.

“This guy did everything out of his house,” said Pierce, who added that he’s looking to bring students from Ghana, Rwanda and Burundi to LSUS. “He put the weights together and made the colors for different weights.

“I feel that I’m more at home in Africa than I am in the U.S.,” Pierce said. “They relax and take the time to enjoy life. They lack so many material things, but a lot of people seem to be happy because they take the time to enjoy each other.”

Pierce has traveled to countries in Asia and South America as well, spreading his love of sports science and weightlifting.

He doesn’t know when he’ll slow down – a hip replacement in September hasn’t stopped him.

“I’ve got the best job in the world,” Pierce said. “I’ve made friends from all over.”

Roosevelt-authored book highlights wildlife exhibit in Noel Collection

The cold snap is just in time for Louisiana’s duck and deer hunters to need that thermal underwear.

But if bagging a buck isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy what the outdoors has to offer at the James Smith Noel Collection through its exhibit, “In Pursuit of Wild Game.”

The exhibit celebrates Louisiana and North American wildlife through books and illustrations from the Noel Collection, which is the largest private collection of antiquarian books in the U.S.

The exhibit features U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt’s own book “The Wilderness Hunter,” a 1902 printing of the president’s pursuit of various type of game. Two other books that Roosevelt owned are also on display.

“We wanted to do something that honored Louisiana’s place as ‘The Sportsman’s Paradise,’ and this exhibit showcases the wildlife of Louisiana and other parts of North America,” said Rachel Sherman, Noel Collection cataloger. “We put together an exhibit about hunting and trapping a few years ago, but this particular exhibit focuses more on the wildlife itself.”

Colorful illustrations of red, black and silver foxes from naturalist John James Audubon stare back at visitors. Pictures of bears and elk sit nearby.

While most might associate hound hunting with the English culture, local hunters still train hounds to assist in the pursuit. Illustrations of hounds abound as they track large game like bears and moose.

“You’ll find that early settlers here participated in these activities to survive, while in England it was more about sport,” Sherman said.

Readers can explore a collection of Louisiana flora in an autographed version of Caroline Dorman’s “Wildflowers of Louisiana.”

Frontier legend Kit Carson is one of the first famous “Mountain Men” for his exploits in the West during the first half of the 19th century. Carson’s autobiographical memoir and a sampling of the sensationalized versions of Carson’s life are on display.

Or enjoy the more tranquil activity of fishing, which includes an English book from 1714 titled “The Whole Act of Fishing,” offering fishing tips and tricks.

The exhibit will be viewable until Jan. 10 in the Noel Collection, which is on the third floor of the Noel Memorial Library on the LSUS campus.

Centenary College Camerata explores classic and modern chamber music in October 30 concert

Centenary’s Camerata ushers in the College’s Homecoming week with its annual fall concert on Monday, October 30, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. Featuring Corgliano’s Fern Hilland J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 140, “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” accompanied by a chamber orchestra, the evening program in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music is free and open to the public.

Dr. Cory Wikan is dean of the Hurley School of Music and director of Camerata. Wikan has designed a concert that takes full advantage of Camerata’s 12 members, noting that the size makes the group “truly a chamber ensemble this year.”

The Bach piece, written for the 27th Sunday after Trinity and first performed on November 25, 1731, contains Advent themes. Camerata will also perform some movements from this piece at Centenary’s annual Christmas Candlelight service in Brown Chapel on Friday, December 1.

“It is imperative that emerging artists learn the great works of Bach, a continued staple in the standard repertoire,” said Wikan. “Camerata also likes to explore newer works. John Corigliano wrote Fern Hill circa 1961, and the chamber orchestra version (Mezzo-soprano solo, harp, piano, and strings) was created in 1999. Set to Dylan Thomas’s tremendous poetry about summers at his family farm, it coincidentally follows Bach’s Cantata nicely. The musical language of both is surely different, but the arch of looking ahead to Christ’s arrival (Advent), and Thomas’s boyhood and backward gaze of maturity will make the experience of Camerata’s fall concert feel complete, expansive, forward thinking, reflective, and exciting.”

Camerata, founded in 1983, is the select chamber choir from the Hurley School of Music. The composition of the group is primarily voice majors, though membership is open to all Centenary students by audition.

For more information, contact or call 318.869.5235.

Henderson named as Louisiana Tech president

Shreveport native Dr. Jim Henderson was named the next president of Louisiana Tech University in a Wednesday night special meeting of the University of Louisiana System board of supervisors in Baton Rouge. Fr

Formerly chancellor at Bossier Parish Community College and president of Northwestern State University, Henderson has served as president and CEO of the University of Louisiana System for nearly seven years.  

“Louisiana Tech is an exceptional institution with global impact. My family’s relationship with Tech began more than 80 years ago, in 1941, when my dad signed to play football for Joe Aillet and continues today as my youngest son just entered his sophomore year,” Henderson said. “It is an honor to succeed President Guice. I look forward to moving home to North Louisiana to work alongside the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community to lead Tech into its next era of excellence.” 

During a meeting earlier this month, the Board voted to suspend its Board Rule guiding presidential searches and name Dr. Henderson as the sole finalist for Louisiana Tech’s presidency.  

“When Dr. Henderson expressed his interest in this role, the Board explored all available options for this particular circumstance. After deliberations and recognizing the talent and characteristics we have witnessed supervising Dr. Henderson the past seven years, it is clear that he is uniquely qualified to serve this lauded institution as it continues toward an even brighter future,” Board Chair Liz Pierre said.  

“As an alumnus and resident of the Ruston community, I couldn’t be more excited for Tech’s future,” Board member Steve Davison said. “The university has thrived under Les’ leadership and Jim is poised to build on that foundation which will lead to even more growth and innovation.” 

Last month, Dr. Les Guice announced his intention to retire from Louisiana Tech at the end of the year. 

“It has been my honor to serve the Tech community for more than 45 years, 10 of those as president, and seven of those under the leadership of Dr. Henderson,” Guice said. “I appreciate the Board’s thoughtfulness and am confident in Jim’s ability to lead this institution I hold so dear. I look forward to working with him throughout the transition and beyond.”  

Henderson, a Shreveport native, previously served as president of Northwestern State University and Bossier Parish Community College. Both institutions experienced significant enrollment growth during his tenure. 

“Our student body is excited to welcome Dr. Henderson to the Louisiana Tech community,” SGA President Connor Smith said. “In our interactions, I have experienced the same warmth and approachability we have enjoyed with our current president. I look forward to working with him to celebrate Tech’s achievement and navigate any challenges ahead.”   

With a diverse community of students, Louisiana Tech is committed to quality in teaching, research, creative activity, public service and economic development.  

“I’ve worked closely with Dr. Henderson on various System initiatives during my tenure at Louisiana Tech,” Dr. Jamie Newman, professor of biology and Universities of Louisiana Management & Leadership Institute participant, said. “I believe he will bring with him new energy and will support our faculty in elevating the university’s most important work, its academic mission.” 

With a community population just over 22,000, Louisiana Tech is vital to the Ruston community. 

“I have known Jim for many years and am excited to welcome him to Ruston to lead Louisiana Tech,” Ruston Mayor Ronnie Walker said. “Louisiana Tech is the economic driver for our city and we look forward to working with Dr. Henderson to continue the close relationship between Tech and the City of Ruston.” 

“I have known Dr. Jim Henderson for many years beginning with his chancellorship at Bossier Parish Community College to his presidency at Northwestern and now as president of the University of Louisiana System,” Regent Bob Levy, Ruston community member, said. “I believe he has the talent and vision to lead Louisiana Tech into even greater successes in the near future and beyond. I am fully confident that Jim will provide another chapter to Tech’s line of great presidents.” 

Henderson will begin his role as president on January 1.  

Gallot appointed as UL System president

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System unanimously voted to appoint Rick Gallot as its new System president during a Wednesday night special meeting in Baton Rouge. Gallot is the sitting president at Grambling State University and previously represented Grambling and northeast Louisiana in both the state Senate and House of Representatives.  

“Rick’s long career of servant leadership to our state prepared him well for this role,” Board Chair Liz Pierre said. “After thoughtful consideration, the Board believes President Gallot is best positioned to lead the University of Louisiana System to new heights in the coming years.”

Named Grambling’s 10th president in 2016, Gallot led the institution through a period of historic growth including setting new enrollment records and a 200 percent improvement in the institution’s fiscal health score.  

“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to serve the students, faculty, staff and Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System,” Gallot said. “The sense of Systemness created by Dr. Henderson is something I look forward to carrying on by leveraging the collective strength of 90,000 students as the driver of higher education in the state of Louisiana.”

Gallot earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Grambling and a juris doctorate from Southern University School of Law. He is currently pursuing a doctorate of organizational leadership from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. He has also completed leadership training from Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

He will succeed Dr. Jim Henderson whom the Board named earlier this evening to fill the presidential vacancy at Louisiana Tech University. Information about the search to replace Gallot at Grambling will be announced at a later date.                            

“Rick is ideally suited to carry on this work and take it to the next level,” said current UL System President and CEO Dr. Jim Henderson. “His character, leadership acumen, and political instincts will ensure the UL System continues to advance at an even more rapid pace.”

Gallot will begin his new role January 1. 

Major fire destroys five businesses on Benton Road

The Bossier City Fire Department recently responded to a call of a commercial fire. The first arriving engine arrived in two minutes and reported “heavy smoke and flames visible.” After the initial report there was a call for a second alarm. 
Reports say the fire started at the Benton Road Auto Repair. This building, as well as the other businesses involved, sustained either very heavy or total damage. The owner of the repair shop is James Scotto. This is a third generation business. 
Other businesses involved were a salon, grooming, exterminating business and a State Farm Insurance office. There were no injuries reported. The fire is still under investigation.

Demons on Fire: Anna Claire and Karrigan Rowse

Who is messier? Who’s the better driver? More responsible? Which one is which? Twins Anna Claire and Karrigan Rowse are fraternal, but their resemblance in looks, voices, interests, and friendly personalities — and tendency to speak in unison — is so striking, that they could be taken as identical.  The two Northwestern State University seniors grew up in Lake Charles, graduated from Barbe High School in 2020, and began their college journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the oldest of five children with two sisters who are 18 months apart in 12th and 10th grade and a younger brother in fifth grade.

NSU was not initially on their radar, but a nudge from their grandfather, Jackie Self of Leesville, a 1979 graduate of NSU, pointed them in the right direction. They are now completing clinicals at Rapides Regional Medical Center and will collect their undergraduate degrees in nursing during commencement exercises on Dec. 13.

Anna Claire and Karrigan sat down with NSU staff to talk about growing up twins, their plans for the future, and their experiences at NSU.  The conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Do you often get mistaken for one another? 

In Unison:  Every single day.

Who is older?

Anna Claire:  I’m older by a minute and I make sure she doesn’t forget it.

What attracted you to NSU?

Karrigan:  When we came here, our recruiter was nice and we met [Director of Recruiting and Enrollment Management] Van Erikson and he was super nice and we met Dr. [Chris] Maggio, who was president at the time, and all of them made us feel like we weren’t just a number. They wanted us here because of who we were and what we can contribute to Northwestern. The nursing program is also really good. They were really personable to us when we came.

Anna Claire:  I could say the same thing.  We came together.  We didn’t want to stay too close to home. We stayed at NSU, which was the best decision that we made.

You started college during COVID. Can you talk about some of the challenges and how going to college during COVID met with your expectations? 

Anna Claire:  We graduated during COVID, which was very weird.  We didn’t expect to ever have to do anything like that but I think we made the most of it. We got to do Freshman Connection, even though it was different.  We joined a sorority, so we got that experience. We joined the BCM [Baptist Collegiate Ministry], we joined other clubs. We still made the most out of it, even though it was a very different experience than we were expecting.

Karrigan:  I think we didn’t know what to expect coming in.  It was everyone’s first time doing things like that, so it was comforting to know we weren’t the only ones that had to deal with that.  Everyone else around us was also dealing with that, too.

What are some of the other things you are involved in?

Karrigan: Alpha Lambda Delta and I’m a presidential ambassador for the Recruiting office.

Anna Claire:  I work at the WRAC as a personal trainer.

When did you realize you wanted to become a nurse?

Anna Claire: I always had the feeling that I wanted to help people that couldn’t help themselves and I also knew that I wanted to go into something with kids, too, but also wanted to go into healthcare.  We did babysit a lot throughout our high school experience, and we still do that now.  Getting the opportunity to work with kids and also work in the healthcare field was something that I always wanted to do.

Karrigan:  When our little brother was little, he was always in and out of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, so I think that made me want to be a nurse, seeing how the doctors and nurses treated us as a family and the comfort that they brought us made me want to do that for somebody else.

Can you talk about your experiences in clinicals?

Anna Claire: I’m in pediatric ICU. I’m leaning more towards pediatrics right now, not really the critical care side. I feel like when I do become a nurse, I’ll get more critical care experience and I will be comfortable in that aspect but as of right now I just want to do pediatrics.

Karrigan: I’m in the nursery. I didn’t think that I wanted to be a nursery nurse. I really always leaned towards pediatric but now that I’m doing my preceptorship in clinicals in nursery, that may be something that I’m going to consider whenever I graduate.

Do you have employment lined up?

Anna Claire:  We’ve talked to nurses at Rapides and management, so we did apply and we’re just waiting to hear back. That’s where we want to end up when we graduate to get more experience.  Our goal is to go to Texas Children’s in the future to work.

Do you think you will always work in the same hospital?

Karrigan:  Right now, just because we’ve done everything together and there’s not anyone else in the picture, I think it’s good.  For cheaper rent, if we ever were to move to Texas, which has always been a goal.  It’s cool that we get to do things together and I think we should stay together as long as possible because when we’re older and we do get married and have kids we’re not going to see each other as much we’re trying to enjoy the time that we have together.

In addition to your majors, what are some other ways that you are very much alike?

Anna Claire:  We like to go to concerts.  We have the same music taste. We like to work out.

Karrigan:  We always have a workout buddy. We like to travel, so we go on spontaneous trips sometimes.

Do you have disagreements or arguments?

Both:  Yes.

Anna Claire:  I think it’s evident, we literally do everything together. But we’re trying to get better at not arguing. It’s just we’re together 24/7.

Karrigan:  We do separate a little bit two days out of the week but we’re just together a lot and we’re just tired, so we just get argumentative.

Do you have the same friend group?

Both:  Yes.

Anna Claire: We did a summer camp two summer ago with WinShape and we got to be apart, which was great. We’ve always been known as The Twins, but we were actually known as Anna Claire and Karrigan which we really liked, and we got to meet new friends and have new memories apart and it made us value our time together a lot better.

What are some other things you’ve done to forge your own identities?

Silence. Staring at each other.

Are there some things that one of you really likes that the other doesn’t? 

Staring at each other. Silence.

Karrigan: A lot of people think twins are completely different but we’re more like the twins that are way more alike than we are different.

Anna Claire:  But we’re not inseparable. We can do our own things.  We don’t need each other 24/7 but we are more alike than we are different.

What are some things that each of you does that the other doesn’t do or an interest you have?

Staring at each other.  Quiet discussion, then speaking simultaneously.

Anna Claire: We always have a buddy with us.  We don’t go places alone.   

Karrigan:  We just have a built-in buddy everywhere we go and everything we do.

So, you are basically best friends.

Both:  Right. Exactly.

What’s the best thing about being a twin?

Both:  You always have someone with you.

Anna Claire: We study together.  I wish our brains could just go together when we take tests because one of us knows something the other doesn’t, but it’s good that we bounce off each other’s ideas.

Karrigan:  I don’t think we could get through nursing school without each other. I think nursing school is hard as it is and since we do have each other it makes things so much easier, knowing you’re not the only person going through the struggles that you’re going through.

Is one of your more assertive than the other?

Anna Claire:  One of us is more outgoing than the other, people have said.  

Karrigan: I think more I’m assertive.  I like to be right.

Anna Claire:  Yeah, she is.

What have been some of your most memorable experiences at NSU?

Karrigan:  For me, since I work in the Recruiting Office, I get to work N Side View Day.  When I did go to N Side View I got to see all the people who influenced me to come to Northwestern and I think it’s cool that when I work N Side View Day, I get to meet future students. When they come to NSU I’ve already made that connection with them, so it’s cool to build a relationship before they even come to Northwestern.

Anna Claire:  I’d say my best memory is I joined Tri Sigma, so getting my Big and my Little and knowing that I can go to them for anything and they can come to me for anything.

What would you say to someone deciding to come to NSU for Nursing school?

Karrigan:  I would say I felt home at Northwestern, and I have other friends that go to other schools and I feel that I’ve gained a lot more knowledge and the experiences, since we do get to travel to other hospitals and we do simulations and things and it’s given me a lot more confidence in myself that I didn’t have prior to coming to Northwestern. Nursing school and Northwestern have taught me that I don’t know everything and I’m very prepared for what’s to come in the work force. 

Anna Claire:  I’d say the same. They prepare you for the real world. You’re not going to know everything, but it does get you prepared and you feel more comfortable when you have instructors that challenge you and you also need to go into nursing with an open mind because you have to go every field. You have to go through your med/surge, pediatrics, so be open to what specialty you want to do because that may not be what you want to do.

Caddo Parish School District counselor named 2023 Louisiana Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Lamesa Fleury of Eden Gardens Magnet was recently named the 2023 Louisiana Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Louisiana School Counselor Association.

Bossier Sheriff’s Office Drone Team Leader teaches other Law Enforcement Officers about drone operations

Corporal Bryan Sprankle, head of the Bossier Sheriff’s UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) unit, recently spent a week teaching law enforcement officers from three outside agencies drone operations at the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Training Academy. Law officers from the Shreveport Police Department, Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Minden Police Department took part in the intense training so they can better serve their communities through the use of drones and their immense capabilities.
The training consisted of basics of drone operations, FAA rules and regulations pertaining to drone operations, and state laws pertaining to conducting drone operations. The class is held every Spring and Fall at the Training Academy and is free of charge to surrounding agencies.
“The benefit of the use of drones by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office has been immeasurable,” said Sheriff Whittington. “From search and rescue of missing or endangered people to SWAT operations, drones have proven to be invaluable tools and we are proud to offer this training to other agencies,” added Sheriff Whittington.

Work underway on Innovation Drive, Dairy Lane extensions project

The Bossier Parish Police Jury recently authorized a 1400-foot roadway project to help traffic congestion in the area.

The Innovation Drive & Dairy Lane Extensions project is currently under construction around W.T. Lewis Elementary School. The $1.2 million project began on June 26 and is designed to alleviate the morning and afternoon traffic congestion at the intersection of Modica Lott and Swan Lake Road. Officials say drivers will soon be able to take the newly designed extension around the school to the intersection of Innovation Drive and Swan Lake Road, where traffic signals control traffic flow.

The new roadway was approved and paid for by the Bossier Parish Police Jury. The school board paid for an additional turn lane into the school to make it safer for the school’s resource officer, who directs traffic during those peak hours.
The extension is estimated to be completed in mid-November.

Teen faces adult court proceedings

A Shreveport teen will be tried in Caddo District Court in connection with an attempted second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery that occurred earlier this month in west Shreveport.

In a continued custody hearing in Caddo Parish Juvenile Court on Oct. 16 Juvenile Judge Ree Casey-Jones determined there was probable cause that Devetrick Johnson, 16, committed offenses as charged and could be transferred to adult court for prosecution.

Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. then ordered Johnson to be tried as an adult in District Court.
An Oct. 9 carjacking attempt at an apartment complex in the 6800 block of Rasberry Lane led to two shots being fired at the driver. The driver was struck in an arm and was treated at Ochsner LSU Health. He survived. The shooter fled, but video surveillance and distinctive clothing led to identification by police, who arrested Johnson at an apartment in the 6000 block of Rasberry Lane.
Louisiana Children’s Code article 305 provides for the divestiture of juvenile court jurisdiction upon review by the District Attorney for children 15 or older for a select number of criminal acts, including armed robbery. A provision of the same code’s Article 879 further provides that all proceedings in a juvenile delinquency case involving a crime of violence as defined by the code must be open to the public.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Deason secured the findings.

Caddo deputies place at Voodoo on the Bayou competition

The Louisiana State Police hosted the annual Voodoo on the Bayou 3 Gun Competition for active military and law enforcement on Oct. 16. All Louisiana POST certified officers who participate are credited with yearly in-service firearms training hours.
Congratulations to Caddo Deputies Michael Rocco and Adam Jones for their outstanding performance. Deputy Rocco took 1st place in the Tactical Optics Division, and Deputy Jones finished 2nd in the Patrol Division. Honorable mention to Chief Deputy Jay Long, who finished in 6th place; Deputy Justin Dunn, 7th place; and Sgt. James Norwood, 11th place, all in the Patrol Division.
Seventy-four (74) competitors from Louisiana, neighboring states, and active military competed in the Tactical Optics and Patrol divisions. Courses of fire consisted of long-range and precision rifle accuracy, room clearing, shoot-no shoot scenarios, handgun and shotgun marksmanship, and shooting on the move. The competition also included an hour of instruction from World Record holder and Sig Sauer representative Max Michel, a Louisiana native.

United Way completes ninth annual Day of Service with Bossier Schools

United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) partnered with Bossier Parish Schools to host a district-wide volunteer day for students, parents, educators, and more. Volunteers comprised 28 teams representing different K-12 Bossier schools that partnered with a nonprofit agency across Bossier and Caddo parishes. The school teams collectively held eight collection drives and completed 14 in-person projects. Bossier Schools saved local nonprofits roughly $35,680 in labor costs based on the average cost of a volunteer hour, and the collection drives yielded more than 4,100 essential items.

Volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations as agencies often do not have the financial resources or manpower to hire outside help to complete everything needed for upkeep. That’s where volunteers come in; this year, approximately 374 volunteers from Bossier Schools participated in community service while learning about civic needs.

Many schools held collection drives to provide agencies with the essential items needed to continue serving our community. Kingston Elementary’s collection drive helped restock the Salvation Army of Northwest Louisiana’s kitchen pantry. The school also collected $1,130 in donations to support the organization’s mission of meeting human needs. In-person volunteer projects included community or campus cleanups, planting gardens, lawn maintenance, organizing facilities, assembling snack packs, and more. Benton High School and its Military Club were partnered with the Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana this year, helping the organization restore a home that belonged to a veteran before he passed away. The Fuller Center initially helped the veteran acquire the home, but after his passing, his family generously returned the home to the organization to help house another family in need.

“This is a significant day for the Fuller Center because we need a lot of volunteers to help us get these houses back in order so we can be able to put families in it,” said Nichelle Grimes, Fuller Center Executive Administrative Assistant. “Getting the teams together, the volunteers together, coming to these homes, and getting them back in shape is a great help for us because we are a team of three at the current moment. We are just grateful to Benton High School and United Way for coming out, volunteering, and helping us get the house in order.”

“I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all Bossier Schools’ students, teachers, and staff members who selflessly gave up their Saturday to show love to our community,” said Raavin Evans, UWNWLA Director of Community Impact. “Your labor and donation of essential items is allowing our community’s nonprofits to continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling across our region. We absolutely could not do our jobs without your support!”

Once all projects were completed, UWNWLA and Bossier Schools held a wrap-up party for the volunteers, where there was food, face painting, and interactive games to celebrate a successful day of volunteering. The Greenacres Middle School Beta Club was announced as the Spirit Award recipient for showing the most spirit on social media by posting pictures and videos of their team’s project. Meadowview Elementary also took home an award for the largest volunteer school team, and an additional award was given out to the largest volunteer school club or organization team, which went to the Benton High School Baseball Team.

UWNWLA is proud to have partnered with Bossier Parish Schools for another successful year of giving back to our community while teaching the importance of volunteerism to students and staff.

Participating schools and paired nonprofits:


  • Legacy Elementary – Operation Blessing – Pantry Organizing
  • Kingston Elementary – Salvation Army – Collection Drive
  • Benton Intermediate Student Council – Community Renewal International Friendship House – Collection Drive
  • Apollo Elementary 4H – Community Renewal International Friendship House – Collection Drive
  • Platt Elementary – Robinson’s Rescue Spay/Neuter Clinic – Collection Drive
  • Benton Intermediate – Shreveport Green – Gardening & Landscaping
  • Curtis Elementary – 4HRockers Rescue – Collection Drive
  • Haughton High School JROTC – Community Renewal International Friendship House – Cleaning, Painting, & Assembling Garden Beds
  • Plain Dealing High School – Providence House – Collection Drive
  • Airline High School & Blue Jackets – Geaux 4 Kids – Collection Drive
  • Bossier Educational Service Center (BESC) – Basic Necessities – Collection Drive
  • W.T. Lewis Elementary – Providence House – Collection Drive
  • Greenacres Middle School Beta Club – Salvation Army – Bicycle Restoration
  • R.V. Kerr Elementary – Robinson’s Rescue Spay/Neuter Clinic – Collection Drive
  • Haughton High School Boys Basketball Team – Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center – Landscaping & Collection Drive
  • Bossier Schools Virtual Program – Community Clean-Up
  • Elm Grove Middle School Cheer – Renzi Education & Art Center, Inc. – Gardening & Landscaping
  • Haughton Elementary School Captain’s Crew – Geaux 4 Kids – Collection Drive
  • Benton Middle School’s NJHS – Shreveport Green – Gardening & Landscaping
  • Plantation Park Elementary Student Leadership Team & Cheerleaders – Keep Bossier Beautiful – Campus Clean-Up
  • Meadowview Elementary – Keep Bossier Beautiful – Campus Clean-Up
  • Bellaire Elementary – Keep Bossier Beautiful – Campus Clean-Up
  • Plain Dealing High School – Campus Clean-Up
  • Benton High School Baseball Team – Campus Clean-Up
  • Princeton Elementary – St. Luke’s Mobile Medical Ministry – Collection Drive
  • Benton High School & Military Club – The Fuller Center for Housing of NWLA Inc. – Home Restoration
  • Haughton Middle School – Neighborhood Clean-Up
  • Meadowview Elementary – United Way of Northwest Louisiana – Snack Pack Assembling