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May 30th, 2015

Say prayers, keep Laird in thoughts

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On this Sunday morning, I want you to say a prayer and keep a longtime friend of mine in your thoughts.
Billy Laird.
The former quarterback at Shreveport Woodlawn High School and Louisiana Tech University and ex-head football coach and current athletics direcotr at Ruston High School recently suffered a brain stem stroke.
He’s fought courageously for nearly a month now and is currently at the LSU Health Shreveport Hospital.

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Cougars strong on All-State teams

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Cedar Creek puts three on baseball and four on softball squads
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The Cedar Creek baseball and softball teams didn’t repeat their state championships this season, but that didn’t stop the Cougars from getting solid recognition on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 1A All-State teams.
Jacob Brown’s prowess at the plate on the mound earned him first-team utility player on the boys’ team while pitcher Mary Terral, infielder Anna Larr Roberson and outfielder Katelin Cooper earned first-team honors on the girls’ side.
A panel of sports writers from across the state voted on the awards and the teams.

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Huckleberries, the essence of wild bounty

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Look up “huckleberry” on the web and you’ll see what know-everything Wikipedia has to say: “The name huckleberry is a North American variation of the English dialectal name variously called hurtleberry or whortleberry.”
Whatever. All I know is that these little dark purple orbs can be converted into the most delectable pie this side of the Pearly Gates.

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Bradshaw’s resiliency is super, too

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He’s been called a “dummy in shoulder pads.”
He’s battled depression and suffered through shingles.
He’s lost his father and a son-in-a-law within a year’s time.
He’s been married four times.
He’s been “spotted” the “c” and “a” by an opposing player who questioned whether he could spell “cat.”
Through it all, Terry Paxton Bradshaw has survived and more.
If a cat really has nine lives, it’s only a few more than the “Blond Bomber” has logged.
Talk about being “Mr. Resilient.”
He has been knocked down too many times to count, be it on or off of the playing field.

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Monster Moto site on board agenda

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Ruston’s Board of Aldermen is poised to take the next two steps Monday toward a headquarters building for the Monster Moto motorcycle manufacturing plant.
The items, if approved, would set in motion construction of a 100,000-foot-facility on the site of the old Ruston Airport, and are among matters on the board’s regular monthly meeting agenda. The board convenes at 5:30 p.m. in the courtroom at City Hall.
Also up for consideration:
• An ordinance that would change about 20 downtown parking places from timed parking to free parking;

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Center creates donation page

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The recently flooded Television Center at Grambling State University in Woodson Hall has a GoFundMe funding page to reconstruct the center.
The website’s address is http://www.gofundme.com/v34vc8s.
Director of GSU’s Television Center Alan Blakeney said the proceeds go to the university’s account at the cashier’s office.
“The university will decide what the funds will be used for at the center,” he said.
Blakeney said Woodson Hall took seven inches of water during a storm on May 18 that damaged hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

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First responders partake in preparedness drill

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State, local emergency personnel test radio communication skills
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There was “a whole lot of squawking going on” under Louisiana Tech University’s Argent Pavilion on Friday.
That’s the way Kip Franklin, director of the Lincoln Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, described an emergency responder communications drill that involved checking radio frequencies.
Representatives from local fire and police departments, as well as Louisiana State Police, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and regional emergency personnel spent several hours testing their radio communication skills.

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Vitter visits Ruston

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Louisiana gubernatorial candidate U.S. Sen. David Vitter, center, visits with Ruston residents Shirly and Adolf Wesselhoeft during a campaign stop on Friday.

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Lightning strikes championship

Lighting strikes fast.
So can the Northern Louisiana Lightning, Lincoln Parish’s semi-pro football team.
The Lightning can become the first team in the Elite Football League to win a championship in its inaugural season.
The team will play against the Dallas Bulldogs Saturday in Dallas.
The Bulldogs will try and win their fifth consecutive championship.
Lincoln Parish, home to the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs, Grambling State University Tigers and several high school football teams, did not have a professional or semi-professional team — until now.

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Autism center thanks community

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It was such a beautiful sight. On April 25, more than 500 participants from near and far came together in support of those whose lives have been touched by Autism. On behalf of the Hope Center for Autism’s Board of Directors, I would like to send a sincere thank you to everyone who came out and took part in our third annual Hope for Autism 5k & Family Fun Day in Lincoln Parish Park during Autism Awareness Month.

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