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Sean Green

Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.

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PLAIN DEALING - Cindy Montanez peacefully departed this life on July 22, 2014 with her family beside her. Cindy was born in Paris, TX and lived for many years in Bossier Parish. Cindy worked as a nurse’s Aide for twenty-three years.

Her loving husband, Elex, preceeded her in death as did her daughters Francis, Carmen, Virginia and Becky. Those who love her and will miss her are her children; Butch and Carolyn, Sindy and Allen, as well as Dell and Don. Cindy leaves numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren who will also miss her.

Pallbearers are grandchildren: James Earley, Steve Earley, Steve Early, Jr, Jay Matthews, Mac Niemann, and Glen Smith.

Visitation will be at Boone Funeral Home 6:00-8:00 PM on July 23, 2014. Chaplain Matt Impson will officiate at Cindy’s Celebration of her life on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM, Boone Funeral Home. Graveside Services will be held at Walnut Hill Cemetery in Bradley, AR at 1:00 PM.

Special thanks to Naterrica Ray, Eileen Hamm, and Martha Johnson for their loving and faithful care.

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Celebration held for retired Air Force Col. Steve dePyssler

Submitted by Lt. Bill Davis, Special to the Press-Tribune

More than 225 friends gathered Saturday night to say “Thank You” and celebrate Air Force Col. (Ret.) Steve dePyssler’s 95th birthday at Barksdale Air Force Base.

dePyssler was born July 21, 1919 and served 38 years of active duty service, earning every enlisted, warrant and officer pay grade up to colonel.  He is the only known American to have served in four wars, including World War II, Korean, French IndoChina and Vietnam.

He retired from the military in 1979, but has continued to serve the Ark-La-Tex while volunteering his time at the base for 33 years, with two dozen of those years as the director of the Retiree Office.

Courtesy of Lt. Bill Davis Col. Steve and Gloria dePyssler, wed for 70 years, at dePyssler’s birthday celebration this past weekend.

Courtesy of Lt. Bill Davis
Col. Steve and Gloria dePyssler, wed for 70 years, at dePyssler’s birthday celebration this past weekend.

dePyssler has worked tirelessly to help countless veterans, family members and widows with a myriad of issues.  He worked with the state legislature to develop the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal and other legislation.  dePyssler was instrumental in the development of the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, the War Memorial at the Bossier City Civic Center and the Purple Heart Stamp.

He has hosted numerous luncheons and events to honor Medal of Honor recipients, POW/Purple Heart members and veterans from all wars.  He is devoted to the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of American Chapter Scholarship Fund and editor of two military and retiree newspapers for 20,000 readers.  dePyssler’s reach into the community goes even further beyond with numerous other projects.

Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) George Finck served as the master of ceremonies.  Welcoming remarks were provided by Air Force Capt. (Ret.) Dave Jampole, president of the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of America, and the invocation and benediction were given by Rev. Dr. Donald Webb, President Emeritus of Centenary College.  The National Anthem and music was sung by the This-N-That Quartet.

La. State Representative and Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Henry Burns presented a special recognition plaque for dePyssler by Gov. Bobby Jindal.   La. State Senator and Marine Corps veteran Robert Adley was the guest speaker and remarked how men like dePyssler make this country how great it is.  A proclamation from Bossier City Mayor and retired Air Force Colonel Lo Walker was also read.

Remarks were made by others, including Army Col. (Ret.) Ted Cox, Judicial Administrator with the Caddo Juvenile Justice Center; Air Force Col. (Ret.) Jack Lee;  Air Force CMSgt (Ret.) Elmore Owens; Doug Rimmer, president of the Bossier Parish Police Jury; and Doug Dominick, president of the Caddo Parish Commission.

Bill Davis is Public Information Officer for the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office and veteran of the Navy

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Elementary archery team brings home title

The Benton Elementary archery team is on top of the world.

A first place finish at the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) world tournament has put the Bossier Parish school on the map. The town of Benton welcomed home the team in true celebrity fashion last week with a pep rally and reception.

So how do world champions enter a venue of awaiting fans ready to congratulate their accomplishment? To the tune of ‘We Are the Champions’ by Queen, of course!
Going into the world tournament, Coach Perry Norcross knew the team would be successful as long as they did what they were trained to do in practice.

“I’ve watched the kids shoot and looking at the scores when we got there, I knew what they could do,” he said. “I knew if they got up there and did that, we were going to come out on top.”

Archery3And that’s exactly what they did. The team finished with a total of 3,229 points, giving them the overall number one spot out of 30 elementary teams.
“I knew the kids shot good,” Norcross added. “I could tell by the expressions on their faces after they shot that they shot good. It all came down to the final score and we came out 40 points ahead of the second place team.”

The news sent a wave of emotions through the team, coaches and parents. Norcross said the only way he could begin to describe it was exciting.

“We haven’t really had a chance to sit down and let it sink in yet,” he explained. “I know it’s a big accomplishment and I know it means a lot, but it’s so much more than what I could ever think.”
This was the first time a group from Bossier Parish has made it to the world tournament, which includes teams from England, Africa, Canada and Mexico. Joshua Farris and Emma Bunch said they weren’t nervous going into the tournament though.

Farris finished with a score of 282, placing him 10th out of 369 male elementary participants, sixth out of 207 fifth grade males and 103rd overall out of more than 1,000 shooters. Bunch had a great shoot too, placing 10th out of 297 elementary female participants, second out of more than 100 fourth grade shooters and 98th overall out of more than 1,000 shooters.

When asked how it felt to be a world champion, Farris simply replied, “it feels good.”

The trip to Wisconsin alone, Bunch said, was amazing.

“The team is awesome and it was really fun to shoot with them,” she said.

As for the next year, Norcross said he plans to keep things the same and hopes to defend their world champion title next summer.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he said with a laugh.

Norcross also extended his sincerest thanks on behalf of the coaching staff and team to the entire Bossier Parish community for their support of the program through the entire year.

“The kids are wonderful and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the coaching staff I have around me,” he said. “Thank you all so much for the support. You rallied behind the team to get us there and I hope we made you proud.”

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It’s the little things in life that make Charleen Bonnette the happiest.

“I love going fishing, doing puzzles, sewing and being with my family,” she said with a smile.

Charleen is a beloved part of her family. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, and a friend to many in the Benton community.

However, she received unexpected news in March that completely devastated her. Charleen, known as Mamaw Charleen, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“I cried,” she said. “I thought my world was over.”

This is the second time Charleen has battled cancer. The first was a lymphoma diagnosis in 2001 and she underwent many radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Now, Charleen says the statistics are against her.

“My doctor said it’s very rare to go into remission. That’s why I’ll have to be medicated for the rest of my lifetime,” she explained.

But she isn’t ready to give up the fight and neither is her family or the community. A fundraiser has been organized for Saturday, July 26, to help raise money to cover medical expenses and treatments.

The fundraiser will be held at Central Baptist Church, located at 2225 Airline Drive in Bossier City. The event includes a raffle, bake sale, t-shirt sale and much more. Southern Traditions will also be selling lunch plates.

Festivities begin at 8 a.m. and drawings will begin at 3 p.m. There will also be hourly door prize giveaways. All proceeds will go to help cover Charleen’s medical treatments and bills.

The last fundraiser event they held was a success, raising enough money to pay for her PET scan and refill the prescription she needed. Charleen’s granddaughter, Kameron Bonnette, and other family members have also been selling t-shirts to raise money as well.

The outpouring of support and prayers has overwhelmed Charleen with many emotions.

“I never realized how good people can be to someone they don’t even know,” she said as tears filled her eyes. “I’m so grateful for everybody. There have been days I really thought I wouldn’t be here. I’m so thankful for the prayers and the support.”

Charleen hopes to attend the July 26 event, depending on how well she feels that day. Although it may not be a long visit, she wants to thank as many people as she can for their help.

“We couldn’t do it without them and we certainly couldn’t do it without God,” she said. “There truly is power in prayer. You can’t fight this kind of battle alone. Rely on your friends and family to see you through, but always put God first.”

Charleen will go back to the doctor in a few weeks to see what the next step in her treatment is. She hopes to one day return to doing the things she once loved, especially fishing.

“This is all God’s will, not mine. I thank him every day for my small miracles,” she said.

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The Bossier Parish Libraries (BPL) want to make finding information and services you need as uncomplicated as possible, so we have prepared several handy guides to help you navigate the library and our website.  These items have been placed in easy to find locations at each branch or you can go to www.bossierlibrary.org to find tutorials that will lead you through the steps.

OverDrive allows you to download audiobooks, eBooks, music, and videos to your iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, or home computer.  Taking your favorite book with you wherever you go is very convenient with OverDrive.  The instructions on how to use this service are easy to follow, too.

Cypress Resume is a great tool.  This program helps you create a professional looking resume and cover letter without starting from scratch or paying someone else to do the work.  Just fill in the blanks and let Cypress Resume do the rest.

With school around the corner, students and teachers will appreciate NoveList Select.  There are many sections to choose from that are tailored for children, young adults, and adults.  Reader’s Advisory is very helpful if you want to “get up to speed on an unfamiliar genre or find RA inspiration.”

Artemis Literary Sources is another service for students providing help writing research papers.  Click on “Research” found on the menu bar at the top of the BPL homepage and it will take you to Databases Listings.  Scroll down to Gale ARTEMIS Literary Sources and Biographies and click.  There you will find “full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements.”

You may not need legal forms often, but when you do the Louisiana Legal Forms Library is the place to look.  Again, click on “Research” found on the menu bar at the top of the homepage and it will take you to Databases Listings.  Scroll down to Legal Forms and click.  The “extensive legal forms site available to library patrons has thousands of legal forms covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues for areas such as business, personal, litigation and federal.”

Stop by any branch and ask for printed handouts about these services or go online to the library website.

Our Library!  Gateway to the Past, Bridge to the Future.

New Books


“Summer House with Swimming Pool” by Herman Koch

“Dreaming for Freud” by Sheila Kohler

“The Frangipani Hotel” by Violet Kupersmith

“Murder at the Breakers: A Gilded Newport Mystery” by Alyssa Maxwell

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman

“Death at the Door: a Death on Demand Mystery” by Carolyn Hart

“Winter of Beauty” by Amy Hale Auker

“Shipstar” by Gregory Benford

“Above the East China Sea” by Sarah Bird

“The Last Savanna” by Mike Bond


“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert

“How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking” by Jordan Ellenberg

“NOLO Plan Your Estate” by Denis Clifford

“The Promise of a Pencil” by Adam Braun

“Passing Exams for Dummies” by Patrick Sherratt

“Shaker Furniture Projects” by Glen D. Huey

“The Sunflowers are Mine” by Martin Bailey

“The Shelf: From LEQ to LES” by Phyllis Rose

“APA College Dictionary of Psychology” by America Psychological Association

“The Same, But Different: How Twins can Live, Love, and Learn to be Individuals” by Joan A. Friedman

Vickie Hardin is Outreach Specialist for the Bossier Parish Library. She can be reached at vhardin@state.lib.la.us

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Seven years after the February, 1933 Plain Dealing bank robbery, The Bossier Banner reported in its September 5, 1940 issue that one of the accomplices in that robbery had escaped prison.

“Among the 36 prisoners making a bloody break from an Arkansas Prison farm early this week was Dirk Harvey, one of three men who a few years ago, held up and robbed the First State Bank in Plain Dealing.”

“Young Harvey along with Charley Frazier, was tried, convicted and sentenced to the State Penitentiary, in Bossier District Court.”

“He was later released on parole.  Sometime later on he was convicted of shooting and killing his brother, back in Arkansas, where his criminal career began.  Again he went to the penitentiary, where he had worked himself up to be a trusty guard, when he fled with the others in this week’s break.”

“Until a late hour Wednesday he was still unapprehended.  The convicts had fled over a wide area.  They killed one guard in the break.  Later a posseman was slain near Columbia, in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, where a group of prisoners gave up, after releasing two girls and a boy, kidnaped and held as hostages, after their car was commandeered by the convicts, near Rayville.”

“One convict was killed near Columbia, two others in Arkansas, while the net closed about the prisoners and more of them were being apprehended.  Reports Wednesday said a Monroe man had been kidnaped and Little Rock, Arkansas place of business robbed by others of the convicts.”

In the same issue of The Bossier Banner an article titled”Parole Abuse” appeared.

“This week we have again had brought to mind, in a forcible manner, the danger of lax handling of paroles and pardons, both in Louisiana and our neighbor to the north.”

“Early this week 36 desperate convicts broke out of an Arkansas prison farm, killing one guard in the break.  Since that time one of the convicts has been killed, several wounded and one citizen killed and several kidnaped.”

“Listed among one of the convicts escaping is Dirk Harvey, an Arkansas parolee, some years ago when he participated in the robbery of the Plain Dealing bank.  He was later sentenced to a term in the Louisiana prison, from which he was paroled before finishing his sentence.”

“Not long after getting out of the Louisiana penitentiary he was involved in a shooting scrape, in which he is said to have slain his own brother, up in Arkansas.  He was serving his sentence for that crime when he engaged in this week’s bloody break.”

“Harvey was already a confirmed criminal when he was mixed up in the Bossier Parish bank robbery.  This being so he ought never to have been paroled by Louisiana authorities to be set free to indulge again in a life of crime and lawlessness.”

“We understand that he was acting as a trusty guard when he fled the Arkansas prison this week—how careless can our prison officials become.  This man is a criminal of the first water.  He needs to be confined so that he can never against [!] escape to the outside to menace society.”

“Yes, our parole and pardon system lets too many get out in the world to murder, pillage, rob and carry out their many criminal activities.”

“We certainly hope that under the Jones administration [Sam H. Jones was then governor of Louisiana] many of the evils of our former system of paroles and pardons will be cured—we hope once for all.”

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us

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This year’s election season includes all district judges and for the Bossier-Webster 26th Judicial District Court bench, that means six judgeships are up for re-election.  Judges John Robinson and Ford Stinson are retiring, but to date there have been no announced contenders for the other four seats – and that circumstance isn’t likely to change.

While both Webster Parish attorney Charles Jacobs and Bossier Parish attorney Randal Robinson have announced their candidacies for the open seats, only Jacobs is actively campaigning.  He is seeking the seat to be vacated by Judge Robinson.

Interestingly, Jacobs’s first job out of law school was in John Robinson’s Springhill law office, until Robinson was elected judge about five years later.  That was nearly 20 years ago – and Jacobs said those years have an opportunity to practice in most all areas of law.

“We did a lot of civil litigation work, we did a lot of property work, domestic, wills, successions … I’ve practiced both criminal defense work.  I’ve served … as a public defender.  I’ve also, for the past 11 years, been a part-time assistant district attorney in the 26th JDC in Bossier Parish working for Schuyler Marvin.”

Jacobs’s experience doesn’t stop there.  For nearly 15 years, he’s served as the Springhill City Attorney and prosecutes misdemeanors in Springhill City Court.  He also currently serves as City Attorney for the towns of Cullen and Sarepta in Webster Parish.

“I’ve pretty much, over 19-20 years of practicing law, done a little bit of everything … from domestic work to property work to contested successions.  I’ve done some personal injury work, I’ve done some personal injury defense work and I’ve done criminal defense work … I’ve been a prosecutor.  So in all, I’ve practiced in all areas of the law … I’ve had a wide range of experience and I think that would qualify me as a district judge,” Jacobs said.

“I feel confident and capable of handling any sort of matter that would come before me,” he said.

Jacobs has also represented clients at the appellate court level as well as in federal court.

As to what makes a good judge, Jacobs ticked off his judicial quality considerations.

“…One, of course, is experience.  In these days where lawyers tend to specialize, I’ve never done that.  If an attorney specializes in one area, he becomes very proficient in one area.  The problem is that as a judge, you don’t get to specialize – you have to handle whatever case is assigned to your division.  You could have a medical malpractice case one day, a divorce case the next day, and a boundary dispute the next day …”

“The other thing – integrity – having a good ethical record.  You have to be honest, you have to be upfront with people.  Right up there at the top is temperament – that just because you put on a black robe doesn’t make you better than anybody else, and you can’t forget where you come from, and you can’t take yourself too seriously.”

“You have to remember that when people come to court, even lawyers … it’s a stressful situation and most people are not used to being in court.  They get nervous and they all need to be treated with respect.  You know, the courtroom is the one place where it should not matter if you have ten dollars or a million dollars in the bank – you ought to be treated with dignity and respect and you ought to get an equal shake.”

Jacobs said that he believes he possesses these qualities:  “I think that I have a good temperament.  I think I have a good history with my colleagues … sometimes you have to agree to disagree, but you can do that in a courteous and civil manner, and I think I’ve done a good job with that.”

Jacobs and wife Melanie have been married for over 20 years.  Melanie is also a well-known Webster Parish leader; she’s served as principal in several Webster Parish schools and currently serves as Special Education Supervisor for the school system.  Their son John attends North Webster High School.  The family attends Springhill United Methodist Church.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. She may be reached via email at m_carlso@bellsouth.net 

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Preston and Juanita Morton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a dinner hosted by the Gene and Barry Barton families of Benton. The Mortons were married July 17, 1954, in Vernon, Texas. They are retired insurance adjusted/storm troopers.

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Growing a pineapple plant and getting it to produce a pineapple for you is a fun gardening project. Now is a great time to begin, and as you will see, it’s really not all that difficult.

The pineapple belongs to the bromeliad family and originated in tropical South America. Its Latin name is Ananas comosus. It is related to bromeliads we grow as ornamentals and also to the Spanish moss commonly seen hanging from trees in our area.

Pineapple plants are tough and are not prone to insect or disease problems. Producing a pineapple does require some time, though. Generally, from the time you start your plant to the time you harvest a ripe fruit takes about two years. During that time, though, the pineapple plant makes a very attractive foliage plant.

To grow you own pineapple, start with a pineapple purchased at the supermarket. Choose one that has a healthy, green leafy top (crown) not too badly battered during processing and shipping. To root the top, you will need a one-gallon-size container, enough potting soil to fill it, slow-release fertilizer and a large, sharp knife.

First, use the knife to cut the crown from the fruit. Make the cut cleanly at the base of the crown as close to the fruit as you can. Next, remove enough of the lower leaves from the cut crown to expose about one-half to three-quarters of an inch of stem. Lay the crown aside for three days to allow the cut to callus over.

Fill the gallon container almost full of the potting soil and add the slow-release fertilizer according to label directions. Plant the top just deep enough to cover the exposed stem, firming the soil around it to make it stable. If necessary, you can insert two or three pencils on the sides of the top to hold it in place. Water the plant thoroughly and place it in a shady area outside to root. (If you do this in winter, place the pot in a brightly lit window and move it outside in spring.) The crown should root in a couple of weeks.

After the crown is rooted, move the plant into part sun for a week, and then finally into full sun. Grow your pineapple in full sun outside through the summer, keeping it well watered. If you did not use a slow-release fertilizer in the potting soil, feed it occasionally with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

In three to four months (September if you root a top now), the plant will have outgrown the gallon pot. At this time, shift it to a three-gallon container using the same well-drained potting soil and some more slow-release fertilizer. It will produce its fruit in this pot. The larger pot is important. If kept in a small pot, the plant will produce a smaller fruit.

Going into winter, it is important to remember that the pineapple continues to need full sun, but it’s not able to tolerate freezing temperatures. The best way to provide these requirements in south Louisiana is to leave your plant outside in full sun through the winter but bring it into a protected location on those nights when temperatures are expected to dip below the upper 30s. Return the plant to full sun as soon as possible. The plant could also be overwintered in a greenhouse or sunny window – the preferred method in north Louisiana.

By the second summer, the original small crown should have grown into a large, handsome plant about 2 feet across. At this stage, your plant should flower. The first sign of flowering is a bright red color in the center of the plant. Soon, a stalk will appear with lavender flowers peeking out from a structure at the top shaped like a small pineapple. It is this structure that will develop into the fruit.

From flowering to ripe fruit takes about five months. You can generally harvest a ripe pineapple in the fall of the second year from a spring- or early-summer-rooted crown. The fruit you get should be about the same size or a little smaller than those at the supermarket. Or if you did a great job, maybe even a little larger.

Deciding when to harvest the pineapple is especially important. The idea is to allow it to fully ripen on the plant. If you harvest too soon, it will not be as sweet. If you are not sure, it is better to leave the pineapple on the plant a little too long than to harvest it too soon. When ripe, the fruit stores fairly well on the plant, so you don’t need to be as worried about leaving it on too long as much as harvesting too early.

A pineapple fruit is ready to harvest when the background color changes from green to gold. The feel of the fruit will go from rock hard to giving a little to firm pressure with your thumb. Also, the fruit will develop a rich pineapple smell. Use all of these signs when determining when to harvest the fruit.

The flavor of a plant-ripened pineapple has to be experienced to be believed. You are in for an exceptional treat.

Each plant will produce a single fruit and then die. You can, however, start new plants from the crown of the fruit you harvest, from slips that form on the flower stem, or from suckers produced at the base of the original plant. And after growing them once, you are sure to want to grow them again.

Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. He can be reached at DGill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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The St. Charles Court HOA presented July’s Beautification Award to Cal and Billie Brown, of 607 Toulouse Court in the St. Charles Court and St. Charles Court Village Subdivision.

Moving here in 2012, the Brown’s were immediately attracted to their home because of the courtyards.  Coming from Oregon, they discovered gardening in the Ark-La-Tex to be much different from that in the northwestern states, so they considered their front lawn a testing ground.  They say that mixing old favorites such as Salvias and Purple Homestead Verbenas with Elephant Ears and Palms is a work in progress.  It certainly makes a wonderful first impression.

The Brown’s first priority was to design and build a kitchen garden in the backyard.  The French door arbor, pictured above, is covered with Grandpa Ott Morning Glories and flanked by blueberry bushes.  Walking through, you will find an amazing potager filled with vegetables, herbs, and an array of Cosmos, Nasturtiums, Sunflowers, Zinnias and Marigolds.  The strawberry patch is planted in elevated rain gutters so it appears to be raining strawberries.

Cal and Billie said, “Sitting in the shade of the Eucalyptus, listening to the birds sing, watching the butterflies flutter about, and seeing beautiful plants growing from tiny seeds is a true joy.”