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Sean Green

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

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BOSSIER CITY – Donna J. Breehne (nee Melzer), 60, passed away on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, a beautiful day surrounded in the loving care of her family. Donna was the devoted wife of Tom, loving mother of Melissa Stephens (Gerald), Aaron (Heather), Jeremy (Jennifer) and Jacob (Erin). Cherished “Me-Mo” to Grant, Ashley, Garett and Aiden Stephens; Christina and Carley Breehne; Colin Breehne; and Beckham Breehne. Dear daughter of Anna M. Melzer. Beloved sister to Cheryl (Jay) Brown, Ed (Lynn) Melzer, Faye (Paul) Roch, Gina (Bob) Weitzel, Hugh (Paula) Melzer and Ian (Sara) Melzer. Dear sister-in-law to Bonnie (Don) Morrison and John Breehne. Loving Aunt to many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Donna was preceded in death by her father, Burton Melzer and sister-in-law, Nancy Pangallo Woodruff.

She will be dearly missed and remembered for her selflessness, unconditional love and support of her family, her delicious cooking, and for being a wonderful, fun “Me-Mo” to her grandchildren.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel of Osborn Funeral Home, 3631 Southern Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Donna’s honor to: Susan G. Komen for the Cure (www.komen.org) or Dragonfly Foundation (dragonfly.org).

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BOSSIER CITY – Jack Nathan Ferguson, 57, of Bossier City, Louisiana, passed away August 28, 2014, after asking his sisters if they heard the angels sing. Graveside service will be held at Hill Crest Memorial Park, Haughton, LA on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Family is asking everyone in attendance to wear LSU attire in honor of Jack.

Born May 13, 1957 in San Antonio, Texas, he was the son of Richard N. Ferguson and Betty Cloud Ferguson of Bossier City. He was a Parkway High Class of ’75 graduate and was a star player on the football team. His jersey number was “1″. He married Cheryl Kirk in 1983 and they resided in Greenville, Texas.

Jack loved fishing and riding the roads on his Harley. His dry sense of humor, one of his many qualities, and his friends enjoyed the stories he could tell about everyday life. He was an animal lover and was known to carry home stray dogs because he didn’t want them to suffer. He loved playing his guitar and wrote and recorded several good country songs. He was so hoping that he would feel good enough to watch LSU play Wisconsin in the season opener this weekend. So, GEAUX TIGERS! He was also a big Saints supporter. WHO DAT!

Jack is survived by his sisters, Becky Bison of Haughton, Debbie Baud and husband Gene of Birmingham, AL, nieces Gloria Carson, Amy Stewart and husband Tyler, of Moody, Al, and Rachel Baud of Birmingham, great-nieces Madison and Angel, and great-nephews Silas and Stone of Moody, Al. Also left behind is Jack and Cheryl’s beloved dog Maggie.

In his final days his wish was to remain at home in the care of his sisters.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 24 years, Cheryl Kirk Ferguson, his father, Richard N Ferguson, his brother Richard Steven Ferguson, and his nephew, Matt Bison.

You may share your memories with the family by visiting www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com.

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The Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee has voted to endorse Dr. Bill Cassidy for United States Senate.

In making the announcement, RPEC Chairman Richard Ray stated, “This year’s U.S. Senate election has far reaching consequences for our state and our nation will impact the direction of our country’s future and future generations. It is time for us to stand up and take this country back.”

Ray went on to explain: “Barack Obama and his allies in congress continue to pull this country farther away from the principles upon which it was founded. Mary Landrieu has been one of Obama’s most consistent supporters voting with the President 97% of the time. For far too long she has supported his liberal agenda to the detriment of the citizens of Bossier Parish and it is time we stand together to take back the U.S. Senate.”

Below is the letter issued to Dr. Cassidy by Chairman Richard R. Ray:

“As chairman of the Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee I am pleased to report to you that our organization has voted to endorse your candidacy for United States Senate. As the leaders of the Republican party in Bossier Parish we realize the profound importance of defeating Mary Landrieu on November 4, 2014. Your opponent has voted with Barak Obama 97% of the time yet in each of the last two presidential elections, Bossier Parish overwhelmingly rejected Barack Obama and his liberal policies.

We know that you will fight to protect our religious freedoms, our 2nd Amendment rights, and the unconstitutional overreaches of Barak Obama. Please continue to work diligently to reduce our debt and deficit, secure our borders, and oppose the liberal agenda of Hollywood and the democrat party. We realize that most importantly, as a physician, you are uniquely qualified to correct the problems with the disaster that is the “Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare). We would ask that you continue to fight for full repeal of that destructive legislation which was passed with Mary Landrieu’s deciding vote and which she continues to support.

Stay strong on the campaign trail and be reminded of God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10: ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Stand strong in your faith and your conservative principles and know that we in Bossier Parish are praying for you, Laura, and your entire family and that we stand with you in your effort to defeat Mary Landrieu and return return control of the United States Senate to the Republican party.”

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Elected and appointed officials from 10 parishes gathered on Friday, August 15 for a meeting at the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City.  

Bossier Parish hosted the meeting for members of the Police Jury Association. In addition to Bossier Parish, Region IV includes Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine and Webster. 

Sabine Parish’s Kenneth Ebarb was elected Region IV President for the upcoming year. Also of Sabine Parish, Ronald Busby, was elected to serve as Secretary/Treasurer.  Jim Bonsall of Webster Parish was elected as Vice President.  

Glenn Benton of Bossier Parish was re-elected to serve as Region IV’s State Executive Board Member. Cindy Dodson of Bossier Parish who is retiring later this year was recognized and given a beautiful bouquet of flowers to thank her for her service to Bossier Parish.  

Current Region IV President Wanda Bennett of Bossier Parish presided over the meeting.   Bill Altimus, former PJAL Executive Board member and current Bossier Parish Administrator, introduced the guest speaker which was Commissioner Scott Angelle from the Louisiana Public Service Commission. 

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Bossier has regained a piece of history thanks to a donation by the Bossier Press-Tribune.

Copies of the Bossier Press-Tribune, Bossier Banner Progress, Barksdale Observer and

North Bossier Banner Post were given to the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center recently.

Marisa Richardson, Curator of Collections and Exhibits for the Historical Center, said the bound editions, dated in the 1990s to early 2000s, are a great asset to their growing collection of Bossier’s history.

Although copies of the newspaper are available on microfilm, Richardson said there is still interest from the public to see actual copies of the newspapers.

“It’s really nice to have the bound copies because some people really enjoy looking through the papers,” she said. “Not everyone wants to sit down and look at a microfilm reader. It’s fun to browse through the pages and it really feels like you’re going back in time.”

Richardson said copies of the Bossier Banner Progress dating back to 1859 have already been indexed. However, it will take a little time to index the recently donated issues.

“We have people that come in to look up an obituary or an article or a graduation announcement,” Richardson said, explaining how the newspapers are used. “It’s much easier with the index, but it does take a while to get the index done.”

Bossier Press-Tribune Publisher Randy Brown said the donation further fulfills the company’s mission.

“We are both proud and honored to be a part of preserving the history of Bossier Parish. After all, chronicling the history of Bossier Parish is both our duty and our job as Bossier Parish’s newspaper,” Brown said. “By donating our bound editions to the Bossier Parish Library, we have been able to further our mission in fulfilling this obligation to the residents of Bossier Parish. These books (bound editions) will now be accessible to the public at the library and will hopefully be a tremendous benefit to all interested parties.”

BPT Editor Sean Green agreed, “We believe in helping our community and one of the ways to do that is to share its history we’ve chronicled over the years. The historical center is a valuable resource for Bossier Parish and we are more than happy to help provide materials that fulfill their mission.”

The newspaper index can also be accessed online via the Bossier Parish Library website.

“It really is a good historic collection,” Richardson said. “It speaks to the history of Bossier Parish. There are so many interesting things that have happened and you can find all of it in newspapers.”

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center is adjacent to the Bossier Central Library, located at 2206 Beckett Street in Bossier City. For more information, call (318) 746-7717 or visit www.bossierlibrary.org.

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Officials take part in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

There’s a bone chilling trend sweeping the nation.

The viral phenomenon known as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has recently taken America by storm. The challenge involves someone pouring a bucket of ice water over his or her head then challenging others do the same or make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.

It’s not just all fun and games, though. The challenge is about raising awareness and educating the public on what the disease actually is.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS patients lose function in their nerve cells, which weakens the muscles until a patient can no longer move, speak or breathe. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.

Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen was challenged Tuesday by Benton Middle School’s administration, so he asked Board members Glen Bullard, Frank Kelly, Mike Mosura and Tammy Smith to join him.

The fight against ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a personal one for Machen. As he explained to students prior to taking the challenge, Machen took the challenge in honor of his long-time friend Randy Wilson.

Wilson, who was Machen’s college roommate and groomsman at his wedding, passed away two years ago from ALS. Not only did Machen take the challenge with honor, but he made a donation to the ALS Association as well.

School Board member Tammy Smith also made a donation in memory of Mike Glasgow and the late Mr. Orso, the grandfather of former Board member Dr. Allison Brigham.

Once Machen and the board members issued their challenge, it was time to take the challenge. With buckets raised, students at Benton Middle School had the honor of dousing the five school officials.

“It’s really that cold,” Machen exclaimed after completing the challenge. “The shock of when it hits will get you.”

Following the challenge at Benton Middle, Benton High School administrators accepted the challenge and were doused in front of students gathered in the school’s courtyard.

Students raised and donated more than $500 to the ALS Association. Principal Mitch Downey and Assistant Principals Teri Howe and Arthur James challenged Assistant Superintendent Scott Smith and Parkway High administrators Dr. Nichole Bourgeois, Becky Gray and Coach Lorenza Baker.

Haughton Middle School also accepted Benton Middle’s challenge this week. The student body donated more than $1,000 to the ALS Association and enjoyed watching Principal Waylon Bates and Assistant Principals Sharon Glasscock and Rick Warren take cold ice baths. They, in turn, have challenged the administration at Haughton High School and Elm Grove Middle School.

In a statement from the Bossier Schools: “we are pleased to be a part of the fight against ALS, by raising both awareness and research dollars in hopes of one day finding a cure.”

“I’m so proud of these young people and their desire to continue to reach out and meet the needs of others,” Machen said. “It clearly demonstrates that our community has done a great job teaching our children the importance of helping those in need. We’re honored that we could help the cause.”

As of Aug. 25, the ALS Association reports that more than $79 million has been raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The ALS Association’s mission is “to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global cutting-edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.”

Links to ALS Challenge videos can be found on the Bossier Schools Facebook page.

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Submitted by Tom Pace, Special to the Press-Tribune

Petite in stature, this five-foot six, very trim, blue-eyed blonde with short, cropped hair has the athletic abilities of a seasoned Air Force warrior. That best describes Col. Kristin Goodwin, recently installed as the newest Commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City.

During a “One-on-One” conversation with Col. Goodwin, she shared many candid thoughts and details about what has shaped her life in the military, both personally, and now as the first female commander of a bomb wing in the Air Force.

Smartly dressed in her green flight suit, those haunting blue eyes sparkled, as she recounted her recent promotion to Commander of “The Mighty Deuce.”

 Q. What’s the difference between flying a B-2 and now a B-52?

“I’ve had the great honor of flying a lot of planes in the Air Force, and I think each one of those planes is important to our combat capabilities to showcase our air power, beause we are the best Air Force in the world.”

Goodwin

Goodwin

“And so,” she continued, “the B-52 is rich in history, it’s an amazing aircraft, and I say that because as I’ve been flying the B-52, I see how important this plane is, this mission is to our fight today.  It is critical that we are ready to fight, because we will get that call, and our warriors here are ready to answer that call when we get it.”

Q. I understand you consider yourself an “Airman” first, not specifically the first female  commander of a bomb wing, but let’s face it, this is not your father’s or grandfather’s Air Force, so today the Air Force is more inclusive of all genders, right?

 “Absolutely. The military, like many companies in the world, they look for talent and skill sets. And we are promoted in the military based on our capabilities, and the military is no different than that.”

Q. Today’s military is filled with much more political correctness than ever before…how do you feel about that and how do you treat that?

“I think in the military, we always need to maintain order and discipline. We also have to have a culture where people feel safe and secure, but very much to encourage people to speak their minds to come forward with innovative thoughts.”

“Global Strike Command actually has a program called the Force Improvement Program which allows teams and actually takes the Airmen’s inputs, if it’s about job, their environment, procedures, takes the raw data, and gets to leadership.

Q.  What do you do during your downtime?

“I have many interests and I think it’s important for anybody to find balance in their life. I am an athlete, and love to get outside…there are so many opportunities in the community of Shreveport-Bossier to get involved with, sporting events or races…

“I’ve done a little of everything, I have done an Iron Man in my past in 2009, that includes running, biking and swimming…so yes, I do all of those things… I’ve also been a skydiver, I love to scuba dive and surf, I love to hike and snow ski as well.”

Q. Where are you from, where were you born?

“I’ve forged great bonds already with the community. This is my home right now. I call America my home, because my father, mom were both in the service and moved around quite a lot. And so, I call this place, Shreveport-Bossier, Barksdale, that’s my home. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went to high school in Fairfax, Virginia, and so I would claim that more than anything”.

Q. You lead with a velvet glove… you treat them as people, not just a number?

“Oh absolutely, they are people, the most important part of our mission, if you go out on the ramp and look at that amazing plane, and its combat capabilities, it’s merely a static display if you don’t have that people, the warriors that go out and do their mission every single day, they’re important and we need to take care of them.”

Q. Give me a quick snapshot from your heart.

“It’s a huge responsibility, and every single day, I know that it’s a privilege and an honor, and I know that it’s a high expectation in this position, whoever it is,  to lead these men and women at Barksdale, and I’m gonna do the best job I can every day.”

Q. Did you ever see yourself becoming a Bomb Wing Commander:

“It was at the age of 10 that I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy and fly planes. My goal was to fly planes….and get the mission done. And, along the way…about the eight-year point in the military, you know it I’m not here just to fly planes, I’m here to because of the people,  because I love our Air Force, I want to do my part ever day, to shape future leaders, and to make a difference. And so, that’s why I’m here.”

Tom Pace is Talk of the Town Executive Editor and Radio Host on The Promise 90.7FM.

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Operation Blessing continues to bless the community and now from a new spacious facility.

Operation Blessing, a food bank program in Bossier Parish facilitated by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, has been relocated from its former location at the BSO Viking Drive Substation to a facility on Cox Street in Bossier City (formerly the Charlotte Ann Mitchell Education Center), which also houses the Young Marines program. The move will now allow the food bank and distribution process to run more efficiently in an expanded facility and at a more centralized location.

The move also frees space at the Viking Drive substation, which will be used for training deputies.

Sgt. Tina Fruge with BSO Special Services said their previous location had a limited amount of space, which limited the amount of chairs available in the waiting area. However, the new space has more seating, which she said will be more comfortable for clients as they wait.

Operation Blessing served an average of 450 families last month. Fruge said they served 66 families the first day they opened the new facility.

Glen Horton, Food Bank Coordinator, said the move will bring positive changes to the program.

“We feel like we can better serve the community here,” he said. “We’re excited to be here.”

Operation Blessing is operated by volunteers from the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Posse and Ladies’ Auxiliary. No tax dollars are used to fund the program.

The food bank is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon at 1518 Cox Street in Bossier City.

A Louisiana state issued I.D. and proof of income are required to apply.

Fruge added: “If you go to a food bank already and live in the area, continue to go there. If you need a food bank and there’s not one in your area to go to, you can come here and fill out an application to see if you qualify.”

For more information, or to apply for qualification, call (318) 965-3500 or visit www.bossiersheriff.com/operation-blessing/.

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The Elm Grove danceline performs a high kick routine.

The Elm Grove danceline performs a high kick routine.

The Parkway High School cheerleaders perform a “P-H-S” chant to get the crowd of south Bossier fans pumped up for Panther football.

The Parkway High School cheerleaders perform a “P-H-S” chant to get the crowd of south Bossier fans pumped up for Panther football.

The Elm Grove Middle School cheerleaders wowed the crowd with a multi-level stunt.

The Elm Grove Middle School cheerleaders wowed the crowd with a multi-level stunt.

Curtis Elementary cheerleaders perform a cheer for the crowd at South Bossier Spirit Night.

Curtis Elementary cheerleaders perform a cheer for the crowd at South Bossier Spirit Night.

The Elm Grove Elementary cheerleaders ended their routine in stunt groups.

The Elm Grove Elementary cheerleaders ended their routine in stunt groups.

The Bellaire Bomber Belles perform a pom-pom routine.

The Bellaire Bomber Belles perform a pom-pom routine.

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The Friends of Bossier Parish Library want to invite parents and students of all ages to an information program about library resources.  The program will be at the Bossier Central Library conference room on Thursday, September 11, at 5 p.m.  Seating is limited, so please sign up at the reference desk ahead of time.

Reference librarian Debbie Adams will talk about the wealth of reference resources available in house as well as online.  Her presentation will include where to find materials you need within the library and how to conduct research from your home computer.

Brittainy Pope works in Teen Services and will give an overview of what is offered for young adults such as homework help, how to join the Teen Advisory Board, and teen activities that encourage young people to use the library.  

History and Outreach Specialist Pam Carlisle will present information about the archives, and other Bossier Parish historical resources housed in the History Center.

VickieHardin copyI encourage parents and students to take advantage of this opportunity to learn your way around the Bossier Central Library and History Center.

For those who cannot make it to the program, you can go to the library website at www.bossierlibrary.org and click on a link to the video of the presentation.  If you have any questions, please email me at vhardin@bossierlibrary.org.      

The 33rd Annual Creative Art Connection Fall Show will be on exhibit at the Central Library from August 29 through September 30.  The categories for the show are: Landscape/ Cityscape/ Seascape; Floral/ Still Life; Portrait/ Figure; Animal/ Wildlife; and Abstract/ Non-representational.  

Judging for the show will be on Wednesday, September 3, followed by an Awards Reception on Saturday, September 6, from 1-3 p.m. in the History Center meeting room.  

I hope you will visit the Central Library to view the works of these talented artists.  

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

Make a note: 

  • All Bossier Parish Libraries will be closed on Monday, September 1, for Labor Day.
  • Registration for the free computer class on Internet Basics at Aulds Library from 10:15-11:45 a.m., begins on Monday, September 1.  To register, call (318) 734-9275 Monday – Thursday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may leave a voice mail message to register.  Please note that you will receive a confirmation call to let you know you are registered.

New Books   

Fiction

“Midnight in Europe” by Alan Furst

“Beauty” by Frederick Dillen

“The Stories” by Jane Gardam

“Take Me Home” by Dorothy Garlock

“The Painter” by Peter Heller

“House of the four Winds” by Mercedes Lackey

“Stormy Persuasion” by Johanna Lindsey

“Hillbilly Rockstar: A Blacktop Cowboys Novel” by Lorelei James

“The Quick” by Lauren Owen

“The Directive” by Matthew Quirk

Nonfiction

“A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids about Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things that Freak You Out” by Joani Geltman

“Eyewitness Travel Washington, DC” by Susan Burke

“Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior” by Mike Leach

“Stand Up Straight and Sing” by Jessye Norman

“American Cocktail” by Anita Reynolds

“Enduring Courage” by John F. Ross

“Plenty of Time When We Get Home” by Kayla Williams

“Your Life Calling” by Jane Pauley

“Treat Petites: Tiny Sweets and Savory Pleasures” by Fiona Pearce

“501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College” by Gen Tanabe

Vickie Hardin is Associate Director of Public Relations for the Bossier Parish Library. She can be reached at vhardin@bossierlibrary.org