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Joshua Specht

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For me, the afternoon thunderstorms we’ve had lately triggered some happy thoughts of yesterday. It was around this time of year but during the late 1950’s. Thunderstorms would pop up suddenly, bringing wind gusts, vivid lightning strikes, and a downpour of rain. Of course and like today, the rain may come down in buckets but only lasted a couple minutes at the most. Then, there were the times a storm seemed to last for hours.

I was around 6 or 7 years of age, and was heading to my Aunt Lou’s on a typical, hot and humid summer afternoon. Aunt Lou lived about 4 to 5 hundred yards further down the dirt road that ran in front of our house, but this was THE place for me to be. In fact, she is the one I give credit to for spoiling me.

For example, every Friday night for me was spent at Aunt Lou’s. Didn’t matter what was going on; even if the next day was Christmas Day, I would be found at Aunt Lou’s. I always left a note for Santa advising I wouldn’t be at home Christmas Eve, and if he didn’t mind, please come see me down at Aunt Lou’s. He never failed me.

Regardless, it was summer; it was hot; it was dry. A few thunderheads floated across the blazing sky as I began the walk toward Aunt Lou’s. Now, my mom had always told me that if I wanted something bad enough, then I should pray to the good Lord above and ask Him for what I wanted. That didn’t mean I would get it, but if God wanted me to have it, I would.

One of my favorite pastimes was riding an old piece of a bicycle during a good rain. The dirt road held many places where rainwater would gather in puddles — the deeper, the better — and the road ditches would turn into a raging river…., at least, in the mind of this seven-year-old.

Ridin’ that old rust bucket through those puddles, in and out of the ditches filled with mud and runnin’ water, was pure ecstasy for this young boy. Perhaps that’s why I like muddin’ in a four wheel drive vehicle today.

Anyway and while walking to Aunt Lou’s, I prayed that it would rain so I could get on that ol’ bike and play like all get out. And guess what; God answered my prayer. Only problem was He answered it too well!

Folks, it came a sho’ ’nuff thunderstorm! Wind seemed to blow like it never had before; rain came down in torrents, thunder rumbled and roared like an angry beast, and lightnin’ was poppin’ like popcorn over a hot fire! I told Aunt Lou that I had prayed for rain on the way down, but I didn’t want it to rain this way! She just chuckled and said, “Sometimes you have to be careful of what you wish for; you might just get it.”

At the time, such wisdom didn’t mean much to me. However and as I grew up and learned a few things, I understood. Oh, I still wish for things, and on occasion, discover the truth, as well as the consequences, of certain wishes.

I am, however, extremely thankful for the memories – good and bad – of a time when I think we all were much better off.

 

 

Galen White is a columnist for the Bossier Press-Tribune. Visit bossierpress.com to see more from Galen.

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Sydney Bonner

newsroom@bossierpress.com

 

Pencils? Check. Paper? Check. Backpack? Check.

Picking up school supplies for the new school year can always be a hassle for those who wait. But what about the families unable to buy a backpack for their child much less provide their lunch?

Companies, churches, organizations and members of the community scattered throughout the Bossier parish area are here to help those in need.

“The bottom line is we want to help.” Teri Gilbert, small group coordinator of the Simple Church, said. “We are willing to find the area that needs the help the most and do our part to invest in a child’s life in need.”

“Bwap” are “backpacks with a purpose”—the terminology used to describe what the Simple Church is doing for the community locally as well as globally. Whenever one backpack is purchased, two others will be sent to children in need. These stylish backpacks are built to last and come in a variety of colors for $39. The backpacks will be for sale in the Shreveport Convention Center August 28th only for a one time price of $25.

If you are unable to make it, the backpacks will be available in the “Do Good” store located at the boardwalk for sale at normal price August 2-4, which is open the first weekend of every month.

“Our founder Justin’s vision for the Do Good store is to ‘live simply, give generously and consume consciously,” Gilbert said. “These factors are the key to helping a community thrive.”

Just a few streets away, First United Methodist Church of Bossier City has sponsored the first graders at Central Park Elementary.

This is the fourth year that First United Methodist has adopted the first grade children at Central Park.

This year 75 children will be able to receive free school supplies for the year.

As of July 14 through this Sunday, July 28, a list of needed school supplies has been sent out to the congregation; monetary donations are accepted as well to pay for supplies.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 1-3 p.m., members of the church and community are invited to go shopping with First United Methodist for the rest of the supplies, which will be paid for by the monetary donations.

The items will be provided the following Sunday, August 4th, at 1 p.m. at Central Park’s Open House for parents and students.

“It’s such a blessing,” Ashley McGuire, associate pastor, said. “Every year the event touches a lot of lives, including ours.”

Faith Moving Mountains ministry is a ministry where local churches and local businesses to come together to provide for children in need for the school year as well as the Word of God. Last Saturday, FMM was able to assist over 700 children this year by providing new and used uniforms and school supplies at the Shady Grove Community Center and North Point Community Church in South Bossier.

Four hundred and seventy-five children in need attended the event and FMM passed out over 800 Bibles to encourage families and give children hope. Their hope is to extend their ministry into Haughton next year.

“This event goes way beyond just helping children in need out.” Angie Tejada, founder of Faith Moving Mountains, said. “There are huge needs in our community and we hope to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Want to enjoy yourself while donating? “Skate for School” is being held this Sunday at Hot Wheels Skating Rink in Bossier City from 2-5 p.m., sponsored by Heavenly Concepts Pageantry.

HCP will pay for you to skate if you bring $10 or more in school supplies for children in need.

The current royalty from this year’s pageants will be in attendance to support the community. The girls will be there to see who can bring the most school supplies. Prizes will be provided to the winners.

“This is a great way to get the community as well as the children involved in helping those in need.” Michelle Cook, owner of Heavenly Concepts Pageantry, said. “Everyone will come together and have a blast while participating.”

“I’m here to support my local community and if my organization has the money, we are willing to donate to people that need it the most.”

Everyone is getting creative this school year, including KTBS 3 news.

The local event “Stuff the Bus” is around for the third year in a row. A school bus is passed around from Wednesday, July 17th, until the time school starts, Thursday, August 8th.

Each day the bus goes to a different company, business, or organization in the community to raise school supplies during normal office hours.

On Tuesday, July 8th, the bus made at stop at ICEE Distributors, LLC, in Bossier City.

“Who knows more about kids than ICEE?” Sarah Thornton, PHR of ICEE, said. “We want to give children the tools they need for an education.”

Anyone is encouraged to come by the company and bring school supplies for children in need.

On August 8th, the bus is taken to KTBS where teachers from various schools will be in contact to let the company knows where the supplies are needed most.

Donations of supplies can also be dropped off at the KTBS 3 lobby, located at 312 E. Kings Hwy., Shreveport.

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From Staff Reports

newsroom@bossierpress.com

 

Eighties rock band, Starship will take center stage at DiamondJacks Legends Theatre on Saturday, August 24 at 8 p.m.

Starship has had more than 30 years of numerous hit songs, including, “We Built This City”, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “Sara”.

In 1979, Mickey Thomas joined Paul Kantner to form Jefferson Starship. Almost immediately after getting together, they recorded their first hit, “Jane.” The band name changed to Starship after Paul Kantner left in 1984. Just one year later, in 1985, Starship released the decade’s biggest rock anthem “We Built this City.” Starship disbanded in 1988 when Grace Slick left the band, but Mickey Thomas took the reins in 1992 and has been touring relentlessly since.

Tickets start at $25 and may be purchased at www.diamondjacks.com or by calling (318) 678-7695. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Subject to availability.

DiamondJacks Casino & Resort is owned and operated by Legends Gaming, LLC and features a hotel with over 500 hotel rooms, over 1,000 slot machines, 27 table games, 3 restaurants, fitness center, outdoor pool, meeting/convention space, and a full-service RV park.

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BOSSIER PARISH – James Fred Williams – Born June 25, 1941 Died July 21, 2013. Jim Williams passed away after a lengthy battle with various illnesses. Jim was a Vietnam Veteran, serving his country for 20 years in both the Marine Corp and Army. He was a football coach most of his adult life. He won championships in the CFL with the Newton NiteHawks and the AFA with the Shreveport Steamers. He was inducted into the Semi-Pro Hall of Fame for his superior coaching accomplishments. He was the head coach of the Washington Commando’s, winning the first ever Arena football game. He also coached high school and middle school in the Shreveport area. Jim retired from the Caddo Parish school system after 20 years of faithful service. He taught at Loyola College Prep, Hollywood and Ridgewood Middle schools.

Jim spent his life serving and teaching others. He was a leader of men, a teacher of children, a storyteller, a poet, and, in the best sense of the word, a clown. He was loved and respected by all who knew him.

Jim is survived by his son and daughter in law, Shaun and Sassy Williams; daughter, Maurna Cay Thornton and grandchildren, Savannah and Brady Williams, Cayla, Aaron, and Avery Thornton, and a plethora of family and friends. At Jim’s request, there will be no services held – he asks instead that each of you honor his memory in your own special way. We cherish the time we had with him and he will be terribly missed.

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Amanda Crane

acrane@bossierpress.com

 

The Bossier City Council held its first public workshop Tuesday that will essentially connect the dots of local governmental accounting.

The series is what District 2 councilman Jeff Darby calls “Finance 101” for the City of Bossier City. The reasoning behind the workshop is to give newly elected councilmen a crash course in the city’s finances as well as making those dollar amounts more transparent to the public.

“I believe we all have something to learn,” Darby said, addressing a crowd of city officials, council members and community members. “An inservice like this really does give them the opportunity to know the process.”

Leading the series is Joe Buffington, Finance Director for the City of Bossier City. His presentation started with the basics – organization of the city, fund types, accounting methods, reporting results and the budgeting process – and is designed to essentially “lay it all out there.”

According to his presentation, Bossier relies on population growth, housing starts and businesses licenses to ensure its continued success within the state and national economy.

In his first presentation, Buffington explained that there are three types of funds – governmental, proprietary and fiduciary – the city deals with. Fund sources commonly known in the public are ones like the general fund and capital project funds.

Topics of discussion ranged from the importance of sales taxes to the riverboat gaming trust fund, which was established in the late 1990s. Buffington said his next presentation will go in depth on the budgeting process for the city’s finances. He will also talk about the responsibilities of the Bossier City Council when it comes to the city’s finances.

Darby said the workshops are an open opportunity for the public to come in, ask questions and discuss the city’s finances instead of wondering where the money actually goes.

“This is the time for citizens to hear from the financial director how all of these funds are used. To me, you can’t get better than that,” Darby said. “We have been blessed to have such a diverse economy and we continue to grow. Hopefully, we will continue to make great financial decisions for the city.”

Tuesday’s workshop was the first of three planned for the public. The next workshops will be held after the agenda meetings on Tuesday, July 30, and Tuesday, Aug. 13, in the city council chambers, located at 620 Benton Road in Bossier City.

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From Staff Reports

newsroom@bossierpress.com

 

Bossier City Chief of Police Shane McWilliams has promoted two police officers.

The officers were promoted Wednesday morning during a ceremony at the Bossier City Police Department with family members and department personnel in attendance.

Buster Henrikson was promoted to the rank of captain. Capt. Henrikson has been a member of the Bossier City Police Department since 1986 and is assigned to the patrol division.

John Nicholson was promoted to the rank of captain. Capt. Nicholson has been a member of the Bossier City Police Department since 1986 and is assigned to police administration.

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Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier

2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

 

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — For base leadership, information technology errors and malfunctions may have dire effects on the mission.

When a senior leader has issues with their technology, Airmen from the 2nd Communications Squadron executive communications flight are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to repair and troubleshoot any faulty IT.

“We are a small hand-picked flight, chosen to assist the senior leaders with their information technology needs,” said Staff Sgt. Stepheno Pomerlee, 2nd CS exec. comm. “Our senior leaders do not have the time to submit a ticket. If one of our senior leaders or their staff has an issue, it needs to be resolved right away.”

Exec. comm. Airmen are chosen by their leadership and are interviewed for the job.

“These Airmen may have to brief a 2-star general at any moment, so they need to know their job well,” Pomerlee said. “They cannot be nervous and must be confident, which is why we have an interview process.”

Exec. comm. has 11 assigned Airmen, including deployed Airmen, and supports laptops, tablets, phones, desktop computer malfunctions and e-mail issues for more than 170 senior leaders and their staff, from Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force and the 2nd and 307th Bomb Wing.

“We have exec. comm. on our speed dial just in case anything goes down,” said Maj. Jon Lee, 2nd BW executive officer to the commander. “They immediately spring into action to give us the answers to any questions we or our commanders might have.”

With IT a part of commanders’ daily lives, information loss from e-mails and other IT can impact Barksdale’s mission. Exec. comm. works with commanders’ executive officers to limit a malfunction’s mission impact.

When the commanders have any problems related to IT, they tell their executive officers who will work with exec. comm. to fix it. Those issues range from Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network access to Microsoft Outlook and other computer program malfunctions.

“The commander needs to receive as much information as possible,” Lee said. “We receive information from different electronic media, and it impacts the mission if any malfunction.”

Other than senior leaders stationed here, certain distinguished visitors also receive exec. comm. support.

“If they plan on using IT during their visit, we take all of the necessary precautions to ensure they have no issues,” Pomerlee said. “This includes going to their lodging before they visit to verify their SIPRNet, SIPR phones and commercial wireless connection are working.”

Exec. comm. exists because not many bases have the amount of traffic Barksdale does, Pomerlee added.

“It’s very unrealistic to put in a trouble ticket for the myriad of IT problems that may pop up,” Lee said. “With the constant flow of information and the decisions that need to be made, exec. comm. ensures our commanders receive critical information and decisions are made on time.”

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The family of Brian David Sigman of Shreveport are saddened to announce his passing. He was the oldest of 4 children born to Harold Sigman and the late Jane Sheets Sigman. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA on July 2, 1957, and just celebrated his 56th birthday with friends and relatives. Brian was ushered into Heaven on Sunday, July 21st after succumbing to a long battle with lung cancer.

Brian loved to fish and loved the outdoors. He was employed as a truck driver for the Colliers in Haughton, up until the time of his illness. He followed in his father’s footsteps and enjoyed the freedom of driving and seeing other parts of the country.

Cherishing his memory are his devoted sisters, Vera Manshack and husband Huey, and Barbara Murray and husband Sammy (all of Shreveport) Brian also leaves his dear brother Dale Sigman (of Pgh., PA).

Left to grieve him is his father Harold Sigman of Bossier, and Harold’s girlfriend Pat, his Uncle, Dusty Sheets of Pittsburgh,PA and his special Aunt, Margie Koglin of Bossier City.

He is also survived by cousins Rhoda Stevens, Karyn Tilley and Leonard Koglin of Bossier, Ed Koglin of Lewisville, TX, Charlie Sheets of Haughton, and Jim and Bob Sheets of Pittsburgh, PA., his twin nieces Jessica and daughter Peyton, and Jennifer, husband Brandon, and their children Alexis and Preston, and his nephew Henry Murray and great nephew Gavin James .

He leaves behind his niece Janet Sigman Miller of Haughton, her husband Josh, and their children Isabella, Alexa, and Jaina.

Remembering good times with him will be his companion of many years, Cheryl Wilkerson, and her two boys Jeffrey Kennedy and Shawn Wilkerson; who he cared for as if they were his own.

There will be a memorial service for Brian at Auld’s Funeral Home on E. Kings Hwy. on Friday, July 26 at 11 a.m.

 

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BOSSIER CITY – Beverly Jane King said hello to Heaven on June 23, 2013. Beverly was born April 8, 1958 to Thomas and Lillie Mae Murray King. She leaves behind her three beautiful daughters, Nichole Parsons Villalobos (Carlos), and Angela Parsons Hallgren (Wesley) of El Paso, TX and Melissa Parsons of Las Vegas, NV. She was very proud of each of them. Her prize possessions were her grandchildren, Enrique, Cielo, and Gael Villalobos and McKenzie Hallgren. They were the bright spot in life. She also leaves her beloved brother Tommy King (Ingrid) of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. She will be missed by her older sister, Patsy King Starks (Jimmy) of Haughton, LA. Bev regarded Jimmy as her “other” brother. Left to remember her is a very special niece Trisha S. Knowles (Lee). Bev loved their boys, Hunter and Zach. She leaves a special nephew Scott Starks (Deborah) and family. Scott was a great help to Bev when she needed it and she loved him for it. Her nephews are: Ty King and family, Chad King (Heather) and family, David and Jamie Rowe. Her three step children: Jamie, Toby, and Josh Blissett and a special cousin Walter Colquitt, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Beverly leaves two very dear friends, Shaun Grimshaw and Donna Little. Donna was Beverly’s heart friend and Shaun was like another sister to Beverly. Shaun was a Proverbs 24:18b friend, “But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Her dogs Precious and Possum will miss their mama.

Beverly spent the last few months of her life at WKP Hospital in Shreveport, LA due to perplexing multiple medical conditions. She is thankful to the doctors and nurses that helped her through each day but her body finally couldn’t fight anymore. She left us way too soon but she knew where she was going. She had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior many years ago. We know mama met her at Heaven’s gate with a hug!

1 Corinthians 13:1 tells us “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have not love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Beverly had the love; unconditional, generous, and compassionate. She was known to take in people or pets that needed a place to stay. Her home was always open. What she had was yours. She was a very intelligent person, a good listener and a great conversationalist.

Love people while you can, while they are here, and let them know it. That’s what Beverly would say to you today if she could.

A private memorial service will be held by the family at a later date.

 

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Services for David Russell Lovett will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 10:00 at Hill Crest Memorial Chapel. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2013 at Hill Crest Funeral Home. You may view the entire obituary at www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com