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Sean Green

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

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Michael Charles Armitage of Bossier City, LA, born Dec 4, 1971, left this world to be with his Lord and Savior at the age of 43, on June 29, 2015.

Mike was a welder for the Cajun Air Co. and James Friday for 20 years. He loved baseball and fishing , had a big heart, and never left anyone without saying “I love you”.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Zimmeriah and James Arnold; paternal grandparents, Ben and Rosa Armitage; and Uncle Ben Arnold.

He is survived by his loving parents, Jerry and Barbara Armitage; sisters, Pam Hardiman and husband Dennis of Benton, Nancie Holcomb and husband Mike of Benton, DeeAnna Zimmerman and husband Brad of Shreveport; brothers, Steve Armitage and wife Dondra of Bossier City; and Kirk Armitage and wife Cheri of Benton; nieces and nephews, Lindsey Robbins, Jessica Duos, Holley Chapman, Justin Markiel, Madyson Armitage and Matthew Holcomb; great nieces and nephews, Rylie Duos, Braelyn Chapman, Memphis and Kingston Robbins; Aunt Jane Hawkins and husband Doug of Shreveport, Aunt Gwen Arnold of Texas; and many other relatives from his father’s home of Kentucky.

Pallbearers: Brad Zimmerman, Tim Schlenker, Dennis Hardiman, Detroit Harris, Jacob Salts and Austin Lovelace.

Visitation is at Hill Crest Funeral Home in Haughton, Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 2pm-4pm, service at 4pm by Brother David Dietzel of 1st United Methodist Church with interment to follow.

In Lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to St Jude’s or Shriner’s Children Hospitals .

You may offer condolences and sign the on-line guest book by visiting www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com.

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BOSSIER CITY – Funeral services for LaVerne Parlee will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2015 at Rose-Neath’s Bossier Chapel. Officiating will be Bro. Dan Moffett, pastor of Believers Worship Center. Interment will be at 3:30 p.m. p.m. at Plainview Baptist Church Cemetery, near Hornbeck, LA. Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at Rose-Neath Bossier.

LaVerne was born in Plainview, LA (Vernon Parish) on February 7, 1926 to Alvi and Oma Self Jones and passed away June 28, 2015 in Bossier City. She was a member of Believers Worship Center. She loved gardening and sewing.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert. J. Parlee and her parents.

LaVerne is survived by her daughters, Carol Stevenson and husband, Stanley of Benton, LA, Dianne Auber and husband, Miklos of Morgantown, WV; sister, Edna Mitternight of Lake Charles, LA; brother, Mixon Jones of Hornbeck, LA; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Honoring LaVerne as pallbearers are Joshua Stevenson, Stanley Stevenson, James Wallace, David Michael and Joseph Auber.

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Shankle obitSHREVEPORT – A Celebration of life service for Tawana Shankle will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2015 at Central Assembly of God with Pastor Andy Harris officiating. Interment will follow at Hill Crest Memorial Park. The family will be receiving friends for visitation on Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home.

Tawana was a faithful member of Central Assembly of God. She loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Tawana was preceded in death by her parents William and Nadine Bernard and her sister Ann Holland. She is survived by her husband John E. Shankle, sons John D. Shankle and wife Pam, Michael T. Shankle and wife Shannon and Steven K. Shankle and wife Rachel, grandchildren Blake Holdon Shankle, Brittany Shankle, Colt Shankle, Hayden Shankle, Hannah Shankle, Brodie Shankle and Brandon Shankle, brothers Myron David Bernard and wife Nancy and Cecil Bernard, Jr. and wife Kathy and sister Kathy Barrett and husband John.

Pallbearers will be John D. Shankle, Michael Shankle, Steven Shankle, Holdon Shankle, Colt Shankle, Brodie Shankle, Brandon Shankle and Hayden Shankle.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Central Assembly of God, 700 Hwy 80, Haughton, LA 71037

The family would like to thank Central Assembly of God for the care and support they have shown.

Condolences may be shared with the family and the guestbook may be signed online at www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com

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A piece of history has made its way to Bossier City, where it will now become a permanent part of the local landscape.

A 16-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center towers, recovered from Ground Zero in New York City following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, arrived in Bossier last week. It will be on permanent display at the Liberty Garden, located between the Bossier City Fire and Police Departments, in memory of those whose lives were lost that tragic day in 2001.

Efforts to acquire the 9/11 artifact began nearly four years ago when local businessman and Keep Bossier Beautiful President Tom Lawson was in Indiana and saw “Project Indianapolis,” a memorial comprised of twisted pieces of metal from the Twin Towers.

“It moved me. I felt the energy when I walked up to those beams,” Lawson said. “It brought me back to that day. Everybody I know remembers that day and what they were doing. I felt we needed it for our 9/11 memorial in Bossier City. It will be a most appropriate addition.”

South Bossier resident Carol Estrada remembers the events of 9/11 so vividly.

“My husband was still at home and my sister called me. She said to turn on the television because we were under siege,” she recalled. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

Seeing the beam brought back the images of that day. With tears in her eyes, Estrada reflected on the sacrifice members of the military and civil servants have made.

“This is so touching for someone who wasn’t even in the service,” she said. “My husband, brother, dad and uncle were all in the service. I was never in the service, but I’m more patriotic than most people.”

Estrada encourages the public to go see the beam, noting its significance in American history.

“This is America,” she said. “Those of us who were born here, show some patriotism, love and pride for your country. Come see it.”

Lawson and his son, Scott, worked with the Bossier City Mayor’s Office and Keep Bossier Beautiful to put the wheels in motion to secure the beam. Word came on Feb. 13, 2015 that the beam would be coming to Bossier.

“Four years is a long time when you’re waiting on something,” Lawson said. “It has taken a while for it to finally get here.

Lawson said the most important thing is to remember the people who lost their lives and what was ultimately taken from America that day.

Plans have not been made as to how the beam will be mounted or displayed in Liberty Garden. For now, the beam has been placed in a secured, covered location until it can be put out for permanent public display in the coming weeks.

Lawson added that no public funds will be used to place the monument. Instead, funds were donated by Calumet for the memorial.

Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker commended Lawson and the Keep Bossier Beautiful team for discovering this opportunity and their persistence to making it happen.

“We are very fortunate to have this special beam to add to our Liberty Garden,” Walker said. “It will serve to help us never forget the terrorist attack on our soil and the significance it has had on all of our lives. We have construction plans to install it with all of the dignity and honor that it deserves. Its presence will make our annual Patriots Day Celebration all the more memorable.”

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A bill that will aid veterans, active military soldiers and their spouses in completing their college education has received Governor Bobby Jindal’s signature.

House Bill 485 by Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, assists veterans in selecting which Louisiana institution best fits their needs by highlighting the campuses that have gone above and beyond to create a supportive environment for veteran and military students as a “Military and Veterans’ Friendly Campus.”

Bossier Parish Community College has a history of serving the educational needs of military personnel. The College’s Veteran Educational Services Office offers military students informative resources to answer questions and meet requirements while using their education benefits at BPCC.

“We are pretty accommodating here,” Susan Stakes, Veterans Educational Services Coordinator, said. “Benefits are limited and must be used within a certain time frame. We help them use those benefits to the fullest. I’d like to think that they come here and leave with what they wanted to accomplish.”

Stakes added that there’s “nothing negative” about this new legislation, but they do a lot more work to ensure all students are successful and leave with a positive experience.

The first step for veterans is to get them oriented with how BPCC works and to figure out which degree the student wants to pursue, what benefits they have and how much time they have to go to school with those benefits.  There’s a strict set of rules and guidelines to follow once a student declares a degree.

Stakes and the academic advisors assist students in their course selections because classes must be within the approved curriculum in order to receive benefits. They also oversee things that may come up over time.

“They aren’t the traditional college student. They are a diverse group,” Stakes explained. “Some are trying to focus in a class but have distractions because of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We also have protocols in place for students who get military orders. We are very flexible with that and our instructors understand that these students have legitimate reasons why they can’t be here. We make sure the student is taken care of.”

That attention to detail is what drew Matthew Pulley in to BPCC during the spring of 2013. Years before, Pulley joined the Navy with written consent from his father when he was 17. His plan was to make the military a career and it was something he looked forward to doing.

After four months stationed in Virginia Beach, Pulley was sent overseas. However, injuries to his ankles, back and knee put an end to his career. That’s when, Pulley said, his life just stopped.

“I joined the military to get away from the small town in Tennessee where I grew up,” he said. “I’ve seen the world twice at 20 years old. I didn’t know where I would go or what I would do next.”

Pulley knew he wanted to go to school, but didn’t know what to go for. He walked into BPCC thinking he would take some basic English and math courses just to see how it goes.

“You come in, get in contact with these people and they made it so simple that I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I could’ve gone anywhere because the [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] pays for it. The transition was so easy I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Pulley is pursuing a degree in engineering and plans to continue his education at Louisiana Tech University after BPCC. He will also be one of many to wear red, white and blue honor cords on graduation day. The cords, which are sponsored by Barksdale Federal Credit Union, are a new addition to graduation ceremonies to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed services.

Pulley said walking into BPCC two years ago was the start of his new beginning.

“I’m on the right track now,” he said. “This is just the beginning though. This is the start of my new life and I owe that to BPCC. I’m building a future for my future family. I can see there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

He encourages other veterans to learn about the benefits available to them and to seek help if they want to pursue their education.

“You might have thought you would do 20 years, but it’s not the end of the world if that doesn’t happen,” Pulley said. “The sky is the limit. I can’t blame anybody for getting hurt. Going to college brought a new light into my life. Don’t let anything hold you back.”

BPCC has been designated a Military-Friendly School four consecutive years – one of 15% of schools in national to receive this distinction. House Bill 485 also allows state schools who offer admissions policies and academic and student support services tailored to military and veteran students to seek a Governor’s designation signifying their willingness to assist service men and women in meeting their educational goals. Some of the criteria for receiving the designation include specialized orientation sessions, application fee waivers, readmission policies after return from deployment, priority class scheduling, veteran-specific courses, career workshops, and adoption of the veterans articulation transfer process.

House Bill 485 is one of two new pieces of legislation signed into law that will aid veterans, active military soldiers and their spouses in completing their college education. Senate Bill 132 by Sen. Ben Nevers improves the veteran’s articulation transfer process, which requires state schools to place a higher priority on evaluating the transcripts of these individuals and to transfer credits previously obtained to a Louisiana institution. Additionally, this bill strengthens current law by requiring state schools to award college credit for the training and experience gained during military service.

Representative Henry Burns said, “We want all of our veterans to know how grateful we are for their tremendous service and this bill ensures that their needs are met as they return home to meet their education goals. This legislation supports these men and women by encouraging our universities to offer specialized support services to our veterans who are preparing to enter a competitive workforce in the near future.”

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Story by Sonja Bailes, Special to the Press-Tribune

Landing a job is one thing; keeping it is another.

Principal Jayda Spillers is determined students taking career and technical education courses at the soon-to-open Bossier Parish School for Technology and Innovative Learning will do both because they will know firsthand what employers need and expect from them when entering the workforce.

Before school adjourned for the summer, the principal and her staff invited business and industry leaders to participate in a first-of-its-kind meeting to establish Advisory Committees at BPSTIL. Representatives in business, carpentry, collision repair, child care and health occupations listened intently as Spillers solicited their help.

“We want your input because we’re trying to turn out a product that will help you,” Spillers told the group. “We want you to start connecting with our teachers so we are teaching students the skills you need in the workforce.”

Participants then split into groups according to their fields of expertise, reviewed curriculum and offered candid comments about what needs to be added or omitted. They also discussed attributes they look for in prospective employees.

One gentleman who owns a carpentry business said when hiring, “The first two questions I ask are ‘do you have a car?’ and ‘do you know how to use a tape measure?’ ‘And don’t just tell me yes. Show me.’”

The conversation was lively in business teacher Kathye Blackburn’s group, where the dialogue centered around a lack of soft skills; a problem, they added, that is not exclusive to younger workers.  An accountant relayed this story about someone her firm had hired.

“They didn’t have soft skills and we ended up having to fire them because they couldn’t get along with staff,” she said.

Sandy Cimino with Community Bank of Louisiana chimed in on the importance of good customer relations. “If you insult customers, they’ll go to another bank.”

Automotive Technology teacher Jeremy Dreher said he received valuable feedback on the latest tools used in his trade and the equipment required to teach it. Carpentry teacher Tim Anderson also took suggestions to heart about the need for students to be proficient in using a belt sander and worm drive saw.

As a result, Anderson said “I have put worm drive saws on my needs assessment for the 2015-16 school year and plan to incorporate a lesson on concrete work.”

Spillers added perspective from industry insiders is especially invaluable when it comes to various equipment used in their line of work.

“If they don’t use it (certain equipment) and it’s obsolete, we don’t need to waste time on that,” she commented.

Spillers hopes once school gets underway and the advisory panels are established, it will translate into internships and work opportunities for students. Committees are still being formed, particularly for the new courses being added, and Spillers said anyone wishing to take part is more than welcome. Just give her a phone call at (318) 676-7811, extension 152.

“It’s exciting to see how they’re going to build these departments,” Spillers said. “The energy they’re bringing is contagious.”

Sonja Bailes is Public Relations Liasion for Bossier Parish Schools

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An article in the June 11, 1925 issue of the Bossier Banner related some bits of the early history of Bossier Parish as gleaned from an elderly Negro man named Charlie Davis.  The following is an abbreviated version of the article.

“Through our friend, Mr. J. D. Gleason, who resides just outside the town limits of Plain Dealing, we have gathered a bit of history of the early life and customs of the first settlers of Bossier Parish.  Nearby Mr. Gleason lives an aged Negro man, Charlie Davis, better known to his friends as “Uncle Pap,” ninety-eight winters and gray, and time has left him hard of hearing so much so that one has to be accustomed to conversing with him to be able to make themselves heard by him.  For these reasons we are indebted to Mr. Gleason, who during the years he has known “Uncle Pap” has gathered colorful bits of history which should be of interest to our readers.”

“In 1843 possibly the first settler of Rocky Mount community came from Memphis, Tenn., according to Charlie Davis, and the newcomer was Mr. Jack Davis, grandfather of Mr. Clyde Davis and Mrs. Tom Crawford, of Plain Dealing.  Mr. Davis left Tennessee, his wife having died about the time of his departure and the trip was mad necessarily over land.  By means of a slide, made by taking a forked tree, drilling holes around the outer edge, flooring the forked part and erecting a kind of tent [that] was pulled by milk cows.  Several slides composed the caravan by which this pioneer moved, and twelve months were consumed in the journey from Memphis!  Think of our system of travel now, with a twelve hour service to Memphis by rail [that] can be correspondingly quicker made over land by means of high powered automobiles which speed over splendid highways.  “Uncle Pap,” who in the year 1843, in company with Jack Davis, came to this parish, was a youth then about sixteen years of age, and recalls many hardships of the trip.  Upon arriving, log houses were built near old Rocky Mount, and, because of the wolves, bears and other troublesome wild animals, when a baby calf arrived a large bonfire would be built in the cow pen, because the [wild] animals were afraid of fire light.  This bonfire would prevent them eating the young calf.”

“For seventeen years there was no school, and the first teacher of this community was Mr. Ben Looney, who taught in a log shack in 1860.  The first physician was Dr. Barnum who made his calls with his medicine case thrown across his shoulders.  The first two preachers to come to this community, says “Uncle Pap,” were Mr. Winham and Mr. Bob Martin.”

“Our informant dwells upon the customs of that day.  A newcomer was welcomed by all the men of the community helping him build a dwelling house, giving him all the seed he needed, and he was never charged for this aid.  Neighbors freely gave such a thing and selling vegetables was unheard of and the stranger within their gate was welcomed.”

“Mr. Jack Davis married later a widow whose name was Haynes, and we are told of the time a bald eagle flew across their home with a red-haired baby boy in its clutches.  This eagle was killed by Mr. Davis but the identity of the baby was never known.”

“Uncle Pap” remembered that romance and adventure abounded in early Bossier Parish.”

Preserving the history of Bossier Parish is what the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center is about, so add us to your bucket list of places to visit, especially now that school is out.

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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The next time you go to the Bossier Parish Libraries website, you will see a new service called Flipster where you can read digital versions of your favorite magazines for free.  We have 46 of the most popular titles to choose from.  Just go to www.bossierlibrary.org, key in your library card number and look under the menu heading Digital Media/eContent, click and read. 

There is no need for a mobile app on your cell phone if you have an Internet, 3G or 4G connection.  Mobile apps can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play Store if you have an iPad, iPad Mini, Android Tablet, or Kindle Fire. 

VickieHardin copySome electronic devices do not have the ability to perform all of the available options.  Searching through current and back issues to find a particular article or topic is easy using the keyword or category search.  However this feature is not available on the mobile app at this time.  Printing is allowed and can be done from a computer, but not a mobile device or iPad application.  Magazine publishers have control of the print options, so please be aware there are some exceptions to printing. 

BPL is very excited to offer this new service and hope it will be one of your favorite online library activities. 

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

Make a note:

Benton 965-2751

  • Thursday, July 9 at 10a.m. for ages 3—5 Preschool Summer Event with activities, games, crafts and fun.  Registration required.

Haughton 949-0196

  • Mondays, July 6 and 13 at 3p.m., Haughton Kids Book Club for grades 3—7 with reading, crafts, and snacks.

New Books

Fiction

“Medicine Walk” by Richard Wagamese

“The Dog Who Saved Me” by Susan Wilson

“A Dangerous Place: A Maise Dobbs Novel” by Jacqueline Winspear

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

“Mislaid: A Novel” by Nell Zink

“Within These Walls” by Ania Ahlborn

“The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi

“Summerlong” by Dean Bakopoulos

“The Scarlet Gospels” by Clive Barker

“The Truth According to Us” by Annie Barrows

Nonfiction

“Live Right and Find Happiness” by Dave Barry

“A New Season” by Al and Lisa Robertson

“Better than Before Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin

“Confucius and the World He Created” by Michael Schuman

“What Keeps You Up at Night” by Pete Wilson

“The Caregiver’s Companion” by Carolyn A. Brent

“Unconditional Honor: Wounded Warriors and Their Dogs” by Cathy Scott

“The Great War of Our Time” by Michael Morell

“The Lost Girls” by John Glatt

“The Tricky Art of Co-Existing” by Sandi Toksvig

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

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Landscapes are dynamic creations that are always changing. Plants grow larger. New plants are added along the way. Plants die. Even trees may be lost in storms. Over the years, a landscape can change radically from its original look.

How your family uses the landscape also changes over time. Kids grow up, and you no longer a need a play area. As gardeners grow older, they often have to change a landscape to make it less labor-intensive.

And it’s common to move into a house that already has an existing landscape. What worked for the previous owners, however, may not work well at all for your family. As a result, you need to redesign or change the landscape to more closely match your needs.

Summer is a great time to study your landscape and develop plans for needed changes. Spend the season refining your ideas, and you’ll be ready when our prime planting season for trees, shrubs and ground covers arrives in late October.

First, analyze your landscaping needs. Basically, this means sitting down with the family and deciding on what the landscape should provide.

For instance, determine whether you need to screen unsightly views, remove overgrown shrubs, create shade or privacy, provide an area for children to play, change or enlarge the outdoor living area, give your home a more attractive appearance or whatever else.

Once you’ve decided how you’d like to redesign your landscape, consult landscaping books to help you refine your ideas and gardening books written for our area to help you select the right plants. Also, talk to knowledgeable people such as local gardeners you know, LSU AgCenter agents, and garden center and nursery staff.

Consider the future maintenance of your new exterior plantings. Select insect- and disease-resistant plants that are well adapted to our area. And make sure they will not grow too big for the location where you intend to plant them. Remember to choose plants for your landscape that will thrive in the growing conditions of the location where they will be planted. Consider the amount of sun and drainage they will receive, for instance. Remember, flower beds are high-maintenance, so don’t overburden yourself.

If you need help developing a design for your yard, landscape professionals can be tremendously helpful. If your budget is limited, professionals can help you set priorities and schedule your plan in phases. They can also be as familiar with building codes and deck and swimming pool construction as they are with horticulture and garden aesthetics.

Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations. Your best bet is to select an experienced, well-established firm with a history of completing projects similar to yours. Make sure the company or individual you’re dealing with is properly licensed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which is required by law. Licensed landscape architects have a degree in landscape architecture and can provide you an original design whether they install it or not. Landscape horticulturists may help you develop a design, but only as part of a package that includes the plants and their installation. The primary benefit of using any of these experts is to draw on their knowledge, experience and creativity.

If you feel you’re simply indulging yourself when you purchase trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants for your landscape, here’s some information that will make you feel good. Landscaping your home brings quite a few economic benefits. A well-landscaped home generally sells more quickly and at a higher price than a comparable home lacking a nice landscape. You can even find TV shows on improving curb appeal, and landscaping is a big part. One reason trees and shrubs add value to a home is that, unlike many purchases, over the years they appreciate in value as they grow larger and more beautiful.

Trees also add economic value to homes by helping reduce heating and cooling costs. Trees work as nature’s air conditioner and heat pump, providing shade in summer and sheltering your home from cold winds in winter. Now during summer heat is a great time to decide where you need shade.

Landscaping also benefits the environment. A mature tree removes 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and releases approximately 13 pounds of oxygen. Plants such as lawn grasses control water runoff, slow erosion and allow water to be more readily absorbed into the soil. Trees, shrubs and flowers in the landscape also provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

It’s nice to add to the value of your property and help the environment, but the most important benefit of landscaping is the personal enjoyment it brings to outdoor living. So go ahead and indulge your love of gardening. It will pay off in many ways in the years to come.

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

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After the past weekend of driving around Bossier City, I’m fairly certain that while we see constant work by City officials to improve traffic flow – we’re going to have to agree that traffic congestion is here to stay.

And we’re just going to have to live with it – hopefully civilly and with some care for fellow drivers.

The reasons for this abound …

We’ve all witnessed the Airline Drive corridor traffic; last Friday it was particularly stacked. But this is Bossier’s major retail district and that traffic means business is good.

A new example of observing traffic’s growth is found in south Bossier. For decades this area (south of Barksdale AFB) has been a predominately residential area of the city. New residential growth, however, has slowly extended further south as rooftops now extend south of the Jimmie Davis Bridge as new residents look to enjoy south Bossier’s slower pace.

But that slower pace is definitely speeding up as residents are seeing more of the commercial and business growth they’ve long hoped for. It doesn’t take much of a drive down Highway 71 South to see just how much change south Bossier is experiencing. Strip malls south of the bridge have brought businesses and eateries to residents, and new restaurants, like Zaxby’s, are appearing as well. A Walmart Market is under construction at the intersection of Shady Grove and Highway 71, and signs on the drive between the base’s main gate and Shady Grove announce new strip mall construction.

New growth brings new traffic, and while south Bossier is blessed to have both Highway 71 and the ART Parkway, traffic congestion is building in this part of the city. And it’s not just south Bossier traffic – part of the congestion results from traffic coming across the Jimmie Davis Bridge.

For south Bossier, it’s one of those “be careful what your wish for” situations.

The same is likely to occur along Benton Road north as the growing number of residential rooftops draw new businesses to that area and that relatively stress-free drive north of Viking Drive to Benton sees greater traffic.

For Bossier City, all of this growth is good news. New residential development is followed by business and commercial development. Bossier City government is largely funded by sales tax revenues, and this growth fuels city work – like improving traffic flow with new roads and improvement to existing roads.

But the traffic congestion will continue to grow – we just need to expect it and perhaps become more patient and thoughtful drivers, while welcoming that new growth.

And a welcome new addition, likely to draw significantly more Saturday traffic to Pierre Bossier Mall, is the Bossier City Farmer’s Market set to open August 1, 2015 in the mall’s south parking area. This market, which runs through December 19, 2015, is likely to be a popular weekend event; it will feature local farm vendors, local arts and crafts, food trucks and children’s activities.

While we enjoy local farmer’s markets in Shreveport, Benton and Haughton, the Bossier City venue will feature a nearly year-round calendar. Look for this to be a popular weekend spot … and we’ll suffer the traffic to enjoy it.

Marty Carlson is a columnist for the BPT. She may be reached at martycarlson1218@gmail.com