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Sean Green

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

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Goodwill, in partnership with The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium and Townsquare Media announced today that they have reached agreement with The Irish Tenors and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra to play a benefit concert on Wednesday, December 10 at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium in Shrevepor.

The headlining act, The World Renowned Irish Tenors, consist of Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan. The Irish Tenors are Ireland’s premier ambassadors of song. They will be joined by the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra for an evening of holiday music. All classically trained singers, each having performed in leading concert halls across the world, combine to produce a sound and concert experience which touches hearts and stirs the emotions. Featuring traditional Christmas songs and music that simply “travels well,” their holiday concert is rich in Irish culture, and seasonal musical treasures.

”This promises to be an amazing evening of holiday music and Goodwill is excited to bring this incredible event to the people of North Louisiana,” said Goodwill’s President & CEO, David Tinkis.

All proceeds from this event will benefit Goodwill’s Youth Programs. These programs provide education, job training and job placement services for at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

The concert will take place Wednesday, December 10 at 8 p.m., at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, LA. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, October 31 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at The CenturyLink Center Box office, All Ticketmaster locations, online at ticketmaster.com or can be charged by phone 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased the day of show at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium.

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The Bossier City Police Department is advising children and parents to exercise safety and care while Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night this Friday, October 31, 2014.

Motorists are urged to be especially watchful for Trick-or-Treaters that evening as they go door-to-door throughout the city.

The police department also encourages parents to take advantage of organized, supervised Halloween events for their children and asks them to end door-to-door Trick-or-Treating by 8 p.m. as a courtesy to residents.

Additionally, the Bossier City Police Department is offering the following safety tips to parents whose children will be out Trick-or-Treating:

  • Never allow children to trick-or-treat without responsible adult supervision.
  • Always stay in groups.
  • Keep costumes simple. Avoid long, fancy costumes that may cause children to trip and fall.
  • Use sidewalks and stay out of the street whenever possible.
  • Wear reflective clothing or bright costumes.
  • Trick-or-treat only in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Don’t allow children to eat treats until a responsible grownup examines them first.
  • Call police if any suspicious activity occurs, or if candy is suspected to be tainted.
  • Residents are urged to hand out only manufactured, sealed candy.

Also, Sheriff Julian Whittington reminds parish residents that sex offenders are not allowed to participate in Halloween activities.  They should not have their porch lights on, wear masks or hand out candy.

“Parents can go to our website at http://www.bossiersheriff.com/sex-offenders and conduct a search to see where sex offenders reside in their neighborhood or the area where the children will be trick-or-treating,” said Sheriff Whittington.  “If you know of a sex offender participating in Halloween events, leave that area and contact law enforcement as soon as possible.”

You can also check with the Louisiana State Police website at http://www.lsp.org/ under “Sex Offender Registry” to locate sex offenders in other parishes throughout Louisiana.

“Halloween is a fun and enjoyable night for our children, and my deputies will be concentrating their patrol duties in residential areas to help keep families and children safe,” said Sheriff Whittington.  “I’m also asking motorists to be attentive to young trick-or-treaters and slow it down even more in residential areas with youngsters walking about on Halloween night.  For residents passing out candy, be sure and leave your porch light on and remove obstacles from your sidewalks, porches or front yards that could cause children to trip and fall.”

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BENTON – Funeral services for Linda Louise DeMoss McDonald will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, 2014, in the Chapel of Osborn Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery west of Blanchard, LA. Officiating will be Bro. Eddie DeHondt and Bro. Randy Riley. Visitation will be held from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29, at Osborn.

Linda was born on November 2, 1946 in Shreveport, Louisiana. She was preceded in death by her mother, Erline Lowe DeMoss; her father, Walter Lewis DeMoss, Sr.; and her brother, Lynn DeMoss. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Doug McDonald. Linda and Doug were married on July 17, 1964. They have one son, Brad McDonald and his wife, Lori; and grandsons, Cody and Brady; a daughter, Amy Steed and husband, Charles (SFC, USA), and grandsons, Seth, Zachary and Sam; brothers, Walter Lewis DeMoss, Jr. and wife, Sandy and Lester DeMoss of FL. Linda is also survived by her favorite aunt and name sake, Louise Johnson and uncle, Randolph Johnson; a host of nephews, nieces and cousins; step-mother, Ruby DeMoss of Marshall, TX; and step sister, Kristie Yates of Houston, TX.

Linda grew up in the Werner Park Community and attended Werner Park Elementary, Midway Junior High and Fair Park High School. She was a long time member of Ingleside Baptist Church where she had many fond memories of numerous friends and singing in Mrs. Clancy’s Choirs. She maintained a close friendship with the “Ingleside Girls” Tish Britt Holloway, Linda Bozeman Hambrick, Karen Merritt, Joyce Burnette and special friend, Bonnie Solomon who supported her. As a young girl Linda was an accomplished Ballerina and tap dancer and enjoyed dancing. She participated in many local talent shows. After marriage Linda and Doug became lifelong members of Trinity Heights Baptist Church, Shreveport. After graduating from high school, she attended College and graduated with a business secretary accreditation. She was secretary for the Dean of Engineering at LA Tech. She also worked at Curtis Stout Co. for 30 years as secretary to the President of the Co. in Shreveport and she retired in 2012.

Linda Courageously fought and endured a rare neuromuscular disease that was diagnosed in 1978. Despite several surgeries and taking body damaging medication she still enjoyed life, friends, and family and maintained a work career of 30 years. The disease and medication took its toll in the last two years and after almost 16 months of hospitalization, her body wore out and she passed on Monday, October 26, 2014, to a place she would suffer no more. Her smile and compliments and gratitude to others lasted to the very end. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and others that knew her. She will be greatly missed most of all by Doug.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mount Zion Cemetery Assoc., 1306 Holiday Place, Bossier City, LA 71112, Attn: Harry Solomon or the charity of donor’s choice.

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Voters will have a slew of candidates, local millages, and state amendments to consider at the polls on Nov. 4. 

Besides picking a Senate representative for Louisiana, 14 proposed Constitutional Amendments, and renewing taxes, below are races involving Bossier Parish politicians:

  • Incumbent U.S. 4th District Representative John Fleming drew two opponents, Libertarian Randall Lord of Shreveport and Democrat Justin Ansley of Bossier City.
  • Public Services Commissioner Foster Campbell is running for re-election against Keith Gates of Winnfield.
  • The Bossier City Marshal race sees Carl Wayne Richard challenging current department employee Jim Whitman.
  • The race for District Attorney sees long serving incumbent Schuyler Marvin take on Whit Graves.
  • School Board races are — District 1 incumbent Jack Raley is stepping down and being replaced by Billie Brotherton. District 2’s Brad Bockhaus is unopposed. District 3 sees Frank Kelly being challenged by incumbent Tammy Smith from District 4.  That leaves Richard Phipps II, Elizabeth Foster and William Lott to replace Smith in District 4. District 5’s Mike Monsour is unchallenged, as is Glen Bullard in District 6, J.W. Slack in District 7, and Kenneth Wiggins in District 8. Incumbent Eddy Ray Presley is being challenged by Eric Newman for the District 9 seat. District 10’s Samm Darby is unopposed while Shane Cheatham is the sole candidate for District 11, as is Dennis Bamburg for District 12.
  • District Judges Mike Craig, Jeff Cox, Mike Nerren and Parker Self are unopposed. Two judges are retiring and being replaced by unopposed candidates — Charles Jacobs will replace Judge John Robinson and Jeff Thompson will replace Judge Ford Stinson. Bossier City Judge Tommy Wilson is unopposed.
  • Plain Dealing Mayor Wiley Robinson is being challenged by Donna Canales.
  • Incumbent Marshal Ronnie Murray has two opponents, Tim Cannon and Chuck Spraggins.
  • Justice of the Peace districts will see — In District 1, longtime incumbent Tom Carleton is stepping down. Bill Shelton has filed for the position. Linda Hamiter, Cliff Cannon and Terry Sullivan will vie for District 3. Julia Budwah and Lorraine Ragsdale, the incumbents in Districts 4 and 5 respectively, are unopposed. District 6 will come down to Ron Eastridge, Charles Gray, David Cook and Michael Keith.
  • In the races for Constable, Scooter Rushing and Brandon Oswalt have filed in District 1. District 3 will see Jerry Jenkins, Stephen Smith, John Craft, Rick Blalock and Eddie Chandler vie for the position. Ron Matlock is the sole candidate in District 4, as is Charles Sholz in District 5. District 6 will see Jeffrey Weems, Wayne Berry and Kenneth Stephens vie for the spot.

Bossier-Webster District Attorney

Incumbent Schuyler Marvin said to be a good DA, you have to think outside the box.

“I’m not scared to try anything. If you tried something and it didn’t work to your satisfaction, I’m fine with that. But you’ve got to be willing to try different things,” he said.

He also noted being DA is about helping people and touted the Teen Court program as a way to do that.

“The kids who have been in trouble, actually become the judge and jury in the next kid’s problem. They are way more tough than some of the jurors in my criminal cases.”

He said the office’s budget is still high but are operating with less and the volume of work is increasing. My(assistant district attorneys) numbers haven’t changed. The volume in Bossier is more, but in Webster we operate a little differently. In Bossier, we have an ADA assigned to a particular judge. In Webster, every ADA goes in front of all the judges. That’s worked great and is not anything I would ever consider changing.”

He was also excited about trying to further the office’s truancy program.

“We didn’t have truancy in Webster Parish when I got elected, and I brought truancy here.

It’s been hugely successful,” said Marvin. “If you keep a kid in school, chances are you’re going to keep him out of the criminal justice system later.”

Whit Graves is challenging Marvin for the DA seat. He said he sees a problem in attention to detail and preparation by the current staff.

“We’re seeing too many cases that are unjustifiable with similar facts in the treatment of the two people are dramatically different. A lot of this comes from not paying attention to details of the case when they come from the police departments and not taking into consideration every aspect of the case,” said Graves. “Preparation is one of the problems I am seeing with the current district attorney’s office. Almost every assistant district attorney works there on a part-time basis.”

He said he wants to see the staff be better directed to achieve the objectives that will serve the area’s residents.

“There are a lot of competent people that are currently working for the district attorney’s office. What is missing is the proper direction and expectations of those staff members. They have the ability to do the work.”

Finally, Graves wants to see a Young Marines program in Webster and drug rehabilitation.

“I’ve got to try and coordinate with both parishes and their sheriffs to get a (Young Marines) program for our children who are almost out of control but can be brought back in and directed in the proper way to exist in our society. Other programs would be trying to rehabilitate through drug and alcohol substance abuse education, especially young people who have gotten in trouble for the first time.”

Bossier City Marshal

Bossier City Deputy Marshal Jim Whitman discusses his plans for the office.

As most know, the City Marshal’s office is responsible for courtroom security and service of legal papers – including the seizure of property, and whatever else the City Court mandates.  But Whitman explained that the Bossier Marshal’s office also includes a regionally noted cyber crimes unit, which has long processed cell phones and computers for a number of law enforcement agencies.

Whitman said he would like to expand the Marshal’s office cyber crimes unit a little more, adding a deputy to the Marshal’s staff in that unit.

Whitman also sees a need to upgrade the Marshal’s vehicle fleet.  He said that the fleet still includes some Ford Crown Victorias, and they will likely be replaced with either Chevy Tahoes or Suburbans.  And the plan includes following the city’s lead of moving to using CNG or alternative fuel vehicles. 

Whitman said he would also work to upgrade some of the equipment used in the cyber crimes unit lab.

In response to a question of adding any other personnel beyond the cyber crimes unit, Whitman said he’d have to replace himself if elected.  “But that’s a wash, I do the work of a deputy.  I don’t like to waste money, I’m not going to hire just to hire.”

Shreveport Deputy Marshal Carl Richard has worked in Marshal’s offices for 22 years, started that career in the Bossier City Marshal’s office in 1992.  He left Bossier in 1996 and has served as a deputy Shreveport City Marshal since 1997. 

He said that he’s familiar with every aspect of the Bossier City Marshal’s office, including the work of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforce, of which the Marshal’s office is member.

As it concerns court security, and along with security cameras and metal detectors, he discussed the advantage of having highly trained deputies in the courtroom.  Richard said he would favor sending court security deputies to the US Marshal’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia for training.  And he noted that former City Marshal Johnny Wyatt sent him to the training center when he worked for the Bossier Marshal’s office.

In addition, Richard would also send deputies to the US Marshal’s course for fugitive investigators that would increase training for serving high risk warrants and fugitive apprehension.

Richard plans a dedicated full-time two-man warrant team to execute bench warrants issued by the City Court. Richard would also like to create a joint task force between the Shreveport and Bossier City Marshal’s office to serve warrants on either side of the river.

And he’d maintain the ICAC presence in the Bossier Marshal’s office:  “I think it’s very valuable and I would keep it – forever.  I have children and I want to protect children … I would keep the deputies (presently) there in charge of it.  You can’t find experience like that.” Finally, Richard said he’d like to “do more with less” by using the office’s discretionary fund to save tax payer dollars.

New Millages

A proposition for a new millage concerns more secure funding for the Bossier Parish Council on Aging (COA).

Tamara Crane, Executive Director of the local COA explained that since 1974, this agency has been providing services to seniors with the goal of allowing the aging members of our community to stay at home and not be forced into institutional living for lack of alternatives.  Such alternatives/services include Meals on Wheels, assisting caregivers, and light housekeeping to name a few of the services.

Crane also noted that Bossier Parish touts our community as a good place to retire – and that our community should be one that works to allow our senior citizens to enjoy independent living to the greatest extent possible.

Funding sources for the many programs offered by the Bossier Parish COA include the federal Older Americans Act – which suffered budget cuts last year — and the state Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs (collectively, about 50 percent) and support from the Bossier Parish Police Jury and Bossier City (25 percent).  Additionally, the Town of Benton provides space for COA programs.  Finally about 25 percent of the agency’s funding comes from client contributions, donations, grants, and a small amount of Medicaid funding because the agency is a transportation provider.

Finally, Crane said that if parish voters approve the new 1 mill (1/10 of a cent) property tax, both Bossier City and Bossier Parish would discontinue their annual support of the agency.

Millage Renewals

One of the millage renewals is the 10-year renewal of the 7.57 mill property tax “for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, equipping, maintaining and operating the public library facilities and system” in the Parish.  This annual millage  collects about $7.2 million that’s dedicated exclusively to funding the library system.

Heather McEntee, Bossier Parish library system director, said the funding is used for “… upkeep of the eight facilities throughout the parish, plus all services offered … books, movies, and technology … we’re always upgrading the technology  – computers and components.” 

Tax receipts also pay the salaries/benefits of the system’s 90 employees, and a percentage of the millage receipts are dedicated to funding new facilities in the parish. Notably, McEntee pointed to construction of the new Elm Grove library facility – there was no request to taxpayers for additional funding for this construction because the funding was reserved from the annual millage receipts for such capital improvement projects.

CBB’s 1.54 mill property tax renewal will also be on the ballot.

The property tax millage produces about $985,000 per year; the park’s annual operating budget is $1.6 million.  The park employs 20 people.

This public park encompasses about 350 acres, with Cypress Lake  (3,300 acres) and Black Bayou (780 acres), all of which provided for a host of fishing, camping and recreation and special event opportunities.  The park features 75 RV spots in the dedicated area and another 20 overflow spots – and on holiday weekends like Memorial Day and July 4th, the RV areas are packed. Additionally the park includes three cabins and three cottages available to the public, along with a primitive camping area and three picnic shelters. 

CBB is also becoming a “go-to” facility for local, regional and national sports and recreation events.  Bossier Parish schools Cross Country event enjoyed record participation, the Regions Archery Tournament.  The USA Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals will be back as CBB and the Shreveport Bossier Sports Commission collaborates to bring more and more visitors to our area.

Public Service Commissioner

Incumbent Foster Campbell, a former Louisiana State Senator (Dist. 36), was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2002; he was re-elected in 2008, taking nearly 80 percent of the vote.  In District 5, he represents 24 parishes.

“I have fulfilled my promise to be an active and independent commissioner who fights for the interests of the people,” Campbell said.  “If re-elected in November I will continue that fight.”

A Bossier Parish businessman and cattle farmer, Campbell has led efforts at the PSC to lower utility rates by tying company profit levels to lower borrowing costs.  He has supported solar power, expanded telephone and Internet service and tougher ethics rules for commissioners.

At the PSC Campbell authored rules exempting battered women from utility deposits and preventing gas and electric cutoffs during extreme weather.  In his former position as a state senator he coauthored the Do Not Call law, passed Youth Hunting Days and created multi-million-dollar endowment funds for education in Bossier Parish and statewide.

“I have held more than 160 town meetings throughout the 24 parishes in my North Louisiana district,” Campbell said.  “And for the first time in history I have hosted 11 full PSC meetings in North Louisiana.”

Gates said he decided to run against Campbell because he spends too much time on the PSC focusing on energy efficiency and phone regulations for jails.

According to the Hayride website, Gates said the phone program for jails was estimated to cost roughly $30 million over a four year period, but actual costs are essentially unknown at this point because the commission voted down an attempt to require the utilities to place information on individual utility bills regarding the costs to the individual consumer and how the money is spent.

“We have watched as our commissioner has sided with the prisoners over the police and the people, with the jailbirds over the jailers,” said Gates via the website. “The actions of our commissioner have jeopardized our public safety by decreasing local law enforcement’s ability to charge for prisoner phone calls.”

Constitutional Amendments

Voters will have to decide to approve 14 proposed constitutional amendments on the statewide November 4 ballot.

Voters can study the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana “PAR Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments,” for a clear and concise review of the proposals. PAR offers an excellent and non-partisan review of the proposed amendments, which includes overviews of the current situation (where applicable), along with what the proposal or proposed change entails, and a look at what proponents and opponents assert about each proposal. 

Visit http://www.parlouisiana.com/guidetotheconstitutionalamendments.cfm to see the amendment on the ballot.

New hotel/motel tax for tourism dollars

Voters will also decide on a two percent Hotel Occupancy Tax Proposition, on the ballot this November 4.

The increased revenue will go to upgrade the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance and Independence Bowl as well as help fund the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commissio.

The tax would be levied on visitors staying at local hotels, motels and campgrounds and is expected to generate an estimated $2.2 million annually without the need to increase taxes for local residents.

The Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance will receive 37.5 percent of the revenue raised from the proposition in its efforts to expand hub destinations at the Shreveport Regional Airport. Another 37.5 percent of the revenue raised will support the Independence Bowl in attracting stronger football match-ups. The final 25 percent of the tax revenue will be used by the Shreveport Bossier Sports Foundation to attract more national and regional sporting events that will increase sports tourism and benefit local businesses.

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What if someone were to walk into any Bossier-Sheveport hospital and complain of fever, pain, stomach issues, and unexplained bleeding — the symptoms of Ebola?

Contrary to popular image, a group of men in hazmat suits wouldn’t rush the patient off to an isolated hospital room flanked by plastic tents and then start the process of decontaminating everyone that patient had come into contact with.

However, Dr. Frank Welch, medical director for community preparedness for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said the state has a detailed system and DHH has been working on Ebola preparedness with the state’s entire healthcare infrastructure for the past six weeks.

“We have done an extraordinary job with our healthcare providers to make sure they ask those vital initial questions and I believe the state of Louisiana will be able to avoid making that mistake they made in Texas and respond quickly and appropriately,” Welch said.

The issue of an Ebola epidemic entered the public consciousness when three Dallas residents were infected with, and one dying of, the virus. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man, was visiting the country when he showed signs of illness and died from the disease. Two nurses who cared for him have also contracted the deadly virus.

Welch explained that if a sick person were to walk into any area hospital with symptoms of Ebola, or or hemorrhagic fever, that person would be asked if he or she had traveled to western Africa or come into contact with someone who has Ebola. And if that person gives any indication of a “yes,” he or she is immediately put into a private room, the person who put the patient there will have to wash his or her hands, call the epidemiology hotline, and that patient’s medical needs will be treated to by someone in protective gear.

Welch said that process has occurred roughly a dozen times in the three weeks since news broke that a confirmed Ebola patient was in America.

“We’ve run up against a lot of speculation and that’s partly because it’s new, different,” said Welch. “We need to refocus on the group of healthcare workers caring for an Ebola patient. Those are the one at risk and the ones we want to focus on.”

He said the DHH and its healthcare providers are working on educating the public on the risks of infection and prevent speculation about the rare and deadly disease.

“We know how to stop this disease and we know who has it. It’s an easy disease to identify and contain,” Welch explained. “Even if a person has Ebola and is walking and talking (in a populated area), he or she can’t make someone else sick right away. It’s when it begins to overwhelm that sick person that the disease gets contagious.”

He noted that Thomas Duncan was already sick with Ebola and spent time with family in Dallas and went to two medical institutions before he was confirmed to have Ebola; it was two nurses in protective gear who got sick, while his family he was in close quarters with hasn’t come down with the disease.

He explained the mass media image of healthcare workers in “moon suits” has given the wrong idea. But went on to note that as a patient becomes more ill from the disease, more stringent steps are needed because the disease becomes more contagious.

“A person who has symptoms with a travel history to an area where Ebola was prevalent would alert our response system and then that patient would get intensive treatment from experts and an intensive investigation would take place to determine how many people they have come into contact with all the way back to the source (of infection),” said Welch.

Willis-Knighton CEO Jim Elrod told the North Shreveport Business Association several weeks ago the he had proposed a central location to handle any highly infectious and dangerous diseases, such as Ebola, for Shreveport-Bossier.

“This is not a minor thing…This is serious. It’s in the works right now,” said Elrod.

He mentioned that the Christus Schumpert St. Mary’s campus would be the ideal location for such a hospital. Currently, that facility is planned to house inpatient rehab, cancer therapy, radiology, PET imaging, nutritional services until November 2015.

He said the “sensible” option is to have one location used by every local health care facility with trained staff and security.

“You’ll need security because you want some people getting out and some people staying in,” said Elrod.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising to have a dedicated hospital in every state that would treat Ebola infections.

Currently, only four U.S. hospitals have specialized biocontainment units of the order needed to treat diseases such as Ebola. Those are Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.

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Senior maid Taylor Breed throws candy to the crowd during the 2014 Haughton High School homecoming parade.

Senior maid Taylor Breed throws candy to the crowd during the 2014 Haughton High School homecoming parade.

Senior maid Bethanie Couch and escort Sam Wallace wave to the crowd.

Senior maid Bethanie Couch and escort Sam Wallace wave to the crowd.

Members of Haughton High School's LA-801st JROTC rode in the 2014 homecoming parade last week.

Members of Haughton High School’s LA-801st JROTC rode in the 2014 homecoming parade last week.

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Submitted by Sonja Bailes, Special to the Press-Tribune

Everyone appreciates a pat on the back for a job well done, but the one Jennifer Gulett got this week brought tears to her eyes.

Gathered in the gymnasium for an assembly at Waller Elementary, Gulett had no idea all the hoopla was for her. Then, her name was called out as Bossier Schools’ Gold Star winner for October.

“I’m so surprised,” Gulett said as she hugged Principal Lisa Nix and wiped tears from her eyes.

It was a nomination from the parent of one of Gulett’s former students that won her the employee award for excellence.

It read, “Mrs. Gulett goes above and beyond. She cares so much about her students and makes sure they succeed. She is very dedicated to her work and strongly believes it’s what she does which makes the kids believe in themselves.” The nomination went on to say, “She is the reason my son (who has dyslexia) actually likes to read now and is also reading at grade level. We owe her a lot; this is just one way of saying thank you. Thank you, Mrs. Gulett, not just for helping my son but for helping everyone that needs it.”

“The fact this mother took the time to say that means so much,” Gulett said. “It means the world to me. It means I made a difference with one child. One at a time.”

“When a parent nominates you, it means even more,” said Jill Skaggs to Gulett. Skaggs works for the marketing department at Bossier Federal Credit Union, which sponsors the Gold Star award.

Teaching is, no doubt, in Gulett’s blood. Her mother, Norma McKellar, taught for years at Bossier Schools. The timing of the Gold Star award was particularly emotional for Gulett.

“This is special because my mom and I started Read 180 together,” she explained. “She was at Plantation Park and passed away five years ago this month.”

Gulett said while her mother was alive, they were able to compare notes about the Read 180 program that was geared toward struggling readers in fourth and fifth grades. It was a great bonding experience.

“I ended up being able to teach with her that way, which was always my mom’s dream,” Gulett added.

Her enthusiasm for helping children go from struggling to proficient readers is evident.

“I love to see children grow and help them become confident in themselves. Confidence is key. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

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Submitted by Harley Harville, Special to the Press-Tribune

Michael and Wendy McMillan of 408 Magazine Court are this month’s winners of the St. Charles Court Beautification Award.

Their efforts to maintain and to improve the appearance of their lawn and landscaping is apparent all year as they build on what the previous owners of their lovely home already began with neat and clean management of their trees, shrubs, flowering highlights that change with the season and their constant attention to the details of a properly managed lawn.   

Wendy states that she receives much assistance in her choice of seasonal plantings from her friend and neighbor, a previous Beautification Award winner, Lauren Johnston.

They are quick to point out their love for the community of St. Charles Court and St. Charles Court Village.

Having two daughters, Mallory and Madelyn, they were drawn to purchase their home in May of 2012 by the friendliness of the neighbors, the schools, and the security of living in a gated community with special amenities offered such as the community pool and accompanying clubhouse, only two blocks away.  A short walk to a refreshing dip in the pool during the summer, as well as an opportunity for their children to establish many friendships which they anticipate lasting a lifetime, prompted Wendy to emphatically state “We absolutely love it here.”  Their nightly jog around the neighborhood and the daily walking of their loving dog, Hudson, is noted as only a couple of the activities they enjoy daily, resting assured that they do so in a safe, well lit community where safety and security is cherished.

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We are celebrating Fall Festival week at the Bossier Parish Libraries and it is a pretty big deal.  Monday through Friday of this week a festival will be happening at a different library branch each day.  So dress up the kiddos in their favorite costumes and head our way.  It will be a fun fall time at these locations, dates, and times:

Bossier Central, Wednesday, the 29th from 11:00a.m.—5:30pm.

Haughton and Koran Libraries, Thursday, the 30th from 3:30—5:00p.m.

VickieHardin copyAulds Library, Friday, the 31st from 11:00a.m.—5:00p.m.

Go to www.bossierlibrary.org to find out what else is happening at your neighborhood branch.  Be sure to read the blogs and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. 

Hoopla is coming.

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

Make a note for November:

Aulds (318) 742-2337

  • Thursday, the 6th Family Story Time at 4p.m.
  • Saturday, the 8th at 2:30p.m., Movie Day
  • Thursday, the 13th at 4p.m., Shreveport Ballet
  • Tuesday, the 18th at 11a.m., the Aulds Book Club will discuss “The Girls of Atomic City” by Denise Kiernan.

Benton (318) 965-2751

  • Beginning Monday, November 17 –Saturday, December 6, play the Disney Birthday Bash Scavenger Hunt.  Find the characters and receive a surprise.
  • Bossier Central (318) 746-1693
  • Thursday, the 20th from 6—7p.m. the Bossier Central Book Club will meet to discuss “The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe.
  • Saturday Story Time, the second Saturday of each month at 11a.m. for ages 3—5 years.

East 80 (318)949-2665

  • Saturday, the 15th at 5:30p.m., the E-80 Book Club will meet to discuss “The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion” by Fannie Flagg

New Books


“The Visitors” by Patrick O’Keeffe

“Parker Field” by Howard Owen

“Runaway Saint” by Lisa Samson

“Windswept” by Patricia Ryan

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” by David Shafer

“Land of Love and Drowning” by Tiphanie Yanique

“Sand and Fire” by Tom Young

“World of Trouble” by Ben H. Winters

“Haunted” by Randy Wayne White
“Judy Garland on Judy Garland” editor Randy Schmidt


“The Game Plan: The Art of Building a Winning Football Team” by Bill Polian

“The Birth of Football’s Modern 4-3 Defense” by T. S. Troup

“A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf” by James R. Hansen

“Dark Invasion” by Howard Blum

“The Nixon Tapes: 1971–1972” edited by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter

“Sally Ride” by Lynn Sherr

“Lifting My Voice” by Barbara Hendricks

“The News Sorority” by Sheila Weller

“The World’s 60 Best Skewers Period.” Editor Antoine Ross Trempe

“Man’s Best Hero True Stories” by Ace Collins

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As the weather cools down and nights get nippy over the next few weeks, gardeners need to decide what to do with their container-grown outdoor tropical plants. These beautiful plants, grown for their attractive foliage or beautiful flowers, are commonly placed outside for the summer where they provide a valuable addition to decks, patios and porches. However, these plants will not withstand freezing temperatures and must be brought inside for the winter. Like children going back to school, they generally are not too happy about it, either.

One of the most difficult problems these plants must deal with when brought back inside is the sudden reduction in the amount of light they are accustomed to receiving. Plants use light as their source of energy to create the food they need to live and grow. When their light is suddenly and greatly reduced, it’s as if they were put on a starvation diet.

It’s a good idea to move your outdoor tropicals in containers to heavily shaded outside locations for a few weeks to prepare them for their move indoors. Acclimating them to lower light conditions helps them adjust to the reduced light available when you bring them inside. Do this now, and you should still have time for them to acclimate before the first freezes.

It’s a good idea to move your plants inside before you have to turn on heat constantly. They can adjust to indoor conditions better before the extra stress of warm, dry air is added to the environment. Expect many plants to still be unhappy about the move. The better you acclimate your plants and the more light you are able to provide for them indoors, the less leaf drop you should see.

Houseplants that spent the summer outside also should be groomed so they will look their best, and you will be less likely to bring in pests with them.

When you bring outdoor plants in for the winter, follow these steps:

– Clean the outside of containers using a brush and a mild solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Add a little bleach to the solution to kill algae growing on the pot sides. Do not get this solution in the soil.

– Remove dust and debris from the foliage and where leaves join the stems. Hose down the plants and wipe the foliage clean with a soft damp cloth.

– Remove all dead or yellow foliage, old flower stalks and dead or injured branches and stems. If a plant has grown too large for it to practically fit back indoors, you may prune it as needed to make its size more appropriate.

– Put off repotting until spring if some of your plants have become pot bound. It would be more convenient to move plants inside in smaller pots than in larger ones.

Once they are moved inside for winter, houseplants will need to be watered less often. How much less is something you will have to determine over the first few weeks they are inside. Feel the soil regularly with your finger and water when the soil feels dry but before the plants wilt. In time, you will reestablish a schedule for watering the plants indoors. Remember, it is better to water less often than to water too often and cause root rot.

Cactuses and succulents are particularly vulnerable to overwatering. Be especially careful about not watering them too often.

Ironically, plants that spend all of their time indoors may actually dry out faster in the winter due to the warm, dry air and lower humidity produced by heating systems. Monitor plants carefully.

Most houseplants, including those brought in from the outside do not need to be fertilized this time of year. These plants will generally slow down or stop any new growth and enter a dormant or semi-dormant state. Indoor plants that show active, vigorous growth during winter could be fertilized, if desired.

You should do a good, thorough job of pest control before bringing container inside. You’ll be glad you did. Thoroughly clean all snails and/or slugs from the bottoms of pots and dispose of them. If plants are infested with aphids, spider mites, white flies or thrips, treat with insecticidal soap or pyrethrin before they are brought inside. Control scale with Ultra-Fine Oil.

Gardeners are sometimes surprised to find ants have taken up residence in the soil of a container plant outside over the summer. Look pots over carefully – ant activity will be obvious. Kill them before bringing the plant inside by drenching the soil with a solution of pyrethrin mixed according to label directions.

Be on the lookout for critters such as frogs, toads and lizards that may hitch a ride inside with the plants. These beneficial animals should be carefully removed and released unharmed outside.

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