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Sean Green

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

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Airline High School will accept a $2,000 donation from Kangaroo Express Friday, Jan. 30 at 7:45 p.m. during halftime of the boys’ basketball game.

The donation was made possible through Kangaroo Express’ Valero Spirit Pump Program, which invites local school communities to purchase fuel at a specially marked Valero fuel pump. From September through November, Kangaroo Express donated one-cent of every gallon of fuel purchased at the “Spirit Pump” located at the 2651 Benton Road Kangaroo Express in Bossier City to Airline High School.

Kangaroo Express donated $2,000 to each of 43 schools across the Southeast, and the total donation of $86K will support a wide variety of student enrichment initiatives.

Airline High School will use the donation for its athletic sports programs.

Kangaroo Express guests are invited to participate in the Valero Spirit Pump program and support local schools again starting January 1, 2015. For the 2015 program, Kangaroo Express will donate up to $344K to a total of 172 schools.

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There’s a competitive nature to being a coach.

That rush of adrenaline during a game; the thrill of earning a victory; the overall drive and determination to be the best. Michael Concilio is taking his competitive nature from Bossier High School into a new venture – long distance running.

(Courtesy of Ashley Concilio) Bossier High Football Head Coach Michael Concilio recently ran in the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon placing 20th overall out of 1786 people and 2nd place in age group out of 90 men.

(Courtesy of Ashley Concilio)
Bossier High Football Head Coach Michael Concilio recently ran in the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon placing 20th overall out of 1786 people and 2nd place in age group out of 90 men.

Concilio, the head football coach at Bossier High, began running competitively last year, but this journey actually began seven years ago. Back then, he found running to be a stress reliever and a time to gather his thoughts.

Now, he can’t imagine life without it.

“Running has become everything to me,” Concilio said. “I don’t let it interfere with my job, but it’s something I enjoy doing in the off season.”

His training schedule is rigorous – running five days a week, stationary biking twice a week and lifting weights four days a week. On the weekends, he’s usually traveling to the next race with his wife, Ashley, and pushing himself to finish better than the he did the last time.

Concilio has participated in many events around the country throughout the last year, including stops in Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Mississippi. He also enjoys participating in local events and doing ones that raise money and awareness for a good cause.

His personal ambition is to finish the year with a handful of completed half marathons, which is a 13.1 mile course, before moving onto marathons, a course that’s a little over 26 miles long, next.

One reason he runs is to stay fit. He also hopes his effort to go the extra mile isn’t overlooked by the student athletes he oversees daily.

More specifically, Concilio likes helpig the long distance runners at Bossier High School because he can share his own experience of what it’s like to be in a competition environment.

“As a coach, you want to stay competitive and do something to stay in shape at all times,” he said. “It’s important for me to stay in shape and know what I’m telling an athlete to do is something I know I can do too. It gives me a good feeling about life when I’m able to complete that.”

Concilio is looking forward to competing in Texas at the Gusher half marathon this March, a race that kick started his competitive career. Last year he placed 78th in the men’s division with more than 700 total participants running the half marathon.

His goal this year is to be in the top 25.

“My mind is set on Beaumont,” he said. “I never thought I would think about running this way. God willing and a healthy body, I look forward to running.”

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BOSSIER CITY – A Celebration of Life Service will be held for Dr. Norma Jean Paris on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Hill Crest Memorial Chapel at 2:00 p.m. Dr. Randy Harper will be officiating the service. The family will be receiving friends on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Hill Crest Memorial Chapel from 12:00 until time of service.

Norma Jean Paris, age 78, of Bossier City, LA, passed from this earth into eternity on January 26, 2015. She was born to the late Howard and Eleanor Lewis in Muskogee, OK, on January 15, 1937. She married Barney Paris, Jr. on February 17, 1957 after “seeing him walk across the OU campus wearing that suede vest.”

Norma Jean was passionate about learning. Her favorite saying was, “No education is ever wasted.” She was a Mensa-certified genius who held multiple degrees. Her proudest achievements were receiving her Doctorate at the age of 65, being asked to present her paper at the Oxford Round Table in London, and being awarded the LSU-S Circle of Excellence.

Mom relished good books, traveling, working cross-word puzzles, cryptograms, and logic problems in ink, playing Bridge, teaching both college and middle aged students, attending Delta Delta Delta functions, and sipping her Lady Grey hot tea.

Norma Jean was a long-time member of Bellaire Baptist Church. Norma Jean is survived by her husband of 57 years, Barney McKinley Paris, Jr. of Bossier City, daughters Kathy Paris Willis (Mike) of Houston, TX, Cynthia Paris Bickham (Alan) of Blanchard, LA, grandson, Michael Willis of Houston and bonus grandchildren, David, Kimberly and Bryce Woodruff of Shreveport, LA. Her son, Barney McKinley Paris III preceded her in death and welcomed her into Heaven.

Norma Jean personally requested that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis or Delta Delta Delta Wish Upon A Star.

Pallbearers honoring Norma Jean will be Bryant Dowden, Dan Butler, Kevin Henry, John Davis, Micheal Moss, and Dave Thompson.

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

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The faculty and staff at Bossier Parish Community College have been told to stay focused on their daily mission despite rumored talks of a multi-million dollar budget cut to higher education in the coming school year.

Dr. Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana’s Community and Technical College System, met with the group to discuss the upcoming legislative session and the state’s budget woes. Governor Bobby Jindal’s administration has said that Louisiana’s colleges and universities could sustain a cut anywhere from $200 million to $300 million during the 2015-2016 school year since legislators are faced with an estimated $1.4 billion budget deficit.

Sullivan said the exact amount will cut $384 million to higher education. In perspective, the total State spending for higher education (LSU System, Southern University System, UL System, and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System) was about $1.467 billion in the current fiscal year, which means the rumored budget cuts could be anywhere from 13.63% to 20.45% of the higher education funding from the State of Louisiana this year.

The state’s executive budget will be released in February. Sullivan insisted that BPCC stay focused on its mission and not get discouraged.

Sullivan

Sullivan

“This is not an institution where people are panicking,” he said. “You go to work and know the job that has to be done. Maintain that focus and we will work through this budget.”

Sullivan praised BPCC’s faculty for the job its doing. Recently, the college was ranked in the top 15 fastest growing community colleges in the nation with enrollments 5,000-9,999 by Community College Week.

The rankings, published annually, are based on growth between Fall 2012 and Fall 2013. The college achieved an all-time record enrollment of 8,695 this past fall (2014), an indication the college’s rapid growth is not slowing down.

“This campus has done extraordinary work in the past few years,” Sullivan said. “You have found ways to deliver the product better and in ways that will better reach the students.”

He also praised BPCC’s response to supplying students in workforce demand areas. BPCC has not only created programs that are aligned with the needs of employers and employment opportunities in the regional economy, but have done so while being the lowest funded college in the state, according to the Board of Regents funding formula for higher education.

“There is success from producing market demand graduates,” Sullivan said. “Regardless if we like the [budget’s] direction, you have a story to tell and you knocked it out of the park.”

While at the community college, Sullivan provided a verbal update on the timeline to finding BPCC’s new chancellor.

A soft closing on applications will be Feb. 8 and interviews of the semi-finalists will be held Feb. 24-25 in Baton Rouge.

“I can tell you that this institution is drawing a lot of national attention,” Sullivan said. “I spent most of my holiday speaking to people wanting to know was going on at Bossier Parish Community College. People are looking at the local economy and seeing what has been created through partnerships with Benteler [Steel/Tube] and CSC [Computer Science Corporation]. Aren’t you excited that people view your institution in that way? That’s good stuff.”

Once finalists are chosen, they will be brought to the BPCC campus March 17-18. Sullivan said this will be the time that the students, faculty, staff and community get to meet the candidates through public forums and give feedback on who they feel is best for the job.

“It’s not about who is qualified. It’s about fit and who is the right fit for this community and this college,” Sullivan said. “We want you to tell us what you think because this is your next leader.”

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(Courtesy of Bossier City) Map of proposed extension to relieve traffic off Airline Drive in Bossier City.

(Courtesy of Bossier City)
Map of proposed extension to relieve traffic off Airline Drive in Bossier City.

Traffic along Airline Drive may get some relief if a multi-million dollar roadway project is approved by the Bossier City Council.

The council is looking to construct a roadway that will extend the west end of Plantation Drive north to Viking Drive. Mark Natale, Public Information Officer for the City of Bossier City, said the extension would continue behind Lowes and Wal-Mart before connecting to George Dement Boulevard, which will run through the new Kroger Marketplace complex. The roadways would have a connecting point to both Viking Drive and Airline Drive.

Phase one of this project is already underway with the construction of George Dement Boulevard. The city council allocated up to $7 million in funds last year for this initial phase. The anticipated completion date is said to be in May 2015.

Upon approval, bids for the second phase would go out in February. Natale said bids would come back around April and a contract would be awarded within a few weeks. He said the anticipated start date would be in May or June with a completion timeline of 18 months.

“The traffic relief road, for the most part, is going to be a 2 lane road with a turn lane,” Natale said. “As part of phase two, they will widen a section of Douglas Drive that exists now on the east side of Airline Drive and do a couple updates to that intersection. It will bring the west side of Douglas Drive in line with the widening on the East side.”

Natale also said that “portions of Douglas Drive are going to be widened and possibly made into four lanes with a turn lane on certain parts.” Then, the road “will narrow into two lanes as it proceeds north behind those businesses” as it connects to the extended Plantation Drive.

Natale stressed that existing traffic on Airline Drive would not be tied up during construction.

The city council has allocated up to $6.2 million in funds from the Riverboat Gaming Capital Projects Fund for the second phase of the extension project.

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Story by Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Parish Schools

It is difficult to pay Cope Middle School teacher Chad Patterson a compliment. As soon as you do, he turns it around and gives the credit to others. Not this time.

Nearly a dozen of his Cope colleagues nominated Patterson for Bossier Schools’ Gold Star award, so others would learn of the many ways he goes above and beyond for his students, his school and the district. He was surprised by the announcement at an honors assembly before the entire student body and faculty.

“I was not expecting it at all,” Patterson said. “I am very grateful. I don’t deserve this.”

Patterson began his career with Bossier Schools as a student teacher at Parkway in December 2009, then was hired full-time for Cope’s autism program. He loves what he does and it shows.

“I have a lot of fun doing it. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing,” he said.

GoldStar1Asked when he gets the most satisfaction from his job, Patterson answered, “Definitely for me it’s whenever they’ve been struggling with something and when you least expect it, they show you they get it because they’re non-verbal. I also have really good paras that support me.”

Fellow teacher Pete Traylor described Patterson as a renaissance man, writing “He can do just about anything and he works magic with his students. He is the most interesting teacher in Bossier Parish and a model for all teachers.”

He gets the term “renaissance man” because he makes his own soap, grows and dries herbs, writes music and plays the guitar.

Patterson was also the driving force behind Cope raising $3,300 last year to buy wheelchairs for a special needs orphanage in Peru. He saw the need after visiting and asked Principal Judy Grooms if the school could do something to help.

“Again, that was Cope that did that,” Patterson is quick to say.

What really impressed his fellow Cope Cougars, though, was a recent event involving one of the students in his class.

Melissa Sparkman said her nomination letter, “Chad started searching from the time he found out he was missing until they found him, which was the next day. Chad stayed out all night looking for his student. And he also checked in here at school for his in-service and came on back to school for the rest of the school day after the child was found, after being up all night. Chad loves his students and goes way above and beyond for them.”

Marta Hernandez added, “Chad personally put over 400 miles on his car searching for this child. He is without a doubt the most caring and loving teacher these students will ever have. I am honored and proud to work with him at Cope Middle.”

There is no question Chad Patterson has a heart of gold and is most deserving of a gold star — the Bossier Schools’ Gold Star award.

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Submitted by Sandra Peña, Asst. Principal of Airline High School

Airline High School recently held its annual beauty pageant and Ashlin Harper was crowned Most Beautiful.  She was also the winner of the Best Dress category.

The pageant is sponsored, annually by Mrs. Sandy Hahn and her yearbook staff.

Listed below are all of the awards and honors earned at this year’s Airline High School Most Beautiful Pageant:

  • Most Beautiful:  Ashlin Harper
  • 1st Runner Up:  Gabby Eaves
  • 2nd Runner Up:  Catherine Clayton
  • Best Dress:  Ashlin Harper
  • Teacher Favorite:  Haley Wade
  • Student Favorite:  Alexis Gray
  • Miss Congeniality:  Catherine Clayton

Top 15

  • Brook Hamlett
  • Hannah Brooks
  • Abby Lorenzen
  • Kady Mattison
  • Tabitha Winarski
  • Allie Barron Wise
  • Ashlin Harper
  • Gabby Eaves
  • Catherine Clayton
  • Haley Wade
  • Emily Miller
  • Caroline Edge
  • Raquel Metcalf
  • Brailey Vance
  • Doaa Shihadeh

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Erin Robison and Franklin Corpening of Fort Worth, TX were united in marriage on January 3, 2015.

The ceremony was held at six o’clock in the evening at the Marty Leonard Chapel in Fort Worth with Michael Dean officiating. A reception in honor of the couple followed at the Colonial Country Club.

(Lightly Photography) Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Corpening.

(Lightly Photography)
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Corpening.

The bride was escorted by Lamar Robison and wore a gown from the Modern Trousseau bridal collection.

Tiera Robison served as the matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Taylor Olivarri, Kelli Sizemore, Amelia Wiggins, Lensey Tiller, Erin Bethany, Heather Fort, Nicole Bray and Emily Creighton. Bridal party gowns were purchased from Bella Bridesmaid.

Robby Ormand served as the best man. Groomsmen were Sammy Robison, A.V. Corpening, Tom Miles, Chris Kholer and Tyler Fernandez.

Emma Robison served as the flower girl.

Serving as ushers were Bill O’Hara and Jeff Goodsell. The mothers of the bride and groom served as candle lighters.

Decorative pieces for the wedding and reception were by Tami Winn Floral.

Erin is the daughter of Fred and Donna Wiggins and Lamar Robison. She is the granddaughter of Edward Robison, Douglas and Louise Robison, Billy and Amy Wiggins.

Franklin is the son of Joe and Dede Corpening. He is the grandson of Ann Corpening and Barbara Qullin.

The bride is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington. The groom is a graduate of Texas Christian University.

Following a honeymoon trip to Saint Bartholomew and Anguilla, the couple will make their home in Fort Worth.

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The January 24, 1957 issue of The Bossier Banner-Progress reported on a tornado that struck Princeton.

“Three persons were killed and nine injured in a tornado which struck in a farming community of Princeton Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock.”

“All of the dead were Negroes and were dead on arrival at hospitals in Shreveport.”

“The dead were Allison Law, 66, and his wife Mary Ann Law, 68, and Ruth Bradford, 6 year old Negro baby.”

“The injured hospitalized were all Negroes of Princeton.  They were Barbara Stinson, 8, fractured hip, condition serious; David Washington, 60, fractured hip, condition serious, Charles Bradford, 4, possible head injuries, condition fair; Bernice Bradford, 26, mother of the dead baby, head injuries, condition fair.”

“Eddie Brutus, 56, back injury, condition undetermined, Josephine Johnson, 64, lacerations, given emergency treatment and discharged; Gusspie Platt, 45, head laceration, not serious; Vernon Lee Woods, five, head injury, condition satisfactory.”

“J. J. Thomas, white, of Princeton, suffered minor injuries but was treated by a physician and not hospitalized.”

“The dead and injured were all rushed by ambulance to Confederate Memorial Hospital with the exception of the Woods baby, who was hospitalized at Minden, and Thomas.”

“The storm struck with fury and during a heavy downpour of rain several homes were destroyed and the twister narrowly missed the Princeton school which has 800 students in elementary and high school grades.  Had it struck this building the damage might have been enormous.”

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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Once again, it is time to settle up with Uncle Sam.  Tax Season is about to kick into high gear and AARP Tax Service is ready to help.  Beginning Monday, February 2, trained volunteers will prepare electronic tax forms for free at the Bossier Central Library.  The hours of operation will be 9a.m.—2p.m. Monday through Friday until April 15. 

The doors to the library will open at 9a.m.   Be prepared to wait in line because many people arrive early.  Patrons will be taken on a first come first serve basis.  Please bring a photo ID and all pertinent tax information. 

VickieHardin copyAlthough the tax preparers will be using the conference room at the Central Library, library employees are not allowed to offer tax information and advice. 

For those preparing their own taxes, Tax Forms and Publications are available online at www.IRS.gov.   Patrons with a library card may sign up to use a computer to print tax forms. 

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

Make a note:

Aulds Library 746-2337

  • Saturday, February 7 from 10a.m.—4p.m., Craft Corner.  Stay for the Soup Party that begins at 11a.m.

Benton 965-2751

  • Saturday, February 7 at 11a.m. and Thursday, February 12 at 4p.m.: Mardi Gras Bead Art for ages 8—12.  Registration is required.  Contact Megan Cathcart or Kristin Kennedy.
  • Fridays, February 6 and 13 at 10a.m.:  Preschool Story Time for ages 3—5.  Registration is required.
  • Mondays, February 2 and 9 at 10a.m.: Baby Laptime for ages 0—2.  Registration is required.

Bossier Central 746-1693

  • Monday, February 9 at 4p.m.: Cupcake Clash for teens ages 13—18.  Decorate cupcakes inspired by a 2015 LA Reader’s Choice book or 2015 LA Young Reader’s Choice book.  Materials provided.
  • Tuesday, February 10 at 4p.m.: Tween Tuesday for ages 9—12.  Registration is required.

East 80 949-2665

  • Wednesdays at 11a.m.: Lapsit Story Time for ages 0—5.
  • Check out, read, and summarize a book about a famous African American to enter in a drawing to win 2 free movie tickets to “Selma.”  Contest ends on Tuesday, February 24, for ages 5–18.

Haughton 949-0196

  • Tuesdays at 10a.m.: Lapsit Story Time for ages 0—3 with stories, songs, and crafts.

New Books

Fiction

“Lisette’s List” by Susan Vreeland

“Fear City” by F. Paul Wilson

“The Annotated Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte`

“The Human Body” by Paolo Giordano

“Rush Too Far: A Rosemary Beach Novel” by Abbi Glines
“The Last American Vampire” by Seth Grahame-Smith

“Motherless” by Erin Healy

“Trust No One” by Jayne Ann Krentz

“Night of a Thousand Stars” by Deanna Raybourn

“Lizzy & Jane” by Katherine Reay

Nonfiction

“Norwegian Knits with a Twist” by Arne Nerjordet

“Decorating the Way I See It” by Markham Roberts

“Classic Florida Style” by Beth Dunlop

“Fields of Blood” by Karen Armstrong

“Seeking the Promised Land” by David E. Campbell

“The Locust Effect” by Gary A. Haugen

“Law of the Jungle” by Paul M. Barrett

“The Wild Life” by Bud DeYoung

“Outlaws of the Atlantic” by Marcus Rediker

“Dogs Unleashed” by Tamsin Pickeral

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