Let me take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year 2017! It is hard to believe that Christmas is over and that yet another new year has begun. I know that I say this every year, but it seems like I am saying it much more often now. In fact, as I grow older, I can definitely attest that what Grandma always used to tell me in regard to time passing by — the years begin to quickly move forward.

As was true at the beginning of 2016, there are many great and exciting things on the horizon for Bossier Parish in 2017. In fact, the bright future that I talked about at this time last year is even brighter now. It always gets me excited and fired up to think about what will loom on the horizon once 2017 is in the books and we move into 2018…and beyond! But first, lets stick with 2017.   

Before we talk too much about 2017, I would like to take this one last chance to talk about some of the tremendous accomplishments and news making events that took place in Bossier Parish in 2016. In last week’s edition, our news team reviewed some of the top news making events that took place in Bossier Parish during 2016.

As in 2015, 2016 saw us experience historic flooding once again (this time in early March). In this round of flooding, heavy rains flooded the eastern and southern parts of Bossier Parish as record rainfall of 16-18 inches was recorded over a 4-5 day period of time.

We also had a huge election cycle as our nation elected a new President and state/local political races saw us elect a new United States Senator,  a new 4th District U.S. Congressman, a new 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and new administrations/administrators in several towns and municipalities in and around Bossier Parish.      

Other top events taking place in Bossier Parish in 2016 included: the funding of a new I-20/I-220 entry gate for Barksdale Air Force Base, a new charter being approved for Barksdale Air Force Base, construction of the downtown re-envisioning project for downtown Bossier City quickly moving forward and CSRA opening a brand new 96,000 sq. ft. New Integrated Technology Center at the National Cyber Research Park in East Bossier City. CSRA already employs 400 people and is set to add another 400 by June of 2018.

The Bossier Parish School Board also elected a new Superintendent of Schools in 2016, Bossier City approved a new Wal-Mart Supercenter to be built on north Airline Drive at Wemple Rd. and plans for a brand new Jimmie Davis Bridge spanning the Red River in south Bossier City were announced. Finally, Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier broke ground on a brand new emergency room center to be built at the Christus Complex on Viking Drive in Bossier City.              

Many of the events and projects mentioned above that were not fully completed in 2016 will be completed in 2017 and beyond. Furthermore, there will be many exciting new projects and events that will take place in 2017. For sure, these projects and events will shape the future of Bossier Parish for many years to come.

Yes, Bossier Parish has an extremely bright future. At the BPT, we have a front row seat in chronicling these events and bringing them to our readers as they happen. Again, I simply can not wait to see what happens this year.

And finally, I want to again wish you and your family the very best in 2017.

We  tremendously appreciate your support of our mission here at the Bossier Press-Tribune, and we place a very high value on our readers.

We are Bossier’s newspaper. We take tremendous pride in that fact and we consider it a distinct honor and privilege to serve you.

We look forward to sharing another 365 days with you.

Randy Brown is General Manager of the BPT. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com