Opinion: Looking back at 2014

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Many great things have happened in 2014. The foundation that hasa been put in place by our local political delegations, governing bodies, economic development officials and our local Chambers of Commerce in 2014 will result in even greater things in store for all of us on many fronts in 2015 and beyond.

In this BPT edition, we are reviewing some of the the top stories that we covered in 2014. As stated above, many great things have taken place.

In no particular order, some of the things we covered in 2014 include CSC, a global leader in next generation information technology, announcing that they will be bringing 800 direct jobs (and an estimated 800 additional indirect jobs) to our area. CSC will be located in a new 116,000 sq. ft. building adjacent to the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City.

RandyThis is HUGE!

We also covered Benteler Steel Tubing and its partnership with Bossier Parish Community Collegeand the state of Louisiana in the newly established Advanced Manufacturing Center located on the BPCC campus. Again, a huge win for our area! The trained workforce that results from this center will not only be a foundation cornerstone in getting Benteler Steel’s new location at the Port of Caddo-Bossier up and running, but it will also help our area in attracting new manufacturers while serving our existing manufacturing base in an expanded fashion.

Furthermore, late 2014 saw the long awaited opening of I-49 north from Shreveport to I-30 in Texarkana. This is something that will shape the future of our area as one of the prime distribution centers in the United States.

I learned nearly 30 years ago that few cities in the United States have the five to six hour access to the large population base (20 million-plus) that lives within a 300 mile radius of Shreveport-Bossier City. Having the highway transportation system in place to quickly access this population base will propel our area into being the distribution hub that many of us have long dreamed of becoming.

With the navigation capabilities of the Red River through the  Port of Caddo-Bossier, the forthcoming of I-69 and the expansion of I-49 south to New Orleans, there will be no holding us back. We will then see distribution centers, trucking companies, etc. opening locations here in large numbers. Couple all of this with both the retail and residential growth that we are experiencing and we can begin to see yet another amazingly bright spot that is in store for our area in the future!

In November 2014, Bossier Parish voters took to the polls to vote on: a U.S. Senator, a U.S. Representative, a Public Service Commissioner, new taxes, a Bossier-Webster Parish District Attorney, a new City Marshal for Bossier City and a couple of seats on the Bossier Parish School Board.

Also on the ballot were both a Mayoral race and Alderman race(s) in Plain Dealing, a few Constable positions within Bossier Parish and 14 Amendments to the State of Louisiana Constitution.

The election produced some surprising results in a few of the races and also voter decisions with regard to Amendment/tax decisions. However, the voters have spoken and as we stressed so many times during the election process, your vote not only counts, but it shapes our future on so many fronts for years to come.

We will have a huge statewide election cycle taking place in October of 2015. So, stay tuned – as it will be a most interesting process once again.

Finally and in no way mentioned as a comparison to any of the things discussed above, I became the Publisher of the Bossier Press Tribune in August of 2014.

This is truly one of the biggest honors and positions that I have ever held in my lifetime. As I am always saying, it is both a sincere honor and pleasure to serve in this position for your newspaper. As such, I look forward to being here in this position for many years to come as we experience together the many great things happening here.

The future for our area is bright. We are in a great place at a great time. 2015 and the years to follow hold tremendous growth opportunities for all of us.

Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at

rbrown@bossierpress.com