Mayor Notes Low-Bid Process Doesn’t Support Awarding Preference to Local Vendors 

By Jim Smilie

 
A routine ordinance to award a uniform contract to the lowest bidder triggered a lengthy discussion on the administration and City Council’s desire to support local businesses during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Alexandria City Council.
 
The proposed ordinance called for awarding the city’s contract for annual work uniforms to the lowest bidder, which was a Cintas affiliate in Pineville. That triggered comments from John Miguez, owner of Caplan’s and Impact Advertising, about the importance of supporting local businesses rather than national companies.
 
Miguez said Caplan’s, a family-owned business located in downtown Alexandria, has served the city’s uniform needs for many years. He noted the city has signs posted on light poles outside of his store on Third Street encouraging residents to eat, drink and shop local and questioned why the city would choose a company outside of the city limits to handle the city’s needs.
 
Council members Cynthia Perry, Gary Johnson and Reddex Washington all voiced their support of awarding contracts to local vendors when possible.
 
Mayor Jacques Roy explained the administration also supports doing business with local companies, but that the city is required by law to follow state bid law requirements. Roy noted in some cases the city can issue Requests for Proposals (RFP) in which extra weight can be given to local companies.
 
“With an RFP, you can award extra points to a company for being local, or being woman-owned or minority-owned,” Roy explained. RFPs can be used for “professional services,” such as hiring an architectural firm. Proposals can be scored with points awarded by the reviewer to select the winning proposal.
 
In the case of routine supplies, such as uniforms, officials can’t score the proposals, they are bound to accept the lowest bid as long as the bid is from a “responsive bidder,” which means they have demonstrated they have the ability to do the work as advertised.
 
Roy said he delayed submitting the ordinance to the City Council for final approval to allow legal review to see if an RFP could have been issued for uniforms rather than the lowest-bid format that was used. Based on the feedback he received, Roy said, uniforms fall into the routine supplies category that uses the lowest-bid method.
 
Roy made it clear the administration prefers to support businesses located in Alexandria and encouraged the City Council to use the RFP method when possible to allow for the ability to award bonus points to Alexandria businesses or other special groups, such a women-owned, veteran-owned or minority-owned businesses.
 
In this case, Roy said based on the feedback and research he received it was his belief the council had no choice but to accept the lowest bid submitted by a responsive bidder, which in this case was Cintas.
 
When discussion ended and City Council President Lee Rubin called the question, the ordinance passed on a 4-3 vote, with council members Johnson, Perry and Washington voting no. The contract is for 12 months, with an option to renew for an additional 12 months.
 
In other business, the City Council approved the appointment of Ronald Morgan to serve as a commissioner with the Greater Alexandria Economic Development Authority (GAEDA). Morgan replaces Renee White Goolsby as the District 2 commissioner.

Dozens booked on felony charges

Felony bookings, Rapides Parish Jail:

May 23

Charles Hess, 44, Alexandria — Production, manufacture, distribution <2.5 pounds or more marijuana, tetrahydrocannibinol, chemical derivatives, synthetic cannibinol, counterfeit subs; Production, manufacture, distribution, dispense or possession with intent CDS II <2 grams or more;
Possession CDS II 2 to 28 grams;

King Taylor, 46, Alexandria — Possession CDS II <2 grams;

Lonnie Mosley, 56, Alexandria — Possession CDS II <2 grams;

Bobby Sutton, 45, Bastrop — Criminal conspiracy;

Melissa Turkey, 56, Boyce — Possession CDS II <2 grams;

Kenneth Williams, 32, Pineville — Criminal conspiracy; Production, manufacture, distribution, dispense or possession with intent CDS II <2 grams of more or analogues thereof. 

May 24

Craig Allen, 39, Alexandria — Possession CDS II <2 grams;

Daniel Burns, 39, Alexandria — Illegal possession stolen firearm, first; Firearms possession/sell with obliterated serial number; Possession firearm by convicted felon;

Joshua Lawrence Jr., 45, Cottonport — Possession fentanyl, carfentanil 2-28 grams;

Dylan McConnel, 39, Boyce — Possession CDS II 2-28 grams; Possession CDS II <2 grams;

April Page, 24, Alexandria — Possession CDS III;

Michael Tolbert, 55, Hineston — Possession CDS II <2 grams;

Shaheem White, 20, Alexandria — Possession of firearm by convicted felon; Handling of machine gun unlawful. 

May 25

Calvin Austin, 36, Alexandria — Aggravated assault with firearm; Possession of firearm by convicted felon;

Jarred Ardoin, 26, Boyce — Battery, 2nd degree;

Charles Augustus, 25, Alexandria — Possession of firearm by convicted felon;

Ashton Bryan, 25, Pineville — Possession CDS II 2 to 28 grams;

Susan Bush, 42, Pineville — Domestic abuse battery 2nd degree;

Jalyn Felix, 23, no address; Battery 2nd degree;

Anthony Goodlow, 39, Pineville — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Stacey Myer, 55, Pineville — Possession CDS II < 2 grams.

May 26

Billy Evans, 42, Pineville — Possession illegal length firearm; Possession firearm by convicted felon;

Caleb Gordon, 22, Alexandria — Illegal possession stolen firearm; Possession firearm by convicted felon;

William Hathorn, 37, Pineville — Possession, manufacture, dispense or possess fentanyl, carfentanil, mixture or analogue;

Brian Johnson, 18, Alexandria — Armed/attempted armed robbery use of a firearm; Weapon possessed by convicted felon, two counts;

Damon Lee, 24, Alexandria — Possession fentanyl, carfentanil 2-28 grams; Possession CDS II 2-28 grams;

Ronald Weatherford, 51, Pineville — Production, dispense or possession with intent CDS II 28 grams or more or analogues;

Nicholas West, 25, Alexandria — Domestic abuse battery with child present; Battery on officer. 

May 27

James Clinton Jr., 50, Pineville — Aggravated assault with firearm;

Stacey Sanchez, 38, Alexandria — Possession CDS II 2-28 grams; Possession CDS I 2-28 grams. 

May 28

Dominick Feeter, 29, Pineville  — Battery 2nd degree;

Sherrod Elizabeth Hayley, 30, no address — Aggravated battery 2nd degree; Armed robbery;

Vivian Racine, 27, Pineville — Criminal conspiracy; Armed robbery;

Quantavious Russaw, 23, Pineville — Aggravated battery 2nd degree; Armed robbery. 

May 29

Derrick Charles, 25, Alexandria — Possession firearm by convicted felon;

Isaiah Davis, 31, Alexandria — Possession CDS IV except flunitrazepam; Possession, manufacture, distribution CDS I < 28 grams; Illegal carrying of firearms; Possession firearm by convicted felon, illegal carrying with drugs;

Reashonda Foster, 40, Alexandria — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Gage Guillory, 19, Alexandria — Aggravated assault, domestic abuse;

Charles Kirk, 70, Alexandria — Battery aggravated 2nd degree;

Markus Lair, 33, Pineville — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Gehegan Pruitt, 21, Atlanta, LA — Contraband taking to and from penal institution; Possession CDS IV except flunitrazepam; Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Robin Southerland, 36, Winnfield — Possession CDS II < 2 grams;

Brandon Wilson, 44, Deville — Possession CDS III; Possession CDS II < 2 grams. 

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


 First, we needed a baseball – any kind of baseball

Looking for something else, I came across this in a drawer. Not quite sure why it’s still around 60 years or so after it was retired.

Perhaps because it was my key to the sandlot games of my youth. The kid that had a ball, regardless his talent level, always got picked on one of the teams.

(Anybody seen kids playing unorganized baseball recently? Me neither).

Anyhow, this one first lost its cover on Mr. Nichols’ vacant lot on Gay Road in Alexandria. That came at the hands of Ronnie Penny, who parked one of Teddy Barbe’s pitches in Terry Kirkland’s front yard across the street.

Because Terry was such a jerk about giving it back, and was also older and bigger, it was an out if you hit it that far, but Ronnie couldn’t resist and just giggled while we pleaded with Terry to give the ball back, torn cover and all.

We wrapped it with “friction tape” given to us by Mr. Townley, which made it easier to curve when thrown, but harder to hit very far.

But alas, eventually along came a gangly kid named Ernie Knoblock, who wasn’t even from our neighborhood but was visiting someone who was, and he stretched one OVER Terry’s house, a Ruthian swat the stuff of which legends are made.

When retrieved, the ball was about done, and while I wrapped it again, it really was not of much use afterward.

As I think about, perhaps I kept the ball because of all the hands that touched it.

It was, and truth be told, still is, a baseball handshake of sorts across the decades.

Jim Butler, a Bolton High School alumnus, was an acclaimed writer and editor at the Alexandria Town Talk for 36 years, the last 23 (1977-2003) as editor-in-chief. He led Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina for the Gulfport (Miss.) Sun-Herald in 2005. Butler returned home to Cenla a few years ago, and shares his talents and insight with Rapides Parish Journal readers.


Author Shares How to Create a Book in Just 15 Minutes A Day

By Jim Smilie
 
By committing to as little as 15 minutes a day, anyone can be an author. 
 
That was the message of Alexandria author Christee Gabour Atwood while speaking to the Rotary Club of Alexandria Tuesday afternoon. “There is so much knowledge and experience in this room, and you have a chance to share it,” she told the crowd. “That is how we build a legacy.”
 
Atwood has published 15 books to date. Those titles range from a variety of training manuals like “Succession Planning Basics” to humor books such as “In Celebration of Elastic Waistbands.” Her most recent book, “Calling Home,” is a personal reflection on the emotions of missing a lost loved one.
 
Her message Tuesday was based on her book “The 15 Minute Book: A Step-By-Step Workbook to Create A Non-Fiction Book 15 minutes at a time”. 
 
The first step is to decide on a topic. Atwood encouraged audience members to think about what unique skills or abilities they have. From there, a person can build a book based on teaching that skill or explaining it to others. Once the topic is selected, Atwood said writers should brainstorm keywords and ideas related to the topic.
 
Atwood said she often uses artificial intelligence (AI) apps on the internet to help generate keywords. Once she has a list of keywords, she looks through them for themes and main ideas. “Those become the chapters in the book,” she said. The next step is to convert the keywords into questions, and then start answering the questions to create the main content.  
 
Sticking with the 15-minute timetable, Atwood said it’s important to budget at least 15 minutes each day to work on the project by answering questions about the keywords. Once the questions have been answered, the next step is to write transitions to make the thoughts flow and lead from one point to the next. Once that is done, all the book needs is a summary to close it out. “In the summary, you tell us what you told us and why it’s important,” she said.
 
Atwood encouraged everyone to think about the unique skills and experiences they have and to invest 15 minutes a day into writing them down. “This is important to do so tomorrow’s generation doesn’t have to start at square one,” she said.
 
For more information on Atwood, visit her website at https://www.christee.net.

Click It or Ticker Child Passenger Seat event held in Pineville

Louisiana State Police Troop E, in partnerships with Rapides Regional Medical Center, the Pineville Police Department, St. Frances Cabrini Hospital, and DestinationZeroDeaths (Central Region), conducted the annual Click It or Ticket Child Passenger Seat (CPS) event in Rapides Parish (Pineville) on May 30.
 
This campaign, from May 22 – June 4, reminds drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling up and the legal consequences – including fines – for not wearing a seat belt.
 
During the event, 9 CPS were distributed to individuals by the Louisiana Passenger Safety Checkpoint and 33 CPS were checked for proper installation.
 
Also, Troopers issued the following citations during the course of the detail:
14-Seatbelt
3-Child restraint
9-MVI violations
3- Driving under suspension
3-Registration violations
2-window tint violations
3-individuals were arrested for possession of marijuana.
 
For all information related to car seat safety and traveling safely with children in the vehicle, please contact your nearest Public Information Officer at http://www.lsp.org/public.html, visit Buckle Up Louisiana’s Facebook page, or http://www.lahighwaysafety.org

Sheriff’s Office Firewood Sale: June 1

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office will hold a Firewood Sale on Thursday, June 1 from 7am-1pm as part of its Firewood Project.
 
Firewood is $60 per ric, which is a 4×8-foot stack. There’s a two-ric limit. Money orders only. Receipts for money orders will be given at the guard shack on John Allison Drive. Pick up will be on Vandenberg Drive. For more information call 318-709-8489.

LSUA Celebrates Additional Funding for SPERO Program, Expanding Inclusive Education Initiatives Statewide

LSUA is excited to announce that the Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council has granted funding approval for expanding inclusive education programs at nine institutions across Louisiana. These transformative programs are designed to provide comprehensive support, cultivate an inclusive campus culture, and equip students with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the necessary skills for success.

LSUA’s SPERO program launched in the fall of 2022 with four students under the leadership of Brittany Soden. On the funding announcement, Soden remarked, “As an advocate and member of Louisiana’s first Postsecondary Inclusive Education Advisory Council, I am proud to witness the approval of this funding for programs serving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am honored to take part in this powerful alliance. SPERO’s receipt of the award will allow for the expansion of support, staff, and supplies for the upcoming years.”

This round of funding fulfills the Council’s stated goal to expand programs across the state while paying special attention to the northern part of the state and ensuring HBCU participation. Further, results of a statewide survey indicate that eleven additional institutions are considering participation, reflecting the opportunity for future expansion of inclusive education across Louisiana. 

“Inclusive education programs have the power to transform lives, families, and communities,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “I am delighted that so many institutions are seeking to open their doors to these amazing students, providing life and employment skills while enriching the campus experience for all.” Reed extended her sincere appreciation to Senator Gerald Boudreaux for his unwavering support in championing this groundbreaking effort, positioning Louisiana as a leader in creating educational opportunities for learners of all backgrounds.

LSUA’s Soden noted the SPERO students have completed their first year of college. Their dreams of a life similar to that of their siblings, family members, and friends are now being realized. She explained, “On the last day of their freshman year, I asked them how they felt about their first year of college. After a moment of silence, they expressed that they were experiencing an emotion that they have never felt before…the feeling of equality. Their participation in college courses, activities, and events has also been successful. Walking with them and hearing a SPERO student’s name shouted with a big ‘Hello’ from across campus is heartwarming and a testament to the diverse, accepting, and inclusive university that LSUA is. The students’ progress in daily living, social, and employment skills have exceeded expectations and they cannot wait for the next cohort of SPERO students to join in August!”

Written by Adam Lord

Photo credit – Nathan Parish | LSUA Strategic Communications


LCU announces New Worship Arts and Production degree

The Department of Music at Louisiana Christian University is pleased to announce a new degree program beginning Fall 2023: a Bachelor of Arts with an Emphasis in Worship Arts and Production. 

This new degree is designed to prepare majors to be successful in music ministry, both during and between church services.

“In addition to receiving instruction of core music knowledge and working in ministry, coursework includes specialized classes that prepare students to work with musicians in worship contexts,” said Jacob Wittkopp, chair of the Division of Fine Art. “Through newly created music courses, students will gain experience working with sound equipment, recording and editing with digital music software, and creating digital music media.”

This degree program is unique from previous programs in that it equips students to use music technology and to implement multiple facets of music production, which are becoming increasingly valuable skills in a 21st-century landscape. The degree is an ideal fit for those who seek to lead church ministry, be involved with live sound and production, or to those seeking to become more involved with digital and recorded music media.

Media Production Associate Professor Jeff Young said almost every church has transitioned into the electronic age of worship. Young, who is also LCU’s director of technical production, said this degree will enable students to be well-versed in lighting, sound, graphics, and video production.

“When a student learns to direct music and couples it with an understanding of the technical arts, there is a higher opportunity of success in the local church,” Young said.

To create this degree, LCU invited input from worship leaders. Caleb Willis, a 2016 LCU graduate and worship minister at Fairview Baptist Church in Alpha, served on the advisory committee.

“In our state, there is a great need to raise up a new generation of worship leaders,” Willis said. “A few years ago, I read a book that talked about a study of the fastest-growing churches in America. One of the common denominators was ‘Celebration Worship.’ In all these churches, people were gathering in a corporate worship service and passionately worshipping the Lord with one voice.”

LCU is uniquely equipped to educate and train worship leaders to have a generational impact.

“We are praying that God would use this program to equip a wide range of churches that exist in our state,” Willis said. “From the faithful country church to the sprawling urban church, we need leaders that will challenge people to worship with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.”

President Dr. Rick Brewer said LCU’s Worship Arts and Production program will equip future worship leaders with the requisite skills to effectively respond to the needs of the local church today and into the future.

“We have intentionally designed this program to offer a solid blend of technology, music, and theology amplifying our commitment to academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment,” Brewer said. “Church leaders can confidently send future worship leaders to LCU for relevant training and spiritual development.”

For more information about this program, email music@lcuniversity.edu.


Notice of Death – May 30, 2023

Lola Jane Brossett Bordelon
May 19, 1933 – May 25, 2023
Visitation: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 9:30 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral, Pineville.
Service: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 11:30 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral, Pineville.

LLoyd Weldon Whatley
December 2, 1936 – May 26, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Noon at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Alexandria.
Service: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 1 pm at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Alexandria.

Joyce E. Phillips Goff
September 12, 1931 – May 27, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10 am at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Pineville.
Service: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 2 pm at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Pineville.

Ella Huff Breckenridge
January 27, 1941 – May 9, 2023
Visitation: Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 10 am at St. James Episcopal Church.
Service: Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 11 am at St. James Episcopal Church.

The Rapides Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or RPJNewsla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to RPJNewsla@gmail.com)


Community gathers for Memorial Day ceremonies

Pineville Mayor Rich Dupree, Cheneyville Mayor Derrick Johnson and Ball Mayor Gail Wilking spoke at the Memorial Day ceremonies on May 29 at the National Cemetery in Pineville, hosted by the VA Medical Center as a tribute in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service.


Menard’s Prejean, Pineville’s Guerriero lead All-Parish Baseball Team

By BRET H. McCORMICK

Holy Savior Menard senior pitcher Andrew Prejean turned in one of the most dominating seasons in recent memory in leading the Eagles to the Division III Select championship game, while Pineville first-year coach Cullen Guerriero guided the Rebels to the semifinals for the first time in 38 years.

For those reasons and more Prejean and Guerriero brought home the major individual awards and headline the inaugural Rapides Parish Journal All-Parish Baseball Team. 

Prejean, the only senior on this year’s Menard team, was dominant on the mound, posting an 11-2 record with a 0.75 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 75 innings. The Meridian (Miss.) Community College signee pitched nine shutouts on the season and had two no-hitters. 

His list of victories reads like a Who’s Who of Louisiana baseball – state champions Iowa and Ouachita Christian, as well as Rosepine and St. Louis – and he went 3-0 in the playoffs, including a win over Notre Dame in the semifinals.

Prejean was selected as the parish’s Most Outstanding Player over stiff competition from Alexandria Senior High senior pitcher Joe Bordelon, Pineville senior outfielder Amahri Jackson and Grace Christian senior third baseman Luke Johnson. 

Guerriero, who spent the past three seasons as an assistant at Pineville, took over the program following the resignation of Lane Noakes, and he guided a senior-laden squad to a place where it hadn’t been in nearly four decades. 

The Rebels knocked off parish rival Tioga for the first time since 2017, defeated Division I Non-Select runner-up West Monroe during District 2-5A action and ultimately finished the season with a 23-13 record that included a series victory over District 2-5A rival ASH in the Division I Select quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Jesuit in the semifinals. 

For his efforts in leading the Rebels deep in the playoffs Guerriero was selected as the RPJ’s All-Parish Coach of the Year in a close decision over Menard’s Jordan Marks, who guided the Eagles to the Division III Select championship game. 

The All-Parish Baseball Team, selected by a panel of local sports journalists with input from the parish’s baseball coaches, consists of one player at each standard position, four pitchers, two utility players and a designated hitter. The “Best of the Rest” features the top 20 remaining players who were given strong consideration for the first team. Those selections were not chosen by position.

2023 RAPIDES PARISH JOURNAL ALL-PARISH BASEBALL TEAM

Outstanding Player: Andrew Prejean, Menard

Coach of the Year: Cullen Guerriero, Pineville

FIRST TEAM

Pitcher: Andrew Prejean, Sr., Menard – The parish’s Most Outstanding Player provided senior leadership and a high level of production on the mound for the Eagles, finishing the season with an 11-2 record, 0.75 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 75 innings pitched. 

Pitcher: Joe Bordelon, Sr., ASH – The hard-throwing left-hander who is headed to LSU-Eunice was the Trojans’ ace this season, going 6-3 on the mound with a 1.84 ERA, one save and a parish-leading 115 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched in leading ASH to the Division I Select quarterfinals. 

Pitcher: Seth Cook, Jr., Grace Christian – The Warriors’ two-way threat finished the year with a 9-2 record and 0.99 ERA while batting .365 with seven home runs and 52 RBIs in helping guide Grace to the Division V Select semifinals. 

Pitcher: Brady Huffman, Sr., Pineville – Huffman may not have the best stuff in the parish, but his competitiveness is off the charts. The Louisiana Christian signee was the Rebels’ best player throughout district and the playoffs, leading Pineville to the Division I Select semifinals and finishing with a 5-4 record, 3.31 ERA, .389 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, seven doubles, 16 RBIs and 29 runs scored. 

Catcher: Ben Wade, Jr., Menard – A part of the Eagles’ loaded Class of 2024, Wade gets the nod as the parish’s top catcher after batting .339 with 12 doubles and 18 RBIs, while throwing out 33 of 59 runners attempting to steal (44 percent).

First Base: Drake Aldredge, Jr., Menard – The big Eagle on the corner of the infield batted .336 on the season with three home runs, 13 doubles, 31 RBIs and a .976 fielding percentage. 

Second Base: Caden Extine, Fr., ASH – Extine was a true Swiss Army knife for the Trojans, starting all 35 games as a freshman and playing all over the infield. He finished the season with a .250 batting average but a .504 on-base percentage as he had a team-high 37 walks, three home runs, 23 runs scored and 39 RBIs. 

Third Base: Luke Johnson, Sr., Grace Chrstian – The Northeast Texas Community College signee was the Warriors’ top hitter on the season with a parish-leading .608 batting average, 10 home runs, 13 doubles, three triples, 53 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. 

Shortstop: Drew Tomlin, Sr., ASH – The standout senior led the Trojans with a .426 batting average, .537 on-base percentage, 13 doubles, three home runs, 39 RBIs and 28 runs scored.

Outfield: Amahri Jackson, Sr., Pineville – The Rebels’ top hitter on the season, Jackson batted .400 with a .547 on-base percentage, six home runs, team highs of 31 RBIs and 42 runs, 26 stolen bases and a .960 fielding percentage while showing off his speed and agility in center field. 

Outfield: John Barajas, Sr., ASH – The Trojans’ right fielder and leadoff hitter, who signed with Mississippi Delta Community College, batted .390 with a .533 on-base percentage, five home runs, 28 RBIs and a team-high 37 runs scored. 

Outfield: Carter Marcantel, Jr., Menard – Another member of the Eagles’ superb junior class, Marcantel batted .333 on the season with 20 RBIs and 29 runs scored.

Designated Hitter: Alex Courville, Sr., Pineville – The Rebels’ power-hitting first baseman led the team with seven home runs and 16 extra-base hits while batting .288 with 23 RBIs and also going 3-1 on the mound with a 2.15 ERA as a mid-week starter. 

Utility: Cooper Scott, Jr., Menard – The Eagles’ leading hitter split time between third base and pitcher, going 7-1 on the mound with a 1.57 ERA while batting .396 with four home runs, 16 doubles and 36 RBIs. 

Utility: Haidyn Boone, So, Buckeye – The shortstop and starting pitcher for the District 3-3A champion Panthers went 5-1 on the mound with a 3.10 ERA while batting .327 with 26 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. 

BEST OF THE REST (listed in alphabetical order)

Keyan Bordelon, Jr., Glenmora – A starting pitcher and third baseman, Bordelon posted an 8-3 record and 2.73 ERA on the mound while batting .390 with one home run and 27 RBIs. 

Adam Brodnax, So, Buckeye – The second of the Panthers’ standout sophomore pitchers/infielders, Brodnax finished the season with a 6-2 record and 3.10 ERA while striking out 60 batters and also posting a .324 batting average. 

Chris Clark, Sr., ASH – The Trojans’ center fielder and cleanup hitter batted .276 on the season with two home runs, 20 RBIs and 29 runs scored.

Lance Dauzat, Sr., Pineville – The Rebels’ left fielder led the team with 43 hits while batting .377 with 10 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and 28 runs scored. 

Cody Davis, Jr., Grace Christian – The Warriors’ catcher known for his strong arm threw out 18 of 26 runners attempting to steal while also hitting .325 with six home runs, seven doubles, 38 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. 

Ben Eskew, Jr., ASH – The Trojans’ No. 3 starter showcased superb control by giving up just six walks in 46.2 innings pitched while going 6-0 with one save and a 1.67 ERA in 14 appearances. 

Hunter Gillespie, Jr., Glenmora – The Wildcats’ catcher was the team’s second-leading hitter with a .453 batting average, one home run and 34 RBIs. 

Michael Henry, Jr., Menard – The Eagles featured so much depth on the mound that their No. 4 pitcher posted a 4-0 record with a 1.01 ERA and three saves on the season. 

Seth Herron, Sr., Bolton – One of the three-year starters who helped guide the Bears to the second round of the Division II Select playoffs, Herron batted .318 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and team highs of 24 RBIs and 27 runs scored while making just one error on the season at first base.

Gavin Hilton, Jr., Menard – A middle infielder who played both second base and shortstop, Hilton batted .308 with 15 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and flashed a solid glove with a .944 fielding percentage. 

Tyler Looney, Jr., Tioga – An outfielder and right-handed pitcher for the Indians, Looney batted .338 with three doubles and 18 RBIs while posting a 4.74 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched. 

Austin Lorenz, Sr., ASH – The Trojans’ left-hander and No. 2 starter posted a 7-2 record with one save and a 2.49 ERA while striking out 59 batters in 56.2 innings pitched. 

Devin McFarland, Sr., Oak Hill – The Rams’ star shortstop and pitcher batted .380 with a .595 on-base percentage, 24 RBIs and 38 runs scored while posting a 3.12 ERA and 67 strikeouts on the season. 

Alex Morrison, Jr., Tioga – The Indians’ center fielder battled arm injuries that kept him off the mound and provided leadership to a young team while batting .295 with six doubles, one triple and 11 RBIs. 

Wes Oates, So., Pineville – The left-handed power hitter who played first base, catcher and designated hitter burst onto the scene late in the season with three home runs in District 2-5A play while batting .275 with 23 RBIs. 

Brennan Paige, Sr., Bolton – The Bears’ catcher and infielder was the team’s best hitter during district play and finished the season with a .314 batting average, a team-high eight doubles, one triple and 18 RBIs while making just two errors.

Cameron Parks, Jr., Glenmora – The Wildcats’ shortstop was the team’s leading hitter with a .467 batting average, two home runs and 32 stolen bases in helping the team to the second round of the Division III Select playoffs.

Kennedy “KP” Paul, Sr., Bolton – The right-handed pitcher, catcher and shortstop led the Bears with a .379 batting average and .549 on-base percentage while compiling five doubles, one home run, 14 RBIs, 23 runs scored and only one error defensively. 

Greg Willis, Sr., Pineville – Despite missing a major chunk of the district season, Willis was a key utility player for the Rebels as a pitcher, first baseman, third baseman and outfielder. The Mississippi Valley State signee went 3-0 on the mound with a 2.76 ERA while batting .365 with two home runs and 29 RBIs. 

Kanyon Wright, So., Grace Christian – A first baseman and pitcher for the Warriors, Wright went 7-2 on the mound with a 1.89 ERA while batting .446 with five home runs, 13 doubles and 50 RBIs. 

Photo illustration by BRET H. McCORMICK, One T Photography


Alexandria police arrest individuals for firearm possession

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) made two arrest in two separate incidents for Illegal Possession of Firearms.

The APD conducted an investigation into a report of an illegal firearm on May 24. During the course of the investigation, officers located Shaheem M. White, a convicted felon, in possession of an illegal firearm. He was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with Unlawful Handling of Machine Gun, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Aggravated Resisting of an Officer.

This is currently an ongoing investigation.

The APD conducted an investigation into a vehicle burglary at a local motel on May 25. During the course of that investigation, officers learned that Charles R. Augustus of Alexandria, a convicted felon, had burglarized a vehicle and stolen a firearm.  Alexandria Police Detectives were able to locate the stolen firearm and arrested Augustus. Augustus was also arrested on outstanding felony warrants from Mississippi. He was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with Simple Burglary, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Fugitive from Mississippi.

This is currently an ongoing investigation.

If anyone has any information about this incident or any other type of crime in the Alexandria area, please contact the Alexandria Police Detective Division at the phone number (318) 441-6416, or APD Dispatch (318) 441-6559.

For a cash reward, call Crime Stoppers of Cenla at (318) 443-7867.  The Crime Stoppers P3 Tipster App can also be downloaded to leave tips and get a claim number for a cash reward at www.p3tips.com/community/mobile/

Crime Stoppers is a private non-profit organization.  Crime Stoppers is not a law enforcement agency.


Alexandria City Police have seen shooting suspect before, just not recently

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

By JIM BUTLER

The at-large suspect in a May 14 shooting at Chester & Levin streets is a familiar face to city and parish law officers. 

Norman Coty, 29, considered armed and dangerous, is wanted in the attempted second-degree murder of a victim clinging to life since. 

The shooting happened not long before midnight. The most recent update from city police reported the victim still in critical condition and Coty still on the run. 

The alleged assailant has been charged with attempted murder before. 

On June 23, 2017 Coty was charged with attempted first-degree murder, as well as obstruction of justice with threats and intimidation, criminal conspiracy, assault by deadly shooting, illegal use of weapon/commission of a crime and parole violation. Bond was set at $430,000. 

In October 2019, records show, Coty was booked on two drug possession, distribution, dispensing, manufacturing charges. 

A month later he was back in the jail on obstruction and intimidation by threat charges. 

In December 2020 he was charged with domestic abuse battery. 

On March 15, 2021 he was charged with armed robbery under $200,000 bond. 

Arrest and jail records do not track cases through the labyrinth of the judicial/penal systems as to their disposition and resolution. 

Information on this or any other case can be provided the Alexandria Police Detective Division at (318) 441-6416 or APD Dispatch at (318) 441-6559.

Additionally, a cash reward can be obtained by calling Crime Stoppers of Cenla at 318-443-7867. Tips, and payments, are anonymous.

Photo:  Mug of Coty


Elmer man extradited to Rapides Parish for sexual battery charge

Rapides Sheriff Patrol Deputies responded to a complaint on Feb. 19 in reference to criminal sexual conduct involving a juvenile. Deputies took the initial report and Detectives with the RPSO Special Victims Unit began their investigation into the allegations.
 
From their investigation, Detectives were able to identify James Dyess, 28 of Elmer, as the suspect.
 
Through the investigation, which included an interview of the victim through the Rapides Children’s Advocacy Center, sufficient probable cause was established to support the original allegations as well as other alleged crimes. Detectives were able to obtain warrants for Dyess’s arrest on the charges but not before he left the area, so the warrants were entered into the national database (NCIC).
 
Dyess was located in Dumas, Texas on May 17 and taken into custody on the active warrants by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office. Dyess was extradited back to Rapides Parish on May 19 and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center for sexual battery, indecent behavior with juveniles and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Dyess remains in jail at the time of this release, being held on a $225,000 bond.
 
Detectives say their investigation is ongoing and if anyone has any information on this case, they are asked to contact Detective Tamiko Paulk, RPSO SVU at 318-473-6755.
 
“ALL PERSONS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW OR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION.”
 
Arrestee:
James Dyess, 28
52 Hatwig Road, Elmer, LA
 
Charge(s):
Sexual Battery
Indecent Behavior with Juveniles
Contributing To The Delinquency of Juveniles

Remembering Joyce E. Phillips Goff

Services for Joyce E. Goff will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 1, 2023 in the Chapel of Hixson Brothers, Pineville with Reverend Johnny Phillips and Mayor Rich Dupree officiating. Burial will be in Restland Memorial Gardens.

The family requests visitation be held Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Hixson Brothers, Pineville from 10:00 a.m. until time of service.

Joyce Elaine Phillips Goff was born to the late Charles Lake and Marguerite Allen Phillips on September 12, 1931 in rural Louisiana; and was one of ten children. She entered eternal rest on May 27, 2023 at Rapides Regional Medical Center. She grew up in Grant Parish, Louisiana and eventually met and married James Edward Goff. They were married on January 8, 1949, and to this union five children were born; Carrol Ann, Marguerite Enola, Ronnie Lynn, Conzy Bea and James Ivy. Mrs. Goff was a homemaker when her children were babies, but as they got older, she worked in the nursing homes as a nurse’s aide; she loved taking care of older people.

She was preceded in death by parents, Charles Lake and Marguerite Phillips; four brothers, three sisters, husband, James Edward Goff; daughters, Carrol Ann Dunn and Marguerite Haas; son, James Ivy Goff, Sr.; granddaughter, Margaret Setliff.

Those left to cherish her memory include brothers, Julius and Donald Ray Phillips, both of Pineville; her son, Ronnie Lynn Goff of Alexandria; daughter, Conzy Goff Watson of Pineville; eleven grandchildren; twenty-two great grandchildren and twenty-three great-great grandchildren and one on the way; a host of nieces, nephews, friends and extended family.

Mrs. Goff enjoyed traveling, in her younger years she was quick to jump on the Greyhound bus (she liked to flirt with the bus drivers), she never met a stranger.

In her later years she enjoyed soaring through the air on airplanes (she couldn’t flirt with the pilots). She also enjoyed reading, her favorite books were Westerns, and Harlequin Romance novels; she passed her love of reading to many of her grandchildren. She also enjoyed coloring, putting puzzles together and being outdoors and loved all animals. The love for her family was unmatched; this was shown by helping raise numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved to wash clothes, if you didn’t want it washed, keep it out of her sight! She enjoyed going to the bowling alley and watching her daughter bowl and her great grandson. She went on every bowling tournament that she could, she didn’t bowl, but she loved to watch.

She was the biggest cheerleader at the bowling alley. She will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved her. She held many names, daughter, wife, mom, grandma, granny and friend. Was lovingly given the name “Popeye”, because she had no teeth and would make a face just like Popeye. You could find her sitting quietly reading a book, coloring, putting a puzzle together or playing with her great or great great grandchildren. She also loved a good game of Yahtzee (even though she would cheat).

Pallbearers will be Kevin Dennis, Ryan Burton, Dawson Burton, David Ray Goff, Jonathan Watson and Zachary Setliff.


Remembering Lloyd Weldon Whatley

Services for Lloyd Weldon Whatley will be held at Hixson brothers Funeral Home in Alexandria, Louisiana Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. with Reverend Joe Jenkins officiating. Burial will be at the Clearwater Pratt Cemetery following the service.

Family requests that the visitation be held Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Hixson Brothers, Alexandria from 12:00 p.m. until time of service.

Lloyd was born in Lecompte, Louisiana on Dec 2 1936 and he passed away on the morning of May 26, 2023 with his son Darren at his side.

A proud veteran of the US Air Force, retiring as a captain. He was a Forester for 34 years for Roy O. Martin lumber company. He loved gardening, and many animals during his life time. He also loved his great friends, his Sunday School Class and his Church family at Calvary Baptist church. He will be deeply missed by those who knew him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Maxie Ruth Whatley of 63 years; sons, Dan Weldon Whatley spouse Doris Whatley and Darren Whatley spouse David Moore; grandsons, Alan Niette (Nicole), Steven Niette, Kevin Niette (Kristin) and Daniel Whatley.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Calvary Baptist Church, Missions Fund, 5011 Jackson Street, Alexandria, LA 71303 or to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001 or to the charity of your choice in memory of Lloyd Whatley.

Lloyd may have left this world, but his memory and the love he shared with those around him will live on forever. Rest in peace, Lloyd Weldon Whatley.


Notice of Death – May 29, 2023

Lola Jane Brossett Bordelon
May 19, 1933 – May 25, 2023
Visitation: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 9:30 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral, Pineville.
Service: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 11:30 am at Hixson Brothers Funeral, Pineville.

LLoyd Weldon Whatley
December 2, 1936 – May 26, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Noon at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Alexandria.
Service: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 1 pm at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Alexandria.

Joyce E. Phillips Goff
September 12, 1931 – May 27, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10 am at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Pineville.
Service: Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 2 pm at Hisxon Brothers Funeral, Pineville.

Ella Huff Breckenridge
January 27, 1941 – May 9, 2023
Visitation: Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 10 am at St. James Episcopal Church.
Service: Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 11 am at St. James Episcopal Church.

The Rapides Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or RPJNewsla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to RPJNewsla@gmail.com)