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June 6, 2013

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LAGNIAPPE MAGAZINE • JUNE 6, 2013 • VOLUME 31 NUMBER 11

36 26 RICKSHAW MAN • In his cross-country rickshaw walk, Allie Stevens has been attacked by wild pigs, bitten by a brown recluse and run over by a police car. But he’s not complaining. 29 FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL • Divorced dads can follow a number of suggestions to keep Father’s Day depression and stress to a minimum. 36 SWLA'S TOP 50 BUSINESSES • In this annual report, Lagniappe tells the story of the 50 companies headquartered in the Imperial Calcasieu Area that had the highest revenues last year. Also, Angie Kay Dilmore reports on the business advice Top 50 CEOs have to offer. 70 HURRICANE FORECAST • The experts agree: it’s going to be an active season. We’ll explore the reasons behind the predictions. 80 HOWDY DOODY TIME • The state is facing a budget disaster. But in the Legislature, it’s all laughter and giggling and Howdy Doody Time. Jeremy Alford reports.

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90 COWBOY JOHN • Todd Elliott reports on the colorful antics that took place when Cowboy John was a popular children’s TV show in the Lake Area.

Lagniappe Magazine Serving SWLA Since 1983 Publishers Bob Hartnett Greg Pavlovich Editor Brad Goins Associate Editor Karla Wall Assistant Laura Landry Layout & Design Mike Manis Advertising Sales Tanya Alsobrook Patty Hebert Chester Rogers Classified Manager Kenny Pierce Distribution Manager Edward Frazer Contributing Writers Jeremy Alford Dr. Dale Archer Duane Bergeron Angie Dilmore Todd Elliott Rocke Fournet Arthur Hebert John Maginnis Nola Mae Ross Rick Sarro Chuck Shepherd Vic Wukovits Office Phone (337) 433-8502 Office Fax (337) 433-8964 Mailing Address PO Box 3292 Lake Charles, LA 70602 Shipping Address 2906 Deaton Street Lake Charles, LA 70601 Editorial e-mail edit@thelanyap.com Advertising e-mail ads@thelanyap.com Classified e-mail class@thelanyap.com Lagniappe Magazine is published the first and third Thursday of each month. Manuscripts, photographs, comments and queries are invited. Return postage must accompany all materials submitted if return is requested. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Opinions presented by the columnists in this publication do not necessarily express the views ofLagniappe Magazine.

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departments 6 9 12 14 17

Up Front LA Politics Weird News Pierre Sez Out & About

21 22 24 34 81

Lake Area People File 13 Taking Charge Tech Bytes Reel Talk

84 86 87 88 92

What's Happening Band Schedule Mounted Memories Sarro On Sports Classified

June 6, 2013

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up

front About Town Tiffany Hebert, 24, has been selected to represent Southwest Louisiana at the National Special Olympics. Hebert is one of only three selected to attend from the area. She will compete in track and bowling at the national event. Before the big day, she’ll attend a weeklong training camp that will take place in Alexandria. After the camp, she’ll fly to the National Special Olympics games in New Jersey. The Olympics will be held at Princeton University, June 14-21. Hebert has been competing in sports since she was very young. She says she truly enjoys sports. If I learn about her performance or that of the other area Olympians, I’ll keep you informed.

I Make Statements About Myself Readers shouldn’t believe Louisiana legislators are doing nothing for higher education other than cutting funding for it. In her May 17 “Louisiana Legislature 2013: Full bill breakdown,” Times Picayune correspondent Lauren McGaughty reported on bills related to higher education. Three of them. That was the total number of bills in the higher education section. Three. The bills were: HB 144, which would require that freshmen at LSU be “offered a ticket to every home football game.” HB 243, which “would extend TOPS higher education to overseas International Baccalaureate students.” HB 671, which would “increase fees for LSU students at the Baton Rouge campus and N.O. dental school.” Taken as a whole, these three revolutionary blockbuster bills should roll back the regression produced by the reforms of Jindal and co. While you may not have heard about these bills, you’ve no doubt heard of the big bill of the session. It says you can have the words “I’m a Cajun” printed on your Louisiana ID card. No word yet as to whether any penalties will be imposed on clerks who exhibit profound indifference to state slogans printed on ID cards. You know, we worry about stuff. But we don’t need to. The Legislature always takes care of the really vital stuff. It really does.

Take For Instance … Take for instance the state bill that would control the finances of the St. Tammany Parish coroner’s office. Now, I caution you right away that there is so such

a bill and I’m not making it up. Like any good Louisiana commentator, I always emphasize the vital importance of the election of coroners and offer thorough coverage of all coroner races in Louisiana (and Mississippi). But it looks like I didn’t pay quite enough attention to the coroner’s race in St. Tammany Parish. Well, why would you, you ask? You’re about to find out. St. Tammany coroner Peter Galvan is, allegedly, paying himself more than $200,000 a year. For a part-time job. I would have thought that maybe — maybe — the coroner of New York City got $200,000 a year. But the coroner of St. Tammany? St. Tammany’s big city is Slidell. We’re just getting started. Are you in the mood for some funnies? Galvan is accused of using office money to take trips to Napa Valley and Hilton Head, buy two cars for personal use and pay for groceries. Is there any office so insignificant that some hick bureaucrat can’t figure out a way to work fraud into it? No, there is not. The Legislature wants to take the financing of the St. Tammany’s coroner’s office entirely out of the coroner’s office. However, the coroner will continue to be elected. For that I am heartily grateful.

Who’s Afraid Of The ATF (Besides Me)? Lafayette’s The Independent continues to crack wise about Louisiana legislators whom it sees as conspiracy theorists. Latest to be the butt of the joke is state Rep. Jim Morris, who seems to be proposing that Louisiana should refuse to follow any federal gun control laws that are passed. (I think that’s at least a notch better than Jindal refusing to accept Medicaid money that the federal government insists at throwing at us.) Anyhoo, The Independent wrote that Morris aims to resist Uncle Sam’s “insidious plan to confiscate our guns, melt them into ploughshares and shoot us with gay lasers.” So, that’s the funny part of the story. The Independent claims that if Morris’ bill becomes law, “an agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives” who tries to enforce a federal gun control law in Louisiana could be sent to prison for two years. That’s so far out I’m inclined to be skeptical about the claim. But if Morris is indeed serious about it, he definitely gets a private perch in the padded cuckoo bird cage. Even hardened criminals fear the ATF. If an ATF agent were put in a Louisiana jail (I’m just saying “if”), the folks in Washington might not care too much for that. And they play hardball in Washington. Some readers will be old enough to remember the mess that took place in Ruby, Idaho, a couple of decades ago. All that happened just because some ATF guys believed a fellow had sold a couple of sawed-off shotguns. Ruby’s a tiny town, and you can be sure nobody there ever tries to put an ATF agent in jail.

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I’d say that even if the feds pass some sort of gun control legislation, it will call for only minor modifications that won’t create any imposition for any hunter in Louisiana. Morris will be able to go out in the woods and shoot his Diet Coke cans just as easily as he always has.

Plot Spoiler It was the upper right hand headline on the Louisiana news blog The Dead Pelican. It read: “The Vampire Diaries finale: Will Klaus and Caroline finally get their moment, or is Hayley standing in their way?” As it happens, I know the answer to this question. I saw all the drama unfold. I was shopping in Trey Trey’s Mudbogging Emporium in Wagon Rut — you know, the one with the turnstiles at the entrance. Klaus was trying to go into the turnstile and Caroline was trying to come out. In between them, standing inside the turnstile, was Hayley. The conversation went like this: Klaus: Hayley, are you standing in the way — I mean, in the way — between Caroline and me? Hayley: Well, what if I am? What difference does it make? Caroline: Well, Klaus and I have a chance to finally have our moment. But we can’t do that if you’re standing in the way. Hayley: Well, why does it matter whether you get your moment? Who are you anyway? What makes you so special? Are you the stars of one of those TV shows about vampires and werewolves or something? That comment seemed to bother Caroline, who blushed beet red, and said, “What makes you think there are any werewolves around here?” Klaus: And besides, we’re definitely not teenagers. She’s 21 and I’m 22. Hayley: What the hell kind of name is Klaus anyway? Do you realize where you are? South Louisiana! South Louisiana! We ain’t got no Bavarian castles ‘round here, Klaus. What’s your brother’s name, Ludwig? Is Baron Munchausen yo daddy? Is Colonel Klink yo granddaddy? I figured at this rate, Klaus and Caroline would never have their moment. So I lifted Hayley up out of the turnstile and set her on the ground to the side. She threatened me with a sexual harassment lawsuit. But then Klaus’ eyes turned green (which was the damned weirdestlooking thing I ever saw) and I guess Hayley thought better of it. I can’t say for sure whether Klaus and Caroline had their moment, but they were as free as two people get in this life, so if they didn’t have their moment, they can’t blame Hayley.

This Just In I have sad news for Up Front readers. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison have broken up. Oops. Wait a second. Wait a second. This just in: the Associated Press is reporting that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison are back together again. Well, I must say, that’s a relief. I can breathe a little easier … Wait. What’s this? Hold on. This just in. CNN reports that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison have broken up. Oh my. Well, that is really … what can I say … just really sad news. You see a beautiful young couple like that, and all of a sudden … Hold on. We have something here.

Wait. This just in. The BBC reports that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison are back together. Well, before I say anything more, I think I should just point out that this is obviously a developing story, and we’ll be following it for a while. Stay tuned to this column for updates. And Kristen and Robert … the best of luck.

It Costs To Be Out Of Style I can’t believe the stuff the Up Fronter gets emails for. Let me just quote this one: “Greetings! “If you’re into dance, then you’ve probably already mastered the latest dance craze — Gangnam Style! The catchy beat is contagious and gets everyone up and moving! The dance video immediately went viral on YouTube due to its infectious beat and unique choreography. PSY, the Korean rap star who created Gangnam Style, has been busy performing this hilarious dance routine for the MTV Movie Awards and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “The dance’s signature move is a man riding a horse. One celebrity got so caught up in the craze that he commissioned Brilliance eco-luxe jewelry to create a custom pendant. This pendant is a unique tribute to the unknown Korean rap artist who rose from humble beginnings to worldwide fame. “Below, you can view stunning images of the Gangnam Style Inspired Pendant … I look forward to hearing from you regarding your coverage consideration. “Best, “Frankie” Well, see, Frankie, the problem is I’m not into dance. Still, I can see the obvious appeal of a piece of jewelry dedicated to a dance fad that’s already been superseded by a new dance fad. Maybe I should buy the piece as an investment? I mean, it is an eco-luxe. How much does it cost? $60,000? Did you say $60,000? Well, that sounds reasonable. Do you take checks?

Person In The News At a recent press conference, Lagniappe Magazine editor Brad Goins announced that in the month of May, he received 17,346 awards from Site Selection Magazine. Said Goins, “When Site Selection first called and offered me an award, I said I wasn’t a site, except maybe in a philosophical or sociological sense. They said they’d already given awards to all the sites they could find. ‘What about Wagon Rut?’ I asked. They said they’d given Wagon Rut five awards in the last seven days. “At that point, I felt like I pretty much had to take the awards. But I never expected to get 17,000. And the month’s not even over. This is just May 25. Who knows? I might have 20,000 of the things by the time May ends. I wonder whether there’s any way I could trade some of them for Monopoly money.”

Serving SWLA Since 1973! Philip and Donna Hale, owners of Cloverleaf Barber and Beauty Supply, have spent 40 years building a reputation and a loyal customer base in the Lake Area. That success and longevity, they say, is the result of careful attention to service, and treating their customers as they themselves would wish to be treated. Cloverleaf offers a full line of hair and beauty products including shampoos, hair sprays, curling irons, hair dryers, hair colors for men and women, flat irons, clippers and shears, tonics for men, Rolfler products, perms and fanciful rinses. Cloverleaf also sells and services clippers and sharpens blades and shears. Stop in to see their new line of flat irons and check out their new product lines: Diamond Shine and Kera Pro! Fantastic selection, service and prices ... open to the public! Stop in and let Philip and Donna show you why Cloverleaf’s customers have kept coming back for all these years. Cloverleaf is open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm.

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Arts Council Grants Seminar The Arts Council will host a free seminar on grant management Tuesday, June 11, 11:30 am, in Room 108 of Central School Arts and Humanities Center as part of the quarterly Regional Arts Network Luncheon Series. Erin Davison, grant and training coordinator for Business Health Partners in Sulphur, will give a presentation on effective grant management methods, including tracking grant funds, documenting payments and services, and completing follow-up grant requirements. Representatives from Walnut Grove, including COO and vice president Gus Schram, will also give a presentation on the traditional neighborhood that is currently under development off of Sallier St. in Lake Charles. Schram will give an overview of the mixed-use neighborhood and the role it will play in the area’s economic and cultural development. An RSVP is required, and lunch will be served at 11:30 am for $5 per person. For more information or to RSVP, call the Arts Council office at 439-2787, or visit www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org.

Citgo Achieves Two Safety Milestones

Yea! Program To Begin In Fall

On April 28, Citgo Petroleum Lake Charles employees reached a new extraordinary safety record — three million hours without a single recordable safety incident, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This is the second major safety milestone the employees of the Citgo Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex (LCMC) have achieved in 2013. On Jan. 29, the Citgo LCMC also marked one full year without an OSHA recordable safety incident for the first time in its history. Citgo LCMC is the fifth largest refinery in the United States, and it employs nearly 2,000 full-time Citgo employees and contractors. “Citgo Petroleum Corporation focuses on safety as one of its core values, and our commitment to safe operation is illustrated through this momentous achievement,” said Tomeu Vadell, vice president and general manager for the Citgo Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex. “This remarkable accomplishment is a grand testament to the dedication of every one of our employees who works tirelessly to maintain the absolute highest safety standards and the Citgo safety systems, operational procedures and training processes.” As defined by OSHA, a recordable case is an occupational work injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, or an injury or illness that requires an employee to record days away from normal work.

The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance announces the start of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, program to begin in Fall of 2013. YEA! is a program designed to lead students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students will own and operate fully functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester with support from The Kauffman Foundation. The program requires a nine-month commitment from its young executives. In that time, they brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to potential investors, obtain funding, register their companies with governmental agencies, and actually launch their own company or social movement. Business mentors, graphic designers, and local entrepreneurs support the students throughout the program. All of the learning is experiential. “One of the most interesting components of the program is the actual behind the scenes knowledge the students are given from local business leaders, who were at one time, standing in their shoes,” says Adrian Wallace, Executive Director of the SEED Center Business Incubator. “The experience is something they will be able to apply to whatever field they choose to enter, thereby giving them the necessary skills

Customer oriented, solution driven.

to become future leaders of industry.” By partnering with YEA!, both large and small companies and businesses volunteer their time and services, acting as business mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, etc. Community support strengthens the program, and the academy can, in turn, strengthen the community.

Citgo Raises $315,000 For MDA The Citgo Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, contractors, vendors and suppliers raised $315,000 at the 29th annual Citgo MDA Golf Classic. The tournament is the largest singleday fundraiser for MDA in Louisiana. During the last 29 years, the event has raised more than $2.9 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. All funds go towards comprehensive program services and research to improve the lives of more than 1,000 children and adults served by MDA in SWLA. MDA provides materials, support groups, and online chat groups. Funds raised also help send 100 local children with neuromuscular diseases to the barrier-free MDA summer camp taking place on June 16-21, 2013 at Camp Grant Walker in Pollack, La. To learn more, contact the MDA SWLA office at 234-0088 or visit www.mda.org.

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LA POLITICS

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Jindal Ignores Tax To Aid Deaf Given the steep decrease in the number of telephone land lines and the explosion in cell phone use, the legislative bill to adjust the tax to pay for telecommunications services for the deaf seemed fair and reasonable. The bill before the House early in the session decreased the 5-centsper-month tax on land lines to 2 cents, and expanded it to cover wireless lines, which are currently untaxed. The penny ante tax swap would restore the Telecommunications for the Deaf Fund, which had fallen by half in recent years, to its 2005 level. But because fractions of cents can’t go on phone bills, the 2-cent levy would result in the deaf fund receiving about a half million dollars extra. That overage, however, was a problem for the man in charge of tax policy in Louisiana. Grover Norquist would not hear of it. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, D.C., and creator of the pledge signed by many American politicians to oppose all net tax increases. Certainly, he wasn’t following the debate at the time, but staff members for his ally, Gov. Bobby Jindal, sent word to legislators that a vote for House Bill 238 would be scored by ATR as a tax increase and, thus, a violation of the pledge. The House passed the bill overwhelmingly, anyway. Of the 16 representatives who have signed the pledge, six

voted for the bill, five were against it, and five were absent. (Curiously, four of the five absent voted on the previous bill, but, apparently, urgent business called them from the chamber before the vote on the phone tax. Score that as profiles in courage.)

If you want to promise not to raise taxes, put it on your push cards and on your website and wear a sandwich board. But don’t go sign a pledge held by a political operative in Washington, D.C.

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The next week, Jindal, who has signed Norquist’s pledge, said he would veto the bill in its current form, but that it need not come to that. He made an offer to the author, Rep. Patrick Williams, DShreveport, to replace the money from the tax bill with another revenue source. Williams was hesitant to accept. “It’s a matter of trust,” he said later, for he and his colleagues have seen administration bills that sweep clean funds dedicated to other purposes because they lacked the general tax revenue to balance the budget. Besides, why should people who have only land lines, such as many elderly, pay five cents a month, while the greater mass of cell phone users, including those jab-

Grover Norquist

bering in the mall and texting while driving, get off scot free? It is an elegant solution for us all to put up our two cents to aid those who struggle to hear the daily sounds of life, including our inane cell phone conversations, that we take for granted. Hearing-impaired citizens packed a Senate committee room, following along through interpreters, to support HB 238. Senators learned that the $1.9 million to be raised would supply 70 percent of the funding for the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf, which helps pay for interpreter services, hearing aids and other accessibility tools for the deaf, the deaf and blind, and the speech-impaired with low incomes.

Louisiana leads the nation in the percentage of deaf and blind residents because of the high number of Acadian descendants with Usher Syndrome. Despite the fact that Williams said an agreement had been reached to replace the revenue from another fund, committee members went ahead and sent his bill to the Senate floor, the last stop before the governor’s desk. If senators were of a mind to, they could pass the bill and dare Jindal to veto it. That would make him look clueless and hard-hearted, not just here, but in Iowa and New Hampshire, too, where future presidential primary voters might not know of or care about his offer of alternative funding. The whole 2-cent imbroglio just points up the folly of signing pledges written and interpreted by others. If you want to promise not to raise taxes, put it on your push cards and on your website, wear a sandwich board and shout it in the public square. But don’t go sign a pledge held by a political operative in Washington who makes up the rules of what does or doesn’t constitute a tax or a net increase. As interesting as it would be for HB 238 to be put before Jindal, it’s more likely that his alternative funding solution will be agreed to amicably among senators, massaged along by the master deal maker, Senate President John Alario. After all, he has skin in the game, having signed Norquist’s pledge himself.

The Old Two-Year College Try Community Colleges Do A Legislative End-Around — To The Dismay Of Four-Year Schools. In the last five hard years of higher education’s declining state support, rising tuition, defecting faculty and deteriorating facilities, college leaders have stuck together and let the Board of Regents coordinate their requests for funding from the Legislature. A lot of good that did them. Now the community college system, the only one growing in enrollment, has had enough of standing in line. In the most audacious power play of the legislative session, one that’s shaking the foundations of higher education, the twoyear colleges are close to pulling off a $250 million end run on established procedure in order to build 28 training and technology centers around the state. Supporters hail the plan as essential to training a skilled workforce to fill technical jobs in high demand areas. Opponents call it a debt-ceiling buster that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the constitution and robs four-year colleges of badly needed resources. Instead of following the usual process for approving and financing construction projects, which is called “capital outlay,” Senate Bill 204 cuts to the front of the

line to authorize $250 million in borrowing to be repaid with $20 million a year for 20 years. The money will come out of the state budget. The plan is the brainchild of Joe May, president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, who’s earning the reputation as the keenest politician in higher education. His first smart move was to team with Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, widely regarded as one of the shrewdest legislators and the most tenacious. The bill is sailing through the Capitol with the support of Gov. Bobby Jindal and the promised financial backing of business owners in each region. They will put up the bill’s required 12 percent local match for each project, which, in turn, will train future employees for them. The bill is strenuously opposed by the rest of the higher education community. It galls university heads that the two-year colleges are grabbing new construction dollars when there’s a $1.7 billion backlog of deferred maintenance to college buildings. Members of the Board of Regents charge that May and Adley are

subverting the coordinating role of regents, as set out in the constitution — a role the three other college systems have followed for decades. Regents chairman Bubba Rasberry told the House Education Committee, “This will bring out competition in the most vulgar and political way.” No strangers to vulgar, political competition, the committee approved the bill unanimously. Legislators are sympathetic to the plight of the universities, but they’ve bought into the argument that it’s more urgent and less costly to train future welders, nurses and auto mechanics than to educate more administrators, engineers and lawyers. They see the bill addressing the 75 percent of Louisiana high school students who won’t be going to four-year colleges. They hear business owners complaining they can’t find the qualified employees for jobs that are available and that they could create more jobs if there was a skilled workforce to fill them. University leaders counter that with up-to-date laboratories and renovated dorms, the four-year schools could

attract better students who would go on to even higher paying professions. But that’s a more expensive, long-term proposition for lawmakers to wrap their heads around. The other consequence that doesn’t seem to bother legislators much is that authorizing more borrowing would bust their self-imposed debt limit, which, warned Treasurer John Kennedy, could jeopardize the state’s bond rating. It won’t just cost $20 million per year to pay off the new construction debt, he argued, but three or four times that amount when the other college systems come back to the Capitol next year seeking equal treatment. “You can’t do it for one and not the other,” he said. That remains to be seen. Just as twoyear college enrollment is growing much faster than that of four-year schools, so is the political momentum for the community college system, which was established only 14 years ago. Ultimately, the hand of Jindal is silently clearing the path for the new system’s expansion, relieving legislators of any qualms about not following the normal process, because he is the process. June 6, 2013

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with the first phase of liquefaction operations to begin in the second half of 2017. The three trains will reach full commercial operation in 2018.

SWASHBUCKLERS CALL IT QUITS The Louisiana Swashbucklers have called it quits after nine seasons in the Pro Indoor Football League, citing a lack of ticket sales as the reason. The Swashbucklers (4-4) were in the midst of making a playoff run this season after winning four of their last five games. The team has never missed the postseason.

LOCAL NEWS STORIES OF THE PAST TWO WEEKS LC REPEATS AS CLEAN CITY WINNER For the second consecutive year, Lake Charles has won first place in the Louisiana Garden Club Federation’s Cleanest City Contest. The win came in Category 1, which includes cities with a population of 45,000 to 99,999.

STATE CASINO REVENUES DROP The state’s casinos all experienced a drop in revenues in April, according to the Gaming Control Board’s monthly revenue report. Statewide, the 13 riverboat casinos made $137 million, which was less than March’s total of $161.3 million. Pinnacle’s L’Auberge was the top casino boat revenue generator in April, with $30.3 million in revenues, down from $32 million in March. Isle of Capri’s Lake Charles property made $10 million in April, down from $12 million in March. Boyd Gaming’s Delta Downs slot operations saw a significant decrease in

revenue, drawing in $15 million in April compared to $18 million in March. Overall, slot machines at the state’s four race tracks made $32 million in April, which was less than the $39 million in March.

RECORD CLASS GRADUATES FROM MSU The largest class in school history graduated from McNeese at its Spring commencement ceremony, with more than 825 students receiving degrees. The spring class of 2013 included students from 37 parishes, 20 states and 19 countries. A total of 865 degrees were awarded, including 61 associate degrees, 669 bachelor’s degrees, 134 master’s degrees and one education specialist degree.

LC POLICE HIRES 12 NEW OFFICERS The Lake Charles Police Dept. has hired 12 new officers, chosen from a group of 96 applicants. The new hires will be working with LCPD’s training division before going to

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the police academy. It will be three to four months before the new hires will be ready to patrol on their own. Police Chief Don Dixon said the department had been operating 26 officers down, either because of illness, injury, officers leaving or other reasons. He said that the hirings bring the number of officers up to 189 for the first time in a long time.

SEMPRA SECURES MINORITY PARTNERS Sempra Energy has secured three minority partners after signing 20-year tolling capacity and joint-venture agreements to support the development, financing and construction of the liquefied natural gas export facility at its terminal in Hackberry. The three companies are GDF SUEZ S.A., Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui and Co. The agreement asks affiliates of GDF SUEZ, Mitsubishi and Mitsui each to acquire 16.6 percent equity in the facilities and the liquefaction project. A Sempra Energy affiliate will retain 50.2 percent. The facility will cost $9-10 billion. Construction is expected to begin in 2014,

CPPJ APPROVES MOSS BLUFF TRAILER PARK The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury recently approved a redesigned proposal for an RV park on the west end of Sam Houston Jones Parkway. The original proposal would have allowed 75 RV spots; the new proposal will allow 42. Under the redesign, only the part of the property away from the road will be rezoned to allow for the RV park, with the property along Sam Houston Jones Parkway remaining commercially zoned. A 6-foot wooden privacy fence is also to be installed around the property.

ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST This year’s hurricane season will be “above average,” with 13-20 named storms — seven to 11 of them hurricanes, including three to six storms of Category 3 or greater, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Brazzell. Above-average seasons are attributed to warmer-than-normal water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, Brazzell said. Also a factor, he said, is the absence of El Niño, a warm ocean current that develops in the Pacific.

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WEIRD NEWS

chuck shepherd • illustrations by felix falgoust

Frontiers Of Parenting Caribou Baby, a Brooklyn, N.Y., “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has recently been hosting gatherings at which parents exchange tips on the weaning of infants without benefit of diapers. Parents watch for cues, such as a certain “cry or grimace” that signal that the tot urgently needs to be hoisted onto a potty. Eventually, they say, the potty serves to cue the baby. Dealing with diapers is so unpleasant, they say, that cleaning an occasional mess is tolerable. The babies’ public appearances sometimes call for diapers, but that situation can be dealt with by taking the baby behind the nearest tree. One parent admitted, “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink.”

Democracy Blues — At a Jan. 8 public meeting, Cooper City, Fla., Commissioner Lisa Mallozzi, who was annoyed with local activist and former commissioner Gladys Wilson, told her to “Blow me.” Wilson, 81, said she didn’t understand what the phrase meant. Mallozzi said later that she meant only that Wilson needed to blow her nose.

posted speed of 65. The citation read, “Failure of driver ... to keep right.” The station’s meteorologist noted that winds that day were gusting to 40 mph and that the woman might simply have been trying to control her car. — The principal and head teacher at a Godalming, England, special-needs school were reported by employees in March for allowing a student with selfharm issues to cut herself under staff supervision. Unsted Park School enrolls youths 7-19 who have high-functioning autism. Teachers were to hand the girl a sterilized blade, wait outside a bathroom while she acted out, checking up on her at two-minute intervals, and then dress the girl’s wounds once she had finished. The school reportedly abandoned the policy six days after implementing it. — Last year, according to Chicago’s WBBM-TV, Palmen Motors in Kenosha, Wis., sold a brand-new GMC Terrain SUV to an elderly couple, 90 and 89. The husband was legally blind, in hospice care and on morphine, and the wife had dementia and could barely walk. According to the couple’s daughter, it was her brother, David McMurray, who wanted the SUV. But he couldn’t qualify financially, so he drove his mother from Illinois to Kenosha to sign the documents while a Palmen employee traveled to Illinois to get the father’s signature (three weeks before he passed away). An attorney for Palmen Motors told the TV station that the company regretted its role and would buy the vehicle back.

Least Competent Criminals

— The city council of Oita, Japan, refused to seat a recently elected member because he refused to remove the mask he always wears in public. Professional wrestler “Skull Reaper A-ji” said his fans wouldn’t accept him as authentic if he strayed from his character. Some masked U.S. wrestlers, and especially the popular Mexican “lucha libre” wrestlers, share the sentiment. At press time, the issue was apparently still unresolved in Oita.

Can’t Possibly Be True — In March, a woman from the Maryland suburbs showed a reporter a traffic citation ticketing her for driving in the left lane on Interstate 95 in Laurel while going 63 mph compared to the 12

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Carl Bellenir, 48, was arrested in San Luis Obispo, Calif., after he went to a Santa Barbara Bank and Trust and cashed in several rolls of pennies that had been stuffed into rolls labeled for dimes. Bellenir apparently didn’t realize the rolls would be examined later in the day. He returned the next morning to the same bank and tried the trick again. Police were called, and Bellenir fled. But he was captured down the street at a Bank of America, where he was trying the same trick.

Unclear On The Concept — Possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime, authorities say, because a child has been abused in the creation of the image. That reasoning offered no relief for New Zealander Ronald Clark, who was sentenced to three months in jail in Auckland in April for watching pornographic cartoon videos of elves and pixies. A child-protection activist acknowledged that no child was harmed in the creation of the Japanese anime artwork, but insisted that it was still injurious because “It’s all part of that spectrum.” Clark said he wondered if he might also be convicted for viewing sexual stick-figure drawings. — John Leopold, the former county executive of Anne Arundel County, Md., was serving 30 days in March for illegally forcing his government security detail and another employee to perform personal errands. He wasted no time making similar demands of his jailers. He ordered the jailers to serve him a breakfast of Cheerios, skim milk, bananas and orange juice instead of the scheduled fare. — Last year, Anders Breivik, the imprisoned 2011 mass murderer of 77 in Norway, began a hunger strike when he was rebuffed over his 27-page list of demands, including Internet access and a series of menu improvements.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Animal-rights activists have had success in recent years by making covert videos of abuses on farms and in slaughterhouses. However, as The New York Times reported in April, legislators in Iowa, Utah, Missouri and almost a dozen other states believe that the problem is that such videos “defame” the operators of these farms and slaughterhouses. These states have proposed to criminalize the activists’ conduct by construing it as trespassing. The filmmakers gain access by subterfuge, for instance, by applying for jobs they want only so that they can get on the premises. The typical state legislation would require that any covert video immediately be turned over — not to government or the media, but to the operator of the business. This would allegedly be done so that the abuse could be dealt with.

Suspicions Confirmed California street gangs stage fights whose locations can be accurately predicted using the same algorithm that anthropologists use to predict where lions and hyenas will fight in the wild to protect their territories. A UCLA researcher used the standard “LotkaVolterra” equation for 13 criminal gangs in the Boyle Heights neighborhood in east Los Angeles. The researcher produced a table of probabilities showing how far from each gang’s border any fights were likely to occur. In the period 1999 to 2002, as the formula predicted, 58 percent of shootings occurred within 0.2 miles of the border of the gang’s territory; 83 percent within 0.4 miles; and 97 percent within 1 mile.

Readers’ Choice Kent Hendrix heroically rushed to the aid of a female neighbor who was being assaulted by an acquaintance on a residential street in Millcreek, Utah. Hendrix scared off the man, who soon turned himself in. Hendrix is a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is also a black belt in karate. At the time of the confrontation, he was aiming his favorite samurai sword at the attacker. Said Hendrix, “His eyes just got huge; he was staring down 29 inches of razor.”

Strange Old World — A newspaper in the capital city of Riyadh reported in April that three men from the United Arab Emirates were booted out of a religious festival by Saudi “morality police” because they were thought to be “too handsome” and would cause Saudi women to be improperly attracted to them. — Another Saudi daily reported in April that a schoolteacher had agreed to marry her suitor but only provided that he take on two of her colleagues as extra wives. Saudi Arabia allows men as many as four. The newspaper reported that the woman had rented three apartments in the same building, signaling that the deal had been sealed.


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Did School Boad Do De Right Thing? De School Boad recently voted to sell a piece uf property it owns in Mossville for no les dan $9.5 million dollars to cover a projected deficit uf $13 million. Dar had been rumors uf de boad havin’ to cut 160 teachers to put de 2013-14 budget close to bein’ balanced. My fran Joe an’ me me wuz visitin’ about dis at KD’s recently, and he brought up an interestin’ observation. Joe, an’ I’m shore udder folks, want to know couldn’t de boad found dat much in expenses to cut witout sellin’ de property an’ lettin’ teachers go? I sed day probably coulda, but dat’s not how gubment works ... because it’s never enough. An’ dat holds true at every level uf gubment. We az citizens are faced wit’ higher taxes an’ fees from state an’ federal gubment an’ higher gas prices. So what do we do? We cut expenses somewhere else … maybe a cheaper vacation for our families; less nights at restaurants; or maybe eatin’ less expensive cuts uf meat. But not de gubment … nooooo indeed. Just keep tryin’ to get mo money. Herb, who wuz listenin’ in on de conversation, axed when iz it enough? I replied wit’ a quote I heard a former Jefferson Parish assessor say many years ago: government is like one of dem paper shredders — de more you put in it, de more it eats. Whether you agree with de School Boad decision or not, please remember dis: de day will come when citizens will say day have had enough.

Coach Gone, Swashbucklers Gone We wuz sad to learn de Swashbucklers team wuz foldin’ its tent. Teams like dis find it very difficult to make it in areas uf our size. An dat’s true not only uf football but of minor league baseball teams, D League basketball teams an’ many udders dat get into money troubles and move. Even major league sports teams move. Which brings us back to de question … iz dis area big enough to really support pro teams, and our college teams for dat matter? McNeese iz once again lookin’ for a baseball coach. Attendance is very poor at dese games. Barbe and Sulphur high probably drew more folks dis year dan McNeese did. Years ago, I heard dis feller from de Saints talk about de bidness uf de game. An he sed sometin’ dats stuck wit’ me. He sed a sports team wuz no different dan a circus or rock concert. If you put on a good show, folks will come. If you don’t, day gonna do sometin’ else. American Press sports writer Jim Gazzolo wrote recently wonderin’ if dis area could support sports. De answer iz yes, if de sports is worth goin’ to see. Case in point, when McNeese played dar games at de Civic Center, dar wuz huge crowds. Now dat dar at Burton, day’re lucky to have 1,000 fans. When McNeese had good football teams, de stadium wuz packed. Now de football program is sellin’ tickets. But folks just ain’t showin’ up for de game. I know folks who buy 15 to 20 season tickets and go to maybe one or two games demselves an’ try real hard to give de rest uf de tickets away an’ have a real hard time doin’ dat. Anudder problem is dar are so many events every weekend in our area folks have to decide what is de best value for dar entertainment dollar. Forget about de Swashbucklers. Let’s show our support for McNeese sports by buyin’ tickets and GOIN’ TO DE GAMES.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!!!!!! My fran Max de stockbroker gets mad at me when I say all we really want from our legislators iz de bacon day bring home afta each legislative session. We could care less what committees dar on, or what party day belong to, or even if day are Speaker uf de House. We want to know what kind of projects day got funded and when iz construction goin’ to start. Max sez dat’s not de way to look at it. He sez we should look for good gubment and distribution uf money based on needs radder dan politics. Me, I wuz quick to point out dat I’ll tink dat way when dat New Awlins and Baton Rouge bunch uf leg14

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islators start tinkin’ good gubment radder dan bringin’ home de bacon. Huey Long called dem allocations political patronage … me, I call dem bacon. Now, it’s not shore jus’ exactly what we’ve gotten from dis las’ session, but it looks pretty good. Az we write dis, de session isn’t over, an’ we all know dars always dem last minute deals, an’ uf course Bobby iz sittin’ dar wit’ hiz veto pen an’ can cut out measures he doesn’t like. An’ as we well know, he can change hiz mind in a New York minute.

Let’s Invite Dr. Gee To Louisiana Dr. E. Gordon Gee, president uf Ohio State University, got a whole buncha Catholics and Southeastern Conference football fans mad when he sed de Notre Dame folks might be holy on Sunday but is holy hell de res’ uf de week when dealin’ on football matters. An’ he sed dat folks in de SEC would be easier to deal wit’ if day learned to read and write. He has since apologized. You tink dat didn’t get some LSU Catholics fired up? My fran Snookie sez dar iz a solution to dis problem. Have Monsignor Gatti take him to an LSU football game at Tiger Stadium to see how de game iz really played. An’ den afta dat, Gatti can take him in de Atchafalaya Basin an show him how much damage an alligator can do. Monsignor should bring some Slap Yo Mama wit’ him so de gators can spice up dat Yankee before eatin’ him.

Why LSU Games On Computer? Me, I wuz none too happy about de LSU regionals bein’ shown on computer by ESPN. Den Disney, dat owns ESPN, proudly announced day wuz giving 250 grand to survivors uf de Oklahoma tornados. Meantime, Oklahoma City pro basketball player Kevin Durant gave $1 million. Dis is wrong on de part uf Disney, who will make millions off de NBA playoffs. Yes, I wrote to de chairman uf Disney an tol’ him how bas class (low life) he wuz. Made me feel good to get dat off my chest. Made me feel good to see good men like Durant steppin’ forward to help. It wuz also good to see lots uf folks goin’ to Oklahoma to help dem folks in need. Lots uf dem came here afta we got visited by Rita.

Accidents • Wrongful Death • Serious Personal Injury Criminal, Domestic Law Cases

Jindal Versus Mary Right now, de only announced candidate against Sen. Mary is congressman Bill Cassidy. But rumors out uf Washington indicate de Republicans may be lookin’ to Bobby Jindal to run against Landrieu. Reports are dat Jindal’s longtime right hand political guy haz left de Cassidy for Congress camp. It would make sense dat he would do dat if he planned on workin’ on de Jindal campaign. It would also make good sense dat Cassidy would in all probability pull out uf de race if Jindal jumps in. Jindal, who haz seen his numbers drop in de las’ few months, haz been spendin’ a lot mo time in de state in de las’ few months, spendin’ less time on de road raisin’ money for de Republican Party. Watch dis one, folks. Lot stranger tings have happened in politics in our state.

Larry A. Roach (1932-2003) Barry A. Roach • Larry A. Roach, Jr. Fred C. "Bubba" LeBleu • David M. Hudson

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Broussard Enters De Cooler If you remember news coverage afta Hurricane Katrina in de New Awlins area, you often saw Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard standin’ next to Gov. Blanco and New Awlins Mayor Ray Nagen. If you want to see him for de next few years, you’ll have to go to a federal prison in North Carolina. De 64-year-old Broussard pled guilty to takin’ bribe payments totalin’ $66,000 dollars to help steer contracts to a Kenner bidnessman. He also pled guilty to givin’ his then-girlfriend and later wife a public job for which she wuzn’t qualified. Several udders have also pled guilty to various shenanigans, but haven’t yet been sentenced. Broussard got 3 years and 10 months, which is hard time for a man of his age. Remember, federal law sez he must spend at lease 90 percent uf dat sentence. One ting about Southwest Louisiana, we ain’t got no shenanigans uf dat type. And tank God for dat.

Deep Taughts While Watchin’ De NBA Playoffs 10) How can dem big basketball players move so fas’? 9) Who will be de new McNeese baseball coach? 8) What gives T Claude de right to claim half de figs off my fig tree? 7) Will Chuck get anudder shot at Speaker uf de House? 6) Are we all ready wit’ batteries and water an’ stuff for hurricane season? 5) Why do folks at Casa insist on takin’ two parkin’ spaces? 4) When are day gonna get goin’ on de Cove Lane project? 3) Why doesn’t Lake Charles have a nice park like de new Grove Park in Sulphur? 2) Judges’ races are comin’ up soon. Who will run or just start rumors dat day are? 1) Why does a package sent from Austin go to Baton Rouge before comin’ to me?

Final Shot Lefty sez he went to dat Facebook school day offer at de liberry. I tol’ him he wuz a little old for dat. He sez dat’s de only way he can communicate wit’ hiz grand kids. ‘Til next time, lache pas la patate.

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~ Always Remember ~ "The bitterness of poor quality and service long outlast the sweetness of a low price." 16

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OUT & ABOUT arthur hebert

Anna’s Kitchen 3607 Legion St., Lake Charles 499-6402, Monday to Friday 5:30 am-3 pm, price range $2-10 This venue, which took over the Jackson Deli space, is run by an Indian couple. They offer breakfast and a lunch of sandwiches, burgers and plate lunches. I’ve tried the Bacon Attack with Cheese and the Stuffed Burger. The first one I described in my burger column several issues back. The Stuffed is two patties with bacon in the middle and topped with cheese. Don’t attempt this unless your stomach is empty and you’re a burger eating machine. Given that, it’s seriously good with juicy patties and excellent flavor. I also had a hot link here. It was a standard link presented in poboy bread. I’m a meat and bread guy, and this fit the bill. The breakfast menu features the standard items (egg, bacon, sausage, ham, etc.) done as sandwich, burrito or platter. The nice thing is that they do the tortillas fresh, and they’re whole wheat. They’re similar to an Indian flatbread called “roti.” The sandwich menu contains the usual suspects, done on sliced bread or poboy bread. I have my eye on a Philly Cheese Steak Wrap. I bet it’s good. Except on Wednesday, the plate lunches are the usual things, like meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, fried fish, etc. However, on Wednesday, it’s Indian home cooking. I’m sure the main entree is a family curry recipe. So far, I’ve had bone-in chicken legs, bone-in goat, and, the latest, boneless Butter Chicken (white meat). All have been moderately spicy with loads of flavor, served over basmati rice. The flavor is distinctly Indian and reflects the spices of Indian cooking. The accompaniments are usually fresh whole wheat tortilla flatbreads (roti) and potatoes cooked with coriander seed. Sorry I haven’t gotten past this wonderful food to taste the other plate lunches. In my opinion, a good cook is a good cook of all things. The lady who’s the cook here is excellent. This place is a viable option if you’re on this end of town. There’s limited seating, but it seems most of the business is take-away. Come try something different.

Arthur Hebert’s food and restaurant blog is www.swlaeats.blogspot.com

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information at scouting45.org or call 337527-6827. On the other hand, Trinity’s Vacation Bible School will take place at Trinity’s Winshape Camp at Lake Charles. For information, call 337-480-1555.

Watsons Establish Rodeo Scholarship More Information About Summer Church Camps Lagniappe’s entry for the American Heritage Girls Summer Bling Day Camp may not have had enough information for all interested parties. The Summer Bling Day will take place July 22-26 at the Trinity Baptist Church in Sulphur. The camp is for girls who are entering Grades 1-12. Get more

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Watson have given $9,000 to the McNeese Foundation to establish the Carol and Tom Watson Rodeo Scholarship at McNeese State University. The Watsons presented the check to McNeese rodeo coach Justin Browning and Richard H. Reid, vice president for university advancement and executive vice president of the McNeese Foundation.

L’Auberge Completes Renovation Project L’Auberge Casino Resort recently completed a $20-million-plus hotel room renovation project. The project involved new suites and amenity upgrades. Phase two of the renovation will begin in September and will involve the renovation of the remaining hotel tower rooms and suites in the first half of 2014. The updated rooms are a blend of comfort, convenience and elegance. Amenities include oversized flat panel televisions, luxury bedding, pillow top mattresses, plush carpeting and more. Floor to ceiling windows offer views of the tropical pool area, Contraband Bayou or the lush golf course. The renovation includes the addition of two new room categories: Royale and Marquis Suites are larger in size than Luxury Rooms, with views of Southwest Louisiana. The rooms feature upgraded amenities including refrigerators, Keurig brand coffee machines, make-up mirrors, and complimentary robes and slippers. They are decorated with stately furnishings and elegant artwork from Louisiana artists. The renovation was completed by KAP Construction of Lake Charles.

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lake area

people

Mayeaux Named MSU Athletic Marketing Director Danielle Mayeaux has been named the McNeese Athletic Department’s director of ticketing and marketing. Mayeaux spent the 2011-12 athletic season as a marketing intern at McNeese. She returns to McNeese after having spent the past season as a marking intern and the director of soccer operations at the University of Memphis, where she’ll receive her master’s in sport and leisure commerce this summer. A 2011 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor’s in marketing, Mayeaux began her marketing career at Dulins Sports Academy, where she designed marketing plans and managed three summer soccer camps. Prior to her internship at McNeese, she worked as an intern for the London Knights Hockey team of the OHL.

Andersen Receives CVB Award Kerry Andersen, director of media relations and public affairs for Pinnacle Entertainment, recently received the 2013 Partner in Tourism Award from the SWLA Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The award recognizes those who make significant contributions to the tourism industry. Andersen was recognized this year for professional assistance with visiting journalists over the years.

FNB Promotes McElroy, Hires Trosclair First National Bank of DeRidder recently promoted Sarah McElroy to senior vice president, cashier, and chief financial officer. She is a resident of Rosepine, and has 37 years of banking experience. Misti Carroll Trosclair recently joined FNB DeRidder as assistant vice-president and marketing and customer relations director. A resident of Carlyss, Trosclair attended Northwestern State University and has been in the banking industry for 18 years.

Babin Joins Delta Tech Rhonda Babin has joined the staff of Delta Tech as admissions representative. Babin is licensed through the Louisiana Board of Regents. She has experience in education, marketing, corporate training/human resources and print media. She earned a bachelor’s in mass communications with a minor in speech from McNeese State University.

Rooney Named MSU Athlete Of The Year McNeese cross country runner David Rooney was recently named this year’s Desmond Jones Athlete of the Year. Rooney, a native of Dublin, Ireland, became McNeese’s first-ever cross country all-American during the fall after he finished seventh at the NCAA Championships. During the cross country season, he was crowned the Southland

Mayeaux

Andersen

Conference champion after running a meet record time of 23:33.5 in the 8-kilometer race and following that up with a second place finish at the regionals before running in the NCAA championships. This season, Rooney was named the conference’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year, Indoor Runner of the Year, and Outdoor Most Outstanding Athlete. He was also named the Louisiana Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Thompson Receives WCCH Scholarship Katelyn Thompson, a 2013 graduate of Sulphur High School, was awarded the 2013 WCCH Partners Scholarship. Thompson is the daughter of Annette Thompson, an employee in the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital laboratory department. At Sulphur High, she was a member of several clubs, including the Beta Club, and was active in many community organizations, as well as Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sulphur.

McElroy

Trosclair

Babin

prior to beginning her sophomore year and will major in biology. She plans to become a physician.

Gawlik Receives LSWA Honors McNeese State freshman tennis player Klaudia Gawlik has been named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Women’s Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, and was also a firstteam selection. Gawlik was also named the Southland Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. She is the first Cowgirl to earn Louisiana Player of the Year honors, and the second to be named Freshman of the Year. She is also the first player to be named to the first team since 2006. Gawlik, a native of Nowy Sacz, Poland, ended the regular season with a perfect 21-0 record. She is also the Southland’s no. 1 singles champion after a perfect 8-0 conference record. Gawlik is only the second Cowgirl to go undefeated in the regular season.

Rooney

Gawlik

Jacob Waldmeier, RN, emergency department, was awarded with the Healing Touch Award, an award presented in memory of the late Nancy Weidner, RN. Sharon King, RN, home health, was awarded with the Home Health Agency Excellence Award, an award presented in memory of the late Sharon Baker, RN.

Lavergne Receives Scholarship Cole Lavergne, a 2013 graduate of Sulphur High School, recently received the Mac Burns/West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Foundation Scholarship. The $1,200 scholarship is presented to a graduating high school senior in the service district of WCCH who has chosen a career in the medical field, and who will be attending McNeese State University in the fall and spring semesters after graduation from high school.

WCCH Nursing Award Recipients

From left: Bill Hankins, WCCH CEO, Annette Thompson, WCCH employee, Katelyn Thompson, scholarship recipient and Yolanda Doucet, WCCH Partners president

Thompson graduated summa cum laude with a 4.07 GPA, and was ranked in the top 2 percent of her graduating class, receiving academic and technical endorsements. She plans to attend McNeese State University during her freshman year, and will transfer to Louisiana State University

Six members of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital’s nursing staff were presented with awards during the hospital’s celebration of National Nurses Week. Lindsay Viator, RN, Intensive Care Unit, was named RN of the Year. Keith Hilliard, Sr., LPN, second floor, was named LPN of the Year. Latrise Budwine, CNA, second floor, was named Nurse Aide of the Year. Glenda Truett, ward clerk, second floor, was named Ward Clerk of the Year. Derek Credeur, resource tech, was named Support Person of the Year. Rob Standing, physical therapist, was named Home Health Agency Professional of the Year.

From left: Ira Fontenot, WCCH Foundation CEO and president, Cole Lavergne, award recipient, and Debby Nabours, WCCH Foundation executive director.

Lavergne is the son of Tara Gwyn Lavergne and Ted Mark Lavergne of Sulphur. He was a member of the SHS baseball and swim teams for four years. He was also active in several organizations, such as the Beta Club, the Key Club, the National Honors Society and Student Council. He will attend McNeese State University in the fall, and plans to become a physical therapist.

League Of Women Voters Elects 2012 Board

Rattay To Conduct El Paso Symphony Lake Charles Symphony conductor Bohuslav Rattay was recently named conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. Rattay will not leave his position as conductor of the Lake Charles Symphony, but will add El Paso to the list of orchestras he conducts.

The League of Women Voters of Lake Charles has elected its 2013-2014 board of directors. Elected were Robin Baudoin, president; Rhonda Babin, first vice president; Kay Andrews, treasurer; and Stephanie Hardy, secretary. Returning to the Board are Meg Lovejoy, second vice president, and directors Sandra Walker and Francessca Howard.

Petty, Waltrip Join Jeff Davis Bank Billie Petty and Hailey Waltrip recently joined the staff of Jeff Davis Bank and Trust Co.’s mortgage department. Petty serves as a loan originator and processor. She has 30 years of banking and mortgage experience, and previously worked for First National Bank of Louisiana. Waltrip also works as a loan originator and processor. She has eight years of banking experience, and previously worked with Lakeside Bank. June 6, 2013

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FILE 13

brad goins

English Literature In 10 Books In the first part of our journey into English literature, we ventured briefly into the realm of farce and saw that it can reveal even the most dreadful aspects of the human condition. Now we move into other literary territory, such as the tensions that precede great wars, the idealism of great romance and the complex experiences of guilt and tenacity.

6. ULYSSES By James Joyce Although Ulysses has plenty of farcical situations and language in it, its subject matter is probably a bit too serious for it to pass as a farce. (We’ll see that in a second when we look at the book’s plot.) As far as the genre of this work is concerned, Ulysses is usually considered the great anti-epic of literature. Joyce began with Ulysses — the Roman version of Odysseus, who was the hero of the old Greek epic The Odyssey. Odysseus was a fearless hero who resisted the sirens, bested the Cyclops and destroyed the small army of suitors who had virtually kidnapped his wife. Joyce’s anti-hero, a Dublin Jew named Leopold Bloom, couldn’t be more different. Bloom knows his wife is betraying him, but is so terrified of the “suitor” that he goes to great lengths to avoid him.

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Part 2

Joyce undermined the epic in other ways. While The Odyssey takes place in many places over many years, Joyce’s Ulysess takes place in one city — Dublin — in a single day in 1904. Ulysses has a bad rep in many circles. The most common complaint is that the book is “too hard to read” because of its many allusions. Joyce was highly educated, and often referred to or quoted works of literature, history, philosophy, mythology. There’s a full book that does nothing but list allusions in Ulysses. The secret to making Ulysses readable is not to worry about the allusions or fancy language. Just focus on the plot. In addition to being one of the most simple plots in literature, Ulysses’ story is also one of the most touching, sweetly sad and universal. Bloom is plagued by a nagging sense of loss over the long-ago death of his infant son; is cuckholded by a gigolo; and loses the surrogate son he seeks — the young, cocky intellectual Stephen Dedalus. But in spite of it all, Bloom remains oddly satisfied with life. One of my professors told me he thought Bloom was the only happy protagonist of a major 20th century novel. One strong point of Ulysses is that it contains literature’s most extravagant phantasmagoria. In this respect, it beats Gargantua and Pantagruel, the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and the ancient epic Welsh poem The Mabinogion, whose bizarre


white beasts from the underworld no doubt inspired Joyce. For a devilishly satisfying panorama of phantasmagoria, read the Nighttown chapter of Ulysses, in which Leopold Bloom is dead drunk and lets his mind roam free. Early in the novel, in a moment of vulnerability, Stephan Dedalus, a character who greatly resembles Joyce as a young man, is distracted from his allusion-making and thinks for a moment of his fundamental condition. Notice how simple his language becomes as he describes the deep sense of alienation and loneliness he tries to escape with his diligent intellectual activity. We hear his interior monologue: She trusts me, her hand gentle, the long-lashed eyes … She, she, she. What she? … Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft soft soft hand. I am lonely here. O, touch me soon, now. What is that word known to all men? I am quiet here alone. Sad too. Touch, touch me.

7. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE By Jane Austen Just as I think Paradise Lost does best on the major criteria of literary writing in general, I think Pride and Prejudice comes closest to meeting all the highest criteria of the novel. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to a perfectly proportioned, perfectly formed novel. The length is neither too short nor too long. There’s no extraneous material. The language is balanced perfectly between the simple and declarative and the rhythmic and melodious. The plot and character development are never inadequate and never overly complex. The book also comes as close as any I’ve found to presenting the sort of romance we would like to exist. Literary romances tend to portray romance as it actually occurs, not as we wish it to occur. Thus literary romances which are in the process of developing are obsessive and compulsive; literary romances that have endured are virtually just friendships. Mr. Darcy’s shy and sensitive dignity and kindness, and Elizabeth Bennett’s wild wit, which is maturing into a deeply stimulating form of companionship, make these characters the ideal participants for any ideal romance we can conceive. While the sort of passionate romance in Pride and Prejudice cannot, we

know, long endure, we would like to think that if it could, it would do so with this man and woman.

8. THE FAMILY REUNION By T.S. Eliot I thought at least one work in this list should address the role of mystery in human life. Mystery plays an important part in almost all T.S. Eliot’s works. But I had to pick one, and chose his 1939 play The Family Reunion. The Family Reunion is Eliot’s modern version of the ancient Greek mythological figures the Eumenides — vengeful, scary spirits who pursue those who’ve committed a grave wrongdoing. In Eliot’s version, the family has gathered around a family member who has very likely committed a heinous murder. As the Euminides work on his conscience, his guilt intensifies, and so does his awareness of the horrors and mysteries revealed by guilt. In his play, Eliot used a chorus, just as the ancient Greeks did in their plays. The following lines are uttered by Eliot’s chorus: … any explanation will satisfy; We only ask to be reassured about the noises in the cellar and the window that should not have been open. Why do we all behave as if the door might suddenly open, the curtains be drawn, the cellar make some dreadful disclosure, the roof disappear, and we should cease to be sure of what is real or unreal? Hold tight, hold tight, we must insist that the world is what we have always taken it to be.

9. “SEPTEMBER 1, 1939” By W.H. Auden I realize a poem isn’t the same thing as a book (unless, of course, it’s a booklength poem). But a single poem takes much less time to read than a book. So I thought I’d cheat a bit and throw a couple of poems into my list. W.H. Auden was the most prominent English poet of the 1930s. He was thought

to be an intellectual poet. A critic wrote about one Auden poem that no one knew what it was about, but it was still a good read because the language was beautiful. I never had this sense about Auden. He may use a few four or five syllable words now or then. But he’s certainly no more hard to understand than such contemporaries as Wallace Stevens or Robert Lowell in his first book. They’re all perfectly clear. Their writing does, I guess, require more concentration than People magazine. (Now understanding their contemporary Gertrude Stein’s poetry — that’s a bit of a challenge.) Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939,” is considered the poem that most accurately predicted the misery that was about to unfold with the development of the second World War. Many also thought the poem resonated closely with the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the poem was much quoted and written about at the time of those events. After Macbeth’s soliloquy, the description of the human condition in “September 1, 1939” is my favorite. It encompasses a relatively new human behavior that was unknown in the age of Macbeth: consumerism. Here are the pertinent lines of Auden’s work: Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The entire poem “September 1, 1939” can be found in many places on the Internet. If you’d like to have it in a book, it’s been included for decades in the fine Selected Poems of Auden, published by Vintage (and presently going for $14.27 on Amazon).

10. “THE HILL” By Mark Strand I wanted to find at least one poem that was short enough that I could quote

it in its entirety. Mark Strand’s “The Hill” seemed like the most desirable candidate at the time I put this column together. Strand was the Poet Laureate of the United States in 1990. He’s won the Pulitzer and Bollinger Prizes for poetry. His consistently eerie poetry results in part from his fascination with such surrealist painters as Magritte and de Chirico. He’s strengthened this inclination toward the eerie and unsettling by making a habit of translating surrealist poets writing in Spanish in Central and South America. In “The Hill,” Strand gives a slightly strange twist to the simple and unpalatable notion that people do much of what they do simply by plodding ahead: putting one foot in front of another with no planning to speak of. The simple statement of this simple idea deflates much of the malarkey about the nobility of what people accomplish in the face of monotony, boredom, stress and anxiety. The Hill I have come this far on my own legs, Missing the bus, missing taxis, Climbing always. One foot in front of the other, That is the way I do it. It does not bother me, the way the hill goes on. Grass beside the road, a tree rattling Its black leaves. So what? The longer I walk, the farther I am from everything. One foot in front of the other. The hours pass. One foot in front of the other. The years pass. The colors of arrival fade. That is the way I do it. “The Hill” first appeared in the volume Darker in 1970. Of that book, Robert Penn Warren wrote, “a true poet finds the secret self.” That book can be had for as little as $1 or as much as $65 on Amazon. If you prefer a more recent printing, try the anthology Reasons for Moving, Darker and The Sergentville Notebook published by Knopf (presently $15.30 at Amazon). I suggested in the first part of this column that a tour of English literature is really a tour of the human condition. I hope we’ve explored some of the most important parts of it. For those who missed the first part, the works covered were: 1. Paradise Lost by John Milton 2. Macbeth by William Shakespeare 3. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens 4. The Sot Weed Factor by John Barth 5. Molloy by Samuel Beckett

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TAKING CHARGE

dale archer, MD

Get Rid Of The Jerk Dear Dr. Archer, My husband and I have been married for 14 years, and I dearly love him. He looks at porn and asks why I can’t look like the women in the videos. I’ve started starving myself so I will look like them so he will notice me! He complains no one protected him when he was young, and he’s angry. I will do whatever it takes to get him to say “I love you.” Is this the right way to do this? Alena

body to their makeup to their hair. So, he hates those who didn’t protect him when he was younger? Well, who protects you from these stinging comments? If he can’t love you for who you are, then he can’t love you. Your husband of 14 years should love you for you, not demand you look like a porn star. To compare you to women in pornography is childish and shallow, and it illustrates a complete lack of respect.

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Dear Alena, His behavior is totally unacceptable, and so is your response. Your self-esteem is really battered if you’ll starve yourself so he’ll notice you. He is making you feel badly about yourself so he feels better about himself. It’s a sick cycle, and it must end. Your husband doesn’t seem to understand that porn is fantasy. It’s superficial sex, and it certainly isn’t about intimacy. Many women in pornography have had multiple plastic surgeries. They also get paid well — it’s their job. The biggest stars have trainers, dietitians, aestheticians and other experts involved in every aspect of their looks — from their

Your husband doesn’t seem to understand that porn is fantasy. It’s superficial sex, and it certainly isn’t about intimacy. My advice: Give yourself a divorce, and get rid of this jerk.

Look to yourself to find happiness. You say you’d do anything to hear him say, “I love you.” Keep in mind what Mason Cooley said: “‘I love you’ is the inscription on Pandora’s box.” Also, realize that sometimes love is not enough. If you can appreciate yourself for who and what you are, it will be easy to

say, “this is who I am, accept me for that or it’s over.” After doing this for 14 years, I seriously doubt he’s going to change now. My advice: Give yourself a divorce, and get rid of this jerk. Good luck. Dear Dr. Archer, I need your help to convince my family I’m fine being all by myself. I’m going to college and don’t have any friends — no girlfriend, no guy friends — but that is just fine with me! This is the way it’s always been, and the way I want it to be. My parents, however, keep forcing me to socialize with other people. I’m no longer a teenager, so I’m free to listen to myself, and I do. When I talk with my parents, they keep telling me to “just find someone like you — everybody needs a friend.” I don’t want any friends near me! I want to live in solitude as much as possible. I wouldn’t mind living in the woods. Is it wrong to choose solitude? What’s the point of talking to someone? My life is short, and I don’t want to waste my time with humans. My parents and I went for therapy. I thought a professional would understand and make my parents

understand, but that didn’t happen. The counselor said it’s bad to be different. He also said everyone must be an average, stereotypical, ordinary person. I’m currently reading your book and can see you don’t think that way. If my parents and I can’t come to a mutual understanding, I’ll have to leave them out of my life completely. I don’t need them, either, but I feel like it’s my responsibility as their child to communicate. They won’t give me another choice. Back to the question: Is it that bad to choose solitude? Can you explain that it’s not? Thanks for the help. Lucas Dear Lucas, We’re all different, and must embrace our individuality. Gary Vaynerchuk said “A penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin you can be.” You are different from your parents, family, friends ... and hence you’re exceptional. Since you’ve read the book, it should be clear to you that I definitely don’t think anyone belongs in a predetermined mold. Don’t pursue normal, which is, after all, merely average. While some folks enjoy an active,

1930 ETHEL 433-5882

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fast-paced life surrounded by others, there are those who want the opposite — living in quiet solitude, alone or with only with one or two like-minded individuals. It’s neither right nor wrong — it’s just personal preference. Your parents want the best for you, and they want you to be happy. Unfortunately, they’re not listening. They don’t see a solitary life as a happy life. You’re clearly dominant along the shy continuum, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Shy people have excellent qualities. They’re excellent listeners, sensitive to others, intuitive about their surroundings, thoughtful, and happily independent. Don’t make yourself miserable in order to make others happier. Consider the words of Alice Koller: “Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your own presence rather than the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.” To be truly happy, you must be true to yourself. Talk to your parents. Tell them this is the life you want, and this is what makes you happy. Also let them know you’ll be there for them as long as they respect what you want. After a couple of heart to heart conversations, they should get it. Also, feel free to show them this answer, and have them read my book. I wish you a bright and happy future. Dear Dr. Archer, I’m being treated for a chemical imbalance. How can I tell if I’m depressed or just unmotivated? I just don’t enjoy the things I used to love doing. I’m overweight, so I know that slows me down. I try to keep doing the activities I’ve always enjoyed, like crafts, decorating, animals — but I no longer feel happiness when doing so. I force myself to exercise, get outside and walk, play Wii physical games ... but I just feel more tired. I can’t

sleep longer than four to six hours at a time, even with the help of pills. Pills just leave me groggy the next day. I’ve told my doctor this, and he just changes my medications, but that doesn’t tell me what’s going on. How can I know what’s wrong? Anne Dear Anne, Not everyone who is depressed lacks motivation, and not everyone who is unmotivated is depressed. Your letter does sound like depression, though, and it’s common for a depressed individual to lose interest in things that used to bring joy and satisfaction. So, give your doc the benefit of the doubt. It’s normal for antidepressants to be changed when one is treating depression. Though there are times when the right medication is found quickly and easily, trial and error is the norm when treating depression. You’re doing the right thing. Keep giving your doctor feedback about the medication — the pros and cons — and that will help him tweak or change meds to work the best with your body chemistry. Finally, I also suggest seeing a therapist. There may be some other issues at play here, and talk therapy could really help. And remember, if you question either your doctor or the diagnosis, get a second opinion. This is your health, your body and your life. Make it your priority. All the best.

Dr. Dale Archer is a board certified psychiatrist who founded the Institute for Neuropsychiatry in Southwest Louisiana. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN Headline News and other national TV programs and the author of the New York Times bestselling book Better than Normal. Visit him at DrDaleArcher.com.

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‘It’s Been An Awesome Journey’ In His Cross-Country Rickshaw Walk, Allie Stevens Has Been Attacked By Wild Pigs, Bitten By A Brown Recluse And Run Over By A Police Car. But He’s Not Complaining. By Brad Goins

YEARS AGO, Allie Stevens ran a profitable limousine service, hauling wellheeled clients all over Chicagoland. All of that ended in 2007, when Allie’s wife died of cancer. Allie knew he needed to mourn. And he wanted to mourn on a long dock by the ocean. He traveled until he came to Oceanside, Calif., whose name, he felt, must indicate a proximity to the ocean. He figured right. Oceanside boasted a 2,000-foot-long dock that ran right over the ocean waves and accommodated the popular Ruby’s restaurant. It was on this dock that Allie sat for three months, fishing as he mourned the loss of his wife. He fished and fished until he wore out much of his tackle and was obliged to

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go to a swap meet to get some more. It was at this meet that Allie saw his future — in the form of a big red cart. He was actually looking at part of an old horse carriage. Suddenly he was struck by a thought — “I need to stop this mourning.” It was time to do something. First, Allie had to haggle to get the $160 red cart. Part of the deal was that the carts’ owners would sit in the cart as Allie pulled them from Pasadena (the site of the swap) to East Los Angeles. Whether he realized it or not, this was Allie’s very first rickshaw ride. As Allie transformed this old horse carriage into his first rickshaw, he put a karaoke box in the cart. On the dock, he


developed a reputation as the rickshaw driver who sang to his riders.

NEED FOR A ‘JOURNEY’ Allie figures he must have carried passengers up and down the pier 65 times before a friend suggested he try to obtain the Guinness record for world’s longest rickshaw ride. Allie still has the letter he received from the Guinness people. It appeared that no one had tried to establish a rickshaw record before. Under the heading “Requirements,” Guinness wrote “null.” This certainly made it seem that however far Allie chose to travel, that distance would be the record. Guinness did stipulate that Allie couldn’t simply pull his rickshaw up and down a pier. The record-setting event would have to be in the form of a “journey” from a starting point to a terminus.

In Sanderson, Texas, Allie was attacked by four javelinas (a type of wild pig). The bacteria from the animals gave him a severe kidney infection. During the recuperation time, someone stole the gear from his rickshaw: his tent, fishing poles, everything. On another occasion, an attack by a brown recluse spider earned Allie a threeday hospital stay. “I’m not complaining,” he says. In fact, Allie, who is an ex-Marine, has a marked aversion for people who engage in “whining.” Along his unusual path, he’s had some remarkable adversities, though probably not adversities he would consider major. In New Mexico, he encountered roads so hot they melted the tires on his rickshaw. His dog’s paws peeled. During one 127-mile stretch to Del Rio,

Texas, the temperature was over 100 degrees all the way. At one point, a strong wind caught his rickshaw and blew it down over a small cliff.

‘I’LL STAY’ But some adversities have been the sort that have stuck with Allie. Just a few years after the loss of his wife, he lost his daughter Leandra to cancer in 2011. And since then, he’s had his own tussle with cancer. He was diagnosed eight months ago and received successful surgery fourth months ago. It’s little surprise that the Rickshaw Man is serious about helping out with cancer causes. If you get a chance to see his rickshaw, notice how much pink there is on it. “If it’s anything to do with cancer, I’ll

stay [in one place for a while],” he says. At the Relay for Life Walk in Lake Charles, Allie estimates he provided 60 rickshaw rides. And he thinks he provided 30 more at the recent NAMI walk. Long stops for events related to cancer, mental health and veterans’ causes mean frequent pauses in the journey. “Oh man, it takes me forever to get anywhere,” says Allie. But he probably doesn’t mind the delays. Allie seems to be a people person, and his frequent pauses enable him to meet people and “give back” — help them with whatever difficulty they may be having at the moment. Once, in Casterville, Texas, parade organizers had decided to cancel the Christmas parade due to rain. Allie persuaded Santa to continued

EARLY ATTEMPTS At first, Allie reasoned that an appropriate journey would be one from Oceanside to Las Vegas. He started off on his first attempt to set a Guinness record. “I left Oceanside without a dime,” he says. “I [knew] God [was] going to take care of it.” It looked as if he’d make it until a passenger threw a bottle at Allie, doing extensive damage to his back. Recuperation was required and Allie’s first attempt was history. On his second attempt, he made it as far as Tombstone, Ariz., where, in January, 2009, he was struck by a police car traveling at 60 mph. Allie was dragged 20 feet. The dog with whom he was traveling at the time, Camouflage Cami, was killed. Far from being bitter or angry, Allie was thankful for the event. As he recovered, people came to his aid and he “got a little money.” The recuperation took nearly a year. In September, 2009, Allie started his third world record trip — the one he’s still on today. This time, he aims to go all the way from Oceanside to Miami. As he pauses in Lake Charles at the time of the deadline for this story, he’s well past his half-way point.

ADVERSITIES GREAT AND SMALL While Allie hasn’t experienced any more adversities that have stopped him dead in his tracks, he has had his share of hard knocks. Part of this is no doubt due to the fact that he’s chosen to travel through some hot and wild country. June 6, 2013

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He was, he says, repeatedly warned to avoid Vidor, Texas. But, he says, “I’ve never had a problem with one person.” As for Vidor, “I think it’s great,” he says. He stayed there a week.

ride in the rickshaw (where he was protected from the rain) and the parade went on. Allie believes he’s been in 26 parades all told; in one of these, in Stafford, Texas, his rickshaw won the award for best “float.” In Marfa, Texas, he participated in three parades in one weekend. He often sings at churches during the course of his journey. He’s also sung at at least one wedding. In his massive scrapbook, he carries the bride’s blue garter — which landed right on top of his head. By his count, he’s been interviewed by 27 television stations (including stations in this area).

“THERE’S NOTHING POLITICAL ABOUT THIS WALK. IT’S A WALK OF FAITH. … NOTHING IS PLANNED … IF YOU PUT GOD FIRST, YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING … YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BELIEVE. JUST HAVE FAITH.”

THE STATUS OF THE JOURNEY Allie has never charged money for a rickshaw ride. There’s a donation box inside the rickshaw. Anyone who wants to can put something inside it. He carries 400 pounds of supplies. These include “everything I need to survive: a solar battery, a solar shower.” He even has a tablet he uses to keep up on his web site activity. A distinctive pink pair of Everlast boxing gloves is stored at the top of the rickshaw where it can easily be seen. Allie received the gloves for judging the best walking stick at the Relay for Life event in Halletsville, Texas. And then there’s the rickshaw’s most important feature: Allie’s dog and assistant, Roxy. The rickshaw is decorated with dozens of flags, license plates, stickers and signs. As the saying goes, you can’t miss it. That works in Allie’s favor, as curious drivers often slow down to inquire and sometimes

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contribute food or funds. Allie’s big, brown, floppy wide-brimmed hat is loaded with badges from police departments and other agencies, and from the VFW, of which he’s a proud member. (He’s recently attended barbecues at the American Legions in Vinton and Sulphur.) He says the hat is starting to get a little heavy. It’s an unusually big hat, but it’s almost entirely covered with signatures made with Sharpies. Allie tries to avoid the major interstates. He’ll be soon heading off down Highway 90, which he hopes to take to Jacksonville.

A FEW BASIC TENETS Allie’s set of beliefs is simple, direct and

easily stated. As such, it probably serves him well. He relies on a few basic tenets and emphasizes them by repetition rather than arguments. He says people often ask him, “How do you survive?” His answer is, “God. I knew God was going to take care of me. “You’ll never read anything negative about anything I do … It’s always positive. I don’t trip with the negative stuff. I don’t see that much negative stuff. “I’ve served this country. I walk anywhere I want.” He says he thinks that 20 years ago, it would have been impossible for a black man to make a journey of this type. And he says many still think it’s impossible today.

The walk to set the rickshaw record, Allie says, is “serving a lot of purposes.” One is “to show how beautiful the country is” and another is to “give back.” Allie believes that people who spend most of their time driving around never get a chance to see the great beauty that he finds throughout the country. “There’s nothing political about this walk. It’s a walk of faith. … Nothing is planned … If you put God first, you can accomplish anything … You don’t even have to believe. Just have faith.” Allie is clearly a person of succinct statements, and one in particular seems to sum up this traveling experience quite well: “It’s been an awesome journey.” You can follow each stage of the journey on Allie’s site, rickshawroadtrip.com. In addition to the regular updates, there’s a truly astonishing gallery of photographs (all of them submitted by people Allie has met along the way) and the chance to buy a World Record t-shirt.


 History Of Father’s Day  THE HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY, and the custom of honoring fathers, can actually be traced to an event that happened 4,000 years ago. A young Babylonian boy named Elmesu carved a greeting to his father on a card made from clay — a message wishing him long life and good health. The custom took hold, and has been practiced worldwide since. Today, Father’s Day is celebrated in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and India. In countries where the Catholic church holds great influence, the holiday is celebrated on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph.

More secular countries celebrate the holiday on the third Sunday in June. The modern Father’s Day celebration in the U.S. is said to have begun in 1909 in Spokane, Wash., when 27-year-old Sonora Smart Dodd attended a Mother’s Day sermon. Inspired by Anna Jarvis’ efforts to promote Mother’s Day, Smart suggested to her pastor the idea of a Father’s Day sermon and service. She saw the celebration as a way to honor the sacrifice and devotion of her own father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised Dodd and her five siblings as a single father after his wife died in childbirth. Dodd initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, as a date for the occasion, but that date didn’t leave enough time for the pastor to prepare a sermon, and so the celebration was set for the third weekend in June. Dodd began promoting a formal Father’s Day holiday, and the Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) supported her cause. As a result, Spokane celebrated its first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. The idea didn’t catch on at first, and in the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the holiday to focus on her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. In the 1930s, she renewed her efforts to formalize Father’s Day, and by this time she had the help of trade groups that would benefit from the holiday: tie and pipe manufacturers, for instance. In 1938,

she gained the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. The Spokane Father’s Day celebration wasn���t the first celebration of fatherhood in the U.S., of course, nor was it the only one

happening around 1910. Some theorize that the first Father’s Day church service was held in West Virginia in 1908, in Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Church member Grace Golden Clayton had recently lost her father, Methodist minister Fletcher Golden, in a mining accident which killed 361 men — 250 of them fathers — leaving around a thousand fatherless children. As a date for the celebration, Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to her father’s birthday. The celebration never had an impact outside of the small town for several reasons, the most likely of which is that it was overshadowed by the planning and carrying out of the July 4 celebration. In 1915, Henry C. Meek, president of the Chicago Lion’s Club, is said to have

held a Father’s Day celebration to stress the need to honor o fathers. He selected the third Sunday in June, the closest date to his own birthday, for the celebration. In appreciation for Meek’s work, the Lions Clubs of America presented him with a gold watch, with the inscription “Originator of Father’s Day,” on his birthday, June 20, 1920. In 1911, Jane Addams proposed a city-wide Father’s Day in Chicago, but was turned down. A Father’s Day celebration was also held in 1912 in Vancouver, Wash., at the suggestion of Methodist pastor J. J. Berringer of the Irvingtom Methodist Church. As the idea of Father’s Day gained popularity all over the U.S., and Fathers Day came to be celebrated in cities across the country, a bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. And in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to make it official, but Congress didn’t agree, arguing that the holiday would only be overcommercialized. President Calvin Coolidge, too, tried to promote the holiday, in 1924, but he never issued a national proclamation. In 1957, Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents.” In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday by President Richard Nixon.

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Connecting   With The Kids

FOR SURE, FATHERS COME IN all shapes and sizes, and they bring a variety of different life experiences to the fatherhood role. But the behaviors, attitudes and attributes of some fathers can make them more endearing to their children than others. These behaviors can really help dads connect with their kids and build positive relationships that will last

a lifetime.

The Element Of Surprise Children generally love to be surprised. They may not like the scare-youspitless kind of surprise, but finding themselves in a fun environment when they least expect it is refreshing and uplifting. And fathers can be really good at surprising their kids. Think about all the fun places there are in your home to hide from the kids (bathtubs, behind the curtains, behind a door) and then hide out. Make some spooky noises until the kids find you and then share a good laugh. Plan a fun activity, making arrangements in advance with mom and then spring it on your children at the last minute. Kids enjoy good-natured surprises and dads can make them happen.

Dates With Your Kids Planning a date with your children can build positive and lasting memories. One dad I know takes his daughters to The Home Depot for a child’s craft class and then out for lunch. Another one enjoys heading out for a movie with popcorn

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and treats. One takes the kids up into the mountains for a summer hike or winter snowshoeing. Making one-on-one time doing something both dad and kids enjoy is a great way to bond, and it’s even better if you do it one-on-one with each of the kids regularly.

dren learn the value of service is an important part of being a father. Service warms the heart and provides amazing opportunities for teaching values. And many of those memories of community service stay with our children for years to come.

The Vitality Of Play

Being On Their Level

Quite often, children find themselves connecting more with video game characters than with real people. Making time for healthy, interactive, physical play is an important thing for fathers to do. Build a plywood castle in the backyard and then be a medieval knight or a dragon. Let your little girl be a princess and save her from evil. Have your kids pretend that you’re all different zoo animals and plot an escape. Role-playing opportunities like these can help kids develop good social skills, build their imaginations, and create great memories for you as you interact and play together.

Sometimes dads want to push kids to grow up faster than they’re ready to. But kids, who often enjoy being pushed a little, also like being right at the stage of life in which they find themselves. When dads show respect for the kids’ life stages, they find a real connection. So do things that kids like at their individual age and stage. Trying to understand the intricacies of professional football at age 6 might be asking too much of

a kid; sharing football games might be something better left until the kids are 11 or 12. But going to a local children’s museum, while perhaps a little boring for you, might be just right for a first grader.

strong emotional ties. Children learn best when they learn by doing with a parent. These behaviors can make a positive difference in the lives of your children and connect them to their father.

The Simple Pleasure Of Talking

The Sense Of Adventure

Every dad could probably spend a little more time talking with his kids. That can happen in a variety of ways, and the method is less important than the outcome. Conversations can happen on hikes or walks, while driving, or just sitting together. Asking about their day at school or talking around the dinner table can start a new direction in communications. Making time to talk is an investment every father should make in his children. Start building great memories and

Adventure can take the form of a drive together in the car with no particular destination in mind, or hiking an unknown path. Or it may just be trying something for the first time, like an ethnic food or a new museum. Kids thrive on adventure, and probably don’t get enough in their daily routines. So embrace your inner explorer, and spend time in adventure with the kids. You might even find something you enjoy in the process.

The Value Of Shared Hobbies Every dad has some interests that might be shared with his children. For me and my dad, it was rebuilding car engines or making things for the house. For you, it might be fishing, hunting, woodworking, hiking or snowmobiling. Whatever your hobbies, find some aspects of them that will allow you to connect with your kids. Taking a child fishing early on a Saturday morning may seem like cruel and unusual punishment at first, but it could also build some memorable moments and give you conversation topics for years to come.

The Beauty Of Creation Creating together is a great way for dad and kids to bond. For me, creating in the kitchen is fun, and my kids have loved helping me craft a new Dutch oven dish or experiment with a new chili recipe. For some dads, creating might involve gardening, painting, upholstering or writing. As we find ways to express creativity and enjoy the results, our children will learn what it means to make something new and add value to the world.

The Experience of Coaching More and more often, fathers find themselves in the role of youth sports coach for their children’s teams. Being a dad and a coach can create good relationships if the role is played well. If you’re able to coach or help coach your child’s sports team, take advantage of the opportunity. You can help build skills, a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship, and a feeling of connection between father and child. And you get a little physical activity as well, which is a plus in today’s busy work and family world.

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Father's Day Survival Guide For Divorced Dads THE PHONE RANG LATE on a Saturday night in June. I could tell from the number on the caller ID that it was my friend Scott. “Tomorrow is Father’s Day and I’ll only get my kids for two hours. This is my first Father’s Day since Jill and the kids left. I already feel terri-

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ble about being divorced and having failed as a husband and father; how am I going to manage tomorrow? And what am I going to say to the kids?” Whatever the reason for a divorce, Father’s Day for a divorced dad elicits all kinds of feelings and reactions. But these feelings are even tougher for a divorced dad who is a noncustodial dad, or one who shares custody with his kids’ mom. Not living with the kids fulltime is hard enough, but having to deal with all the issues around Father’s Day just adds insult to injury. So, depending on your circumstances this Father’s Day, here are a few tips for surviving

— and maybe even actually finding some peace and joy in — this Father’s Day.

If You Won’t See Your Kids Perhaps you no longer live close enough to spend Father’s Day with your kids, or maybe there’s a legal boundary with the kids you can’t cross. Whatever the reason, for a father spending Father’s Day alone, the day is fraught with challenge. Consider these ideas: Prepare mentally. A big part of being alone on Father’s Day and surviving it has to do with preparation. Consider in advance the thoughts and feelings you will have, and prepare an escape route from the worst of those feelings. Plan a full day of activities.

Granted, most of your male friends will have commitments all day, so you might consider going on a hike, taking a long drive, going to the gym, or a favorite movie marathon. Having something lined up to do will be important in your preparation. Call or Skype. Even if you can’t be there with your kids, set up a time in advance to call or videoconference with them. Plan the call or video experience so you have things to say and do together. You can even play games over Skype. Plan a story to tell them, and have a list of questions to ask each of the children. They will appreciate your special interest in them and in their issues. Write or email. Unless you’re prevented by legal restriction, sit down on Father’s Day and write a long letter or email to your children. Tell them how much you love them and about your best memories with them. Talk about your hopes for the future for them and how committed you are to your relationship with them. Even though you can’t be together, you can stills share your feelings with them. Write to each child individually so that they feel your love for


them one at a time. Journal or blog. Writing about your feelings and experiences can be therapeutic and can help you verbalize your feelings. If you blog about them or post on Facebook, your experiences can help other dads who are having a similar Father’s Day experience. It’s really amazing how liberating it can be to share your feelings and experiences with others. Be sure to share not only the negatives about the day but also what you did to make it through the difficulty.

If You Will See Your Kids Part Of The Day Most divorced dads will have at least a couple of hours with the kids on Father’s Day. So if you have a limited time with them on Father’s Day, consider the following ideas: Have a plan. Plan for the time with the children as well as for the time without them. For the time with the children, plan activities that will allow you maximum interaction time to make the most of the limited time you have. Don’t just sit down in front of the television or go to a movie. Plan to cook together, play a board game, go for a walk or a hike, or do some service together. For the time you aren’t with the kids, plan some things to do on your own that are productive. Exercising, journaling, or sharing a meal with other divorced dads or single guys may be good outlets for the time alone. Celebrate your father. If you can only have your kids for a few hours,

think about using the extra time to reach out to your own father or other men who have been father figures in your life. Making a call, sending a card, writing a blog post or sharing favorite memories can really help your father or father-surrogate feel loved and appreciated.

If You Will Have The Kids All Day If you’re lucky and will have your kids with you all day on Father’s Day, these ideas will help you enjoy the day even more. Plan the day. Do a little advance planning to make sure that you get the most out of having your kids on Father’s Day. Know the kids’ schedules so you can plan around naps, bedtimes, mealtimes, etc. Think about the day in context, and plan activities to keep you and them busy. Do something creative. Kids love crafts, and there are tons of Father’s Day craft ideas out there. Get around the kitchen table with paper, scissors, glue and other supplies and tackle a creative project. They can make something for you that you can keep at your place, or you may make something to send home with them to remember your Father’s Day together. Whatever your situation, being divorced on Father’s Day can take an emotional and mental toll. These ideas will help you make the best of a tough situation on Father’s Day and help create some positive memories with you and your children.

Did You Know? While Mother’s Day holds the record for most phone calls, Father’s Day has the most collect calls.  In America, observers spend over $1 billion every year buying gifts for their fathers.  Children whose fathers are involved in their life in a beneficial way tend to do better in school and stay out of trouble.

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TECH BYTES

vic wukovits

Don’t Get Taken By Ransomware In the course of our everyday business, my company is frequented by a good number of customers who have a common problem: malware infections. These problems come in a variety of forms and delivery methods. But lately, I’m seeing a good number that follow a common thread: they offer a fix should you provide payment information. This type of malware can be called “ransomware.” I’d like to address a cou-

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ple of these nasty predators that I’ve seen as of late on my clients’ computers. For malware, one of the frequent flyers we have boarding our clients’ PCs is the FBI virus. This repeat offender can come in a variety of flavors, but once it presents itself on the target computer, you’ll see an alert claiming that your computer is blocked due to a violation of the Copyright and Related Rights Law or some other bogus reason, ranging from distribution of pornographic content or spreading of malware. This ransomware prompts you to rid yourself of this nightmare by paying a $100 or $200 fine. The last thing you want to do is give them a credit card or pay through PayPal to pay this fine, as this would be a waypoint for a multitude of illicit purchases. Another type of ransomware that’s been around for quite a while but still shows up is the fake antivirus warning. You’ll get a window that pops up letting you know that your computer has potential infections or security flaws. It prompts you to run a scan to remove them. Of course, that’s the last thing you’ll want to do, because this will allow more infections to be propagated onto your PC. At some point, the program will offer to remove these infections once you pay the price for the software — another trick to gain access to your payment information, opening the door for plenty of malfeasance at your expense. There are a variety of ways to deal with these infections, all of which require access to an uninfected PC to get the tools necessary to deal with the infected machine. To prevent infection, keep your antivirus and antimalware software updated and run them daily. Many will allow you to automate this process so that it happens at night, which can keep your PC running smoothly while you sleep. One of my favorites for antimalware protection is Malwarebytes Pro (goo.gl/UUIo3), which blocks malicious activity in real time, updates automatically and can be scheduled for optimum protection. It also happens to be my go-to utility for dealing with infected machines. Another big recommendation for stemming the flow of malware on your PC is to upgrade your OS. I know, XP has been so dependable for so long, but it’s at the end of its life cycle and there will be no more security patches from Microsoft. Windows 7 is quite a bit better at keeping your computer safe, but it still encounters a fair share of malware infections. I don’t recommend an upgrade to Windows 8 for anyone at this point, so stick to Windows 7 if at all possible. Whatever you do, always install a trusted antivirus program and another antimalware program and run them daily without fail. If you don’t, you will get infected if your computer is connected to the Internet.


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READY FOR THE BOOM The Area’s Top 50 Businesses Are Beefing Up Staff, Expanding And Looking Forward To Area’s Economic Boom BY KARLA WALL HERE IT IS ... Lagniappe’s annual roundup of the area’s top 50 privately owned businesses — the heart of the area’s economic engine. From small family-owned stores to multi-national corporations, from retailers to industrial manufacturers, these businesses form the backbone of the area’s economy, and are the main indicator of its health. And all indications are that the Lake Area economy is enjoying an upsurge, and will get much, much better. Nearly all of our Top 50 businesses indicate that revenues are up, and the struggle to stay afloat in an uncertain economy is over. For the last few years, business owners have had to get creative, re-organize and often downsize to maintain revenue flow.

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Now they’re beefing up, expanding, and ready to take advantage of a recovering economy and an expected economic boom. Practically all of our Top 50 business owners report adding staff, adding new locations, moving into larger locations or branching out into new product lines. And all of them expect big things for their businesses and for the Lake Area over the next few years. You might say the overriding theme for this year’s Top 50 is optimism — optimism about the area, its economy and its future. There’s never been a better time to be in business in SWLA. Sit back and enjoy the stories of the area’s top privately owned businesses, and share the excitement of the area’s business owners about the Lake Area’s future.


INTO THE LIGHT Top 50 Businesses Move Beyond The Economic Doldrums To Focus On Expansion, Employee Training BY BRAD GOINS THERE’S NO BETTER WAY of learning about the state of the local economy than reading the reports included in Lagniappe’s Top 50 Privately Held Businesses report. These aren’t the reports of people who are introduced as “experts” and proceed to tell you what

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they think will happen (or what they would like to see happen). These are reports of the people who are doing business at the very top of the food chain, telling you what really was happening just days before you sat down to read this story. So, if you think the local economy is important, you’ll find these Top 50 reports important. Still, for one reason or another, not every reader will be willing or able to read each report word for word. Not to worry. Your faithful correspondent has trolled the reports, looking for the business data that seems pertinent to him. Of course, that means that some of the data isn’t included. But there is, I

think, enough here to give readers at least a fairly clear sense of where the area economy is now and where it’s headed in 2014. I didn’t go looking for data that would support ideas about the economy that I’d already formed. Instead, I found whatever data I could that seemed of interest to me and tried to extract trends or ideas from the data. But that’s enough introduction. Let’s start taking a look at this big economic picture and see what we can discover.

‘REVENUES ARE UP’ When it comes to the one statement about the local economy that’s most frequently made by the Top 50 businesses,

there’s no competition. “Revenues are up.” That statement (or a close variant of it) was made by 28 of the Top 50 businesses, or slightly more than half the respondents. This writer was a bit surprised that remodeling was the most frequently cited reason for revenue increases in 2012. Was this a fluke or a trend? It appears that many businesses in the area are taking on remodeling projects and are buying the goods they require to complete these projects. Of course, when economies or budgets are a little tight, remodeling is sometimes seen as a desirable alternative to new construction. Perhaps this explains something. continued


In John Stelly's life, he keeps the dream alive by putting God first. On his desk is a plaque that says “A man who walks with God reaches his destination.” This plaque has been on John Stelly’s desk since December 2002 when he acquired Nissan of Lake Charles. As the first African-American new car dealer in Southwest Louisiana, Stelly silenced all critics who over-estimated his limitations and miscalculated his determination to succeed. Many said that he would not stay in business for six months. Today Nissan is the best selling import brand in Southwest Louisiana. Despite surviving a bad economy and three hurricanes, Stelly has not only kept his own dream alive, he has helped thousands of new and pre-owned customers dreams come true too. By understanding that every customer’s situation is different, Stelly will find the right solution to solve his customer’s transportation needs. After a decade, Stelly’s Nissan of Lake Charles has had so many satisfied repeat customers who have purchased two, three or four new Nissans.

Stelly with some of his many customer service awards

Taking a leap of faith is nothing new for John Stelly. A couple of years ago, amid turmoil in the auto industry, Stelly’s business acquired Gray Nissan and Gray Ford, a pair of dealerships in DeRidder (now 171 Nissan and Highway Ford). He also acquired 15 acres of land in Silsbee, Texas, and built a new state-of-the-art Nissan facility at a cost of $4 million. The five locations create a 200-square mile triangle that guarantees Nissan’s excellent market penetration, which he predicts will easily more than double sales in coming years. John Stelly’s award winning Nissan of Lake Charles has been recognized year after year for excellence in customer satisfaction by the North America Nissan Corporation. Black Enterprise Magazine has nationally saluted John Stelly year after year as one of their Top 100 Auto Dealers in America. When you care ... you share. Stelly is honored to have donated hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to churches, youth groups and civic organizations. He has become one of the most respected corporate citizens in our community. He was recently named philanthropist of the year for his financial commitment to our community. John Stelly has always gone to bat for his customers. Like a true friend, he understands their past; accepts them as they are; and believes in their future. By making deals everyday, Stelly has really changed the local automotive industry by saying, “Yes We Can” to more satisfied customers and by Keeping their Dreams Alive!!

I-210 at Legion • 337-439-9955 nissanoflakecharles.com June 6, 2013

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Other reasons for increased revenues in the Southwest Louisiana area that were often cited were: — expansion into internet business or the use of online social sites for marketing; — the training of employees in new technologies; — the impact of new products; and — increased construction in the area. In some cases, increases in revenue among the Top 50 businesses were startling. A 35 percent boost in revenue was reported by ReCon Management Services. And Lake Charles Manufacturing saw an increase in revenue of a whopping 60 percent in 2012. Landscape Management Services was the one company that predicted a similarly striking revenue increase; it sees its 2014 sales as going up 20-25 percent.

‘THANKS TO THE REBOUND’ Many businesses seemed to see increased revenue as a subset of a significantly improved economic situation in the local area in 2012. This linkage was evident in such statements as “the company’s revenue is up … thanks to better economic conditions” and “revenue is up thanks to the recent economic rebound.” A total of 12 of the 50 businesses reported an improved local economy in 2012, with appraisals ranging from a sense of a “slight” uptick to one business owner’s perception that there is now a “strong local economy.” Three businesses attributed area economic improvement to business expansion, while one, Bessette Realty, stated that the “construction market picked up.” References to increases in local construction weren’t frequent, but most of the references that were made to it indicated that it had a positive impact in 2012. It was perhaps surprising that five of the 50 businesses reported that the area economy was still flat in some way. One business said it was still waiting for the “economy to begin to pick up.” One judged that local construction was “still weak.” And one offered the distinctive opinion that the public in general was being swayed by “shaky world economies and rumors of wars.” These minority opinions might lead us

to think that the Great Recession has been a little more tenacious in the area than we thought it had been. The good news is that not one of the five businesses that took the minority view felt that the flat or otherwise undesirable business conditions would put his business in the red. As one business owner put it, while his revenue was down a little in 2012, the business outlook was “positive.”

A BRIGHT WORD FOR A POSITIVE FUTURE Almost as noticeable as the emphasis on increased revenue was the perception of Top 50 businesses that the future of their particular businesses was positive. A full 21 of 50 businesses explicitly stated that they foresaw a positive business outcome in 2014. Even more impressive than that is the fact that not one of the 50 said it anticipated a business decline in the coming year. For what it’s worth, 10 of the 50 respondents — a full fifth — described their 2014 business outlook with the adjective “bright.” Bright will be part of the local business vocabulary in the next year. The reason for a bright outlook that was most frequently cited was the undertaking of new projects by business clients. The most dramatic statement of this phenomenon was offered by ReCon

Management Services, which reported that “every one of its clients is planning upcoming projects.” Also reported was a very similar phenomenon: the expectation that clients are planning business expansions in the coming year. Less frequently cited explanations tended to be linked to the particular business that was reporting. For instance, one business said its future looked good due to its expansion into new markets. Another cited the increasing public recognition of its products.

THE NEXT BEST THING Of course, business phenomena that are only reported by three or four companies don’t necessarily indicate trends or large-scale future developments. But then again they may. At any rate, in the business world, there is no substitute for what business owners say to each other in private conversations about what they see going on in the businesses around them. In Lagniappe’s Top 50 report, business owners at least have the chance to put their private thoughts into words for the public. It’s an opportunity that’s always worth paying attention to.

OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF SWLA'S TOP 50 LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES

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ROAD TO SUCCESS Seasoned Business Owners Reflect On Success, Offer Advice To New Entrepreneurs BY ANGIE KAY DILMORE PROSPEROUS BUSINESSES rarely emerge quickly or find instant success. As most business owners know through experience, growing a company requires diligence, determination, patience and nitty gritty hard work. Entrepreneurs often toil for years before they begin to see appreciable profits.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Most businesses encounter occasional obstacles along the path to prosperity. These challenges range from minor stum-

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bling blocks to major hurdles. The first hurdle often involves financing. When Malcolm Self, owner of Southland Coins, first wanted to start his business, he couldn’t find a bank willing to recognize him as having a legitimate business idea and provide him a line Self of credit. “Banks didn’t understand me as a business and it took a number of years before a bank would help me out,” says Self. “The number one reason businesses fail is a lack of cash flow. That’s what I faced initially in this business. “After years of trying, I finally found a banker who would listen and understand my business and went to bat for me. I’m still with her 16 years later.” Dennis Stine of Stine Lumber also cites financing as an obstacle. In 1980, when the family wanted to build their third store

(their store in Lake Charles), interest rates were a whopping 21 percent. “We had a difficult time finding financing at a reasonable rate,” says Stine. “We created and sold an industrial development bond at 14 percent and were able to build the store. The rest is history. Lake Stine Charles has been a very good market for us.” M. Jeremy Ashcraft, of Lake Charles Manufacturing, agrees that financing is often a hurdle. “The largest obstacle in my career has been limited access to capital.” But he adds that, by maximizing returns and miniAshcraft mizing risks; turning inventory over quickly; making wise

purchasing decisions; and managing capital well, this obstacle can be overcome. “Access to capital is an enduring obstacle to businesses of all sizes, but the lessons learned while a business is young can help prepare [business owners] to manage larger, more risky Navarre amounts in the future,” says Ashcraft. Money and financial backing aren’t the only issues companies must overcome to be successful. A sagging economy generally affects the majority of businesses. Fortunately, for Southwest Louisiana businesses, the economy is on the upswing. “Last year the economy was fantastic for us.” says local car dealer Billy Navarre. “In fact, we had our fifth best year in our 31 year history, and this year is going to be an amazing year! This year alone we have 13 new Chevys, three new Cadillacs, two new


Hondas, and two new Hyundais coming. It’s going to be an amazing and exciting year for all of our employees and customers.” Ronald R. Dingler, president/CEO of Solar Supply, Inc., and Ken Conner, of Ken Conner’s Service Tire and Auto, cite personnel problems as an obstacle. Finding the right employees for the right job and training them can be a challenge. Alfred Palma, Conner whose company Alfred Palma Construction built the beautiful Lake Charles Regional Airport, says his greatest challenge is competition from other contracting companies. For John Stelly, of Paramount Automotive, overcoming racial issues has been his greatest challenge. “I had became a loyal, productive employee and learned early on that no matter what your skin color, Stelly when you bring something to the table, a mature person can overlook race. It requires hard work, dedicontinued

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cation, loyalty, and competency.” Homer Robin, with Freshko Foods, believes keeping up with the industry’s many regulations is a challenge. Part of those regulations involves tracking food “from field to fork.” Robin has hired the services of a consulting firm to help him stay abreast of the regulations. In general, most Fontenot challenges involve change – changing economy, changing demographics, changes in industry or markets. Successful business owners must constantly adapt to changes. For example, long-time business owners, such as Palma, have had to get on board with the computer age. John Fontenot, of Gulf Coast Carpets and Decorating Center stays on top of the latest home décor trends.

“Years ago, vinyl floors and carpets were king. Now wood-look laminates are popular,” he says. The single greatest obstacle for Tricia Busceme at Nichol’s Dry Goods was the emergence of WalMart in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She and her brother took a hard look at their business and made marketing changes Busceme in order to compete with the Wal-Mart giant. They decided they had to appeal more to women shoppers. They cut out some departments, such as cosmetics, cleaning, and art supplies, while adding other departments, such as gifts, home décor, and hardware. Learning to deal with and overcome the inevitable obstacles is a key characteristic of any successful business person. Busceme says, “Change is always necessary in any business. Sometimes you just have to jump in and get busy. Be ready for some failure because it’s next to impossible to win all your battles. But as my daddy always says, ‘endeavor to persevere!’”

MAKING THE TOUGH DECISIONS Another hallmark of savvy business persons is the ability to tackle tough decisions with wisdom. David Drumwright, with

Business Health Partners, had to be flexible in his career path. “I gave up my desires of working in the oil and gas industry in a marketing capacity in order to help my dad and stepmother in their young business and help them implement a marketing plan. It was tough to move to an area I did not know (Southwest Louisiana) and accept a much Drumwright smaller salary than I could find in Houston. But it was the best move I ever made.” Early on in his business career, Self had to make the decision to fire his brother over differences in business philosophy. He has since helped his brother set up a coin shop in northern Louisiana and all is well between the two now. Sometimes businesses must step out in faith and make the uncertain decision to spend large amounts of capital for the success of the business in the long run, as was the case with Dingler. Connor wrestled with the decision to expand his business or stay in one location. For Stelly, the question of where to build his first dealership was a tough one. He wisely decided on Lake Charles. Ashcroft says, “I find all business decisions are tough and try to consider all the options and make the best decision for all

the stakeholders involved. The hardest decision in my 20 years as an entrepreneur was to buy out my best friend and business partner in 2012. There is a real isolation in running a substantial enterprise effectively as the single shareholder with complete control. With more than 10 years of working with my business partner, we learned to effectively solve problems as a team, and there is a certain balance that is obtained when more than one individual has input on critical business decisions. By 2012, the time had come to move forward and consolidate the ownership for the company to continue growing effectively. This decision was very difficult, but was in the best interest of all the stakeholders and therefore the correct choice.” Dennis Stine says his family struggled years ago with the decision to close a few concept stores that weren’t profitable. With ego, pride, and the investment of time and millions of dollars in an endeavor, it’s not easy to admit the venture simply didn’t pan out. “It takes a lot of courage and fortitude to admit it didn’t work and walk away,” says Stine. Yet in the manner of successful businessmen, the Stine family took those failures, adapted responses to them into other stores and ultimately made the ventures profitable. Robin likely speaks for many business owners when he says the toughest decision continued

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he has made was “to not quit.” The going gets rough sometimes. Entrepreneurs may wonder if it’s all worth it and if it’s the right move to keep going. Perseverance is the key. Busceme advises new business persons to “make sure you are passionate about your new endeavor and stay committed. As in any relationship, passion and commitment will take you far!”

ADVICE TO BEGINNER ENTREPRENEURS With their years of corporate experience, veteran business owners have learned much. Here, they gladly share their insight with those entrepreneurs who are just getting started. Most successful business are unique, so don’t expect everyone to understand and support you. Ignore the critics (most of whom will be your friends and members of your family). Misery loves company, and success is a lonely journey in which you separate yourself from others. Good luck! — M. Jeremy Ashcraft, Lake Charles Manufacturing Love what you do, learn as much as you can, and don’t quit when times are tough. — Ken Conner, Ken Conner’s Service Tire and Auto

Know accounting and how to read a financial statement. — Ronald R. Dingler, Solar Supply, Inc. Be flexible. Every time I’ve thought our business was moving in one direction, another opportunity would open up. Be good at what you do and customers will take note. Believe in what you do, be honest, and the rest will fall into place. — David Drumwright, Business Health Partners Be frugal. Run your business on a tight basis of spending. Don’t go out and overspend on items not related to your business. — Alfred Palma, Alfred Palma Don’t wait for all the lights to be green. There will always be obstacles. Just jump off the boat and get into it. Learn as much as you can about your business or trade. — Homer Robin, Freshko Foods Make sure there’s a need for your product. Do what you love and love what you do. — Malcolm Self, Southland Coins Have a lot of wisdom. Seek wisdom and understanding before you seek making a lot of money. — John Stelly, Paramount Automotive Be passionate about what you do. Know everything about your business and industry. The owner should know every role and job position. — Dennis Stine, Stine Lumber The only thing keeping you from your dreams is yourself ... so go out and conquer the world! — Brandon Greene, Advanced Office Products

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THE LIST

Businesses that fall in the same revenue ranges shown below are listed in alphabetical order.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

YEAR FOUNDED

Sulphur

200

1980

Automotive Automotive Building Supplies

Lake Charles Lake Charles Sulphur

290 120 800

1982 2002 1952

Port Aggregates Solar Supply

Aggregate & Ready Mix A/C, Heating & Refrig.

Jennings Lake Charles

210 250

1979 1954

All Star Buick GMC Auto Plex Group Bubba Oustalet Automotive Group

Automotive Automotive Automotive

Sulphur Sulphur Jennings

78 110 90

1987 1991 1952

Aeroframe Services Alfred Palma Henderson Implement & Marine R & R Construction Southland Coins and Collectibles

Aircraft Maintenance General Contractor Lawn & Garden, Marine General Contractor Coins & Collectibles

Lake Charles Lake Charles Welsh Sulphur Lake Charles

250 60-100 87 250-700 4

2000 1986 1967 1995 1985

$25 MILLION $34.9 MILLION

Bessette Development Corp. Big Easy Foods Brask, Inc.—IEE Lee Dee Wholesale Distributing McDonald’s of Southwest Louisiana ReCon Management Services

General Contractor Manufacturing Manufacturing Foodstuffs Restaurants Engineering

Lake Charles Lake Charles Sulphur Lake Charles Lake Charles Sulphur

57 150 127 22 550 275

1982 1993 1961 1946 1972 1995

$15 MILLION $24.9 MILLION

Levingston Group

Engineering

Sulphur

225

1961

$10 MILLION $14.9 MILLION

Calcasieu Mechanical Contractors Freshko Foodservice Health Systems 2000 Lake Charles Auto Auction

General Contractor Food Distributor Health Care Automotive

Lake Lake Lake Lake

Charles Charles Charles Charles

60 20 250 13

1988 1988 1994 1991

$5.5 MILLION $9.9 MILLION

Advanced Office Products Insignia Hotel Management Louisiana Radio Communications M & C Oilfield Services National Networks Sabine Pools, Spas and Furniture

Office Equipment Hotels / Motels Communications General Contractor Computer Repair/Upgrade Swimming Pools

Lake Lake Lake Lake Lake Lake

Charles Charles Charles Charles Charles Charles

12 100 59 25 46 90

1990 2000 1947 2006 1999 1975

$3 MILLION $5.4 MILLION

Business Health Partners J&J Exterminating of Lake Charles Lake Charles Office Supply Landscape Management Services Nichols Dry Goods Pumpelly Tire S & M Family Outlet

Testing/Screening/Training Pest Control Office Supplies Lawn & Garden Sport/Gift/Hardware Automotive Retail Clothing

Sulphur Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles DeQuincy Lake Charles Lake Charles

30 44 18 65 20 28 40

1994 1987 1996 1991 1914 1960 1956

AAA Drive-In Cleaners ACI Services Cal-Cam Termite & Pest Control Gulf Coast Carpet and Decorating Harlow Lawn Mower Service Ken Conner’s Service Tire and Auto Lake Area Office Products Lake Charles Manufacturing Lloyd Lauw Collision Repair Center Lonnie G. Harper and Assoc. Rapid Response Restoration United Office Supply & Equipment

Dry Cleaning Waste Disposal Pest Control Flooring Lawn & Garden Automotive Office Products Industrial & Scientific Automotive Engineering Water/Fire/Mold Mitigation Office Products

Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Lake Charles Sulphur Bell City Lake Charles Sulphur

32 10 12 10 10 22 8 6 15 20 15 8

1953 2004 1988 1994 1950 1987 2000 2003 2001 1974 2006 1989

GROSS REVENUE

BUSINESS NAME

BUSINESS TYPE

HEADQUARTERS

$200 MILLION +

Superior Supply & Steel

Steel Fabrication

$150 MILLION $199.9 MILLION

Billy Navarre Chevrolet Paramount Automotive Stine Home + Yard

$75 MILLION $99.9 MILLION $50 MILLION $74.9 MILLION

$35 MILLION $49.9 MILLION

$1 MILLION $2.9 MILLION

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THE TOP 50 OVER $200 MILLION SUPERIOR SUPPLY & STEEL Over $200 million Employees: 200 www.supstl.com Superior Steel was founded in 1987 by Steve Mitchell in a single building in Sulphur. It now has locations in Houston, Chicago, Tulsa, Beaumont, Lafayette/New Iberia, Morgan City, Houma and Alexandria. The company has internation-

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al contracts with domestic drilling companies and many of the major oil companies. The company operates under the philosophy of “quality with a personal touch.” The company provides a full line of structural steel and a full inventory of pipes and fittings, as well as services for a variety of industries, particularly oil and gas, agriculture, paper mills, tank farms and petrochemical facilities. Occupying 13 acres, the company’s Lake Charles facility provides such on-site equipment as a robotic leveling head, an oxy-fuel torch capable of cutting from 29 ga to 6-inch plates, plasma cutters, an iron puncher that can manage 1 1/4-inch holes in 3/4-inchthick plates, channels, flatbar and horizontal cutting hem saws and much more. The company also has easy shipping access, as well as access by truck, air and rail. The company has more than 100,000 tons of inventory, including a wide variety of domestic and foreign plates, seamless and welded pipe, structural beams, angles, flats, hot rolled and galvanized sheets, vic-

taulic fittings, cold finished bars, alloys and aluminum. The lifting of the drilling moratorium in the Gulf helped raise the company’s revenues over the last year.

$150 MILLION$199.9 MILLION BILLY NAVARRE CHEVROLET, CADILLAC, EQUUS, HYUNDAI AND HONDA $150 million-$199.9 million Employees: 290 www.billynavarreauto.com Starting from scratch in 1982, at the age of 25, Billy Navarre opened a Chevrolet dealership in Sulphur at Chevrolet’s request. He subsequently opened his Lake Charles dealership in 1988. He later added a Hyundai dealership in 1991 and a Honda dealership in 1996. (Navarre notes that Hyundai was the

fastest-growing auto maker in the U.S. in 2009, and in the same year, it received the J.D. Power Award for highest quality of any line.) Navarre took the area’s Honda franchise in 1996. The first two years, he realized 300-percent sales increases. That first Sulphur store opened with a staff of 12, and has grown into the second largest locally owned business in the fiveparish area, and the number-one automobile dealership, outselling many of its competitors combined. Now employing a workforce of 290, Billy Navarre is one of the largest automobile dealerships in the nation. Part of this success is due to the operation’s very low overhead. Over the last 27 years, Navarre’s been able to pay off his facilities and floor plan, allowing him to be price-competitive. The dealership’s sales have been up over the last year — in fact, the dealership had its fifth best year last year. The new continued


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T

he story of Health Systems 2000 began in 1993 when Lisa Walker accepted a position as Administrator /Director of Nursing for a local home healthcare agency in Lake Charles. A lifelong resident of Lake Charles, Lisa graduated from Washington High School and McNeese State University, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. She is also an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist. After ten year’s experience in acute care, longterm care, and administrative nursing management, Lisa had her first encounter with home healthcare and discovered her niche. She found her position with the home healthcare agency to be both challenging and rewarding. Ironically, at this same time, the State of Louisiana had lifted a long-standing moratorium on licensing new home healthcare agencies. Seizing this small window of opportunity, Lisa took a giant leap of faith and opened a home health care agency of her own. She was supported in this new endeavor by a small group of close family members and friends. Lisa started the company in 1994 as a homebased business. Health Systems 2000 is currently the parent organization of Home Health Care 2000, Pediatric Home Care 2000, Hospice Care 2000, Home Health Care 2000’s Personal Care Services, Home Medical Equipment 2000, and Health Staffers 2000. The company started with one agency and today has grown to its present status of 12 locations throughout the state. Health Systems 2000 serves as the parent company and coordinates administrative activities throughout the organization. The corporate headquarters is located at 1901 Oak Park Boulevard in Lake Charles. Under Lisa’s direction Health Systems 2000 has been one of the largest free-standing home health agency and employers in Louisiana. • Home Health Care 2000 provides skilled nursing care, home health aide services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, medical social worker intervention, nutritional counseling, specialized wound care, light therapy for patients with diabetic neuropathy, and personal care in the comfort and convenience of the home. • Pediatric Home Care 2000 located at 1909 Oak Park Boulevard, Ste. A, specializes in home healthcare for women and children. Services provided include Neonatal ICU follow-up care, ln-home phototherapy, bilirubin monitoring, apnea and bradycardia monitoring, growth and development monitoring, ventilator patient care and many other services including the skilled nursing Medicaid extended care program for patients from birth to 21 years of age for extended periods of time.

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• Hospice Care 2000, located at 1909 Oak Park Blvd, Ste. B, was started in 2005 and offers end of life care for pediatric, adult and adult geriatric patients in the home or place of residence.

If you have any questions or would like more indepth information than is presented in this advertorial, please call 1-800-HOMECARE.

• Home Health Care 2000’s Personal Care Services is located at 1820 Oak Park Blvd. This is a non-skilled program that provides personal care attendants for assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, grocery, personal and household shopping, transportation to medical appointments and social activities. • Home Medical Equipment 2000 is located at 2013 Oak Park Blvd, Ste 210, and serves all of the agencies throughout Louisiana. It was founded in 1999 and is a full-service medical equipment company with a convenient retail storefront with a full inventory of durable medical equipment. It houses the Diabetic Headquarters showcasing a full inventory of specialized diabetic supplies and equipment. The Home Medical Equipment 2000 Breast Care Boutique is also at this location and serves individuals who are in need of mastectomy items. Personalized one on one private fitting’s for breast prosthesis and bras is offered. • Health Staffers 2000 provids private duty, non-skilled care, and temporary staffers to homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, etc. • The 2000 Health Foundation, founded in 2005, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “Providing Help that Makes a Difference”. The foundation is located at 1901 Oak Park Blvd and addresses the need for diabetic care and community education, hospice care grants for hospice patients, nursing scholarships and other chartable giving’s. Throughout the year the foundation supports health care seminars, screenings, and events that focus on educating and informing the public on ways to maintain a healthy state of wellness. It is supported by contributions and an annual fundraiser The Platinum and Pearls Gala/Fundraiser featuring “Dancing with the Stars”. Health Systems 2000 strives to serve the community by providing preeminent quality home health care which demonstrates their continued commitment to excellence, professionalism and genuine compassion.

Lisa Walker, MSN, APRN, CNS Chief Executive Officer, Health Systems 2000


quick service center and car wash is now open, with 200 carwashes and 75 quick lubes within the first couple of days, before advertisement of the opening even started. This year alone, there are 13 new Chevys, three new Cadillacs, two new Hondas, and two new Hyundais joining the lineup. By the end of this year, Navarre will have a new Chevy store on Beglis Pkwy. in Sulphur. The new Chevy and Cadillac store in Lake Charles is complete, as is the new Hyundai store on the corner of Enterprise Blvd. and College St.

PARAMOUNT AUTOMOTIVE COMPANIES $150 million-$199.9 million Employees: 120 www.paramountautomotive.com Paramount Automotive was founded in 2002 in Lake Charles. In 2009, the

company purchased the Hwy. 171 Nissan and Ford dealerships in DeRidder. That purchase was followed by the building of a new 14,000 square foot Nissan dealership in Silsbee, Texas. The company now serves SWLA as well as Southeast Texas. CEO John Stelly is managing to turn around the two newly acquired dealerships by putting in place a plan that involves cutting the workforce by half, doubling the inventory of new vehicles, making used cars half of the inventory, focusing on the Altima and Sentra (Nissan’s best-sellers) and increasing the advertising for the operations by 50 percent. The newly acquired businesses, now called 171 Nissan and Highway Ford, were turning a profit by the end of 2010. The new operation in Silsbee, Texas, was built by Stelly entirely in keeping with the Nissan Corporation’s specifications for the project. Stelly would wind up coming up with $1 million to bring the project to fruition. The opening of the Silsbee dealership gives Stelly a total of five dealerships in the area between DeRidder, Lake Charles and Silsbee. The fact that the expansion was accomplished in a sluggish economic environment makes the success of Paramount motors all the more impressive. The slight economic upturn of the last continued

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year, says Stelly, has affected his sales drastically, and he predicts even better sales and even more expansion in the future. Stelly’s sales totals — which have hit over 500 vehicles in one month — have earned him a No. 26 spot on Black Enterprise Magazine’s list of top auto dealers in February of 2011. He has been honored with the Owner First award for nine consecutive years.

STINE HOME + YARD $150 million-$199.9 Million Employees: 800 www.StineHome.com Stine was founded as Starlin Lumber Co. in 1952 in Sulphur by J.W. Stine and his partner, J.C. Carlin. The company was a supplier for residential building contractors. Beginning in 1966, each of six of Stine’s sons would join Starlin Lumber. In 1974, the company became Stine Lumber. New stores were added in DeRidder and

Lake Charles. The company has continued to expand, and now has 12 locations serving Louisiana: Sulphur, Lake Charles, DeRidder, Jennings, Iowa, Crowley, Natchitoches, Alexandria, Abbeville, Walker and Broussard. The company also has a store in Natchez, Miss. Stine is among the Top 100 building material dealers in the U.S. I.ts association with Ace Hardware has been successful; the company’s sales place it fourth among the 6,000 Ace retailers worldwide. As for the six sons, Dick runs the safety and employee performance programs; Gary runs the real estate, insurance and new construction; Jay and his family run the DeRidder operation; Dennis is company president; David directs merchandising and marketing; Tim is the CFO. Revenues are up, and growth is expected as the area economy rebounds and major expansion projects begin.

$75 MILLION$99.9 MILLION PORT AGGREGATES, INC. $75 million-$99.9 million Employees: 210 www.portaggregates.com Port Aggregates was started in 1979 in Mermentau, La., as a subsidiary of

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Guinn Bros., Inc. It became an independent company in 1985, when Andrew Guinn, Sr., took over as president. The company was founded with the purpose of furnishing aggregate locally. The company expanded into Lake Charles in 1986. In 1993, Port Aggregates opened its BT-4 deep water aggregate supply yard in Lake Charles, and in 2000 it opened its pre-cast concrete facility in Jennings. In 2002 the company expanded to include a concrete plant in Jennings with five concrete trucks. Since then, the company’s opened six additional concrete plants and two aggregate yards throughout Southwest Louisiana. It has expanded its concrete delivery capability to 68 concrete trucks. It now serves a 100-mile radius from Jennings. In August of 2012, Port Aggregates purchased all Angelle Concrete western assets and added 150 employees. The company now operates 20 concrete plants and 130 ready-mix concrete trucks.

SOLAR SUPPLY $75 million-$99.9 million Employees: 250 www.solarsupply.us Ray Dingler and Thelma Manuel Dingler founded Solar Supply in 1954 with one location, in Lake Charles. The company now has 57 sales offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and

Mississippi. Solar Supply is a wholesale distributor of air conditioning, heating, ventilation and refrigeration equipment, parts and supplies. The company distributes products from 500 vendors throughout North and South America to 7,200 customers. The company’s received numerous awards, and continues to grow year after year. A recent expansion has meant an upturn in revenues for the company, and sales over the last year are up, with a moderate rise predicted for the future. The company is active in local MakeA-Wish Foundation activities. Solar Supply has three operations in Lake Charles: its corporate office at 1212 12th Street, its warehouse at 3935 Hwy. 90 E., and the sales outlet at 317 E. LaGrange St. The company is heavily invested in all geographic areas of the state, with operations in Leesville, Opelousas, New Iberia, Natchitoches, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Monroe, Houma, Lafayette, Mandeville, Gonzales, Gretna, Harahan, Hammond, LaPlace, Slidell, Shreveport and Ruston. The company’s many Texas operations include key sites in Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur and other Southeast Texas locales. There are four Houston facilities. Products distributed by the company include A.O. Smith, Airmate, Allstyle Coils, Amana P-Tac, Aspera, ATCO


Rubber, Bostich, Bristol, Broan, CoAire, Coleman/Evcon, Cozy, Devco, DuroDyne, Fiskars, Harris, Honeywell, ICM, Johnson Controls, Klein Tools, Luxaire, Malco, Mastercool, Mitch-Vent, Parker, Ranco, Richie, Robertshaw, Supco, United McGill, US Aire, Arctic King, Pro 1, Samsung, Sterling, York, Hardcast, Fieldpiece, Turbo Torch and White Rogers.

$50 MILLION$74.9 MILLION ALL STAR BUICK GMC $50 million-$74.9 million Employees: 75 www.allstarbuickgmctruck.com Founded in 1987, All Star is a family-run, hands-on operation that continues to grow year after year, thanks to its dedication to top-notch service. All Star has made customer service the foundation of its business. Its Sulphur location includes a state-of-the-art 16,000-square-foot repair facility which offers RhinoLiner spray bedliner. The dealership expanded with a new location in December of 2008. It serves a 60-mile area. Jack Hebert was named the Louisiana Automobile Dealer Association’s 2012 Louisiana Dealer of the Year. Revenue is up, thanks to a combination of good product, a growing economy, and good sales staff, and the outlook for the dealership is bright.

AUTOPLEX GROUP $50 million-$74.9 million Employees: 110 www.goautoplex.com Autoplex enjoyed another high growth rate over the past year, according to CEO Kenneth Phipps. Begun in 1991, Autoplex has become one of the first places people stop to buy quality preowned cars and a leader in the rent and lease-to-own markets as well. The group now has four locations — in Lake Charles, Jennings, Sulphur and Lafayette — that are serving all the Louisiana parishes from Houma to the Texas border. It has expanded its sales to continued

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offer several brands, including Cadillac, GMC, Suzuki, Chrysler and Jeep. Its unique “multi-store” website allows buyers to shop the inventories of five stores with just one click. The company’s inhouse credit program makes driving away with a quality used car a reality for buyers of all financial backgrounds and credit levels. Revenue is up, and Phipps says the company is looking “onward and upward,” certain of a bright future.

BUBBA OUSTALET AUTOMOTIVE GROUP $50 million-$74.9 million Employees: 90 www.bubbaoustalet.com In 1896, Emile Oustalet opened a wagon-manufacturing plant in New Orleans and built his success on customer satisfaction. The Bubba Oustalet Automotive Group, which recently celebrated its 60th year, carries on the same

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tradition of quality service and customer satisfaction. Five generations have run this auto dealership, which was founded in 1952 as a Ford-only store by Bubba Oustalet. The dealership, based in Jennings, now sells and services new and used Ford, Lincoln Mercury and Toyota vehicles at one location. It recently opened a new Chevrolet and Cadillac store. Revenue is up, thanks to new product lines and a strong local economy. And the Chevrolet and Cadillac store should ensure steady growth in the future.

$35 MILLION$49.9 MILLION AEROFRAME SERVICES $35 million-$49.9 million Employees: 250 www.aeroframe.com Founded in 2000 by EADS and Northrop Grumman, Aeroframe was purchased by its current owner and CEO, Roger Porter, in 2005. One of the largest aviation maintenance facilities in North America, Aeroframe provides aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul for domestic and global airlines worldwide. In 2008, the company had grown to the point that it couldn’t find enough skilled workers to keep up with demand. To remedy that problem, the company opened a new training facility, which was a huge suc-

cess. Last year, revenue was somewhat flat as the company went through restructuring and a change in customer base, basically due to a competitive market. The company is currently hiring to fill several new contracts, and growth is expected to continue as the economy continues to rebound.

ALFRED PALMA, LLC $35 million-$49.9 million Employees: 60-100 www.alfredpalmainc.com Alfred Palma Construction was founded in 1986, when the construction industry in the Lake Charles area was at its worst due to the collapse of the oil industry and the rise of interest rates. The company has continued to grow in size during its 27 years in business. Being a true general contracting firm — commercial, industrial, heavy construction, metal buildings, port work — has allowed the company to maintain a steady workforce and produce quality work that the company and the community can be proud of. One of the company’s largest projects was the $24 million Lake Charles Regional Airport terminal building. And CEO Alfred A. Palma Jr. calls the new St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church one of the “finest projects that we have built, and one of the finest that has been built in this

area.” And the company is currently handling projects at the Port of Lake Charles. Revenues are up, and the company’s future looks bright, thanks to all the major projects scheduled for this area in the next few years.

HENDERSON IMPLEMENT & MARINE $35 million-$49.9 million Employees: 87 www.hendersonimplement.com Henderson has been serving SWLA since 1967, when it purchased Taylor Implement in Welsh. In 1969, the name of the company was changed to Henderson Implement. The Lake Charles location opened in 1972 on Pamco Rd. In October 1992, the company added a third location in Abbeville, La. Henderson offers a full line of Kubota, Hustler and Kioti tractors. In 2007, the company became a Tracker Marine dealer at all its locations. It now offers a full line of Tracker Marine products and Mercury outboard motors sales and service. The company is also a Polaris dealer. In April 1999, Henderson diversified and expanded its business by becoming a Hunt Brothers Pizza distributor. It now serves over 550 retail locations. Revenue for the company is up, and the future looks bright. The company’s Lake Charles store recently moved from continued


Largest Locally-Owned Office Supply Store in SWLA is Approaching 25 Years!

Carolyn Chitty, owner United Office Supply and Equipment Co., Inc., located at 4013 Maplewood Drive in Sulphur, was purchased by Carolyn Chitty in January 1989. The business was in desperate need of attention. In the past 24+ years, Carolyn has worked very hard and many long hours to build up the business to where it is today … the largest locally owned office supply store in Calcasieu Parish. United Office Supply sells office supplies, office furniture, office machines, copier and computer supplies, janitorial supplies, promotional products, printing, business cards, wedding invitations, rubber stamps, fine leather gifts, TimeMist products, and so much more. Fast, personal service is what you’ll find at UOS. Each order has FREE DELIVERY, with no minimum order amount, so call UOS and save your time and gas! They even do desktop deliveries. Credit, debit and pro cards are accepted, as well as cash and checks. Visit Carolyn and her staff today and experience the LOCALLY OWNED PERSONAL SERVICE for yourself. You’ll be glad you did! UOS IS A PROUD MEMBER OF THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. START WITH TRUST! CHECK OUT UOS WITH YOUR LOCAL BBB OF SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA.

United Office Supply & Equipment Co., Inc. 4013 Maplewood Drive • Sulphur, LA

337-625-2442 • 337-474-5589 www.unitedofficesupply.com June 6, 2013

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Pamco Rd. to its new 40,000-square-foot showroom and service facility located at 2351 E. McNeese St.

Revenues are up, and the company continues to grow steadily in advance of the upcoming expansion in the area.

$25 MILLION$34.9 MILLION

R&R CONSTRUCTION, INC.

SOUTHLAND COINS AND COLLECTIBLES

BESSETTE DEVELOPMENT CORP.

$35 million-$49.9 million Employees: 4 www.southlandcoins.net Southland Coins was founded in 1985 by Malcolm Self as a home-based operation. Self incorporated his business in 1987 and opened it in a small strip mall, then moved it to its new location on Lake Street in 2009, doubling the business’ square footage. Self says the business has already outgrown this new larger location. The company now has a second location, on Nelson Road, to handle the buying of scrap gold and silver. The store sells gold, coins and other collectibles worldwide, thanks to the Internet. While 2012 saw a major pullback in precious metals after world record highs in 2011, Self says new clients continued to buy into the market, using the drop in metals to diversify their portfolios. With shaky world economies and rumors of wars, more and more people, says Self, are seeing gold as the financial insurance policy they need to maintain their standard of living in the future.

$25 million-$34.9 million Employees: 57 www.bessettedevelopment.com Bessette Development was founded in 1982 by Harvey Bessette. In its early years the company focused on residential construction, with a few light commercial projects thrown in. In 1994, the residential division was phased out, and the company began doing commercial work exclusively. In 1999, the company opened its road construction division. In 2004, the company opened its own asphalt plant and began doing asphalt road work. In 2008, Harvey Bessette became chairman of the board, and his daughter, Tobie Hodgkins, took over the reins as president and CEO of Bessette Development. The construction market picked up in 2012, and is picking up dramatically in 2013, and Hodgkins says momentum is building at a rapid pace. The future looks extremely bright, with numerous large projects on the horizon. Hodgkins expects the market to be booming over the next five to 10 years.

$35 million-$49.9 million Employees: 250-700 www.randrconst.net R&R Construction was founded in 1995 by Ronny Lovett as an industrial civil construction firm providing civil construction services to the area’s petrochemical facilities. In 2001, the company added mechanical and piping construction to its list of services and expanded its service area to the Gulf Coast region from New Orleans to Corpus Christi, Texas. The company is qualified to perform, and regularly completes, multi-million dollar jobs within budget. R&R welcomed new shareholders in 2009. It continues to perform new construction, maintenance and turnaround services for an expanding client base.

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BIG EASY FOODS $25 million-34.9 million Employees: 150 www.bigeasyfoods.com Gulf Island Shrimp and Seafood/Big Easy Foods is managed by Mark Abraham and Larry Avery. Gulf Island Shrimp and Seafood is a shrimp processor with two plants located in Dulac, La. French Market Foods is a Cajun food manufacturer with headquarters and facilities in Lake Charles. The two companies merged into Big Easy Foods, which supplies grocery store chains with Cajun specialties, including raw and cooked Gulf shrimp, boudin, sausage, stuffed chickens, Cajun entrees and Turduchens. The company has expanded into new markets since the merger, and the name and products are quickly gaining acceptance in regions outside of Louisiana. Thanks to its experienced sales team and its efficient production process, the company’s revenue is up. With the BP oil spill and the economic downturn, behind us, the company’s future looks bright.

BRASK, INC.-IEE $25 million-$34.9 million Employees: 127 www.braskinc.com Founded in 1961, Brask designs, repairs and manufactures heat exchangers and other heat transfer equipment. In par-


ticular, Brask is a shell and tube heat exchanger manufacturer providing engineering and fabrication for complete heat exchangers, replacement parts, code modifications, new bundles, strip-and-retubes, and miscellaneous turnaround repairs and consulting services for the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical industries. Brask’s 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is located on 25 acres in Sulphur. The company recently built a new 100,000-square-foot facility on 10 acres in Pearland, Texas. The new facility will concentrate on the repair and maintenance aspect of the business. Brask’s management team has over 200 years of experience in the shell and tube heat exchanger industry. Staff are available 24 hours a day to meet customer needs. The company’s revenue is up from last year, thanks to better economic conditions, and the future looks good, with the demand for repair work continuing to rise.

LEE DEE WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTING COMPANY, INC. $25 million-$34.9 million Employees: 22 www.leedeewholesale.com Lee Dee Wholesale Distributing Company, Inc., has been in business since 1946, supplying automotive, paper, tobacco, candy, soft drinks and snack goods to convenience stores throughout Southwest and Central Louisiana. The company boasts a service area of roughly threequarters of the state. Revenue is up over the last year, thanks in large part to the company’s website, which allows for online orders, and its Company Catalog. Future plans include expanding eastward in Louisiana.

MCDONALD’S OF SOUTHWEST LA. $25 million-$34.9 million Employees: 550 www.mcdswla.com Melvin Gehrig, Sr., opened the first McDonald’s location in the parish in 1972, and by 1999 the local management organization for McDonald’s franchises continued

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had added 9 additional stores in the parish. They are owned by members of the Gehrig family. In 2003, all of those franchises came under the ownership of Doug Gehrig. This past year, the company was in the top 10 markets in the country for growth in sales and guest counts. The company’s director of operations took top honors in the region, as did the company’s store managers. Revenues are up, says Gehrig, thanks to continued spending by industry; recent restaurant re-models, upgrades and modernizations; and top-quality service.

RECON MANAGEMENT SERVICES $25 million-$34.9 million Employees: 275 www.recon-group.com ReCon Management was founded in 1995 by Roger Boyette, Reggy Saxon and Bob Lyons. The company provides profes-

sional project management, engineering and design services for industrial plant facilities in Southwest Louisiana and the Golden Triangle area of Texas. In 2004, the company opened its Beaumont, Texas, office, and in 2011, it added QA/QC (NDT) inspection services. Recon had a strong growth in sales — approximately 35 percent — between 2011 and 2012, due mainly to the addition of the NDT inspection service addition and an upswing in industrial turnaround projects. The future looks bright for the company, with every one of its clients planning upcoming projects.

$15 MILLION$24.9 MILLION LEVINGSTON GROUP $15 million-$24.9 million Employees: 225 www.levingston.com Founded in 1961 by Ernest Levingston, Levingston Group provides civil, mechanical and electrical engineering services and professional staffing to industrial, municipal and commercial entities throughout the Gulf Coastal South. Under new management since 2000, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary in August 2011. It continues to focus on high quality service delivery, completion of

Lake Area Office Products opened in 2000 as a small, home-based business remanufacturing toner cartridges and providing repairs for office machines such as printers, copiers and fax machines. Our approach was simple: Offer top-quality products at low prices, and back it up with a level of service that none of our competitors could match. Over the next four years, that approach proved so successful that owner, John Ney, found it necessary to relocate to a larger location on Kirkman Street and expand his staff. This larger location allowed LAOP to add a full line of office supplies. LAOP continued to grow, and in 2005 we became a business partner with Toshiba and Samsung. The following year, after continued growth, we moved to still larger quarters, this time on East Prien Lake Road. This move allowed us to add Sharp copiers to our line. We also brought in a selection of used office furniture and introduced temporary leasing on used office furniture and equipment. Business has remained strong. Today we are able to provide furniture solutions for businesses of all types

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projects within budget and schedule, and a high level of ethics and professionalism. The company is expanding, and recently moved into its new headquarters at 210 Teal Rd. in Sulphur. Revenues are up, and with many new projects on the horizon, the company expects the major growth trend to continue in 2013 and in the years to come.

$10 MILLION$14.9 MILLION CALCASIEU MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS $10 million-$14.9 million Employees: 60 www.calmech.net Founded in 1988 as an HVAC construction company, Calcasieu Mechanical Contractors has become the largest commercial air conditioning and heating construction company in SWLA. The company began doing work at military bases in the early 1990s, and a service division was added in 1993. In 1995, the company established an office in Lafayette, and the staff in that office has grown to include 13 employees. Calcasieu Mechanical Contractors now services an area from Beaumont to Baton Rouge. The company has earned and maintained a reputation for

Seated: John Ney, “The Office Guy” Standing from left: Amber Humphrey, Tara Smith, Paul Chandler, Mariah Laughlin & Jeremy Humphrey

and sizes — from the one- or two-person organization to major corporations with 50 offices or more, all from our 12,000-square-foot building on Enterprise

quality over the last two decades. Revenues are down, thanks to a stillweak construction market, but CEO Jim Blanchard says the company’s economic outlook is very good.

FRESHKO FOODSERVICE, INC. $10 million-$14.9 million Employees: 20 www.freshko.com Freshko Foods was founded in 1988 when Homer Robin, a buyer for a local produce firm, was laid off. With his friend James “Jimbeaux” Guilbeaux, Robin opened Freshko in the George Theriot warehouse on Church Street in North Lake Charles. In 1991, the company moved to its current location on Third Street. Originally a produce-only distributor, in 2004 Freshko expanded its product line to include Broad Line products, and in 2009 expanded again to include high-end seafood and protein items. The company now services a 200-mile area, north and east of Lake Charles and to the Texas line. Over half of the company’s employees have worked for it for 20 of its 25 years in business. Revenue is up, and the company has extended its route east, and is working on penetrating that area. Expectations are great for the company, thanks to the expected economic boom in the area for the next few years.

Boulevard. What started out as a home-based business, in 2000, has become a strong, multi-faceted organization with the resources and expertise to provide cost-effective office solutions on multiple levels. Lake Area Office Products is a proud member of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Louisiana. We're locally owned and operated for over 12 years, and we welcome the opportunity to support our community by doing business with other locally owned companies. Because of your support, Lake Area Office Products has the opportunity to sponsor the budding superstars of little league baseball and soccer in the Lake Area. Lake Area Office Products is also a proud Partner in Education for R.W. Vincent Elementary School. Our team is made up of hard-working professionals with the experience to help you make the most of your money and keep your business running smoothly. These professionals include Amber Humphrey, Mariah Laughlin, Tara Smith and Paul Chandler.


HEALTH SYSTEMS 2000 $10-$14.9 million Employees: 250 www.hhc2000.com Health Systems 2000 was founded in 1994 by Lisa Walker, an advanced practice registered nurse and clinical nurse specialist, as a home-based home health agency called Home Health Care 2000. Today, the business operates under the corporate umbrella called Health Systems 2000, and encompasses 10 home health care agencies, a hospice care service, a home medical equipment company and a personal care service company, all located in Southern Louisiana. Health Systems 2000 is able to provide care for all ages, from pediatric through geriatric cases, with high-tech care in the home environment as opposed to institutional settings. The company offers follow-up care as well as rehabilitative services and physical therapy. The organization has achieved and maintained Joint Commission Accreditation on Health Care Organizations since 1996. Home Health Systems 2000 is committed to excellence, professionalism and compassion. Health Systems 2000 delivers state-of-the-art home care services with identified centers of excellence. It engages in a wide range of continuing education, clinical education and other programs for professionals and the public. The company maintained a steady pace in 2012, says CEO Lisa Walker, and future revenue projections look good, due to the age population shift, and the expected economic boom.

LAKE CHARLES AUTO AUCTION $10 million-$14.9 million Employees: 13 www.TheBestAuctions.net Lake Charles Auto Auction has held weekly auto auctions on Wednesday nights since 1991 at its Broad Street location. When you drive by the site on Wednesday nights, you’ll hear the sounds of the auctioneers managing the bidding at lightning speed. Lake Charles Auto continued

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Auction serves a five-parish area, selling to many out-of-town dealers. The first quarter of 2013 was good, and CEOs Mike and Matt Pederson are optimistic about the company’s financial future, expecting a steady climb over the next few years.

$5.5 MILLION$9.9 MILLION ADVANCED OFFICE PRODUCTS $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 12 www.aopinc.com Advanced Office Products has provided office equipment and document solutions to Lake Area businesses for over 20 years, which has allowed them to develop good, long-lasting relationships with their clientele. The company prides itself on going the extra step for its clients. The company is looking forward to growing even more in the near future as the economy begins to pick up in the Lake Area. “We’re very excited about what the future holds for us, and we are ready to grow with the area,” says CEO Brandon Greene.

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INSIGNIA HOTEL MANAGEMENT $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 100 www.hotelsoflakecharles.com Insignia CEO Nick Zaver is a secondgeneration hotelier who built his first hotel in Kinder in 1998. Since then, he’s opened six hotels, including the full-service Holiday Inn in Sulphur. Insignia also acquired the Quality Inn in Sulphur and did a $1.2 million renovation. It secured a third-party management deal for the Super 8 Hotel in Lake Charles. Revenues are up, thanks to business restructuring, a well-trained staff and a powerful sales department. The company has received many awards, including the Apex Award for Best Renovation from Choice Hotels International for the renovation of the Quality Inn and Suites in Sulphur; and the Pride Award from Wyndham Hotels Corp.

LOUISIANA RADIO COMMUNICATIONS, INC. $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 59 www.LRCwireless.com Louisiana Radio Communications was founded in 1947, and was bought by Robert Vincent in 1950 as a service facility for two-way radio communications for public safety organizations and the petrochemical industry. The company was instrumental in developing some of the first wireless communications for area industrial and oil businesses. It has grown along with technology in the decades since. Now managed by Perry Vincent, the company serves an 11-parish area throughout South Louisiana. LRC Wireless handles all applications of wire-


less communications, including sales, service and warranty. Services include twoway radio systems engineering; design and construction of wireless computer networks, integrating video, voice and data; complete infrastructure support of antenna systems installations; and tower sales, service and erections. Revenues are up, thanks to mergers and acquisitions over the past year, and the future looks bright as demand for wireless services continues to increase.

M&C OILFIELD SERVICES $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 25 www.mandcoilfield.com M&C Oilfield Services has been in business 16 years (seven years under the current owner), with over 175 years combined experience in marine, oilfield, heavy pipeline and industrial construction. The company has its own fleet of tugs, deck barges, crew boats, heavy equipment and other related equipment to perform marine tasks for a customer base throughout the Gulf Coast. M&C Oilfield is one of the largest industrial marine construction companies in SWLA, serving Louisiana, Texas and the Gulf Coast as a locally owned and operated business. The company was instrumental in the recovery and rebuilding efforts following Hurricanes Rita and Ike and the BP oil spill, paving the way for the oil industry to re-enter the lower Cameron coast and Texas Gulf coast. According to CEO Lance Mudd, the revenues are down, but the company’s economic outlook is positive.

NATIONAL NETWORKS $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 46 www.nationalnetworks.com National Networks has been serving Louisiana and Southeast Texas since 1999, providing IT support, such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and small- to medium-business consulting. The company prides itself on providing IT practices and solutions to the small business sector at small business prices. The experience of the company’s dedicated staff is one of the keys to its success, continued

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and has allowed it to build and develop the infrastructure needed to keep its prices

affordable and its clients up and running efficiently. The company is looking forward to a bright future. CEO Sam Maggio predicts a 10- to 15-percent increase in revenue over the next year.

SABINE POOLS, SPAS AND FURNITURE $5.5 million-$9.9 million Employees: 90 www.sabinepools.com Sabine Pools offers custom in-ground

pools, above-ground pools, pool maintenance and repair, pool chemicals and supplies, spas and fine outdoor furniture. The company was founded in 1975 by Houston Tassin, and is now owned by his sons Joey, Dean and David Tassin. Sabine Pools has repeatedly been named as a Top 100 company by Aqua magazine. The company now services the I-10 corridor from Dehnam Springs to Vinton, with stores in Lake Charles, Lafayette (2 stores), Gonzales and Baton Rouge.

Revenues are up, with commercial and residential pool construction on the rise, as well as retail sales of hot tubs and outdoor furniture. The company is experiencing growth in every segment of the business — pool construction, repairs and renovations, and retail sales.

$3 MILLION$5.5 MILLION BUSINESS HEALTH PARTNERS $3 million-$5.5 million Employees: 30 www.businesshealthpartners.com Business Health Partners was founded in 1995 by Dr. Jack Drumwright, who had just retired as Vista Chemical Co. medical director, and his wife, Dr. Bonnie Drumwright, who was Citgo’s corporate medical director at the time. The Drumwrights began BHP to help local industrial and business employers meet the increasing testing and screening requirements of federal agencies, insurance providers and industrial facilities. In 1995, the company employed five people and was located in a small building on Cities Service Hwy. Today, it occupies a 9,000-plus-square-foot facility at 299 Cities Service Hwy., employs 30 people, and handles numerous national accounts. The Drumwrights have updated their facility to offer the latest testing and treatment options for area industry. The company has just added a fully mobile audiometric testing trailer to its mobile and onsite fleet to test employees cheaper, faster, and at any site the client wishes. Revenues are up, thanks to the continued trend of industrial and private sector business expansion. And the outlook for the company is bright, with new certifications in CDL testing for 18-wheeler drivers and the offshore oil industry. The company looks to expand its mobile services in the coming year, and improve its on-line training catalog and website.

J&J EXTERMINATING OF LAKE CHARLES, INC. $3 million-$5.49 million Employees: 44 www.jjext.com The J&J Exterminating company has been in business for more than 50 years. The local franchise was founded in 1987 with three employees servicing Lake Charles and Sulphur. Today, the company’s 44 employees serve an area that extends from DeRidder to the Gulf of Mexico, and from Lake Charles to Jennings. The local company was recently ranked 33rd out of 18,000 pest control companies nationwide. CEO Tim Broussard and his staff are constantly looking for new technology and new ways to serve their customers. Revenue is up, thanks to the recent economic rebound and the company’s expansion of technology and services. The future looks “great” for the company, says Broussard.

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LAKE CHARLES OFFICE SUPPLY $3 million-$5.49 million Employees: 18 www.lcos-furniture.com Lake Charles Office Supply opened in 1996 as Office Plus on Ryan Street. After seven years, the company had outgrown that location, and the owners bought the building and name of the former Lake Charles Office Supply. The company has grown into the largest privately owned office products and furniture store in Southwest Louisiana thanks to its knowledgeable staff and sales teams, many of whom have over 20 years in the office supply industry. Lake Charles Office Supply has five locations in southern Louisiana.

PUMPELLY TIRE $3 million-$5.49 million Employees: 28 www.pumpellytire.com Founded in 1960, Pumpelly Tire was created by Bob Pumpelly as a spin-off of Pumpelly Oil. Pumpelly Tire functioned as a complementary business to Pumpelly Oil, supplying tires, batteries and accessories to the oil company’s service station clients. Revenues are up, and Pumpelly is

remodeling its stores to give them a more modern and refreshed look. The company is also putting its employees through intense training to deliver the best service possible for today’s complex vehicles.

S&M BARGAIN CITY $3 million-$5.49 million Employees: 40 www.sandmfamilyoutlet.com S&M Family Outlet began in 1956 when Joe Stoma opened Sulphur Bargain

Store as a weekend-only deep discount store in a small warehouse. Sulphur Bargain offered deeply discounted clothes and shoes bought from department and specialty stores. The business later moved to 814 Third Ave. in Lake Charles. S&M provides merchandise from TV shopping networks, boutiques and department stores at prices 50-70 percent off retail. The present business, run by Joe’s son, Steve Stoma, is located on Ryan continued

LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT SERVICES $3 million-$5.49 million Employees: 65 www.landscapemanagement.org Landscape Management was founded in 1991 by Doyle Pennick, who has been in the landscape industry since his teen years. The company provides landscapes, irrigation systems and landscape maintenance for everything from small starter homes to large businesses. Landscape Management has expanded its services over the years to include erosion control and retail sales to the public. The keys to the company’s success? Its diversity, its commitment to quality service, and its experienced staff. The company’s revenue has increased over the last seven years, and Pennick expects the trend to continue. In fact, he predicts a 20- to 25-percent revenue increase in the near future.

NICHOLS DRY GOODS $3 million-$5.5 million Employees: 20 www.nichols-stores.com Nichols Dry Goods was founded in 1914 in DeQuincy by H.A. Nichols, from savings he accumulated while working at a sawmill for $1.50 per day. Nichols eventually established a chain of stores in central and northeast Louisiana. In 1973, the flagship DeQuincy store was moved to its present location in a shopping center on the site of the old Newport Plant. The chain, with five locations, offers sporting goods, gifts, hardware and workwear. The business has remained family owned and operated almost 99 years after its founding, with H.A. Nichols’ greatgrandchildren, Layton Irwin III and Tricia Irwin Busceme, running the DeQuincy store alongside their parents, Rusty and Pam Irwin, while Debbi Nichols runs the other stores in the chain, located in Many, Leesville, Winnfield and Coushatta, La. Revenue is up, thanks to a rebounding economy and strong employment in the area, and Busceme says the future looks bright, with the new growth expected in the area.

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Street. It also has locations in Beaumont and Port Arthur. Revenue is up over the last year, and Steven Stoma says that business and the economy are on the rise.

$1 MILLION$2.9 MILLION AAA DRIVE-IN CLEANERS $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 32 AAA cleaners was opened in 1953 as Varsity Cleaners by Clyde Guillot. In 1986, the company was purchased by his son, Robert Guillot, and renamed. In 1993, a renovation doubled the company’s size. In 2004, a second location was opened on Country Club Road in a building which won a design award from a dry-cleaning trade magazine. In 2008, AAA began using new technology that enabled it to operate with fewer people, which helped the company withstand the economic

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downturn. AAA was one of the first 15 dry cleaners nationwide to receive the certified garment care professional award and the award of excellence from the Dry-cleaning and Laundry Institute. The company has also partnered with Lake Charles Kiwanis for the Coats for Kids program, providing cleaning services and distribution for donated garments. Over the past decade, AAA has cleaned over 10,000 pieces of clothing for the program. Revenue is up over the last year, and Guillot has a positive outlook on the future.

ACI SERVICES, LLC $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 10 www.aciservicesllc.net Carla and Kirk Broussard founded ACI Portable Toilets & Septic Services in December of 2004 as a home business with one client and a dream. The Broussards worked full-time jobs, pumping toilets out and handling the bookkeeping at night. As construction projects increased in the area, the company grew. The business headquarters was eventually moved out of the Broussard home and into office space on McNeese Street and a storage facility on Common Street. ACI now provides portable toilets, holding tanks, handwash

stations and certified inspectors for numerous clients in local industry and construction, with hundreds of toilets scattered throughout the five-parish area. Revenues are up over the last year, and thanks to expansion of construction projects and local industry, the company continues to grow. The Broussards have been able to hire more employees and purchase new equipment. And they expect continued growth as residential and industrial projects continue to increase.

CAL CAM TERMITE & PEST CONTROL $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 12 www.calcampest.com CEO Kevin Savoie began Cal Cam, based in Moss Bluff, in 1988, and has grown the business on a foundation of honesty, integrity, hard work, and a willingness to develop a relationship with each customer. “We have built this business one customer at a time,” Savoie says. “I have customers who have been with me for over 20 years.” The company has continued to grow, thanks to its dedication to customer service and innovative services, such as the use of a termite detection dog and thermal remediation for bed bugs. The recovering economy has had a positive impact on the company, says Savoie, and he expects the company to continue to grow. The com-

pany is expanding routes and continuing to provide great customer service.

GULF COAST CARPET & DECORATING CENTER $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 10 full-time, 10 subcontractors www.CarpetinginLakeCharlesLa.com John Fontenot opened Gulf Coast Carpets in 1994, in the Common Street location it still occupies today. At the time, the business occupied only part of the building, and focused on basic carpet, ceramic, vinyl and wood flooring. Since that time, thanks to years of dedication and hard work, as well as Hurricane Rita’s damage to the building, Fontenot has managed to expand and remodel the building. Tthe business now occupies all 15,000square feet of the building. Gulf Coast offers flooring and installation, countertops, window coverings, decorating items for the home, and beautiful metal and canvas awnings. The company continues to grow, thanks to a commitment to keeping up with the newest items on the market, a knowledgeable sales staff, and the Fontenots’ involvement in the community. Sales are up, and Fontenot says he is excited about the economic future of the company and the community. continued


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HARLOW LAWN MOWER SERVICE $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 10 www.harlowlms.com Harlow began in 1950 as a small repair service run out of a garage. When Mr. Harlow and Mr. O’Neil, the original founders, were too ill to run the business, Colleen O’Neil took over the reins in 1976. In 2004, when Colleen’s failing health made it impossible for her to continue running the business, Harlow again changed hands, when it was purchased by its current owners, John and Cindy Palma. The Palmas carry on Mr. Harlow’s philosophy of high quality service and products, and of always putting the customer first. The company continues to grow, serving SWLA and also doing thriving online sales in other states. CEO John Palma says that 2010 and 2011 were economically tough on the business, with more owners opting to

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repair their equipment rather than invest in new machines. But 2012 saw an increase in sales, thanks to the addition of ethanol to fuel. Ethanol hardens rubber, which has led to an increase in fuel system repairs. The company now carries Ethanol Shield for use in gas and diesel equipment. Harlow also carries parts for most major manufacturers. They are the largest ExMark dealer in SWLA. They also have a full line of Toro walk-behind and zeroturn mowers, as well as Tanaka, Echo and Shindaiwa handheld trimmers, blowers and hedge clippers.

notch training program. The Conners have ensured that all their employees receive indepth training to keep up with the latest technical developments. The company’s new website is allowing its customers access to services including tire fitting guides, product catalogs, pricing and online quote options. The company’s also launching an app, available on Android and Apple, featuring sales announcements and alerts, coupons and weekly deals.

offers everything from office supplies and furniture to commercial copiers, fax machines and printers. Lake Area Office Products has proven that a local business can compete with national chains even in the most difficult of economic times. Business is growing this year, thanks to a trend toward business expansion and a trend toward remodeling existing offices and replacing furnishings rather than moving to a new location.

LAKE CHARLES MANUFACTURING

KEN CONNER'S SERVICE TIRE & AUTO

LAKE AREA OFFICE PRODUCTS $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 8 www.lakeareaofficeproducts.com Lake Area Office Products opened in 2000 as a small, home-based business, manufacturing toner and providing repairs for office machines. Owner John Ney’s approach was simple: Offer top quality products at low prices and back it up with a level of service that none of his competitors could match. The store moved to a larger location on Kirkman Street over the next couple of years, and business grew enough to warrant adding another employee and moving to yet a larger location on Prien Lake Road. The company recently moved to its present location at 2010 Enterprise Blvd. The new 12,500-square-foot location

$1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 6 www.lcmlab.com, www.kartersci.com Founded in 2003, Lake Charles Manufacturing is a worldwide leading manufacturer of laboratory plasticwares, including test and culture tubes. In fact, the company produces the country’s largest plastic test and culture tube. It also offers the world’s only plastics print and decorating facility open to the public for custom orders. The company offers sameday order fulfillment and next-day printing. Thanks to e-commerce — the company recently entered into the Amazon.com industrial and scientific division — Lake Charles Manufacturing’s team assists over 10,000 customers per year worldwide. Lake Charles Manufacturing’s suc-

$1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 22 www.kenconnersservicetire.com Ken Conner and his wife Mary Beth opened the Service Tire and Auto service center in 1987. At that time, they comprised the business’ entire staff. In 1990, they relocated the business to its current location on Country Club Road. They opened a new shop on Hwy. 27 in Carlyss in 2008. What began as a small mom and pop mechanic’s shop now boasts 15 service bays and 22 employees between the two shops. And the Sulphur shop is being expanded to include more service bays. The company continues to thrive, thanks to the Conners’ dedication to expansion, as well as the company’s top-


cess is based on unyielding commitment to quality and value, and materials and process expertise. Well positioned in the laboratory and scientific industry, Lake Charles Manufacturing is mostly insulated from the economic downturns experienced in other industries, and has experienced a multi-year annual growth rate of 15 percent. Revenue in 2012 was up by 60 percent over 2011, thanks to the company’s e-commerce sales model. The company’s Karter Scientific Brand is the fastest-growing brand in the industry, with strong sales in schools and universities.

LLOYD LAUW COLLISION REPAIR CENTER $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 15 wwww.lloydlauw.com Lloyd Lauw Collision Repair opened for business on June 11, 2001, with five employees. Within one year, the business had increased its sales to $1.2 million. It’s become one of the largest collision repair facilities in the area. In 2003, the company moved to its present 22,000-square-foot location. In 2005, the facility and equipment were upgraded. The company topped $3 million for the first time in 2006, and has been a multi-million dollar business ever since. One of the keys to the company’s success has been a willingness to keep up with new trends in the industry, including waterborne paint coatings. The economic downturn and dry climate conditions, which affected the severity and number of collisions, hurt the company over the last year, but Lauw says he’s optimistic about the future, and is always looking to add new services. “We are constantly working on gaining more market share,” says Lauw.

RAPID RESPONSE RESTORATION $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 15 www.rrrestore.com Rapid Response Restoration actually began in 1993 as a maid service run by Judy Wright. The company expanded to include commercial janitorial, carpet cleaning and hard surface floor care work. Following the hurricanes of 2005, the owners developed the company into a fullservice emergency response company that specializes in water, fire and mold mitigation work. The company was state licensed for mold mitigation work in 2007, and also holds certifications of expertise in water and fire remediation work. Revenues are down, as the company

is in business restructuring mode, but the economic outlook is solid. A new outside salesperson has been added to the staff, and the company’s invested in Thermal Energy Drying Systems to improve efficiency, saving customers time and money.

UNITED OFFICE SUPPLY & EQUIPMENT COMPANY $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 8 www.unitedofficesupply.com United Office Supply, located in Sulphur, was purchased in January of 1989 by Carolyn Chitty, who has built the store into the largest locally owned office supply store in Calcasieu Parish. Being locally owned and operated, and focusing on great personal service

keeps the company strong, and Chitty says the company buys local products whenever possible. The company sells office supplies and furniture, office machines, copier and computer supplies, janitorial supplies, promotional products, printing, rubber stamps, wedding invitations, TimeMist products, business cards, fine leather gifts and more. United Office Supply is a member of the BBB and the West Calcasieu Assoc. of Commerce. Chitty is a member of the Rotary Club of Sulphur, and serves on the boards of all three groups. She is also a member of the Community Advisory Panel of local refineries. United Office Supply is also a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise.

LONNIE G. HARPER & ASSOCIATES, INC. $1 million-$2.9 million Employees: 20 www.harper-group.com The engineering and surveying firm of Lonnie G. Harper and Assoc. was founded in 1974 to provide quality engineering and surveying services to public, commercial and private clients. The office, based in Grand Chenier, was destroyed by Rita, and again by Ike. The company’s Bell City office is now its main office, serving the Lake Charles area as well as Central Louisiana. Revenue for the firm was up last year, and the economic climate didn’t affect the company’s workload. In fact, the economic downturn has allowed the company to expand its service area into Southeast Texas. The future looks bright for the company, with the acquisition of several long-term service contracts. The future looks extremely bright for the company, with LNG and Sasol expansions generating long-term growth for the company.

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The Experts Agree: It Will Be A Heavy Hurricane Season • By Brad Goins

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t may seem that every year brings a forecast for above-average hurricane activity along the Gulf Coast. But that’s not quite the case. In at least a couple of the years since Rita’s landfall, the forecasts have been for average hurricane seasons. While this year’s forecasts aren’t exactly off the hook, they are for an above-average hurricane season. So this is one more year when residents will want to be just a little extra attentive about those Gulf of Mexico weather reports. As usual, we’ll start Lagniappe’s look at the hurricane forecast by turning to the granddaddies of the hurricane forecasters: the scientists at Colorado State University. They see hurricane landfall in the U.S. in 2013 as running 140 percent above the average since 1980. How does that stack up in hard figures in specific categories? Well, for 2013, here’s what Colorado State is predicting: • named storms (making landfall in the U.S.) 18

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Locations Of Landfalls

Colorado State’s “hindcast skill” — The blue line indicates storms that were predicted; the purple line indicates the storms that actually occurred. Note the spike in 2005 when both Katrina and Rita struck. • hurricanes 9 • major hurricanes 4. In comparison, here are the historical figures for those same categories in the period since 1980: • named storms 12 • hurricanes 6.5

• major hurricanes 2. I don’t quite get a 140 percent increase out of that, but the Colorado State people are thorough, and they’re predicting for a lot more than three categories.

Now let’s get into the predictions for where hurricanes will make landfall. We’ll start off big and gradually work our way to our area. The Colorado State people predict that the chance of at least one hurricane striking somewhere along the U.S. coastline in 2013 is 72 percent. This compares to a 52 percent incidence of hurricane landfalls over the last century. The chance of a strike on the East Coast (including east Florida) are 48 percent (versus 31 percent for the last century). And in the Gulf Coast, predictions for the likelihood of a hurricane strike are


47 percent, as compared to the 30 percent incidence of actual strikes over the last century. According to Colorado State, the chance that at least one Category 3-5 hurricane will track into the Caribbean in 2013 is 61 percent. During the last century, the incidence has been 42 percent. Now, for Louisiana … The odds that a hurricane of any magnitude will strike somewhere in the state in 2013 are 46.7 percent. Odds of a major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane are 19.5 percent. And now for the numbers we’re most interested in; for Calcasieu Parish in 2013, the probability of a hurricane of any strength striking is 16.4 percent. The chances of a major hurricane hitting the parish are 5.4 percent. It’s a bit surprising that the predictions for Cameron Parish are identical to those for Calcasieu this year. As always, we compare the odds for our area to those for nearby areas that tend to be struck. This year, the Calcasieu and Cameron area comes off somewhat favorably. Predictions for Orleans Parish are a 50.5 percent chance of a hurricane of some strength striking. Chances of a major hurricane are a very high 27.2 percent. And in Galveston, the prediction is for a 44.7 chance of any kind of hurricane; the odds of a big hurricane are 20.9 percent.

Even in March, sea temperatures off the west coast of Africa were very hot. This is the area where the winds that would become Hurricane Rita originated.

LOW WIND SHEAR: The red line (b) indicates low wind shear high in the atmosphere. Low wind shear fails to break up hurricane formation.

Why The High Numbers? Weather forecasters like to use the word “anomalous.” We’ll just use the word unusual instead. Early in 2013, there was unusual warming of the tropical Atlantic. In fact, in March, on charts, the Atlantic waters along the central western African coast were already the deep red we associate with very hot temperatures. There are unusual westerly winds in the Atlantic that will, if they stay in place, enable warm waters to move north from the south Atlantic and eventually settle close to the Caribbean, which would vastly increase the chance of hurricane development. Strong trade winds over the central Atlantic cool down surface temperatures. When the strength of trade winds is below average, as it was in the spring of 2013, temperatures in the Atlantic rise. continued

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This graphic also shows hot African waters in March. These hot temperatures are predicted to move into the parts of the Atlantic that were blue (normal) in March. Note that hot spots already existed off the U.S. coast in March. Unusually warm Atlantic sea temperatures increase moisture in the troposphere. As a result, huge areas of moisture assemble 5 to 15 miles above the sea surface. If winds are well-organized, they break up these large areas and keep them from developing into hurricanes. But the unusually warm Atlantic seas temperatures that are likely to prevail this fall disrupt the winds that rise from the sea into the air far above the sea. As a result, the “wind shear” that breaks up hurricanes is weak, and hurricanes may develop. In the spring, there was high pressure in the southeast tropical Pacific. In this area, there were strong trade winds. These winds prevented warm waters from moving to the west Pacific and creating an El Nino current. All of this makes it likely that the eastern Pacific will be somewhat cool in the fall and will make conditions closer to those of La Nina than those of El Nino. The dominance of La Nina winds will increase the likelihood of hurricane development in the Atlantic.

dozen predictors of hurricanes. In fact, Colorado State considers a multitude of predictors. As the scientists put it, “there is a maze of changing physical linkages between the many variables … No one can completely understand the full complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system. But it is still possible to develop a reliable statistical forecast scheme” in spite of the complexity of the system. That, anyway, is the argument. The system’s great complexity is a matter of fact. And that’s why Colorado State says that even after 30 years of hurricane prediction, it’s still “evolving forecast techniques.”

Ammunition For Skeptics Although no Category 3 or higher hurricanes have struck the U.S. in a continued

But Is It Good Science? Whether you think hurricane forecasting is good science or a good gimmick depends on your view of the science of weather. Colorado State staff argue that their predictions of hurricanes have merit because they’ve been correct well over 50 percent of the time. The entire method of prediction rests on the premise that history shows that certain types of weather events take place in the months before hurricanes hit the U.S. coast. If this is the case, it may be that if those events are taking place in the present, one can predict hurricanes a few months down the line. Colorado State says it only uses “predictors” that are followed by actual hurricanes. In other words, if a weather phenomenon that “should” be followed by hurricanes is not, it’s crossed off Colorado State’s list of predictors. To put it another way, predictors must show “significant hindcast skill.” Then there’s the complexity of the science. The short summary I wrote earlier in this story mentions only half a June 6, 2013

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This chart shows widespread agreement among international forecasters about this season’s wind patterns. Only 2 of 17 predict an El Nino pattern. (El Nino discourages hurricane formation.)

while, forecasts for above-average storm formation seem to have been accurate, at least in a general way. In each of the last three years, there have been 19 named storms in the Atlantic. That is far above average. It is, perhaps, ironic, that the 19 named storms that arose in 2012 were, for some, a grounds for criticizing Colorado State, which had predicted only 10 named storms for 2012. Although you’d never know it from all the controversy, many consider Colorado State a conservative weather forecaster. It comes as no surprise that the small number of storms Colorado State predicted was attributed to the old El Nino versus La Nina problem; it “was one of the causes of the poor forecast in 2012,” says Colorado State’s Dr. Bill Gray. “We

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thought an El Nino was coming.” It never did. The occasional off-year will certainly be noticed by the skeptics of hurricane predicting, such as those at tropicalstormrisk.com, who recently wrote that there is “no skill” in forecasts for hurricanes made in the December before the season, and that “skill climbs slowly as the hurricane season approaches, with moderate to good skill levels being achieved from early August.” (Colorado State makes predictions both in the December before the hurricane season and in April of the year in which the season falls.) If this year’s forecasts are way off, skeptics could get some strong ammunition. This year, most of the big players are right in line with Colorado State’s predictions. The Weather Channel’s predictions are almost identical, although the network calls for five major hurricanes rather than four. And NOAA is in line also, calling for a range of 3-6 major hurricanes coming out of the Atlantic this season.


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was standing in an excruciatingly long line, waiting not so patiently to pick up a prescription at a local pharmacy. We were getting ready to high-tail it north with all eight dogs to get out of the way of Hurricane Ike. Believe me, in the heat of late summer, with Arctic-type dogs, staying where you may not have power — or intact fencing — for days or weeks is not a good idea. The woman behind me was on a cell phone (and she wouldn’t hit the “end” button until she was at the register). She was talking, as was everyone, about preparing her home and family to flee Ike. “We’ll leave the dog in the garage,” she told whoever was on the other end of the call. “It’ll be easier for him to get out of the garage if he needs to.” I turned and looked at her, and I’m sure my facial expression told her exactly what I thought of that comment, but I held my tongue. What good would it have done to try to change her mind? You want my opinion, though? Anyone who flees to safety in the face of a major hurricane or any other natural disaster and leaves their pet to face the storm alone, and then to wander and fend for himself for who knows how long afterwards, should be fined and/or jailed. But maybe that’s just me. I’m more than sympathetic to anyone having to evacuate with dogs or other pets — I feel their pain entirely. Rita was my first experience with hurricane evacuation, as it was for most in SWLA. It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy — and I only had five dogs at the time. We had only one vehicle at that time — an old Ford pickup — and we piled all five dogs, along with their necessary equipment, into the back of the cab, and in metal crates placed and secured in the bed of the truck. Forget cherished possessions — those things we always feel we can’t live without. By the time we loaded all the dogs and their equipment, and a few books (I had to draw the line somewhere; I left my beloved DVD collection behind, but I had to take at least a few of my books), there was barely enough room left for our suitcases. But leaving the dogs was never even a thought. It took work, heavy-duty planning, a lot of help from my family in Arkansas, faith, the kindness of strangers and a whole lot of patience on the part of my dear husband, but we managed to get the dogs out of harm’s way and keep them safe and relatively comfortable during those nightmarish two and a half weeks we were gone. The key word here is: planning.

Evacuating with dogs or cats begins with a solid plan — one that should be in place well in advance. Decide well ahead of time where you will evacuate to, and check the area out in regard to your pets: Which local hotels will accept pets, and how much of a pet deposit do they charge? Are there breed specific ordinances in place, and if so, will they affect your dogs? Are there good boarding kennels in the area, and how much do they charge? If your pet needs special vet care while you’re away, is there a vet in the area who can handle the case? Ask your regular vet for referrals, and while you’re at it, get a copy of your “special needs” pet’s medical records to bring with you. If you’re staying with family or friends and want to keep your pets with you, are your potential hosts set up for pets, with a fenced area, and room for

beds or crates? Will your pets be able to stay with you, loose in the home; or will they have to be confined to crates in a garage? In short, know where your pets will be staying and how he’ll be cared for. Put money aside for boarding and vet charges, should they arise. Keep your pet’s records together and in an easily accessible spot in your home. Think of it as an extension of your own evacuation kit. You’ll want to bring vaccination records and registration papers. You’ll want to bring food and water for your pet during your trip, of course. You can pick food up along the way, though you’ll want to make sure to stash enough away so that you’ll have enough with you to get you out of the hurricane “strike zone,” where supplies will be very low and lines very long. And don’t make the mistake I made

when my husband and I finally decided to evacuate for Rita. I had let myself run very low on food, and by the time I knew we’d be leaving, stores were closing left and right. I made it to Petsmart as they were closing the doors. Literally. I walked up just as they were sliding the doors closed. Thanks to an understanding clerk who was willing to handle one last customer, I managed to get enough food to last at least a week or so. Keep yourself slightly overstocked with food during hurricane season. It’s much easier to simply bag up food to bring with you than to have to get out and hunt for an open store and wait in line forever when you do find one. Water is of more concern. Dogs, like humans, can go without food much longer than they can without water. Also, a sudden change of water can upset a dog’s stomach — definitely not what you want when you’re stuck in traffic on continued

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“We’ll leave the dog in the garage,” she told whoever was on the other end of the call. “It’ll be easier for him to get out of the garage if he needs to.” I turned and looked at her. I’m sure my facial expression told her exactly what I thought of that comment ...

an evacuation route. Fill up a few bottles with your pet’s usual water to keep with your evacuation kit. To make a switch when you’ve reached your destination, simply refill the bottle of your pet’s regular water with the new water every time you fill his bowl. This way, you replace the regular water with the new bit by bit, easing your pet into the transition slowly. As you should with your own medications, keep well-stocked with your pet’s medications (including heartworm preventative). Ask your vet for an additional round or two of the heartworm med if necessary. Be sure you have your vet’s contact information and your pet’s medical records handy in case you need to make an emergency vet visit in another area. The attending vet will need the medical info, and may need to contact your regular vet if an emergency arises.

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PET HURRICANE PREP CLINICS

Don’t forget collars and leashes ... an extra of each for each pet won’t hurt. Make sure you have an ID tag on your pet’s collar, with your cell number (not your home number) on it. In stressful situations, accidents happen, and if your pet slips away from you in a strange place, you definitely want your contact info on him. Microchipping is also a must in my book, emergency road trip or no. Bowls, crates, beds, towels, toys — all should come with you if possible. True, you can purchase these things on the road, but your pet will be more comfortable with his normal possessions. The trip will be stressful enough as it is. And if you need to board your pet, his familiar bedding, toys and bowls will make the stay less stressful for him. Sure, bringing your pet along adds a lot of work to an already stressful and hectic situation, but think of your pet — after being scared witless by high winds, tornadoes, rain and thunder, all experienced without the comfort of being with his people — breaking his way out of your garage to wander the streets scavenging for whatever scraps of food he can find, stepping on nails, glass and debris of all kinds. That thought should make it worthwhile to you to make the effort to bring him along and keep him safe and well.

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Reina Veterinary Clinic will hold pet hurricane preparedness clinics Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4 pm, and Saturdays, 10-11 am, throughout June. Hurricane season is upon us and the most important thing you can do to protect your pets if you evacuate is to take them with you. However, whether you evacuate or stay in your home, preparations have to be made to ensure the safety of your family and pets. Pet owners can have their furry companions vaccinated and microchipped for only $75. Calcasieu Parish rabies licenses will be issued with rabies vaccinations, and microchips will include registration. A Pet ID card will be ordered for each participant for a $5 fee. Pet ID cards, much like a driver’s license, make pet vaccination and identification records compact. Disaster preparedness information and checklists will be available; they can also be found online on Reina’s Client Information page at reinavet.com. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 4771325.

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hen residents return to their homes after a natural disaster, they may face a disaster of another type: the unscrupulous repairperson. Although homeowners are most concerned with getting things back to normal, proceeding with caution at this stage will help avoid additional heartache and money. Before making any repair, homeowners should determine how much aid is available. The three basic funding sources for repairs are insurance proceeds, government assistance and private funds. Once the amount of funds available is determined, it’s necessary to select a

contractor. Compile a list of potential repair firms, then contact the local Better Business Bureau for reports about the firms, or get reports online at search.bbb.org/search. And check with friends or relatives for references. Be suspicious of door-to-door workers who, in order to get the job, may use scare tactics, such as alleging a building has unsafe structural conditions. Here are some things to consider when one is approached by a repair company at home: • Always check to see whether the company’s name is on the worker’s vehicle. • Make sure the company is listed in the telephone directory. • Ask for a street address for the

company. Whether you’re contracting with a large company or with an independent repairman who’s been checked out and deemed legitimate, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure a fair price and successful project: • Request two or three estimates, making certain that contractors are bidding the same package, including materials to be used, when work is to begin and be completed, and when payments are to be made. • Make sure the contract contains a detailed description of the necessary work. A contract containing general statements such as “repair siding” is an open invitation for abuse.

• If the project is being financed, the contract should include a breakdown of these costs. • Document all expenditures, including temporary lodging and meals. Documentation may be necessary for reimbursement. • A down payment of 30 percent of the total is standard for the industry. • The time when work is to begin is particularly important as many contractors may have a backlog of work due to the disaster. • Ask for a lien waver in the event the contractor fails to pay his suppliers. • Do not sign a completion form until you’re totally satisfied with the project.

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Legislators Laugh While The Budget Stays Broken

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ew things were more comical than former state Sen. Joe McPherson at his most frustrated. A self-described country boy with a shock of salt-and-pepper hair and a pushbroom mustache, McPherson hails from Woodworth, a community of 1,000 people just south of Alexandria. He returned there after terming out in 2012. When the Upper Chamber stumbled into its afternoon routine, pausing so members could introduce the Basile Swine Festival queen or their insurance agent’s cousin from Dry Creek, McPherson eventually made his way to the mic. “Heeeerrreee we go,” he’d twang. “It’s Howdy Doody time!” A graduate of the rural acting academy, he motioned in one speech to the sides of the chamber. “Howdy Doody to you, and Howdy Doody to you. Howdy Doody to everybody!” McPherson was funny even when he was scolding colleagues for wasting time. (He wasn’t above it all; in questioning another’s use of time, he once paid for and distributed bumper stickers emblazoned with “Jindal for V.P.”) Another comedic complainer was former Sen. Robert Barham, now Wildlife

and Fisheries secretary. Barham had caught the fury of former governor Kathleen Blanco for switching parties, and he spent his final years noting the topography, temperature and political climate of Siberia, where he claimed the “Queen Bee” had exiled him. McPherson, although he half-heartedly tried, couldn’t end the time-honored practice of senators indulging in a little Howdy Doody time. If anything, it has expanded in his absence. Lawmakers in this year’s abbreviated session have already competed against each other in a football game, a basketball matchup and a bowling tournament. All proceeds went to charity, but some might argue that their time and effort was borrowed from taxpayers. They’ve advanced bills creating a barbecue cook-off for West Baton Rouge, exploring bass fishing as a new high school sport, adding “I’m Cajun” to licenses, and slating money for film festivals. Not that there’s anything shameful about these competitions and causes. They’re a part of the legislative process and our collective culture. Yet they’re hard to swallow when there’s no making sense of the budget, which ignores the long-term

By Jeremy Alford

funding needs of higher education and health care. If and when a budget passes, Gov. Bobby Jindal may very well blame lawmakers for sending him a terrible document. A few lawmakers may in turn blame Jindal for introducing one. But not all leges will challenge the governor. They’ve heard of Barham’s Siberia, and they’re in no hurry to visit. Senate chairmen and vice chairmen have been called into meetings and will likely fall in line, along with their colleagues in the Upper Chamber, where Howdy Doody time was first recognized for its political benefits. These are troubling political times that don’t relate well in the self-celebrity world of social media, where googling “Howdy Doody” and posting a few videos takes less effort than typing “Jindal Health Care Budget” and reading for an hour or two. Back in the real world, the health care issue has been fueled by unexpected and increasing costs related to the administration’s ideology-driven push to privatize public hospitals and refuse Medicaid expansion. Education is being funded with change found under sofa cushions, while the courts overturn one administration program after another.

Jindal’s failed tax plan, which was supposed to be the session’s focus, was probably the biggest Howdy Doody of the year. It sidetracked everybody. Most lawmakers focused on Jindal’s sideshow instead of the ailing budget, although the House Appropriations Committee met for weeks before the session convened on April 8. More lawmakers should have joined them. Finally, we’re all Howdy Doodies for not getting more riled up. Distractions are easier to swallow than policy and budget numbers. The distractions may be even more welcome in coming years, when the state runs out of dedicated funds to plunder to prop up higher education and health care. A speech from the strawberry queen will be a nice respite from the debt that’s stacking up. A bill declaring Bayou Pigeon the official garfish capital might be enough to soothe nerves in the face of increased outmigration. We’ll need ‘round-the-clock Howdy Doody, which, if Google is to be trusted, was nothing more than a marionette — and a fitting metaphor for Louisiana lawmakers. We all know who pulls their strings.

ONE FINAL TRIBUTE BY DUANE BERGERON ON THE WARM Thursday morning of May 23, the news came like a crash of thunder. The Louisiana Swashbucklers were folding after a run of nine seasons. One decision made after that announcement was that the final home game, scheduled for Saturday, May 25, would not be played. That was an anticlimactic event, considering that the week before, the “purple-and-black gang” had played one of its greatest games ever in the Smugglers’ Den (the nickname for the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum) when the Richmond Raiders were defeated 68-66 in double overtime. Another decision that followed was that the Professional Indoor Football League would take over the team. This would allow the Bucs to complete the 2013 schedule. At the time of this writing, they will play the Alabama

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Hammers, Richmond Raiders and Knoxville Nighthawks in the venues of those teams. The cancelled home game against the Hammers will be rescheduled. It will not be played in Lake Charles. After that, it remains to be seen what will happen. I write this article not from the viewpoint of a sports journalist, but as an insider. Whether as a correspondent or a front office staff member, I’ve been involved with indoor football in Lake Charles since the very beginning back in 2001, when the franchise started as the Lake Charles Land Sharks. The Land Sharks commenced with great success, but by 2004 the novelty was wearing off. That could have been the end of it right there. After the end of the 2004 season, Thom Hager entered the scene. A sales and sports marketing expert, Hager, and his wife Brenda, purchased the team from the original owners. The refur-

bished team launched in 2005 with Kip Texada as head coach. The team had been so thoroughly revamped there were virtually no indications that a year before it was the Land Sharks. After the first season, Texada stepped down and was replaced by Darnell Lee. In 2006, the Swashbucklers magic kicked into overdrive. The team started racking up one win after another — sometimes with lopsided scores. And the crowds were there. The fan base increased. Later, the Swashbucklers wound up winning three consecutive league championships, in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The Swashbucklers were a proven commodity. After the 2011 season, Hager sold the team to a partnership group led by president Chris Meaux. The new owners dedicated their efforts to continuing and expanding what Hager had started. But this is the point at which you insert that old adage about “the best

laid plans” and so forth. What happened? Several theories, explanations and reasons are being bandied about. But a substantial contributor was the financial element. Fan support was starting to decline in 2012, though several home games had large attendance numbers. This year, there were too many empty seats. Over the years, every player, coach, owner, staff member and volunteer gave their all with just one goal in mind. And that was to make the Swashbucklers the best team in the league. And the effort was successful, especially when you consider the Bucs were affiliated with four different leagues in their existence. On a night in the coliseum when the lights are low and the silence is deafening, you can still hear the echoes of the screaming and excited fans cheering the Swashbucklers on to victory. I know I will.


REEL TALK

duane bergeron

Star Trek Into Darkness For a few weeks now, Star Trek Into Darkness has been traveling at warp speed to the bank with large box office grosses to deposit. The much-anticipated sequel to J.J. Abrams’ retooling of the legendary franchise has lived up to expectations but not without a few shortcomings. Due to the complexities in the storyline, and for the benefit of those who haven’t yet seen the film, I’m going to dispense with the usual plot summary and go right into the analysis. Even revealing a small amount of information about this plot can result in a “spoiler.” Far be it from me to release such details. The script was written using the basic concept of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) as an inspiration. Unfortunately, I’m afraid Abrams’ scriptwriting team went a bit overboard in how much was borrowed. The new movie is exciting overall and high quality science fiction entertainment. It’s great for viewing on a hot summer day or night. But as a writer, I look on the script and its content first when I evaluate any motion picture because the script is the heart and soul of any cinematic production. It’s been that way since the medium was invented. And for that matter, Star Trek was established on the foundation of quality writing when the late Gene Roddenberry launched the voyages of the starship Enterprise in the mid-1960s.

entire production. The audience deserves better than this. With that out of the way, Star Trek Into Darkness does have some very positive qualities to it. Top notch special effects courtesy of Industrial Light and Magic create a splendid blend of effects and story. This is one of those features in which the effects serve the storyline and not the reverse. That was a pleasant surprise. The cast returns for the sequel; it

Paramount Pictures, Rated PG-13

includes Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. Some critics have given high marks to actor Benedict Cumberbatch as John Harrison/Khan. I’m inclined to agree. Cumberbatch gives his character just a certain amount of menace without going over the top, but at the same time infuses a charm that gives the impression he’s not as insidious as he might seem. Star Trek Into Darkness sticks to its

roots despite the obvious changes visible on screen. Abrams is slated to direct Episode VII of Star Wars (with a tentative release date of summer 2015). But he may not be back to direct the next Trek feature. But whoever takes over the reins in the franchise will have their work cut out for them in maintaining what Abrams has established. And the Trek fanbase will be watching. Very closely I might add.

But, while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn’t work in this case. Abrams concocted the idea of an “alternate timeline” to use as a means to create fresh story developments in the franchise since so many premises in Star Trek have been explored in the previous 11 features and five television series. Star Trek Into Darkness is the last production I would have ever expected to indulge in self-plagiarism. The experience of viewing this feature was compromised when the fourth act played out on the screen. Too many familiar and repetitive elements appeared from The Wrath of Khan. I was highly disappointed. I expected better of Abrams and his crew than this. It’s one thing to create a scene with previously used material as a tribute to something that has come before. But the excessive use of what had come before in the fourth act was unjustified and unnecessary. The scriptwriters were capable of avoiding this, but for some strange reason they decided to indulge in repetition rather than maintain originality throughout the June 6, 2013

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REEL TALK

duane bergeron

Fast And Furious

Universal Pictures, Rated PG-13

In the last decade, one of the great mysteries to me has been how the Fast and Furious franchise been able to survive. The first film, released in 2001, dealt with the culture of underground street racing and the people who are connected to it. The original story dealt with driver and mechanic Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), who was being investigated by police

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detective Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). In the sequels, the concept extended far beyond the manner in which it all got started. There were installments that didn’t even feature the two leads. As time passed, more actors came into the fold. With each new production, the ante was increased with bigger and more thrilling stunts. When Fast Five was released, its box office tallies raced to new heights, indicating the concept was in no danger of slowing down. It was the sign showing Fast and Furious has defied the odds. In the modern cinematic era, with the exception of James Bond, Star Trek, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, no other film property has been able to make it so far in a series without showing signs of deterioration. Fast and Furious 6 has gotten off to a blazing start at the box office, showing that its drawing power is still there. This is absolutely astonishing for a group of films that contain no serious drama, no substantial character development and no major substance to home in on. It’s been all about fast cars, stunts, crashes and chases. Yet for all the popcorn fare these movies represent, they can still draw crowds to theaters and add money to Universal Studios’ bank accounts. In installment six, in another country, Toretto and O’Connor are enjoying the good life. O’Connor is settling in as being a new father and Toretto continues with his pursuits. But their happy existence comes to a stop when they’re visited by agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). It turns out he’s been chasing international criminal and terrorist Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) across several continents. Evans has been able to avoid capture by using expert drivers who can outrun anybody. Hobbs is asking Toretto, O’Connor, and their friends to reunite to help him capture Shaw. And Toretto gets added motivation to assist Hobbs when he’s shown photographic evidence that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is still alive. Under Hobbs’ direction, Toretto’s team is reassembled and goes to work finding out what Shaw is up to. Though he is thwarted in one robbery attempt, Shaw wastes no time in planning another. This time, he assaults a European military base in search of a valuable computer chip that would give Shaw access to military weapons. Hobbs and Torretto are able to intercept Shaw. A major confrontation breaks out and threatens not only Letty’s life, but everyone on the team as well. Fast and Furious 6 continues right where the previous installment left off, not only in terms of its story continuity but also the aforementioned elements that have allowed this concept to grow and thrive when other multiple sequels have bitten the dust. This is as wild a tale as any that’s been presented in the franchise. The only difference is that the stunts, chases and driving scenes have been ratcheted up to a higher level. The Fast and Furious formula is still working.


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The Addams Family

LUTCHER THEATRE SUMMER EVENTS The Lutcher Theater, located at 707 Main St. in Orange, will present three shows this summer. The Broadway musical comedy The Addams Family will be staged June 1920, 7:30 pm. The show brings the dark and delirious world of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch to life, as Gomez Addams must keep a secret from his wife, Morticia, for the first time, and deal with the fact that his daughter’s new boyfriend is “normal.” Tickets are $35-65. The Western group Riders in the Sky will perform July 14, 3 pm. For more than 30 years, the group has been keeper of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing Western music. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students. A Band Called Honalee, A Tribute to the Music of Peter, Paul and Mary, will be staged Sept. 7, 7:30 pm. The show brings together three young musicians who return to the era of Peter, Paul and Mary. The show includes songs by Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, The Mamas and the Papas, Joan Baez, The Weavers, Judy Collins and others. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students. For tickets, call 409-886-5535 or visit lutcher.org.

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SASOL TEACHER INSTITUTE The Sasol Teacher Institute will take place Monday, July 22 through Friday, July 26 from 8 am till 3:30 pm each day at Sasol’s complex adjacent to the City of Westlake. The Institute will provide area educators with information about the world of work from an industry perspective. Teachers will be given information and resources that will help them in their efforts to prepare the future work force. There will be a $25 a day stipend for each participant. Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily. The Calcasieu Parish School Board recognizes the Institute and credits it with 24 CLUs. Applicants should be public or private school teachers in any grades in the SWLA area. Preference will be given to teachers in science, chemistry, math, English, history or civics. However, teachers in all disciplines are welcome. Teachers must be available to attend at least 80 percent of Institute activities. The deadline for filing applications is Wednesday, June 19. For more information, call 499-7105 or email orvel.vanwinkle@us.sasol.com.

JACK’S WORLD A solo exhibit titled “Jack’s World” will be held through June 20 at the Gallery by the Lake at 106 W. Pryce St. in Lake Charles. Hours are noon-5 pm Tuesday-Friday and 10 am- 2 pm Saturday. For more info, call 436-1008.


LC BAND CONCERT SERIES The Lake Charles Community Band will perform a free concert each Monday in June (June 3, 10, 17 and 24) at 7 pm at the Lake Charles Civic Center amphitheater or, in case of inclement weather, inside the Lake Charles Civic Center on the second floor mezzanine. The theme of the series is Music Through the Decades. The program for June 10 includes movie themes, and will feature music from the movies 1941, Star Wars, A Chorus Line, Gladiator, Pixar movies and Les Miserables. A contest will be held to select a “guest conductor” from the audience, and the winner will conduct the Washington Post March. The band is directed by Rod Lauderdale, assisted by Leo Murray. The Cold Sweat musicians are all volunteers from throughout Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. The musicians come from all walks of life and range in age from high school students to retirees. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LakeCharlesCommunityBand.

CASINO ROYALE FUNDRAISER The Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana will host its third annual Casino Royale fundraiser Saturday, July 27, 7-11 pm, at Reeves Uptown Catering in Lake Charles. The event will feature live music, refreshments, a cash bar, a silent auction, and casino-style games such as blackjack, roulette, poker and craps. The evening’s top five chip winners will each take home a door prize. Beginners and intermediate level players can get instructions and assistance from the table dealers. Players of all levels are welcome. All proceeds will benefit the Volunteer Center’s 2-1-1 program, in which residents can use the 211 dial code to gain health and human service information and referrals related to disaster aid, shelters, food banks, child care, counseling, volunteer opportunities and employment support. Tickets are $50, and sponsorship opportunities range from $250- $2,500. To sponsor or purchase tickets, call 513-4616, or visit volunteercenterswla.org.

SPORTS MEDICINE SYMPOSIUM Lake Charles Memorial Sports Medicine will host its fourth annual Sports Medicine Symposium Saturday, June 15, at L’Auberge Casino Resort. The symposium is free and open to physicians, physical therapists, coaches, athletic trainers and other professionals involved in amateur or professional athletics. It will feature educational presentations from physicians and medical professionals from across the Lake Area on sports-related injuries and treatments in the fields of orthopaedics and orthopaedic trauma, family medicine, physical therapy and athletic training. The guest speaker will be Dr. Timothy Kremchek, medical director and chief orthopaedic surgeon for the Cincinnati Reds. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, and reservations are required. To register, visit www.lcmh.com/symposium or call 494-2936.

GOOD SHEPHERD SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL Good Shepherd Episcopal Church will host its 26th annual Summer Music Festival, with concerts to be held each Tuesday in June at 715 Kirkman St. in Lake Charles, 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 per concert and can be purchased at the door. Season tickets are $30. Children younger than 12 are admitted free. A reception to meet the artists will follow each performance. Here is the schedule: • June 11 — Someone To Watch Over Me. The program includes the St. Anne Prelude and Fugue of J. S. Bach, a trumpet suite by Handel, Eric Ewazen’s A Hymn for the Lost and the Living (In Memoriam 9/11/01), Hovhaness’s Prayer of St. Gregory, and Michael, from Archangel Suite by Craig Phillips, as well as a George Gershwin medley. George Chase plays trumpet, piano, and organ with trumpeter, organist and pianist Linda Patterson. • June 18 — Love Is Like The Lion’s Tooth. Join soprano Annamarie Zmolek and flutist Wendy Isaac Bergin of Prairie View A&M University, hornist Rod Lauderdale, McNeese faculty, and virtuoso pianist Richard Masters, from UT-Austin, for an evening of vocal fireworks on the subject of love’s perilous pitfalls. The program ends with heartbroken Lucia, one of opera’s most unhappy lovers, in the “Mad Scene” from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. • June 25 — The Rogues. Founded in Houston in 1994, the two bagpipers and two drummers of The Rogues deliver a commanding performance of traditional Scottish music with modern drive and flair. They’ve performed at Scottish Highland Games across the United States, in Canada and in Greece, and as guest artists with the Air Force Symphony Orchestra. The performers are listed in the official Grammy book for several nominations. For more information, call 433-5244

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THURSDAY, JUNE 6

FRIDAY, JUNE 7

SATURDAY, JUNE 8

Coushatta Bernie Alan Dharma Open mic Isle of Capri Ivy & Timmy Dugas L’Auberge Liquid Society Kenny Wayne Shepherd; Jack After Dark DJ Showtime Luna Live TBA

Cigar Club Alien Tramp Coushatta Stellar Cowboys Club 7 Radio Delta Downs BB & Company Dharma Costume Party, Herban Cat w DJ Isle of Capri Charles Mann L’Auberge Jack Goes Country Charla Corn w DJ Eric Scott Yesterdays Rusty Metoyer & Zydeco Krush

Cigar Club Wayne Dylan Coushatta Pavilion Lynyrd Skynyrd; Mikko Live Stellar Delta Downs BB & Company Dharma Dolo Jazz Suite 3 AF THE NAYSAYER Isle of Capri Vickie Lawrence and Mama; Caribbean Cove Prophets and Outlaws L'Auberge Jack After Dark DJ Showtime Luna Live Purple Yesterdays Champagne Room

THURSDAY, JUNE 13 Coushatta Leroy Thomas & Zydeco Roadrunners Dharma Open mic Isle of Capri Wayne Dylan L’Auberge Liquid Society Robert Randolph & The Family Band; Jack After Dark DJ Adriana Luna Live TBA

karaoke Annie's 9pm Friday; Saturday Bourbonz 8pm Tuesdays Chicageaux Bar 8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday Club 90 8pm Saturday Coolers Thursday Crickets 8:30pm Friday DeQuincy VFW 7-11pm Friday; 6-10pm Sunday

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FRIDAY, JUNE 14

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

Cigar Club RKW Show Live Coushatta Karma Delta Downs Cypress City Dharma Mad Conductor w Bujie & The Highrise Isle of Capri Zydecane L’Auberge Jack Goes Country John Evans w DJ Eric Scott Luna TBA Yesterdays Todd O’Neill Band

Cigar Club MTBA Coushatta Karma Delta Downs Event Center S.O.S. Band; Gator Lounge Alter Ego Dharma England in 1819 w When The Word Was Sound & FLCON FCKR Isle of Capri The Kadillacs L’Auberge Jack After Dark DJ Adriana Luna Live Dead Earth Politics, Entrenched Defilement, Gods Forgotten, Black Feratu, Ashes of Eden

Dirty Rice Saloon 7pm Thursday Frosty Factory 9pm Thurs thru Sat Handlebars Club Tuesdays & Thursdays Huddle Up Thursdays Isle Of Capri 8pm-Midnight Wednesday Kaw-Ligas Tuesday thru Saturday Mike's Place 8pm-until M,W,F Linda's Lounge 8:30-11:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; 9-1 Saturday Neighborhood Bar 7pm Thursday No Name Lounge 8-Mid Friday, 7-11pm Sunday Old Town Tavern Fri/Sat Nights

R-Bar 8pm Friday Sam's Cove 9pm Thursday Shorty's Ice House 9pm Friday Slim's Yesteryears 9pm Thursday Spot Bar & Grill Fridays Sports Pitt 8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday Sulphur VFW 9pm-Mid Saturday Tiki Bar 8pm Friday Texas Longhorn Club 9pm Thursdays, 1am Fridays Fax listings to 433-8964 or edit@thelanyap.com


MOUNTED MEMORIES

rocke "soybean" fournet

Beating The Heat The worm has turned. The low yesterday was 78 humid degrees, and it was pushing 90 when the sun set. Kiss the cool nights and pleasant temperatures good-bye. It’s the start of the semi-tropical summer weather pattern Louisiana is famous for. We’ve got the heat with the matching high humidity that will literally take your breath away. Oh yeah, and it’s hurricane season! One great solution to beating the heat is just not to expose yourself to it. If you count yourself as one of many diehard fishermen in the area, you probably figured this one out all by yourself. Toledo Bend was heating up, but the Mestas family was keeping cool. Juan and his wife, Morgan, are night owls, so night fishing was a natural. They motored out under the stars for a comfortable night on the Bend. Juan had scoped out the bass on an earlier trip, locating good numbers with a healthy 6lb., 9 oz. lunker as big fish. It didn’t take long for the party to start. These fish were aggressive and hungry as the cool of night descended on them. The smell of bream was in the air and they knew it was going to be “on.” There’s nothing that can compare with the serenity of night fishing, especially when the bite is on. This young couple doubled up on the fish for what

Above: Morgan Mestas giving some sugar to a Toledo Bend lunker. Left: Juan Mestas with a big bass from Toledo Bend. Right: Scott Ihli’s 8.1 lb. trout from Big Lake.

to its reputation. Morgan played him down patiently and boated a best-ever 6lb., 3-oz. Toledo Bend special. What a rush!

Morgan was beside herself, and so was Juan. Still under the influence of catching a night hawg, Morgan gave it up Jimmy Houston style with some “sugar” after a great fight. This could be true love, for real. When the winds have subsided, saltwater fishing action has been hot. As the weather settles into a more stable summer pattern, saltwater fishing should improve in consistency. Shallow water stains fast with big wind, but it also clears fast when the winds calm. Right now, it’s the luck of the draw. It may be red hot action one day, and stone cold dead the next. You just have to be there at the right time. Scott Ihli timed a recent Big Lake trip just right. His crew got into beaucoup big trout on a hot trip when the weather cooperated nicely. They wore out better than average specks on a variety of baits. One trout topped 7 lbs., and the hawg of the day broke 8 lbs. These fish were super healthy and put up a great fight. The specks and redfish are abundant all over Big Lake. It’s catching the winds right that’s the trick. The near future is bright for local fishing prospects. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a pair of dark sunglasses!

turned out to be a most memorable night. Juan was just hoping for the big bite. He didn’t have to wait long. Morgan went on point when she felt the solid thud of a big fish bite. She set the hook with force and sprang into action. It’s a scientific fact that fish fight mo’ betta’ at night, and this fish lived up

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SARRO ON SPORTS

rick sarro

New Paths Sometimes in life a new path on a familiar road takes you home again. That’s surely the case of Lance Guidry, a former McNeese player and assistant coach, who was hired to return to his alma mater once again as the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. The moon and stars were obviously aligned just right when head coach Matt Viator was faced with the task of replacing veteran defensive coordinator Mike Collins, who abruptly left the staff to take the same position at SLC rival Sam Houston State a few weeks ago. Viator, pressed by the calendar and preseason August camp looming just two page turns in his daybook, knew his old friend and former coaching mate was just a few hours away in Nacogdoches, Texas. Guidry, hired by Stephen F. Austin as its new defensive backs coach in February, didn’t take much convincing to uproot again and rejoin Viator back in Lake Charles. “I was real excited when Matt called to talk about me coming back,” Guidry said in a statement released by McNeese Sports information. “My loyalty is to Coach Viator and to McNeese. It’s like when momma calls you to come back home, you go.” Like any other business, the college coaching fraternity is a small, tight-knit clan that’s built on relationships and net-

working. You forge close friendships and bonds over many hours on the practice field and in film rooms. New opportunities and moves are a normal way of life with coaches at all levels. Decisions and changes not foreseen will bring coaching friends together and at times lead to goodbyes. This was the case at McNeese and this merry go round at defensive coordinator. It

was like seven degrees of separation among three guys who all wore the blue and gold at some point. It began when former McNeese defensive coordinator Scott Stoker, fresh off two straight appearances in the FCS National Championship game while leading the defense for SLC champion Sam Houston, was hired by Texas El Paso to coach its defense.

The Bearkats, with rising fortunes and more salary cap space, lured Collins away from McNeese. Prior to these moves, Guidry, then defensive coordinator for Western Kentucky, must have seen the writing on the locker room wall when South Florida hired the Hilltoppers’ Willie Taggart as their new head coach. Despite serving as Western Kentucky’s interim head coach in the Little Ceasar’s Bowl last season, Guidry knew his days at WKU were limited. Guidry installed the 4-2-5 defense at Western Kentucky, and in two years had the unit nationally ranked and arguably the best defense in the Sun Belt Conference, to go along with back to back winning seasons. That success, and helping the program to its first post-season bowl game since it moved up to the FBS level, didn’t afford him any guarantees with a head coaching change. That became apparent as Western Kentucky went for national name appeal with the hiring of fired Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, who’d just been disgraced with lies and a cover-up involving an affair with a young female staffer in Fayetteville. Petrino wanted his own crew and defensive schemes, so Guidry was let go. That’s the way this coaching business works. Sometimes success still loses out to

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relationships. Stephen F. Austin head coach J.C. Harper also has a McNeese history with Guidry and Harper didn’t hesitate to call him about his defensive coaching opening. That leads us back to where we are now: new directions over old familiar roads. “It’s a great fit having Lance back,” Viator told me shortly after making the decision official. “We’re great friends with a close relationship and our families go way back. He’s a 4-2-5 guy (the defensive scheme that McNeese uses) and we weren’t going to change our defense. We recruit 4-25 players, and he (Guidry) played it and coaches it,” added Viator. Viator admitted Guidry was really the only candidate he considered and spoke with about the job. “Coach Guidry has proven himself as a coach and recruiter. As a player and coach, his energy, effort and enthusiasm have helped shape the winning tradition we have enjoyed at McNeese. It’s a great day for the Cowboy nation.” A great day and the best hire Viator could have imagined. Over the past two to three seasons, the McNeese defense was improving in some critical areas, but was still struggling with a low turnover ratio, limited quarterback sacks and a secondary that allowed far too many plays of over 20 yards. Untimely injuries to key starters hurt the Cowboys defense, which is another concern Viator will surely work closely with Guidry to address. Some would have liked a completely new face and direction for the McNeese defense. But that is unrealistic and misguided, especially with the available budget for salaries coupled with summer school and off-season work about to begin anew. A list of available, qualified candidates that would have compared favorably to Guidry’s accomplishments and resume would have been extremely short at this level of college football. You may recall Guidry left McNeese in 2009 to join former LSU assistant coach Michael Haywood, who was just named the new head coach for Miami of Ohio. Guidry was the Redhawks’ defensive backs coach, and helped Miami-Ohio go from a 1-11 record to 10-4 in only one season. That record-setting turnaround led the University of Pittsburgh to hire Haywood as its new head coach. Guidry was Miami’s interim head coach in its season-ending 35-21 GoDaddy.com Bowl victory over Middle Tennessee State. Guidry appeared to be on a fast track to follow Haywood at Pitt. But an odd sequence of events derailed that career move. Just days after Pitt introduced Haywood as head coach, he was involved in a domestic violence charge. Pitt became concerned and wary of the Haywood situation and pulled the job offer off the table. Guidry’s next move was down to Western Kentucky as defensive coordinator, where he orchestrated a defensive transformation that turned heads in the Sun Belt and a few in the SEC. Early last season, WKU’s defense held defending national champion Alabama to a mere 103 yards rushing, which turned out to be the Tide’s lowest rushing performance of its championship season. It seems the road traveled by the former Cowboys defensive back and team

captain has been progressive, but hitched to other head coaches’ wagons, which, ironically, were on their way to other destinations … that is, Haywood to Pitt and Taggart to South Florida. Viator, who’s entrenched at McNeese, has once again solidified his coaching staff with a known commodity, top flight talents and a resume enhanced with FBS experience. During Guidry’s second stint on the McNeese staff between 2000-04, the

You could tell the mounting losses, pitching and hitting slumps and untimely injuries were taking a growing toll on him. His frustration often came out in his postgame comments and often the words were biting and harsh. Each time Burrows regrouped and put out the best-line up he could.

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Shortly before his resignation press conference, Burrows told me even if he’d notched some upsets, won the SLC tournament and earned an NCAA berth, his decision to resign wouldn’t have changed.

Cowboys had their most successful run. They won three straight SLC titles, reached the FCS playoffs four consecutive years and made a bid for the 2002 1-AA national championship, only to fall to Western Kentucky in their last title game appearance. Since that 2002 national championship game, the Cowboys are 0-4 in the playoffs and have fallen behind the likes of Sam Houston in the Southland’s arms race. With August camp fast approaching, the clock is ticking. Guidry will officially join the staff again (his fourth appointment at McNeese) and begin work. “I’m real familiar with the coaches and some of the players. First thing is to meet the coaches and go over all the terminology. Some things will change, but the 4-2-5 defense is in my blood. I’m excited to be back.” His time away from his south Louisiana roots (a 1995 McNeese graduate, Welsh native, Carencro High head coach) has infused his already high competitive zeal and emotional attachment to the game. His motor and mouth are still fast, and McNeese is counting on his mind and process being fast as well. You see, the Cowboys are in need of a turnaround of their own, and an old, familiar face might just be the path to their new direction.

The win and loss numbers won’t be kind to his legacy, but they don’t tell the entire story. The record book will show only one winning season, coming in 2010 with a 31-27 overall mark. The other five years all ended under .500, for a career record of 138 wins against 190 losses. “It was disappointing we couldn’t get over the hump,” he says. The other side of the ledger saw Burrows overhaul the program’s sagging academic performance rating, push for and

get ball park improvements and increase funding using his major league credentials and resume. He attracted and recruited top flight local talent and went as far as Canada in search of help. Burrows, who spent time as an assistant for both McNeese and UL-Monroe before coaching St. Louis High School, was a smart hire for the Cowboys back in 2008. The program was coming off the controversial departure of Chad Clement and the short interim stay of Chris Fackler. The Cowboys needed a jolt of juice, energy and game cred. They got it and more from Burrows. Athletic Director Tommy McClelland was patient with Burrows and vowed the head coach was under no pressure to resign. But Burrows, who spent 11 years in the Majors and spent time pitching in Japan, is a realist. He knows a head coach’s job is ultimately measured by his record. And his record wasn’t getting the job done. So it’s time to move on to a new challenge away from the game that he’s loved and labored at for 38 years. The search for his successor is well underway, as McClelland has confirmed that over 60 applicants have filed paperwork. There’s no doubt the position has attracted the attention of assistant coaches from the SEC and mid-major schools. The McNeese search committee will review the applications and begin moving the top contenders to the forefront in preparation for interviews. McClelland is taking the proper prudent approach “to be quick but don’t hurry” in the quest to find the best fit.

TERRY BURROWS: HIS TIME FOR A NEW PATH Over the last couple of years, Terry Burrows had been thinking about the day he would walk away from the game that’s been his life. It couldn’t have been easy for the 44year-old Burrows to finally realize it was time for a change in both his life and at the top of the McNeese baseball program. Burrows recently announced his resignation as Cowboys head baseball coach after six years at the helm. Shortly before his resignation press conference, Burrows told me even if he’d notched some upsets, won the SLC tournament and earned an NCAA Tournament berth, his decision to resign wouldn’t have changed. His mind was made up — win or lose. It was simply time to find his new path, which he says will be in the private sector. “I wanted to leave on my terms, with my decision. You know you can stay on a year or two and it may not end well. I didn’t want that, because McNeese means too much to me, and this program means too much to me,” Burrows said. June 6, 2013

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othing lassoed kiddies of the “baby boom” generation like television. Southwest Louisiana children wrangled around their TV sets six days a week to catch a small, Port Arthur-based, NBC-affiliate TV station with the call letters KPAC. Kids tuned in from 1957 to 1972 for the Circle 4 Club to watch the antics of station weatherman John Garner as he portrayed Cowboy John. Cowboy John was like a god to kids of the late 1950s and early 1960s. First of all, Cowboy John was on television. He was like a real life Lone Ranger who spoke to children and had 25 to 30 kids “circle their wagons” around him on the show as a live studio audience. Every hero has a nemesis. And Cowboy John had Black Bart, who was portrayed by Johnny Stevens of Port Arthur. In between episodes of The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals, Black Bart would take a kicking in the shin from Cowboy John as the make-believe villain was thwarted and order was restored, with laughter and entertainment, to the world — and the delight of the kids. My mother informed me that, as a child growing up in Lake Charles during the early sixties, her first crush was on Cowboy John. She loved him (and still does). However, today, as he rides into his sunset, “Cowboy” John Garner, of Port Arthur, sees a forecast of dark clouds on the horizon. Garner said in a interview with Lagniappe Magazine that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about four months ago. But he took the time to shoot the breeze with a pesky media person by phone. I informed him that Cowboy John had a large fan following in Lake Charles. I told him that I’ve never seen his show and he told me I never would. “Back then, we didn’t have any means to tape,” said Garner. “What tape we did, because it was so experimental, really, we did for commercials and for the news. They had priority, naturally. And it was expensive. Those tapes were really expensive for us.”

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As the show was cheaper to do live, the only records of Cowboy John’s cavalcade surface in the form of still photographs and dusty memories of thousands in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. The thrill of live television fanned the flames of the kids who knew they would be on television. Garner said that for six days a week, something unexpected usually happened every episode. However, one day in particular would forever be remembered because of the unexpected. At a pivotal time in American history, desegregation came, integration came, and an 8-year-old named Leroy came into the studio on a special day at the television studio, as the station hosted “colored day” for boys and girls of the black community. Garner said “everybody” seemed to be watching that day in Cowboy John and Black Bart with Joan Crawford at the grand opening of the Pepsi plant in Beaumont circa 1967. particular. “I knew people that were doctors and lawyers, at the time, that said to me that show’s saving grace. However, Garner said that Chet Huntley tension at the time and how, many years they were watching that day,” said “And what’s your name, partner?” made the sign off that night. Whoever later, many in the black community Garner. “The touchy part about this Cowboy John asked. said it, I wonder how these two guys, looked back at the retelling of the story whole story is that we were still segre“I’s Leroy!” the boy said. who provided the commentary for the as a racist joke. At the time of the incigated. I had to be very careful.” Laughter erupted again and sent the historic Apollo moon landing for NBC, dent, Leroy innocently used his Southern Garner said that as the television show camera into wild spiraling again, perhaps heard of the Leroy incident. pronunciation of the phrase “I is Leroy,” was broadcast to thousands of TV sets from laughter or hope of escape. Garner said the station manager of with the words “I” and “is” contracted across Southeast Texas and Southwest “Of course the little boy next to her KPAC had once worked with, and into “I’s,” which was pronounced as Louisiana, Cowboy John noticed that a was Leroy,” Garner said. “I really didn’t remained friends with, the assistant pro- “eyes.” little black girl, who was probably about know how to handle it.” ducer of NBC News. Garner said the Leroy didn’t think it was racist, six, “busted out laughing” on the set. Now the story can be told for the first story went viral from Port Arthur according to Garner. Leroy thought it “I knew something had happened,” time in an official capacity. For years, straight into the news rooms and the was funny. Leroy thought it was great. said Garner. “So, I naturally imagination of news execuIt was. Perhaps it was the agitation of pressed it like an idiot. And tives in Washington, D.C. and a broadcast professional in the new I asked this little girl, I said, New York. Like a joke, it medium of live television. Perhaps it ‘tell me what ya’ll are must have been repeated until was the innocence of children and the laughing about,’ which it was told to either Huntley rudimentary, basic humor that makes us made her laugh even more.” or Brinkley. Perhaps they human. Perhaps it was the reaction of “I can’t tell you,” said the even thought it was a joke. the real, live studio broadcast laughter, little black girl. But it was real, and so was which can be imagined and remastered Cowboy John kept on. He Leroy. But Leroy who? Who by our imagination to make it sound betimplored and begged the litwas this mysterious Leroy, ter and more infectious than the laughter tle girl to tell him what was whose flatulence had taken of children can be. so darn funny. his name to the next level, a Perhaps in these moments, the people “Well …” said the little bigger market and then of the early 1960s transcended their girl in the audience of kids. nationwide into NBC News? daily, human hang-ups like race, preju“Leroy farted!” From there, Leroy was the dice, bigotry, class and broadcast ratings. Her diminutive Southern stuff of flatulent legend. “I All these worrisome things seemed to accent caused raucous met a fellow that claimed to dissipate for a brief moment with a genCowboy John and Black Bart interview laughter from all the kids on be Leroy; actually a few peo- uine belly laugh. guest Eddie Arnold on the set. the live show. ple have claimed to be Leroy I asked Garner about “Black Bart,” his Accounts may differ, but or have claimed to be on the cohort and nemesis — Johnny Stevens some viewers of the program claimed newspapers and publications wouldn’t show that day,” Garner said. “The one of Port Arthur. Cowboy John told me that the “f” word, which was followed print it because of the use of the “f” that I think was Leroy, I spoke with him that Black Bart had paid a visit to him by the howling and cackling of children, word: fart. I figured that if it was good two or three times. He was then grown. just the day before, as he does “a couple caused the television camera to pan enough for live television, it was good He was way overweight, fat, you know, of times a week” to check on his old wildly, as it seemed to ricochet like an enough for Lagniappe Magazine. and jolly. He thought that was the great- rival. imaginary bullet from Cowboy John The story and legend of “Leroy fart- est thing that ever happened to him; that There’s something allegorical in the himself. ed” blew up overnight. It went viral. It it made him famous, you know.” tale of Garner and Stevens, who were “I just started stuttering and stammer- was the equivalent of modern viral video Garner said that Leroy worked at the more than broadcasters and actors; they ing,” said Garner. but without the video. Texaco refinery in Port Arthur, where he were friends. Perhaps sweat began to bead on That night on The Huntley-Brinkley retired after putting in 20 years. After But in the world that they created — Cowboy John’s brow as the camera Report, which featured NBC news retiring, Leroy found time to go by the which was the original virtual reality for searched for a way out of the show and giants Chet Huntley in New York and TV station one more time to see old children of the 1960s — there’s the idea into the saving graces of a commercial David Brinkley in Washington, D.C., the Cowboy John Garner, who was still of the bad guy, dressed in black, and the break. tale of Leroy made it to one of the ear- working for KPAC-TV. Two legends good guy, dressed in white. What has Ever the showman and professional, pieces. had coffee one day. been hidden from audiences is the gray Cowboy John wasn’t about to let this Many claimed that as the anchormen “He was a nice, nice guy,” Garner of the aging hero and the aging villain, stampede of laughter and the unexpected signed off that evening, David Brinkley said. “He wasn’t offended by it at all. both now comforting one another in the twist railroad his show. said on live, national television, “And He’s the one that did it, you know. But final days of their last ride into the great With his microphone in hand, goodnight Leroy in Port Arthur, Texas!” he thought it was a funny thing.” unknown and starry night. Cowboy John quickly went to the next Many claimed that Brinkley was the Garner couldn’t remember Leroy’s Goodnight to Cowboy John, goodchild, a young boy sitting next to this lit- one with the sense of humor and would last name. night to Black Bart and goodnight to tle girl. This boy would surely be the have gotten a kick out of the report. Garner was concerned with the racial Leroy in Port Arthur.

June 6, 2013

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services

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HWY 90 CONSIGNMENT STORAGE Cars • Trucks • Boats • RV's Mobile Homes • Vans Safe and Secure Storage forThose Big Items in Your Way! CONSIGNMENT: Your items can be put up for consignment to make that extra money when you decide you no longer need storage for you item. Good prices, and large customer base to purchase any items you store with us.

Call now and make some room OR some cash for your items: 337.526.2533

FULL TIME SATELLITE TECHNICIANS NEEDED for well-established company. Paid Training, $500 sign on bonus, paid weekly. Call Josh @ 888-959-9675 or submit resume to careers@satcountry.com June 6, 2013

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HOUSE LEVELING

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LIFTING AND MOVING GUARANTEED 2-YEAR WARRANTY FOR ALL LABOR AND MATERIALS! Foundation Repair • Concrete Slab Stabilization Licensed, Bonded and Insured • References

CALL ONE STOP

337-309-7301

DINING OUT

MOBILE HOMES

NOW SERVING OYSTERS! Drive-Thru Daiquiri Window Longer Dining Hours M-F 10AM-6PM SAT 10AM-4PM

2707 HAZEL 433-2135

4319 Common St. • 474-8748 2501 Hwy 14 • 433-7503

real estate MOBILE HOME TO BE MOVED. 3/2, BO over $8,000. Camper for rent. All bills paid. 2 acre lot south of Lake Charles. 477-6243 or 564-5859 gpnmr _________________

SHOP A-LOT DELI

2 minutes to drop off 2 minutes to pick up

services SALES NEED PART-TIME, NEAT, AGGRESSIVE SALESPERSON. Draw plus commission, plus gas. Flexible working hours. Call today 1-800-6345816, ask for Ron Wiggins. ph _________________

for well-established company. Paid Training, $500 sign on bonus, paid weekly. Call Josh @ 888-959-9675 or submit resume to careers@satcountry.com

Professional Wash, Dry, Fold/Hang Service Dry Cleaning Available

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announcements

Do Your Laundry in 4 Minutes!

FULL TIME SATELLITE TECHNICIANS NEEDED

THE

TRANSMISSION SHOP We work on all transmissions!

5817 Common Street Lake Charles 337-540-3795 337-540-6908

help wanted FULL TIME SATELLITE TECHNICIANS NEEDED for wellestablished co. Paid training, $500 sign on bonus, paid weekly. Call Josh now @ 888959-9675 or submit resume to careers@ satcountry.com ph _________________

C. Scot LaFargue Owner

classified

Call Samantha @ Rhino Real Estate

337-304-6686 337-433-9434 Our Address: 1027 Enterprise Lake Charles, LA 70601 1010 Enterprise Blvd.-$179,000 3 bed/2 bath. Wood floors, fireplaces, sits on four lots. Great commercial potential with plenty of parking, updated electrical and plumbing. New Lot For Sale-Drive by 709 16th Street for the low price of $9,000 Charming Home In Sulphur-$55,000. 3 bed/1 bath located on close to a full acre. Go by and have a look at this ideal family home at 1301 Sherwood, call for appointment viewing. 738 Kirkman St.-4 bed/3.5 bath around 3500 sq. feet, Bonus 1000 sq. feet on 3rd floor ready to finish out. Features FOUR fireplaces! Wood floors, updated kitchen and baths, pocket doors, walk-in closets, new paint, electrical and plumbing for $257,000. 759 Louisiana Ave-House with 4 apartments which bring in $1600 income sitting on an acre downtown. House has lots of potential, negotiable $229,900. OWNER FINANCING AVAILABLE. 2203 Walker St. Westlake. 3/2 1650 living, 2 big living areas. New paint throughout, new carpet in bedrooms and wood vinyl in living areas. $139,900 715 Magazine-Nice family home, over 2500 sq. feet of living. 3bed/2bath. Two living areas plus sunroom. $179,900 2.1 Acres Off Gulf Hwy $44,000 821 Sycamore St. 2bed/1bath $63,000. Nice wood floors, Central AC. 2222 Linda Dr., Westlake. $100,000 Log House 4 bedroom / 2 bath

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Transform Your Patio, Walkway, Driveway, Living Areas, Pool Deck and More!

View our virtual portfolio online at www.creativeconcretebyron.com

We can stamp or stain any pattern and any color for permanent beauty!

CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!

855-8333 540-0943 Ron Guidroz, owner LICENSED, BONDED AND INSURED

June 6, 2013

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I-10, Exit 27 Lake Charles, LA • 1-800-THE-ISLE (843-4753) www.isleofcapricasinos.com © 2013 Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. *Gratuity not included. $17.99 without Fan Club card. Disregard if prohibited from visiting Louisiana casinos.


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