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General Excellence Louisiana Press Association National Newspaper Assn.

& The Leader


Central Business Award Winners

Jonathan and Lindsey Sumich (right) of Oak Point Fresh Market, Central’s Large Business of the Year. For all the winners, see Page 2.

Jacob Lesage of Central High

Central City News • Thursday, March 10, 2011 • Vol. 14, No. 5 • 20 Pages • Circulation 11,000 + 8,000 on-line •

Top Business Awards Central Drug Store Named Business of the Year

Claud Derbes Has Quintuple Bypass Surgery

CENTRAL —The 2ndAnnual Central Business Awards ceremonies drew a packed house, as 24 Central businesses and individuals were honored for their service to the people of Central. The event, sponsored by the Central City News, was held at Elegant Memories and catered by Travis Spinosa and Stacey Lancaster Debbie Cooper. Central Drug Store was named Central’s Business of the Year. Owner Claud Derbes accepted the award. EnCENTRAL BUSINESS AWARD winners included former Rep. Donald Ray Kennard trepreneur of the Year honors were

Photo by Jolice Provost

CENTRAL — Last week, Central Drug Store was named Central’s Business of the Year for the 2nd straight year. Central Drug Store owner and pharmacist Claud Derbes was on hand at the award ceremonies to accept the award and say a few words. He appeared fit and in Claud Derbes good health. But, shortly thereafter, a visit to his physician revealed the need for immediate open heart surgery to repair some blocked arteries. On Friday, “Mr. Claud,” as he is affectionately known in Central, was fretting about his surgery, which was scheduled for Monday. “I’ve never really been in the hospital or had a serious problem. Not even a broken toe!” he said. Later that day, he pulled a friend aside to say, “I just want to thank you for all you’ve done for me.” But the friend was having none of it. “Claud, you’ll

Entrepreneurs of The Year for 2011 Are Gil Matherne, Stacey Lancaster

See CENTRAL on Page 9

Next Mayor Would Be Bound by Contract

(left), Lifetime Service Award, and Gil Matherne, Entrepreneur of the Year.

CENTRAL — The next Mayor of Central would be locked into a master privatization contract with a firm such as CH2MHILL for onehalf of his four-year term, according to a Request of Qualifications and Proposals (RFQP) sent out by

the City of Central last week. Although the RFQP has not been approved by the City Council, Mayor Mac Watts authorized it to be issued as a result of recommendations by a 21-member committee he appointed.

See CENTRAL’S on Page 2

The proposed five-year contract would not expire until June 30, 2016 — two years after the next Mayor of Central is sworn in on July 1, 2014. City Attorney Sheri Morris has See CITY on Page 16

115 Townhouses Proposed for Sullivan at Wax

High Density Development Vote Tonight

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL — The Central City under Central’s Master Plan. MeCouncil will meet tonight on whethdium Density allows only four reser to approve a 115-unit townhouse idential units per acre. However, development by Jeff Couvillion at the 115 townhouses would be built the intersection of Wax and Sulliin an area of less than eight acres. van roads. The meeting will begin • Rentability. One Councilat 6 p.m. at Kristenwood. men said he doesn’t want the proj The units would average 1,240 ect to be a backdoor way to bring square feet and be gated. more apartments to Central. He The Council previously sent is concerned that the units could the proposal back to the Planning be rented out by the owners, as is & Zoning Commission because of done in Central Woods. problems involving drainage and Danger of Pedestrian Faa retention pond. Those problems talities. The proposal before the appear to have been resolved, but Council provides no plan or fundseveral other questions remain ing for pedestrian crossing of Sulabout the project, including: livan Road to Wal-Mart. Currently, • High Density Development residents of Central Woods dodge in Medium Density Area. The traffic while walking across Wax development site, which is located Road to Wal-Mart without the benbehind Central Square, is currently efit of sidewalks or a crossing. The zoned Rural and is set aside for SERVANT LEADERSHIP AWARD winner Blackie Bell shown with Kayla Williams intersection at Sullivan and Wax is “Medium Density” development (left) and Della Lewis. Bell shared the honor with Dr. Tony and Judy LoBue. wider and more dangerous.

2 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stacey Lancaster and Gil Matherne

Central’s Entrepreneur of the Year Continued from Page 1

Photo by Terrie Palmer

spans the world. She has designed more than 3,000 home decor products and bid them out to be manufactured in places like China and India. She has a wholesale business with hundreds of retail stores as her clients and she has a large retail home decor business. Her 12,000-square foot showroom in the Central City Shopping Center at Hooper and Sullivan roads provides Central with employment, sales tax revenue, and a great place to shop. This year’s Businesses of the Year for Central are:

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR Stacey Lancaster (right) received her award from Central City News editor Woody Jenkins (left). She shared the award with Gil Matherne.

Central’s Entrepreneur of the Year

A business owner whose vision, determination, hard work, and spirit of entrepreneurship are an inspiration to anyone who dreams of being in business for himself.

CENTRAL’S MAN OF THE YEAR — Ralph Washington (left) and Will Easley shared the title of Central’s Man of the Year at the Central Business Awards.

de lis and brought them to Lezard Rouge in Baton Rouge. I sold the whole truckload! Thus began our new business!” Today, Stacey Lancaster has a business based here in Central that

• Central’s Business of the Year — Central Drug Store • New Business of the Year — Sammy’s Grill • Professional Practice of the Year — Central Physical Therapy • Small Business of the Year — Cooper Café • Mid-Sized Business of the Year — Romero’s Food Mart • Large Business of the Year — Oak Point Fresh Market • Servant Leadership Award — Blackie Bell and Dr. Tony and Judy LoBue • Entrepreneur of the Year — Stacey Lancaster and Gil Matherne • Development of the Year — Village at Magnolia Square • Contractor of the Year — Steve Rabalais • Central’s Most Valuable Business Award — DEMCO

Every December, the Central City News honors Central’s Man of the Year. The winners, Mayor ProTem Ralph Washington and school board member Will Easley, were recognized during the ceremonies.

Photo by Woody Jenkins

a good fence but Stacey, who was a public school teacher, had other ideas. “My dad and I began making birdhouses and trellises. I made a truckload of birdhouses using recycled door knobs and iron fleur

Photos by Terrie Palmer

shared by Gil Matherne and Stacey Lancaster. Both Matherne and Lancaster started with nothing — or less than nothing — and have built successful regional businesses. Councilman Wayne Messina praised Matherne and recalled that Matherne quit his job as a high school coach, because he couldn’t pay the bills for his growing family. He started in business digging ditches — with a borrowed shovel! Fortunately, he was able to get a loan to buy a used pickup truck, but that plan immediately ran into trouble. “I had to borrow enough money from a friend to make the first month’s note!” he laughed. Times were tough but there was hope. “We lived on prayer,” he said. He literally had to dig his way out of poverty! Today, Gil and his wife Michelle own GM Cable, one of the state’s leading telecommunications contractors with scores of employees. He has provided cable and fiber services to private industry, state government, and most state universities. GM Cable laid the fiber for the Zachary Community School System, which made Zachary the first city in Louisiana to have citywide fiber optics. Today Matherne is still digging ditches but in a grander way! For Stacey Lancaster, it all began in 1999 when her husband Charlie brought home a pile of old cypress fencing that his plant was discarding. Charlie thought it would make

METRO COUNCILMAN Scott Wilson and Clifford George, president of Custom Metal, last year’s Large Business of the Year. Wilson honored former Councilman Joe Greco.

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CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 3

Central Drug Store Wins Top Honor for 2nd Year

2011 Central Business of the Year Woody Jenkins

Editor, Central City News

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL — Stepping into Central Drug Store is like stepping back in time, and yet, in some ways, it’s way ahead of its time. It’s reminiscent of an old-time drug store where everyone knows your name, where you’re somebody special, and where your business is important. The ladies behind the counter will greet you with a friendly smile and ask about your kids or share the latest news with you — far ahead of the Central City News! You get the feeling they are genuinely happy to be working there and happy to be helping you! Everything is handy. You don’t get lost in the store. You’ll find what you’re looking for right away, or somebody will find it for you. If you need an over-the-counter product they don’t have, they’ll order it, and it will probably be in tomorrow. The owner, Claud Derbes (“Mr. Claud”), or maybe Mr. Mike Anding, RPh, might come out from behind the counter to put his hand on your shoulder and find out how you’re really doing. If you ask for some advice, they won’t mind telling you — straight and to the point. Quick, reliable, and absolutely free! In all those ways, Central Drug Store is in the mold of the great hometown pharmacies that used to be so common in America and which are now so very rare. But there is another side of Cen-

for a local business — but that it is not enough by itself to beat the big chains and megastores. Central Drug Store surges ahead for three reasons: Lower Prices. You go into Central Drug Store thinking you’ll get better service but that you’ll have to pay a higher price. Instead, you learn that Central Drug Store has lower prices on just about everything, including over-the-counter products. As one customer said, “It’s shocking how competitive they are!” Very Fast Service. Central Drug Store is well staffed with real people. You don’t have to call ahead and talk to a computer, which tells you to come in tomorrow. You can call ahead and talk to a real person, or you can just show up without calling. The lady will say, “Would you like that prescription now?” You just say, “Well, yes, I would!” And, in short order, the prescription is ready. It’s amazing, but they don’t seem to have anything else to do except wait on you! High Tech/High Touch. At Central Drug Store, everything is high tech. It’s all in their computers. When you walk in, they pretty well know who you are, why you’re Claud Derbes of Central Drug Store and school board president Dr. Jim Gardner there, and what you need. They keep life simple, relationCentral’s Business of the Year ships nourished, and prices low. In Central, the chains and me A business based in Central that makes an outstanding gastores really can’t compete with contribution to the Central community and is a role model Central Drug Store, which has 8,000 for what business in America should be like. active customers in a community of people. And that’s why it is tral Drug Store which is way ahead not only compete but be a stunning 26,000 hands-down, no-contest, the judges’ of its time and makes it a role model success. Mr. Claud understands unanimous pick for how other local businesses can that the personal touch is essential ness of the Year!for Central’s Busi-

NORTH POINT — Debbie and Dr. Kyle Dean are developing North Point Family Medical. Dr. Dean presented the Mid-Sized Business of the Year Award to Romero’s.

4 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cooper Café: Ms. Debbie Cooper, Owner

2011 Small Business of the Year

Central’s Small Business of the Year

A business with six or fewer employees which makes an outstanding contribution to the community and is either a role model or has had a great achievement during the year. CENTRAL — Cooper Café was named Central’s Small Business of the Year during Central Business Awards ceremonies. School board president Dr. Jim Gardner recognized owner Debbie Cooper, saying, “This lady is totally immersed in Central. Her contributions, not only in her outstanding restaurant,

but in her service to the community, make this a better place to live. This happens everyday but it was epitomized during the visit of the Vietnam Veterans Wall, when she personally worked around the clock to feed hundreds of volunteers.” Ms. Debbie was a finalist for last year’s Servant Leadership Award.

Photos by Jolice Provost

Photo by Terrie Palmer

DEBBIE COOPER — Central Community School Board president Dr. Jim Gardner presented the 2011 Central Small Business of the Year Award to Debbie Cooper, owner of Cooper Café at 10443 Joor Road. Ms. Cooper, who has an outstanding local restaurant, is also one of the community’s top volunteers.

Welborn, Kennard, Greco: Three Lifetimes of Service Doug Welborn, Robin Kennard, and Donald Ray Kennard

CENTRAL — Three public officials were honored for their lifetimes of service to the Central community during the Central Business Awards ceremonies at Elegant Memories. The Central Lifetime Service Awards were presented to • Former State Rep. Donald Ray Kennard, who represented Central in the Louisiana House of Representatives for 32 years. • Former Metro Councilman and City-Parish Mayor Pro-Tem Joe Greco, who represented Central for 16 years. • East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court and former Metro Councilman Doug Welborn, who has represented Central for 30 years. In presenting the award to Kennard, State Rep. Clif Richardson said, “He’s like a brother to me, a man who has given so much to our state and to our community. Words cannot express the impact

of this man.” Of Greco, Metro Councilman Scott Wilson said, “A success in business and as a public servant. Kind, compassion, and honest. He put duty above personal gain.” Of Welborn, school board member Sharon Browning said, “I’ve known this young man since he was in high school. He bleeds maroon. No one is more committed to Central. We always count on him!” Welborn drew laughter and applause at the end of the program when he got up and said, “I’m working on my popularity, and Joe Greco I’ve learned the less you talk, the more people like you! Thank you and good night!”

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 5

Central Business Is About Serving People

five grocery stores (W. S. Edwards on Sullivan, Red & White on Hooper, and the Red & White, Mrs. D.D. Smith, and Sam Sabella grocers, all on Greenwell Springs Road) and two gravel companies (George Denham and Magnolia Sand and Gravel). Of course, most Central businesses did not have phones in those days. By the 1950’s, there was a sizable business community in Central. The Central High School yearbooks for 1952 and 1953 listed the following advertisers based in Central: • Dixie Electric Membership • Eisworth Store, general merchandise, Greenwell Springs See CENTRAL on Page 8

Woody Jenkins

Editor, Central City News

CENTRAL — The Central Business Awards ceremonies sponsored by the Central City News gave insight into the high quality of Central’s growing business community. As in the past, businesses in this community are driven by an entrepreneurial desire to make a living by serving the people of Central. For business owners, service is a way of life. And now some Central businesses are reaching out across Louisiana, the nation, and even internationally, seeking new opportunities for service. The earliest European settlers came to what is now Central during the 1790’s when this was part of the Spanish colony of West Florida. Under the Spanish, commerce was tightly controlled, and pioneers had to trade among themselves or travel to stores in the village of Baton Rouge. Under the Spanish, Greenwell Springs Road was part of the Camino Real, or royal road, that ran all the way to Mexico City. The Spanish had a trading post and stagecoach stop on Greenwell Springs Road at the Comite River. But in 1810, the people of West Florida rose up against Spain and established the independent Republic of West Florida. The United States soon took control, and commerce was less regulated. A few trading posts and stores sprang up here, and by the 1850’s Greenwell Springs had several country stores. Gradually, businesses owned by local residents opened on Greenwell Springs Road, Sullivan Road, Joor Road, and Canal Road (now Hooper). The goal was always to help people in Central meet basic needs. But most serious trading was done in Baton Rouge. People in Central went to town once a month or a couple of times a year. Even in the 1930’s, automobile traffic on Hooper Road was so sparse that kids played in the road and even took naps on the road with no fear of being hit by a car.

60 YEARS AGO many Central residents shopped at Community Cash Drug Store on Scenic Highway in North Baton Rouge. Today Central has more to offer consumers.

WHO’s WHO — In the Winn-Dixie photo (1st row, left to right) Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Montgomery and Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Eiland, (2nd row) Mrs. W. J. McLaughlin, Mrs. W. A. Robinsson, and Mrs. J. T. Stevens, and (3rd row) Zoar music director Wilburn Walker, Zoar education director Louis Lambert, and W. J. McLaughlin. In the TG&Y photo, store manager A. E. Carlos and assistant manager Michael Deward Hood.

40 YEARS AGO — In August 1971, Central inaugurated the new Winn-Dixie store (left), where Pat’s Hardware is now located, and the new TG&Y store (right), where Lancaster House is now located.

As the population of Central grew, more stores opened. In the 1938 Baton Rouge telephone book, seven businesses in Central had telephones, including

39 YEARS AGO — In July 1972, Mayor-President Woody Dumas cut the ribbon at the new Baker Bank (now Hancock Bank) at Hooper and Sullivan roads. Baker Mayor Pete Heine and branch manager Floyd White looked on.

6 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011


and The Leader • Vol. 14, No. 5

13567 Hooper Road Central, LA 70818

No. 280


Post Office Box 1 Greenwell Springs, LA 70739

Phone (225) 261-5055 • FAX 261-5022

Editor & Publisher Business Manager Graphic Artist Business Specialists

Woody Jenkins Candi Lee Terrie Palmer Shara Pollard, Jolice Provost

Member, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Louisiana Press Association, and National Newspaper Association

Deadline for news and advertising: 5 p.m. Fridays

Country Living in the City

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Email stories and photos to Published 2nd and 4th Thursdays, January through July Weekly from 2nd Thursday of August through 4th Thursday of December. The Leader was founded April 30, 1998, and the Central City News was founded April 21, 2005. They merged May 4, 2006. The Central City News also publishes the Central Community Directory & Yellow Pages and numerous special editions throughout the year.

LIFETIME OF SERVICE — With over 30 years’ service as Metro Councilman and East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court, Doug Welborn is a symbol of Central.

No Tolls, Fiefdoms for New Hooper Road Bridge Woody Jenkins

Editor, Central City News

CENTRAL — For the past six years, the Central City News has pushed hard for extending Hooper Road across the Amite River to Watson with a new four-lane bridge. We have said repeatedly that such a bridge would be the greatest sin-

gle step we could take to alleviate Central’s daily traffic problems and greatly reduce travel time for Livingston Parish residents who try to use Magnolia Bridge everyday. A study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce confirmed this view and showed a projected traffic count on a Hooper Road bridge of 26,000 cars a day. That would make it the No. 1 priority for highway construction in the Baton Rouge area. Progress on the proposed bridge has been made. It has gone from being completely off the radar of state and local officials to a project of serious concern. Our local legislators succeeded in getting several hundred

thousand dollars to begin a study of the project. Now the Capital Area Legislative Delegation has formally requested that $6 million be included in the State’s Capital Outlay bill for further work on the bridge project. This is an important step in the right direction, especially in these times when Capital Outlay dollars are in short supply. My concern is that proposals are once again surfacing to bypass the normal Capital Outlay process and create special legislation and a Central Expressway Commission to levy a toll on the new bridge, control development, and create a new bureaucracy. This would be a mistake of the first order. The driving public is already paying the gasoline taxes necessary to fund this project. It is the No. 1 priority in the Baton Rouge area, based on traffic studies. So we should not panic and go in a direction that will be far more costly to the taxpayers and bypass the state Department of Transportation and Development. Elected officials in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes simply need to keep pushing this project. Get the money in the Capital Outlay

bill and build it through DOTD with all the normal safeguards, no toll, and no added bureaucracy. Central Square Townhouses. Tonight the Central City Council is expected to consider whether to approve Jeff Couvillion’s plan to build 115 townhouses at the intersection of Wax and Sullivan behind Cane’s. Unfortunately, this project still has serious problems and Woody Jenkins should not be approved in its current state. First, Central’s Master Plan provides that the location is supposed to be for medium density — no more than four units per acre — but this project has 12 units per acre! Second, it no longer appears to quality as a SPUD because it exceeds 20 acres. Third, there is no serious restriction on renting out these units. Fourth, people in the new development will be walking to Wal-Mart but there is no crosswalk planned for pedestrians. That will probably result in fatalities. Considering all this, the project should go back to the drawing boards.

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Project Meets All Demands of State’s Priority Road Plan

CENTRAL BUSINESS HALL OF FAME — State Rep. Clif Richardson (left) and Dennis Lewis of Lewis Wrecker Service. Lewis was inducted into the Central Business Hall of Fame during award ceremonies last Thursday. Rep. Richardson himself was in business in Central for 40 years.

Administrative Assistant Needed

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CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 7

Romero’s: Joseph Romero, Owner

Scooter and Charlene Charlet Day

Judge Candidates Address Chamber CENTRAL — The two candidates for Family Court judge addressed the Central Chamber meeting Wednesday. Rep. Hunter Greene and Charlene Day will face off on Saturday, April 2.

Seeing Patients Soon In Central Call for your appointment


Photo by Terrie Palmer

Rep. Hunter and Emily Greene

CENTRAL — Romero’s Food Mart was named Central’s Mid-Sized Business of the Year during the 2nd annual Central Business Award ceremonies at Elegant Memories. Owner Joseph Romero was presented the award by local physician Dr. Kyle Dean. Romero’s has locations at 9150 Joor Road at Lovett Road and at 13921 Joor Road at Core Road. Dr. Dean said, “At Romero’s, they go the extra mile. They treat people the way you want to be treated.” Romero praised his employees and his customers. “We work with a lot of great people,” he said. Romero’s is a convenience store and gas station, but it also has a popular kitchen which prepares a variety of food items. A favorite is their boiled shrimp. Romero’s is a family-owned business, and Joseph Romero also holds down another full-time job. Dr. Dean and Mr. Romero serve together on the Board of Directors at Central Private School. The Mid-Sized Business Award is given to a business with seven to 20 employees which makes an outstanding contribution to the community.

Dr. Kyle Dean (left) presented the Mid-Sized Business of the Year Award to Joseph Romero, owner of Romero’s

Central’s Mid-Sized Business of the Year

A business with seven to 20 employees which makes an outstanding contribution to the community and is either a role model or has had a great achievement during the year.

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Photos by Jolice Provost

Mid-Sized Business of the Year

Councilman Wayne Messina (right) presented the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Gil Matherne and wife Michelle of GM Cable.

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8 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oak Point Fresh Market: The Sumich Family

Central’s Large Business of the Year

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL— Oak Point Fresh Market was honored as Central’s Large Business of the Year at the 2nd annual Central Business Awards ceremonies at Elegant Memories. The event was sponsored by the Central City News. Oak Point is owned by the Sumich family. School board member Jim Lloyd presented the award to store manager Jonathan Sumich. Lloyd recounted how the Sumich’s family supermarket in Buras was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Their Delta Food Market was under 28 feet of water. After the storm, the family decided to move to Watson and start a supermarket there. Then when the A&P closed at the corner of Greenwell Springs and Sullivan, they decided to open a supermarket in Central. Today, Oak Point Fresh Market is one of the best managed and most attractive supermarkets in the Baton Rouge area, Lloyd said. He noted that Oak Point has already become a valued part of the Central community. Lloyd said residents should pay special attention to the Christian atmosphere at Oak Point, such as scriptures on each aisle and the positive atmosphere in the store. Oak Point played an important role in putting on last year’s Central School board member Jim Lloyd (right) presented the Large Business of the Year prayer banquet, he said. In accepting the award, Jonathan Award to Oak Point Fresh Market, which was represented by Jonathan Sumich. Sumich said his family has enjoyed Central’s Large Business of the Year meeting the people of Central. “In fact, we liked it so much that we A business with more than 20 employees which makes an not only opened the store here but outstanding contribution to the community and is either a we moved our family to Central role model or has had a great achievement during the year. too!” he said.


Continued from Page 5 • Central Drug Store, Hooper at Sullivan, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week • Browning Service Station • Kelly’s Esso Service • Central Nursery on Lovett • White’s Saw Mill • Magnolia Grocery • Atkinson’s Grocery (now an antique shop) on Greenwell Springs • Six Mile Grocery at Hooper at Plank Road • Porche’s Store • Crockett’s Meat & Produce As the Central business community grew, an important milestone was reached in 1971 with the opening of the Central City Shopping Center, which was anchored by Winn-Dixie (now Pat’s Hardware) and TG&Y (now Lancaster House). In 1972, Baker Bank opened a Central branch in the same shopping center. It is now a branch of Hancock Bank. The Central Jaycees were a center of activities for young Central business owners in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In the 1980’s, Central businesses formed the Central Area Business Association, which was the predecessor of the current Central Chamber of Commerce. One of the most revolutionary developments was the opening of Wal-Mart in 2001. Today, more than half of all retail sales in the City of Central occur at Wal-Mart. More than 600 businesses have occupational licenses in Central, and the Yellow Pages of the Central Community Directory consumes 50 pages. The Central business community has come a long way from the trading posts of the early 1800’s. With good schools, a low crime rate, and many unmet needs, business in Central seems destined to continue growing for years to come.

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Old photos of Central stores and businesses. Central City News, 261-5055.

Central Business: From Trading Posts To 50-Page List in Central Directory

CENTRAL MAN OF THE YEAR Ralph Washington, flanked by wife Carolyn and son Ralphael Washington

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 9

Central Physical Therapy: Helen Balzli

2011 Professional Practice of the Year Central Drug Store Owner Claud Derbes Could Be Back at Home by Weekend Continued from Page 3

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL — Central Physical Therapy was named Professional Practice of the Year for 2011 at the Central Business Awards ceremonies at Elegant Memories. Ochsner Health chairman Bob Breaux presented the award to Central Physical Therapy owner Helen Balzli. Ms. Balzli was almost killed in a tragic automobile accident years ago. That accident required her to undergo years of physical therapy. But the experience helped lead her to a life of service to others and a desire to help others recover from disability. She and her professional staff have more than 80 years’ experience in physical therapy, fitness, and industrial service. Over the past two years, Helen Balzli has been working to develop Morrison Hills Retirement Community, which will provide assisted living facilities for Central residents 65 and older and for people with special needs such as Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related impairments. Professional Practice of the Year was one of the most competitive categories of awards with 12 outstanding nominees, and Ms. Balzli seemed moved to be selected. “Central is home for us,” she said. “We love it!”

Bob Breaux presented the Professional Practice of the Year Award to Central Physical Therapy, which was represented by Helen Balzli and Tom Coplin

Central’s Professional Practice of the Year

A physician, dentist, attorney, CPA, or other professional or group of professionals whose practice makes an outstanding contribution to the Central community, provides a model for what professionals should be like, or has had some great achievement during the year.

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Allstate agent Warren and Sarah Gray and Donna Decker of Eye Max

be fine. These surgeries are so common now, and they have a great success rate. You’ve just got to bear up to the ordeal of it.” On Monday, Mr. Claud went into surgery and had quintuple bypass surgery. Central Drug Store was deluged with calls and visits from friends and customers. “How’s Mr. Claud? How’s Mr. Claud?” everyone asked. The answer was, “He’s doing fine! He’s in ICU.” By Tuesday, the word at the drug store was, “Mr. Claud has been moved to a private room. He’s doing well.” On Wednesday, everyone was told, “He’s looking good so far. The operation was a success. They think he’ll be home by the weekend. Don’t try to call him or anything. Just let him rest for now.” If things go as expected, Mr. Claud could be back to normal, maybe better in six to eight weeks. — Woody Jenkins, Editor

10 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Village at Magnolia Square

Central’s 2011 Development of the Year Village to Host Farmers’ Market, Picnic Saturday

CENTRAL— The Village at Magnolia Square, located at 13606 Lovett Road, is hosting a Jazz Picnic and Farmers Market this Saturday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Noted acoustic guitar players Chris LeBlanc and Kenny Acosta will perform. A special guest will be former LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman. Bertman will be on hand from 3 to 4 p.m. Attendees should bring picnic baskets, blankets, and folding chairs. There will be a jump castle and kite flying for the kids. Kleinpeter’s will provide several flavors of ice cream and free samples for all. Local farmers will sell spring produce around the Square. Farmers and gardeners interested in attending should call Steele Pollard at 504-400-3021. For information on real estate at The Village, call Michele Mortensen at 261-9110.

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Jr. Shelton (right) presented Central’s Development of the Year Award to Jimmy Nunnally for his project, the Village at Magnolia Square.

Yellow Pages


Drs. David and Donna Fargason. David’s clinic, Eye Medical, was nominated for Professional Practice of the Year.

ity Directory & Central Commun

CENTRAL — The Village at Magnolia Square was named Central’s Development of the Year at the 2nd Annual Central Business Award ceremonies. Developer Jimmy Nunnally accepted the award on behalf of himself and his partner, Steele Pollard, from Jr. Shelton. The Village at Magnolia Square is the first Traditional Neighborhood Development approved for East Baton Rouge Parish. It was designed by Steve Oubre, who also designed River Ranch in Lafayette. The Village at Magnolia Square, which is located on Lovett Road, will consist of 500 homes, 65,000 square feet of retail space including a grocer, coffee shop, restaurant, health club, and office space. The Village has a stately, classical style reminiscent of New Orleans architecture. Located on 185 acres, it will have two five-acre stocked lakes and numerous amenities.

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CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 11

DEMCO: John Vranic, President & CEO

Central’s 2011 Most Valuable Business

ed in 1938, is headquartered at 16262 Wax Road in Central. It has more than 200 employees, many of whom are based in Central. It serves 98,000 customers in a seven parish area. Its distribution system covers 15,000 square miles. It is now the largest electric cooperative in Louisiana. In accepting the award on behalf of DEMCO’s employees and members, Vranic said. “Our family moved here with the kids in 1980, and we can attest that Central is the best place to be.” Vranic told the packed house at the Central Business Awards ceremonies, “We hope times are good, the hurricanes stay away, and the meters keep spinning!” DEMCO was also inducted into the Central Business Hall of Fame.

Central’s Business MVP Award

Presented to the local business which has had the greatest overall positive impact on the Central community in terms of employment, economic development, and community service.

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL — Dixie Electric Membership Cooperative (DEMCO) was named winner of the 2011 Business MVP Award at the 2nd Annual Central Awards ceremonies at Elegant Memories. The award was presented to DEMCO president and CEO John Vranic by Sharon Browning, the immediate past president of the Central Community School Board. Browning said, “This new award is presented to the business based in Central which the judges believe has the greatest overall positive impact on our economy in Central by its employment of Central residents, its service in the best of times and the worst of times, and its commitment to Central year after year. And that business is DEMCO!” DEMCO, which was found-

School board member Sharon Browning presented Central’s Business MVP Award to DEMCO, who was represented by president and CEO John Vranic. In photo at right, DEMCO’s Randy Lorio, Penny Frugé, and John Vranic.

CENTRAL — The annual Central Business Awards competition is sponsored each year by the Central City News. Nominees for Central Businesses of the Year are submitted by residents of Central. More than 70 businesses and individuals were nominated this year. The names of nominees were published in the Central City News, and the public submitted written comments on the nominees. Judges for the competition were Central schools Supt. Michael Faulk, Ochsner Health board chairman Bob Breaux, and Central City News editor Woody Jenkins. They selected Finalists in each category

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Central City News Staff Organized BusinessAwards

Shara Pollard, Jolice Provost, Candi Lee, and Terrie Palmer of the Central City News

and award winners. This year’s event was held at Elegant Memories at 14328 Frenchtown Road (Travis Spinosa at 615-8092). Elegant Memories and Cooper Café, 10443 Joor Road (Debbie Cooper at 262-5533) catered the event. Central City News business manager Candi Lee, graphic designer Terrie Palmer, and business development specialists Shara Pollard and Jolice Provost gathered information on nominees, promoted the awards ceremonies, and handled the details of the event. The Trophy House (8235 Florida, 927-7923) provided plaques.

12 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blackie Bell and Dr. Tony and Judy LoBue

Central’s Servant Leadership Awards How Newspaper Learned What Blackie’s Place Has Been Up to

Photo by Terrie Palmer

CENTRAL — Central’s coveted Servant Leadership Award was presented to three local residents at the 2nd Annual Central Business Award ceremony. The honors went to Dr. Tony and Judy LoBue and Blackie Bell. The LoBues received the honor because of their anonymous work to keep the Central Student Prayer Banquet going. For seven years, they worked with a team of volunteers and the united support of the churches and the business community in CenBlackie Bell tral. The student prayer banquet draws as many as 800 students together to learn more about the love of Christ. Judy LoBue said one of the motivating forces behind the prayer banquet was a rash of teen suicides in Central some years ago. The banquet is a way for the churches and businesses of Central to say to young people that we care about you. Dr. Tony LoBue said, “I love the fact that it is Christians of all

Roxanne Atkinson presenting Servant Leadership Award to Judy and Dr. Tony LoBue

denominations coming together to worship and build their relationship with God.” Judy said, “It’s fun to see Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and many others worshiping together.” Judy LoBue said that of the many

speakers over the years, her favorite was Ron Heagy who was paralyzed from the neck down. “I’m paralyzed from the neck down, what’s your excuse?” he asked. See story on Blackie Bell at right.

Rabalais Homes: Steve Rabalais

CENTRAL — Central homebuilder Steve Rabalais was named Central 2011 Contractor of the Year at the 2nd Annual Central Business Awards ceremonies. Rabalais’ company, Rabalais Homes, is a home-based business that is a model of entrepreneurship. With only one assistant, Rabalais works with a number of subcontractors. Last year, he built 30 homes, 25 of them in Central. Rabalais’ homes are custom built, and he has a reputation for quality and customer satisfaction. He is building or has built homes in Village at Magnolia Square, Bellingrath Lakes, Burlington Lakes, Village Lakes, Wisteria Lakes, and Hampton Village. Rabalais says most of his customers are Central families who are upgrading to larger, more modern homes. A few are moving in from out of state or Baton Rouge. In order to get financing, people who want to build a new home have to have good credit, he said. Rabalais said he believes the future of Central is bright. “With good schools and the new Central Thruway coming in, more and more people will recognize the things Central has to offer,” he said. “Cen-

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Central’s Contractor of the Year

Steve Rabalais (left) presented Contractor of the Year Award by Jimmy Nunnally

tral is doing well now, in relation to surrounding areas, but I expect it to do even better in the future. The award was presented by Jimmy Nunnally, the developer of Vil-

lage at Magnolia Square. “I work with Steve very closely and know what a great job he does.” Rabalais received Best of Best Homes Award during the 2010 Parade of Homes.

CENTRAL — Blackie Bell, owner of Blackie’s Place, a neighborhood bar located at 10010 Sullivan Road, was presented Central’s Servant Leadership Award during Central Business Award ceremonies at Elegant Memories. The award was presented by Candi Lee, business manager of the Central City News. Her presentation below shows that things are not always the way they seem and that character, love of our fellow man, and service to the community don’t always come from the places we expect. Presentation of Central’s Servant Leadership Award to Blackie Bell of Blackie’s Place For those of you that don’t know me, I am Candi Lee, and I’m the Business Manager at Central City News. In that position, I see most incoming notices about events happening in Central. Over the past few years, I began to notice that every time there was a need or someone was hurting in Central there would be a jambalaya or some other event to raise money for that person or their family at Blackie’s Place. Here are a few... • Ted Mayeaux, a chiropractor in Central who had a stoke • Tony Couvillon who had a car repair shop and had passed away from cancer • Jalacee Kemp, a 19-year-old who passed away and the family needed help with funeral expenses • Ricky Rarick who lost his left eye in a four-wheeler accident. His brother, Mike Rarick, is a city police officer • Tristian Pertuis, a nine-yearold boy who has Cerebral Palsy. Insurance wouldn’t pay for alternative therapy that is needed monthly to help him learn to walk without a cane. • Mathew Soileau who passed away last September. He left a wife and two small children. He is the son of Lt. Ernie Soileau of the EBR Sheriff’s Office. When we started advertising our awards reception in the paper and asking for the citizens to send in their nominations for the various categories, Blackie Bell’s name was sent in time and See BLACKIE’S on Page 20

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 13

Sammy’s Grill in Central

New Business of the Year

Overall winners Micah Venable, Carol Crochet and Madison Hadden

8th Grade Victoria Thomas, Amanda Fontenot and Brennon Young

7th Grade Sarah Jones, Stephanie Pourciau, and Nia Raglan

Exhibit by Madison Hadden

Social Studies Fair At Central Middle CENTRAL — More than 500 Central Middle School students participated in a Social Studies Fair last week. Brightly colored and creatively decorated three-panel display boards were lined up and down the gym floor. Overall winners were 1st Place, Micah Venable; 2nd Place, Carol Crochet; and 3rd Place, Madison Hadden.

Lost &Found No charge for listing one week. Call 261-5055.

LOST on Joor Road. Twin size mattress, brand new call 225-571-5734.

LOST — Black and tan smooth dachshund, female. Near the corner of Sullivan and Greenwell Springs. Call 225-261-7048.

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Central Middle teacher Denice Thomas instructs judges

CENTRAL — Sammy’s Grill was named Central’s New Business of the Year at the 2nd Annual Central Business Awards ceremonies at Elegant Memories. Sammy’s has taken Central by storm and developed a strong position in the market since opening less than two years ago. Central schools Supt. Mike Faulk presented the award to Kenny Carr, manager of Sammy’s Grill in Central, who represented owners Sammy Nagem and Jason Jackson. Faulk praised the restaurant, which also has locations in Baton Rouge and Zachary. Kenny Carr said some people didn’t think Sammy’s could be a success in Central but it has been. The restaurant is usually packed at lunch and dinner. It employs more than 100 people, mostly young people. Sammy’s has a large menu but is especially known for its seafood, steaks, specialty plates, po-boys, and hamburgers. The kitchen is a clean, efficient place, mostly run by young people, who turn out Sammy’s manager Kenny Carr accepted the New Business of the Year Award from enormous quantities of food. Central schools Supt. Mike Faulk. Carr said Sammy’s employs 100 people in Central.

14 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Five New Members Inducted into Hall of Fame

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Photo by Woody Jenkins

Central Business Hall of Fame

Photo by Woody Jenkins

James and Jeannie David of David’s Tiger Express with Dr. David Walker

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Photo by Terrie Palmer

Dennis Lewis, Michelle Lewis, and Kevin Keithly of Lewis Wrecker

Steven Fiore and Jared David of Wholesale Pools Supplies

CENTRAL — Five businesses were inducted into the Central Business Hall of Fame at award ceremonies. The Central City News inaugurated the Hall of Fame as a way to recognize business leaders who have served the community for a generation or more. The five inductees are: • Lewis Wrecker — In 1947, Ruth and Finnon Lewis opened

Claude and Dustin Cassels of Wholesale Pools

Lewis Café on Airline Hwy. They launched a wrecker business in 1956, moving it to Central shortly thereafter. Son Dennis became the owner in 1980 and has been a stalwart of Central ever since. • David’s Tiger Express — James and Jeannie David started a convenience store and deli on Terrace Street in Baton Rouge 30 years ago and took over Tiger Express at

The Best Price In Roofing & Sheet Metal Services

Blanco’s Roofing & Sheet Metal LLC

Maria and John Varnic of DEMCO

the corner of Hooper and Joor in 1997. Now they’ve beautifully remodeled and expanded David’s Tiger Express and their Dairy Queen. • DEMCO — Founded in 1938 and based in Central, DEMCO has over 200 employees and 98,000 customers. Central’s MVP Business. John Vranic, president. • Wholesale Pools, Inc. — Celebrating its 25th anniversary con-

structing pools in Central. Claude and Dustin Cassels, owners. • Wholesale Pools Supplies — Celebrating its 25th anniversary providing pool supplies with stores in Central and Zachary. Steven Fiore and Jared David, owners.

Editor’s Note: Founded in 1986, Wholesale Pools later split into two separate companies — one for pool construction and the other for pool supplies.

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(225) 664-8275 or (225) 261-8267

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 15

Greenwell Springs Fair This Weekend CENTRAL — Events coming up in and around Central: Thursday, March 10 Umpire Meeting • 7 p.m. A meeting will be held at the main concession stand at Lovett Road Park for anyone interested in umpiring baseball or softball for the 2011 season. For information, contact Henry Goudeau at 202-6127. Friday, March 11 1965 Central High Lunch • 11 a.m. The 1965 Central High School graduates will be meeting for a Dutch treat lunch at Sammy’s in Central. Please make plans to attend. March 11 and 12 Greenwell Springs Baptist Spring Festival and Craft Fair Come enjoy the Greenwell Springs Baptist Spring Festival and Craft Fair, 19421 Greenwell Springs Road. There is something for all ages— games and rides for the youngsters, craft booths for the adults, and food and fun for all. Times are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 11 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Saturday, March 12 Farmers Market and Jazz Picnic 12 noon to 4 p.m. The first Farmers Market and Jazz Picnic of the year will be held at The Village at Magnolia Square. Noted acoustic guitar players Chris LeBlanc and Kenny Acosta will perform live. Special guest Skip Bertman, a Louisiana legend and one of the greatest college baseball coaches of all times will be in attendance from 3 to 4 p.m. Bring your picnic basket, blankets and folding chairs. There will be a jump castle and kite flying for the kids. Kleinpeter’s will provide free samples. Local farmers will be selling spring produce. March 12 and March 26 Central Area Horse Show 10 a.m. The Central Area Horse Show, sponsored by the Deep South Stock Horse Show Association, will be held at the Shady Park Arena on Greenwell Springs Road. Judged and timed events in four age groups. Beginners welcome. For info, Monday, March 14 Mike Huckabee Book Signing 3:30 p.m. Join Gov. Mike Huckabee at a book signing at LifeWay Christian Store, 5915 Bluebonnet Building C-3. For information or to schedule a


Every Friday During Lent Starts Friday, March 11 Take Out Only • 4 to 6 p.m. Pick Up at the Bus Port Cost of Dinner is $7 St. Alphonsus Men’s Club 14040 Greenwell Springs Rd.


$10 for first 20 words, 50 cents a word after that. Minimum charge $10. Call 261-5055. Must be paid in advance. No credit cards accepted. Mail or deliver check to Central City News, 13567 Hooper, Central 70818. #1 DUB’S TREE CARE AND REMOVAL — Free estimate/low cost. 40 years’ experience. C 225-454-4982 or H 225-261-0342. 05/26/11 CLASSIFIED ADS — Call 261-5055 or email to DRIVERS — Great pay, bonuses, benefits included, free health insurance. CDL-A, one year TT experience, TWIC card, Hazmat and Tanker End. required. 03/10/11 DRIVERS — Dedicated and regional. Great benefits and more. Class-A CDL w/X End, TWIC card and one year T/T experience required. Tank experience a plus. Apply in person: Martin Transport, 1616 Mengel Road, Baton Rouge or call 1-225-355-1342. 03/24/11 FOR RENT — Two and three bedroom new/

ASHLYN SCHMIDT (left), a 3rd grader at Central Private School, killed her first deer while hunting with cousin, Lani Pilgreen, on family property in Union Parish. She is the daughter of Jennifer Roberts. TRISTA JOHNSON (2nd photo) killed a seven-point, her fourth deer of the season, in Union Church, Miss. with her dad. She is the daughter of Tony and Tressie Johnson. CHARLES RITCHIE (3rd photo), caught this 9-1/4-pound, 22.5-inch-long large-mouth bass at Lake Okissa in Meadville, Miss., using a baby brush hog.

group coming to the signing, contact Jensen Young at 241-6645 or Monday, March 14 Republican Women of Central 6 to 8 p.m. The Republican women of Central will hold their monthly meeting at Elegant Memories. Secretary Scott A. Angelle will be the guest speaker. For information, contact Betsy Barnes at 333-0018 or email at RepublicanWomenOfCentral@yahoo. com. Tuesday, March 15 Free Lunch and Learn 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Selective Hearing is hosting a free Lunch and Learn at Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary. Join us to learn about understanding and overcoming hearing loss, and explore your options for better hearing. Free consultation and free hearing aid evaluation using real-world environment simulations. Space is limited and reservations are required. Reserve your spot today. Call 1-877358-6130 or 663-6130. Tuesday, March 15 Central Community Alliance 7 p.m. A Metro Council District 4 update will be held at DEMCO, 16262 Wax Road. Guest speaker will be Metro Councilman Scott Wilson. Central citizens are welcome. Come and meet your elected officials and see what is on the agenda that will affect the Central community for 2011. Tuesday, March 15 Celebrated Gems • 7 p.m. Join Central gemologist and jeweler, Jack Hood, for a lively discussion on gems at the Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. For information, call 231-3740. March 17 through 20 Old Fashion Revival Join Greenwell Springs Baptist Church will have an Old Fashion Revival with the Calvary Singers. Times: Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 evening services will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 19 at 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 20 remodeled mobile homes in the Central community. Nice quiet park. No pets. $625 to $850 per month. Call 225-436-9349 or 225-413-0942. 04/14/11 FOR SALE — 3 bedroom, 2 bath, living, dining, kitchen, large utility, covered patio, workshop, fenced. 4626 East Post Oak, off Frenchtown Road. $134,900. 225-261-8962. 04/28/11 HANDYMAN, INSIDE, OUT — Repair, build new steps, deck, porch, doors, windows. Replace damaged trim, siding. Roof work, painting. Reliable. 225-236-2501. 03/10/11 LIFE SIMPLIFIED — Would like to offer you valet grocery delivery services. Great for elderly, disabled, or new mothers! $35 per delivery. 225278-5455. 03/10/11 MOBILE HOME FOR SALE — 1998, 16x80, 3BR, 2BA. Garden tub, refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, mirrored den, ceiling fans, central air and heat, two covered decks. Excellent condition, skirts, and tiedowns. $15,500. 03/24/11 PET SITTING OVERNIGHT in our loving home. Dogs, cats, others. One night or many. Customized care. Insured. “Sweet Dreams.” 225-892-2375. 03/10/11

at 8 and 11 a.m. with a concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 19 Benefit Garage & Bake Sale 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Benefit Garage and Bake Sale will be held for Celia Storey, daughter of Margie and the late Ed Storey of Central. Celia was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor and will be traveling to Duke University Research Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. in April for surgery. The sale will be held at 9882 Landowne Road in the Tanglewood Subdivision. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated to help Celia with her medical and traveling expenses. Tuesday, March 22 Free Blood Glucose Screening 8 to 10 a.m. Lane Regional Medical Center will take part in the American Diabetes Association Alert Day by offering a free blood glucose screening at the Lane Medical Plaza located next to the hospital at 6550 Main Street. For information, call 658-4583 or 6545263. Tuesday, March 22 Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits 8 a.m. to 12 noon Lane Regional Medical Center will distribute free colorectal cancer screening kits in the front lobby of the Lane Medical Plaza, located next to the hospital at 6550 Main Street in Zachary. The test is not a substitute for a regular physical exam by your physician, but may indicate the need for one. For information, call 6545263. Thursday, March 24 Pre-K and Kindergarten Roundup 4 to 6 p.m. Pre-K and kindergarten registration will be held at Bellingrath Hills Elementary. Children must be 4 years old by Sept. 20, 2011, to be eligible for pre-k and 5 years old by Sept. 30, 2011, to be eligible for kindergarten. Pre-K is available for students who are eligible for free/reduced meals or

for any paying student. You will need four proofs of residence, an original birth certificate, original Social Security card, and an original shot record. Friday, March 25 Youth Alive • 7 p.m. Christ Central Church, 10523 Lovett Road, will host Youth Alive. The guest speaker will be Rob Miskowsi, Louisiana State Director of Youth and Discipleship. There will be a dance ministry performance by Previously Condemned and the guest band will be Facedown. Refreshments will be served after service. For information, visit Saturday, March 26 Bake Sale Fundraiser 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Bake Sale Fundraiser will be held at Oak Point Fresh Market in Central for Amber Davis and her unborn baby. The baby has been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and will need surgery his first week of life. Saturday, March 26 Library Book Sale 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library will hold a Library Book Sale at Recycled Reads, 13505 Hooper. March 28 through 30 Parish Mission • 7 p.m. St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church will hold a Parish Mission entitled “A Call to ‘Reality’ Living.” The presenter will be Mike Patin.


Every Friday During Lent Starts Friday, March 11 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Magnolia United Methodist 16024 Greenwell Springs

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16 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

City Contract Would Go Through 2016 Continued from Page 1

ruled that the terms of the contract between the City of Central and CH2MHILL supersede any subsequent city ordinance. According to that position, the new contract will be “the law” in Central for the next five years, even during the first two years of the next Mayor and City Council. Mayor Watts’ RFQP provides a timetable which allows the current Council basically “one shot” to change the city’s direction. That shot would come between May 19, 2011, and June 1, 2011 — when the Council would have the chance to vote for or against the

Mayor’s proposed contractor, such as CH2MHILL, and for or against the proposed contract itself. The Mayor’s 21-member committee has approved the proposed contract and set up criteria for choosing the next City Services contractor. The current contract expires June 30, 2011. A nine-member committee appointed by the Mayor will review RFQP’s which must be received by April 29, 2011, and then recommend a contractor to the Mayor. This process has not been approved by the City Council by resolution or ordinance and has been criticized by several City Council

members. However, the Mayor is proceeding with his plan. If the Council disapproves the Mayor’s recommended contractor or the contract itself, they could presumably approve another bidder, if there is one, or initiate a new selection process. The current contract between the City of Central and CH2MHILL allows the city to retain the company’s services on a month to month basis after the June 30, 2011, termination date. The timetable set forth in the Mayor’s RFQP is as follows: March 1 — Advertise Request for Qualifications & Proposals April 1 — Mandatory Pre-Proposal Conference for possible bidders, 10 a.m.

2011-2012 Central Community Directory & Yellow Pages

Central Community Directory & Yellow Pages




2010 Central Community Directory & Yellow Pages

1/6th Page

Central Automotive & Tire 11575 Sullivan Rd 261-9558 Hooper Road Car Care & Sales 9695 Hooper Rd 262-7127 Hunt’s Tire & Car Care 10440 Greenwell Springs 272-7404 See Our Display Ad In Tune Auto Service 11353 Hooper Rd 262-1137 Liberty Automotive 17350 Liberty Rd 261-3811 River City Battery Supply 11353 Greenwell Springs 275-1285 See Our Display Ad Ross Tire & Service 14330 Greenwell Springs 262-8473 See Our Display Ad Sonny’s Auto Repair Inc 14831 Blackwater Rd 261-5551 See Our Display Ad Tanksley Automotive 18255 Magnolia Bridge Rd 261-1465 Tommy’s Automotive Repair & Muffler 8645 Sullivan Rd 262-2291 AUTOMOBILE TITLES Central Auto Title & Notary 13623 Hooper Ste. H


BANKS Bank of Zachary 13444 Hooper Capital One Bank 13363 Hooper Rd Chase National Bank 6627 Sullivan Rd Fidelity Bank & Trust

261-5111 357-0862


14545 Wax Rd. Hancock Bank 13585 Hooper Neighbors Federal Credit Union 13336 Hooper Rd Regions Bank 11880 Greenwell Springs Whitney National Bank 14340 Greenwell Springs

261-4441 248-7130 819-5776 929-9322 381-0850

BANQUET FACILITIES Elegant Memories LLC 14328 Frenchtown Rd See Our Display Ad FOP Reception Hall 10777 Greenwell Springs

615-8092 275-1684

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1/2 Page City of Central Yellow Pages


The RFQP says the April 1 preproposal conference is mandatory, and no one will be allowed to bid unless they attend that conference. Prospective bidders are prohibited from having any contact with elected or appointed officials of Central during the process. They will only be allowed to submit questions by email, and those answers will not be provided by the city until two days before the bid is due. This could make it difficult for any company other than CH2MHILL to have enough information to prepare a bid. If the new Mayor who takes office July 1, 2014, wants to end the contract, he apparently could not do so unless a majority of the new City Council agreed. Only then would the city be able to give the required 120-day notice of termination. When Central’s massive privatization contract was bid out in early 2008, CH2MHILL was the only bidder. Last month, the Mayor’s 21-member committee voted to allow private contractors to bid on four additional services for the city — drainage maintenance, grass cutting and weed control, litter control, and roadway repairs. However, the city has not announced procedures for bidding on those services. More information on the RFQP can be found at the city’s website,, which is maintained by CH2MHILL.

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Central City News

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April 22 — Deadline for bidders to submit questions by email April 27 — City posts questions and responses on city website April 29 — Deadline for bidders to submit Statements of Qualifications and Proposals May 9 — Mayor’s nine-member selection committee ranks respondents and schedules and conducts interviews May 19 — Selection committee recommends contractor to Mayor; Mayor recommends to Council June 1 — Contract executed, insurance and bonds provided by contractor; contractor begins receiving data and establishing systems. July 1, 2011 — Five-year contract begins June 30, 2016 — Five-year contract ends

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CHASE BORRES, a 4th grader at St. Alphonsus, won All-Around Cowboy for his age group at the Amite County Youth Rodeo Association awards banquet. He received a saddle for All-Around Cowboy. Chase competes in nine events — bareback ponies, calf riding, goat throwing, dummy roping, barrels, poles, arena race, goat tying, and breakway roping. He is the son of Brian and Kim Borres of Central and grandson of Betty Alleman of New Iberia, Beverly Aucoin of Central, and the late Danny Aucoin of Central.

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 17

Photos by Woody Jenkins

Central Business Awards Ceremonies

Marc and Terrie Palmer

Linda and Morris Summers

Joyce and Ted McCulley

Frances and Bob Breaux

Byron Lee and Mike Pollard

Sharon Browing and Laura Gerald

Mona and Robin Kennard

Rae Guarino and Judy LoBue

Family Court judge candidate Charlene Charlet Day and husband Scooter Day, Randy and Tami Anglin, and Dr. Stephen Speeg

Kim Grace, Stacey Lancaster, MaryAnn Blue, Jeff Prisk, Adam Bingham, Michael Bingham, and Sheila Deer, all of Lancaster House

Barbara Sonnier, George Munn, Mikelyn Smith, and Jill Miller of Central Drug Store

Kathy Messina, Helen Pray, and Nancy Watts, all of ACL Hearing


Dr. Gerard Bossier DDS

225-261-0043 or visit us online

18 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Milestones Births • Engagements • Weddings • Deaths Anniversaries • Reunions


Chandra Porter and Andrew Perry were married Nov. 15 on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

SCHIEFER, HIGGINBOTHAM Courtney Schiefer and Johnny Higginbotham will marry March 25 in San Clemente, Calif.

Chandra Porter, Andrew Perry Wed on Beach In Caribbean

PUNTACANA—ChandraKayPorter of Watertown, S.D., and Andrew Allen Perry of Central, were married Nov. 15, 2010, on the beach at The Reserve Paradisus Palma Real Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The bride is the daughter of Jan and Darrel Porter of Watertown, S.D. Chandra is a graduate of Minnesota State University— Moorhead with a degree in public relations. She works for Louisiana State University. The groom is the son of Beth and Boyd Perry of Central. Andrew is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in business administration. He works for the Louisiana Press Association.

Mikayla Marie Kleinpeter

Send milestones to, or Box 1, Central, LA 70739, or deliver to 13567 Hooper Rd. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Perry

Schiefer, Higginbotham to Wed March 25 in San Clemente, Calif.

Johnny Higginbotham and Courtney Schiefer

SAN CLEMENTE — Courtney Jean Schiefer of San Clemente, Calif. and Johnny Wayne Higginbotham, Jr. of Central, will marry in a 4 p.m. ceremony Friday, March 25, 2011, at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in San Clemente. The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Schiefer of San Clemente, Calif. She is the graduate of California High School in San Ramon, Calif. She is a human resources manager for Central Ready Mix. Her fiancé is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny W. Higginbotham, Sr. of Central. He is a graduate of Central High School. He is an engineer for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Robbie and Dena Kleinpeter of Central are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Mikayla Marie. Mikayla was born Oct. 20, 2010, at 1:21 a.m. at Woman’s Hospital. She weighed six pounds, 10.9 ounces, and was 21.25 inches long. Proud grandparents are Ronnie and Donna Davis of Central, Tracy Kleinpeter of Watson, and Crystal Kleinpeter of Ethel. Proud great-grandparents are Euna Bennet of Central, Harold and Bennie Davis of Baker, Robert and Lynette Kleinpeter of Ethel, and Hazle Hatfield of Missouri. Great great-grandparents are Oma Davis of Baker and Nolan and Margaret LeBlanc of Port Allen.

CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011 19

Lane Named Best Place for Nurses ZACHARY—TheAmericanNurses Credentialing Center has honored Lane Regional Medical Center with the Pathway to Excellence designation, making it the only hospital in Louisiana and one of just 56 hospitals in the U.S. with the distinction. The Pathway to Excellence designation identifies the elements of a positive work environment where nurses can flourish. The designation recognizes the professional satisfaction of nurses at Lane and identifies Lane as one of the best places to work in the country. “As a Pathway to Excellence hospital, Lane Regional is committed to nurses, to what nurses identify as important to their practice, and to valuing nurses’ contributions in the workplace,” according to Jennifer Johnson, chief nursing officer. “This designation confirms to the public that nurses working here know their efforts are supported, and that Lane is a great place to work.” For an organization to earn the Pathway to Excellence distinction, it must successfully undergo a

NURSES FROM CENTRAL — Nurses from Central who practice at Lane Regional Medical Center include Stephanie Jenkins, RN, Fran Adams, RN, Sheila Barrett, RN, Debra Gorman, RN, Stacey Ashford, RN, Sandra Eldridge, RN, Amy Rome, RN, Karla Miller, RN, Melinda Shelton, RN, and Kerry Brumley, RN. Lane has been named one of the best places in America for nurses to work.

thorough review process that documents foundational quality initiatives to create a positive work environment – as defined by nurses and supported by their research. These initiatives must be present in the facility’s practices, policies, and culture. Nurses verify the presence of such criteria through a confidential

online survey. Lane Regional Medical Center is a 141-bed regional facility serving Zachary and the neighboring communities of Baker, Clinton, Central, St. Francisville and southern Mississippi. Providing a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, Lane

supports cardiovascular, orthopaedics, labor and delivery, general surgery, in-patient rehabilitation, hyperbarics, sleep medicine, diabetes, and vascular programs. With more than 700 staff members, Lane is the largest employer in Zachary. For information, visit www.Lane

Crenshaw, Zito to Wed at Baton Rouge Art Gallery lip Ross Zito of Greenwell Springs will marry on Friday, March 18, 2011. The celebration will take place at the Baton Rouge Art Gallery at 6 p.m. The bride-elect is the daughter of William and Mary Crenshaw of Katy, Texas. She is the granddaughter of William and Joyce Crenshaw. Lauren is a 2007 graduate of Taylor High School in Katy, Texas and she will graduate in May from Louisiana State University. Her fiancé is the son of Tony and Bridget Zito of Greenwell Springs. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Denny J. Neal and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Zito of Baton Rouge. Phillip is a 2005 graduate of Bethany Christian School and a Lauren Crenshaw and Phillip Zito 2010 graduate of Louisiana State BATONROUGE—LaurenElizabeth University. He is employed at CDI Crenshaw of Katy, Texas and Phil- Engineering in Baton Rouge.

Aiden Carter Green

Robin and Chester Green are proud to announce the birth of their son, Aiden Carter. He was welcomed home by big brother Charlie. Aiden was born Jan. 17, 2011, at Methodist Hospital in Germantown, Tenn. at 3:29 p.m. He weighed six pounds, 15.8 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. Proud grandparents are Charles and Donna Ritchie of Central, Kendra and Gene Demars of Denham Springs, Chet and Lyn Green of Whiteburg, Georgia, and greatgrandmother Elsie Miles.

CAMBRIDGE APARTMENTS 18609 Greenwell Springs Rd. Greenwell Springs, LA 70739 (225) 261-2650 TTY: 1-800-846-5277 2 BR Townhomes Family Complex Rent Range $440-$689 Handicap Units Office Hours 2-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Applications Available in Laundry Facility For Qualifed Applicants

This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

Ava Adele Miller

Audie and Alicia (Browning) Miller are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Ava Adele. She was welcomed home by proud big sister, Abigail. Ava was born Dec. 16, 2010, at 12 noon at Woman’s Hospital. She weighed seven pounds, 13.8 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Proud grandparents are CM and Tammy Browning of Central and Sonny and Ina Miller of Baker. Great-grandparents are Watson and Joyce Browning of Central.

20 CENTRAL CITY NEWS Thursday, March 10, 2011

Major Construction Projects Underway Blackie’s Place Continued from Page 12

again for our Servant Leadership Award. Blackie is a father, grandfather, and business owner of nearly 20 years in the city of Central. As I investigated the nominations, I was told over and over the same thing about Blackie: No matter what you ask of him, he never says no. He would give you the shirt off of his back. Often times he supplies what is needed for a benefit at his own expense. Over at Blackie’s Place, Blackie Bell, his employees, a host of off-duty BR city police officers, sheriff deputies, and other law enforcement personnel and just plain folks, spend a good bit of time figuring out how to help people in need in Central, and, as a result, they are changing lives in this community. I am proud to present this award to Mr. Blackie Bell.


Liberty Today

website National Conservative Newspaper liberty-today. com

OCHSNER GROUND BREAKING was held last month for Ochsner’s new medical clinic at the Central Park Professional Park at 11424 Sullivan Road. Shown (left to right) are Mitch Wasden, CEO Ochsner Baton Rouge Region; Dr. Keith Holmes, General Medicine; Rep. Bodi White; Mayor Mac Watts; Brandon Rogillio, Rogillio Real Estate; Scott Ritter, Ritter Maher Architects; Ron Erickson, President, Central Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Salvador Velazquez, Cardiology, and Dr. Kenneth Gaddis, Neurology.

SCHOOL PROJECT GOING VERTICAL — Steel beams are arriving for the $34 million Central school complex. Shown left to right are Ross Bogan of the school board, Greg Butler of Roy Anderson Corp., Steve Weisinger, and Jesus Ortega.

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Central City News 3-10-2011