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April 10, 2014 • Volume 6 • Issue 1

715 Kirby St. Lake Charles, LA 70601 Phone: 337-436-7800 Fax: 337-990-0262 Publisher Phil de Albuquerque Executive Editor Lauren de Albuquerque Contributors Nicole Shuff Arabie George Cline Dan Ellender Jamie Gaines Braylin Jenkins Mike McHugh Roger Miller Mary Louise Ruehr Jody Taylor Karla Tullos David Yantis Sales Graphics Art/Production Director Burn Rourk Art Assistant Kaylee Smith Associate Photographer Johnny Owens Cajun Pirate Photgraphy Business Office Manager Jeanie Taggart Legal Disclaimer The views expressed by Louisiana Jam columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Louisiana Jam, its editors or staff. The Jambalaya News is solely owned, published by Jambalaya Media, LLC, 715 Kirby Street, Lake Charles Louisiana 70601. Phone (337) 436-7800. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility of the standing of advertisers nor by the editorial contributions. The Jambalaya News cannot be held responsible for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations, even if they are sent to us accompanied by a self-addressed envelope. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Copyright 2014 The Jambalaya News all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited.

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COVER STORY 27 FNB DeRidder REGULARS 6 We Are SWLA! 7 Hospital Roundup 10 The Dang Yankee 10 Adoption Corner 11 Tips from Tip 12 Fishin’ Tales 13 Soul Matters 14 Stir Dat Pot! FEATURES 4 Dana Frye and the Evergreen Left-Behinds 16 Do You Have What it Takes to Own a Business? 1 8 The Jam Celebrates 5 Years! 20 Big or Small, Business is Booming! 30 IBERIABANK: A Commitment to the Community 32 Different Types of Financial Institutions THE SPICE OF SWLA 36 Children’s Museum Celebrates 26 Years 38 Event Guide 41 Family Fun Night at the Movies 42 Red Hot Books 44 Lake City Beat! 45 Lake Charles After Dark 46 Nightlife Guide 49 Society Spice 51 Funbolaya


On cover: First National Bank of DeRidder

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A Note From Lauren Blossoms Our grapefruit tree is blooming again. There’s a fabulous grapefruit tree on the JAM property that bears the most succulent fruit. But even more amazing are the grapefruit blossoms. They are so incredibly fragrant, especially in the evening, when the night wind wafts their scent towards me when I come out on the porch. I wish they would last for a few months and not just a few weeks. I also wish I could bottle that fragrance. I’ve looked on the Internet, but all that seems to be available are grapefruit scents, which is not the same. If anyone knows where I can find grapefruit blossom perfume, please let me know. This particular tree was attacked by some sort of parasite last year. The leaves turned black and sticky and the tree bore no fruit. Phil brought home the appropriate pesticide and followed the directions. We assumed that after this harsh winter, the tree didn’t stand a chance of blooming. But go figure. The leaves are green and shiny and the branches already need to be trimmed. This means that we’ll have lots of grapefruit this season, too.

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We didn’t have grapefruit trees up north, but we did have lilacs, which I miss terribly. There were gorgeous lilac bushes in our little yard behind the three-decker in East Boston, of both the white and purple variety. We’d cut them and bring them in the house, much to the chagrin of Aunt Jeanette, who was allergic to everything. Of course, she couldn’t just take allergy pills and be done with it. No, she couldn’t take any kind of pills at all because she had such a “delicate system.” She prided herself on this. It set her apart, made her special. She talked about it all the time, and boasted about her diet restrictions. She couldn’t drink juice or soda or alcohol. She just drank cups of hot water, with a look of martyrdom on her face as she sipped it. She couldn’t have salad or fried food or just about anything. Her system was delicate, I tell you! But she plowed through sweets the way Grant went through Georgia. I guess chocolates were compatible to her delicate system. So, we’d bring the flowers in and put them in vases and the next thing you know, Jeanette would start sneezing. You could hear her through the walls. It would go on and on. “There she

goes,” Aunt Gloria would say, rolling her eyes. “Shhhh!” My mother always felt bad. “She’s suffering. We shouldn’t bring the flowers in.” “What’s the point of having them if we can’t bring them in?” Gloria would respond. And it would go back and forth. And one day, Jeanette decided enough was enough and cut all those beautiful lilac bushes down, with the excuse that they were too difficult to maintain. Artificial flowers, on the other hand, were easy. Jeanette would buy plastic flowers and spend hours arranging them. Yes, plastic. This was before silk flowers became popular. Then she’d have Uncle Frank take pictures of them, so that when she changed the flowers out, she’d know exactly how to arrange those sterile

synthetic blooms for the next time. Sometimes, she’d let my mother “borrow” a particular arrangement, but we had to be careful. God forbid if anything happened to it. You’d never hear the end of it. I think Jeanette counted every plastic blossom before she loaned it out. And she would never let Gloria borrow anything. She knew better. Tonight, I’ll sit outside with a glass of wine and breathe in the essence of spring in those magical blossoms that we are so lucky to have right by our door. Because springtime is about rebirth and renewal and green and growth. Not about plastic.

Lauren de Albuquerque

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Once upon a time, in an abandoned trailer park in Westlake, a starving cluster of cats and dogs, left to fend for themselves by their owners after they moved away, struggled to survive. It was December 2012. With Sasol’s expansion, residents of the Evergreen Trailer Park in Westlake had to be relocated. And many of these residents simply left their pets behind. Their plight reached the ears of Lake Area resident Dana Frye, a longtime animal rescuer who has saved hundreds of dogs and cats through the years. Already familiar with the area, she went out to investigate. “They did have small feral cat population out there already,” Frye said. “We’d trapped, neutered and spayed a few years back. So I knew the area. But these animals were all left behind.” What Frye discovered this time was heartbreaking. Cowering in the distance were emaciated dogs; some too weak to barely move. Cats were clawing through old trashcans, desperately scrounging for something, anything. No food, no water, no shelter. No one to love them. Frye is a member of the animal rescue group LAPAW. Each member is responsible for the animals they feed and catch. This means that money was needed for not only food, but also for all the bills that would begin to pile up once the animals could be 04 APRIL 10, 2014

captured to be neutered and spayed. And some were very ill and needed immediate medical attention. “Without donations, the animals would not survive,” she said, shaking her head. Before she began her campaign to save the Evergreen Left-Behinds, Frye got in touch with the authorities at Sasol for permission to be on the company’s property. Thankfully, it was granted, and she was able to get a small shelter built to keep the bowls of food and water. “The animals knew I would come at a certain time to feed, so when I pulled up, I would see them off in the distance, in the woods, waiting,” Frye said. Frye fed the sad and starving pets daily and began posting on Facebook. Soon, the much-needed funds started coming in—just in time, as she began to rescue some of the sickest dogs she’d ever encountered. “Just about all of the dogs had heartworms. That’s a difficult and expensive treatment to begin with,” she explained. Worse, some dogs also had whipworms. “This means that food just goes right through them. No matter how much they eat, they just keep losing weight.” This was the case with Pearl. “She was so weak, she could barely walk,” Frye said with tears in her eyes. “One day I saw her lying there, and there was a dog on each side of her, nudging her to get up and eat. I think they knew she was dying and they didn’t want to leave her.” Frye managed to get the suffering canine into her car and sped off with her to Southside Animal Hospital. There, it was discovered that Pearl weighed only 17 pounds when she should have weighed at least 40. She Vol. 6 • No. 1

Waiting for Help.

desperately needed major medical attention, along with special food. Frye posted her picture and story on Facebook and the funds starting coming in. In 24 hours, Pearl had gained three pounds. Frye continued to post updates of Pearl’s progress as her health slowly but steadily improved. And the most joyful update of all was the day Pearl was adopted by a family in DeRidder. “I hear from them all the time, and she is having a wonderful life,” Frye smiles. “I love a happy ending, don’t you?” The animals are fed every day, no matter the weather. If Frye can’t make it, another rescuer will step in. Due to her diligence and big heart, 26 dogs and 30 cats have been rescued, spayed and neutered, and adopted. And it’s happening just in time. By June, Sasol will be cutting all the trees down and bulldozing the area to prepare for its expansion. “There are just a few dogs left that I haven’t been able to trap yet, and about 10 cats,” Frye said. “I need to get them before June. After that, I will no longer have access to the area.” Even worse, Evergreen has now become a dumping ground for irresponsible pet owners. “Last week, I found a box taped shut with six puppies inside on the property,” she said. “Can you believe it? It just disgusts me Vol. 6 • No. 1

how people can just throw animals away.” What can you do to help? You can drop off food and money donations for the Evergreen Left-Behinds at Southside Animal Hospital, 1709 W Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70601, (337) 564-6502. If you’re writing a check, make it out to Dana LAPAW TNR. “Doctors Matt and Michelle [Traylor] have been wonderful,” Frye said. “I don’t know what I would

Donations, food, and loving homes are needed. have done without them.” Frye has ailing parents and her own health issues, but taking care of abandoned and unwanted animals is her calling. “This has been an amazing journey, one that I never dreamed of. And I have only been able to do this with support from the community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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Shelley Johnson is Vice Chairman of Southeast Tourism Society Shelley Johnson, executive director of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has been elected as vice chairman of the board of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS), according to the STS President and CEO Bill Hardman. Johnson, who has been with the CVB since 1988, will serve for two years Shelley Johnson as the vice chairman of the STS board, and following, will serve for two years as the chairman. She is also on the STS Policy Council to approve policies, procedures and regulations that govern STS including monitoring finances, programs and performances of the organization.

Business Incubator Client Obtains Business With New GTL Comapny L’Auberge Donates to Mardi Gras of SWLA L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles recently donated $3,375 to Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana. Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana throws a month long, family-friendly festival with over 20 public events that focus on the heritage of Louisiana and Mardi Gras. As the presenting sponsor of the Merchant’s Parade, L’Auberge kicked off the parade as the first float in the lineup.

Juniper GTL has partnered with CGI Staffing Solutions, Inc. in Lake Charles to provide human resources and recruiting support for its local facility. Juniper GTL has exhibited its commitment to the Lake Charles area by partnering with local agencies when possible. Juniper GTL is expected to be the first commercial GTL facility to start construction and operation in the United States. The company will invest $100 million to renovate a dormant steam methane reformer in the Westlake area and convert it to a natural gas-to-liquids facility, producing clean transportation fuels and specialty products. For more information, visit

Three SOWELA Students Receive Phi Theta Kappa Honors

(L-R): Rebecca Moss, MG SWLA Board secretary and Merchant’s Parade chairman and Keith W. Henson, L’Auberge Casino Resort Senior VP/GM

DeRosier Receives Silver Beaver Award District Attorney John DeRosier recently received the Silver Beaver Award from the Calcasieu Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Silver Beaver, created in 1931, is awarded by the Council Executive Board for outstanding service to youth within the Council or for outstanding longtime service to youth by a registered Scouter within the Council. DeRosier has partnered with the Council to raise funds for the past several including helping with the John DeRosier John DeRosier years, “On My Honor” BSA Classic Golf Tournament. The tournament generated over $50,000 in revenue. DeRosier is one of five recipients this year chosen by the Council. 06 APRIL 10, 2014

At the recent Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) conference, three SOWELA students received Phi Theta Kappa honors: Arthur Lee Conroy of Lake Wales, (L-R): Frank Russell, Arthur Conroy, and Lexie Castille Florida; Frank Russell of Lake Charles; and Lexie Castille of Jennings. The American Association of Community Colleges has recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for community colleges. Typically, students must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours, and have a 3.25 GPA. Only a few are chosen for this prestigious award.

Police Jury’s Cultural Grant Awarded to Area Events The Arts Council of SWLA is pleased to announce the grant awards for the 2014-2015 Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Arts Funding Grant. Fifteen grants were awarded to projects and organizations in Calcasieu Parish, including Dancing Classrooms, Dr. F.G. Bulber Youth Orchestra, Cajun Food & Music Festival, MusicMakers2U, Friends of Central School, DeQuincy Railroad Museum, BayouCon 2014, Imperial Calcasieu Museum, Lake Charles Civic Ballet, Culture Fest Louisiana, DownTown Lake Charles Crawfish Fest, Lake Charles Film & Music Fest, Children’s Theatre Company, Bayou Writers’ Group, and Brimstone Historical Society. For more information on the Arts Council’s services and programs, visit www. Vol. 6 • No. 1

L’Auberge Donates to Salvation Army L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles recently hosted the Lake Charles Salvation Army’s annual Empty Bowl event. As the presenting sponsor, L’Auberge Casino Resort donated $16,845 toward food and beverage and use of the ballroom.

CITGO 6th Annual E-Recycle Day CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex partnered with the City of Lake Charles, Team Green of Southwest Louisiana, Keep Calcasieu Beautiful, McNeese State University, and Waste Management to host the 6th annual E-Recycle Day, where community members brought their electronics for recycling at the McNeese Cowboy Stadium parking lot. The event gave members of the community the opportunity to recycle unwanted electronics or “E-waste.” During the event, 462 vehicles lined up to drop-off E-waste at the McNeese Stadium parking lot. Eight roll-off boxes of E-waste and one 18-wheeler of TVs was collected as well as light bulbs, mercury and batteries. ERecycle Day is one of many initiatives sponsored by CITGO as part of its commitment to a cleaner and healthier environment, now and for future generations.

full-time faculty member at McNeese since 2000. He served as head of the Department of English and Foreign Languages from 2009-2013.

McNeese Student Chapter for SHRM Raises $10K The McNeese student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management has raised $10,000 over the past three years – instead of an initial 10-year pledge - to endow the McNeese SHRM Student Chapter Scholarship for Human Resources through the McNeese Foundation. Fundraisers have included collaborating with the History Channel’s Swamp People to sell raffle tickets for autographs and paraphernalia, selling Popeye’s red beans and rice dinners and hosting its annual SHRM Leadership Conference. The SHRM student chapter has been recognized as one of the top 10 Outstanding Student Chapters in the nation for two consecutive years.

McNeese Professor Publishes Book

Jacob Blevins

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Dr. Jacob Blevins, professor of English at McNeese State University, has released a new book titled, Humanism and Classical Crisis, published by Ohio State University Press. The book explores the psychological implications of classical imitation during the Renaissance. Blevins received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from McNeese and his doctorate from Texas Tech University and has been a

Dr. Susie Cox, faculty adviser; Jessica High, past president; Ashley Freeman, past fundraising chair; Patrick Hardey, president; and Jared Langlois, past president. McNeese Photo

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WCCH Announces 2014 Employee & Physician Award Recipients

Homer H. Williams, MD, Joins Memorial Medical Group Memorial Medical Group welcomes family medicine physician Dr. Homer Williams to the staff of Moss Memorial Urgent Care Clinic. Dr. Williams received his medical degree from University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He then went on to complete his family practice residency at Forbes Family Practice Department in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. After moving to the Lake Homer Williams area in the early ‘90s, Dr. Williams has practiced family and emergency medicine at various medical centers and clinics. Immediately prior to joining Memorial Medical Group, Dr. Williams saw patients at Imperial Calcasieu Urgent Care. Dr. Williams will see patients at Moss Memorial Urgent Care Clinic. For more information, call (337) 475-8185.

LC Toyota and Tarver Ford Donates to CHRISTUS Lake Charles Toyota and Tarver Ford recently donated $14,923 to CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital to underwrite the cost of a Tran-Sit®Car Transfer Simulator. The simulator will be used in the CHRISTUS Physical Rehabilitation Center with the goal of minimizing the impact on both the patients and caregivers by training the patients to be more self-sufficient, to be more confident in their abilities and to maintain a lifestyle with minimal limitations if possible.

(L to R): Kay Barnett, CHRISTUS Foundation executive director; Donald Lloyd II, CHRISTUS administrator; Erin Rhoads, CHRISTUS director of physical rehabilitation and DeWanna Tarver and Philip Tarver, owners of Lake Charles Toyota and Tarver Ford 08 APRIL 10, 2014

West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) recently recognized over 60 employees for serving 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years at the organization. Several physicians were also recently honored for their commitment to their field, and their community. Awards were presented to those demonstrating extraordinary conduct. The awards, and their respective winners, are listed as follows: Employee of the Year: Bill Ballard, biomedical technician; Physician of the Year: Walter P. Ledet, Jr., MD, general surgeon, Sulphur Surgical Clinic; Safety Award Winner: Jesse Kovach, RN, medical telemetry nursing unit.

Family Physicians Join Memorial Medical Group Memorial Medical Group welcomes Drs. Rodney Acuna, Carolyn Hutchinson, Percival Kane and Michael Seep to their staff. They will be seeing patients at Memorial Medical Group Family Medicine Clinic, located at 2750 Aster Street in Lake Charles. Dr. Rodney Acuna received his medical degree and a master’s degree in community health from the Davao Medical Rodney Acuna School Foundation in Bajada Davao City, Philippines. He then went on to complete his residency in family medicine from San Pedro Hospital, Inc. in Guerrero St. Davao City, Philippines and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Carolyn Hutchinson received her medical degree from Saba University in the Netherlands Antilles. She then went on to complete her family medicine residency at Lake Charles Memorial through the Louisiana State University Health Science Center’s Family Medicine Residency Carolyn Hutchinson program. Dr. Percival Kane graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He then completed a rotating internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, followed by his family medicine residency at W.O. Michael Seep Percival Kane Moss Regional Hospital, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Michael Seep graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and then went on to complete his family medicine residency at W.O. Moss Regional Hospital. Immediately prior to joining Memorial Medical Group, the Vol. 6 • No. 1

doctors all saw patients at CHRISTUS St. Patrick’s Family Medicine Center. Drs. Acuna, Hutchinson, Kane and Seep will provide comprehensive care for patients 12 years of age and older. For more information, call Memorial Medical Group Family Medicine Specialists at (337) 480-8900.

CHRISTUS Partners with American Heart Association and the City of LC CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the City of Lake Charles and unveiled two new AHA designated walking paths in Lake Charles. These new walking paths, located at the Lakefront Promenade and Riverside Park, sponsored by CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, are a step toward heart disease prevention and reducing heart disease, the number one killer in Louisiana. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Bord du Lac Marina, located on the Lakefront Promenade. The American Heart Association’s designated Walking Path program, sponsored by CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, provides safe and accessible walking paths that give communities a resource that can be used to increase heart health.

Valenti Named WCCH Employee of the Month West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital (WCCH) recently named Melissa Valenti, RN, care manager, as its Employee of the Month for March 2014. As a care manager, Melissa Valenti Valenti serves as a resource to patients and physicians by identifying and facilitating plans of care throughout the healthcare continuum. She has been with the organization for over six years. Vol. 6 • No. 1

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Pardon My English It gets me when people say they can tell I’m not from around here because of my accent. “What?” I tell them. “I don’t have an accent. You’re the one with the accent!” No living person believes that he, himself, speaks with an accent. Rather, it’s those who don’t speak like he does that have the accents. Driving a car is the same way. It’s everybody else on the road that’s an idiot. Deep down, I realize that I do indeed have an accent. I just don’t admit it publicly. It’s probably because mine is pehaps the strangest among Englishspeaking people. It’s a Baltimore accent, and it doesn’t have any rules. Most English accents conform to certain coventions, making it easy to understand what someone is saying once you know the rules. For instance, here in the South, it’s

common is to not pronounce the “g” at the end of a word, as in “fixin’ to.” Also, “ee” are often pronounced as “ay.” Knowing this, I realize that a “bay-gle” is a huntin’ dog and not a breakfast food. When you try to listen to somebody from Baltimore, however, it’s almost impossible to understand what he is saying. That’s because you never know what letters we will leave silent and which we will mispronounce. It’s completely random. Sometimes we even leave out whole bunches of letters, as if we’re too lazy to say the entire word. Thus, we refer to our city and state as “Bawl’mer, Mur’lin.” About the only thing that we say with any amount of consistency is to end every other sentence with “hon’,” as in, “G’me your wallet or I’ll slit your throat, hon.” This is why no one from

Baltimore has ever been elected president. Sure, other people with accents have become president, but their accents were relatively easy to interpret. For example, when John F. Kennedy said, “we will beah any buhden,” we all understood him. But if the President were from Baltimore, the same thing might have come out sounding like, “we will bare any bun,” and the world would have thought that America’s defense strategy was to moon our enemies into submission. Having these different accents all over the country creates a problem for people like me who have moved around a bit. That’s because, when you live somewhere for a while, you tend to pick up a bit of the local accent and blend it with your original one. In my case, that means that I not only omit letters as per my Baltimore accent, but I also leave out the

ones that Southerners do. Now, when I talk, I keep so many letters silent that I leave out entire words. I can give a 15-minute speech in about 30 seconds. People tell me that I should be a preacher. What this means, of course, is that I talk in a manner that is totally different than anyone else who uses the English language. And so, whether you are from New Orleans, New Jersey, or New Delhi, in my mind, it’s you that has an accent. And if you don’t like that, don’t even ask my opinion about how you drive. Mike McHugh’s column has appeared in the Jambalaya News for nearly five years. He also contributes stories to the “Not Your Mother’s Book” anthology series and makes public speaking appearances. To inquire about having him speak to your group, contact Mike at

Featured by LAPAW Rescue • Contact us at Junior is a shy little guy who is happy to be alive! Picked up as a stray, he has done very well in his foster home. He is between 1 and 2 years old and plans to grow old with a loving family. He is a playful guy but loves naptime in a warm lap. Being hungry on the streets was tough, but he has made up for lost time at the food bowl. He uses a doggie door like a pro and is doing well 10 APRIL 10, 2014

with crate and house training. He is also adapting well to a harness and leash training. He is proof that good things come in small packages and will be a wonderful best friend for his new person(s). For more information, call or email (337) 4787294; Home visit and vet check required prior to all adoptions. Can’t adopt? Consider fostering. Can’t foster? Consider sponsoring! LAPAW dogs (and cats) can be seen at Vol. 6 • No. 1

Gizmos and Gadgetry Be prepared for a shock when you purchase a new vehicle. The gizmos and gadgetry are beyond the pale. It can be overwhelming to not have to use a key to open the door and then just push a button to start your car. How far we have come from the day of having to step on a manual lever on the driver’s floor to engage the starter! A look at the dashboard may make you think “Houston, we have a problem.” Not that these changes are bad; it just takes time to adjust your mindset to the real space-age technology at your fingertips. The safety enhancements are amazing, the convenience features are mind-boggling and the list of stuff you will never ever use is quite lengthy. It can be intimidating, but with an open mind, you will confidently put the rubber on the road, thinking “What will they come up with next?” Speed Trap Warning We know that “Joe Average” rarely comes out on the front end of virtually anything, especially when it comes to the actions of government who tries to control the ins and outs of our lives. Thankfully, not only have our good neighbors been spared the ignominy of having their police department known for using hand-held cameras for Vol. 6 • No. 1

fundraising on the Interstate, but it appears the legislature has garnered the wisdom to attempt to do away with speed traps as a source of municipal funding. We applaud the State of Louisiana for wanting to place signs indicating that the upcoming municipality is a recognized “speed trap,“ so law-abiding drivers can be forewarned and not be paranoid over minor traffic infractions and offenses. Safe driving is our prime responsibility when we are behind the wheel, but mistakes will occur in the best of circumstances. We must accept responsibility for our actions, but monetarily preying on people doing things that virtually any person does is not a good way to fund government. Hiding behind the concept of “public safety” is a desperate way for any governmental entity to obtain revenue enhancement. Taxes, licenses, fees, prudent financial planning and management provide for better government funding than sending a photo ticket in the mail or some other artfully arranged speed entrapment device.

that getting less for more will reduce demand and therefore, consumption. Coca Cola 12-packs were routinely $1.88 on sale not so long ago. Now, they show list prices in the $6 range and the stores act like they are giving them away at $3. They have brought out the little 8-ounce cans in an 8-pack that sells for almost as much as a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans. The familiar 2-liter bottle that was classically $.99 has doubled and a 1.25 ounce bottle was brought out to compete for the $.99 market that is now over $1.25. The wary consumer should only purchase what is needed and shoot for stocking up during the various holiday bargain sales. Purchasing at the higher prices only validates that price level. Lower demand can lead to lower pricing. Supermarket Roundup In keeping with the above theme, we have checked the prices of various beverages for this issue’s shopping survey. The prices were obtained on Wednesday, April 2 and reflect the posted price on the shelf where the product was placed for sale. The stores checked were: Albertsons-Ryan Street, Market Basket-Lake Street, Kroger-McNeese Street and

Walmart-Nelson Road. Where relevant, the “regular” price and “sale” prices are shown. Coca Cola, 12-ounce cans, 12-pack: Albertsons $5.69 (sale $4.99), Market Basket $4.69 (sale $3, 3 for $12), Kroger $4.99 (sale $4, 3 for $11), Walmart $4.28 (sale $3, 3 for $9). Pepsi Cola, 12-ounce cans, 12-pack: Albertsons $4.99, Market Basket $4.25 (sale $3.67, 3 for $11), Kroger $4.99 (sale $3.34, 3 for $10), Walmart $4.28. Dasani bottled water, .5-liter bottle, 24-pack: Albertsons $6.99 (sale $4.99), Market Basket $4.99, Kroger $4.99, Walmart $4.98. Red Bull Energy Drink, 12-ounce can, 4-pack: Albertsons $9.99, Market Basket $9.99, Kroger $7.49, Walmart $9.88. Whole milk, store brand, gallon jug: Albertsons $4.99, Market Basket $4.39, Kroger $4.14, Walmart $4.14. Columnist’s Note: The avocado tree I had written about in the past was killed by this winter’s multiple freezes and the roots dug up.

Carbonated Beverages Losing Their Fizz The carbonated beverage industry has noted a decline in the sale of their fizzy products. There has been a proliferation of alternatives, such as bottled and flavored water and energy drinks competing in the marketplace, which are basically owned by the same bottlers. Not only has the choices of available beverages increased, they have consistently raised prices and reduced sizes. It does not take much thought to realize APRIL 10, 2014 11

Spring Fishing Fever The dreaded plague season has arrived with the lingering winter’s demise. Unaware of their delusional illness, fishermen stagger about with visions of long dangling fishfilled stringers, ice chests packed full of beverages and fish pic selfies-shot catch enlarging close to their camera phones. They frantically check line, reels, poles, gas cans, trolling motors, boat motors, GPS, fish finders, lights,

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safety chains, craft and fishing licenses, life preservers, boat cushions, filet knives (electric and plain), lures, tackle box et al. All this in a frantic effort to justify and thus ignore, the first symptom of “Spring Fishing Fever,” (SFF); fishing equipment compulsive disorder, the insanity caused by “must buy this” delusions. Having made a list, checked it twice, three, four times, etc. and in a frantic mania to add yet another “needed” item, they stagger out to Dick‘s Sporting Goods, Academy, Cabalas, Bass Pro Shops or any local

angling equipment store that sells their sporting goods of choice. All this fervor is in a coiled driven effort to satiate their illness. Alas, addiction is addiction is addiction. Having driven to their tackle pushers in the expensive fuel guzzlers necessary to haul their most prized possession, they dash into their gear house of choice. As they wander frantically up and down the lurid isles, they encounter other possessed souls. Yet, the afflicted rarely speak except to swap lies at a torrid pace as they are driven to “Buy! Buy! Buy!” in a frantic effort to get launched.

Once they arrive at the checkout counter with baskets piled high, a moment of lucidity often strikes. There, on the checkout screen, is the price of SFF fury; kids new phones, the much-needed wife’s car tune up, or even braces for little Johnny or Suzy. Tossing the baited lucidity aside like a Largemouth Bass, Speckled Trout, or Redfish, our possessed angler hauls out, with devilish glee, the rat-holed credit card hoarded for just this very moment. With the same look of triumph as when they’ve hooked the big one, our filled to the brim cartpushing maniac emerges fully charged and possessed of SFF.

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The trick now, in our disease avoidance, is how to sneak all this past the home’s game warden, the spouse. At this point, the deviousness of the disease emerges and in a state of sheer rapture, our sufferer heads to a friend’s house, a fishing camp, or corner of the garage where the loot can be stashed behind the to-beignored-for-now lawn equipment. There it will remain stashed until a fishing fix is needed. It is advised to keep a detailed list of all expenditures while on treatment of SFF and then write a check for that amount to one’s partner, thus assuring spousal enabling behavior. Our sufferer, check in hand, is now gleefully assured that it is safe to head home with his SFF fever abatement purchases. To show up like a fishing-obsessed Santa bent double with your hefty load of purchases without your check bribe is to invite much deserved abuse and even worse, a cessation of the angling obsession. Once is the grips of the disease, there is little that can be done for our angler. There are no treatment centers, “Spring Fishing Fever” rehab centers or 12-step programs. Interventions rarely succeed and only if accompanied by a cease and desist order issued by a non-sportsmen judge, divorce or bankruptcy papers. Even then, SFF consultation often fails. However, sanity is often restored for some suffers with the onset of winter unless the SFF sufferer is also a hunter. Then alas, to use the words of my man Sam Clemons, “He will be drunk on the smell of yet another cork.” Pictured here are earlyonset yet surviving victims of “Spring Fishing Fever.” Donations to the “Roger Miller Foundation for the Fishing Afflicted” can be sent via The Jambalaya News. Vol. 6 • No. 1

Clearing Paths “I have not always chosen the safest path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I’ve learned something important along the way: I’ve learned to heed the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.” Steve Goodier Have you ever noticed people kicking something off a path? I kick stones out of the way, pick up and throw branches, whatever I come across. Just imagine if everyone cleared the path for others in whatever way they could, even just a little at a time. It doesn’t take much. A little kick here, a toss there as they appear along your path. Some are not as easy as others. Sometimes, you might need heavy equipment like a bulldozer or maybe even a chainsaw. We can each do what we can do. Either way, even with the seemingly small stuff, just kick it aside and keep walking along your path. We can actually each make a huge difference in spite of what we’ve been told. It’s really instinctive, or rather, it should be. Life is a series of interactions within ourselves and the world around us. Our behavior is based on how awake and aware and responsive we are, and to what we are responding to. Since birth, we’ve been taught guidelines and rules

for behavior. Have the simple courage to overcome that selfish, fear-based stuff we’ve been taught throughout our lives. It’s clearly a process, but most of all it’s a continual choice. One of the central issues of healing has always been how to get to the layers and levels that control the clutter that’s built up within and around us. How it is that people and events we don’t want keep coming to us? Why are we not getting what we really do want? What if it really is the case that these patterns keep us from being whole? Traumas, wounds, insults, harmful patterns, are just a few things that block us from being whole in this life. We carry around with us a record of all our thoughts and all of our inner patterns, along with the knowledge of the origin of those patterns. Everything that happens in our lives has a spiritual cause. Events on all other levels -- mental, emotional and physical -- are effects of spiritual causes. When we are struggling with any challenge, whether it be sickness, lack of money, a lost job, difficult relationships, an accident -- it’s all about inner patterns. Releasing them can transform your life. Decluttering your soul provides a powerful and accurate way of changing the landscape of your inner and outer lives, enabling you to live your life more freely and fully. It creates the conditions in which healing and life transformation can

occur. What about relationships? Significant love relationships have a higher purpose of helping you resolve childhood wounds, deepen your ability to love and learn soul lessons. When these essential tasks are complete or when the challenges of the relationship outweigh the spiritual benefits, you may feel the relationship starting to come to an end and your soul encourages you to move on. This ending is often extremely difficult on many levels. You begin to understand how important it is to release any wounds to your heart, your trust, and your ability to love and be open to receive a new partner who supports the next level of your soul’s path. So remember to smile, lend a helping hand, give a word of encouragement, a wise word of advice, a hug, or even shared information and creative expression — however you can get it out. It comes in all forms. As each of us adopt and commit to this simple way of life the world will continue to change for the better. Care enough to at least do something whenever we get the opportunity. No matter how seemingly small or insignificant, we each make a huge difference. Behave lovingly and responsibly in a world seriously infected with selfishness and fear. Keep on clearing our own path. We can give in or we can learn from these challenges and either bypass or overcome them. If the rock’s in the way, kick it aside off of the path. Others will travel “the road less followed” with fewer mishaps and obstacles. We don’t need to see the results to know this, it just is. Keep kicking and keep on loving in every way possible. To book a Soul Matters Session with Nicole Shuff Arabie, call (337) 540-6573. You can also go to her Facebook page at APRIL 10, 2014 13

Cajun Popcorn Hello everybody! How are you? Once again, I am blessed with the task of offering up a recipe for all of ya’ll out there. This one is a favorite of mine because it’s so good and so easy. Just the other day, my good friend Missy Bonner and I were sitting around enjoying an adult beverage and talking about food. The subject turned to appetizers and I mentioned Cajun Popcorn. Missy said, “You mean fried crawfish tails?” Yes, that was exactly what I was talking about. This dish is great as an appetizer, served on a seafood platter or as a tasty topping for a salad. Heck, I’ve even been known to float them on top of my crab bisque. A great way to use up leftover crawfish tails. That is, if you ever have any.

crawfish tails and set aside for a bit while you mix the corn meal, flour, more salt, pepper and garlic and a little of that cayenne together in another bowl. Take the crawfish tails out of the liquid and place in the flour mixture. Toss by hand until evenly coated. Place in the fry oil and fry for about a minute, until they float and turn golden brown. Take out of the oil, drain on paper towels and serve right away with your favorite dipping sauce. I like mine with cocktail sauce or my jalapeno tartar sauce. But, feel free to use what ever you want, or just eat them like popcorn, by the handful. I hope ya’ll enjoy these as much as I do, and don’t forget to “Stir Dat Pot!!!”

What You’ll Need About one quart of vegetable oil 1 pound of Louisiana crawfish tails 1 large egg 1 cup white wine granulated garlic salt and pepper Louisiana hot sauce 1 cup corn meal 2 cups all-purpose flour Some ground cayenne pepper (if you want to go there)

What You’ll Do Preheat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. I use a tabletop fryer, but you can do this on a stovetop. In a small bowl, beat the egg, wine, garlic, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Add the 14 APRIL 10, 2014

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Help Your Child Get a Jump Start on Next Year this SUMMER – at The Tutoring Center in Lake Charles! Summer break should not be thought of as a “time off from learning” but instead, as an essential bridge to the next grade. Parents who encourage their children to take advantage of structured summer tutoring enable them to gain an opportunity and understanding of missed benchmarks and possibly even master some of them before starting the new school year. “We are here to provide structured tutoring to your child and enable them to perform to his/her true potential and beyond,” says Melanie Daley, center director at The Tutoring Center in Lake Charles. Joining a 70-strong network of centers around the country, Daley brings The Tutoring Center’s research-proven, high performance teaching methods to enrich the lives of children to our community. The Tutoring Center specializes in providing individualized, intensive, oneto-one instruction combined with the patented “Rotational

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Approach to Learning” to rapidly improve academic skills and concentration for children from kindergarten through 12th grade in a fun and caring environment. “Each child has a different learning style and pace,” Daley explains. “Our distinctive approach to tutoring ensures that every student receives an assortment of materials in every program, allowing your child to learn in a manner that enhances his or her natural learning method.” The Tutoring Center has a clear, four-part mission for every child who studies there. 1)Your child will develop stronger academic skills in reading, math and writing. 2)Your child will develop better concentration, focus and attention span. 3)Your child will gain more confidence and motivation. 4)Your child will develop stronger test-taking abilities and study skills. The fast-paced summer

programs at The Tutoring Center are individualized to cater to your child’s specific academic needs, ranging from filling in academic gaps, keeping skills fresh or just for enrichment. “Summer tutoring is often recommended and vital for students who need special mentoring in certain subject areas,” Daley says. “Summertime is the best time for children to get the help they need in a structured environment like The Tutoring Center because they don’t have to worry about homework, upcoming quizzes and tests.” Even students who have excelled during the school year can benefit from enrichment tutoring at the center, which challenges them above and beyond what was expected in the previous grade. “It also gives them an academic advantage when the upcoming year starts,” Daley explains. “At The Tutoring Center, all children are challenged academically and encouraged to explore their

academic skills at their own pace. A smooth transition to the next grade level will instill confidence in your child and motivate him/her to do well from the very beginning of the school year.” Minimize the gap in academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer break. With tutoring two or three times a week, your child will still enjoy a relaxing and fun summer. It’s a small trade-off to start a successful school year with confidence and a great academic advantage! If you are interested in enrolling your child in one of our fast-paced summer programs and building a good foundation of future academic success, we encourage you to call us to schedule a free Diagnostic Assessment. To learn more about our summer tutoring programs or our school year-round programs, please contact us at The Tutoring Center in Lake Charles at (337) 5646982 or visit

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By Lauren de Albuquerque There may come a time in your life when you get tired of working for someone else. Tired of the same old routine. It may cross your mind that you’d like to start your own business. Be your own boss, call the shots. Not answer to anyone. But that’s so much easier said than done. There’s a lot that goes into owning a business. But take it from me, for every positive, there is also a

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negative. With your own business, the sky is basically the limit. You have the chance to make a lot more money than you can make working for someone else. But the key word here is “chance.” It’s a gamble. You can also lose more money than you ever imagined, and go through periods with no income coming in at all. You’ll also have job security in that no one can fire you. But you could also lose your

business—and end up in a much worse financial situation than if you were simply let go from your job. You’ll never have to punch a timecard. That’s not necessarily a good thing. When it’s your business, you work 24/7. There is always an issue, always something that needs to be handled. Even if you have a good manager and reliable employees (which is rarer than you think) you are always on call. Always. A business means employees. And employees can mean problems. They can make or

break your business. Do you know what to look for when hiring? Would you be comfortable firing someone? You also have to be very careful who you put in charge of handling your money. You’ll be surprised at how many dishonest people are out there. You think you can trust someone, and one day, you find out that they did not deserve that trust. It’s a sobering experience, and one that has happened to many of us. On the other hand, good employees are worth their weight in gold, and it’s excit-

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ing to grow your business with people who truly care about you and your company. But you have to know how to manage people, or it won’t work. It’s great being your own boss and making decisions that are crucial to your business’s success or failure. But if anything goes wrong, there is no one to blame but yourself. You have to stay on top of everything. And it can be exhausting. You’ll have to learn every aspect of your company and gain experience in a variety of disciplines, such as filing and bookkeeping; inventory control; production planning, advertising and promotion; market research and general management. This could be an exciting challenge, but at the same time, it means you’ll have to work very long hours, spend less time with your family, and may have fewer opportunities to take vacations. And do you really want to learn bookkeeping? Speaking of family, their support

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is crucial. Without that, you’re in trouble. Involving them in your business can be a positive move. There are lots of family-run businesses that turn out well. Just remember that it’s not going to be easy to fire that lazy brother-in-law if you’re going to have to see him at dinner this weekend. And remember, after all this, if you work hard, you still might not make it. But you could make it, and if that’s what you want to do, then go for it. Do the research. Come up with a business plan. Set your goals. Be realistic. See of you can make it happen. You’ll have the chance to put your ideas into practice and work in a field that you love, which can be extremely rewarding. You’ll have the personal satisfaction of creating and running your own business. With all the ups and downs in the businesses Phil and I have owned, we wouldn’t change anything. Follow your dream!

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Time flies when you’re having fun. And we can’t believe that it’s been five years since the first issue of The Jambalaya News made its debut in Southwest Louisiana! It’s so exciting to go for your dream and actually see it happen. And to have it grow and evolve into an even better product is truly satisfying. When we started The Jam, we had a very specific vision for our publication. We wanted to celebrate the good news of the area: interesting people, kids, music, art, food, festivals. The whole SWLA culture. People helping people. New businesses and new ideas. As outsiders, we came to this area unprepared for all that it had to offer. We simply could not believe our good fortune at randomly choosing a new place to live that turned out to be a treasure chest of gems just waiting to be discovered. We have always joyfully stated that The Jambalaya News is our gift to you, the people of SWLA. We want you to appreciate what you may take for granted if you were born and raised here. You may not realize how unique this area is to the rest of the country. There is nothing quite like it. With that being said, there will be a lot of changes coming soon to our area; an economic expansion that none of us can even comprehend that will change the face of SWLA. I hope not too much. I’m all for progress and I love all that it stands for, but at the same time, I love the closeness of this small city. But there are exciting times ahead and we are thrilled to be a part of it—and to continue to bring you the very best of SWLA. We’d like to thank all of our readers, supporters and contributors who have been there for us throughout the years. We could not have done it without you. Here’s to the future!

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Three new entrepreneurs were chosen as winners of the 2014 Business Pitch Contest that was held April 2. Adrian Wallace, executive director of the SEED Center Business Incubator, said the event “showcases the region’s best entrepreneurial talent. We have some very creative people who want to succeed in business.” The winners are: Waitr, Inc., Chris Meaux; We Can Put a Computer in That, Matthew Breaux; and, Kamon Ange. The Business Pitch contest also promotes the programs offered at the SEED

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Center Business Incubator such as: entrepreneurial training; business coaching and counseling; seminars and workshops on subject matter areas; co-working space; pre-incubation program managerial and technical assistance; and client management designed to specifically meet the needs of your business. Each winner received $1,000 in startup funding provided by The Angels of Southwest Louisiana and six months free rent in the SEED Center Business Incubator. For more information, contact the Business Incubator at (337) 4330977 or visit

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By Jamie Gaines The impact of the economic boom in Southwest Louisiana isn’t limited to large corporations. A number of small businesses in the Lake Area are also feeling flush. And as an owner of any business – big or small – will tell you: Growth is a good problem to have. Whether finding the right marketing mix, hiring qualified

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employees, managing inventory or pursuing a dream, some of the same challenges facing large corporations also plague small, family-owned and startups businesses. Like many small businesses, J&R Carriage began as a hobby. Equipped with one carriage, a couple of mules and a dream of offering residents and visitors a unique downtown experience,

Justin Gill and Roger Roy regaled their guests with stories about the homes and history of Lake Charles while clip-clopping down scenic Lakeshore Drive during the Christmas holidays in 2007. According to Roy, the farmraised Gill was the backbone of the partnership. He’d fed and cared for mules since boyhood and had already purchased a carriage with the intent of providing carriage services for an occasional wedding. Both men were working fulltime: Roy with Firestone, and Gill in the dairy industry; and the fledgling company took time – lots of time. “When we first started, we were out at [the lakefront] every weekend, just so people would know we were there and in business,” said Roy. There was also the time and expense of caring for the mules, which were rotated frequently to ensure their well-being. The mules needed to be cleaned and shod, fed twice a day, and provided a continuous supply of hay and fresh water while on the job. After a short tour, they were then sent to the farm in Vernon Parish for rest and relaxation, a practice that continues today. “It’s a lot of work and an expensive business to run,” said Roy. “But a business is going to be what you make it.” Slowly but steadily, J&R Carriage began to grow. Roy and Gill – who’d been driving the carriages, managing the animals, mending the carriages, and attending to the insurance, marketing and financial side of the business – were able to hire additional drivers. But it was – and still is – a challenge to find the right people. Part chauffeur, bigger part storyteller, drivers need to be able to bring the history, the architect, the people to life. “It’s hard to find drivers who know what it is to be a tour guide,” said Roy. “We talk to people from all over the United States, and some folks talk about their own history in these homes.”

Additional help meant additional services that J&R Carriage could provide. Today, the company utilizes eight carriages and nine Belgian mules for holiday tours and life’s other special occasions – including the weddings that Gill first envisioned. And Roy and Gill no longer have to drive. “It’s so much better to be your own boss, but it’s a lot of work,” said Roy. “At times, we get excited about the business, then we run into an obstacle and think we’ll give it up. “But we started something, and we believe it’s our responsibility to be there for our customers who have made the Christmas tour a family tradition.” Sean Vidrine always had an entrepreneurial mentality. So, when he and his wife Tessa had a chance to buy a well-established business late last year, they jumped. The Vidrines bought Greg David’s Frameworks on Nelson Road, and set out to make it their own. The Vidrines added specialty gifts and works by local artists to their inventory, nailed down the framing services under David’s tutelage, and many former Frameworks customers became Up in Frames customers. “We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn how to make the business successful from Greg,” said Sean Vidrine. Despite his sales and customer service experience and Tessa’s background in arts and crafts, Vidrine believes his biggest asset was knowing how to managing cash flow –- experience he gained in the years he owned and operated rental property. “You have to know your financials when you’re in business,” said Vidrine. The Vidrines enjoy owning their business, but don’t enjoy vying for customers against the big hobby stores – and their big marketing dollars. “The biggest challenge was realizing that not everybody gets things framed, and many of those who do run down to the big box Vol. 6 • No. 1

stores, not realizing that we’re here and that our regular price is typically better than the box store’s sales price,” said Vidrine. “I just wish customers would shop local first. We usually provide better quality at a lower price.” Quality and service are business attributes that Nichole Guidry knows something about. As the manager of Gayle’s Hardware, a small business that has been in the same Ryan Street location since 1902, she’s figured out how to compete with the big box stores – and succeed. Guidry has found a niche market specializing in plumbing and gas fixtures for older homes, as well as unique, one-of-a-kind gifts. She knows her products and provides personal, one-onone attention to help her customers with their purchases –- time and attention that bigger stores can’t provide. She’s also experimented until she found a marketing strategy that works. As a result, business is growing. “For the past couple of years

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there’s been a slow, gradual growth,” said Guidry. “We’re seeing almost double the walk-in customers than we had two years ago.” With the growth comes a need for additional help, something she hopes can happen soon, but still worries about. The current staff includes Guidry, her father Frank, who bought the business 15 years ago, and her son. “It’s not the kind of job someone can walk into,” she said. “You have to know a bit about plumbing so you can help the customers.” The biggest challenge for Guidry has been balancing the inventory – especially the unique items gifts – to have the products customers need and want. “It can be a little frustrating. It seems that when I come across something unique, everyone else has it six months or a year later, she said. “I hate telling people that I don’t have what they came in for, so I’m constantly trying to find that sweet spot.” Melanie Daley was a practicing attorney when a family emer-

gency required her attention. She took time away from her practice – then decided she wanted to do something else. She wasn’t sure what that would be until a junior member of the Daley household needed extra help with schoolwork – and Melanie noticed that there were limited options available in Lake Charles. After researching a number of programs and various companies, Daley opted to purchase a franchise from The Tutoring Center. She officially opened her center on January 1, in Lumpkin Plaza located next to WalMart on Nelson Road. “I was impressed with the scientifically-based, beta-tested program,” she said. Designed to fix learning gaps in specific subject areas, as well as improve a child’s ability to focus and concentrate, the program offers one-on-one tutoring available for students in preschool through twelfth grade. “Since studies show that students lose focus after 30 minutes, sessions are structured to in-

clude 30 minutes working in the textbook, followed by 15 minutes working at a practice stations, then 15 minutes working on their individual skill gaps,” said Daley. “Based on 40 sessions, which is equivalent to five and a half months of enrollment in the center, 95 percent of all students experience a grade level increase.” Daley expected to have 20 students enrolled after her first 90 days of operation, but the numbers nearly doubled. The rapid growth meant that she had to hire more staff much quicker than she’s planned. It’s been a challenge finding qualified tutors to meet the sudden growth, but Daley now employs seven part-time tutors and credits her success to owning a franchise, the support that the company provides, and her location. “Most students arrive at The Tutoring Center because their parents passed it going into Starbucks or StreetBreads,” said Daley, whose goal is more school and teacher referrals.

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Stelly Provides leadership to Elementary Schools John Stelly of Paramount Automotive Companies, Owner of Nissan of Lake Charles and 171 Nissan of DeRidder, will be funding “The Leader In Me” initiative in three schools in Southwest Louisiana over three years. John Stelly and Paramount Automotive Companies’ total investment in “The Leader in Me” will be a total of $150,000. “Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant,” said Stelly. “I believe that by partnering with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance and ‘The Leader In Me,’ we are planting 1100 seeds, and, together, we can harvest a brighter economic future for our region by empowering the next generation to be leaders within themselves.” “A major emphasis of the Alliance is developing our workforce and future leaders. One of our

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major goals is to get ‘The Leader in Me’ in all 61 elementary schools in our five parishes. We thank John Stelly for generosity and his investment in our future and our children,” said George Swift, President/CEO of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. “The Leader in Me” is a process that nurtures the innate abilities within each child to be responsible, involved, confident, and collegial. Using the leadership principles of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this model is integrated into a school’s foundation. It is not “another program” with a “have to do” mentality, but a process for building leadership from the inside out; administration, staff, community stakeholders, and students are all involved. The process also helps to create a common lan-

guage within a school. Building upon the proven leadership skills found in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: • Habit 1: Be Proactive – You’re in Charge • Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind – Have a Plan • Habit 3: Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play • Habit 4: Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win • Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk • Habit 6: Synergize – Together Is Better • Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best If your company is interested in supporting The Leader In Me initiative, please contact Avon Knowlton at or 337433-3632.

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As one of the coldest winters on record in Southwest Louisiana comes to a close, farmers across the region are reminded of the importance of financial preparation for

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h conditions the harsh weather that can affect crops and delays in planting season. JD Bank recommends local farmers take the following steps to decrease financial stress year-round:

•Understand your insurance plan. Crop insurance is the first line of defense against poor weather conditions. Talk with your insurance provider for clarity on what weather

damage and pest infestation is covered in your plan and what is needed to claim damages. •Record your assets. Have an inventory of your assets prepared in case of extreme conditions that may require trade or sale of equipment or land. •Study the tax guide for farmers. Aspects of weatherrelated issues can potentially be tax credits or if forced to sell assets due to bad weather, you may be able to postpone reporting the sales gain. •Develop or reevaluate your business plan. Keeping your business plan top of mind is important for new and experienced farmers. Take time to look at your business plan annually to ensure you account for emergencies and recovery from effects of harsh or unusual weather. •Understand farm succession planning. Effects from harsh conditions can raise a red flag on the sustainability of your farm and planning to ensure the future of your farm. Be sure you and your family are prepared with a transition plan for your farming business to avoid unexpected fees and allow for a retirement free of stress. “Farmers face a lot of uncertainty every day that can affect the long-term goals of their business,” Jimmy Richert, JD Bank Senior Vice President said. “Meeting with a financial advisor to go over your insurance and assets is key in maintaining the health and longevity of your business.” Serving Southwest Louisiana for more than 65 years, JD Bank offers full-service personal and business banking with 20 branches. For more information, visit www.jdbank. com or call (800) 789-5159. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Vol. 6 • No. 1

Tired of those long waits at the DMV? Pedersen Title Company has the answer! “We’re thrilled to let the Lake Area know that we are now offering driver’s license renewals and ID cards, along with name and address changes on both,” says Tara Pedersen. She and her husband, Matt, were born in raised in Lake Charles and have been in business for five years. She is happy to report that the business is growing, and they are ready for the economic boom that is coming. An authorized service provider of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Pedersen Title Company also offers many vehicle title services to meet your needs. “We go above and beyond to help our customers get what they need,” Tara says. “We provide license plates, license plate stickers, and registration certificates in house, and we have two notaries on-site. We understand that time is valuable, so there are no numbers to pull or long lines to wait in!” Tara says the company prides itself on professional and friendly service. “There’s been no employee turnover in five years and this has made a big difference,” she explained. “They’re great people and I love coming to work every day. We always get such sweet comments from our customers. That means a lot to us.” Pedersen Title Company is the only locally owned Public Tag Agency author-

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ized by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Motor Vehicles, in Lake Charles. Tara says, “We are very confident that our staff will take the best possible care of our customers.” 1700 East Prien Lake Road, Suite 3 Lake Charles, LA 70601 (Corner of E. Prien Lake Rd. & Texas St.) Phone (337) 478-5454 Fax (337) 478-4515 Open Monday through Friday 8-4:30 p.m.

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When you look across the financial landscape of Calcasieu Parish, you’ll find that people and businesses have always had a range of banks to choose from. In March of 2013, a new bank for a new generation appeared in Moss Bluff, Louisiana. One year later, FNB DeRidder is celebrating success in their Moss Bluff branch, approaching a brand-wide 80-year anniversary, and bringing a rich history of personal service to Lake Charles with the opening of their new branch on Nelson Road. John Fusilier, president of FNB DeRidder, feels that the time is right to bring the banking practices and principles that have made FNB DeRidder strong in Beauregard parish to Calcasieu parish. “We have been planning to move into Calcasieu parish for several years,” he said. “We purchased property in South Lake Charles over two years ago and opened our Moss Bluff branch in March 2013. Our new Lake Charles branch is currently under construction, and once it’s completed the people of Southwest Louisiana should expect the same quality that our Beauregard parish customers have appreciated for the past 80 years.” “We’re making a strong point to stay abreast of new technologies,” said Justin Holt, FNB DeRidder’s Chief Lending Officer and Senior Vice President. “Coming into Calcasieu parish, just as we do at all of our branches, we are keeping our banking technology up to date and staying ahead of the pack.”

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and quality of service, where often customers are just accounts, not people with names and stories. That’s just not the case with FNB DeRidder. “It’s easy for a financial institution to say they’re different,” Fusilier said. “But that’s actually a reality at FNB DeRidder. It was known for years as a very conservative, very strong and highly capitalized bank. In the last 10 years, we’ve transformed FNB DeRidder from a very traditional bank to a more modern philosophy. We still operate on tried-and-true, healthy banking practices, but we’re also offering modern services and technologies that you don’t typically see associated with a community bank.” “Service is a tradition here,” Holt explained. “That hasn’t changed at FNB DeRidder. From 80 years ago to today, it’s only gotten better. It’s a priority, no matter how many technologies we embrace.” Fusilier agrees. “What sets us apart from other banks is the combination of topservice and cutting-edge technology. Most community banks don’t offer both, but FNB DeRidder is truly leading the way and changing what’s expected from a community bank. Larger banks have the technology, but they’re lacking in customer service. Again, we offer both. It’s fantastic to be able to deposit a check, or pay a bill with your smart phone, but being able to call the bank and speak with a banker that knows

your personal needs is invaluable, even in this world of technologydriven services.”

A Community Bank With Modern Convenience Moving into the modern age is no small task. Being able to service the needs of a new generation while still retaining the personal service and charm that is familiar to those more comfortable with traditional banking practices is very import to every employee of FNB DeRidder. “Our lobbies are populated by friendly FNB DeRidder representatives for anyone that desires the traditional lobby experience,” Fusilier said. “We have wonderful and convenient technologies, but the coffee is still on. It’s the little things that matter to the customers we serve.” He said they are a community bank with small town charm, but they’re bringing big bank services to their customers. “Whether it’s mobile bill pay, text banking,

Xpress Deposit, online banking, CCX for businesses, free checking with e-Statements, or our robust and real-time mobile banking application, we’re making life easier and more convenient,” he continued. “The fact that you can deposit a check from anywhere using your Smartphone is unheard of in the community banking industry. There are many big-box banks that don’t offer tools like Xpress Deposit or ATM check deposit as a standard, yet FNB DeRidder, a community bank, is offering these services.” Holt said that they’re making their customers’ lives easier. “The more time we can give our customers, then the more they are going to enjoy their lives. Customers are dealing with traffic issues, and the more the Southwest Louisiana region grows, the more this will become a problem. Spending an hour in traffic, many times just to visit the bank to make a deposit, will turn into an inconvenience quickly. We’re already seeing this. Tools like CCX (remote deposit capture) will

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A Community Bank That Keeps Things Personal

save businesses time, and time is money. The customer will be able to go to the bank when they need to, not because they have to.” “We know that there is a technological hurdle that many of our existing customers have to overcome,” Fusilier pointed out.” But we’re here to help with that too. We’ve made sure that our customers can come in and learn how to use the tools we offer. It doesn’t matter what generation you’re from; we’re here to help. There are a great many people that miss out on the convenience of online and mobile banking because they are overwhelmed by the technology. We encourage our

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customers to come in the bank and sit down with an online and mobile banking expert.” “We’ll get them trained and comfortable with the tools,” Holt said. “We encourage our customers to come in and we’ll go through it all. Everyone at FNB DeRidder is trained to do this. We offer total support for all of our tools. The entire FNB DeRidder team goes out of their way to help our customers set up and understand how to use these modern banking tools of convenience. If there’s a problem, we take care of it. You’re not calling a 1-800 number; we support our customers directly.”

A Community Bank With Lower Fees Beyond customer service and technology, FNB DeRidder has made deliberate efforts to reduce the cost and number of fees to their customers. “We revamped our fee schedule over a year ago,” Holt said. “And our Moss Bluff customers

have been pleasantly surprised.” “We are very cautious about the law of unintended consequences, so we didn’t jump into our fee schedule changes without proper planning and research,” Fusilier added. “When we revamped the fee schedule everyone at the bank was involved. We took a roundtable approach and brought in data from all departments with the goal of giving customers low-to-no fees.” Holt said the result was FNB DeRidder offering some of the lowest fees in the industry, and a reduced number of fees as well. “Our NSF fees are lower than the average by almost 50 percent and we don’t charge for online or mobile banking. All of our technology services are free to the customer.” “When we make a plan at FNB DeRidder—just like committing to lower fees—we put in the right effort,” said Fusilier.” We don’t make decisions that we have to change shortly thereafter. It’s bad for FNB DeRidder, bad for business, and really bad for our customers.”

With so many modern banking changes happening today, it’s easy to see how the personal touch could be lost in banking, but FNB DeRidder banks to a different tune, and believes that there’s a happy medium between both worlds. “People expect technology,” Holt said. “But it’s almost overkill. We all have to make some big financial decisions at one time or another. Do you really want to rely on an app for that? There are a range of emotions that come along with life changing financial decisions and it’s good to know that you have a bank, and a banker, that will be there for you along the way. Being able to provide a late-night email, or an early-morning phone call will always going to be in demand. It’s what sets a bank apart from the rest, and that’s what FNB DeRidder provides.” Fusilier agrees. “We’re not losing the face-to-face, personal relationship to technology; we’re bringing the two together. Everything is automatic today, but people still want to know that they can pick up the phone and call their loan officer, or walk into an FNB DeRidder branch and speak to the frontline employee that helped them,” he said. “Banking shouldn’t be robotic. Our banking applications are great, but our people have to be better than the applications.” “Customers don’t mind moving business accounts, but they want to know what their new bank can offer that their current bank can’t,” Holt said “It’s the million-dollar question. They may find similar technologies that they would find at a big-box bank, but when you

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ask them who their banker is they have no idea. That’s the difference, and it matters more today than one would think at first glance.”

A Community Bank Where Relationship Comes First Banking in general was viewed in a negative light—especially in the past several years—largely due to the housing and banking crises. “Many banks put customers into loans that were profitable for banks, but they were ultimately detrimental to the customer,” Fusilier said. “Negative amortization loans, interest only loans, not paying on the principle, adjustable rate loans with teaser rates; it got to a point where customers couldn’t afford them.” “These loans that were not suitable to them and it gave banking a bad name,” Holt said. “Community banks as a whole—and certainly not FNB DeRidder—avoided and frowned on these practices. It goes back to having a long-term relationship with the customer. Large banks close a loan and they may never see the customer again. We want a generational relationship with our customers. We want their checking accounts, home loans and automobile loans. We want to see them face-to-face.” “At FNB DeRidder, the relationship doesn’t end with a signature on the dotted line,” Fusilier said. “We will not place a customer in a product that’s going to damage our relationship with them.” Holt agrees. “We value that relationship and we have an open door policy. Many banks, especially large banks, are sluggish. They’ve lost the nimbleness that made them competitive. FNB DeRidder isn’t seized up by a rigid bureaucracy or structure and we can make frontline decisions quickly.” “At larger banks, everything is a square peg in a square box; everything fits,” Fusilier

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explained. “When a unique situation arises—as they will—things don’t work. Life isn’t rigid; it’s flexible. Each person and situation is unique, so we remain pliable at FNB DeRidder. We move and bend just like real life. Not all banks are going to be like FNB DeRidder.”

A Community Bank With Vision “Southwest Louisiana has a wonderful opportunity to prosper on the horizon,” Fusilier said. “We’re on the cusp of growth and a major transformation and I believe that FNB DeRidder can help the people and businesses of Calcasieu Parish succeed during this time. Whether you’re buying a home, starting a business, or making any major decision to get on the front side of growth, FNB DeRidder will be there with our tried, true, and new banking practices. It’s smarter relationship banking, and that’s good for any generation.” With the opening of the new Lake Charles branch on Nelson Road fast approaching in the late summer or early fall of this year, and the 80th anniversary sitting on the horizon, FNB DeRidder is reflecting and focusing on the future at the same time. “Being a part of a bank with the history and stability we have at FNB DeRidder makes us even more committed to uphold the quality and standards that have made us a success,” he said. “We don’t want to let our banking forefathers down.” Holt shares Fusilier’s sentiment. “In the big scheme of things, what’s going to make us a success in Calcasieu are the things that we’ve already done in Beauregard, whether technological or traditional. FNB DeRidder holds

around 40 percent of the market share in Beauregard parish. We know banking and we’re bringing that banking experience to the people and businesses of Southwest Louisiana.” “It was a key moment in FNB DeRidder history when our board decided to embrace new technology and be a bank for a new generation,” Fusilier said. “The conversation started three years ago and the momentum hasn’t stopped building since those first steps. The world is changing and FNB DeRidder is evolving with it.” “It’s a weekly conversation,” Holt said. “The tools get better and better, and since we shifted in this direction we’ve kept our finger on the pulse. FNB DeRidder will stay ahead because customers aren’t just asking for modern tools; they’re demanding them.” “We’ve definitely got history,” Fusilier said. “Our downtown DeRidder branch has high ceilings, unique yesteryear teller windows, and slate floors; it’s a very traditional bank. There’s a slight dip in the slate floor from 80 years of customers moving through that teller line. It reminds us of our bank’s living history. We’re very proud of our history and historic location, but when we remodeled our

Park Terrace branch in DeRidder we really hit the high notes of what modern customers expect from their bank. It’s an open and inviting design, and with each new branch, we’ve made sure to implement those same design sensibilities.” “The framework for the new Lake Charles branch is up,” said Holt. “And, the beginnings of the familiar FNB DeRidder tower is forming,” Fusilier added. “Our doors in Lake Charles will be opening soon, and we’ll have the same open door policy that we have at every FNB DeRidder branch. We started doing business that way, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. The little things that we do for our customers turn into big things. It comes back and it helps everyone. When Lake Charles customers walk through our doors they can be assured that whoever they’re working with is there to help.” For more information about FNB DeRidder call (855) 562-6702, visit www., or stop by a branch in your community.

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Since joining the Southwest Louisiana market in 2011, IBERIABANK’s commitment to the communities it serves has only strengthened. As IBERIABANK Corporation grows and expands into new markets, more opportunities to reinvest in SWLA are presented. IBERIABANK is proud to support charitable, educational, cultural and business development

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efforts that enhance the quality of life here. In less than three years in this market, IBERIABANK has given back nearly $1,000,000 to organizations throughout SWLA, such as Family and Youth Counseling Agency, Calcasieu Community Clinic, Habitat for Humanity and a number of schools throughout Calcasieu, Cameron and Allen

parishes. Additionally, last year the bank donated a vacant building in Oberlin to the nonprofit Allen Action Agency, which operates programs such as Head Start in Allen Parish. IBERIABANK associates have donated hundreds of volunteer hours to organizations throughout SWLA, including 175 hours in the first quarter of this year; of those, over 150 of those have been with Junior Achievement of SWLA, which offers volunteerdelivered financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurial classes to the students of Calcasieu Parish. In addition to financial donations and volunteer service, IBERIABANK branches host supply drives to benefit local nonprofits in need. Since last summer, the bank has collected nonperishable food items to resupply food pantries; school supplies for students in need of a little help to get the 2013-

2014 school year off to the right start; and toys for clients of Family and Youth Counseling Agency. Branches are currently collecting pet supplies for donation to animal rescue organizations Hobo Hotel for Cats and LaPaw Rescue; items such as dog and cat food food, treats, collars, leashes, flea and heartworm treatments, toys, and cleaning products can be dropped off at any IBERIABANK location in SWLA. “One of IBERIABANK’s hallmarks is supporting the communities we serve,” says Phil Earhart, IBERIABANK Southwest Louisiana President. “Through contributions, sponsorships and volunteerism, we strive to enrich the lives of our associates, clients and our community. With the current growth of IBERIABANK Corporation, especially in Southwest Louisiana, we are able to do that even more.”

IBERIABANK (, the 127-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation, is hosting a pet supply drive through the end of May to benefit local rescue shelters. All supplies may be dropped off at any Southwest Louisiana IBERIABANK location. Items needed include dog and cat food, litter, treats, collars, leashes, flea and heartworm medication, food and water bowls, puppy and kitten formula, toys, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent and disinfecting wipes. All animal supplies collected will be donated to Hobo Hotel for Cats and LaPaw Rescue. IBERIABANK Corporation is a financial holding company

with 267 combined offices, including 172 bank branch offices and four loan production offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and Florida, 21 title insurance offices in Arkansas and Louisiana, and mortgage representatives in 61 locations in 12 states. The Company has eight locations with representatives of IBERIA Wealth Advisors in four states. In Acadiana, IBERIABANK holds the #1 market share position (deposit market share as of June 30, 2012) with a comprehensive retail, commercial, and private banking franchise. IBERIABANK’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “IBKC.” Vol. 6 • No. 1

First Federal Insurance Services is a full service agency representing many fine insurance carriers to bring their clients the products required to successfully manage the risks associated with business and personal needs. First Federal Insurance Services has experienced agents who know the insurance industry in Louisiana and who are ready to assist with Personal, Life, Health and Commercial lines of insurance. Personal lines include personal auto, home, flood, life, boats, recreational vehicles, and more. Commercial lines include Business Own-

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ers Policies (BPO), general liability, commercial property, flood, commercial auto, and more. It’s more important than ever to have complete coverage with people you know and trust. Call them for a quote today-- Pam Thompson, Agency Manager (337) 421-1252; Sharilyn Fontenot, Account Manager (337) 421-1255; or Ricky Hanks, Senior Account Manager for Commercial Lines (337) 421-1248. Visit them at 1135 Lakeshore Drive and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook at www.

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When it comes to consumer banking, there are many types of institutions that provide financial services. The American banking system is diverse and large. Financial institutions can be broken down by the following: • Banks are for-profit financial institutions generally regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve, or Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). They can be further broken down based on size and the geographical markets in which they operate, including: o Big banks (e.g., Top 10 banks)

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o Regional banks o Community banks o Internet/Direct banks (Branchless) • Credit unions are notfor-profit financial institutions that are different from banks due to the fact that they are member owned and return their earnings to members in the form of better financial terms for consumers (e.g., lower loan rates, higher interest on deposits). Members who have accounts with them are owners of the credit union. Federal credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). State credit unions are regulated by individual states, but may in-

sure their accounts through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). With so many types of institutions to choose from, which one do you pick? That depends on the aspects of each that you feel are the most important: • Convenience: Having ATMs and branches everywhere and in easy-tofind places where you live, work, play, and travel. • Bang for your buck: Minimizing fees paid for account services and maximizing interest rates earned on deposit accounts such as savings, interest checking, etc. • Customer service: Having access to bank service

representatives that know you and your needs, are friendly and helpful; relationship banking instead of transactional banking • Other attributes: An institution that is active in your community and that gives back to the community, other non-monetary considerations The above recommendations are generalized and are just a quick guide. Figure out the financial terms and conditions that make the most sense for you (such as paying lowest fees, earning competitive interest rates) and weigh them against a list of the qualities that you value (customer service, community development, technology).

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Are you interested in starting your own business but don’t know where to begin? If so, a free seminar titled “Starting and Financing a Small Business” will be presented from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, in Moss Bluff at the Calcasieu Parish Public Library at 261 Parish Road. The seminar, presented by the Louisiana

Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University - will offer information on financing a start-up business, learning how to write a business plan and understanding what a banker really wants to know. To pre-register or for more information, call (337) 4755529 or email lsbdc.msu@

JD Bank will expand its network of branches with the opening of a new location in Westlake. The Westlake branch is scheduled to open in summer 2014 as a full-service branch and will be located at 1511 Sampson Street. “The new branch we’re building will complement our other JD Bank locations in surrounding areas like Lake Charles, Sulphur and Moss Bluff and will provide customers another location to address their banking needs,” Boyd Boudreaux, JD Bank president and CEO said. JD Bank will celebrate the milestone with a grand opening event open to the public. Details regarding the event will be announced at a later date. Serving Southwest Louisiana for more than 65 years, JD Bank offers full-service personal and business banking with 20 branches. For more information, visit www. or call (800) 789-5159. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. Vol. 6 • No. 1

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Mark Your Calendars for April 24 By Lauren de Albuquerque What’s better than dining out in a local restaurant with your friends and family? Knowing that a portion of the proceeds from your dinner is going to a good cause! The annual Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council’s “Dining Out for Life” benefit is coming up soon, and you won’t want to miss it. Started in 1991 by an Ac-

tionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia, “Dining Out For Life” is an annual fundraising event involving the generous participation of volunteers, corporate sponsors and restaurants. The concept is simple. Enjoy a great meal with family and friends at any participating restaurant on April 24 and help out the Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council. A



percentage of the restaurant’s gross sales from that evening benefit the programs and services of SLAC. Vista @ Delta Downs, Pujo St. Café, Southern Spice and Sweets & Treats have participated in Dining Out for Life every year since it began in the Lake Area. “We are so grateful to them for their continued support,” said Christina Duhon of SLAC. “It means

so much to us.” Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease characterized by progressive destruction of the body’s immune system. It is widely accepted that AIDS results from infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and is currently considered incurable. The Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council is a non-profit,

Donation 50% Jag’s Bistro (Lunch) • Vista Grill @ Delta Downs (Dinner)

Donation 25%

Buffi’s Peaux Boy’s Deli (All Day) • Harlequin Steaks & Seafood (Lunch, Dinner) LeBeaucoup Buffet @ L’Auberge (Breakfast, Lunch) • McAlister’s Deli (Dinner) • Mr. Bill’s Seafood Express (Lunch) O’Charley’s (Lunch) • Pujo Street Cafe’ (Lunch, Dinner) • Que Pasa (Lunch) • Rotolo’s Pizzeria (Lunch, Dinner) Southern Spice (Breakfast) • Steamboat Bills I-10 (Lunch) • Sweet Chic Cupcakes (All Day) Stellar Beans Coffee House & Edibles (Breakfast, Lunch) • Zeus Cafe’ (Lunch, Dinner)

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community-based organization that started off as an advocacy group to educate our community about AIDS. Through the years, the organization has grown to more than just advocacy work. Its current mission is to provide education to the people of Southwest Louisiana about AIDS and HIV prevention, as well as to offer assistance to those affected by the disease. “We are funded by the Ryan White Care Act for client services,” said Duhon. “We also receive funding from several private sources such as Elton John AIDS Foundation, MAC Cosmetics AIDS Foundation and Broadway Cares Dancers Responding to AIDS.” SLAC provides a variety of HIV prevention programs, as well as various direct services for persons living with HIV and AIDS. In addition to client services, they also have a Teen Outreach Program®, funded through a grant from the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. They offer free and confidential HIV testing every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., or you can call for an appointment at (337) 439-5861. The folks at SLAC are excited about the upcoming benefit. Duhon explained that they don’t have many avenues to get the word out about their organization, which is why Dining Out for Life is so important for them. “The event makes us a bit more mainstream,” Duhon said. You’ll also have the chance to win one of several great prizes. Raffle tickets will be sold at the participating restaurants for $5. Prizes include two round trip airline tickets on Southwest Airlines, four tickets to an Astros game, a gift card basket, a photography package and Vol. 6 • No. 1

more. For more info, visit swla or “Like” Dining Out for Life-Southwest Louisiana on

Facebook. Get a group together and dine out to fight AIDS! For more information, go to www. or call (337) 439-5145. SLCA is located at 1715 Common St., Lake Charles, LA 70601.

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The Children’s Museum

Friday, April 11: Finger Paint Fun Get creative with finger paint in the ArtSpace at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 12: Celebrate 26 Years Can you believe the Children’s Museum has been open for 26 years? At 10:30 a.m., “Chico” the Clown will entertain and delight children of all ages. At 11:30 a.m., Sasol’s Rebecca Sanders will answer your questions involving density as well as perform practical demonstrations in “To Float or Not to Float? That is the Question!” After the program, cake and refreshments will be served. Stop by the ArtSpace from 1-3 p.m. and make a paper plate jellyfish.

Friday, April 18: Members Only Easter Egg Hunt The museum will be closed to the general public and open to members only for the Members Easter Egg Hunt! Don’t forget your Easter basket! This year we will be dying eggs with shaving cream and there will be also face painting! Cookies and refreshments will be served. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

Spring Break Activities Monday, April 21- Friday, April 25 Monday, April 21: Kids in the Garden At 11 a.m., Daniel Chimeno of Greengate will talk to the kids about gardening and help them plant a flower to bring home! At noon, paint and decorate a paper plate flower with tissue paper!

Tuesday, April 22: MAD HATTER Science In celebration of EARTH DAY 2014, the MAD HATTER Science program will feature different types of plastics and the value of recycling. The program begins at 11 a.m. and is limited to 20 children ages 4-8. Presenter will be Ms. Joan Vallee, retired McNeese chemistry professor.

Tuesday, April 22: Spring Placemats Weave a spring placemat for your table at home. The workshop begins at noon and is limited to 18 children.

Wednesday, April 23: Story Time with Leif Pedersen Local author Leif Pedersen will read and sign his book The Adventures of the Swamp Kids, the Missing Chord at 11 a.m. Following the program, decorate a giant guitar at noon. Class is limited to 20 children.

Thursday, April 24: Cupcake Bank Workshop Paint a ceramic cupcake bank during this new ArtSpace Workshop. Class begins at 11 a.m. and is limited to 20 children.

Friday, April 25: Pasta Necklace Fun Make your own pasta necklace in the ArtSpace from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 25: Spring Art Walk The Children’s Museum is featuring local McNeese Art students in our gallery on the third floor. Free gallery admission from 5-8:30 p.m. Regular museum exhibits will be closed.

The Children’s Museum is located at 327 Broad Street downtown Lake Charles. Admission is $7.50 for children and adults. Call (337) 433-9420 for more information. 36 APRIL 10, 2014

Celebrating 26 Years of Fun

By Lauren de Albuquerque In an area as kid-friendly as Southwest Louisiana, it’s only natural that we should have a wonderful children’s museum. Through the years, the children of Southwest Louisiana have created art, music and food; celebrated birthdays; and expanded their minds and learned new skills with the interactive exhibits. The excitement and wonder on children’s faces as they explore the museum are worth the price of admission. With the nearest children’s museum in Lafayette, families from the five parishes and East Texas have come to rely on The Children’s Museum of Lake Charles as the place to go for fun and learning. The museum is home to nearly 50 hands-on exhibits that provide children and their parents the opportunity to interact in a family-friendly atmosphere. It offers field trips, birthday parties and special events all year long. The museum has truly become an ideal place to explore, create and learn. “Many other children have told me, ‘I wish I could live here!’” said Dan Ellender, museum director. “I’ve asked hundreds of kids what they liked best at the museum. A frequent answer: ‘Everything!’” The classic phrase at the museum is “customer satisfaction,” according

to Ellender. “More than once, we’ve witnessed parents having to carry their toddlers out, kicking and screaming at having to leave. Our comment: ‘Another satisfied customer,’” he said. “The issue of leaving the museum is sometimes caused by parents telling their children ‘We have to go. They’re about to close.’” Phil de Albuquerque has been involved with the museum in many capacities— first as a volunteer, then as a board member, and eventually as board president—a position he enjoys and takes seriously. He also performs occasionally as Chico the Clown. “I get much satisfaction knowing I have made a difference in many children’s lives by helping out the museum,” he said. “How many people can say that? Children are our future. They depend on us to prepare them for their adult life.” The museum is celebrating 26 fun-filled years on April 12. Stop by at 10:30 a.m. to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey clown “Chico” entertain. Then, Sasol’s Rebecca Sanders will perform practical demonstrations in “To Float or Not to Float? That is the Question!” at 11-30 a.m. After that, enjoy, cake and refreshments! Vol. 6 • No. 1

Movies Under the Stars April 11, 18, 25 It’s time for the Spring Series of Movies Under the Stars at Prien Lake Park! April 11, The Amazing SpiderMan; April 18, Steel Magnolias and April 15, Despicable Me 2. Free admission, begins at dusk around 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and refreshments. 3700 West Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. For more information, call 721-3515.

LC Crawfish Fest April 11-13 The Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Fest will be held FridaySunday, April 11-13 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. With crawfish season in full swing, Steamboat Bill’s will be on-site selling over 10,000 pounds of hot, boiled crawfish. Other highlights include live music by Geno Delafose and Grammy award winner Chubby Carrier, a parade, and the Mitchell Brother’s Carnival. Check out the queen’s pageant and the crawfish eating contest. For more information, go to

West Side Story April 11-12 The tour of the smash hit Broadway revival of West Side Story is coming to the Lutcher Theater in Orange, Texas for three performances and some of the best seats are still available. Performances are Fri., April 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., April 12 at 2 and 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now from $35-$65 at www. or by calling the Lutcher Theater Box Office at 409-886-5535.

McNeese Theater Musical Review April 12-13 The McNeese State University Theatre Bayou Players will present “a blast from the past” as its season finale – selections from 75 years of musical productions performed at McNeese to celebrate the university’s Diamond Anniversary. Performances at 7:30 p.m. April 12 and at 2 p.m. April 13 in the Shearman 38 APRIL 10, 2014

Fine Arts Performing Arts Theatre. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens and youth, and free for McNeese students with a current ID. For tickets or more information, call (337) 475-5040 or visit www.

St. Jude Walk & Fun Run April 12 A Steps for St. Jude 5K Walk and Fun Run will be held at 8 a.m. Sat., April 12, at the McNeese State University Quad to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Rockin’ for a Cure” is sponsored by the McNeese student chapter of Up ‘til Dawn. There are also a best rock ‘n’ roll costume contest and prize drawings. Fees are $20 for the community and $15 for McNeese students with IDs. Group rates for students and community participants are available. To register, go to

Palm Sunday Tour of Homes April 13 The Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society announces its 39th Annual Palm Sunday Tour of Homes for April 13 from 1-5 p.m. It will feature six distinctive homes located in and near the Charpentier District. Tickets are available online at Pre-sale tour tickets are also available for $10 (by cash or check) from Gordon’s Drugs and the Arts and Humanities Council at Historic Central School. Tickets may be purchased on the day of the event, if still available, for $15.

Art Associates of LC Exhibit April 15-May 3 The Art Associates of Lake Charles will host an art exhibit of works by Sue Zimmermann and Corene Soileau, opening April 15 and running until May 3 at the Art Associates’ Gallery in Central School, 809 Kirby St., with a closing reception, Friday, May 2, 5-8 p.m. The exhibit brings together Zimmermann’s paintings and Soileau’s photography. The Gallery, located on the second

floor of Central School, is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. and admission is free. For more information, call 439-2787.

The Red Velvet Cake War April 19-May 4 The Lake Charles Little Theatre presents a riotously funny Southernfried comedy, The Red Velvet Cake War. The three Verdeen cousins— Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette—could not have picked a worse time to throw their family reunion. Things spin hilariously out of control as this fast paced romp barrels toward its uproarious climax and you’ll wish your family reunions were this much fun! Performances are at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays at 813 Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles. For ticket prices, call 433-7988.

Spring Art Walk April 25 Downtown Lake Charles will celebrate SWLA wide and vibrant spectrum of visual arts during the Arts Council of SWLA’s annual Spring Art Walk on Friday, April 25 from 5- 9 p.m.. This free event focuses on artist exposure by concentrating the region’s talent into a few square blocks within the Charleston Cultural District. Coffee shops, businesses, restaurants, and vacant buildings will be transformed into pop-up galleries for the evening, complete with live entertainment, low cost pedicab rides, Art Battles, and a few surprises. Residents and visitors will be able to tour historic downtown properties and businesses while enjoying refreshments and the best of Southwest Louisiana art. For more information, call 439-2787

Sheriff Mancuso and LHSAA Golf Tournament April 25 Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) will host their annual golf tournament on Fri., April 25, at Frasch Park Golf Course in Sulphur, with tee-off beginning at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. FourVol. 6 • No. 1

person scramble with an entry fee of $420 per team. Entry deadline is Monday, April 21. To register, contact Pam LeBlanc, 491-3713; Robin Bailly, 491-3694; or Elizabeth Daley, 491-3622.

to be the largest and most successful mental health awareness and fundraising event in America! Walk with them on April 26 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. For registration information, call 433-0219.

Westlake Family Fun & Food Festival April 25-27

Autism Awareness 5k/ 1Mile Walk April 26

With spring flowers blooming and free admission there’s no reason not to get out enjoy the fun at this family-friendly favorite! Held on the grounds of the St. John Bosco Church in Westlake, everyone will love the games, train rides, moon walks and more. And no festival would be complete without great food, including the famous Bosco burgers! There will also be musical entertainment all weekend! For more information, call the church at (337) 439-6585.

Autism Services of SWLA, the St. Nicholas Center and the Autism Society SWLA Chapter will host its fourth annual “Joining Hands for Autism” 5k/ 1 Mile walk April 26 at ICCS school in Lake Charles. Registration: 5K - $25, Walk - $20. Persons with autism participate for free and receive an event t-shirt. For more information, contact Autism Services of SWLA at (337) 4365001, or St. Nicholas Center (337) 491-0080.

NamiWalk 2014 April 26 Every journey begins with that first step! As NAMIWalks celebrates its 12th anniversary, they are proud

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Resort. $200 per couple, limited seating, casual attire. The dinner supports Court Appointed Special Advocates and the abused and neglected children they serve. Advance payments required at For more information, call Roxanne Camara at 436-9533.

The Daffodil Tea April 29 The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital invites you to the

Grand Ballroom at L’Auberge Casino Resort for this year’s Daffodil Tea on Tues., April 29 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. It will feature a high tea buffet, a fashion show and performances by high school seniors. Dressy attire; wear best hats for the hat contests! Mimosa and cash bar. Tickets are $75 per person; $600 for a reserved table of eight. All tax-deductible proceeds benefit The Foundation at LCMH’s Cancer Care Fund. Purchase tickets online at For more information, call 494-2934.

Dinner at Mi Casa April 27 Enjoy an amazing dinner at the home of Sam and Denise Hebert presented in partnership with the culinary team of L’Auberge Casino

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The White House Easter Egg Roll On Monday, April 21, the First Family the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” and more than 30,000 people will assemble on the South Lawn to join in the fun. The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. In addition to all of the fun, the day’s activities will encourage children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The Easter Egg Roll is the longest held annual presidential tradition. Informal egg roll

parties were recorded at the White House during the early Lincoln administration. During the post-Civil War years, the Easter egg games were played on the grounds surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building. In 1876, an act of Congress outlawed the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds to protect the property from destruction. But n 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday. During the two World Wars, the events were canceled. Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower

Easter Bunny Photo Experience There’s no surer sign of spring than when the Easter Bunny hops to Prien Lake Mall! He’ll be ready to greet Lake Charlesarea families at his home in Sears Court. He’ll be there from April 13-19 during mall hours. Dress your little ones up in their Easter bonnets and stop by! Call 477-7487 for more information.

revived the event in 1953 after a 12-year absence. In 1969, Pat Nixon’s staff introduced the White House Easter Bunny, a staffer dressed in a white fleece bunny costume that welcomed the egg rollers and posed for photographs. By 197,4 the activities evolved into organ-

ized egg-rolling races. Since 1987 the event’s theme has been inscripted on each egg, and by 1989 George and Barbara Bush added their facsimile signatures. Today, the official eggs are given one to a child (under 12) as they leave the South Lawn.

City’s Recreation and Parks Dept. to Host Inaugural Easter Egg Hunt Events The City of Lake Charles Recreation and Parks Department will host its first Easter Egg Hunt at Drew Park, 416 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, and at the Lanza Center, 609 Sycamore St., on Friday, April 11, from 4 – 6 p.m. Goosport Recreation Center, 1619 Cessford St., will hold its Easter Egg Hunt event on Tuesday, April 15 from 4 – 6 p.m. All three fun-filled events are free and will include an egg hunt, prizes, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, fun jumps, games, music and train rides. For more information call 491-1498 or 491-1280.

Because He Lives

By Rev. Weldon C. Bares First United Methodist Church Easter Sunday is the most significant day in the church year. I believe it is the most significant day in human history, a day that changed the history of the world. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. Dead. Buried. A large stone was rolled across the entrance to the tomb. A Roman guard was posted to make sure nothing was disturbed. But three days later, everything changed. The tomb was empty. He rose from the grave and appeared over 40 days to over 500 people. I love the powerful words 40 APRIL 10, 2014

of the brilliant English scholar C.S. Lewis: “Jesus has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because he has done so.” Bill Gaither wrote a beautiful hymn of faith with the words, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future. And life is worth the living just because he lives.” It is the most important event to take place in the world’s history. I invite you to join in the wonder and joy of that celebration. Jesus Christ is alive! Vol. 6 • No. 1

is rampant, but because the leaders of the group are sadistic daredevils intent on initiating the newbies. Even worse, they’ve got the hottest guys, which is why Beatrice has to change her name to Tris. The hottest hottest guy is Four, who takes his shirt off in a symbolic courtship ritual that brought (Summit Entertainment, 2014) screams of rapture Evidently the world is going to change from the young girls sitting in front of us soon, if the movies are correct. We won’t in the theater. (“Come over to my crib, have cell phones. Computer tech will Tris, and I’ll show you my ink.”) look much like it did in movies of the Okay, so the movie is predictable. At ‘60s. Society will be divided into groups least it has some good action scenes. to keep the peace. And the universal lan- Post-apocalypse Chicago is beautifully guage will be teen hormones. and realistically portrayed, and the I know this sounds like The Hunger differences between the groups wellGames, but today’s movie, boys and girls, defined. Tris makes friends and tries to is Divergent, based on the popular book live up to being a Dauntless while keepseries. My, how quickly things don’t ing her Divergence a secret. But trouble change. is ahead, as a purge of Divergents is Beatrice (Shailene Woodley, Secret about to happen. Life of an American Teenager) is a OMG, I can’t believe I left out one young adult about to choose her callgroup and those are the Factionless, othing for the rest of her life. First, she gets evaluated to find out what personality type she is. Then she gets to “choose” her group. There are five: Candor (Scientists), Erudite (Law and Business), Abnegation (Social Caregivers), Amity (Agricultural), and Dauntless (The Police Force). One thing about Divergent, it’s the most vocabulary intensive movie I’ve seen in awhile. Beatrice finds out that she has qualities from several of the groups. She’s a blend, better known as a Divergent. A dangerous misfit. A rebel. Like all good young people, she keeps this a secret from her parents. On Choosing Day, she chooses the Dauntless group, because they wear leather jackets and get to climb buildings and jump on moving trains. (Ok, it’s Chicago. They’re Els--elevated trains.) This turns out to be a great decision for Beatrice, because the Dauntless group is without exception cool people who risk their lives for the city. But it turns out that the Dauntless police force is extremely dangerous, not because crime


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erwise known as failures-to-fit-in. Don’t confuse them with Divergents, they have nothing in common. The Factionless hang around on street corners and loiter, and are thus extremely dangerous. In this High School world, no one wants to be Factionless. It’s so uncool. Isn’t this all some great symbolism? Tris wants to fit in, but is forced to pretend she’s someone else. The Factions are in place to keep peace, but are warring against each other for dominance. And everyone is learning new words all along, with tattoos. So is the movie any good? As an action/SF movie I think Divergent is one of the least offensive and most moralistic ones this year. You can’t say anything bad about the acting, except that Tris is more moved by Four’s torso than by the loss of her family. The movie has some slow moments, but overall does its job, which is sucking us into the upcoming sequel, Insurgent, which will presumably be Divergent goes to college. (I suspect there will be a third film where the Divergents raise a family, tentatively titled Detergent, but my vocabulary is pretty shaky.) Divergent is rated PG-13, which is rad. It is so PG-13, in fact, that you will feel like you are thirteen for going to see it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And it’s educational. Enjoy the show.

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Yes, Your Majesty Royalty is such a popular topic for historical fiction that sometimes I think book companies publish a volume a week on the topic. Here are a few of the latest books based on actual royal women. The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley begins in 39 B.C. in Egypt. Lydia, 18, an orphan, is a servant of Queen Cleopatra and is the favorite “baby-sitter” of Cleopatra’s young son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion. But she has ambitions: In secret, Lydia creates and sells

42 APRIL 10, 2014

pottery she designs herself, wanting to save up money to open her own shop someday. Just before he dies, old Samuel, who has been like a father to Lydia, tells her she’s special (but not how or why) and entrusts her with the sealed scrolls written by the prophet Daniel, with instructions of where to take them. Meanwhile, King Herod, the governor of Galilee, comes to Egypt for a visit, and Lydia decides to go to Judea with him to be a lady’s maid to his future wife. They travel by way of Rome, where the Senate names Herod the “king of the Jews.” In Judea, she finds out who she really is and why she is special, and she becomes a pawn in Herod’s plot to gain political power. Oh, and his evil sister, Salome, wants to destroy her. Meanwhile, Lydia has fallen in love, and the object of her affections decides he isn’t good enough for her. It’s a nice mix of biblically based fact and fiction (and not preachy at all), with political scheming, intrigue, enemies, murder, betrayal, treachery, war, and just a soupçon of

romance. The Tudor court of Henry VIII has always been a favorite setting for historical novels, and two recent books look at his first queen and his last. In The Spanish Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, author Carolly Erickson channels Henry’s first wife, letting her tell her own story in first person -- Catherine’s point of view, her family, her household, her feelings. She talks about her childhood in Spain, then how she traveled to England to wed young Prince Arthur. After his early death, she was a young widow with no apparent future and was kept for years in miserable conditions. She tells her sister-in-law, “Daughters of kings and queens cannot do whatever they choose. We must do as we are told.” Finally, Arthur’s younger brother Henry decided to make her his own wife. But that didn’t last forever, as Henry blamed her for not hav-

ing a son (ah, the days when the birth of a daughter was considered a failure -- or even evidence of God’s punishment!), then fell in love with Anne Boleyn and set about making Catherine’s life difficult unless she gave him a divorce. She tells the reader, “There seemed to be no end to the humiliations. It was as if I were a servant ... who was being demoted.” She was made a prisoner; first her jewels, then her servants were taken from her; and finally, every creature comfort was removed. She watched as Anne was made queen -- against the ruling of the pope in Rome. It’s a nice read, but if you know the real story, you can see that there’s a whole lot missing, including the true reVol. 6 • No. 1

lationship between Henry and Catherine, who were devoted to each other for a long time. Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle introduces us to Henry’s last wife. After two loveless marriages that left her twice widowed, Katherine Parr finally finds romantic love with the dashing Thomas Seymour. But the fetid old King Henry VIII, having beheaded his latest (and fifth) young wife, has set his greedy eyes on Katherine for his next mate. She tries to avoid him, but he sends Seymour away, and Katherine is left with no choice in the matter. She marries Henry in the year 1543 and has to use all her wits to sidestep the constant court treachery (“The dead Queens are everywhere”) and manage to outlive the king. Much of the story is told through her relationship with her servant, Dot. This is Fremantle’s debut novel, but you’d never know it was a first. Well written and completely enjoyable. A century after Catherine of Aragon, in the 1620s, the English queen is Henrietta Maria, a native of France, who is married to King Charles

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Stuart. Jeffrey Hudson, “the Queen’s Fool,” is her servant, and The Queen’s Dwarf by Ella March Chase tells his story. Jeffrey was always labeled “a freak” because he was so tiny -- just 18 inches tall. But he could speak French, like the queen, and he could remember everything he heard -- valuable talents in a backstabbing royal court. The duke of Buckingham, “the most powerful nobleman in England,” hires Jeffrey to work for the queen, telling him to listen and report back everything to him -- basically, to be a spy — and has him trained “in the skills court requires.” So, at only 14 years old, Jeffrey becomes a member of a troupe of players, “the Queen’s Menagerie,” including “fellow dwarf ” Robin Goodfellow, a female rope dancer, a “dwarf woman,” and his “overgrown friend” Will the giant, who stands 7 feet 6 inches tall. This is another nice read, featuring unusual, believable and complex characters. The lucky reader is transfixed as the tiny fool becomes the queen’s champion. Copyright © 2014 by Mary Louise Ruehr. APRIL 10, 2014 43

Spring Happenings! Spring has arrived and I’m excited to see the number of events ranging from small scale to large/multi-day festivals lining up the calendar over the next few months. I have to say once again that I’m becoming more impressed with our community’s progress. It seems that more of our friends are looking at things from a positive aspect, making the most of what we do have and are hopeful for what might come.

Downtown Crawfish Festival I’m especially looking forward to the Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival which takes place from April 11-13. I have not had my fix of crawfish yet and I figure that a festival dedicated to one of Southwest Louisiana’s favorite foods has to be a great way to feed the cravings. There’s a great entertainment lineup planned and family-oriented fun. By attending the festival, the local chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation SWLA/SETX benefits as well. For more information on the festival and the foundation, visit

Downtown at Sundown The next big event is Downtown 44 APRIL 10, 2014

at Sundown. This is a staple in our city and it’s one of those true communityoriented events that highlights my favorite area in the Lake City. It always brings out a diverse crowd for a fun time. You get to hang out, walk along the main strip of Ryan Street and dance the night away. I love snacking on food from the vendors, checking out the awesome artists and then afterwards, grabbing dinner and drinks with friends at one of the nearby restaurants. The entertainment lineup this year offers a blend that everyone will enjoy. For more information, visit

Council of SWLA that includes Erica McCreedy and Amie Herbert. Thanks to Paul and the team for all that they do. For more on the arts including the Spring Art Walk on Friday April 25 and how you can become a member of Arts and Humanities, visit www.


I appreciate the Banners Series of McNeese State University ( since they offer a variety of entertainment for all ages. It is not too late to join in and explore the series that is currently underway. Speaking of McNeese, they now have a new radio station, KBYS 88.3 FM. For years, there has been talk of bringing a radio station back to McNeese and they are now closer than ever. You can actually listen to the live streaming version of the station on and if everything continues as planned, you will be listening to KBYS in your car come Another event that I am personally the month of May. I had the honor looking forward to is Kid Kamillion’s of interviewing Lake Charles Mayor performance at Cowboys on Friday, Randy Roach regarding the Banners April 18. I’m a fan of DJs that can crea- Series and you can find the interview tively piece tracks together that hasn’t on the station’s website. been done over and over again. Kid I’m impressed with the rapid renoKamillion is also a producer and starts vations being done to the old One from scratch, making some of the Hour Martinizing building on Ryan most interesting and complex beats Street next to Raising Cane’s. This and arrangements you can imagine. grand addition to the university The best part of all is that he is from comes just in time for its 75th AnniLouisiana. Diverse talent does exist versary. throughout our piece of the world and If you have an opportunity to be a I vote that we keep it coming. part of a charitable organization or something that betters the lives of those around you, don’t be afraid to jump in. Good help is greatly appreciMoving right along, it is no secret ated and whether you’re contributing that I love supporting local musicians and I’d like to mention one in particu- time, resources or some other assistance, it will be received when coming lar. Paul Gonsoulin is a great example from the heart. While I participate in of a Lake Charles native using his talthe behind-the-scenes process of coments to better our community. He was ing up with creative ideas for organirecently selected as the Artist of the Week for our online show and website zations along with volunteering, I like to put projects together of my own by popular vote. He often performs every once and a while. I’m personat Loggerheads, a great establishment in Moss Bluff on the water along ally working on something special for Wednesday April 23 so stay tuned to with many other venues in the area. I for more on what’s mentioned Paul because he is one of to come. Let’s continue this awesome the amazing three that make so much progress we’re making in our region. happen in our community. He’s a part It is paying off already! of the staff of the Arts & Humanities

Kid Kamillion April 18

Paul Gonsulin

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Sinners is American music, a six-piece band based in Southwest Louisiana that plays a post-modern hybrid of country, bar room rock and roll, and classic soul. The core lineup is singer, lyricist, and primary songwriter Charles Lyons, drummer Daniel Fontenot, bassist Bryan Istre, and guitarist/mandolin player Chris Kershaw. Rounding out the group and adding some vivid musical color is Adam Trouard on keys and accordion, and newest member Alan Rascoe on that pedal steel. This band of Sinners derived their name from the Gram Parsons fronted group The Flying Burrito Brothers and their debut album The Gilded Palace of Sin, but it’s also biblical in origin. As Lyons explained, “Sinners says all it needs to say. It’s the name of the band. It’s what we are. It’s what everybody is.” Dog Hill is the group’s first fulllength album, recorded in Lafayette at public radio station KRVS’ Cypress Lake Studios and produced by longtime cohort Aaron Thomas, who also engineered their previous release, an EP called All the Angels Have Left Us. The title Dog Hill refers to a small neighborhood right outside the city limits in south Lake Charles where Kershaw was born and raised, a historic area for Louisiana music as the home base for the legendary Creole Cowboy, Boozoo Chavis, and his Dog Hill Festival. Kershaw said, “On Sunday afternoon, you can still hear Zydeco playing around my Vol. 6 • No. 1

neighborhood.” History and community is a huge influence on the Sinners and they wanted to pay their respect in naming the album. Lyons said, “The Gulf Coast has always been an area that’s taken all these influences and put them back out in our own way. Some of the best musicians ever have come from here.” The Sinners are using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise enough money to release Dog Hill. Crowdfunding is defined by Wikipedia as “the collection of funds through small contributions from many parties in order to finance a particular project.” This means that fans of the band can go to this site and donate any amount of money to help get this CD released, in exchange for different tiers of “perks.” Donating $10 will get you a sticker, a digital download, and a signed thank you note, while the full $1,000 to pay for the pressing and recording costs nets the generous donor an unbelievable list of rewards. Slightly over half of the band’s financial goal has been reached and the fundraising campaign will end on April 30. Lyons and drummer Fontenot have been performing and recording together for over 12 years now in different incarnations of the band, but feel like this is the lineup they’ve been searching for. All are multi-instrumentalists who know when to play and when to sit back, setting the mood of each song just right. Istre said, “For six of us from different places and bands and styles to come together and make

the kind of music we wanted to make, it’s been real nice.” Kershaw describes the band as a “road trip soundtrack from San Antonio to Muscle Shoals, Alabama,” incorporating many styles along these musically diverse roadways, and Lyons said, “I would never want to say that we’re just a country band, or just a rock and roll band. I love American music.” Dog Hill opens with a woozy guitar melody and the lyrics “Let’s just get drunk and go dancing tonight,” an invitation to cast away these troubles and just enjoy the show, losing yourself in the faceless crowds. The second track, “Eden MS,” starts a trend of geographical and religious references that resonate throughout the entire album. There’s a plea for salvation and love lost in the line “Come back home,” sung to some Eve or another, then a hopeful piano phrase contrasts with a desolate pedal steel part and the lyric, “Nobody goes back to Mississippi” repeated several times, leaving the listener with the feeling that paradise may be closed after all. Sinners kick it up a notch on “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Hold Us Down,” a rowdy, bluegrassinfluenced ditty that’s my favorite track on an album full of keepers. The band hoots and hollers in the background like a Wild West

saloon and the whole thing is done in just over two minutes. Winter’s finally over and it’s time to hit the town, no matter where we end up. The second half of Dog Hill hits the highways, all somber and high lonesome road songs that drive off with the top down, a keen eye on those problems in the rearview but setting out alone for a fresh start. Wrapping up the album is a dark and moody track called “Rattlin’ Bones” that closes with refrains from traditionals “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” like you’ve never heard them, before the chaotic tension is relieved with the final song, a sunny cover of Hank Williams, Sr.’s “I Saw the Light” in which Lyons shares vocal duties in alternating verses with Kershaw’s best Luke the Drifter drawl and a special appearance by Alyssa DiNatale. To hear song samples from Dog Hill, check out the Sinners’ video at or visit the band’s fundraising site at and donate whatever you can to help fund this album’s physical release. You can also follow the Sinners on Facebook and catch ‘em live on April 26 at Micci’s and May 3 at MyPlace, when the band reunites with Baton Rouge country-rockers Elsah. APRIL 10, 2014 45

Thursday, April 10 Amanda Walker 6 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles Brandon Ledet and Creole Touch 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake Rock The Clock! Domestic beer for $2.5tt0 9 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Karaoke with $3 Cover 9 p.m. @ Frosty Factory 4688 Common St., Lake Charles “Thursday Dollar Night” 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar All Night! 5329 Common St., Lake Charles “Flipping Thursdays!” 10:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Free shot, Heads or Tails! 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles DJ Eric Scott 11 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Nightclub L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles

Friday, April 11 Amanda Walker 7 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles Street Side Jazz Band 7 p.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles Paul Gonsolin 7 p.m. @ Loggerheads Riverside Bar 3748 Hwy 3059 (Old Town Road) Lake Charles Bag of Donuts Happy Hour 5-8 p.m. 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles Katelyn Johnson Band 7 p.m. @ Loggerheads Riverside Bar, 3748 Hwy 3059 (Old Town Road) Lake Charles 46 APRIL 10, 2014

DJ Eric Scott 10 p.m. @ Jack After Dark L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles

LeRoy Thomas & Zydeco Roadrunners 8 p.m. @ Yesterdays 5405 Common Street, Lake Charles

Herbie Stutes and the Grand Shin 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake

Pookie Marceaux Band 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake

Richard LeBeouf and Two Step 8 p.m. @ Yesterdays 5405 Common Street, Lake Charles Gino Speight & The Tight Noise 9 p.m. @ Gator Lounge Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, 2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton DJ Cornbread @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Saturday, April 12 Jimmy Kaiser noon–3 p.m. @ Otis and Henry’s Isle of Capri Casino 101 Westlake Avenue, Westlake Amanda Walker 7 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge Lake Charles David Locklear 7 p.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles JC Melancon 7 p.m. @ Loggerheads Riverside Bar, 3748 Hwy 3059 (Old Town Road), Lake Charles

“Saturday Night Party Time” 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar 12-2 a.m. 5329 Common St., Lake Charles Gino Speight & The Tight Noise 9 p.m. @ Gator Lounge Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, 2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton DJ Swing 9 p.m. @ American Legion #551 632 Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles McNeese Jazz Band 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles DJ Eric Scott 11 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Jack Daniels Bar & Grill 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles Sunday, April 13 Street Side Jazz Band 11 a.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles Toby Templet noon–3 p.m. @ Otis and Henry’s Isle of Capri Casino 101 Westlake Avenue, Westlake

Judd Norman Band $ cover @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Mike Fulmer 5 p.m. @ Loggerheads Riverside Bar, 3748 Hwy 3059 (Old Town Road), Lake Charles

Boomerang 9 p.m. @ Jack After Dark @L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles

DJ Swing 9 p.m. @ American Legion #551 632 Enterprise Blvd. Lake Charles Vol. 6 • No. 1

Monday, April 14

1301 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Karaoke Night with Leslie Daughenbaugh 7–10 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino 101 Westlake Avenue, Westlake

“Ladies Night!” 8:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Women receive $1 Well & Wines 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles

“Cheese & Wine Night!” 1/2 OFF WINE! 7 - 11 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles “Lucky Monday!” Midnight @ My Place Bar Win a $50 Bar Tab! 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles

Tuesday, April 15 “Trivia Night!” Happy Hour 2-6 p.m. Winner gets a $50 gift certificate 7 p.m. @ MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub 417 Anne St., Lake Charles Karaoke with DJ David Verrett 8 p.m. @ Jack After Dark @ L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles “Live Team Trivia” 8 p.m. @ OB’s Bar & Grill

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“2 for 1 Tuesdays!” 9 - 11 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Wednesday, April 16

Karaoke 2014 @ Mikko Live 8 p.m. @ Coushatta Casino Resort 777 Coushatta Dr., Kinder “Comedy Night” 10-12 Comedians Josh Hessier, Leo Morgan, & Nick Cronan 8:30 p.m. @ Frosty Factory 4688 Common St., Lake Charles

“Ladies Night!” Acoustic set from Night Shade Cover free for ladies until midnight @ OB’s Bar & Grill 1301 Ryan St., Lake Charles

“Wasted Wednesdays w/ DJ Dispo!” 8:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Get $1 Pitchers & $2 Wells 630 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles

Kris Harper No cover @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Kory Fontenot 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles

Brad Brinkley & the Comfort Zone 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Ladies Night 5 p.m.-midnight! Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake

Thursday, April 17

William Christian, saxophonist 8-11 p.m. @ Cigar Club 1700 E Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles

Orphan Annie 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake

Stacy Bearden 6 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles

Rock The Clock! Get domestic beer for $2.50 9 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Karaoke with $3 Cover 9 p.m. @ Frosty Factory 4688 Common St., Lake Charles Thursday Dollar Night Spring Break Bash 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar All Night! 5329 Common St., Lake Charles DJ Crush 10 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Nightclub L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Avenue L’Auberge Lake Charles Kory Fontenot Happy Hour 5-8 p.m. 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles “Flipping Thursdays!” 10:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Free shot, Heads or Tails! 630 W. Prien Lake Rd. Lake Charles

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Friday, April 18 Stacy Bearden 7 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles Street Side Jazz Band 7 p.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles JJ Callier & The Zydeco Knockouts 9 p.m. @ Gator Lounge Delta Downs Racetrack 2717 Delta Downs Drive, Vinton Damon Troy & Final Five 8 p.m. @ Yesterdays 5405 Common Street, Lake Charles Dog Hill Stompers 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake Logan Soileau Band 9-midnight @ Cigar Club 1700 E Prien Lake Rd, Lake Charles Pork Chop Express 9 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Nightclub L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles DJ Kid Kamillion Free cover til 10 p.m. w/ college ID 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar All Night! 5329 Common St., Lake Charles John Guidroz & Kevin Lambert No cover @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Jonathon “Boogie” Long 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles DJ San-D 11 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Nightclub L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles

Saturday, April 19 Stacy Bearden 7 p.m. @ Ember Grille & Wine Bar 777 Ave L’Auberge, Lake Charles Lee Sonnier 7 p.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles 48 APRIL 10, 2014

The Scheme @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Elyse Black 7 p.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles

Stark Experiment 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake

DJ Swing 9 p.m. @ American Legion #551 632 Enterprise Blvd. Lake Charles

Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie 8 p.m. @ Yesterdays 5405 Common Street Lake Charles Ryan Bunch 9-midnight @ Cigar Club 1700 E Prien Lake Road Lake Charles “Saturday Night Party Time” 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar 12 - 2 a.m. 5329 Common St. Lake Charles DJ Swing 9 p.m. @ American Legion #551 632 Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles Dog Hill Stompers 9 p.m. @ Gator Lounge Delta Downs Racetrack 2717 Delta Downs Drive Vinton The Dubonauts 10 p.m. @ Luna Live 710 Ryan St, Lake Charles DJ San-D 11 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Jack Daniels Bar & Grill 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles

Sunday, April 20 Street Side Jazz Band 11 a.m. @ Luna Bar & Grill 719 Ryan Street, Lake Charles

Monday, April 21 Karaoke Night 7-10 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake Cheese & Wine Night! 1/2 OFF WINE! 7 - 11 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Lucky Monday! Midnight @ My Place Bar Win a $50 Bar Tab! 630 Prien Lake Road Lake Charles

1301 Ryan St., Lake Charles Kris Harper No cover @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Blake Sticker 8- 11 p.m. @ Cigar Club 1700 E Prien Lake Road Lake Charles Brandon Ledet and the Creole Touch 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake Karaoke 2014 @ Mikko Live 8 p.m. @ Coushatta Casino Resort 777 Coushatta Dr., Kinder

Tuesday, April 22

“Comedy Night” 10-12 Comedians Josh Hessier, Leo Morgan, & Nick Cronan 8:30 p.m. @ Frosty Factory 4688 Common St., Lake Charles

“Trivia Night!” Happy Hour 2-6 p.m. Winner gets a $50 gift certificate 7 p.m. @ MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub 417 Anne St., Lake Charles

“Wasted Wednesdays w/ DJ Dispo!” 8:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Get $1 Pitchers & $2 Wells 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles

James Hunter 7 p.m. @ Central School 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles

Thursday, April 24

Karaoke with DJ David Verrett 8 p.m. @ Jack After Dark Nightclub L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles “Live Team Trivia” 8 p.m. @ OB’s Bar & Grill 1301 Ryan St., Lake Charles “Ladies Night!” 8:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Women receive $1 Well & Wines 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles

Brad Brinkley @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles Derryl Perry Band 8 p.m. @ Caribbean Cove Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel 100 Westlake Ave., Westlake Karaoke with $3 Cover 9 p.m. @ Frosty Factory 4688 Common St., Lake Charles “Thursday Dollar Night” 9 p.m. @ Cowboys Night Club $1 Beer & Bar All Night! 5329 Common St., Lake Charles

Will Wesley noon–3 p.m. @ Otis and Henry’s Isle of Capri Casino 101 Westlake Avenue, Westlake

“2 for 1 Tuesdays!” 9 - 11 p.m. @ Micci’s Piano Bar 3606 Ryan St., Lake Charles

Wednesday, April 23

DJ Cage 8 p.m. @ Jack After Dark @ L’Auberge Casino Resort 777 Avenue L’Auberge, Lake Charles

Phillip Glenn Band 5 p.m. @ Loggerheads Riverside Bar, 3748 Hwy 3059 (Old Town Road) Lake Charles

“Ladies Night!” Acoustic set from Night Shade Cover free for ladies until midnight 7 - 9 p.m. @ OB’s Bar & Grill

“Flipping Thursdays!” 10:30 p.m. @ My Place Bar Free shot, Heads or Tails! 630 W. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles Vol. 6 • No. 1


Berta and Jason Boone

Steve and Sarah Miller

Drew Francois and Maria Moss

Over 1,000 participants, spectators, and sponsors came out for another ReAlliety Challenge! The 5K obstacle course mud run was held on Hwy 14 south, and those who came to challenge the beast ran, crawled, jumped and swam--whew! Factor in the cool temps and wind and it was even more of a challenge! Thumbs up for turning adversity into achievement!

Sylvia and John Stelly

Tanya, Frank and Hailey Portinause

BE-BOP-A-LULA The Be-Bop-A Lula Dinner Dance Extravaganza was held at the historic Cash and Carry Event Center to benefit Dancing Classrooms and the Whistle Stop non-profit advocacy organization. It was an exciting evening of food, fun and entertainment. Students performed a variety of dance such as swing, merengue, tango and more. Cheers to transforming lives one step at a time!

Rain Breedlove, Victoria Burton and Linda Hurtado

Aneeda McInyre and Kimberly Peterson Vol. 6 • No. 1

Shane Baker, Patrick Fontenot, Amanda Yellott and Roger Felter

Jason and Norma Guidry with Mary Beth and Mike Huber

Ainsley DeSonier and Dalanne Babineaux APRIL 10, 2014 49

CYPHACON The fourth annual CyPhaCon was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center and brought out the colorful, costumed crowds! There were workshops, a kids’ activity area, photo opportunities, costume contest, charity auction and so much more—which is why this convention keeps getting bigger and better each year!

Craig Cooley and Dana Frye

Haley Westlund, Tommy Rubin and Zackary Westlund

Kelly Netherland, Tim Doucet and Latisha Whatley

Candice Darwin and Eri Martin

Larisa Bybee, Marcus Iglesia, Ken Braiden and James Fail

BANNERS PRESENTS SAM BUSH Grammy award-winning, multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush entertained the crowd at McNeese Bulber Auditorium with his bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues, funk and other styles. His jaw dropping skills on the mandolin and fiddle and his winning voice left the audience amazed. Another great Banners performance!

Doug and Catherine Hicks

Ruth and Blake Soto 50 APRIL 10, 2014

Charles and Eva Beaugh

Doug and Lanette Guillory (and Ed Pruitt)

Jason Hayes, Amy Lavergne and Amber Fontenot Vol. 6 • No. 1

Basket Bunny Chicks Chocolate Easter

Eggs Good Friday Hallelujah Lilies Peeps

Pocking Rejoice Resurrection Springtime Sunday

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Players take turns connecting two dots. When you make a square, put your initials in the box and take another turn. When all dots are connected, the player with the most boxes wins.

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The Jambalaya News, Vol. 6, No. 1 - 04/10/14  
The Jambalaya News, Vol. 6, No. 1 - 04/10/14  

First National Bank of DeRidder, Locally Owned Businesses, Dana Frye and the Evergreen Left-Behinds, Jody Taylor interviews The Sinners