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Mild to severe PAD blockages detected
AngioScreens performed to date
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Abnormal heart rhythms detected
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“My employer scheduled the AngioScreen mobile unit to come to our office and screen employees. I also talked my dad into getting screened, but he was only willing if I got screened, too. During my AngioScreen, the technician noticed an abnormality on my thyroid. She gave me a report to take to my doctor, who then sent me to a specialist. After a biopsy, the results returned positive for thyroid cancer. I opted to have a total thyroidectomy as a proactive step to ensure it would never spread. Without the AngioScreen, it could have been months or even years before any symptoms appeared. I’m healthy and cancer-free as a result of it.” - Brook S.
5th Anniversary Discounted Pricing - $40.00 August 3, 4, 28, 30 For locations, times and to schedule an AngioScreen, call or visit us online at 2 | AUGUST 2017 | D E LTA S T Y LE MAGA ZI NE
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Shotgun Wedding Sale
August 1 - 15 201 Blanchard St in West Monroe
trinitydiamondsdirect.com Exclusions apply. See store for full details.
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10 YEARS IN A ROW
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Ophthalmologist Dr. Jason Read lead a hands-on demonstration of the P & S Hospitalâ€™s new ORA technology, a robotic surgery for the eyes. Students got to map an eye, mirroring a real-life procedure.
The Parlor House is raising money for S.O.S. Pets of Ouachita. Make plans to attend this great event!
Moss Eye Care held a ribbon cutting at their brand new location on HWY 165.
Iron Cactus celebrated itâ€™s groundbreaking in downtown Monroe. The restaurant is set to open later this year. Congratulations!
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BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS MONROE CIVIC CENTER Â· JUNE 30
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OUACHITA GREEN LUNCHEON JUNE 29 AT THE CENTURYLINK HEADQUARTERS
Who was spotted? 1. Stuart Hodnett, Joe Holyfield, David Sorrell 2. Courtney Hornsby 3. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Stuart Hodnett, Sgt. Wayne Heckford, Gregg Smith, David Sorrell, Susal Russell 4. Ray Armstrong, Ashley Doughty, Audrey Peterson 5. Brandi Chambless, Liz McQueen, Cora Stapleton, Puddin Young, Cara Sampagnaro, Susal Mitchell, Carmen McNew 16 | AUGUS T 2017 | D E LTA S T Y LE M AGA ZI NE
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Honors and Accolades for Ouachita Green
ome organizations have to wait years to even begin to see tangible results from their efforts. Such is not the case for Ouachita Green, an organization that combines the considerable volunteer firepower of a number of groups committed to beautification and litter abatement. A celebration awards
luncheon held at CenturyLink headquarters and sponsored by CenturyLink, Holyfield Construction, Sir Speedy printers, and PPM Consultants updated the community of the many successes recorded during the past year. Serving as emcee for the luncheon was Courtney Hornsby, vice chairman of Ouachita Green and president of the West Monroe – West Ouachita Chamber of Com-
merce. Sgt. Wayne Heckford representing Keep Ouachita Parish Beautifulgave the invocation, followed by the pledge led by Stuart Hodnett, Ouachita Green coordinator. Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo brought greetings from the City of Monroe. Guest speakers included Susan Russell, Executive Director of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, who gave a comprehensive overview of litter abatement and beautification efforts ongoing within the state. The keynote address was given by Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. Nungesser thanked Ouachita Green and all of the volunteers within Ouachita Green for their tireless commitment to making the area more attractive not only for the residents but also for visitors coming to Louisiana. Awards were presented by Hodnett and Nungessor: Small Business Award – Sherwin Williams Paint; Youth Leadership Award – West Ouachita High School and Richwood High School; Community Champion Award – Ouachita Parish Public Library and Southside Community Involvement Association; Corporate Award: Holyfield Construction and CenturyLink; Volunteer of the Year Award – David Sorrell; and a series of Law Enforcement Awards. Law Enforcement Certificate of Recognition – Police Chief Barry Bonner, City of Sterlington; Corporal Jimmy Martin, City of Monroe Police Department; Senior Agent Joshua Harris, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Officer Marcus Yarbrough, West Monroe Police Department; Master Trooper Chris Hollingsworth, Louisiana State Police Troop F; Officer Randy Duke, West Monroe Code Enforcement; and Sgt. Wayne Heckford, Ouachita Parish Code Enforcement. A special Law Enforcement award was given to Officer Richard Elam who wrote 209 of the 842 citations that were written during the past year. Closing the program was Joe Holyfield who issued a call to action to all present at the sold-out luncheon to do even more during the coming year and build on the incredible successes being celebrated at this event.
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MISS LOUISIANA PRESS CONFERENCE MONROE CIVIC CENTER Â· JUNE 19TH
Who was spotted? 1. Molly Humphries, Lauren Ford, Morgan Tanner 2. Mayor Jamie Mayo addresses the crowd 3. Justine Ker 4. Molly Elizabeth Humphries - Miss Spirit of the Ouachita
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MISS LOUISIANA PAGEANT JUNE 23 Â· JACK HOWARD AUDITORIUM
Who was spotted? 1. Lisa Patrick, Billy Justice 2. Randy, Corinna, Jessie, Jason, Joshua Hayden, Debbie Sharp
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CENTURYLINK'S STAR SPANGLED SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS 4TH OF JULY Â· DOWNTOWN MONROE
Who was spotted? 1. Raymond, Kenslee, Kamryn, Khyani, Johnson 2. Dee & John Ledbetter 3. Austin & Liana Malicoate 4. Charlie French, Claire & Charlen Campbell 5. Emery Thibodeaux, Danielle Rushing, Maesi Shamburger, Nick Olson 6. Troy, Amy, Langdon, and Larkin Richards 7. Melanie & Mike Colvin 8. Tabitha and Cooper Collins 20 | AUGUS T 2017 | D E LTA S T Y LE MAGA ZINE
SWTCH EVENTS PRESENTS:
LUCKY IN LOVE
ENOCH’S IRISH PUB - JUNE 29 · PHOTOS BY BECKY TRIPP
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WITH SOME OF THE DELTA'S CUTEST KIDS We asked. You answered. Kids around the Delta start school, see what they had to say about it. ADDISON â€“ Age 5
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What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? To see the playground What is your favorite subject? Jesus What is your favorite book? Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses One word to describe you would be pretty. What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Go swimming If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? A cheetah because they run really fast! What do you like to do for fun? Play house and Barbies Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. Take care of each other and be kind to each other
â€“ Age 6 What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? I can't wait to start art class and paint. What is your favorite subject? Art and music What is your favorite book? Pinkalicious One word to describe you would be happy. What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Going to water parks, pools and doing runway shows. If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? I'd be a unicorn because they are pretty, they have a horn and they're magical. What do you like to do for fun? I like to go to my friends house and have play dates and I like to sing and I like to spend time with my family. Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. We should all go to a fun water park. And we should go to the children's museum in Memphis. Amelia Kate
â€“ Age 5 What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? swinging high on the swing and playing on the monkey bars What is your favorite subject? writing my numbers What is your favorite book? Pete the Cat One word to describe you would be friendly. What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? going to the beach If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? probably a horse because they are my favorite and I just want too What do you like to do for fun? playing outside in the water Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. Go horseback riding and go camping at the lake
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TWINS COLTON & MEMPHIS â€“ Age 7
â€“ Age 7 What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? Seeing what my new teacher is like What is your favorite subject? Science What is your favorite book? American Girl Series One word to describe you would be loving What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Go camping with my grandparents If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? A horse because they are beautiful when they run wild and free! What do you like to do for fun? Ride horses, do gymnastics, ride our golf cart Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. Sleep in! Take a road trip!
Memphis What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? Recess What is your favorite subject? Reading What is your favorite book? Green Eggs and Ham One word to describe you would be funny What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Play with friends in the pool If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? A polar bear because they are big and cute! What do you like to do for fun? Practice football Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. Have fun with each other and go camping Colton What are you most excited about in the upcoming school year? Recess What is your favorite subject? English What is your favorite book? Fly Guy One word to describe you would be funny What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Go fishing If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? A turtle because I can hide in a shell and protect me What do you like to do for fun? Play football Name two things that a family should do together on the weekend. Go swimming and fishing
Colton & memphis
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GREAT NEWS, WE HAVE MOVED!
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What DELTA a Difference a DNA (kit) Makes!
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JULIE WEISER LANZA
Georgiann Potts’ great uncle, Charles Binnier, pictured with his wife, Mary Elizabeth, and their two daughters Aretta and Mrytle Charlotte. This archival photograph is the first image of Mom Moore’s brother and his family that Georgiann has ever seen.
REDRAWING OUR FAMILY TREE GEORGIANN POTTS
Writer’s Note: One of my very favorite things about the South is our oral history. Most Delta folk are just “natural born” storytellers, a trait I firmly believe has been handed down generation after generation. I can remember as a child the delight we cousins would have, gathered in the shadows listening to the adults talk. We especially enjoyed those stories that spun off late into the night and were interesting enough that we were forgotten about and allowed to stay up much later than our bedtimes. Those passed-down stories that dealt with family presented a “window” on generations past that we loved. Ancestors became real people to us as we listened to the “facts” that were shared. There were some disagreements, of course. Daddy Moore might remember something one way, but Aunt Dorothy would be ready to correct him based on her genealogy research. Still, we had the general idea of who we were and where we came from. And then our daughter and son-in-law, Leigh and Brian Grainger, gave Jim and me Ancestry.com DNA kits for our birthdays … GP Much of what I know about my family history until recently was based partly on genealogy research and partly on family stories that had been passed down through the generations. The first efforts at “formal” research were begun by my maternal aunt, Dorothy Aly, who in the process amassed a formidable pile of papers and notes reflecting her extensive research into my grandfather’s line. Aunt Dorothy was the eldest of Daddy Moore and Mom Moore’s children, and she was the one who had the most time and interest to pursue the family tree. She focused on Daddy Moore’s line instead of on Mom
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Moore’s, and as a result there were significant “gaps” in my maternal line. As for the family stories that I heard from earliest childhood, they were believed as Gospel truth by all of us who heard them. After all, they were being told by our nearest relatives, and we just knew that they were speaking the truth. It wasn’t until I began investigating the research that Aunt Dorothy had done and comparing it to what I was finding through electronic databases that weren’t available to Aunt Dorothy’s generation that I began to realize that there were larger “gaps” than I had previously realized. I learned that many (perhaps all? ) of our family stories had been modified through the telling and retelling process generation to generation. This really shouldn’t have surprised me because I, like so many others, have personal experience with the childhood game known in my day as “Rumor”. You may remember it, too. One person would whisper something to another, and then that one would repeat it to the next person, and so on through a group. The last person would tell the “rumor” and the first person would tell the original story. The differences that crept in through just a handful of exchanges were hilarious --- and instructive. It is no wonder, then, that family stories handed down by word of mouth --- especially by gifted storytellers who relished (and likely embellished) their work --- would also experience some “amendments”.
Family Storytellers Play a Role . . . I come from a family of superb storytellers. My father’s brothers and sisters were all exceptionally talented at it. They grew up in the time when telling stories and swapping tales was part of an evening’s entertainment. Without television or other distractions, sitting around talking was an important way to relax. Although I didn’t get to know all of them well, the aunts and uncles I did know and got to listen to were amazing. Uncle Woody (W. W. Merritt) was my favorite storyteller of them all. I could listen to him for hours. I wasn’t the only one appar-
ently. He made a good living at it, actually. For years he was a much sought-after speaker for his company (known then as Ethyl Corporation from which he retired after 42 1⁄2 years there), giving his professional safety talks “flavor” with some great tale-spinning as illustrations. He began his career as a laborer, but through effort and considerable talent, he worked his way up to become a safety engineer. He was so good at it that he eventually gave safety-related talks not only for Ethyl but also all around America for related organizations including the National Management Association. The stories that I heard could be categorized in several ways. Some were basic family tree ancestry listings. This one was the son of that one who was the son of that one and so on. Others were more detailed, spelling out “known” details about courtships, marriages, family geographic moves and why the moves were necessary, and so forth. The favorites, though, were those that were told in whispers concerning real or imagined indiscretions such as Aunt Louise’s (gasp!) divorce. Databases Dispel Myths . . . Through my own research (primarily using Ancestry.com and other genealogy databases available online) I learned that all of these categories were subject to inevitable changes with each retelling, generation by generation. Over time I began to correct some of Aunt Dorothy’s assumptions --- all logical, but obscured by the lack of databases in which to research. There were errors in transcription, in spelling, and even among so-called legal paperwork. The more I got into it, the more interested I became. I must warn you that doing this sort of research can be very time-consuming. I have the benefit of doing it online, and I recognize that this is a major advantage. Frankly, I am staggered at the thought of how much time Aunt Dorothy and those of her generation
Julie Lanza’s mother, Nancy Weiser Gates, is the granddaughter of Charles Binnier, Georgiann Potts’ great-uncle.
Julie Weiser Lanza is the “lost cousin” of Georgiann Potts’ that made the family connection through DNA testing.
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must have spent perusing public records in distant courthouses, libraries, and organization records. Even so, there is something akin to addiction that takes over when you start “looking” for clues about your ancestors. The newest tool for uncovering family origins is the DNA test kit. This past April, the Grainger family surprised us with Ancestry.com DNA test kits so that Jim and I could discover even more about our families. We were both excited, and happily sent off our samples to be tested. It took about six weeks, but the results eventually arrived --and in my case exposed several cherished family stories as myth. There was, however, more positive to come from this experience than negative. DNA: Just the facts . . . Before my results came in, I spent considerable time reading as much as I could find that would help me understand what DNA is, how DNA testing works, and what makes DNA test results reliable and, in some instances, acceptable as evidence in criminal courts. Before I was finished (gave up, really --- this is complex science), I had a better idea of how DNA is transferred from one human to another, and why brothers and sisters do not have identical DNA patterns. I learned that while environment certainly impacts the way we humans behave, DNA also contributes mightily to the “who” we are. I had always been told that my maternal grandfather was Scotch-Irish and that there was a Cherokee ancestor who had marched in the Trail of Tears. My maternal grandmother was French (and an orphan) about which nothing more was known. On my dad’s side, the family story was that there was a Russian riverboat gambler somewhere in the past on his father’s side. As for his mother’s side, all I ever really knew was that I was born one month after my paternal grandmother died. Goodbye, Molly Halfacre . . . When the DNA analysis arrived, I was eager to see “who” I really was. There was sufficient confirmation that I hailed from ancestors living in Great Britain. My DNA showed that I am 100% European (45% Great Britain, and 24% Ireland). There was a smattering of French and Russian, enough to indicate that the stories about my French grandmother and Russian gambler might be worth pursuing. To my great shock, however, there was absolutely no Native American in the mix. Aunt Dorothy’s “discovery” of Molly Halfacre which had always been a source of pride for me was now clearly off the track. Molly was not, after all, in my line. It was fun to discover that I had always pretty much dismissed the Russian gambler family story, but had believed the one about Molly.
JULIE WEISER LANZA
Notes jotted in a great-aunt’s address book offer vital clues to earlier generations.
About a week after my DNA results were placed in the Ancestry.com database, I received an email from Julie Weiser Lanza. In it, this woman I had never met or even heard of told me that there was an “extremely high chance” that she and I were cousins through my maternal grandmother’s line. She had received an alert from Ancestry.com about the likelihood of the relationship and reached out to me to see if we might share family history. I had received an alert as well, but I am still technically a beginner at all of this and hadn’t looked. A correspondence between us ensued, and it turns out that her great-grandfather, Charles Binnier, and my grandmother, Leta Binnier (Mom Moore) were brother and sister. The family name, Binnier, is French. There were orphans in the family, but new evidence suggests that my grandmother may not have been one. Julie’s grandmother and her two sisters were orphans, and grew up in an orphanage in Illinois. Julie’s mother, Nancy Weiser Gates, is my grandmother’s niece. Cousin Julie and I have begun the long process of putting together additional pieces of the puzzle. I have sent her a photograph of the main house at Kenilworth Plantation as well as a newspaper article from the Tensas Gazette that discusses the pending sale of the land to “northerners” from Illinois. She and I are searching out a distant relative known as “Elizabeth” who willed her niece and nephew (my grandparents) her home and land about 5 years before they bought Kenilworth and the two adjacent planta-
JULIE WEISER LANZA
A copy of Georgiann Potts’ grandfather’s obituary as printed in Illinois.
A copy of an articlefrom the Tensas Gazette on April 30, 1909, announcing the sale of Kenilworth Plantation to Georgiann Potts’ grandfather.
tions. I have a hunch that this is where some of the capital came with which they made the purchase. Time will tell (as other DNA results come in and more databases go online) a clearer story about this part of “who” we are. In the meantime, I will happily add this “new” family to my own family tree. With good reason, I believe that I’ll be redrawing that tree for many years to come. Aunt Dorothy would have loved this.
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Example of a packed suitcase
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A local non-profit distributes packed suitcases for foster kids in Northeast Louisiana EMMA SAGER
housands of children each year in Louisiana feel the heartbreak of moving to and from new foster homes. Suitcases for New Place was established in February to provide a suitcase full of goodies for those children. Many of them are taken from their home, sometimes in the middle of the night, and do not have the opportunity to gather their belongings, if they have any. Sara McBroom recognized that there was a need in the Monroe area to help these foster children feel more at home as they make their shift into a foster house. She decided to fill that need with Suitcases for New Places. “My goal is to give every kid as they come into foster care a bag filled with everything they may need when they make that transition,” McBroom said. “So every bag has pajamas, a blanket, stuffed animals, toiletries, books, and activities.” She is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Alexandria with a strong background in social services in child welfare. Right out of school, McBroom was hired with the state for social services for a year as a child abuse investigator. Today, McBroom works at the Children’s Advocacy Center as a forensic interviewer. When
Sara McBroom and daughter Marley
Sara and her family
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Bags ready for packing
Packed suitcases ready for delivery
a child has been abused or neglected, the foster care system will bring these children to be interviewed one-on-one with McBroom. In these interviews, McBroom asks the children to explain in as much detail as they can what happened to them, and this information is then used in the criminal court. “One day at work, I was watching a video on Facebook actually, and it was of a similar organization and I thought, ‘Wow, we really need something like that here.’” McBroom said. “These kids would really benefit from something like that.” Later, McBroom shared her idea for Suitcases for New Places with her husband, Chris. He immediately made a Facebook page to begin the process of establishing the nonprofit. Within two days, the page got over 500 likes from the community. This was the start of a big and successful organization
else’s house, so the goal of Suitcases for New Places is to make these children as comfortable as possible. “I had a little girl that had just turned 12 and for her birthday, she asked for money from all her friends for this organization instead of gifts for herself,” McBroom said. “She got to come to my office to bring me the money, and this was so sweet to me.” In May, McBroom was the recipient of the 2017 Ouachita Parish Woman of the Year that was presented by the Downtown Monroe Alliance. This award is given to an individual who is inspires others to benefit the community, has a diligent sense of purpose, demonstrates professional progress in their career, and is a strong leader. McBroom was given the Ouachita Parish Woman of the Year award for establishing Suitcases for New Places to benefit the foster chil-
that has donated 150 suitcases to children in foster care. McBroom explained that it is already difficult enough for these children to leave their house and then move into someone
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dren of Northeast Louisiana. Donations can also be directly given to McBroom by contacting her on the Suitcases for New Places official Facebook page. Most of the donations for the nonprofit organization are from people in the community and many churches have done large drives to provide suitcase supplies. The Attic Self Storage company, located at 200 Warren Drive in West Monroe, donated a storage unit for McBroom to do all the hard work it takes to pack up suitcases for the foster children in the Delta. Attic Self Storage also volunteered to be an official donation drop-off for all the suitcase supplies. With the community’s support, Sara and her organization will continue to grow and help foster kids in the area. For more information on how to be involved or to donate to the cause, look up Suitcases for New Places on Facebook!
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2017 HEALTHCARE HERO WINNERS ORTHODONTIC ASSISTANT: WENDY CARNEY
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST: CASEY ECKHARDT
DENTAL HYGIENIST: CONNIE THOMPSON
PHARMACY TECHNICIAN: MICHELLE NYEGAARD
ONCOLOGIST: DR. SANJAY JOSEPH
HEALTHCARE EDUCATOR: BRITTNEY FAULKENBERRY
PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT: JOHN-WESLEY REED
HEALTHCARE MANAGER: DANIELLE HART
RAD TECH: ALEX MULHEARN
HEARING INSTRUMENT SPECIALIST: CHERRY PHILLIPS
REGISTERED NURSE: CASSIDY RILEY
CERTIFIED RNA: DUSTY DAIGLE DENTAL ASSISTANT: DAWN MCGUIRE
HOME HEALTH NURSE: WENDE BRUCE HOSPICE NURSE: LAUREN WALKER LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE: BRANDI BURNHAM MASSAGE THERAPIST: JEFF JOHNSON MEDICAL ADVOCATE: BARBIE CLARK MEDICAL ASSISTANT: CANDI ARNOLD
OPTOMETRIST: DR. JONATHAN SCOGIN ORAL SURGEON: DR. ERIC GEIST ORTHODONTIST: DR. RICKY CAPLES
SOCIAL WORKER: DAVID O’NEAL
OTOLARYNGOLOGIST: DR. JOEL NORRIS
SONOGRAPHER: JILL YOUNG ANESTHESIOLOGIST: DR. SZU DOMINGUE AUDIOLOGIST: DR. DEBORAH COWAN CARDIOLOGIST: DR. MICHAEL LANGIULLI CHIROPRACTOR: DR. KALEB DESHOTEL COUNSELOR / THERAPIST: KASEY WHITHERINGTON
OPHTHALMOLOGIST: DR. THOMAS PARKER
PAIN MANAGEMENT PHYSICIAN: DR. JOHN LEDBETTER PARAMEDIC: KIM SANDERSON PEDIATRICIAN: DR. CINDY BIMBLE PHARMACIST: DR. KAY CHANDLER PHLEBOTOMIST: ASHLEY LIGGIN
MEDICAL NON-PROFIT: WE WOULD LIKE PHYSICAL THERAPIST: JASON RILEY DENTIST: DR. WILLIAM JOHNSTON TO RECOGNIZE EACH NON-PROFIT THIS PHYSICIAN’S ASSISTANT: YEAR: ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER DERMATOLOGIST: DR. JANINE HOPKINS JENNY KUAN BAKER FOUNDATION, BE THE MATCH, CAMP EMT: CRYSTAL HENDERSON QUALITY OF LOUISIANA, LIFESHARE BLOOD PLASTIC SURGEON: DR. TIMOTHY MICKEL CENTERS, PILOTS FOR PATIENTS, WIGGIN’ OUT, LOUISIANA ORGAN PROCUREMENT GASTROENTEROLOGIST: DR. BUTCH DUNN PODIATRIST: DR. LUKE HUNTER AGENCY, AND THE ALZHEIMER’S PHYSICIAN: DR. JAMES DEAN STOCKSTILL ASSOCIATION. PSYCHIATRIST: DR. FRANK WEINHOLT MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTIST/TECH: MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS: VICKI CASKEY, PSYCHOLOGIST: DR. CANDI HILL NICOLE BRUCE DEBRA S. RAIFORD, EVA FOWLER, JO FLETCHER, SHARON GOODEN,ELSPIE RADIOLOGIST: LEE ABRAHAM NEUROLOGIST: DR. JORGE ALVERNIA FRANKLIN, PHILIP THOMAS, GLENN NORTHCOTT, AIMEE KANE, PAUL FORD NURSE PRACTITIONER: MICHELLE PHILLIPS RESPIRATORY THERAPIST: JOSEPH SIEVERS MEDICAL RECEPTIONIST: FELENA MASSEY SPEECH THERAPIST: HILLARY COOPER NUTRITIONIST: ANDI HOLYFIELD OCCUPATIONAL ASSISTANT: OB / GYN: DR. AMBER SHEMWELL UROLOGIST: DR. R. LEE HUMBLE JULIE SMITH MEYERS
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WINNERS Brittney Faulkenberry
Pilots for Patients
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Melanie Massey for John-Wesley Reed
Laine Shemwell for Barbie Flemister Clark
Dr. Szu Domingue
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Dr. Jonathan Scogin
Dr. Thomas Parker
Jenny Kuan Baker
Dr. Kay Chandler
Dr. Joel Norris
Dr. John Ledbetter
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Dr. Frank Weinholt
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JUNE 20TH Â· WEST MONROE CONVENTION CENTER
Dr. Terry King presented Dr. Marc de Soler with the Lifetime Achievement Award Music from Stacey & Jordan Sheppard welcomed the crowd
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Terry King Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr. Marc de Soler accepting his award
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Kids Back-To-School Special Special includes exam, x-rays & cleaning. Now thru August 20th
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Call today to schedule a tour and lunch is on us! 318.343.1626 • azaleaestates.com 4380 Old Sterlington Road • Monroe, LA 71203 Like us on Facebook! MN-1000661117
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People in pain need specialized care. For expert care that can effectively relieve pain and return patients to an active life, look to Louisiana Pain Care. The physicians at Louisiana Pain Care have over 80 years of combined experience in spine care and interventional pain management. Our experts carefully evaluate each patient through clinical evaluation and diagnostic testing to determine the source of the pain and then tailor a non-surgical treatment. If patients do not respond to the non-surgical treatment or if a surgical evaluation is warranted, the experts at Louisiana Pain Care can refer patients to the surgeon of their choice.
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HOW BARBIE CLARK BROUGHT A MUCH-NEEDED SERVICE TO THE AREA AND IS CHANGING THE LIVES OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN. EMMA SAGER - PHOTOS BY GARY GUINIGUNDO
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our years ago, Helping Hands Pediatric Day Health Center was established to service medically fragile children in the Delta. Barbie Clark, Registered Nurse and owner of Helping Hands, realized that this was a service that the children of our state needed. At the time of its opening, there was only one other care center for children in the state, and it was all the way in Baton Rouge. These children at Helping Hands are often born pre-term with genetic disorders, seizure disorders, cardiac disorders and other types of pre-existing conditions. The children need skilled nursing and multiple kinds of therapies throughout the day, so Helping Hands is comparable to a nursing home during the day for children. Helping Hands’ mission is to save the lives of these children. Clark had the idea to establish Helping Hands while she was briefly living in Pensacola, FL. During her job search, she stumbled upon an ad for a registered
nurse staff position at a children’s care center. She said that she worked over there for two years, and it was the best job that she ever had. When she had the opportunity to move back to Louisiana, Clark recognized that our state did not have a care center for medically fragile children in Northeast Louisiana. “I knew that I wanted to bring this back to Louisiana, and I established Helping Hands in Monroe since I am from here,” Clark said. “Now we have spread everywhere.” Care centers for children are state regulated programs, so the state in which these centers open must have the regulations that meet the qualifications to create a program like this. The state legislature has to vote on these programs and adopt a set of rules and regulations in which they are mandated. From there, they must go in and write a Policy and Procedure manual and follow the state’s rules. Clark and her family immediately began working away at a Policy and Procedure manual to meet the Louisiana regulations.
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Staff member, Sharon caring for one of the children
“So we are licensed by each state’s Department of Health and Hospitals, so it is not really easy,” Clark said. “We have some boarding states that are working on getting their regulations to open care centers for children.” Clark and her family have sister companies as far as Shreveport, LA to Jackson, MS. Collectively, Clark and her family own four care centers for children and are part owners of three others. They have also helped other care centers in Louisiana and Mississippi. Today, there are 22 children’s care centers in Louisiana and 12 in Mississippi. Clark said that she and her administrator, Ginger McBride, held the hands of eight of the facilities in Mississippi to obtain their licenses and become established. Clark is also a part owner of the care center in South Haven, MS. For a child to be eligible for the care center, they must have a need for skilled nursing care. Helping Hands is an alternative to one-on-one nurse in the home of the child. Helping Hand’s is a physician ordered industry, so the child’s doctor
must write an order for the facility to be able to care for that child. This doctor will write up a prior authorization after extensive investigation with the family. In that prior authorization, it lists all the child’s medical issues. It can be issues that are cardiac, respiratory cardiac, genetic disorders or even all of them together. “We have some children that suffer from seizure disorders, spasms, heart conditions, and we have a child with multiple heart conditions that requires close monitoring,” Kim Little said. “We have children with feeding tubes that feed them through their feeding tube since they cannot eat by mouth.” Also, there are an array of diagnoses that can qualify a child to need care at Helping Hands which includes needing wound care, a tracheostomy, a gastrostomy tube and more. However, the state puts out a list of diagnoses and skilled nursing interventions that would qualify a child for Helping Hands care. So, not every child is eligible for the facility. They must have a certain needs and in-
surance has to give prior authorization, just like the doctor has to do, too. “We write down the list of medical needs for the child and send it off to their insurance,” Clark said. “It is up to their insurance company to determine if they meet the right qualifications.” Each day upon arrival, the child is signed into the center and then they go to their nurse for the day. The nurse will do a head to toe assessment of the child when they first arrive in the morning. The nurse will open their nurse’s note to ensure all the child’s conditions authorized by the child’s physician have been cared for during the initial assessment of the day. From there, the child will receive a mid-morning snack and then are off to their therapies for the day. Some children only need one type of therapy just one time a day, and others need multiple therapies throughout the entire day. These therapies include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. “Here, they get socialization and all of their therapies along with curriculum
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Barbie Clark and Ginger McBride
and things of that nature,” Clark said. By the time the therapy sessions are over, it is about lunch time for the children. The children are fed through a feeding tube or a lunch that the nurse has prepared for them. Following lunch, the children have quiet time as an opportunity to nap and rest. When they get up, the child might have more therapy, a little curriculum, or play time. Curriculum is done on a one-on-one basis so that child can get specialized attention from their teacher. They also always have arts and crafts for the children. Some children are blind or deaf and are not be able to do theircraft. “If a child cannot complete their weekly craft on their own, the teacher will do it for them, or we adapt our curriculum to meet their certain need,” Clark said. “I love my kids back there.” When a child is under the age of 3, Helping Hands will provide a special needs curriculum. Once they reach the age of 4, that child can potentially go into the school system, it just depends on that specific child’s medical needs. Helping
Hands works closely with the school system to ensure each child receives the right education and curriculum. The school system will often send out special instructors to come into the care center and that teacher does their special curriculum with the children. Helping Hands will care for a child up until they are 21years-old. “We like to get them early and just hammer them with multi-disciplinary approach,” Clark said. “So our goal is not to keep them until they are 21, but to see them meet all of these milestones and enter society or a regular school system.” Clark explained that Helping Hands prides itself in being a very family-oriented organization. For the staff, they offer health insurance, good paid time-off and other supplemental company paid insurances to ensure they have ability to spend time with and support their families. For the parents, the organization keeps close contact with the parents of the child and how their child is doing
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while they are cared for at Helping Hands. Each parent receives a report when they pick up their child that says, “What I Did Today.” In the report, the parents are informed of any issues with the child, such as not eating the way they should or possibly spitting up their medicine. If something new is going on with the patient, such as a new G-Tube or a wound, then they counsel the parent on how to care for this new situation. Clark explained that Helping Hands does parent education quite often. “We see children walk and talk, and their parents thought that they would never walk and talk,” Clark said. Many families do not have the resources to transport their child to Helping Hands, so the organization provides a transport service for those children and their families. Helping Hands has a van and two buses for this service, and they are constantly on the road picking up the kids. Many of the children attend a regular school system for half of a day, and then the Helping Hands van or bus
Staff member, Kim talking to one of the children
will bring the children to the organization. The Helping Hands transportation service helps the child’s parents remove the burden on the parents to find a way to get their child to the care center that they need. “We have an exceptional story from Shreveport where we cared for a little girl for almost three years while her mom went back to nursing school,” Clark said. “She got her registered nurse degree and she now works for us and it is wonderful.” Helping Hands likes to remain active in the community and are constantly advocating for the program. Not only do they advocate for their own organization, but also other programs that involve children with special needs, and adults with special needs, too. Clark explained that they always participate in local 5ks and sponsor everything that comes along. In Jackson, there is a walk called “Strides for Seizures” that the organization likes to participate in. In addition, Helping Hands also sponsors any-
thing that comes along. “We sponsor one baseball team, one tball team for one of our employees,” Clark said. “We also sponsor and are big supporters of Dancing with the Stars.” Sometimes these parents and care givers must devote their life to helping their fragile child, and Helping Hands allows those parents to have a well-deserved break. That is where Helping Hands steps in. Not only does the children’s care center help the kids reach their full potential, but it also allows their care givers to return to their own lives to continue their education or work. The mission of Helping Hands is to save the lives of these children, but to also save the lives of the entire family. To contact Helping Hands Pediatric Day Health Center, visit their office at 1703 Lamy Lane in Monroe or call 318-3231930 to help your child achieve the impossible! “This is what we do,” Clark said. “We love our children, and they are just as normal as everyone else.”
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HOLYFIELD PLANTS FOR TOMORROW
Writer’s Note: When I was thinking about how I might develop this profile, I did as I often do: I read through some quotes that I thought might be relevant. While doing that, I ran across this one by St. Basil: “A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” There could hardly be a better description of the way Joe Holyfield lives his life. Make no mistake --- Holyfield is a complex fellow, one who is anything but a quick study. His work (both through his career and through his volunteerism) impacts many people in countless ways --- some known, but many without fanfare or notice. He is resourceful, responsible, respected, and admired, but he is more than these. He is also humble. Generations to come will benefit from the deeds that this fellow has done. In most cases, they won’t even know who was responsible. No matter. That’s the way Holyfield prefers it. GP
oe Holyfield is recognized as a very successful man who is honest and hardworking. His reputation is that of an astute businessman whose companies, Holyfield Construction, Holyfield Inc., and Holyfield Assets design, build and develop superior structures and properties. Some people know Holyfield for his vision as a developer of new and innovative housing. Others know him for his sense of civic responsibility that is evidenced by his work with the Ouachita Business Alliance (OBA), the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, ARCO, the Children’s Museum, the Ouachita Economic Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity, and the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, among others. What is the secret to Holyfield’s success and unselfish nature? It is not that he was
born to established wealth or that he was exceptionally gifted. Instead, it is because he learned early the value of hard work and a determined spirit, the importance of family and teamwork, and the rewards that come not so much from material things as from the spiritual sense of well-being that comes from giving back to his community. Family and Faith . . . Holyfield’s parents set excellent examples for Joe and his nine siblings (there were eight boys and two girls). They had little in terms of traditional wealth, but the family was rich in other ways. The children learned early that they had a role in the family’s success. Aside from their regular chores, they picked cotton when that seasonal work was available, and helped to raise the family’s food. Their mother was known for her green thumb and that meant that they always had enough. Holyfield’s father worked at several dairies in-
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Joe Holyfield speaking at the Ouachita Green luncheon
cluding McDonalds in Bosco and LTI in Monroe. His mother was a fulltime homemaker, caring for her family and occasionally sitting with patients at local hospitals at night to earn some additional money. Grounding the family was its Christian faith. Holyfield’s father and mother were founders of the Fellowship Baptist Church, a small church located in the Buckhorn Bend area in south Monroe. Plans for that church were developed at the family’s kitchen table. During Holyfield’s childhood, the family lived south of Monroe. They lived in three small houses, each one really too small for the large family but adequate. Logtown School provided an education during the elementary years, and then Ouachita Junior
High and Ouachita High School provided the next. Holyfield played football and ran track during his high school years. He was good enough at football to be awarded a scholarship to play for Louisiana Tech University, but he turned it down. Holyfield’s father’s health was not good, and his serious illness made Joe feel the need to remain closer to home. He stayed in Monroe and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana University). Gaining Experience . . . When he was twelve years old, Holyfield had his first job bagging groceries at Hensley’s Grocery. To this he added a paper route, and later drove a school bus for the Ouachita Parish School System. While in college, he began doing some construction
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work and realized that he both liked it and was pretty good at it. In 1974, he started his own building construction business and began doing small projects. After building some camps on Lake Darbonne, Holyfield began building homes. “It was a big challenge to start a construction company from scratch,” Holyfield remembers. “At the time Monroe was a small community where several quality, family-owned construction companies had been established for many years.” Over the years, Holyfield’s company grew along with his experience. He began to do commercial work, including major hospital remodels, office buildings, banks, retail spaces, among others. Among his clients was the James Moore family for whom his
“ I’ve learned to respect people with developmental disabilities, and through them I’ve learned what can be accomplished in spite of great hardships.” JOE HOLYFIELD
company built a number of Shell convenience stores. It was about this time that Holyfield began to add landscaping to each project. In addition, his team began designing and building truly high-end custom homes, many of which are among the most impressive in the region. Several of his custom homes have been featured in Southern Living. No matter how challenging a client’s request might be, Holyfield and his team tackled it. One client wanted to incorporate exquisite woodwork handcrafted in India, her home country. Holyfield worked carefully with the craftsmen, and the result is a stunning residence that combines the Indian culture with American conveniences. The newly-developed Tower Drive area features attractive business buildings, the majority of which have been designed and built by Holyfield. In addition, there is a large, upscale apartment complex Holyfield is developing on Highway 165 North near CenturyLink and the War Veterans’ Home. Named “The Reserve” it will add much-needed luxury apartments to the regional housing market. In addition to this development, Holyfield has a 300-lot upscale housing development called Egret Landing. Located behind CenturyLink, the architectural guidelines have resulted in homes and landscape that reflect the quality and design for which Holyfield’s companies are known. He’s set the standard and approves the plans, but the homes in this subdivision are being built by other builders. A Volunteer’s Heart . . . As his company grew, Holyfield was thankful for his blessings and felt keenly the responsibility to give something back to the community that had given him and his family so much. He was particularly drawn to volunteer for non-profit groups. “I’ve learned how to give back to the community,” Holyfield says. “I’ve learned to respect people with developmental disabilities, and through them I’ve learned what can be accomplished in spite of great hardships. I’ve learned that when many work together for a goal, much can be accomplished.” DELTA STYL E MAGA ZIN E | AU G U S T 2017 | 71
ULM president Nick Bruno and Joe Holyfield both participated in an extensive OBA tour of flooded regions within the City and parish soon after the historic flooding in 2016.
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Often his volunteer work and business projects overlapped. Recognizing the importance of entryway signage with landscaping to distinguish areas, Holyfield worked with the Monroe Garden Club to build the “Welcome to Monroe” sign on I-20 near Pecanland Mall. He also designed and built signs for the entrances to River Oaks Subdivision and Pargoud Landing. Holyfield set the standard for landscape design through his work in the Tower Drive area between Oliver Road and Lamy Lane. He designed the landscaping for this entire corridor, and by doing so created a visual element that unified the entire space. About fifteen years ago, Holyfield worked with Vickie Krutzer and others to design a “treescape” on I-20 from Wells Road to Garrett Road. Those trees marked Holyfield’s first foray into highway landscaping, but it would not be his last. His opportunity to make a major commitment to this facet of landscaping came through his affiliation with OBA. “We’ve needed the OBA for years, and it’s taken a number of committed community leaders to make this all happen,” Holyfield explains. “About twenty of us have met nearly every Monday morning over the past three years. The group is incredibly committed to making our community and region the best that they can be.” Trees and Landscaping. . . Through OBA, Holyfield helped form a public-private partnership to address beautification and litter abatement in Ouachita Parish. Ouachita Parish Police Juror Pat Moore co-chaired the OBA beautification committee and became an invaluable asset to the effort. Without the aid of grants, the partnership set about going through the dozens of steps necessary to make their plans become reality. They set three primary goals: 1) to clean the by-ways in order to make the area more attractive to prospective employees for major employers in the area; 2) to demonstrate to the community what could be accomplished when everyone worked together without regard to “turf” or artificial boundaries; and 3) to give the public a vision for combating litter and embracing beautification long-term. First they coordinated a regular litter pick-up schedule with the mowing so that the mowers wouldn’t be chopping up bits of litter and strewing them in the grass ironically creating more litter. Then they began making plans to use trees and landscaped “endcaps” located at each interchange between Ouachita Christian School and Old Sterlington Road to make the highway more attractive. They realized that to do this they would need private participation. Holyfield approached CenturyLink CEO
Glen Post, explained the project, and requested help. Post committed $100,000 to the project. Sheriff Jay Russell and the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department were able to put together an extra litter crew with funding from the Ouachita Parish Police Jury for litter abatement on both Highway 165 North and I-20. “About a dozen additional companies along Highway 165 helped us with the funding, in many instances doubling or tripling what we had asked them for,” Holyfield says. “Bennie Evans of the Chevron / U Pack It stores, Dan Robertson of Robertson Produce, and several others made critical contributions when we needed them most.” Another important step in the process was getting the necessary permits to do the project. While getting those wasn’t particularly challenging, it was time-consuming. David Sorrell with Holyfield Construction and Marshall Hill with the Louisiana Department of Transportation helped facilitate the process. When all was finally in place recently, the partnership planted 315 Shumard Red Oak trees on Highway 165 North. In addition, sixteen endcaps were planted with drought-tolerant plants to minimize their maintenance. Joe Holyfield and George Cummings, two of the original founding members of the Ouachita Business The key players with Holyfield Con- Alliance, enjoy coffee and conversation prior to an OBA meeting. struction in the effort were Sheriff Jay Russell and the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Department, the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, velop successful lives and careers. Son like to explore the world, perhaps with trips the City of Monroe, David Sorrell, and the Chris is a partner in the construction com- to Europe, Australia, and Canada. Even so, a crew of men dedicated to working every pany as well as in a number of the other de- restful “retirement” isn’t in his vocabulary. weekend on maintenance --- picking up lit- velopment projects. Daughter Lisa is a part- Instead he hopes to continue doing developter, mowing, weed-eating, and watering the ner in the development company and helps ment, homebuilding and design, and beautiplants. with many of the Holyfield properties. They fication for as long as he possibly can. Always a Family Affair . . . have presented their parents with three As he did with his own children, HolyAlthough both Holygranddaughters (Savan- field continues to encourage young people field and his wife, Linda, nah, Alissa, and Made- today to pursue a career in the construction graduated from Ouachi- “I have loved being leine), one grandson industry. Even though there are more chalta Parish High School, (Christopher), and one lenges today --- increased regulations and they did not begin dating a father and being a great-grandson (Sam). costs associated with compliance --- there until college. They mar“I have loved being a are compensations. The technology revoluried quite young (both grandfather and father,” Holyfield says tion has been a boon with smart phones and were only 20) and began great-grandfather with a smile. “And being computers making nearly everything and building their careers a grandfather and great- everyone more productive. immediately after. His is even better!” grandfather is even betJoe Holyfield has spent his life doing was in construction and ter!” good deeds, making friends, and showing hers was in health care. JOE HOLYFIELD When asked who --- kindness to others. The remarkable trees Today she is a hospital living or dead --- he that he has just helped to plant in our comadministrator, having would like to have lunch munity will begin bearing a kind of fruit begun as a nurse and then worked hard to with and what he would want to discuss, Ho- soon as their beauty reminds people that a develop the skills necessary for administra- lyfield’s answer reflects his love of family. litter-free landscape is well worth preservtion. “I would love the opportunity to have ing. “Both of us have worked extremely hard lunch with my parents, now dead,” he says. And occasionally among those trees, we throughout the years developing our ca- “I would ask them all of those things that I may catch a glimpse of Holyfield walking reers, “ Holyfield says. wish I had asked them when they were alive. there --- not seeking recognition, but being The Holyfields have two very successful They were incredible role-models.” thankful that ideas can become reality. Hochildren, a son and a daughter. Both are inOn the Drawing Board . . . lyfield has spent a lifetime putting down volved in the family business. It isn’t surWhat does the future hold for Holyfield? roots of all kinds in our community. We --prising that the Holyfield children have fol- More of the same is his hope --- at least for and future generations --- will be thankful lowed in their father’s footsteps. His, and the next decade. After that? Traveling with that he did. Linda’s, examples have helped them to de- Linda and friends is high on his list. He’d
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Experience Hawaii in
NEVER EVER--like zilch, zip, nada-- in my 35 years as a travel agent--have I ever heard of any client of ours at Monroe Travel Service say they did not want to get off the plane when they arrived at their destination, but, honestly, that is exactly how local traveler Deanie Baker said she felt when she arrived in Honolulu a couple weeks ago. "I really liked being waited on and, besides, I wanted one more mai tai," she laughed. "Flying first class on Delta's new 330 is the only way to go to Hawaii--or anywhere, for sure. Plus, it is even better when you can do it using free frequent flyer miles!" To make sure Deanie's birthday trip with husband, Tom, and granddaughters Jane and Claire Campbell, happened accordingly, we did reserve their frequent flyer free seats and the two bedroom family suite on Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America almost a year in advance. (Travel Agent Advice: airline reservation systems operate on a 330 day advance booking cycle. For free seats to highly desirable destinations like Hawaii, it is wise to act as soon as inventory availability opens like we did!)
Jane in First Class
Check out Jane's smiling face as she settles in for the 11 hour flight from Atlanta on Delta's new 330! In addition to all that leg room and seat space, which not only offers wiggle room but a wonderful flat bed recline, each passenger has his very own 15 inch Audio/Video screen with a huge amount of choices (Deanie said she watched 4 movies on the flight over), as well as personal noise cancelling headphones. You have to admit, this gives a whole new meaning to first class comfort, doesn't it? Before boarding their 7 day cruise on the Pride of America in Honolulu, a couple of days to relax, get adjusted to the time differential, and enjoy the golden beaches of Waikiki had been planned by the grandparents for the girls. According to Deanie, the girls would need to rest up for their cruise, because "Tom had pre-reserved every possible shore excursion possible on each of the 4 island stops the ship was going to make. He did not want them to miss a thing, while, she, on the other hand, had hoped to use the time to relax and maybe enjoy a spa or two on the ship!" "We found the Pride of America to be a perfect way to enjoy the islands," wrote Tom in his post-cruise email, "and we were certainly pleasantly surprised how much we liked the ship. The family suite was very conducive to our personal needs, and a defi-
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nite plus. We ended up spending more time in our room than we had ever imagined simply because LSU was playing most afternoons in the College Baseball World Series during that week." "We were also very impressed with the service and particularly enjoyed the ship's specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's Steakhouse, where Claire discovered she could-- and would-- order the steak filet at every meal--even breakfast! Steak and chocolate desserts became her thing," continued Tom, "but, I suppose, if you asked the girls their most favorite thing from the entire cruise experience, I think they would say it was having unlimited access to ice cream 24 hours a day!" "Although the water was about 70 degrees and much cooler than we had expected the Pacific to be for our shipboard excursion dubbed Maui Sail and Snorkel, Claire and I had a great time. For the first 30 minutes or so of the excursion,we sailed along with a pod of spinner dolphins, then, for the next hour,we experienced a free dive of about 25 feet to the ocean floor. It was amazing because of the beautiful coral and the colorful fish, and our fun snorkel guide." "Jane joined us for a Zodiac Snorkel excursion in Hawaii. This adventure involved taking a zodiac raft and exploring the shores of the Big Island before ending up at
a beautiful inlet, where a monument for Captain John Cook, the British explorer who discovered the islands of Kauai and Hawaii in 1778, has been resurrected. With so much marine life, we found it to be a perfect place for snorkeling. In fact, we were the last ones to get back in the zodiac because we were having such a good time. We definitely got our money's worth here!" "Another fantastic highlight on Maui that we all enjoyed was our lunch stop at Mama's Fish House Restaurant during one of the two days our ship spent docked on the island.. You must tell all your travelers to Maui that it is simply not to be missed. The setting is amazing, and every day, they feature the catch of the day and name it in honor of the local fishermen who caught it. Lunch here was another good time in paradise. "OK, Tom, you have to tell me, since this whole trip was planned around Deanie's birthday, what exactly did you and the girls do on her bigday," I asked. "Oh, that was easy. The ship literally took care of everything. The only thing I did was make early dinner reservations at Little Italy, one of the alternative specialty restaurants on the Pride of America. Because you had told me that sailing the Na Pali Coast of Kauai was going to possibly be one of the most spectacular scenery days of the cruise, it worked out perfectly." "The meal was excellent, then, we enjoyed Deanie's birthday with a special cake provided by the ship's chef while cruising past Kauai's wild rugged beauty right before sunset! There was no need for me to do anything; there was no way I could ever top Mother Nature's really big show outside our ship's window! Kauai's beauty was our final send-off to our great week in paradise." "Don't you think we need to start making plans to celebrate Deanie's birthday next June? " I asked. "We've been thinking about that, too. Maybe a river cruise in Europe or the Rocky Mountaineer train trip in Canada—as long as Delta's 330 can take us there!" I had to smile. I was remembering how a
long long time ago, flying used to be a fun part of every vacation experiences. Even if it is only for those traveling in first class, it warmed my heart to know someone gets to enjoy it again! If you are thinking a cruise around the islands of Hawaii is a great way to celebrate life's special moments, please contact Monroe Travel Service, 1908 Glenmar.. For 7 days, the ship becomes your home--no packing, unpacking or running to catch those inter-island flights, which can be expensive. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America sails every week from Honolulu, giving you the opportunity to discover four of Hawaii's islands. Of course, travelers with more time available — two weeks to be exact — can sail round trip from California, but when Norwegian cuts out the extra sea days and allows you more island time, why not do that. Besides, if you plan far enough in advance and have credit card or mileage points, we could look for first class seats on the 330, too! Paradise awaits, come by Monroe Travel Service or call us at 323 3465 about our special prices or for a free brochure. We'd really love to send you away .............................
Jane and Claire at the ship
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Exploring more of the Caribbean with Jennifer Schmeer
The Caribbean is a perfect place to explore in the summer and driving around Turks & Caicos is a dream come true! Inspired by Hemingway, I am on a mission to explore. I am fortunate to have Jay from Island Paradise driving us around the island and serving as our personal tour guide. Heading further down on Grace Bay, I decide to spend some time at Seven Stars Resort located directly on Grace Bay. I was fortunate to spend time at Seven Stars on one of my previous trips, but it was only during the day. Eager to return to experience all that this resort has to offer, we arrive with eyes wide open. Driving through the magnificent entrance, I notice the lush grounds and looking forward to our arrival.
View from the balcony
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The resort sits on the white sandy beach of Grace Bay with the marine preserve of Princess Alexandra National Park just a few strokes away. With tennis courts, water sports, world-class spa and dinning at Seven restaurant with its island-inspired gourmet experiences, there is really very little reason to leave this resort at this time. Check-in is easy with a refreshing drink. We are personally welcomed and gently guided to our suite in the Alhena tower sitting perfectly on Grace Bay. As soon as we walk into our bright suite, you see the beautiful ocean just off the balcony. The suite is close to 2000 sq. ft. with a full kitchen with granite countertops, grand salon, powder room, full sized washer and dryer and a balcony that spans from the dining room to the bedroom. My personal favorite; a deep soaking tub in a marble bathroom just a few steps away from the bedroom resides waiting for me. A personalized note on the counter from the Resort Manager welcomes us to the resort. The suite is spacious and bright with a
Jennifer's daughter enjoying the Caribbean
perfect view and location. We are stoked to be here! We settle into our suite and order room service which arrives within 15 minutes and sets up our lunch on the balcony. Conch fritters and shrimp cocktails are enjoyed from the balcony with one of the most beautiful views of white sand and the bright, turquoise waters of Grace Bay. Grace Bay… After lunch and relaxing, we head down the elevator and a few steps to Grace Bay. I cannot wait to get into the calm waters. We play around in the water and my daughter decides to show me all of the different choke holds she has learned in her new jiu jitsu class while in the water. Splashing around and tapping out has never been so much fun! The Caribbean sun warms up my body as I see that summer tan show up. We relax on Grace Bay and enjoy cool drinks from The Deck, which offers an island-inspired light menu and a range of cocktails and local brews. I love the pool area at Seven that overlooks Grace Bay with its private cabanas and jacuzzi hot tubs lined up beside the white picket fence with a perfect view. It is an ideal setup with attentive service. After a little bit of paddle boarding and sunbathing, we head back to our suite. Bubble baths make for a perfect evening relaxer before we head to dinner at Seven Restaurant. Seven… I am eager to return to Seven Restaurant since we had such a great time and culinary experience during our last trip. The ambiance of Seven stands out and it offers the island’s freshest seafood and steaks with a
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blend of international flavors. I feel grateful for being able to return and looking forward to having my pallet lifted once again. For starters, we try the Crab and Mahi Mahi Ceviche with avocado, cucumber and green apples. It is delightful and refreshing! Main course will include the Heritage Beef Tenderloin with corn, gold beets, veal sweetbreads, and jus for my daughter. I was impressed with her selection and glad to see her taste buds expanding. I will sample the South Caicos Snapper with cauliflower cous cous, curried madras oil, toasted pine nuts, and tzatziki. It is excellent, and it was exciting to try a popular, local dish. One should not skip desert while on holiday! With that being said, dessert brings tiramisu and pineapple upside down cake with mousse and sorbet. The service is impeccable, and the dinner exceeds my expectations! After a beautiful stroll back to our suite, we will spend the evening on our spacious balcony drinking chamomile tea and watching the Caribbean stars sparkle. Seven Stars Spaâ€Ś The next day, we awake refreshed and excited for the day. After a delicious com-
I love the pool area at Seven that overlooks Grace Bay with its private cabanas and jacuzzi hot tubs lined up beside the white picket fence with a perfect view.
plimentary breakfast at Seven, we head to the on-site spa that holds world-class treatments. My daughter has never experienced a massage before, so the staff arranged for a double massage for both of us, so that she would feel comfortable. Greeted with refreshing drinks and hand towels, we are escorted back to our private room for our massage. My masseuse is from the Philippians and performs a deep tissue massage that allowed me to melt into the massage table beneath me letting go of any tensions stored in my body. My daughterâ€™s masseuse is from Jamaica and shares her Swedish techniques for
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her first massage. The low lights and soothing music add for the perfect back drop. It id exciting for me to be with her for her first massage. Maybe when I am old and senile; she will return the favor. After our spa experience, we head over to the Gourmet Market on-site and browse through the selection of sandwiches and snacks. We pick up a couple of treats and head back to our suite. Back in our suite, my daughter is ready for lunch, but prefers to stay in. We order room service and in less than 15 minutes arrive with our lunch and sets up on the balcony. I have never seen such speedy service in regards to room service. There is no waiting at Seven and the service is on point! After bubble baths, we enjoy a wonderful lunch on the balcony with chicken wings, pizza, cheese cake, and the ever requested affogato. I do allow my teenager to order room service, so the meals scream teenager and I love it! Lunch will be followed with more relaxing and then a game of tennis. The evening will include more time on the balcony while my daughter draws masterpieces from the poster bed. This trip is all about slowing
Suite at Seven Resorts
down; being still for a moment. It is so easy to relax at Seven Stars and it is hard to leave our bright, spacious suite. The views from our balcony are captivating and the service makes everything seem so effortless. The lunches on the balcony are priceless and being able to spend quality time with my daughter while the rest of the world noise turned down; memorable. I manage to balance our time between lounging on the balcony, soaking in the deep tub and splashing in the ocean. The culinary experiences once again lift our pallets and several first-time experiences for this trip. Couple of days goes by of total pampering and luxurious relaxation and it is time to go and explore some more of the Caribbean. I heard about this small, private island with a pirate history, so we are off to find it. Be sure to pick up next issue with some exciting pirate tales! Check out Seven Stars Resort, info at Sevenstarsgracebay.com. While there, I highly recommend Island Paradise Taxi & Tours, contact: Islandparadisetaxiandtours@gmail.com. JENNIFER SCHMEER
Hot tub with views of the shoreline
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TWO WITH A VIEW TARA AMBROSE PHOTOS BY: GARY GUINIGUNDO
uilt in 1898, the building that houses Restaurant Cotton and the newly opened Planters’ Oyster Bar was one of only two buildings to withstand the great fire of the time. Gaining its name from the cotton exchange that the structure started out as, Planters’ actually also gained its name from the past as well. Wherein Cotton is in the location of the grand cotton exchange, Planters’ was actually the upstairs portion of the exchange, where farmers would come to gather their seeds for their planting prior to the growing season, and later the harvest. Fast forward a century, plus almost two decades, and this beautiful building is home to not one but two of Ouachita Parish’s premiere restaurants, both cultivated by Executive Chef, Jack Melson and overseen by Director of Operations (or General Manager), Bo Smith. Raised in South Carolina, Melson began his career in his grandmother’s kitchen at a tender age and later went on to work in such esteemed restaurants as the Biltmore Steakhouse, various locations around Charleston, numerous large hotels, as well as for Disney. Melson later moved to Los Angeles where he worked at the Beverly Hilton, and later moved to the Sunset Strip sharpening his knives
Bo Smith & Chef Jack Melson
and wit at the House of Blues. Melson holds at least 20 companies and over 40 kitchens under his culinary belt, so there is no surprise why owner, Jay Howell would have selected Melson to be at the helm of his culinary staff for both of his restaurants. “Where there are restaurants who cater to a more formal venue, and those who cater to a less formal attire, Cotton and Planters’ are places anyone can come to,” Bo Smith relates. “You can come to Cotton or Planters’ in any attire, whether it be yoga pants after your work out, jeans and a tshirt for casual drinks with friends, or those who are just leaving the office after a long day, both restaurants
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have price points that will meet virtually any budget,” Smith states. But, the mastermind behind these two wonderfully different and sublimely refined eateries is none other than Jay Howell himself. “Cotton and Planters are both Jay’s vision and part of my job has been to bring back the original recipes and bring them back up to Jay’s original standards,” Melson says with almost an utter firmness in his voice. Commanding a brigade of 22 in the kitchen, Melson has his plate full, as does Smith with approximately 24 at the front of the house. “Cotton and Planters’ are an experience, not just a place to dine,” and I couldn’t agree with either of them more. Serving patrons with daily menu specials, a brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s which pay tribute to 4-5 different styles of eggs benedict, and dinner for
those guests who would just like a night out with Cotton’s outstanding certified angus beef steaks or their delectable seared red fish, Chef Jack Melson certainly has the dish one is craving. Now, for those in the midst who have yet to try a fabulous eggs benedict, this is a dish made up of two toasted halves of an English muffin (though in recent years other breads have been known to be substituted), some type of meat option (traditionally Canadian bacon in years of old), a poached egg and lovingly adorned with a velvety rich hollandaise sauce, although I’m certain Restaurant Cotton and Chef Jack Melson have placed a creative twist or two on this century old dish. Pacing myself up the beautiful historical staircase, I couldn’t wait to view Planters’ Oyster Bar, and with each creak
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of the floor boards, the history of this building seems to exude itself. To the far left of the staircase, one will notice “The Edison Room”, which is gleefully named after all the Edison style bulbs dangling from the boards in the ceiling, which give off quite the unique glow for a small gathering of friends, private dinner party, luncheon meeting or the like. Located a few feet away is the Bourbon Room, not quite as large as the Edison Room, but still full of character nonetheless, and, straight across from the opening of the staircase, The Exchange is located. Moving down the hall, across the aged wood that must have seen the soles of millions of feet since it’s construction, we find one of the newest best kept secrets in Monroe, Louisiana – Planters’ Oyster Bar. Tall tables adorn this space, with rustic
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lighting scattered across the room and a large chalk style billboard prominently displayed on the wall. The header reads simply “The Planters”. Scrolling down the list of the tantalizing items contained thereon, I can’t help but notice the variety of ways they serve their oyster dishes, nor the fact that they serve BRICK OVEN STYLE PIZZA! Yes, from a Mexican pizza, to the “Whole Hog”, comprised of pepperoni, country ham, bacon, andouille sausage and mozzarella cheese, there is most certainly a fabulous culinary experience awaiting those who journey up the steps to Planters. But the pizzas were not my “draw” to Planters, it was their oysters! Chef Melson shared some of their fresh raw gulf oysters, which can be enjoyed in their most earthy way with a side of crackers and an offering
fghfghfghstaurant Cotton 101 North Grand Street Monroe, LA 71201 Phone: (318) 325-0818 Website: www.restaurantcotton.com Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday- Saturday -11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m Brunch: Sunday – 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Dinner: Monday – Thursday – 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; and Friday -Saturday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Planters Oyster Bar 101 North Grand Street, 2nd Floor Monroe, LA 71201 Phone: (318) 325-0818 Hours of Operation: Closed on Monday Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday – 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Friday – Saturday – 3:00 p.m. until Midnight Sunday: 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
of house-made cocktail sauce; or, one may opt to indulge in a more upscale take on the saltwater bivalve molluscs. With three very prominent options, one may dive into such selections as: The Twain – Comprised of roasted oysters on the half shell, adorned with garlic, herbed butter and parmesan cheese; The Hemmingway – A merriment of roasted oysters, pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, jalapenos and bacon; and, The Steinbeck – Started with a New Orleans style bar-b-que, these oysters are adorned also with Reggiano cheese as an added touch. From the French oistre, the Latin ostrea, the feminine form of ostreum, which is the Latin translation from the Greek osteron – “oyster”, Planters certainly knows how to prepare them. Wishing to whet your whistle before you journey back down?
Well, Planters has a drink that was given the prestigious accolade of becoming the Southern Choice Award Winner for Beverage Magazine - The Mexican Mule! “This drink is infused with a special blend of cilantro and jalapenos blended with other ingredients and served in the traditional copper mug,” Bo Smith adds. At the end of the day, and the end of our visit, there was one thing that was certainly clear – whether you prefer a more traditional sit-down style meal at Restaurant Cotton, or if you’d like to enjoy the view over the Ouachita River on the patio at Planters, there are two with a view waiting for you! For more photographs of this restaurant and many more, follow Tara’s Taste of the Town on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TarasTasteOfTheTown.com .
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212 WALNUT STREET MONROE, LA 71201 (318) 323-3461 WWW.MONROE.ORG Find us on Facebook!
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Rusty Marsh (Maddie's papaw), Maddie Marsh in the middle, and Kevin Marsh (Maddie's Dad) on the right after a successful family turkey hunt
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TEACHING THE NEXT
GENERATION PASSING ON A LEGACY BY TAKING CHILDREN HUNTING AND FISHING TAYLOR HANCE & KRYSTLE MAHONEY
ne of the things I always think of when referring to children is the pure joy and laughter they experience during activities designed for fun. They truly experience the moment without outside interference or worry and enjoy pure, unadulterated emotion. That childlike experience is one of the reasons I love the sport of hunting and chase every single moment it brings. That moment, when the buck I have been after or the turkey Iâ€™ve been whispering sweet nothings to all morning appears, everything else in the world disappears. I enter into a state that is free of work week stressors, and it's the closest I will ever be again to that pure bliss that only a child knows. Combine the two, and that is why I believe taking a child hunting is the greatest experience a person can have during a hobby. Not only is it fun, but it teaches children important lessons and useful skills, gives them a healthy hobby, and helps to preserve hunting as a way of life for the future. Only about 6% of Americans hunt and our way of life is falsely portrayed and abused in so many ways. Teaching the next generation the truths of this great sport is of boundless importance. I will never forget the first time I took a child hunting. It was my own brother and he wasnâ€™t but a few years younger than me. I was given the responsibility of teaching him and supervising him though as any adult would a child.
Braxton Mahoney with his first buck at the Tensas NWR youth lottery hunt in December 2016
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Krystle Mahoney and Braxton Mahoney with Braxton's first buck at the Tensas NWR youth lottery hunt in December 2016
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Megan Vess on the left and Kylie McCrea on the right with 3 Rio Grande turkeys they harvested in Texas to complete their grand slams
When that deer stepped out and he harvested it with my help I knew that I would try to be a part of that experience as many times as I possibly could. I have been blessed to be a part of that experience many times since and hope to many more times in my lifetime. Two years ago, Krystle’s son, Braxton Mahoney, started hunting with us. It was a moment I had waited for since the day Krystle and I had started dating. I did not want to pressure and force him into hunting too early which can leave a child turned off by hunting for life. It started with just a couple short afternoon sits with the weather just right, the hunt hyped way up, and the iPad fully charged. We worked our way up to filling feeders, looking for tracks, and looking at trail camera pictures. Our hunts began to have 10-20 minute intervals where we put the iPad down and we “hunted really hard." Many times, I would try to see a deer first and then, without alerting him, tell him it was time to hunt hard giving him the opportunity to see the deer on his own and feel ex-
citement. I allowed Braxton to control the hunt and have fun without letting him quit on something we had started. I think I was ready for him to shoot before he was, but we had the perfect fitting gun for him so as long as he shot it comfortably, then the hunt would be safe and ethical. He was an absolute natural. The gun was ready, he was ready, and I was ready. Now all we needed was any legal deer to come out at a reasonable distance for a beginner. Luckily with plenty of light left, a big doe stepped out. As I handed the gun to Braxton, I could literally feel our two-man ladder stand shaking from both of us being so excited. I cocked the hammer, put our earplugs in, and gave him the thumbs up. I heard the deer crash before the percussion of his gun had dissipated. I knew where the deer was lying, but we had plenty of light so we were able to find blood at the point of impact and I let him track his own deer with me giving him pointers along the way. I’ll never forget his praying eyes asking me if that was his
deer when we found her, not sure if he could celebrate and then both of our emotions released when I answered with a thundering "YES" that echoed through the woods. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. The next season, he was fortunate enough to draw a coveted youth lottery hunt on the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge in a closed area that is only hunted by a select few youth and disabled hunters. We had practiced, and he was ready. I tossed and turned full of excitement the night before while he slept like a baby. He had a morning and evening hunt to attempt to fill a buck and doe tag. We climbed into the blind with his guide expecting to be swarming with deer immediately, but as the sun rose and the gun shots fired off like roosters crowing we saw nothing. As fast as the sun rose, my eye lids fell, and without my realizing it, I had dozed off only to be woken up a short time later by fast talk and excitement. I quickly focused my eyes on what was a nice
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Braxton "hunting hard"
Kylie McCrea with a turkey she successfully stalked with a decoy
buck well within shooting distance and Braxton had done the same. He squeezed the trigger, and we were left to wonder and wait. After a few stressful minutes, we found blood, and the guide chose to go get a dog to help recover his buck. That is where I handed the adventure off to his mother knowing he was in just as good of hands with her expertise. A short while later, I received a picture confirmation of what is now an 8point buck that hangs on our wall killed by Mr. Braxton Mahoney. It could not have worked out any more perfect as Krystle hunted with him that evening as he filled his doe tag, and we met as a family to take a celebratory ride to the meat processor so that we could enjoy his harvest many more evenings as a family around the dinner table. For his past birthday, Braxton wanted a bow and he has turned out to be a natural. He has competed in multiple 3D archery tournaments with many first, second and third place finishes. We are in the process right now of getting his bow ready for him to at-
tempt to take his first deer with a bow. This season should be one to be remembered forever as we grow together as hunters. I hope that one day when he grows up and takes his first child hunting that he looks back on the memories he and I shared with a smile while he helps to create some of his own. Through this adventure with Whitetail Widow Makers, Krystle and I have not only met a lot of great adults, but we have also met some pretty incredible young people that are paving the way so that this great sport can live forever. This first young lady is pretty special in and out of the woods. She has a gigantic heart and appreciation for what this way of life is really all about. This is Kylie McCreaâ€™s story: "I'm Kylie McCrea. I got my first gun when I was 3-years-old, and I loved shooting it. When we lived in Colorado, my dad took me Elk hunting with him and boy that was fun. Ever since then I've been in love with the outdoors. I got my first Turkey when I was 5 and that's what really got me hooked on
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hunting. I then got my first deer a year later at 6 and that was one of the most amazing feelings. My dad took me hunting with him a lot, and like I said before, I just fell in love with it! Though I love to deer hunt, turkey hunting is my favorite! I love the challenge they give you when you spot and stalk a turkey with a decoy. It's the greatest feeling ever and knowing that you put in a lot of effort for such a beautiful animal makes all the work worth it. My all-time favorite convention is the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention, and this year, something amazing happened there. I met a girl named Megan Vess. She is a very inspirational 15-year-old who beat Leukemia at the age of 10, but was then diagnosed with stage four Glioblastoma terminal brain cancer. She has a passion for hunting and that is where it all started. We introduced her to many people and many companies helping to get a foundation started to complete her dream of a wild turkey single season grand slam. We wanted to help make that happen for her, so we set up a go fund me account and started raising money. It was a huge success. Our first trip was to Immokalee, Florida after our Osceola species of turkey at the Altair special forces training facility. We were able to tour an old prison and it was so exciting, but a little creepy. Next stop on our adventure was Lyles, Tennessee where we got our Eastern species with Mr. Jimmy Sites at his beautiful 5 Star Retreat. Next up was Lynch, Nebraska for the Merriam species. That hunt was incredible with North Star Trophy Outfitters. Last but not least we ended our dream adventure by taking three gorgeous Rio Grande turkeys in my home town of San Angelo, Texas with Mr. Jay Dickens. I now have four grand slams with two being single season. Megan fulfilled her dream and now has one Single Season Grand Slam! I had so much fun hunting with Megan. It was definitely an adventure I will never forget. There's something that I always say that can go for any hunter out there: It's not about the size or the inches, it's about the memories made along the way. I know that this hunt
with Megan is going to be one that I will never forget!" With the help of her loving father, this next little girl has already accomplished what many grown hunters will only dream of in their lifetime and she is only 8-yearsold. Krystle has gotten to know Maddie and Kevin Marsh over this past year. They are great ambassadors for this sport and this is Maddie’s story told by her father: "At one-month-old, my daughter, Maddie, was introduced to deer hunting, because it was our way of life here in central Indiana. At 2-years-old, I bought her a little bow at an archery tournament. I knew then I was going to have my hunting buddy. I figured she would let me know when she was ready to take on that role and I was perfectly fine with that. A few years later, I harvested the biggest buck of my life and when I got the deer home Maddie was super excited. She looked up at me and said, “Dad, when will I be big enough to hunt?” After a successful Fallow deer hunt, I knew Maddie was ready. Well the next day was the last day of gun season for deer back home. We headed to our farm and settled in our stand. About 30 minutes before dark, here the deer come, but light was getting low. Well, right at the last minute, the deer we wanted to harvest turned broad side and BOOM!!! After that, all I heard was “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Got it. Got it. Got it.” She had harvested her first whitetail. Next year’s youth season was the last weekend of September so I knew if it wasn't too hot, she was going to get another shot. This time we were after a buck. The first afternoon just like we had hoped the deer started coming out and one of them was a nice buck headed our way. It was on!!! The buck walked to 34 yards away and turned broadside. At this time, Maddie was really worked up. She had buck fever!!! Finally, the gun went off and the buck dropped. I knew it dropped but Maddie didn't because she still was looking through the scope. After 30 minutes we got down to find that Maddie had taken a 151-inch trophy buck. She was really hooked now. Around February of that year, I was laying on the couch and Maddie came up to me and asked, “Daddy, are you upset that you didn't get a deer? With all the hard work you put in, I feel bad for shooting a buck and you didn't.” I said, “Well, I work hard so Papaw, you and I can have the opportunity to shoot big bucks.” She said, “Well, if I work hard, then we all will be able to shoot bucks.” I teared up at that point and said, “Yes, honey. You're right.” All summer we worked on food plots, stands and checked cameras getting ready for the upcoming deer season. This journey with hunting has taught Maddie to work hard and you will get rewarded, but to keep getting rewarded you have to keep working hard. The only reason we are able to enjoy the life we do is because we have the support of my wife and her mother, Corie Marsh, as our rock solid foundation. In 2015, Maddie and I were asked to be on a hunting show called, “Hit Squad Out-
Krystle and Braxton hunting together
doors with Tim Sylvia." Tim and I have been friends for years and Maddie jumped at the opportunity when asked. Maddie is now 8 years old and has harvested multiple deer with many of those being big bucks. She has taken hogs, alligators and also some exotic animals. She is one species away from getting her wild turkey grand slam. She has dogs, cats, goats and we feed cattle on our little farm. Don't think of hunters as just killers. We are conservationists and truly love and care for animals. I believe Maddie is on her way to plowing a path for future hunters." I have said it many times and I will say it many more. This sport is about much more than just the harvesting of the animal. I hope it will continue to be a way of life for my lifetime and many more after mine. We must do our part though as hunters to preserve this way of life. If given the chance to take a child hunting, fishing, or anything else, please do and pass on the legacy.
Maddie Marsh with a giant alligator she killed in Florida.
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September 16 Forysthe Park Monroe Purchase a spot on the Wall of Hope to display a photo and name in honor or in memory of a loved one who is currently fighting or has fought breast cancer.
$100 $250 $500 $750
This year, skip the long lines McDonald’s Lifetime Reﬁlls Coffee Mug at packet pick-up and have your Komen/McDonald’s Umbrella Race packet Komen/McDonald’s Stadium Chair mailed to you!
$1000 McDonald’s Power Bank $1250 McDonald’s Bluetooth Speaker $1500 Komen/McDonald’s Cooler Bag $1775 Komen/McDonald’s Hoodie Sweatshirt
Go to our website to check out all the other great improvements we’ve made to Race!
Register today at KomenNorthLouisiana.org
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S A L O N & S PA
Maison Rivé NEW OWNER COMING SOON:
MASSAGE THERAPIST AND FACIALS
MICAH, SHEA, STEVE AND AMIEE
NAILTECH: LEIGH ANN
119 Commerce Street West Monroe LA | 318.362.1310 DELTA STYL E MAGA Z IN E | AU G U S T 2017 | 105
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KICKING family style IT UP Q & A with Martial Arts instructor, Bryan Mossey
Mixed martial arts offer so much to individuals from discipline, to fitness, to self-defense which is why where ever I would travel; I always arranged for us to work out with local fighters. When I found out that there was an academy here in Monroe, I was excited to check it out. It is not easy at times to find things for kids and teenagers to participate in and that provides so many benefits. Initially, I was interested in the self-defense classes for my daughter and was pleasantly surprised when she fell in love with jiu-jitsu. Speaking from a fan of Nick and Nate Diaz, I could not have been more delighted. We found the Mossey Academy of Martial Arts at the Monroe Athletic Club which brings us to Mr. Mossey. He is highly trained, but the way he guides and cares for his students really makes him stand out. His right hand is Christine, who is his partner in life, but also assists the students with signing up and guiding them through preparation for the classes. She can also kick butt herself; however, you will see her offering hugs to everyone throughout the classes. Both of them are really superior individuals with wonderful
COURTESY MOSSEY ACADEMY
COURTESY MOSSEY ACADEMY
hearts and willing to share their knowledge. One of their students, Brad Tyler, shared with me how jiujitsu changed his life by giving him something positive and constructive to do with his time and energy. It also gave him a way to help others to be healthier, confident and capable of defending themselves. Brad had this to say about Mr. Mossey. “He takes from multiple arts to teach a complete system of self-defense. He has learned from the best and it shows every night in class. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do to help every single
student inside and outside of the school.” We are so excited to be a part of something so positive and watching my daughter become more confident, healthier and stronger is priceless. I had a chance to find out more about Mr. Mossey and wanted to share. Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Monroe? I grew up on Oklahoma and then lived in Washington DC for 13 years. I transferred to Monroe for a work opportunity and
because I fell in love with a woman who lives here. What is your training background? Extensive. US Army Infantry, western boxing, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Aiki-Jujutsu, Shooto, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Freestyle Wrestling, Greco Roman Wrestling, Judo, Filipino Martial Arts, Silat from Indonesia, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, 3 gun and IDPA competition. Who have been your mentors in the mixed martial arts world? I have had several instruc-
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COURTESY MOSSEY ACADEMY
COURTESY MOSSEY ACADEMY
tors and hold the following certifications: » Full Instructor Dan Inosanto Jeet Kune Do » Full Instructor Dan Inosanto Filipino Martial Arts » Guro 3 Instructor Dan Inosanto Silat » Full Instructor Ajarn Chai Thai Boxing » Black Belt Aiki-Jujutsu Mike Mathews » Senior Full Instructor Marc McFann » Black Belt Master Pedro Sauer Gracie Jiu-Jitsu » 7 Year Private Student Wrestling Johnny Curtis 2 Time All American and Ranked Number 3 in the world on the US International Wrestling Team » 7 Year Private Student Kirby Hill Shutzhund k-9 competition training German Shepherds When did you open up Mossey Academy and why? I have always taught and trained over the past 20 years. However, I recently just opened my school up to the public to reach more people. Everyone deserves to learn to be able to defend themselves, not just the elite competition fighters, military or law enforcement.
Tell me about all the classes you offer/different styles. The goal is to create well rounded self-defense fighters that are capable in all ranges of combat with and without weapons. A lofty goal indeed. Each art brings something to the table that helps in this journey not all arts are great at everything. For example, boxing is a fantastic art but not when someone is on top of you on the ground. I primarily teach Thai Boxing, Kali, Jeet Kune Do and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I find this base gives each student real skill and functional ability in kicking, punching, clinch, ground, and weapons work. How are your classes for all ages? We have classes for both children and adults. The cut off for the adult classes is 14 years old. Weapons and Kali is by invitation only or if you have tested under me or are law enforcement or active military. What benefits do you see from your students that participate in your program? First is the ability to defend themselves in a violent confrontation. Then there are the obvious benefits of physical fitness,
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increased self-confidence, improved social skills, and the relationships that develop between training partners which tend to be lifelong. You seem very aware during class and always looking out for your students. Why is that important to you? First and foremost I am concerned with my student’s safety. When you are training in combat arts it is very easy to get injured and if you are injured not only can you not train but you are worthless to actually be able to defend yourself. Plus I like to give every single student personal attention and try to help them grow and achieve their goals in each of the arts. It’s a lifetime journey and my students are my legacy and my legacy and what I leave behind is important to me as a person and as an instructor. What is your goal with this academy? To provide a realistic training environment where people can learn self-defense safely and about the arts and grow as human beings. What are the days/times you offer classes? Monday Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Self
Defense 7pm, Tuesday Thai Boxing 6:30pm, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 7:30pm, Wednesday Kali 7pm, Thursday Thai Boxing 6:30pm, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu 7:30pm, Friday Open Mat Sparring 6-8:00pm, Saturday Kali 11am, MMA Sparring 12pm Any future classes you have in mind to add in the future? I would very much like to offer a women’s only class and additional time slots in the morning and at lunch time to help with working families, but we are growing so fast, we will probably have to change locations in order to do that. Favorite mixed martial arts person? Guro Dan Inosanto, Greatest Martial Artist of all time. Best advice ever received? Train what you suck at, and do what scares you. -Guro Marc McFann Where can people sign up for your class? Monroe Athletic Club, but you do not have to be a member there to train with us. Where can we find you on social media? Mossey Academy of Martial Arts
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Stephanie Schaeffer, Melanie McSTravick, Annetta Hill, and Carolyn Gates.
EXPLORES OPTIONS STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGIANN POTTS
Tency Tarver, Lauretta Tucker, and Stella McStravick
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embers of P.E.O. Chapter AE met at Covenant Presbyterian Church recently to continue planning for their new club year and to hear a presentation by Kim Johnson, travel agent with The Travel Company. Johnson’s presentation was informative as well as inspirational. Before she was finished, nearly everyone seemed to have dreams of travel swirling in their heads. Johnson, a travel agent with 32 years experience, began her talk by hitting what she referred to as the “number one” question being asked by both new and seasoned travelers today: “Is it
safe to travel? ” She said that now, as always, it is important to “. . . remain aware of one’s surrounding when traveling. That’s good advice,” she added, “even here at home.” Several destinations are especially popular at the moment, according to Johnson. Australia is probably the number one destination, she explained, primarily because the U.S. dollar is so strong and the price of the trip is so reasonable. “Once you get past that long flight,” Johnson said, “you are set for a great vacation!” Another especially popular destination is Cuba. Here the attraction is that the time is passing rapidly when the island will be “unspoiled” and in its present
state. “The large resort hotels are being built,” Johnson said, “ and soon Cuba will be like all of the other high-tourist Caribbean islands. Right now you can still go and experience the old cars and grand old architecture. In a year or two, that will likely no longer be possible.” Johnson gave sample intenerates for a variety of trips including Alaska, Jackson Hole, and the Panama Canal. The prices for two, including airfare and trips, are surprisingly affordable. She compared the big cruise ships to the smaller vessels, showcasing the appeal of both. Members were surprised to hear that religious travel is at an all-time high now. Jerusalem and the Holy Land are attracting record numbers of travelers. “It is unclear why this is the case, although many think that it may be because there is a fear that this region will not be accessible in the future,” Johnson explained. Prior to the program, AE members enjoyed lovely brunch as they caught up on summer
Cynthia Travis and Chapter AE president, Felicia Kostelka
news. Hostesses Loura Barr, Tency Tarver, Candy Goldman, and Felicia Kostelka provided petite blueberry muffins and cinnamon twists, filled Danish, and pecan tassies. Savory offerings included toasted pecans and an assortment of cheeses and fresh fruits. Orange juice and coffee completed the menu. P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), one of the pioneer societies for women, was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny member-
Yvette Greer, Travis Breard, and Linda Taylor
ship of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the United States and Canada. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women. Our sisterhood proudly makes a difference in women's lives with six philanthropies that include ownership
of a two-year women's college, Cottey College; and five programs that provide higher educational assistance: P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund, P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education, P.E.O. Scholar Awards, and P.E.O. STAR Scholarship.
The River Oaks School Advantage: • Ranked #18 Best Private Schools in LA
• 25 National Merit Finalists since the • High Tech Classrooms school began and 13 commended • SACS Accredited finalists • Offers Pre-K3-12th Grade • Robotics for grades 4-8 • Scholarship offers of $3,231,638 • 15:1 Student/Teacher Ratio • Sent the only student in the region to for 2016 Graduates • Big Brother/Big Sister Mentoring the National Spelling Bee • Outstanding standardized test scores Program • Dedicated and innovative teachers exceeding the national average • Offers AP & Dual Enrollment Classes and staff • Over 20 extracurricular clubs and • Average ACT score of organizations 24.9 for 2016 graduates
Striving for Excellence in Academics, the Arts and Athletics
River Oaks School 600 Finks Hideaway Road 318.343.4185 | romustangs.com
River Oaks School has a Nondiscriminatory Open Admissions policy
Find us on Facebook
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OGLESBY FINANCIAL GROUP What Comes Next? Bull, Bear, Correction?
Economic factors: Chief Investment Officer and founding member at Advisors Capital Management, Charles Lieberman, believes investors Registered Financial are holding an avalanche of cash Consultant and waiting for an opportunity to The bull market in U.S. stocks has invest. If that money begins to move been charging ahead for more than into stocks, he wrote, “That’s when we should really start to worry the eight years. market might be getting vulnerable.”
While that’s young in people years,
Stock market valuations: While it’s ancient in bull market terms. fundamentals are a critical Since World War II, the longest component in assessing company bull market in U.S. stocks lasted for value, earnings must be considered in conjunction with stock price to almost nine-and-a-half years while determine whether a company’s the shortest lasted 13 months. On shares are fairly priced. average, bull markets last for slightly less than five years, according to Corporate profitability: Jeremy Grantham of GMO thinks high Fortune. market valuations are, in part, owed to corporations’ “increased Some believe this bull market will monopoly, political, and brand plod ahead, while others believe a power.” He doesn’t expect a significant adjustment in valuations bear may be prowling. Often, these until interest rates begin to move beliefs reflect specific aspects of the higher, a change that may take place over an extended period of decades. market. For example:
The one thing we know for certain is bull markets are often interrupted by corrections, which are declines of 10 percent or more in the value of the market. In addition, we know that, eventually, bull markets end and bear markets begin. Typically, the start of a bear market is signaled by a 20 percent or greater decline in the value of the market.
When the market corrects, or a bear market arrives, it’s important to keep your wits about you. A drop in stock market valuations often creates buying opportunities. Selling during a correction or bear market may not be a winning strategy. It may be better to stay calm and refuse to sell low. Historically, after all, bull markets follow bear markets.
2016 All securities through Money Concepts Capital Corp. Member FINRA/SIPC Oglesby Financial Group is not affiliated with Money Concepts Capital Corp.
W W W. O G L E S B Y F I N A N C I A L . C O M
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Exploring the ecology of
store in search of solutions to completely annihilate the offending creatures from your Let’s face it, in spite of how garden. much beauty our gardening efBefore taking such drastic forts may bring, every garden- steps – actions that could virtuer can attest to being torally wipe out entire popmented at some time or ulations of beneficial oranother by pesky garden ganisms – consider the creatures. Who hasn’t beneficial qualities of awaken to a bright and common garden creacheery morning and gone tures in helping to susstraight to a window to tain the necessary balview a newly planted garance within both plant den bed, only to find be- Rose and animal eco-sysheaded, trampled or Young-Lee, tems. Simply put, a uprooted plants? After NELA Master plant and animal ecorecovering from the ini- Gardener chain revolves as foltial shock, in the face of lows: the nutrients in such devastation, the first incli- the soil, along with sun and wanation may be to head straight ter, make the plants grow; the for the local home improvement grasshoppers eat the plants; the ROSE YOUNG-LEE, NELA MASTER GARDENER
A freshly planted and mulched garden bed
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mice eat the grasshoppers; the snakes eat the mice; and the eagles and other larger animals eat the snakes. Finally, when the animals die, the fungi from their decomposed bodies return as nutrients to the soil. Whether predator, parasitoid or parasites, considering the necessary roles typical garden pests play within our ecological system, perhaps the best attitude is to respect and protect rather than destroy; to find ways to live harmoniously with the pesky creatures of nature. In spite of the frustration and damage they may cause in our gardens, all things considered, it seems more practical to accept their inevitable presence; to manage rather than annihilate their populations; and to appreciate their beneficial qualities as a part of the much broader eco-system; in short, “to live and let live.” Visit the LSU AgCenter’s website at www.lsuagcenter.com for more information and recommendations for dealing with specific garden pests as a part of an integrated pest management plan (IPM).
Mole, often responsible for destroying gardens
Kid friendly treatments that guarantee a
3809 WHITES FERRY RD • WEST MONROE, LA • 318-396-6204 DELTA STYL E MAGA Z IN E | AU G U S T 2017 | 115
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The Ramble Bus
A DECADE OF CRAWLING
Downtown Gallery Crawl Begins Its 10th Anniversary Celebration
n celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Downtown Gallery Crawl, on Thursday, August 3, all nine galleries of the Downtown Arts Alliance will be hosting special exhibitions while lots of exciting activities will be happening outdoors. As usual on the first Thursday of every even-numbered month, the Alliance will produce a great, free party for the whole community. But this year, August 2017-June 2018, the celebration will be ramped up to highlight ten years of wonderful art, food, and music! From 5-9 pm, the whole family is invited to participate in the Crawl, which happens in the downtown areas of Monroe and West Monroe, with free golf-cart rides available for those who prefer not to make the walk from gallery to gallery. Five galleries are located on Art Alley (N. 2nd St.) in Monroe
while another is on DeSiard Street, one is on South Grand by the River Market, and one is on Antique Alley in West Monroe. All nine galleriesâ€™ artists invite you to view and discuss their work, enjoy refreshments, and listen to live music. Original art will be for sale, too, so all can share in their very personal expression. Resident and guest artists will be on hand to talk with patrons about their art. And neighbors will simply enjoy visiting with neighbors during this bimonthly occasion. The artists are excited to work again with Alan Brockman, one of the co-founders of the Crawl, who is bringing the North Delta Ramble to Downtown Monroe for the Crawl. The Ramble will be headquartered at the Palace Gallery with work by featured artist Margaret Moses, a local abstract art-
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ist inspired by natural forms. Her largescale paintings are shown in galleries throughout the South, her brilliant colors and interesting textures reflecting her connection to the natural world. The Palace Gallery is curated by Jarod Stokes. In the park to the left of the Palace, the Ramble Bus will be parked with live music by renowned local singer-songwriter Monty Russell and friends. To top things off, the Ramble is hosting Chef Galen Iverstine, proprietor of Iverstine Farms in Kentwood, Louisiana, who is creating a "farm to table" dining experience. Galen will be serving $14 plates of barbequed meats with all the fixings. Contact Alan Brockman via Facebook for pre-sale Ramble dinner tickets, or call 318-325-3735. This Ramble Revival will be bringing to-
gether food, music, and art as a token of appreciation to the Crawl, where the original idea was seeded ten years ago. The event is family friendly, so bring the kids, out-oftowners, and anyone else looking for a great time. In the words of the Ramble, "Through food, music, and art, we are able to break through barriers and bring people together to enjoy one thing we all have in common – LIFE." Join the anniversary party with Sugar Gallery's artists for The Third Dimension: The 3D Show. View various works of art sporting 3D glasses, available at each artist's station, and see how different color combinations vibrate and seem to move forward when viewed in 3D. See resident photographer Burg Ransom's butterfly appear close enough to touch; experience Leah Reitzell's Electric Daylilies and see Melanie Douthit's live scale super hero vibrate in 3D. Stacy Medaries will be back this month with her unique mixed media art. Chris D. Cox will have unique industrial / farmhouse style lamps, and Scott Stone's art will be on the landing. Don't miss the big anniversary celebration at Sugar, where there's always something sweet! The Garrett House will have an interactive show where the community can get engaged in a Social Mapping Project. This project will be led by Brooke Foy, curator of the Garrett House. Make plans to come by and help make the art work at the Garrett House. Caster and Chicory will be set up on the lawn at the Garrett House, where they will serve up their yummy beignets and coffee! UPSTAIRS gallery, in partnership with the Masur Museum’s AltEx program, will present Entre Nosotros (Between Us) Variation II, an immersive video installation by
Palace - Margaret Moses
the artist Lionel Cruet. This is an audio-visual and interactive installation that recreates the illusion of an indoor beach environment stuck in time. The work consists of video projections, sounds, lights, and a floor covered in sand and scattered objects that remind us of the contradictions of space, culture, and rituals. Visit lionelcruet.com for more information about the artist.
Also in partnership with the Masur Museum, the Outside Gallery (Art Alley at the railroad track) will present Will Work for Food, an outdoor exhibition by the artist Jenny Ellerbe (see her website www.jennyellerbe.com). The exhibition will deal with themes of environmentalism related to bees and other pollinators’ fraught relationship with humans. Pay careful attention, or,
Big Room - Victoria Mashell Smith
Sugar Gallery - Leah Smith Reitzell
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Sugar Gallery - Stacy Medaries
Sugar Gallery - Burg Ransom
like bees, you will take Will Work for Food for granted. Since the Outside Gallery is outside, it is always open. You can “like” the Outside Gallery on Facebook (@outsidegallery) and on Instagram (@outsidegallery318). The Big Room gallery, curated by Anna Rowan, will host a show called 4@Work. The featured artists will include Dustin Cody Greer, who will present new paintings and will do a live demonstration. He will be joined by Alyssa Guidry Posey, presenting ceramics, as well as Pint Size Printers (Victoria and Mashall Smith), who will demonstrate their screen printing process. Finally, Lora Lee, a skilled metalworker, will show her jewelry made from coins, copper, and found objects. She will also demonstrate enameling of coin pendants. The shows at the Downtown Gallery, curated by Ricky Sikes, and Arender Studio and Gallery, curated by Brad Arender, both on Art Alley, will feature new art and old to celebrate the last ten years of art and artists in beautiful downtown Monroe and West Monroe. RUMO’s on Trenton Street in West Monroe is celebrating its second anniversary as a gallery while joining in the tenth anniversary of the Arts Alliance. Rumo’s is sponsoring a Lawn Party at the end of Antique Alley across the street from the Giant Metal Flowers. AMmusic's Andrew Harris will be D.J.ing starting at 7:30 pm. There will be food trucks parked out on the streets for people to grab some food and enjoy the music and the outdoor Art Show. Joshua Mitchell is the artist and will be showing large format works made of reclaimed wood fit together in brilliant geometric patterns. It will be a great time on Antique Alley as we kick off the 10-Year Anniversary of the
Big Room - Alyssa Guidry Posey
The ramble in 2016
Downtown Gallery Crawl with a bang. Rumo’s is owned by Russell and Morgan Moore and curated by Austin Bantel. The party continues back on Monroe’s Art Alley, where Crawlers can enjoy free Coke floats, donated by the Biedenharn Museum along with the Creamery and the Coca-Cola Company. Also in that area and near the Bry Fountain will be food trucks/tents and a booth for the new Crawl Companions—the new “friends group” that will help to keep the Crawl a free event. At each Crawl during this anniversary year, there will be new swag for Crawl Companions and other fans of the Crawls. This time the offering will be limited edition Tshirts and tanks, which may be preordered via email--$25 each for unisex dark gray heather T-shirts and women’s deep emerald tanks. Email your shirt choice and size before July 21 to artsalliancedowntown@ gmail.com to reserve your shirt. You’ll love
the new Crawl logo designed by Jason Byron Nelson! The artists of the Downtown Arts Alliance, as well as their appreciative public, sincerely thank the always-generous DAA sponsors, especially Sunquest Properties, Louisiana Pain Care, Creed and Creed Law Firm, Fiesta Nutrition Center/The Good Earth Salad Bar, Cross Keys Bank, Lavalle Salomon Law office, Dr. Terry Tugwell, Bayou Roux Restaurant, Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Masur Museum of Art, Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Sir Speedy, the NewsStar, KEDM Public Radio, DeltaStyle Magazine, Louisiana Division of the Arts, Choice Brands and Marsala Beverage. The next Downtown Gallery Crawl will be Thursday, October 5, 2017, when the galleries will continue to celebrate their tenth year of entertaining their neighbors.
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September 16 5-8 PM At the Origin Bank Riverwalk BEER BY:
FOOD TRUCKS ON SITE:
Choice Brands, Inc., Flying Tiger Brewery, International Wine & Spirits, Marsala Beverage, Ouachita Brewing Co, and a variety of homebrewers
2 Dudes Catering and Wayne vs. the Winnebago
Live Music by Josh Ezell & Early Ray Borden - This is always a sellout event GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY ARE SOLD OUT!
Available at brewfest17.eventbrite.com Sponsors: Glenwood Regional Medical Center, Lamar Advertising, AmeriPride, Delta Disposals, ESPN Radio, Lagniappe Broadcasting, Los Abydos Podcast, Avocadoâ€™s, Monroe Civic Center, Choice Brands, Inc., Downtown Monroe Alliance, DeltaStyle, The News-Star, International Wine & Spirits, Marsala Beverage, Flying Tiger Brewery, and Ouachita Brewing Company
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensation to the thumb, Ellis O’Neal Cooper, MD index, middle, and part of the ring finger. It also controls the muscle at the base of the thumb. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - contains the median nerve and tendons that flex the fingers. Sometimes thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, sometimes radiating up the arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. Most commonly the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition - the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Other contributing factors include certain medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or rheumatoid arthritis. Working in an assembly line, and using vibrating tools can cause the disease. Pregnant women commonly develop this syndrome which usually resolves after delivery. Symptoms usually start gradually with tingling, burning, or numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. The symptoms often first appear at night, since many people sleep with flexed wrists. Affected individuals may wake up feeling the need to “shake out” the hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen, people might feel tingling during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. In chronic and/or untreated cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away. Diagnosis is accomplished first by a detailed history. Important considerations include the
anatomic distribution of symptoms, timing and duration of symptoms, presence or absence of night symptoms, activities that worsen symptoms, and presence of other medical conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disorders. A thorough physical exam will look for things like loss of sensation, irritability of the nerve with direct tapping or bending of the wrist, and muscle weakness or atrophy. Entrapment of the nerve at more proximal locations like the forearm and neck should be ruled out as well. Tests called Nerve Conduction Studies and Electromyography can assess how well the nerve transmits electrical signals down the arm. These tests are used to confirm a diagnosis and give objective information about the stage or severity of the disease. They can also be used to rule out problems in other areas such as the neck.
Non-operative treatment involves changing patterns of wrist and hand use to reduce pressure on the nerve. Identifying and treating underlying medical causes such as diabetes or thyroid disorders is essential. Wearing a splint at night that keeps the wrist from bending is often successful. Injection of corticosteroids into the carpal tunnel can be helpful. Modifications to a patient’s workplace environment or schedule can be therapeutic and preventative. Patients who have failed an adequate trial of non-operative treatment are candidates for surgery. Whether or not to proceed with an operation depends on how severely the symptoms are affecting the patient’s quality of life. Those with severe symptoms and significant changes on their NCS/EMG testing should receive intervention sooner rather than later.
in the wrist and then cutting the transverse carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel. Endoscopic surgery may allow faster functional recovery and less postoperative discomfort than traditional open release surgery. The surgeon makes a much smaller incision at the wrist, inserts a camera with a retractable knife blade, and cuts the transverse carpal ligament while observing the tissue on a video screen.
Neither technique has been shown to be significantly superior to the other in terms of long term outcome. Minimally invasive endoscopic techniques allow for a significantly smaller incision with better cosmetic results and, less overall soft tissue disruption, decreased post-operative pain, and shorter recovery time. Both options are outpatient procedures and take 10-15 minutes to complete. A post-operative splint is not required and the patient goes home with a soft dressing. Patients are encouraged to gently move the wrist and fingers immediately after surgery. Most people can return to full activities within 1-3 weeks. Ellis O’Neal Cooper, MD is board certified in both hand surgery and orthopedic surgery. He is a fellow in both the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). He has a particular interest in carpal tunnel syndrome and has performed more minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel releases than any other surgeon in state. His commitment to his practice is based on a feeling that no other specialty so directly improves a patient’s quality of life in such a timely manner. Dr. Cooper and his wife, Nancy, are the proud parents of three children and are active in their church and community.
Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common and most successful surgical procedures in orthopedics. It involves cutting the band of tissue laying directly on top of the nerve called the transverse carpal ligament to reduce pressure. Two techniques exist:
Dr. Cooper is currently accepting new patients and accepts most insurance plans. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Cooper, please contact his clinic,
Open release surgery, the traditional procedure used to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, consists of making an incision up to 2 inches
To learn more about Dr. Cooper and Specialists Hospital Shreveport, visit: specialistshospitalshreveport.com
Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana: 866.759.9679.
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