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May 8, 2014

DINNER

FUNDRAISER ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT ALLEN CORRECTIONAL CENTER CHAPEL For Dinner Pick-Up Locations Contact: Chaplain Vertis March at 337-396-5744 or Minister Gene Hill at 337-377-5731

The SWLA Alliance for Economic Development, in partnership with Louisiana Department of Economic Development, is offering its state approved Entrepreneurial Services for persons desiring to start or further develop their own business. • Do you operate a home-based business, a startup or just want to gain a competitive edge for your existing business? • Do you want to minimize the risk of operating a business? • Want to learn the truth about access to business capital for your business? • Want to find the commercial value and develop entrepreneurial thinking for your business? • Want to understand the priorities that drive you, create strategies in building more effective work/business relations with customers and employees? • Do you need managerial and technical assistance?

SEED Center Business Incubator is accepting applications.

Program & Services Available Include: Managerial & Technical Assistance ~ DiSC Workplace/Leaders Programs ~ Market Analysis/Planning Workplace training Solutions ~ Business Coaching Program ~ Pre-Incubation Program

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or if you are interested proven business techniques and tools, these programs may be for you.

For program details and eligibilities contact: Adrian L. Wallace Executive Director SEED Center Business Incubator

433-0977 • awallace@allianceswla.org PAGE 2

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


is published and distributed by

TEAM PUBLICATIONS LLC. 4310 Ryan St. Ste. 134 Lake Charles, LA. 70605 In the McNeese SEED Center (337) 478-0471

PUBLISHERS Brenda Hill Tracy Clark EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Brenda Hill GENERAL MANAGER Tracy Clark LAYOUT/GRAPHICS Kyra Labrie ADVERTISING SALES Faye Drake Nic Duncan Levert Blount III CONSULTANTS Gene R. Hill, Sr. Reginald Clark CONTRIBUTING WRITERS K.G. McDonough Abby Ecker Linda W. Hurst

MARCH 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 8

5 Summer Fun Activities 8 My Senior Moment: CCOA-A Day at the Park 10 Meeting In Their Dreams: Stephanie Kestel Karpov 12 Law Week 14 College, University or Trade School: Which is best for you? 16 Living & Giving The Infinite Life 18 P3: Pen, Pad & Pals 19 Mother’s Day Tributes

Rose Henny Joyce R. Kebodeaux Mary Ned Dr. Trip Mary Ledet Derrick Kee Michelle Abshire Trina Morgan Lena Roach Audrey Ison

All materials contained in the publication are copy-righted and may not be reproduced or reprinted in part or its entirety without the expressed written permission of The Voice LLC. The views expressed in articles of The Voice, are not necessarily the views of the ownership or sponsors in this publication. The Voice LLC, assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Every effort has

been made to ensure the accuracy of all content. May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

Contact Us!

brenda@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com tracy@thevoiceofsouthwestla.com PAGE 3


Mallard Cove

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A fun, introductory program to the game of golf with a tournament, pizza party and awards on the last day!

To register, go to cityoflakecharles.com, find departments, find Mallard Cove Golf Course, and go to our Junior Golf page. There is a link to the 2014 Summer Junior Camps Application. Print it out, fill it in, and mail it or drop it off.

SWLA Youth Development Golf Tour

Summer golf tournament program for boys and girls from the ages of 9 to 17. Six tournament dates and sites from June 11th - July 22nd. For more information, go to swlayouthtour.com

Calcasieu Crawfish PGA Jr Golf League Little league golf program for boys and girls, ages 8 to 13. Weekly Team practices and Team Matches from May 26th - July 11th. To register, go to pgajrleaguegolf.com, click “find a team, type Calcasieu Crawfish in the search box, and select to view either the Red Team or the Orange Team, then, select the red button to join this team.”

The Southwest Louisiana Junior Golf Association Inc is a 501c3 Non Profit Corporation. Our mission is to aid, help, and support in the development of every junior golf program in SWLA. We want to expose every youth in our community to the game of golf. Golf is an honorable game and builds quality character components for meeting the challenges of real life. We offer the opportunity to learn these skills through growing the game programs. One of our five current programs serves the inner-city, underprivileged youth through church outreach groups. Another program allows PE Coaches to incorporate a 3 week golf curriculum in elementary and middle schools. Another program offers team play in a Little League format. We have a tournament program for those who want to test their skills. And, we have an Elite program for those who excel and want to be seen by top college Coaches.

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


by Abby Ecker

It’s nearing that time of the year again when your children are getting ready to hang up those back packs for the summer break. Like many parents, you will find yourself racking your brain for ideas to keep their rambunctious brains and bodies busy. Southwest Lake Charles is stocked full of recreational and cultural opportunities that won’t break the bank. Here is a list of ideas to get you started with your summer planning.

1. GO BOWLING

Visit www.kidsbowlfree.com to learn about the Kids Free Summer Bowling Program and register for your child to receive two free games of bowling per day.

2. TAKE A MINI VACATION

Embark on a Creole kid adventure with a day vacation on the Creole Nature Trail. Visit http://www. creolenaturetrail.org/creole-kids for details on this 180 mile amazing trip.

3. GO TO THE MOVIES

Visit http://www.regmovies.com/ Movies/Summer-Movie-Express for details on free children’s movies.

4. VISIT YOUR STATE PARKS

Pick a park to have a picnic, explore a bike path or go fishing (ages 16 and under do not need a fishing license). Find a list at http://www.crt.state.la.us/louisiana-state-parks/. Make it a point May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

to visit a different one each week and create a nature collage for each trip for a summer art wall.

5. PLAY AT THE PARK

Visit http://www.louisianatravel. com/articles/ splash-summer-water-park-orplaygroundfor playgrounds and water parks.

6. PROGRAM FOR KIDS AT THE MALL

Visit http://www.simon.com/ kidgits/#/parents/membership to register for summer fun programs at the Prien Lake Mall.

7. VISIT THE LIBRARY

Your local library is full of activities, workshops and programs for the whole family. Visit http://calcasieulibrary.org/LSW%20Card .

8. SUMMER READING PROGRAM

Visit http://www.scholastic.com/ summer/ to participate in the

Scholastic Reading Program. Many of the bookstores also have Summer Reading Programs for kids to earn prizes.

9. CONSTRUCT A PROJECT

Lowes and Home Depot both offer free workshops for kids. Visit http://lowesbuildandgrow.com/ pages/default.aspx for Lowes and http://workshops.homedepot. com/workshops/kids-workshops to register your child.

10. GO SWIMMING

Your child can swim for $1 per day or learn to swim for $1 per lesson. Visit. http://www.cityoflakecharles.com/department/division. php?structureid=216 for details on the Lake Charles public pools. You can also enjoy free beach fun great for sand castle building. Visit http://www.visitlakecharles.org/ outdoor-recreation/beaches/ for details on all local beaches.

11. VISIT THE MUSEUMS

www.Artsandhumanitiesswla.org has a list of museums with more than a dozen being free admission. Try to visit one per week and be a tourist in your own town.

12. TEACH THEM TO VOLUNTEER

Visit http://createthegood.org/ Volunteer-Now?campaign=Volunteer%20Now to learn about ways to volunteer with your child.

13. ONE ON ONE TIME WITH YOU

Sidewalk chalk art, gardening, cooking, weekly game night and setting up an ongoing puzzle are a few things you can do with your child.

14. GO GEOCACHING.

Visit http://www.geocaching. com/guide/default.aspx to learn all about this fantastic activity. PAGE 5


By Kris Welcome

BASKETBALL CAMPS

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Girls Basketball Camp, June 23rd-June 25th Power Centre, $25.00, 1pm-3pm Ward 3 Boys Basketball Camp, June 9th-June 12th, Pryce/Miller, $25.00, 8am-11am

TENNIS CAMPS

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Tennis Camp June 23rd-June 25th, University Park, $25.00 8am-10am

VOLLEYBALL CAMPS

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Volleyball Camp, TBA, Enos Derbonne, $25.00, 11am-1pm

SOCCER CAMP SOUTH

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Soccer Camp South TBA, St. John Elementary, Free, 8am-10am

SOCCER CAMP NORTH

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Mid-Night Indoor Soccer June 6th-July 25th, Enos Derbonne, Free, 8pm-2am

GOLF SUMMER CAMP

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Golf Summer Camp July 16th-July 18th , New Moon Driving Range, $25.00 8am-11:30am

SUMMER DAY CAMP

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation Summer Day Camp, June 2nd-July 25th, Enos Derbonne, $70 full-day, $50 half-day, 7:30am-5:30pm

FREE SKATEBOARD CAMP

Skate Camp, June 2nd-June 3rd, Power Centre, Free 8:00am-12noon

OTHER CAMPS & EVENTS

FISHING AND CASTING CAMP July 12th, Riverside Park, Free 8:00am-12noon MSU WOMEN’S FUNDAMENTAL CAMP June 2nd-June 4th, Power Centre, 9am-12noon

PAGE 6

MSU WOMEN’S TEAM TOURNEY June 19th-June 21st , Power Centre, All Day MID-NIGHT BASKETBALL June 6th-July 25th, Pryce/Miller, Free, 8pm-12mid-night MSU BOY’S TEAM TOURNEY June 7th, Power Centre, All Day

the sun? For those who aren’t running for Vitamin D, fret not as The Calcasieu Kennel Club hosts two conformation shows on June 7&8 at the Lake Charles Civic Center (contact civic center for times.) Juneteenth celebrations are definitely underway for June 2021 at the civic center. Everyone go out and celebrate African American independence with people from all over the area!

Summer time activities are all the rave for families of all ages and sizes. The summer is swiftly approaching and I’m sure all of you are frantically searching for travel options and accommodations at every opportunity. It may be a shock that this summer may bring more activities in your own backyard than you know of! The summer in Southwest Louisiana is as eventful as any other place! The summer is jammed with outdoor activities that surround the arts, children’s fun, sports, and July is the last break before the food! Here are a few to get you dog days of summer and Independence Day festivities are sure started: to be a hit! The 76th Annual 4th of July Fishing Rodeo is hosted indepenMay kicks off the start of constant dence weekend (July 4-6) with all warm weather in the area and day fishing and final weigh-in at baseball is in full bloom! 6pm! The event will take place at Take your family to enjoy the 2937 Kiwanis Dr. in Lake Charles! LHSAA Fastpitch 56 State Soft- Don’t miss out on this cool sportball Championship on May 2&3 ing event. at SPAR Frasch Park in Sulphur. The 27th Annual Cajun Music When you leave the softball and Food Festival is scheduled for championship you can head a July 18-20 in Lake Charles at the little further down I10-W to Vin- Burton Complex. You can’t fully ton and attend the IXFA Extreme enjoy Louisiana without partakFighting match at Delta Downs ing in the rich food culture that Racetrack Casino and Hotel on Cajun food delivers! Perfect event May 3 at 8PM. to get your fix! Hair Spray will show at the ACTS Theatre in Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana is busfrom May 9-18! tling with fun events for you

JULY

MAY

JUNE June will bring on a little more

humidity and heat so… North Beach in Lake Charles is ideal for a family picnic or outing! What family doesn’t love a day in

and your family to enjoy! Don’t miss out on what home has to offer and your wallets will thank you! Check out www. thevoiceofsouthwestla.com for more upcoming events in the Southwest Louisiana area!

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


Foreman- Reynaud Community Center

Summer Camp & ACTIVITIES Ages 3- 12 M-F 7:30 am- 5:00 pm June 2nd 2014- Aug.1st 2014. For more information contact (337) 436-2500

Summer League Swim Team Ages 9-18 For more information call (337) 435-2500

Lifeguard Classes

Ages 15 & older For more information call (337) 436-2500

Senior Citizen Bingo

The Community Center May 21st 2014 9am-1pm For more information call (337) 436 -2500

2014 YOUTH CAMPS KIDS IN THE KITCHEN For younger cooks entering grades 1-4. Fun, age-appropriate, educational! Choose from one of two sessions. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. June 9-13 or June 23-27

CULINARY CAMP An annual favorite for young cooks entering grades 5-8! Choose from one of two sessions. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. June 16-20 or July 7-11 KIDS FITNESS CAMP For students entering grades 3-6. Fun and healthy with lots of activities! Choose from one of two sessions. 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. June 9-13 (boy’s camp) or June 23-27 (girl’s camp)

ENROLL NOW! 421-6964 SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities.

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

PAGE 7


My Senior MOMENT

By Joyce R. Kebodeaux

Calcasieu Council on Aging Sponsors

Day Out at the Park

S A F E TO D AY - H E A LT H Y TO M O R R O W

E

very year since 1963, May has been the month chosen by our country to celebrate the vitality and interests of older adults. This wonderful tradition honors the values of elders who continue to contribute to our communities. In Southwest Louisiana seniors are recognized all the time as valued citizens by organizations dedicated to the elderly. Calcasieu Parish Voluntary Council on Aging. [CCOA] is one of these. On May 30th CCOA has partnered with Lake Area Medical Center Senior Circle and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Human Services to host “Day out at the Park.” The theme “Safe Today-Healthy Tomorrow” will focus on preventing injuries and protecting seniors so they can remain active and independent. Ms. Jacqueline Green, executive director of CCOA, said the event at Prien Lake Park is free to all seniors but prior registration is required. Call CCOA at 337- 474 -2583 to register. The celebration begins at 9am with a live PAGE 8

band, games, food and fun for all. Seniors are encouraged but not required to participate in the ½ mile walk, dancing, bean bag baseball, washer pitch, bolo golf and several other games. There is room for all but everyone is encouraged to bring a lawn chair. “Our seniors worked hard raising families and

Mayor Roach’s Procolamation for Senior Day out in the Park

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


building up our community,” Ms. Green said. “It is a privilege to give back to them. At the day in the park and other celebrations there is socializing and fellowship, but CCOA is much more than that. The goal is to help older adults remain independent and live in their own homes. In the Outreach Program potential clients and their family are interviewed and encouraged to use the CCOA services and benefits. Homemaker services, medical alert, medical management, legal assistance and the wellness program are just a few of the benefits May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

offered by CCOA. In Calcasieu Parish alone, there are currently four units available for elderly housing. Five days a week Meals on Wheels brings hot, well-balanced meals to eight nutrition centers and makes home deliveries to those unable to go to the meal sites. In this way drivers also meet the “at risk recipients” making sure their needs are being met. CCOA’s six activity centers are open five days a week. Strategically placed across the parish, clients don’t have to drive very far to participate. In each center there is a wide range of activities and services including Health Screenings,

club meetings, recreation, ceramics, dominoes, card games, pool and quilting.There are no fees for services provided. CCOA receives

Jackie Green’s spirits one bit. Each day she awakes saying, “I like my job.” Apparently her associates feel the same way. Thereisn’t much

limited funds from United Way, and some state and federal funding. Contributions play a big part in the continuation of services.

turnover here. Ms. Green says to those applying for a job, “If you’re coming here to work for the money, you’re in the wrong place.” Then she adds, “Every day brings the opportunity to impact the life of a senior citizen.”

Fourteen years of doing the same job has not dampened

PAGE 9


Meeting in Their Dreams By K.G. McDonough Everyone has a story to tell. Some tell stories to entertain, enlighten, or educate. Others share stories to encourage or inspire. Stephanie Kestel Karpovs wrote a story for her daughter Clara to assure the young girl of her love during a tragic time in their lives. In August 2011, Stephanie drove her two children, Nikolai and Clara, then ages seven and four, to their first day of school. Later that morning, a distracted driver ran a red light and broadsided Stephanie’s vehicle. In a fateful split second, the course of her life took a devastating unexpected turn. Stephanie sustained severe injuries to her head, neck, spine, left arm and leg. She promptly began a rigorous and ongoing regimen of physical therapy to regain the use of

PAGE 10

Stephanie Kestel Karpovs Shares Her Love Through Story

her body. Meanwhile, her mobility was limited to wherever a wheelchair could take her. Nikolai was old enough to understand and help his mother. Clara struggled to comprehend Stephanie’s new limitations. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t sit in her mother’s lap or why her mommy couldn’t snuggle with her at bedtime. “Clara equated love with the physical things we did together. That was hard. How do I tell my child, I love you, but we can’t do that?” says Stephanie. So Stephanie wrote her daughter a sweet story titled “In Our Dreams” to help Clara understand the accident and help her realize that even though she couldn’t pick Clara up or hug and cuddle, she still loved Stephanie, pictured wit her and would always be there for h her husba Anatole an nd d children Cla her. In the story, the character Clara ra and Niko lai imagines what she will be in her dreams. Her mother responds by telling Clara how she will be there lives and maintain a sense of nor- We can’t choose our circumstances, malcy despite Stephanie’s injuries. but we can choose our reactions to to support her. This positive attitude was a blessing them. Will I allow the disappointbecause fate was not through with ment and anger to take over or will “I’ll be the moon with a them yet. I focus on the positive? When life smile on its face…” A year ago, Anatole discovered isn’t easy, often that’s when you have “And I’ll keep you company he had life-threatening colon can- the most growth and opportunity way up in space.” cer. After months of treatment, his to become a better person, a stron“I’ll be a seed that grows disease is now stable but he remains ger couple, or better parents. God into a flower…” under his physician’s care. Also this loves and cares for us through the “And I’ll be the raindrops past year, Stephanie’s father had circumstances.” that give you a shower.” heart surgery and an uncle died of No matter your age Stephanie and Clara turned the heart disease. An aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. or how tall you grow, concept into a game -- a nightly ritHow do Stephanie and her famiIf God gave you fast legs ual that comforted Clara when her or legs that are slow, mother’s arms could not. Stephanie ly manage to stay upbeat in the face of so much adversity? “My faith There’s one special secret just you and her husband Dr. Anatole Karand I know… povs, a local pediatrician, strived to continues to carry us through. We don’t always get the just ending we we can always meet in focus on the positive things in their feel we deserve. We have a choice. our dreams. May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


Sulphur Mayoral Canditate Run-Off: May 3, 2014 Chris Duncan

Ron LeLeux

“The economic rush that Southwest Louisiana expects will require an experienced, dedicated public servant to lead and defend this wonderful city. We have accomplished a lot in the past few years, but it is too soon to call it a ‘job well done.’ I am running for re-election because Sulphur residents deserve a government that is accountable, accessible and financially stable, and I humbly ask for your vote for mayor, so that we can continue the progress.”

Our corner of Louisiana is on the cusp of unprecedented economic growth and all of us who call Sulphur home are poised to benefit, but for that to happen Sulphur needs a mayor that can communicate across boundaries and work with all of the leaders in the region and throughout the state. Sulphur needs a mayor that’s ready. Sulphur deserves leadership -- leadership for a change. This election is far too important to stay home on election day and I humbly ask for your vote and support.

Spring Has Sprung ...And Gifts & Grinds

opened for business in May 2013 and is locally owned and operated by 3 generations of the original Wagon Wheel Barbecue (Brooks Gregg family). When you are craving caffeine, this is the place to go as they offer a complete line of delicious coffees and teas to suit your taste buds. Choose from espresso, lattes’, frappes, cappuccino, hot or cold teas and the list goes on and on. It’s all prepared when ordered by the knowledgeable,

helpful staff. Whether you’re ordering coffee and pastry or selecting a gift for yourself or someone else, the service you’ll receive while you’re in the shop is amazing! The gifts? They’re trendy, unique, and selected with all ages in mind. Gifts and Grinds features Tyler candles along with a large selection of flavored and international coffee beans that they grind on site to your specifications. So whether you’re craving a morning cup of coffee or afternoon delight, Gifts and Grinds is there for you! Ask about their pastry trays for meetings, bereavement trays, and gift baskets.

An oasis away from the hustle and bustle of your day. • Mother’s Day • Teacher Appreciation • Graduation • Shower & Weddings • Father’s Day

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

That Means Gift Giving Season! NEW MERCHANDISE ARRIVING DAILY!

We can ze li • 7am-7pm persongaiMonday-Friday ! • 7am-3pm your ftsSaturday Closed Sundays

PAGE 11


LAW DAY/WEEK

Commemoration the Ongoing Pursuit of Justice By Derrick Kee

ams, ua Monroe, Necole Willi sh Jo : left to ht rig m fro Pictured & Derrick Kee mmang, Ralph Williams Fa m” “Ji es Jam b, au Tr Elizabeth

yers, bar associations, and institutions from Washington State to On May 1, 2014, everywhere Florida, California to Maine will around this country, we will be cel- plan activities for an entire week ebrating National Law Day/Week. to pay homage and lend credence In fact in many places, courts, law- to the “rule of law” which has ac-

See our mortgage rates with just one click! Visit FFBLA.COM for today’s rates. HOME LOANS Our online Mortgage Center gives you 24/7 access to up-to-date rate information, useful loan calculators AND lets you apply right from your computer. With informative tools at your finger tips and lending specialists a quick phone call away, we’re ready to help you find the mortgage that fits your needs...today and tomorrow.

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counted for the freedoms and quality of life that we enjoy in the United States of America. But the question is: what is all of the hoopla and fanfare really all about? Moreover, what is the evolution of National Law Day/Week? Finally, is this a relevant celebration, or merely a ceremonious irrelevancy that has little actual efficacy in the improvement of the status of our current legal system? The celebration of National Law Day/Week, in its current form derives from the organized efforts of the American Bar Association (ABA), whose motto is “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.” According to lawday.org, in 1957, then ABA President Charles S. Rhyne, envisions a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law and the contributions of the legal community in solidifying our freedom and democracy in America. The following year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day as a day of National dedication to the principal of government under the law. Thereafter, in 1961, by joint resolution, the U.S. Congress designated May 1, as the official date for celebrating Law Day. Since then, week-long programs have been conducted by bar groups, courts, schools, youth groups, and community organizations to spread the important message of the crucial role of the legal process in protecting freedom.

ty and remain overlooked and/or unaddressed. However, men and women are being exonerated from death row after being wrongfully imprisoned for 20-30 year periods. As recently as March 12, 2014, right here in our state, Glenn Ford was released from death row after being wrongfully imprisoned for 30 years. Therefore, as we reflect on the many victories that have been captured by virtue of the rule of law, let us not forget that over 200 years ago, America declared its independence from the tyranny of the British; over 150 years ago President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation purportedly ending the vestiges of slavery; approximately 60 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court held that separate was inherently unequal, resulting in legalized desegregation across this country; and exactly 50 years ago the U.S. Congress enacted the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. These are but a few major accomplishments of our legal system yet the pursuit must be ongoing and continuous.

Let every judge, lawyer, legislator, law enforcement officer and every citizen understand that “History is Now.” History denotes that we approach every day as if it is law day….because it is! Let us celebrate our past-gained freedoms achieved under the rule of law. Let us pursue and address the challenges associated with the progressive needs of Nevertheless, while lectures are our local and national community. being engaged, and court buildings, Moreover, let us continually build legislative halls and law enforce- bridges between the wisdom of our ment agencies are being visited, past which connect to the hope of there are numerous dark realities our future. Because Justice is Imabout our local and national legal perative! system that plague our communi-

Services & Products: Wellness Programs, Massages & Detox

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PAGE 13


Community College, University or Trade School...What is best for you?

College

By Rose Henny May is an exciting time across the state because of graduations. High school graduation is a rite of passage that is celebrated with ceremonies and parties. Since this is a transition into adulthood, it is inevitable that questions are asked to each graduate, “Now what are you going to do and where will you be next year?” For many, the answer is automatic, “I am going to college.” This usually means a 4 -year college without considering other options. In their senior year the media and high school counselors strongly suggest that the 2-year colleges should be considered. Years ago a 2-year college or trade school was considered a stepping stone. But today the need for skilled workers has PAGE 14

this everyone across the nation reexamining the economic potential of the 2-year college. Companies are providing funds to both 2 and 4 -year colleges to enhance training facilities and encouraging internship programs. When you make such a longterm commitment, factors such as the cost of education and the projected income from this degree or specific training, should be carefully considered. Do your research, visit the college and talk to people who have your best interest, speak to someone who will provide answers to your questions about this major decision. It is most important that you examine yourself as a student – what are your academic skills, priorities, resources, learning style and time commitment? A self-appraisal will allow you to plan for college with confidence in your decision.

University/ Trade School by Trina Morgan

With the expansions and new businesses coming to the Southwest Louisiana area, expectations are high that there will be many new jobs opening up—as many as 68,000 jobs in the next two years, by one estimation. A necessary question is: How does one qualify for these jobs? Training and certification programs are available from trade schools, community college, and university. Which is the best choice? A university education must be considered when looking toward a career in industry. From engineering to office systems, a university can offer many opportunities to prepare for a career in the industrial fields. At McNeese State University in Lake Charles, the Colleges of

Business, Engineering, and Science offer numerous degree programs which prepare students for work in the industrial fields. The Department of Chemistry and Physics offers a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Master of Science degree in Environmental and Chemical Sciences. The College of Business offers Bachelor’s degrees in General Business with an optional concentration in Construction Management, Management with optional concentration in Human Resources Management, and Marketing. The College of Engineering offers Bachelor’s degrees in Chemical, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering. Earning potential varies regionally, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook lists the median salary for chemical engineers at $94,350 for 2012. Also listed are the civil, May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


mechanical, and electrical engineer’s salaries at $79,340, $80,580, and $89,630, respectively. A chemist’s salary is listed at $73,060, and a computer and information system manager earns above $120,950 annually. A marketing manager’s median salary for 2012 was $115,750. Technical training programs take less time and money, perhaps, but the opportunities for advancement in technical positions are fewer. Depending upon an individual’s current age and job experience, and the cost and time involved, a university degree is the surest way to employment that will lead to long-term career stability. In the industrial field, skilled crafts positions will be in heavy demand when a large project such as the Sasol expansion is in the works. Local trade schools, such as ABC, Sparc Academy, Delta Tech and Unitech, prepare workers for the prospective increased demand for skilled employees. Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., also known as the ABC school, offers certificate programs in industrial welding, pipe fitting, millwright, heavy equipment operator, and electrical and instrumentation . These craft positions pay between $18.80 and $24.91 per hour, depending on experience. At ABC tuition cost is $140 per semester; one semester lasts 20 weeks and takes the student through the first level of training. Programs vary from one to four levels of training. Sparc Academy offers welding courses from beginner through advanced and specialty certifications, with courses offered lasting from seven to 26 weeks. Delta School of Business and Technology offerings include certificates for the following: Network Administrator, Computer Systems Analyst, Field Service Technician, Network Security Technician, and others. These certificate programs may

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

be completed in eighteen months. Unitech Training Academy also offers training for Computer Information Systems. These specialized courses prepare the student for jobs with salaries ranging from $72,560 to $79,680, according to the figures for 2012 in the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both of these schools are Title IV schools and eligible for federal financial aid. For those who wish to complete job training on the fast track, trade schools are a good option, providing certifications at different levels and in various fields at a reasonable cost and in a relatively short period of time.

you consider these questions. 1. How much money will I invest in myself? 2. How much time will I invest in myself? 3. What career will I choose for myself? Sowela Technical College training cost for a Welder is 600 short term class clock hours for a certificate program and $2,830 per student with a potential average annual salary of $44,000. A Millwright has 752.5 short term class clock hours for a certificate program and a $2,729 cost per student with a potential average annual salary of $58,000. Most technical colleges offer programs that range from nine months

to two years with classes offered at night and online. It’s important to know how much time you can spend in a classroom on a daily basis. Some technical schools are accredited, such as Sowela, and have programs that will allow students to go on to attend a university. Make your time work for you! Industry employers are certainly hungry for certified and crafted technical graduates. It is reported that 30,000 workers are needed to feed this current workforce demand. Hopefully, this article provides the needed information to help you be in that number.

-Delta School of Business and Technology • deltatech.edu -Unitech Training Academy unitechtrainingacademy.com -Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. • abcpelican.org -Sparc Academy • sparcacademy.com

Community College By Mary Ledet

“Get your education!” As a high school student, I heard this so many times from my parents. Many parent’s dream to have their child attend an “Ivey” league university, but is that the only way to a legitimate education? University or Technical school…? Sowela Technical College is a viable option for students wanting to enter the current workforce. Success programs are available for a job in support of this local industry. Industry employers rely heavily on the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certifications. This training is currently available through Sowela. Go to www.SWLAresourceguide. com for more information and as

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Living and Giving

THE INFINITE LIFE

By Dr. Trip

A couple of months after turning fifty years old, my wife and I found out we were having our first child. It was not too much longer after Henry, IV was born that I realized I needed change my lifestyle habits in order to live long enough to watch him, as well our second son, Hadyen a/k/a Huck, grow up. The birth of my firstborn child became the catalyst for my personal change.

Being Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology, my background was well suited for evaluating the scientific and clinical research related to aging and chronic debilitating disease processes. My passion for helping others, not only to fight their disease process, but to also ensure optimum quality of life gave me the desire to promulgate an integrative approach to achieve these goals, not only for myself, but for others as well.

Dr. Trip and sons, Henry, IV and Huck

In finalizing my training in Elite Health and Age Management Medicine via certification by the Age Management Medicine Education Foundation (AMMEF) and the Age Management Medical Group (AMMG), I acquired the cognitive infrastructure upon which to base a

more comprehensive, affordable approach with the potential for improved health outcomes. This is the origin of the current Infinite Life program, which is a comprehensive, evidence based, four-pronged approach to helping men and women take their lives from surviving to thriving.

The four prongs of the program include: (1) Personalized nutritional counseling; (2) Client specific physical improvement. To assist in this component of the program we have partnered with Personal Fitness Trainer, Canaan Heard, whose fitness training programs are an integral component of the exercise prong of the Infinite Life program. Canaan has been doing physical training for the last 5 years. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and his certifications include Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. PAGE 16

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


Additionally, Canaan served 10 years in the United States Marine Corps and is currently a student at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he is working towards a Master of Public Health. His research focuses on combat conditioning, post deployment health, exercise physiology, and the biochemistry of exercise. He has worked with military units, veterans, diabetics, athletes, and corporate offices. He has been published

been proven to treat and prevent many common disease processes. This integrated approach is key to maintaining vitality and extending our healthy lives. Success in Infinite Life program comes with the consistent application of each of these prongs, and in order to maintain motivation each patient on the program is assigned an accountability coach. It is so exciting to hear patients, men and women, attest that they feel twenty to thirty years younger after being on this program for only a couple of months.

FUTURE

Barber

COLLEGE A Lifetime Career

Michael Ned, Director 3941 Ryan St. • Lake Charles (337) 474-0623 • Tues.-Fri. 8am-5pm

In addition to the Infinite Life program, Infinite Health services include direct primary care and internal medicine services for both individuals and companies. This program reduces healthcare costs by providing access to routine health care services for a $10 office visit and a low monthly membership fee.

Canaan Heard in the Journal of Military Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Report and the Marine Corps Gazette. (3) Male and female metabolic and hormonal optimization; and (4) Guided mind-body development. I have witnessed, during my career, the prescriptive benefits of positive affirmations and positive mental imagery (as well as the deleterious affect of negative imagery and poor anticipated outcome) in many of my patients. And, in my search for the best possible outcome for myself, I ultimately came to integrate the evidence based age management approach with the mindbody approaches that likewise have May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

For more information about Dr. Trip and Infinite Health we invite you to attend our free informational seminar, Three Ways to Virile, Vigorous & Vital Health, scheduled for May 22nd at 6:00 p.m. Or, to schedule your complimentary initial consultation, call 337.312.8234 and mention “The Voice of SWLA.”

Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center Medicine for the body, mind and soul.  Website:  www.yourinfinitehealthnow.com FaceBook: www.facebook.com/ LiveTheInfiniteLife Twitter: www.twitter.com/URInfiniteLife Tel: 337.312.8234 Fax: 337.312.8411 PAGE 17


P3

PEN, PAD & PALS

Linda Hebert Todd: Major League Mystery Writer

By Linda W. Hurst Since my childhood, I have been a baseball fan. Major League Baseball is the one sport that I will sit down and willingly watch with my husband Don—especially when the Texas Rangers are playing. So when I discovered that one of our own Bayou Writers had a history steeped in MLB, I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to learn more about her life. I already knew Linda Hebert Todd was an incredible writer. I can tell you now that she is an incredible person with an unusual history. I am thrilled to be able to share her story with you. Every little girl is proud of her fa-

Chapter 10 of book The Walk West, A Walk Across America 2 by Peter Jenkins and Barbara Jenkins, entitled “Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Preacher Hebert,” features Linda Todd’s dad. In this chapter, the author tells about stopping in Westlake and spending some time with the Hebert family. Wally Hebert talks about his experiences in major and minor league baseball and about his life growing up in the Louisiana swamps and bayous. PAGE 18

ther. Linda Hebert Todd’s father, Wally “Preacher” Hebert, was a professional baseball player, originally pitching for the St. Louis Browns. (For those of you who have never heard of this franchise, the Browns were originally the Milwaukee Brewers, who moved to St. Louis, Missouri where they were known as the Browns. Today this franchise is the Baltimore Orioles.) Although she was very young when her dad played ball, Linda has all sorts of interesting stories about her dad. “He used to tell us about the time when St. Louis played the New York Yankees. Back then, the Yankees were a powerhouse.” The first man up to bat was none other than Babe Ruth—and Linda’s dad struck him out! Her dad later played for the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburg Pirates. “The first day we were in Pittsburg, I got lost in a crowd. I was only seven years old, and I was scared. My mother called the police to help find me!” It is memories like these that have shaped Linda’s creative mind. In junior high school Linda began writing “hunky dory” stories. “But,” she admits, “I didn’t get serious about writing until I joined the Bayou Writers Group.” Linda is a charter member of the BWG, having joined this group at its very first meeting in 2003. After her dad quit playing baseball, Linda’s family returned to the Lake Charles area. She grew up, graduated from West Lake High School and fell in love with a “flyboy” named Jack Todd. They met at church when he was stationed at Chenault in the Air Force. Soon after they were married, Jack’s job took them to faraway places.

“We spent eighteen months in Labrador. It was pretty cold there!” Jack and Linda returned to the states, but not to Louisiana. Instead, they were stationed in Blytheville, Arkansas. Arkansas wasn’t exactly home, but at least it was in the south where the weather was warm most of the year. Their next move took them to Houston where after serving two years as a recruiter, Jack retired from the Air Force. From Houston, Jack and Linda returned to Louisiana and settled in West Lake. Linda went to work as a part time librarian. Sadly, Jack passed away in 1985. They had been married for twenty-nine years. Together they had four daughters and one son. Their family also included two granddaughters, seven grandsons, four great granddaughters and three great grandsons. Now that she was a widow, Linda decided to enroll in at McNeese State University. She signed up for as many creative writing courses as she could fit into her schedule. In her spare time, she read everything she could find on the writing process. “In 1997 I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies. But I didn’t stop going to school. I enrolled in the masters program and in 2004, I got my Masters Degree in English—almost fifty years to the day I graduated from high school, which proves you’re never too old to follow your dreams!” With her education complete, Linda went to work as a full time librarian. “I always liked to read, so being a public librarian was the perfect job.” Before long she had been promoted to branch manager of the Westlake

Branch Library. With the library as a resource, Linda continued to read her favorite authors, including James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Lee Child and Ken Follett. These writers wrote murder mysteries and suspense novels. Their books became her writing models. “I am doing some scribbling in the hopes of being published someday, mainly mystery short stories.” Now retired from the library, Linda devotes most of her time and energy to her craft. She continues to take writing classes, attend writer’s conferences and is currently revising her first novel, entitled Wild Justice. “It’s a crime story with a vengeance theme. I got the idea from reading an article in the newspaper about a murder in a little town near southwest Texas.” Linda also loves to write short stories, poetry and flash fiction. Several of her short stories have won contests. “I have two first-place wins in the fiction section of the Members Only Contest of the Bayou Writers Group. My novel excerpt won third place in the Houma Jambalaya Jubilee contest in 2013. Some of my poems have won 2nd, 3rd, or Honorable Mention in various contests.” Linda hopes to have her novel finished by the end of May, ready for an agent or editor to publish. Having read a few chapters from this manuscript, I can hardly wait to purchase a copy and find out what happens. So, here’s my advice: Keep a lookout in your favorite bookstore for mysteries written by Linda Hebert Todd. They will certainly be there in the near future. And judging by her heritage, Linda’s books are sure to be major league homeruns! May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


My Mom Heartaches, tears, laughter and love Are just a few of the things; That make up the word Mother And the happiness she brings. She may not be perfect, no one is As for flaws, well what can I say; I know I never noticed them To me she was perfect in every way . Oh Lord what I would give today To have her by my side; To show her off to everyone My Mom, my Pal, my pride. God took her up to Heaven So many years ago; Yet I can still hear her laughter That’s what made her Mom, don’t you know. Now all I can do is sit here Remembering the past;

By Audrey F. Ison

. Fragale Elizabeth M 11/22/1956 2/2/1911 Knowing in my heart Good things never last. But I can get some solace Just knowing where she is now; No more tears for you dear Mom Thank you God, for taking care of my Pal.

A Mother’s Gift

Praying for her Children by Michele LeDoux Abshire

May is the month to celebrate mothers. What is a mother? By definition a mother is a woman who has given birth to a child. However, the definition just doesn’t encompass the true picture of May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

who a mother really is and what she does. A mother doesn’t stop at giving birth. A mother loves, cares, kisses away hurts, nurtures, mentors, guides, tends and helps her children throughout life. Her heart leaps in joy at first words, steps, every accomplishment or silly antic

displayed. Her ears are attentive. Mothers listen to, laugh and cry with their children. Though not always perfect, tmothers are dedicated, devoted, committed and special. It is wonderful to have a day set aside to honor and celebrate mothers because they are truly a blessing to our lives. Mothers are to be treasured. Perhaps the most important thing a mother can do for her children is to pray for them. Prayer is a gift that has lasting benefits for both mothers and children. I am reminded of Hannah’s story in the Bible. Hannah’s greatest desire was to be a mother. She prayed for a child, vowing to give the child to the Lord. God did indeed bless her with a son. Hannah named the child Samuel. Hannah kept her vow and when Samuel was weaned she brought him to live in the care of Eli, the High Priest. Thereafter, she visited him yearly. Hannah not only trusted God to give her a child, she completely trusted God with the child He gave

her. In Hannah’s fulfillment of her vow we see a complete trust in God’s ability to take care of that which she entrusted to Him. We also see God honoring Hannah’s prayers and His mighty hand directing Samuel’s life throughout his childhood despite the separation between mother and son. Samuel became a great prophet of Israel anointing the first two kings, Saul and David. Like Hannah, mothers can dedicate their children to the Lord and pray for them daily. A mother’s prayers can reach the Heart of God and put a hedge of protection around her children. She can be assured that God is faithfully working behind the scenes on her children’s behalf. A mother’s love is strong and often a reflection of God’s love. However, God’s love surpasses even a mother’s love and keeps safe those entrusted to Him. A mother’s prayer is a wonderful gift to and for her children.

Love in Christ, Michele

Copyright April 2014 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire

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Bringing up

A CHILD

by Lena V. Roach

At the sound of that first infant cry, my husband , Ed, and I began the delightful journey into parenthood . Among the many things we resolved to teach our son, Randy, and our daughter, Lynne, was that we would always try to be there for them, no matter what they might need or want to share with us in their daily lives. During their growing-up years, some of the best times for me to have those tete-a­fetes with them happened while we sat together at the kitchen table for after-school snacks. It was then they were most eager to talk about their day, sometimes with tears and sometimes with laughter. A touch of their hand or an arm around the shoulder, I encouraged the outpouring of whatever emotion they might feel. Occasionally , while listening to what seemed like a “big” problem, I wondered just what I’d

say or do to help “make it go away” or “make it all better.” Often, before I could say a word, the tears might dry up and they would ask, “Mom, can I go outside and play?” They needed to talk, and I had been there to listen. Problem solved.

Another quiet time to talk was when my husband or I tucked them in bed at night, and each child had our undivided attention.After varied moments of prayer , we would sit by the bed and listen to whatever they wanted to talk about, or read or tell their favorite story again and again until they fell asleep. As they matured and their thinking and reactions to local and na-

“The more you give in life... the more you get”

tional happenings or ideologies in our country or worldwide might differ from ours, we tried to teach them by example that we respected their opinions as they should respect ours and those of anyone else who might not agree with them. We looked forward to any interaction with them, conversations that at times might turn into lively debates as an opportunity to “talk and listen.” Those might happen when we took a walk together or rode in the car, bus, or plane for an out-of-town vacation 4th 13 20 1, y Jul ay nd Mo or visit with friends and relatives. on Randy Roach es arl Ch ke La of r yo More often, just sitting around the term swearing in as Ma PAGE 20

dinner table at home or watching a television program turned into op- hands. Life, like the bed of roses, has its thorns. Those thorns made one appreciate the roses. Lynne chose to enter the business world with a college degree, while Randy became a lawyer.

And his interest shifted to the field of politics. First, a run for State Representative, which claimed his passionate dedication for eight years, portunities that let us keep up with and then came the desire to serve as the changes taking place in their Mayor of Lake Charles, a position of hearts and minds. Those opportu- service he has been honored to serve nities enriched our relationship as a now in his fourth term. family who both loved and liked one Looking back, no matter their another. successes and failures, their dad and Came their dreams and ambi- I were generous with hugs and those tions? “The more you give in life,” we three words, “I love you,” and with had tried to teach them, “the more looks and smiles, an arm around you get.” Fundamental to success the shoulder that said, “I’m proud of in whatever their endeavor, like the you.” poet William Ernest Henley says in Was our life together, those his poem, “Invictus,” one must be- “growing up” years for the four of us, lieve, “I am the master of my fate.” in different ways, of course, always Success and failure lay in their easy? No. As parents, we made mis-

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


takes. We cried with them. We apologized for words we had not said or some we had said on the impulse of the moment and regretted, or for things we had done or not done. Intum, they did the same. A bonded family, we forgave and we forgot. On a visit to Hollywood, we met Dr.Joyce Brothers. The popular psychologist nationwide was there as

the star speaker in a special program on family relationships. In line to shake hands with her at the conclusion of her talk, I asked if she had a brief statement for parents on bringing up their children. She smiled and said, “Just love them.” A parent needs no other advice.

Women! Don’t overlook

your mental & physical health Today, women face many challenges from relationships, parenting, and working. They often have heavy responsibilities which include taking care of their spouse, children, and homes, as well as meeting the demands of their jobs. With this in mind, it is important that women take time to care for their mental and physical health needs. Here are some tips that will help:

1. Eat healthy meals, to insure Not doing these things can lead to that the mind and body can work problems, including depression, at its best. therefore it is important to follow 2. Have small snacks throughout these tips to manage your mental the day to provide the extra fuel and physical health. necessary to tackle unforeseen Patrick Steward, M.Ed problems. Clinical Director of New Beginnings

3. Learn to say, “No.” Overloaded Outreach Community Center people are candidates for mental Board Certified Master Addictions Counselor Certified Anger & Depression Management and physical health issues. Specialist 

4. Ask for help from others. OfContact Patrick at (337) 794-5351 ten people don’t realize that you Suite 1640E -Capital One Tower need help unless you tell them.

Hearts.

Our new cardiology services are here for the hearts you love. At Lake Area Medical Center, we’re proud to welcome cardiology to our family of services, ranging from diagnostic procedures to stent placement and vascular care. With experienced, board-certified heart specialists on the medical staff, and the newest cardiac cath lab in the area, we’re working to make a real difference in people’s hearts … and lives. To learn more, visit LakeAreaMC.com or call 337-475-4130.

Miguel DePuy, M.D.

Richard Gilmore, M.D.

Thomas Mulhearn IV, M.D.

Michael Turner, M.D.

4200 Nelson Road • Lake Charles

Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10 76233_LAMC_Hearts_9x5_4c.indd 1

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By Mary Ned

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I began thinking about motherhood and its importance in our society. Anyone can become a mother, but it is much harder to be a good mother. Mothers with disabilities have an even more challenging task. But this task is not insurmountable. I know. My name is Mary Louis Ned. I was adopted as an infant when my birth mother abandoned me. My adoptive mother loved me and I grew up in a wonderful home. My future looked bright. I was excited about all of the possibilities. Then, when I was eighteen years old and a sophomore in the Early Childhood Education department at McNeese State University, I had a stroke— and it changed my life! I have been dealing with this complication ever since that fateful event occurred. At nineteen, even though I was partially paralyzed, I chose to marry my childhood sweetheart, Ker-

PAGE 22

ry James Ned. Together, we had four children. Unfortunately, our two sons died in childbirth, but our two daughters became the joy of our lives. Even though I struggled to take care of my babies, becoming a mother was something I never regretted. I was so thankful for the people who helped me learn how to care for my family. At first, I wasn’t sure I could manage to do the basics, such as changing diapers, since I only had the use of one hand. But, with the help of my physical therapists, I soon learned how to compensate and diaper changing was conquered. The United Way provided me with therapists who taught me all sorts of ways to take care of my children and my home. I was determined to learn to do as much for myself as possible. I learned how to vacuum the floors, even though I had to walk with a walker or roll around in my wheel chair. I learned how

to cook, wash dishes and do the ordinary things mothers do—only I did them with one hand. All of these tasks would take me longer to accomplish, but somehow I managed. I did not let a handicap prevent me from living a normal life. But motherhood involves more than changing diapers and doing housework. For those lessons I turned to my adoptive mother as my role model. She not only set an example for me to follow, she also instilled in me the courage to succeed in spite of my physical disabilities. As a child, my mother made sure that I was taught right from wrong, that I went to church regularly, and that I learned how to get along with others. She provided me with a safe and loving home and nurtured me as I grew into an adult. When I became a mother, I determined to be just like her. My daughters are living testimonies

to my mother’s mentorship. On Mother’s Day in 2008, my daughters, Trudy Nicole and Hope Sherrie, presented me with the “World’s Greatest Mother” award. It was then that I realized I had accomplished my life’s goal—to be a good mother to my children. Having a physical disability was a nuisance at times, but I never let it prevent me from being the kind of mother to my girls that my adoptive mother was to me. I believe Abraham Lincoln summed it up when he wrote, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” So, as another Mother’s Day arrives, why not take this opportunity to thank your angel mother for helping you to become the person you are today? Let her know how much you treasure her. Tell her that you appreciate all the sacrifices she has made for you. It will be the best present she will ever receive!

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10


North LakeCharles Redevelopment Board

by The Voice of SWLA Adjudicated property, small business development and community development are the three areas the North Lake Charles Redevelopment Authority is trying to manage in 2014. In order to make head-way in each the authority is doing research and counting on the expertise of new CEO Jerry W. Jones Jr. “I have to be able to provide the board with information as to what they have already accessed about the community and that will help them reach their goals,” he explained. Jones also works as an economic developer at IMCAL (Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission for Southwest Louisiana) inside the SEED Center located at 4310 Ryan St. Regarding adjudicated property, Jones noted that there are over 300 within the authority’s boundaries. The boundaries of the authority are: north (Calca-

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

sieu River), west (Hodges Street), east (Bunker Road) and south (Broad Street). Preliminary plans to address the property include: allowing the Southern University Law Center to clear titles on some property which will make it easier to sell, setting aside properties that could be developed, and starting workshops in order to educate the community about the properties. That education process will include encouraging residents to take pride in their property while spreading the message that the district could be a stronger economic engine in the region. “Look at the Interstate 10 and U.S. 171corridors,” Jones said. “There are upwards 120,000 folks passing through here every day. They are traveling through the northern part of the city. Add that to the residents already living in the district and we see the potential for a robust neighborhood that adds value to all of Lake Charles.” Authority member Walter

Guidry is optimistic about the agency’s future. “Now we have a focus. I think once we get a handle on adjudicated property, I feel strongly that we will be able to deal with it,” he said. Guidry understands the reservations that some people may have about the authority. Legislatively, the authority that was created in 2009 by a bill authored by State Representative A.B. Franklin, has strength and is capable of setting policies to stop blight and establish an environment that creates wealth. “Right now we have to prove we can actually complete viable projects. Granted, we have a limited area in North Lake Charles because it could be viewed as a bedroom community. There are not a lot of areas for big economic development,” Guidry said. “But we can go after small business development. And that is where the authority can work to improve the area’s image.” “Most Economic Developers would quickly look at the North area of Lake Charles and see that the area is largely a residential district. Most would not call Lake Charles North Area “a bedroom community” because it is in the city limits. Often times by definition Moss Bluff would be referred to as a bedroom community, however the Lake Charles North area and Moss Bluff are both primarily residential areas which cause for them to commute to other areas of the region for work.

Lake Charles north could be described as such solely because of its shared limits to small business and industrial facilities located within the defined boundary.” Jones said efforts to develop small business growth will be bolstered by the authority partnering with local and state agencies that have expertise in those types of endeavors. He believes the more knowledge the authority and public have about small business creation, the better the opportunities for success. Jones is also interested in initiating community development efforts in the district. That effort will include partnering with non-profit, civic and governmental agencies. “Overall, we look forward to working with local, state and federal representatives to improve and celebrate the community,” Jones said.

Jerry W. Jones, Jr.

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December 2013 • Volume 1 • Number 5

May 2014 • Volume 1 • Number 10

The Voice of SWLA - May 2014  
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