Category Archives: Member News

Furniture Express to celebrate new Bossier City location today (Feb. 13, 2020)

Furniture Express, a family-owned business, will be opening a new store in the building formally known as Toys R Us. It is located at 2918 E Texas Street, across from Pierre Bossier Mall. The ribbon-cutting celebration will begin Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11 a.m. Local public figures, such as the mayor of Bossier City and members of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce will be in attendance to help celebrate this occasion. 

Furniture Express was established in 2014 and currently has 3 locations.  This new location will be 30,000 square feet, their largest store thus far. They carry a wide range of furniture such as dining sets, living room furniture, and rugs, to name a few. They also have an assortment of decor to help accentuate any style. The store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.


Abdul Alqam
Furniture Eexpress
A-M Invetments LLC

Designing a better way to help those with Parkinson’s

Charged with creating a medical device last year as part of their Senior Design class, Louisiana Tech biomedical engineering majors Julie Gaudin and Elizabeth Hummel designed wearable sensors for Parkinson patients.

Think of a smart watch that, instead of the time, gives you immediate information about your body’s condition at that moment and conveys it to its wearers.

Gaudin and Hummel call their creation Tremor Tracker, an algorithm to classify Parkinson’s disease tremors and their severity. The pair worked closely with Rocky Steady Boxing at Tech, a non-contact boxing program for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is difficult to diagnose because there’s no specific test for it, especially in the early stages. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scale is commonly used in any clinic, but it’s subject to differences between physicians.

“Our senior design project consisted of a wrist-worn wearable device that tracks the progression of Parkinson’s disease tremors,” Hummel said. “Through supervised machine learning, the device predicts whether a patient’s tremors are parkinsonian or non-parkinsonian, as well as the severity of these tremors. A quantitative analysis of parkinsonian tremors provides a more detailed disease state.”

The two decided to make Tremor Tracker the focus of their project after learning about Tech’s Rock Steady program.

“We were able to move forward from there focusing the use of a wearable device to describe the symptoms of Parkinson’s,” Hummel said.

“We were interested in wearable devices and their increasing popularity as medical devices,” Gaudin said. “Wearable devices are able to record and store large amounts of data that can be analyzed to describe an individual’s disease state over a certain period of time. A more detailed disease state can serve as a basis for medical decisions.”

The two ordered a GENEactiv device, a scientifically validated and waterproof wearable that measures and monitors various body reactions and collects data through an accelerometer that provides objective measurements to help empower healthcare professionals to educate the wearers and improve their health.

“We recorded raw data from our (Rock Steady) volunteers and then uploaded raw data from the device into MATLAB (a math, programming, and graphics app) for analysis,” Hummel said. “We truly enjoyed working on our project, especially with our Rock Steady volunteers.”

“Julie and Elizabeth planned this capstone senior design project after consultation with a biomedical engineering mentor from Verily Life Sciences, Inc., and then implemented the product development tasks with financial support from Tech Alumni,” said Tech Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Patrick O’Neal. “These real-world projects, integrating support from industry and clinical partners, greatly enrich the student’s experience as we prepare them for careers in engineering and the clinical sciences.”

 From Mandeville, Hummel recently began her career as a transmission and distribution line engineer with Ampirical. Gaudin, from Tickfaw near Hammond, will start medical school in the fall.

The mission of Tech’s PRC is to promote a healthy Parkinson’s community by connecting people, programs, ideas, and resources to improve lives through education and service. The Center helps connect PD patients and their caregivers to programs and resources to help.

It is estimated that 1.2 million people in the United States will be living with Parkinson’s disease by 2030; about 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year (Statistics on Parkinson’s). There are an estimated 10 million cases worldwide.

For more information on the PRC and resources available to the community visit the program’s website.

If you or someone you know is living with PD or is a care partner of someone with PD, connect with Tech’s PRC at 318.257.2514 or

Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit Competition 2 Celebrates Innovation and Teamwork

Over 800 elementary, middle, and high school students from eight parishes and counties and their enthusiastic supporters converged on the Bossier Civic Center on Saturday, February 8, 2020, for the second competition of the 2019-2020 Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC) in North Louisiana. RARC is a series of three cyber and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competitions for students in grades 2-12.

“RARC is now in its ninth year, and every year the committee chooses a new theme that inspires the challenges. This year’s theme, Farm to Table, allows students to explore concepts like agriculture, farming technology, fruit cultivation, apiculture, and the fishing industry while programming their robots to autonomously accomplish several tasks on a large, colorful mat that looks like a community on the gulf. Thus, the students have an opportunity to learn about the industries, from shrimping to cyber, on which our state’s economy is based,” said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach for the Cyber Innovation Center.

Valeria West, Assistant Extension Agent in Forestry and Wildlife for the Louisiana State University AgCenter, reinforced through a presentation to the students and their parents how much agriculture and agriculture-related technology impact the daily lives of Louisiana residents. Each competition features a presentation by a local professional who provides information on cyber and STEM, education resources, or academic and career pathways.

When asked how RARC impacts his classroom and his students, Robert Gallant with Greenacres Middle School commented that through RARC “we are preparing these kids for positions that aren’t even available yet.” Mr. Gallant went on to say that former students who are now graduating high school are pursuing engineering and similar degrees after years of being engaged in cyber and STEM programs.

Throughout the competition, approximately 200 teams from Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, and Webster Parishes and Bowie County, Texas accumulated points based on their performance and were ranked accordingly. In the elementary division, South Highlands Elementary Team 1 emerged as the first place winner followed by Legacy Elementary Team 1 in second place and South Highlands Elementary Team 3 in third place. Elm Grove Middle Team 5 triumphed in the middle school division and was awarded first place. Benton Middle Team 2 won second place, and Natchitoches Magnet Middle Team 2 was named the third place winner. In the Parallax/high school division, Cope Team 2 earned first place while Southwood High Team 1 and Caddo Magnet High Team 3 took second and third place, respectively.

RARC is sponsored by the Cyber Innovation Center’s NICERC, the City of Bossier City, Bossier Parish Schools, and Caddo Parish Schools. To learn more about RARC, please visit the RARC Facebook page at

Dillas Quesadillas to serve up quesadillas to help Benton Middle School

Restaurant to cook at the school and donate proceeds to help with recovery effort

BENTON – Dillas Quesadillas is making quesadillas to help a good cause. This Thursday, Feb. 6, Dillas will set up at Benton Middle School, cooking quesadillas fresh off the grill, with the proceeds going to benefit the school’s recovery efforts after the storms in January.

Pete John, owner/operator and team member for Dillas Quesadillas, said his team will be set up Feb. 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in front of the school. They will be selling the Plain-o Chicken quesadilla with chips and queso for $10.

“Our restaurant is committed to helping the community in any way we can,” John said. “And what better way to celebrate this terrific school and all it does within this community than with quesadillas, chips and queso.

“We can’t think of a better way to lend a hand than doing what we do best. That’s what community is all about.”

NSU to host Spring N Side View Feb. 29

Northwestern State University will hold its annual Spring N-Side View Saturday, Feb. 29.

            Registration will begin at 8 a.m. in the Orville Hanchey Art Gallery and the program starts at 9 a.m.

As part of Spring N-Side View, representatives from each of Northwestern State’s colleges will be on hand to explain degree programs offered at NSU. Staff from the financial aid, housing and scholarship offices will also be available to answer questions. A student panel will give a unique perspective on the university. An orientation program for parents will also be held. A campus tour will also be part of Spring N-Side View.

            Northwestern State offers a unique scholarship opportunity for students with strong leadership potential and provides them with a yearlong leadership program. The President’s Leadership Program is designed to promote active involvement in the campus community and provide opportunities for students to build leadership skills together. A PLP Emerging Leaders Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A reservation is required in order to participate in the program. Those interested can sign up at

            Lunch will be available at 12 p.m. in Iberville Dining Hall for $8.

To reserve a spot for Spring N-Side View, go to

CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Holds Blessing for Loving Gift from NWLA Cradle Me Campaign

Thanks to the tireless efforts and generosity of the Northwest Louisiana Cradle Me Campaign, bereaved parents at CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System will now have a specialized cradle for use when an infant is stillborn or passes away.  

A Remembrance and Dedication Ceremony has been set for Sunday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m. to honor babies gone too soon and to commemorate the organization’s donation of a Caring Cradle to complement the grief and bereavement services provided in the Birth Place, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and by Child Life and Pastoral Care Services.

The Caring Cradle is a support tool for any family whose baby has passed away.  The sleek design of the Caring Cradle may be placed in the mother’s hospital room and includes a built in cooling device where baby lays. This wonderful device helps to temporarily preserve the baby’s body and allows families to have a little more time with their infant.

“Through this wonderful gift, we are honored to continue to create the most intimate setting for families having to say goodbye to their baby,” said Paige Cox, Certified Child Life Specialist. “In the most difficult of times, being able to offer any sort of compassion and assistance is at the very core of our mission as CHRISTUS Health to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

The purpose of the Northwest Louisiana “Cradle Me” Campaign is to raise funds to donate a Cuddle Cot or Caring Cradle to each local hospital that delivers babies. A Cuddle Cot or Caring Cradle gives parents time to bond, love on their baby, take pictures, dress their baby and make memories. Time is something quickly robbed from parents of babies born still. This campaign was started in October 2015, and in November 2016 they were able to place their first cradle.

“We are so incredibly grateful to parents of the NWLA Cradle Me Campaign,” said Amy Heron, President and Executive Director, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Foundation. “This is a very special donation and carries a legacy of so many families and their precious angels! This will be such an important addition to our hospital to help families facing grief and loss of their sweet baby. We are honored to be able to have it to help families we serve!”

NLEP announces 2020 Board of Directors and board officers

The following is from BIZ.

North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) today announced the newest members of its Board of Directors and Officers. The new board members were elected by more than 200 investors for multi-year terms, and the Board in turn elects four board officers.

The 2020 NLEP Board Chair is Adam Johnston, First Guaranty’s Senior Vice President & North Louisiana Regional Manager. Chap Breard, President & CEO of MoeBiz, will serve as Chair-Elect. James Moore of Moore Family Interests, LLC. will serve as Secretary, and Greg Lott, Progressive Bank Executive Vice President, was chosen as NLEP’s Treasurer.  The newest members to join NLEP’s 58-person Board of Directors include:

Jerry AllenDelta Land and Farm
Ron BaileySam’s Town Hotel and Casino
Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., Chancellor          Bossier Parish Community College
Jack Clampit, Police JurorOuachita Parish Police Jury
Anne DixonAnne Dixon Real Estate
Stephen FortsonBradley, Murchison, Kelly & Shea
Jeff HarperNorth Webster Parish Industrial District
Mayor O’Landis MillicanTown of Arcadia
Dr. Dave NorrisLouisiana Tech University
Barry RegulaBoomtown Casino & Hotel
Tom SimmsCarr, Riggs, Ingram, LLC
Dr. Steen TrawickCHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System

“I am honored to be working with such a dedicated group of leaders ,” said Johnston. “Their commitment to promoting economic development for North Louisiana and creating more job opportunities for their communities is inspiring.”

Board Chair Adam Johnston is a Bossier Parish native and graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS with a Bachelor of Business Administration and LSU Shreveport with an MBA. Johnston has been a banker for 13 years and currently oversees the lending activities for all seven First Guaranty Bank branches in North Louisiana. His many accolades and civic contributions include Past President of the Louisiana Bankers Education Council; Louisiana Bankers Association Leadership School Graduate; Young Professionals Initiative (Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce); recipient of “40 Under 40” honor  (Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce) and “40 Under 40” award from the Independent Community Bankers Association. He is married to Katie Johnston, and they have three children: Adam, Jr., Mary Elizabeth and Wright Johnston.

The Glen breaks ground on renovation, construction project

The Glen held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 8 to begin construction on Redbrook at The Glen, a new independent living building. In addition to the construction project, The Glen will begin renovating the current Glen building and also add a connector building to the assisted living memory care.

New amenities for independent living residences will include: an indoor pool with locker rooms, a strength training room with state-of-the-art equipment, a yoga/fitness studio, three multi-purpose rooms on each floor, two separate dining venues, optional covered parking, climate-controlled resident storage units, available spa and salon services and spacious grounds with walking paths.

Redbrook at The Glen will also add 15 new local jobs to the already 200-plus staff employed by The Glen.

“For more than 120 years, The Glen has been known for our reputation for quality care in the community. Now, with the addition of Redbrook, we look toward our future to offer new lifestyle options for independent living residents,” said Debra Williams, president and CEO. “Redbrook speaks specifically to older adults craving a more active and intriguing life within a supportive community beyond retirement.”

The new independent living residences, named Redbrook at The Glen, will offer 60 residences. Five unique residence options are planned including one bedrooms, one- bedroom dens and two-bedrooms ranging in sizes of 727 to 1,140 square feet. Residents will benefit from features, which include granite countertops, crown moulding, stainless steel appliances, walk-in showers, walk-in closets, wall safes, medicine cabinets, in unit washer and dryer, optional electric fireplaces in all residences, and private balconies/patios.

The Glen is a nonprofit, Life Plan Community and is governed by a local board of directors. The Glen Board of Directors approved to move forward with the renovation and construction project unanimously during a June 6 board meeting.

CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates of Shreveport-Bossier expands practice

Knowing who to count on for your child’s health care needs is an important decision, and the team at CHRISTUS Pediatric Associates – Shreveport-Bossier is here to help make that choice easyLouisiana native Whitney Jackson, APRN, FNP-C, is an important addition to the growing team serving the community at 1549 E. 70th Street, in Shreveport.

“Whitney is going to be a wonderful part of our group, providing primary and specialty care to her patients, newborn and up,” said Stephanie Arnold, CMC, CMOM, Director of Operations

CHRISTUS Physician Group. “She is dedicated to the wellness of Shreveport’s youngest patients, and her services include same day sick visits, wellness exams, including sports physicals, as well as managing acute and chronic illnesses. We are looking forward to her being a valuable member of this team and to our community for years to come!”

Jackson, a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, provides primary and specialty care to pediatrics patients, from newborns and up. Whether it’s a common cold or a more urgent situation, Jackson is there to provide professional care.

Whitney Jackson is a native of Mansfield, LA, and now resides in Shreveport. She attended Centenary College of Louisiana and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2008. Ms. Jackson received a second Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northwestern State University School of Nursing in 2013. In 2019, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing for Family Nurse Practitioner, again from Northwestern, and is board-certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Although she is able to treat all age ranges of patients, pediatrics is her passion. Ms. Jackson believes in utilizing the gifts the Lord has given her to help treat patients under her care.

“I believe it’s important to treat the patient as a whole and not just their diagnosis, because there are external factors that may influence a patient from obtaining optimal health and healing,” said Jackson. “That’s why building relationships with my patients is very important to me. Then, maintaining that relationship with parents and patients helps me provide better care so that I can offer the very best to my patients, their families and the community I serve.”

Volunteers needed for the 2020 LA High School State Wrestling Championships

This is a BIG event and we need a lot of volunteers.  Please help if you can and pass this email to anyone you think might be interested. 

Volunteers needed for:

Security –  Help building staff keep athletes on the arena floor during coaches meeting.

Team Check In – Check in teams at the door, check credentials and help keep the water and Gatorade containers filled. 

Scoring table – Keep track of the officials calls and time at one of the wrestling mats. Knowledge of the sport is a plus.

Hospitality Room – Check credentials, serve food, keep hospitality area clean and help where ever needed.

When: Feb 13, 14 and 15, 2020

Shift:  multiple shifts available. 

To volunteer go to our volunteer calendar at

Click the sign up button on a date you would like to volunteer for and follow the directions. It is that easy. You can volunteer for one or more days and for as many shifts as you would like to help with.

Important note if you are using a work or BAFB email, your volunteer confirmation may go into your junk or spam file.  The volunteers system emails you form this email address: Once you add this email to your addresses, you should not have any problem getting communication and updates from our volunteer system.

If you have any questions or have trouble signing up to help please contact Teresa Micheels at

Must be 18 years of age or older to volunteer.

Teresa Micheels, Volunteer/Project Manager
Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission

629 Spring Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
Your Sports Connection

318-429-0628 or 800-551-8682, ext. 146

A division of the Shreveport – Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau

To volunteer go to Shreveport – Bossier Sports Commission volunteer calendar at: