Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Glen partners with YMCA of Northwest Louisiana to support Parkinson’s wellness program

The Glen’s Board of Directors awarded $2,000 through its President’s Award to the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana on June 14. The funds will go toward training instructors for a program called Rock Steady Boxing, which helps older people with Parkinson’s disease improve motor movement, balance and core strength.

“The Glen has always placed an emphasis on wellness, and in partnering with the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana, this only solidifies our commitment to exploring all areas of the six dimensions of wellness,” President and CEO Debra Williams said. “Our goal with the President’s Award is to partner and invest in our local community and support older people in our external population. The YMCA’s mission is parallel to ours and fosters an exceptional opportunity for older people in Shreveport-Bossier City.”

Exercises used in Rock Steady are largely based on boxing drills, which condition for optimal agility, speed, hand-eye coordination and overall strength. The funds will be used to support the certification and training costs for instructors to offer classes at the YMCA on Knight Street beginning this summer.

“It’s so important that nonprofits support other nonprofits,” said Gary Lash, CEO of the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana. “By working together, we are able to successfully fulfill the needs of our community and support our collective missions. The [funds] from The Glen will help us do that by empowering seniors in Shreveport-Bossier to fight back against Parkinson’s, no matter their race, religion or socioeconomic background.”

The President’s Award is a scholarship set up by The Glen’s Board of Directors. Each year, the board awards funds based on the needs in the Shreveport-Bossier City community supporting services or programs that benefit seniors.

Past recipients include the Caddo Council on Aging, Hope Connections, Providence House, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, Holy Angels Residential Facility, Community Renewal International, the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana and the MLK Health Center and Pharmacy.

Barbara Williams, President and CEO of The Glen, awards $2,000 through its President’s Award to Gary Lash, the CEO of YMCA of Northwest Louisiana, on June 14.

Facts on the Bossier Parish School Tax Referendums, May 4, 2019

April 12, 2019 special called board meeting
MOTION: To take no position, but offer feedback to the School Board (by paper ballot)
RECOMMENDATION: The Bossier Chamber Board of Directors recommends to the Bossier Parish School Board that they pull the propositions off the May 4, 2019 ballot and come back with a better collaborative offering.

Proposition No. 1 of 2 (Millage)
Shall Parishwide School District of the Parish of Bossier, State of Louisiana (the “District”), levy a twenty-two and ninety-four hundredths (22.94) mills tax on all property subject to taxation in the District for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2019 and ending with the year 2028 (an estimated $22,192,464 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of giving additional support to the public elementary and secondary schools of the Parish by providing funds for the payment of salaries and benefits of teachers and other school employees?
A vote for would increase property taxes across the parish for businesses and residents alike. According to the Bossier Parish Tax Assessor’s office, Proposition 1 at 22.94 mills would constitute an increase of 21.10% for businesses within the city of Bossier City but the increase varies outside of the city limits. For the schools, it would increase teacher pay by $7,200 across the board and $3,000 for support personnel.
A vote against would maintain property taxes at approximately the current levels.

Proposition No. 2 of 2 (Millage)
Shall Parishwide School District of the Parish of Bossier, State of Louisiana (the “District”), levy a three and twenty-two hundredths (3.22) mills tax on all property subject to taxation in the District for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2019 and ending with the year 2028 (an estimated $3,090,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for the purpose of giving additional support to the public elementary and secondary schools of the Parish by funding the acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of the infrastructure, hardware, software and related furnishings, equipment, supplies and facilities for computer and related technology training and instruction in the public elementary and secondary schools of the Parish?
A vote for would increase property taxes across the parish for businesses and residents alike. According to the Bossier Parish Tax Assessor’s office, Proposition 2 at 3.22 mills would constitute an increase of 2.96% for businesses within the city of Bossier City but the increase varies outside of the city limits. It would give the schools approximately $3 million per year to invest in technology upgrades, mainly in infrastructure, to increase wireless capability and allow the school district to comply with FCC national recommendations for bandwidth and Internet broadband capability per student.
A vote against would maintain property taxes at approximately the current levels.

**If both millages pass, according to the Bossier Parish Tax Assessor’s office, this would constitute a total property tax increase of 24% for businesses within the city of Bossier City but the increase varies outside of the city limits.

SURVEY: The Bossier Chamber of Commerce polled its membership, asking about their support for the two tax referendum propositions on the May 4 ballot. The results were:
Proposition 1 (salaries):
22.2% For
16.6% Against
60% Against but encourage collaboration
Proposition 2 (technology)
32.2% For
18.8% Against
48.8% Against but encourage collaboration

See the full fact sheet here!

Bossier Chamber urges Bossier Parish School Board to withdraw May 4 propositions

Business Community seeks collaboration to restructure tax referendum

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has recommended that the Bossier Parish School Board pull the Tax Referendums on the ballot for May 4, 2019.

Because this tax is retroactive to 2019 and would impact business and economic growth, the Board echoes the sentiments of the poll conducted of the Bossier Chamber membership that this referendum is too much of a tax burden at one time.*

Other factors include:
• Governor John Bel Edwards has proposed a statewide teacher pay raise in 2019.
• According to the Bossier Parish Tax Assessor’s office, 2020 is a reassessment year for property in Bossier Parish.
The Bossier Chamber Board seeks a solution that does not destroy the budgets of the small businesses that make this economy run, gives teachers incentives to build a great school district and gives the administration the tools it needs to recruit.

We cannot let a solvable issue divide a Bossier community that has historically been so unified.

*These two propositions are property tax millages for residents and businesses. For the business community, property tax millages mean a tax on buildings, land, inventory, machines, fixtures, furniture, equipment, etc.

Local kids give to local kids at CHRISTUS

The St. Mark’s Cathedral School’s 3rd Grade Class adopted the Child Life Program at CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System as a part of their Advent Class Project. We love that local kids are helping local kids. The Child Life Program is one of the 17 Children’s Miracle Network Hospital programs at CHRISTUS that help children and families facing medical experiences and grief reduce fear, anxiety and pain by providing developmentally appropriate therapeutic play, preparation and education. 

These toys will be used for kids in day surgery, the ER, and other areas of the hospital that the Child Life Program serves.

Some students from the class came to the hospital today to drop off the toys, and they were treated to a tour of the hospital to include stocking the Child Life cart in day surgery, and a special show and tell in our Emergency Room with Dr. Jim Cotter. Miss Heart of Pilot, J’Lyn Henderson joined the students on the tour as well!

“We are so thankful that the 3rd grade class at St. Mark’s Cathedral School chose our Child Life Program as a part of their Advent Class Project,” Paige Cox, Certified Child Life Specialist, said. “I work with kids every day, and I am always amazed at their kind spirit and generosity. This is what the Christmas season is all about, and I love that these kids are contributing to our mission at CHRISTUS of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Second annual Upstate Rising Conference to be held at BPCC

Bossier Parish Community College’s Economic & Workforce Development Division is proud to host the second annual Upstate Rising: The North Louisiana Public-Private Partnership, Real Estate Development, and Land Use Planning Law Conference.

This year’s conference is scheduled for 8:30am – 4:45 pm on Thursday, August 23, in the gymnasium (Building I) on the BPCC campus, 6220 E Texas St., Bossier City, LA, and focuses on the topic: “Exploring Roads, Rivers, & Rails”.

The daylong economic development conference allows participants to learn “best practices” and strategies to improve their business opportunities and the economic well-being of Northwest Louisiana. It also provides access to networking opportunities with local, regional, and statewide industry professionals.

Featured speakers for this year’s conference include Mike Mullis, President/CEO, and Denise Mott, Managing Director, for J.M. Mullis, Inc., a site selection firm.  Mullis and Mott will give participants the trends in site selection and will summarize global, national, and regional corporate location and expansion trends. Having visited north Louisiana several times throughout the last few decades, they will also share their perspective on where the area was then, where it is now, and where it can go in the future to increase its competitive advantage.

Also on the agenda as keynote speaker is Shawn Wilson, Ph.D., Secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development. Dr. Wilson will discuss how public policy and Louisiana transportation infrastructure construction, expansion, and improvement support public-private partnerships, real estate development, and land use planning.

The conference’s other speakers include:

  • Kent Rogers, Executive Director of Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments
  • Bill Sanderson, Mayor, Village of Choudrant, and Building Official, City of Ruston
  • Scott Martinez, President of North Louisiana Economic Partnership
  • Neil Erwin, Attorney, and Caroline E. Mladenka, MPA, Neil Erwin Law, LLC
  • Curtis A. Wright, Sr., Real Estate Professional

A “best practice” panel discussion from the perspective of local experts will also be on the agenda. The panel includes William “Bill” R. Altimus, Administrator, Bossier Parish Police Jury; Eric England, Executive Port Director, The Port of Caddo-Bossier;

Brian Crawford, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of the Mayor, City of Shreveport; and William “Bill” Cooksey, Deputy Director of Airports, Shreveport Airport Authority.  Liz Swaine, Executive Director of the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority, will facilitate the panel.

For this second year, BPCC is pleased to bring all these dynamic speakers and leaders to the table and plans to continue providing exceptional placemaking opportunities such as this conference for those in “upstate” Louisiana.

“BPCC is happy to provide a means for positive community collaboration to stimulate a growth mindset” said Dr. Gayle Flowers, Vice Chancellor for Economic & Workforce Development at Bossier Parish Community College. “Results of collaborations like Upstate Rising uniquely positions North Louisiana as a dynamic region for business success, family stability and satisfaction, and an enviable quality of life.”

Realtors, architects, civil engineers, attorneys, real estate developers, public officials, municipal planners, financial institution representatives, and private citizens are welcome to attend. Attendees can receive continuing education credits through participating organizations (go to: https://bit.ly/2GyuQKo or contact BPCC’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education Office, 318-678-6015 for a list of organizations and conference details).

Upstate Rising’s 2018 sponsors include:

Platinum: AEP SWEPCO

City of Bossier City

Diamond: Bossier Parish Police Jury

Gold:  Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation

Neil Erwin Law, LLC

Silver: Bossier Metropolitan Planning Commission

North Louisiana Economic Partnership

Bronze: American Institute of Architects-Shreveport Chapter

American Society of Civil Engineers-Shreveport Branch

Bossier Press Tribune

Coordinating & Development Corporation

Bossier Chamber of Commerce

Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce

Louisiana Engineering Society-Shreveport Chapter

Louisiana Municipal Association

Louisiana Police Jury Association

Upstate Rising conference fee is $249. To register for the conference or for additional information, go to: https://bit.ly/2GyuQKo or contact Bossier Parish Community College’s Division of Economic & Workforce Development, upstaterising@bpcc.edu or call 318-678-6015.

Hotel accommodations are provided through Margaritaville Resort Casino at a special group code. If members of a group are individually paying for rooms, reservations for the event will be made by calling 318-698-3920, or by emailing  bmcmickle@margaritaville-bc.com).  When making reservations, please state, Upstate Rising Conference.

BPCC receives military flags donated from Soldier’s Wish and Subway

Soldier’s Wish, a national non-profit organization who identifies unmet needs of veterans of military service and provides resources to meet those needs, and Subway® have joined together to grant wishes and raise funds for military servicemen/women across the country.

In celebration of Flag Day 2018 and to commemorate the opening of BPCC’s new Veteran Resource Center on the BPCC campus in Fall 2018, Soldier’s Wish and Subway® have generously offered to provide the College with the five military service flags, the American flag, and the POW flag to be displayed in the new center. It is their way of honoring all military students and recognizing their sacrifices through service to their country. They will also be presenting a check to the BPCC Foundation to provide scholarships for veteran students in need.

Join us for the presentation at 10:00 am on Wednesday, June 13 at the Subway® restaurant on the BPCC campus (Building F), 6220 E. Texas St, Bossier City.

Last year, Soldier’s Wish worked with our Veteran Educational Services Office to identify a BPCC military student to receive a wish. They awarded a BPCC veteran student with a laptop, printer, and accessories to help him complete his coursework and graduate with honors from the nursing program.

For more information on Soldier’s Wish, visit our website.  For additional information on Subway’s® partnership with the organization, click here.

Show your support of our local military

May is Military Appreciation Month, a month to honor the service and sacrifice of members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and National Guard as well as the contribution of their spouses.

And, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce is celebrating by hosting the Military Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, May 3 at Margaritaville Resort Casino. The event, presented by Barksdale Federal Credit Union, will honor all of our local military units for their service. This SOLD OUT EVENT is a great way our business community shows its support of our thriving military community.
Thanks to all of our sponsors: Barksdale Federal Credit Union, Willis-Knighton Health System, Margaritaville Resort Casino, Youngblood & Hodges, BancorpSouth, Red River Chevrolet, Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets, Boeing, Buffalo Wild Wings, BPCC and Boomtown Casino & Hotel.

Bossier Innovates Foundation to participate in Give for Good

On Tuesday, May 1, be sure to assist your local business community within the realms of business development and workforce development by making a contribution to the Bossier Innovates Foundation. By making a donation to this foundation you are ensuring the continuation of valuable efforts towards these aforementioned developmental causes. Within BIF’s three pillars of education, innovation and entrepreneurship, and community enhancement, the foundation is providing leadership opportunities for students, dual enrollment/certification scholarships, college scholarships, honing in and celebrating new and upcoming industry sectors and encouraging students to take interest in these upcoming fields, as well as providing an array of programs such as E.P.I.C. (Entrepreneurs & Professionals in the Community) and Innovation NWLA. Help us help the local business community continue its efforts in growth, stability, and innovation.

Fourth Annual Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment Reception

Christmas morning is coming early for 17 Bossier Parish teachers, who will be on the receiving end of $30,000 in grant money thanks to the Biedenharn Foundation.

For the fourth year, the Sydney Biedenharn Educators Endowment will enable Bossier Parish educators to integrate innovative resources in their classrooms to further reach students and engage them to learn.

On December 12, at 3:30 p.m., a fun Coca-Cola themed reception will be held in honor of the Biedenharn family as the Board of Directors presents checks to this year’s recipients at Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Drive.

Lt. Governor to Visit Parkway

Tomorrow, December 12 at 10 a.m., Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser will be visiting Parkway High School to personally extend his congratulations to the Panthers for having one of only 26 high school bands in the nation selected to perform at the “Music For All” National Concert Band festival in March in Indianapolis.

This is a very prestigious honor; the highest a school band can attain. Think of it as making it to the Superbowl! The Lt. Governor will also sign a proclamation commending the Parkway Band for this honor and be entertained by music from the group, led by Band Director Mark Minton.

Learn more about this incredible honor Parkway Band has been selected for when you watch this video.

The public will be able to hear the amazing Parkway Band when they present a free holiday concert on December 14 and they would welcome any publicity.