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Job Start Job Fair

This January job seekers are invited to attend the Job Start Job Fair, hosted by the Calcasieu Business & Career Solutions Center. The fair kicks off Wednesday, January 13th at 9am and lasts until Noon at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Veterans will get priority services and all participants should bring a picture ID and several copies of their resume.

Attendees are not required to register but are encouraged to do so. Pre-registration is taking place from now until noon on January, 12th at the Calcasieu Business & Career Solutions Center, 2424 3rd Street in Lake Charles. Employer registration will end on Friday, January 8th.

This job fair is sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, in conjunction with the Workforce Development Board, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. For more information contact the Calcasieu Business & Career Solutions Center at 337-721-4010.

Boat and Kayak Launches Re-opening this Weekend

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury is preparing the Isreal LaFleur Park boat and kayak launches for re-opening Saturday December 19th, 2015. The facility, also known as the I-210 boat launch, has been closed due to construction of the Cove Lane Interchange on the interstate.

The facilities have been closed since March, 2014 to allow equipment on the property for the contractor constructing the new interchange.

“I’m excited the boat launch is re-opening for the sportsmen of Calcasieu Parish,” said District 8 Police Juror Guy Brame. “The kayak launch has become extremely popular and the LaFleur Park launch is a great facility for that. After listening to our sportsmen, we know how important this launch is for outdoor recreation.”

The beach at the park will remain closed due to erosion issues until a final remediation plan can be developed. Temporary restrooms will be available at the launch.

Ward 3 Recreation to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for Lake Charles Boston Football Stadium Renovations

Lake Charles Ward 3 Recreation will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lake Charles Ward 3 Football Stadium (formerly Lake Charles Boston High School Football Stadium) located at 1201 1st Avenue in Lake Charles.

Executive Director Kip Texada says his organization’s mission is to establish, acquire, construct, improve, extend, and maintain a recreational system and facilities for the benefit of all citizens. The mid-town stadium is under the supervision of Ward 3 Recreation and now hosts high school, junior high school and recreational football games. 

The renovations are funded in part by the State of Louisiana through its Capital Outlay program. Texada credited Sen. Ronnie Johns, Speaker of the House of Representatives Chuck Kleckley, and Rep. A.B. Franklin for helping secure the funds and said they would attend the groundbreaking.

 Renovations are expected to last approximately six to eight months.

2nd Annual Jingle Jeep Drive put on By Seven Slot Society of SWLA

The toy drive for Brennan's Blessings is this Sunday Dec 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Brennan's Blessings is part of Colors for a Cause. They provide assistance for those families in the SWLA area who cant afford their medical bills and/or normal day to day bills. "The toy drive is for the families that can't even afford to do Christmas. It is my opinion that every kid should have a toy on Christmas, and the club feels the same way." Russ Conrad, VP of Seven Slot Society, said. The Sloppy Taco will be on site to serve lunch, and will be donating a portion of the sales to the charity as well. So come out and help the community by donating a toy to a needy family.

SOWELA’s Customer Service Star Award Recipient

Allison Dering, the Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at SOWELA Technical Community College, has received the Customer Service Star Award for the fall 2015 semester. Award winners are selected from nominations submitted to and reviewed by SOWELA’s Customer Service Committee.

The application for Ms. Dering received by the committee noted that, “Allison is unbelievably patient and kind to all that she encounters. She stays incredibly busy, but always manages to make you feel like you are her top priority. She truly delivers the best customer service to every student.”

According to Anna Daigle, the Director of Enrollment Services and Financial Aid, “Allison has been a valuable asset to the SOWELA community of faculty, staff, and students for eight years. Prior to joining the College, Allison was employed in financial aid at McNeese State University for five years.” Registration for the spring semester at SOWELA is now open with classes beginning on Monday, January 11, 2016. To complete a scholarship application, visit or call 337-421-6545.

Central School’s Holiday Art Market

The Arts Council of Southwest Louisiana invites the public to shop local art for Christmas gifts during our festive Holiday Art Market. Hours are Friday, December 11, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 13th, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Set on the first floor of Central School Arts & Humanities Center, the Holiday Art Market will return with an array of fine and handmade items by local artisans, with 10% of the proceeds benefitting the Francis G. Bulber Youth Orchestra, who will perform on Saturday and Sunday.

A Spoonful of Sugar bakery will serve an assortment of yummy holiday treats, plus cider and hot cocoa. Art vendors include Sue Zimmermann’s watercolors, stained glass by Michelle Morgan, Michael Naquin’s woodworks, jewelry by Cajun Moon, JM Designs, and Snake & Monkey Studios, ceramics from Anita Ahrens, Rex Alexander, Tracy Lemieux, and Jen Van Putten, photography by Brice Perrin and Matthew Ison, handwoven baskets by Emma Hughes, and more from Morgan and Danny Allain, Melinda Antoon, Peggy Borel, Daneisha Davis, Erica Nelson, Greta Painter, Jeremy Price, and Jan Scharrier.

The Blank Slate Mural Club will be selling holiday cards with their own designs, and the Art Associates Gallery will have cookbooks and gifts for your canine friends. Because Central School is located in the Charlestown Cultural District, a state-designated region under the Louisiana Cultural Districts program, original artwork will be sold tax-free at the event.

For more details, contact the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787 or visit

Lake Charles Partnership Grant Applications Released

The Arts Council of SWLA has announced that applications for the Lake Charles Partnership Grant are available for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. This competitive grant program is funded annually by the City of Lake Charles and administered by the Arts Council, and it expands the accessibility of the arts by providing arts organizations and community groups the opportunity to develop arts programming within Lake Charles. Specific disciplines supported by the program include dance, design arts, folk life, literature, media, music, theatre and visual arts and crafts.

Applicants may apply for up to $3,000 for project assistance for events occurring between April 2016 and March 2017. Eligible applicants may also apply for up to $2,000 for organizational support which provides funding for operating expenses of arts organizations, such as salaries and supplies. Applicants compete only with other organizations and projects within the city limits of Lake Charles, so decisions about cultural priorities are made locally.

Applications may be downloaded at or picked up at the Arts Council office, located at 809 Kirby Street, Suite 202 in Lake Charles. Applications must be received, not post-marked, by Friday, January 8, 2016 at 5 p.m. in the Arts Council office; applications may not be submitted to the City of Lake Charles.

The Arts Council also provides qualitative grant administration for the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information call (337) 439-2787.

SOWELA Offers Process Technology Courses in DeRidder

SOWELA Technical Community College is partnering with the City of DeRidder to expand post-secondary educational offerings to residents through the Beauregard Education Link. The Beauregard Education Link is housed at the First Street School in DeRidder, a facility constructed in 1939 by the WPA and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Beginning in fall 2015, SOWELA will offer introductory courses in Process Technology at the new instructional site located at 401 West First Street in DeRidder. This site is an addition to SOWELA’s current program offerings at its main campus in Lake Charles and the Morgan Smith Instructional Site in Jennings.

According to Mr. David Lafargue, the Dean of the School of Industrial Technology, “The two courses that SOWELA is offering in Deridder this spring will focus on quality control and industrial equipment utilized throughout the Processing Industry. Students will gain an understanding of quality control in processing and be introduced to key equipment and components utilized in industries throughout Southwest Louisiana and beyond.” Enrollment in SOWELA’s Process Technology program is by far the largest among all programs. By offering the first two courses in Process Technology in DeRidder, the College can meet program demand as well as ease travel considerations for those students in Beauregard and surrounding parishes. After completing these initial courses, students will have the opportunity to take additional classes in Deridder as they are offered to meet demand or transition to the main campus in Lake Charles to complete their studies in Process Technology.

For more information, visit

Christmas at the Courthouse Inaugural Lighting Ceremony

Representatives of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will host a lighting ceremony for the inaugural lighting of the Historic Calcasieu Parish Courthouse. Join us for the ceremony, Friday, December 4th. Photos with Mr. and Mrs. Clause will begin at 3pm, followed by the lighting ceremony at 4:45pm on the courthouse lawn located at 1001 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA.

Free popcorn, cokes and hot chocolate will be available on site.

Ladies’ Night Out Cosmetic Injection Event to be Held at the Aesthetic Center

Dr. Mark Crawford, Medical Director of the Aesthetic Center in The Eye Clinic, is hosting a holiday “Botox & Beauty Celebration” on Thursday, December, 10 from 5:00 – 8:00pm.  Attendees will learn about the latest advances in cosmetic injections, including Botox, Juvederm and Voluma, and will get a chance to see treatment demonstrations. The vendor representative will be in attendance to answer questions as well, and Dr. Crawford will also be performing Botox injections that night. 

The event will feature one-night-only savings on various treatments and products, along with giveaways, door prizes, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Pre-registration for the event and Botox injection appointments during that evening can be made by calling 337-310-1070. Online registration is also available at The event will take place at the Aesthetic Center in The Eye Clinic, located at 1717 Oak Park Boulevard in Lake Charles.  

Revised Spring 2016 Semester New Student Orientation Dates for SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College is offering New Student Orientation sessions over the coming weeks to prepare incoming students for the spring 2016 semester. The dates and times for these sessions have recently changed. All sessions will be held at the College in the Arts & Humanities Building, Multi-Purpose Room. To view a campus map, visit

Incoming students are required to participate in orientation to help ensure a smoother transition into the College. Face-to-face sessions are offered during the morning, afternoon, and evening to provide greater flexibility. Upcoming sessions include:

 Thursday, December 3, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

 Thursday, December 17, 2015, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

 Friday, January 8, 2016, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Orientation will help students learn about the programs offered at the College, as well as admissions, registration, placement exams, financial aid, and tuition and fee payments. To register, visit

2016-tickets-19106546194 and select the session that works best for you. Walk-ins, parents, and guests are welcome.For more information, visit or contact Dedria Walton at (337) 421-6967 or

City of Lake Charles Transit Service Receives State Award at Annual Conference

The City of Lake Charles Transit Service was awarded the Excellence in Grant Management—Urban Area Program Award at the 2015 annual Louisiana Public Transit Conference in Baton Rouge on November 19. The Service was chosen based on five grant management criteria: reporting timeliness, Triennial Review findings, grants remaining active, Civil Rights programs submitted and ridership increase. “Mr. Al Hoover and the staff at Lake Charles Transit are dedicated to providing safe, dependable public transportation to the residents of Lake Charles and are responsive and cooperative to FTA,” said FTA Region 6 Program Management Specialist/Triennial Review Coordinator, Phyllis DeGarmo. “They have had a 5.3% increase in ridership and they have also provided timely and accurate grant management reports, timely corrective actions on triennial review findings and are in a fundable status with their civil rights programs. We at FTA appreciate their hard work and dedication to transit.”

The City’s Transit Center operates a network of fixed routes which originate and terminate from a new transfer center built next door to the Transit Center. “The Department of Public Works Transit Division is charged with providing affordable bus transportation for residents within the City of Lake Charles,” Mayor Randy Roach said. “Transit service plays a vital role in the day-to-day functioning of any city and we are proud of our Transit Division staff’s dedication to providing quality transportation service to residents. Recognition such as this one recently handed down from the FTA show just how committed these employees are to their job.” Bus service is provided Monday through Friday from 5:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. (except City of Lake Charles holidays). All routes depart from the Transit Customer Service Center, located at 1155 Ryan St., every 45 minutes after the hour. For more information or a complete list of routes, call (337) 491-1253 or visit

NAMI Basics” Offers Skills to Parents and Family Caregivers of Children and Adolescents with Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties.

NAMI SWLA, the local NAMI Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Lake Charles, LA, will offer its NAMI Basics education program for parents and caregivers of children and teens with emotional and behavioral difficulties starting on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from 6 PM to 8:30 PM at the NAMI SWLA office, 715 Ryan St., Suite 203. Trained teachers who are themselves the parents or other caregivers of individuals, who developed emotional and behavioral difficulties prior to the age of 13 years, lead the course. “We care about children.  We care about families,” said NAMI SWLA Executive Director, Anastasia Armstrong. “NAMI Basics provides an important road map to guide them during difficult times.”

The program gives parents and other care givers basic information necessary to take the best care possible of their child, as well as the rest of their family, and themselves.  Coping skills help alleviate the impact that emotional and behavioral difficulties have on the entire family. NAMI Basics helps parents and other family caregivers of children to understand the conditions that are causing these behavioral difficulties have on the entire family. NAMI Basics provides tools for the parent and family caregiver to use even after completing the program that will assist them in making the best decisions possible for the care of the child. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americas affected by mental illness.  To register for the program or for additional information please call the NAMI SWLA office at 337-433-0219 or email


Butch Ferdinandsen has earned the Chartered Financial Consultant ® (ChFC®) professional designation from The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA. Candidates for the ChFC® designation must complete a minimum of nine courses and 18 hours of supervised examinations. They must also fulfill stringent experience and ethics requirements. Over 50,000 individuals have been awarded the ChFC® designation since its inception in 1982 and the credential is widely regarded as the highest standard of knowledge and trust for financial planning professionals. Butch been working with individuals and businesses for over 16 years. He uses personal and professional experience in all areas of financial planning to help people achieve their financial future. He has earned the following designations: Certified Financial Planner™, Chartered Life Underwriter®, Chartered Financial Consultant®, Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor. He is also licensed to sell a variety of financial and insurance products.

Walnut Grove Institute Donates to the Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School Eagle Fund

Walnut Grove, a traditional neighborhood development,  hosted the 3rd annual Walnut Grove 5K and Nutty Fun Color Run on Saturday, November 7. The event raised $5,970 to benefit the Bishop Nolan Episcopal Day School’s Eagle Fund, which is dedicated to enriching the educational experience for EDS students and faculty.

The race is a project of the Walnut Grove Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to serve as the community outreach organization for the Walnut Grove community. The Institute’s goal is to work with other organizations to encourage and promote the visual, literary and performing arts, the future conservation of our community and surrounding environment, as well as historical preservation through interactive educational and community events within Walnut Grove.

Awards for the 5K were given in various age groups ranging from under 14 to 61 and over.  A color run was open for children ages 2 and up. In addition to the races, there were other fun activities with food provided by the Sloppy Taco and Pops and Rockets. After the race, participants and guests were invited to sip mimosas while touring the model home and the Walnut Grove neighborhood. Walnut Grove thanks the race sponsors, runners and the volunteers for helping make the event a success. The Rev. Frances “Boo” Kay accepted the check on behalf of the Bishop Nolan Episcopal Day School with Candace Scroggs and Nikki Alston representing Walnut Grove.


pictured (left to right)- Candace Scroggs, Rev. Frances “Boo” Kay, Nikki Alston

Garbage & Trash Collection Schedule for Week of the Thanksgiving Holiday

In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, November 26th, the following trash collection service will be altered:

Both Progressive Waste Solutions and Waste Management customers whose trash and garbage pickup is normally scheduled on Thursday will be collected on Friday, November 27th. Customers whose trash and garbage pickup is normally scheduled on Friday will be collected on Saturday, November 28th. 

All Police Jury departments will be closed on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th to observe the Thanksgiving Holiday. Offices will re-open Monday, November 30, 2015.

Jazz In the Arts

Click image to view flyer.

Public Invited to the Inaugural Christmas at theCourthouse HolidayLighting Ceremony to Honor Former Police Juror James Mayo

This holiday season, residents are invited to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s “Christmas at the Courthouse” celebration. The late Police Juror James Mayo envisioned the Historic Courthouse lit up for the holidays. This year’s inaugural ceremony is to honor his vision, and celebrate his life and service to the citizens of Calcasieu Parish. Friday, December 4th at 3pm, Mr. and Mrs. Clause will bring their merry helpers to the courthouse lawn at 1001 Ryan Street, in Lake Charles.

Families can take free photos with the first family of the North Pole and get them online following the event on our Facebook page holiday photo album on The festivities continue at 4:45pm with a musical performance by the John F. Kennedy Elementary School Choir before we flip the switch to light up the Courthouse. The evening’s events will close with a performance by the Alfred M. Barbe Show Choir. Free popcorn, cokes and hot chocolate will be available on site.

Proposed 2016 Annual Budget Presented to the Budget Committee

The 2016 Proposed Annual Budget of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury was presented to members of the Budget Committee, Thursday, November 19th. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Thursday, December 3rd at 5pm in the Police Jury Meeting Room, 1015 Pithon Street, Lake Charles. Once approved the formal adoption of the budget takes place at the December 17th Police Jury Meeting. A PDF version of the Proposed 2016 Annual Budget is available for viewing on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury website at


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The SOWELA Technical Community College Foundation recently honored Phillips66 at the Association of Fundraising Professionals

Southwest Chapter’s, Fourth Annual National Philanthropy Day® celebration was held Nov. 12 at Treasures of Marilyn.

Process Technology is SOWELA’s fastest growing program and due to the generosity of Phillips66 in donating $2 million to construct an education and training facility, the College can accommodate both student needs and employer demands. The Phillips66 Process Technology Center is a great example of a partnership between education and industry that provides many benefits. SOWELA’s students benefit from an industry-specific training facility, the industry benefits by having a trained pool of workers from which to choose, the community benefits by giving citizens an avenue to pursue training that leads to excellent careers, and the college benefits with improved facilities to accomplish its mission.

Accepting the recognition on behalf of Phillips66 is Steve Geiger, operations manager, and Carol Collins, public relations director.

Police Jury Offices Closed for Veterans Day

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury offices will be closed Wednesday, November 11, 2015 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Offices will re-open Thursday, November 12th. Trash and garbage collection will not be affected and will continue on its regular schedule.

Christine Manuel, a graphic arts student attending SOWELA Technical Community College, recently received the “Tracy Beaugh Rising Star Award" presented by the Krewe of Athena.

The award was created by the Krewe in honor and remembrance of former SOWELA graphic arts faculty member, Tracy Beaugh. The Krewe awards $500 each semester to a graphic arts student with award recipients chosen based on a competitive process. Tracy was a founding member of the Krewe of Athena, as well as the Vice President of Public Relations for nine years and the Captain in 2009. She was also an active member of the Krewe of Cosmos and the Ad and Press Club, and received many awards and accolades for her designs. She was a graduate of LaGrange High School and SOWELA and resided in Sulphur for many years.

According to the Krewe of Athena website, “Athena was the goddess of wisdom, war, threats, industry, justice, and skill. Athena was the most recognizable of the goddesses. She was also the favorite of daughter Zeus and sprung fully grown from her father's head. The great Athena was the first to teach the science of numbers and all ancient women's arts, such as cooking, weaving, and spinning. She was the goddess of wisdom and war but she took no pleasure from battle, preferring instead to settle conflicts through mediation.”For information on scholarships at SOWELA, visit or contact Allison Dering at 337-421-6955 or

Free to Breathe and Coca-Cola Partner with McNeese Athletics for Game Day Sponsorship

 When the Cowboys take the field this Saturday to take on Sam Houston State, Free to Breath, presented by Coca-Cola, will be the game sponsor.  Prior to Saturday’s game, Free to Breathe will be on the McNeese campus in the New Ranch handing out lung cancer information and free hotdogs to McNeese students on Thursday, November 5. On Saturday, activities for the game sponsorship will begin at 2:00pm in the Cowboy Corral tailgate lot. Free to Breathe will be set up at the Coke trailer handing out lung cancer information and “Lasso Lung Cancer” rally towels for the game, and fans will be encouraged to take photos in the #FreeToBreathe picture frame to show their support for lung cancer awareness on their various social media outlets.

The McNeese football team will don special Free to Breathe lung cancer awareness helmet stickers for this game. This will be the first time in NCAA football history that a team will wear lung cancer awareness helmet stickers.

This year’s McNeese game day honoree is Sherry Carnahan, who will be honored posthumously. Sherry was the 2015 Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk honoree. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 2014 and passed away in August of this year. She was a vibrant lady who supported her family in all of their activities. Her husband and daughter, Craig and Brandi Carnahan, will join McNeese Athletic Director, Bruce Hemphill, and Free to Breathe chairwoman, Willie Mount, on the field during the game for a special presentation.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women and men in the U.S., taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, yet federal research funding for lung cancer lags behind many other common cancers and diseases. The American Cancer Society recently reported that it spent only $1,674 per lung cancer death, compared to $19,691 per breast cancer death and $12,128 per prostate cancer death.

About 85 percent of the 221,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the U.S. will die within five years of their diagnoses. Up to 15 percent of lung cancer patients are non-smokers.  According to a study by the American Cancer Society, the incidence of lung cancer among lifelong non-smokers was about equal to that of brain and other nervous system cancers.

For more information about the Southwest Louisiana Lung Cancer Group Partnership and Free to Breathe or the McNeese game day event visit or email Jean Kamla at

SOWELA Ranked as Best in Workforce Training

SOWELA Technical Community College has been ranked as one of Louisiana’s Best Community Colleges for Workforce Training by the Southern Business & Development Magazine in its Summer 2015 issue. SOWELA was selected for recognition by members of the Southern Economic Development Roundtable. The SEDR is an invitation only group of economic developers, educators, economists, site consultants and CEOs – considered 50 of the South’s best economic development minds – to discuss issues relative to economic development in the American South. According to the Southern Business & Development website, 117 million people live in the South, the most populated region of the United States and about the same size as the Northeast and the Midwest regions combined.

The site also reports that the South is the least expensive place to operate a business in the world’s largest economy. SOWELA is actively supporting economic development in southwest Louisiana and the entire State by providing the educational programs and training necessary to produce the workforce needed for the $80 plus billion in industrial expansions planned and currently underway. Must of the success the College has achieved in the workforce training area comes through the partnerships formed with local business and industry, area secondary school systems, higher education partners, and other workforce training. The 2015 SWLA Projects Report: Detailed published by the Southwest Economic Development Alliance reports that 40,000 temporary construction jobs are now coming into the area due to the economic expansion, and SOWELA is taking an active part in providing the educating and training that they need to,“This recognition by Southern Business and Development magazine as one of the best community colleges in Louisiana for workforce training gives credence to the expertise and dedication of the faculty and staff at SOWELA who strive daily to provide the knowledge and skills our students need to gain access to good careers and a better life.  This ranking proves that SOWELA’s focus on workforce development is producing positive results especially when recognized by such a reputable economic development magazine,” said Dr. Neil Aspinwall, Chancellor of SOWELA.

For information on SOWELA’s Workforce programs, visit or call 337-421-6964.

Political Signs Should Be Removed After Election

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Code Enforcement Office asks that all political signs be removed as soon as possible after an election. Parish Ordinance Number 4325 makes it illegal to place any sign in the public road right of way. A sign placed on private property off the public right of way is legal if permission is obtained from the property owner before placement. After an election, the Code Enforcement Office appreciates campaign workers and residents cooperation in the prompt removal of signs in all unincorporated areas of Calcasieu.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the ordinance may contact the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Code Enforcement Office at 337-721-3625.

District One of Ward Six Fire Station Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

October 15, 2015 – Parish officials cut the ribbon today commemorating the completion of District One of Ward Six’s new fire station. The station features two large bays to accommodate two fire trucks, shower facilities for firefighters, an equipment room for supplies and a backup generator to prepare for emergencies when electrical lines are down. A tour of the station was given after the ribbon cutting and the station is currently open for service.

The project engineers working on the project are Randy M. Goodloe, AIA, APAC Architect and Frey Construction & Dirt Service, LLC.

For media inquiries contact Tom Hoefer at 337-721-3574.

Culinary Arts Students Attain 100% Passage Rate for ServSafe

Students enrolled in SOWELA Technical Community College’s Culinary Art program attained a 100 percent passage rate on the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Examinations taught in August and September. The courses were taught at Coushatta Casino Report by Chef Roy Angelle, an instructor of Culinary Arts at SOWELA. ServSafe, provided through the National Restaurant Association, is required of all employees working in Louisiana’s restaurant industry. Students learn basic food safety practices for preparing and serving food including basic food safety, personal hygiene, cross-contamination and allergens, time and temperature, and cleaning and sanitation.

Students may enroll in SOWELA’s Culinary Art program to pursue the Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts by successfully completing 60 hours of study. They may instead choose to receive the Technical Competency Area Certification (TCA) as an Entry Level Cook; the Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS) as an Entry Level Prep Cook or Production Cook; or a Technical Diploma in Culinary Arts SOWELA’s Culinary Arts program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation – The Standard of “This indicates the quality of instruction and the dedication of our culinary students.  SOWELA is very proud of our 100 percent pass rate and continuing partnership with Coushatta Casino Resort,” stated Dr. Charles Stewart, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at SOWELA.

For information on the Culinary Art program at SOWELA, contact Chef Jerry Sonnier at 337.421.6989 or

SOWELA Technical Community College’s Automotive Program Receives National Accreditation

The automotive training program at SOWELA Technical Community College has received accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). SOWELA’s automotive program has been accredited in the following areas:  Engine Repair, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle, Manual Drivetrain, Steering and Suspension, Brakes, Electrical, HVAC, and Engine Performance. To achieve this coveted recognition, the school’s automotive training program underwent rigorous evaluation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment were used.

“This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents,” said Donald Seyfer, former NATEF Chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that SOWELA’s graduates will be employable entry-level technicians. As a result of the quality education provided by SOWELA, the motoring public will benefit since better prepared repair technicians will join the work force.”

Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that SOWELA be accredited by The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE is a national non-profit organization which tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to accrediting automotive training programs. “During the past few months, we have worked closely with NATEF to make certain that our program would meet strict industry standards, and now we are delighted to continue being in the ranks of the NATEF accredited training programs. Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants,” stated Mr. Thomas Richard, Automotive Technology SOWELA’s Automotive Technology program, taught by Mr. Richard and Mr. Lewis Williams, leads to a Technical Diploma upon completion of 56 credit hours of study.

For information on SOWELA Automotive Technology program, contact Mr. Thomas Richard at 337.421.6592, ext. 4319

Mayor Randy Roach to Honor Creative Workforce

In concert with the City of Lake Charles, the Arts Council of SWLA invites the public to the 2015 Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony scheduled for Friday, October 9th at 6 p.m. in the Benjamin W. Mount Auditorium at Central School. Mayor Randy Roach of Lake Charles will award those working in the arts by recognizing the contributions of Southwest Louisiana’s creative workers, patrons, and artists to the region’s culture.

Award categories include Artist of the Year, Citizen of the Arts, Citizen of the Humanities, Arts Educator of the Year, Cultural Organization of the Year, and Patron of the Year. The Keystone award is also given to an individual who works diligently behind the scenes, without whom programs and performances would not be possible. Award winners will be kept secret until the night of the ceremony. The winners of Art Associates Gallery’s Lydia & Dr. Joe Cash Juried Exhibit will also be announced.

Business casual attire is recommended, and a reception will follow the ceremony. For more information, call the Arts Council at (337) 439-2787.

Nic Hunter Running For Re-Election

Nic Hunter announced his candidacy for re-election in the Oct. 24 election for Calcasieu Parish Police Jury District 5. “I am eager to continue serving District 5 and our parish with the same experience, values and leadership that have resulted in positive change and growth for our community for the past four years,” said Hunter.

Hunter was elected to the Police Jury in 2011 and currently serves as Police Jury President. “Throughout my term, I have worked diligently to improve our quality of life and bring about solutions to the challenges we face in the Calcasieu Parish,” Hunter said. “I am always driven by a vision of what our parish can be, and I take great pride in working with the other Police Jurors to realize that vision.”

Hunter played an integral role in funding the I-210 Cove Lane interchange and installing a traffic light at the intersection of Holly Hill Road and Prien Lake Road, and both projects have relieved traffic congestion in southwest Lake Charles. He authorized an updated parishwide drainage study to assess strategies for improving the parish’s drainage. Hunter took part in a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Calcasieu Parish School Board to implement a local government education program in Calcasieu Parish schools. The program brought Police Jurors and parish staff to area schools to teach 8th grade students about the functions and services of local government.

He also established a History & Liberal Arts Scholarship at McNeese State University with his Police Jury salary and personal funds.  He also established the “Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Oral Histories” project, recording and preserving testimonials from past police jurors. Hunter currently serves on several Police Jury committees, including Public Works, Agenda, Ways and Means, Alcohol Review and Special Services Districts Review. A native of Lake Charles, Hunter is the owner of Harlequin Steaks & Seafood in Lake Charles and has used his position to better Southwest Louisiana. He is a passionate advocate for active military and military veterans and was awarded the Mayor’s Armed Forces Committee’s Patriot of the Year Award in 2011. Hunter’s extensive philanthropic efforts have been recognized with the Philanthropist of the Year Award from Family & Youth Counseling Agency in 2011.

Hunter lives in Lake Charles with his wife, Rebecca, a local attorney.

Better Business Bureau B2B Breakfast

The Board of Directors of the BBB Serving SWLA and SWLA BBB Foundation Board is hosting the quarterly B2B Breakfast on Friday, September 25, 2015 at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Buccaneer Room. The speaker for the breakfast event is Moon Griffon, known as "The Voice of Louisiana".  Moon Griffon delivers truthful commentary while adding in humor, wit and entertainment. 

Registration is from 7:30 A.M. - 8:00 A.M. Program is 8:00 - 9:00 A.M. with the last 15 minutes dedicated to exchanging business cards and networking. Fee for the breakfast event is $15 per person, but fee must be paid with RSVP by September 22, 2015. Accredited Businesses and non-accredited businesses are invited. Sponsors for the event are Entergy, ASI Office Systems, DigiKast, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Louisiana Mortgage Associates, Suddenlink, Signs Now and Terrell & Associates, LLC.

To RSVP, please contact your BBB at 337-478-6513.

Kayse Welcomes Troy Trahan

LAKE ARTHUR, LA – September 21, 2015 – Curt Cormier, Founder and CEO of Kaysea leading communications service provider of broadband & telecom services, welcomes seasoned entrepreneur Troy Trahan as a partner.  Trahan will utilize his experience in managing businesses such as Trahan Construction, to help improve Kayse in operations, customer service, marketing and strategic planning.

Cormier said, “These are exciting times at Kayse. From the creation of Kayse just over 2 years ago we have invested time finding our place in the broadband and telecom markets as well as creating strategic alliances throughout the industry. During this time we have found our strengths and shortcomings as a company. By partnering with Trahan, we will have the resources to improve, grow and provide first class service to our current and future customers.”

About Kayse

Kayse is a leading communications service provider of broadband & telecom services to residential, small, mid-sized, enterprise and wholesale businesses. At Kayse, we are committed to providing the highest quality service to the customers we serve. We are dedicated to fulfilling our customers' needs by offering the latest in technological advances allowing them to keep pace with the increasing demands of a global economy. As a Local Exchange Carrier, Kayse can provide local number termination, SIP, DID's, Cloud based PBX and many more telecom services to you or your customers.

Kayse operates a fixed wireless and fiber network that offers broadband internet access in Louisiana. Our Wireline IP Broadband access is available in 22 states. Both services are offered to businesses and residential customers.

For your free internet or phone service evaluation call Kayse at 888-337-3585.

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Arts Council Seeking Artists for Portfolio

LAKE CHARLES – The Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA will be accepting submissions from artists for a portfolio to present to local businesses for purchase to display in their offices. A variety of mediums of art including paintings, etchings, mixed media, pottery, sculpture and more will be accepted for the portfolio. 

If you are interested please submit your bio with pictures of your work to  Please include prices for complete work, framed and ready to hang.

If your business is interested in purchasing local art please contact the Arts Council. The Arts Council is an umbrella organization for Southwest Louisiana’s arts and cultural groups and initiatives and coordinates annual events and fundraisers for the arts. For details, call (337) 439-2787 or visit

Shonda Manuel Appointed as Arts Council Board President

LAKE CHARLES – On September 15th, the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of SWLA appointed Shonda Manuel of Healthy Image Marketing as its 2015-2016 Board President during its annual board meeting. Manuel has served on the Arts and Humanities board for five years and previously held the positions of Second Vice President and Vice President. A graduate of McNeese State University and the Chamber Leadership Program, she is the Associate Creative Director for Healthy Image Marketing and the Photographer/Graphic Designer for Thrive Magazine. Manuel is a board member for Fusion Five and the LaGrange Athletic and Education Fund and has served as the Marketing Team Leader for the Cultural Economy Task Force. 

The board also approved a new slate of Executive Committee members, including Chuck O’Conner of Stockwell Seivert Viccellio Clements & Shaddock, LLP as First Vice President, Heather LaFleur of St. Patrick’s Hospital as Second Vice President and Rachel Hungerford of the Calcasieu Parish School System as Secretary.

Fourteen new board members were approved, including Ariel Braddock of Special Touch Massage, Melissa Daly of Zigler Art Museum, Julie Fay of Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Tim Fontenot of Tim Fontenot Photography, Megan Fuselier of McNeese State University, John Guidroz of Lake Charles American Press, Beth Hargott of Calcasieu Parish School Board, Jamie Hartnet of Jamie Hartnet Photography, Caroline Landry of Thrive Magazine and Healthy Image Marketing, Heather Ogea of Christus St. Patrick Foundation, Emily Porche of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Julian Quebedeaux of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Alison Schnake of Bishop Nolan Episcopal Day School and Morgan Turpin of Chamber Southwest. 

The Arts Council is an umbrella organization for Southwest Louisiana’s arts and cultural groups and initiatives and coordinates annual events and fundraisers for the arts. For details, call (337) 439-2787 or visit

Knight Media Printing is proud to announce the addition of Brittany Jackson as their new Outside Customer Service Representative

Jackson will be interacting directly with customers at all stages of the business relationship to ensure that our customers receive the highest level of service. Before joining Knight Media Printing, Jackson served as Executive Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Hot Springs, AR and has several years of Customer Service experience.

Jackson is a native of Hot Springs, AR, and is very excited to be in the Lake Charles area. She is interested in art, music, crafts, traveling and meeting new people. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, exercising, and playing softball. Jackson looks forward to utilizing her background and interest in Graphic Design to serve the Lake Charles area and their printing needs.

Geaux Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Lake Charles, LA- Every October, cities across the nation are painted purple in observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is estimated that one in every four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. This year, Oasis a Safe Haven for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence (formerly known as Calcasieu Women’s Shelter) is encouraging everyone in the community to “Geaux Purple” in support of raising awareness of domestic violence. The shelter has an exciting month filled with events geared toward raising awareness and increasing education on the issues surrounding domestic violence.

Join the Oasis staff in painting SWLA purple at Painting With a Purpose. Painting With a Purpose will be held on Sunday, October 4, from 4-6 p.m. at the Painting With A Twist location at 4421 Nelson Road. Registration is $35 per person and can be found online at or by calling (337) 478-0955. A portion of the proceeds will go towards benefiting Oasis.

On Tuesday, October 6, Oasis will launch a balloon release to help kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month and celebrate the spirit of domestic violence survivors. The event will be held at 9 a.m. at 1001 Ryan St. on the steps of the Lake Charles (Historic) Courthouse. 

On Wednesday, October 28, the staff of Oasis will host a Lunch & Learn training session with advocates and law enforcement to discuss the new laws passed by the Louisiana legislature and how those changes affect how advocates and law enforcement officials work to protect domestic violence victims and survivors. 

The month will end with our annual “Flowers on the Lake” celebration on Thursday, October 29, at 6 pm at the Lake Charles Civic Center Seawall. Oasis will honor the memory of Southwest Louisiana residents who have lost their lives to domestic violence within the last 12 months.

All of these events are open to the public. We hope the community will come out and show their support to end domestic violence in Southwest Louisiana. For more information on the calendar of events, please contact Oasis at (337) 436-4552 or like us on Facebook at Oasis A Safe Haven. Oasis A Safe Haven (formerly known as Calcasieu Women’s Shelter) is dedicated to the elimination of personal and societal violence in Southwest Louisiana. It is our mission to create change through empowerment and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, safe shelter for women and children and community education.

Beach Sweep 2015

This year’s nationwide Beach Sweep and Inland Waterway Cleanup  is planned for Saturday, September 19, from 8 a.m. to noon and is presented by the City of Lake Charles and Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful—Team Green.

From 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., volunteers will collect trash and record their collections with data cards.  From 11 a.m. to noon, there will be an event wrap-up with comments from Mayor Roach, including awards presentations, and refreshments at the Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Dr.

“Team Green is asking for volunteer groups, service clubs, and families who will commit to helping cleanup one of our area’s beaches or shorelines, in order to keep it beautiful and environmentally safe,” said Mason Lindsay, Keep Greater Lake Charles Beautiful volunteer coordinator.  

On Monday, September 14, at 1:00 p.m., Team Green will hold a pre-event briefing in the first floor City Hall Council Chambers.  There, group representatives and participants can pick up their group’s trash collection bags and data cards and reserve their cleanup locations. Trash bags will be issued at the Monday briefing as well as  on the day of the Beach Sweep at the Lake Charles Civic Center.  

Waste Management will provide trash receptacles at the following trash drop locations: Lake Charles Civic Center, I-10 beach, Prien Lake Park, Bowtie Marina (Contraband Bayou), North Ryan Street at River Road, and Riverside Park. For additional information or to register to volunteer, contact Carmen Gordon-Williams at 491-1481, or Eligha Guillory at 491-9151.

The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana Names Barbour New Marketing Coordinator

Lance Barbour has joined the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana as their new Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator.  A native of Opelousas, Louisiana, Barbour earned a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Psychology from Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Barbour went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration Health Promotion from Liberty University of Lynchburg, Virginia. Before pursing his advanced degree, Barbour worked in Baltimore, Maryland, as a psychiatric counselor.

Barbour has experience in promoting health events and initiatives in both the public and private sector at the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.  He will work directly with Dr. Carl Fastabend, the founder and Medical Director of the Vein Center, to promote awareness of vein disorder prevention and awareness of symptoms and treatment options. Barbour will be working out of both the Lake Charles and Lafayette locations of the practice. 

The Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana, an affiliate of Imperial Health,  provides advanced, minimally-invasive treatments for a variety of vein disorders, including: varicose veins, spider veins, venous reflux disease and pelvic vein disorder. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (337) 312-8346 or visit


L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles chefs Cori Schlemmer and Rachel Young won the top national prize in the Best Sugar Showpiece category. This is the 2nd national win in a row for L’Auberge pastry chefs as they once again competed against chefs from around the world! Please contact or 337.395.7631 for additional information, photos or interviews with our chefs. Have a sweet day!


The McNeese State University Department of Performing Arts will present Duo Korusa

A husband and wife duet team - in the inaugural recital of the McNeese Fall Piano Series at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in Tritico Theatre. This is the first of three piano recitals scheduled for the series. “We are very excited to have four outstanding pianists come to McNeese to share their talents with the students and the Lake Charles community,” according to Dr. Lina Morita, associate professor of music and coordinator of the series. “Aside from the piano recitals, they will each teach a master class for our students.” 

The first program includes: “Sonata in F major, Op. 18, No. 6” by Johann Christian Bach; “Dumky Trio, Piano Four-Hands Version, Op. 90” by Antonin Dvorak; “Histories, for One Piano, Four Hands” by Jacques Ibert; and “Six Pieces, Op. 11” by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Duo Korusa features Korean native Sujung Cho and Jacob Clark, a couple that has been performing rare or newly composed piano duets throughout the United States since 2012. This versatile piano duo is dedicated to the performance of lesser-known works of the 19th and 20th century, as well as new works of the 21st century.

Cho, an assistant professor of piano/staff and choir accompanist at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C., has appeared as a chamber musician and collaborative pianist in music competitions in the United States, Korea, China and Germany, where she has won awards. She studied as an honor scholarship graduate at Ewha Womans University in Seoul and continued her studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master of Music and her Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance. Clark, an assistant professor of piano at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, is an active performer and concerto soloist and has played with the Lamar Civic Orchestra, South Carolina State Wind Ensemble and the Ars Nova Chamber and Washington Sinfonietta orchestras in Washington, D.C. He has won numerous awards, including the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, Sydney Wright Accompanying Competition, Mid-Texas Symphony Concerto Competition and the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Performance Award. Clark received his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for K-12 students and McNeese students with an ID. For more information, call 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at