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A compendium of what’s hot and what’s not in Louisiana

Gerald Savoie III

photo courtesy of the lafourche gazette

Hot Wheels for Real
Sixth-grader Gerald Savoie III of Larose has won his first drag-racing competition at the SouthWest Jr. Dragster Series, for ages 10 to 12 in Port Allen. He began junior drag racing more than a year ago and averages speeds of about 75 mph in his races, according to the Thibodaux Daily Comet. Savoie drives a TA/JD Dragster, a thin, long aerodynamic car painted yellow, and cites “the speed and the adrenaline” as his favorite aspects of the sport.

Big Bang in Greensburg
Paul Heinrich, a scientist with the Louisiana Geological Survey, has found evidence that a comet or meteor landed in St. Helena Parish 2,000 to 11,000 years ago.

A hill near Greensburg is actually the rim of a mile-wide crater where the object crashed. The Brushy Creek Crater has a unique circular shape and was first noticed by Heinrich, along with colleagues John Snead and Richard P.
McCulloh, in the 1990s. If scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held annually
in Houston, agree with Heinrich’s conclusions, the crater would be placed on the Planetary and Space Science Center’s official registry and a marker could be put up at the site on Louisiana Highway 37, reported the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Lumberjacks Forever!
This year’s Bogalusa Lumberjack Reunion brought out 80 former Bogalusa High School football players and coaches, reported the Bogalusa Daily News. Current organizer Angelo Pepe presented Gerald Berenson, who began the reunion in 1996, with a letterman’s jacket. A pleased Berenson admitted,  “I tried to play, but I never made a letter when I was there.” Berenson first organized the event to give classmate Sam Scelfo’s son, Chris Scelfo, the former head football coach at Tulane University, a chance to meet family and friends. The group also paused to remember the late former Lumberjack and LSU All-American Sid Fournet, who died earlier this year.

Dog-gone Happy Ending
When California native and Kaplan transplant William Barrios learned his Marine Corps Unit, out of Lafayette, was being activated in two months, he became concerned about his 15-year-old pet rat terrier-mix, Marvin. His mother and two brothers were willing to take the dog, but they lived in California. As the Kaplan Herald reported, the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter 1 stepped up and paid not only for Marvin’s airfare to California but also for Barrios’ so he could personally hand-deliver the pet to his family.

According to the Shreveport Times, some 100 runners representing law enforcement agencies from across Northwest Louisiana set out from Shreveport to relay the Louisiana Special Olympics Flame of Hope south in time for the start of the summer games at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Involving some 2,000 officers across the state, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is “the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle,” according to the Louisiana Special Olympics Web site.

Want Fries With That?
Richard Barnes, 51, allegedly broke the glass of a door on the side of Thibodaux Elementary School, and security cameras recorded him walking around, knife in hand, eventually making his way to the teachers’ lounge. Once there, police said Barnes went to the refrigerator, took out a salad and ate part of it. Barnes was later found and arrested and told investigators that he didn’t remember breaking into the building but had wondered if he had left his knife there, police told the Houma Courier.

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