A Quarterly Compendium of What’s Hot & What’s Not in Louisiana

What’s Hot
Honoring Korean vets. U.S. Highway 80, which crosses Louisiana from Monroe to Shreveport, has been dedicated as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway. Louisiana has 54,900 Korean War veterans.

Rink remembrance. Professional boxer Preston Scott Hartzog, who died recently of a heart ailment at age 29, will be honored with a memorial fund supporting the boxing program at the Avenue B YMCA in Bogalusa, where he first learned to box. The “Bogalusa Boogieman,” had a professional record of 15 wins, one loss and one draw, with four knockouts. While serving in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, he was named 1997-‘98 All-Army Champion Super Heavyweight. The Hartzog family is donating Preston’s boxing gloves, bags and a full ring for YMCA use.

Cell shortage. Louisiana prison officials have said that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be bidding “Hasta La Vista” to his state’s prisoners in any Louisiana jails. There is no room for Californians in any of Louisiana’s privately run facilities, and with a Louisiana law prohibiting state run facilities from housing any inmate convicted in another state, there’s no room for California inmates in any state prisons, either, says Pam Laborde of the Department of Corrections.

In-line for the Junior Olympics. Jonathan Hebert, 11, of Youngsville and his fellow Louisianian in-line hockey players Jeremy Brown and Luke Simon, skate as members of the U.S. team in the Junior Olympic Competition. The boys sharpened their game at Top Shelf in Youngsville. Jonathan’s mom, Nancy Hebert, says, “They live for the hockey, but they have so much fun together. It’s such a good way for them to meet other kids.”

Tale of the Teal. Because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found an overall 14 percent increase in breeding pairs of 15 North American duck species, Louisiana got its first 16-day special September teal season in three years. This year also sees the inclusion of whitewing doves in the daily limit during a 70-day dove season. An increase in mallards means a 10th straight 60-day duck season, and while “dos gris” (scaup) numbers are down, pintail duck numbers have increased.

High five for LSU. Five former LSU standouts have been inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame. New inductees include All-American tailback Kevin Faulk, All-American batting champion Todd Walker, vaulting superstar Jennifer Wood and national champion sprinters D’Andre Hill and Cheryl Taplin.

Docs online. St. Mary’s Residential Training Facility in Alexandria is partnering with the Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to use telemedicine technology to deliver “real-time” Internet access for instruction, counseling, education and research. Patricia Starling, of Health Systems Development for Central Louisiana, cites the program as a model for providing mental health care access for rural parishes.

Paddlin’ professor. Harry Riggs, an 85-year-old adjunct professor at Northwestern State University, swam in two-mile lengths down the Red River in Alexandria, Shreveport and Natchitoches as part of a campaign to raise funds for the NSU tennis program.

Contributions can be made online at www.nsudemons.com by clicking the “Support the Paddlin’ Prof” button.

Generals conquer at LSUA. The new team name and mascot for LSUA is the “Generals.” LSUA Chancellor Robert Cavanaugh says. “I think the ‘Generals’ reflects our proud military history as well as honoring those who are serving now. It also honors the work being done to train soldiers at Camp Beauregard.”
What’s Not
Chemical leaks. The Department of Environmental Quality uses a helicopter equipped with a special camera, the “Hawk”, to fly over the state’s waterways and industrial facilities searching for chemical leaks. The camera shows leaks as black, inky clouds. Four flights are scheduled this year, says Bruce Hammatt, DEQ administrator and technical advisor. Although the camera can’t quantify how much or what kind of material is leaking, “By using the Hawk, we were able to find a lot of emissions we weren’t accounting for,” Hammatt says.

Cuculoupe debunked. A lonely little cucumber in a cantaloupe patch, or a brand new miracle melon? Houma home gardeners thought their odd looking vegetable might be a “cuculoupe” – but LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill and other experts say the odd-looking produce in question most closely resembles a vegetable known as the Armenian cucumber.

– by Carolyn Kolb

“As we girls get older, we all have to work a little harder at looking our best. It’s not as easy as it was age 21 or 35 or even 45. It takes a little decision-making and a lot of help, not to mention a few dollars.”
“Between Friends,” Bob Ann Breland, Bogalusa Daily News