BATON ROUGE, La. – The registration deadline is fast approaching for the 2022 Louisiana Small Business Summit, the annual Louisiana Economic Development event that connects small business leaders with an array of resources available to them from the state.

Open to all small business owners and entrepreneurs in Louisiana, the summit will feature informational sessions, presentations about LED’s small business programs and engagement opportunities designed to facilitate contracting relationships with state agencies and other partners.

The summit will take place Tuesday, April 5 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. Registration is open through March 29. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

“Since taking office, Gov. John Bel Edwards has made support for Louisiana’s small business sector a top priority for his administration, and LED is proud to support that with events like this one,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “The Louisiana Small Business summit is a unique opportunity to network and explore the wealth of resources, skills training and procurement opportunities that Louisiana offers small business owners, who account for 98 percent of employers in the state.”

Summit attendees will have the opportunity onsite to become certified in the Hudson and Veterans initiatives and register as vendors with the state. Participants can also visit the reverse trade show, which connects business owners with procurement representatives from state agencies, sponsors, and key partners.

Scheduled speakers include Gov. John Bel Edwards, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, LED Secretary Don Pierson and Small Business Administration Region VI Administrator Ted James. Panel discussions will be led by representatives of LED’s Small Business Services team, as well as representatives of the Office of State Procurement, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network.

“The LED Small Business Services team is committed to ensuring Louisiana small businesses have the resources and opportunities to grow, supporting economic activity in our communities and providing great jobs to Louisiana residents,” said Stephanie Hartman, director of LED Small Business Services. “Our Louisiana small businesses demonstrate the skill and initiative necessary to thrive, and we want to connect these businesses with more opportunities and resources to do just that. The statewide Small Business Summit will be a prime event to establish those connections.”

About LED
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. In 2021, LED attracted 64 new economic development projects representing over 18,100 new direct and indirect jobs, 9,700 retained jobs and more than $20.5 billion in new capital investment. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.

Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Scholarship

Sabine Parish Sheriff Aaron Mitchell has announced the availability of a $500 college scholarship for a Sabine Parish graduating high school senior.
The scholarship is made available each year through the Louisiana Sheriff’s Honorary Membership Program to help defray the cost associated with higher education. One scholarship is awarded in each parish where the sheriff participates in the Honorary Membership Program.
To qualify for a scholarship, the recipient must be a permanent resident of Louisiana, plan to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student, and agree to use the scholarship at a Louisiana institute of higher education.
Applicants must be eligible for admission to the school indicated on their application.
The deadline to apply is April 1, 2022. Completed applications should be mailed to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, Attention: Sherri Bennett, P.O. Box 1380, Many, LA 71449 or they can be delivered in person to the Sabine Parish Sheriff Criminal Investigations Division at 850 San Antonio Ave Many, LA.
Scholarship winner will be announced by May 1, 2022.
Complete scholarship guidelines, criteria, and the application can be obtained at https://www.lsa.org/scholarship

Kansas basketball: A psychiatrist’s dream

Kansas is a 4.5-points favorite against Villanova Saturday in the first of two NCAA Tournament semifinal games. Duke and North Carolina will follow at approximately 7:49; the Blue Devils are a 4-points favorite.

Hello, Awesome Saturday Night. Except …

If you see a Kansas fan between now and then, and if he or she is gnawing on tree bark and unable to mumble a complete sentence, move along. Yes, the Jayhawks are favorites. Yes, Kansas has a basketball tradition as rich as anyone’s.

But yes, Kansas come Tournament time is a heartache waiting to happen.

East Coast. West Coast. Midwest. Deep South. Historically, the Kansas basketball program has arguably left more hoop-loving hearts broken all over this great land and on the Final Four Road than any other program that’s ever dared nail up a peach basket.

They’ve got the awesome old-school gym. The simple, bright, cheerful uniforms you could probably wear to church and get away with. That happy-go-lucky Jayhawk mascot.

It’s a program that’s strung together a ridiculous 31 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the most ever. All the Jayhawks do is win.

Until it’s time to finish. Kansas has only three NCAA Tournament titles in its illustrious history.

Which is three more than lots of programs, for sure. Most anyone would trade for what Kansas has been able to do, generation after generation.

And still, their reputation is that of a Bracket Buster. Kansas giveth, and Kansas taketh away. Saturday will mark the program’s 16th trip to the Final Four, which means that for all their trips to the mountaintop, the Jayhawks have left as King of the Hill only once every five times.

They’ve been runners-up six times, college basketball’s equivalent of baseball’s 1950s’ Brooklyn Dodgers and 1990s’ Atlanta Braves.

Bridesmaids City.

Recent history:

In 2010, Northern Iowa, historically one of the finest programs in all of the great state of Iowa, bounced them out.

In 2011 as the Tournament’s No.1-seed, Kansas was dismissed by VCU in the Elite Eight. (Time flies; Shaka Smart seems like last week.)

2014, they got Stanford-ed, although it’s important to remember that Kansas was Joel Embiid-less thanks to an unfortunate injury.

2016 and 2018, well, we’ll come back to that in a sec.

In 2020, the Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in some polls and … The Ultimate Indignity … the Tournament was pandemically cancelled.

So here they are again with head-scratching Kansas, never ranked No. 1 this season, yet champions of the Midwest Regional and the only No.1 Regional seed left in the ballgame. If you are a Kansas fan, you are probably preparing for a dagger where it hurts.

But who knows? Bill Self could become just the 16th guy in the college game to win multiple national titles. Kansas could do what the 1952 and Self’s 2008 team did and win it all.

Very un-Kansas-like, they’ve even won it when they weren’t supposed to. I happened to be there hanging around in Kemper Arena in Kansas City in 1988 when “Danny Manning and the Miracles,” a 6-seed, upset No.1 Oklahoma, 34-3 and winners of 21 of its last 22 games, 83-79. The game was tied 50-50 at the half, the small (for a Final Four) arena was an explosion of cheers and colors and gasps and drama, and the whole thing was more fun than a little bit.

And maybe the same will be true this weekend. Maybe. With Kansas being a favorite over Villanova in the Saturday semis, that’s a step in the right direction.

Except … remember we mentioned 2016 and 2018? Kansas played Villanova in the tournament both those years. And lost. First, in 2016 when the Jayhawks were the top-seeded team in the tournament.

And then in 2018, when Kansas lost to the underdog Wildcats … in the semifinals.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Take Care of Your Kidneys!

March is National Kidney Month – a time to give some thought to just how well you are taking care of these important bean-shaped organs. At Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC), we want to help increase awareness about the role of the kidneys in your overall health and the early signs of kidney disease.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), millions of people in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Unfortunately, many people do not even know they have it until the disease progresses. Often considered a silent disease, it is important to diagnosis CKD in its earliest stages. Those in the highest risk group for developing kidney disease are those with diabetes and/or high blood pressure, but there are also many other conditions and illnesses that can affect your kidneys.

What the Kidneys Do

We have two kidneys located just below the rib cage on both sides of the lower back. About the size of a fist, these important organs help filter the blood in our bodies and remove waste. The kidneys also produce Vitamin D, which is essential to good health, help balance fluids within the body, and serve to regulate salt and potassium. The kidneys also produce red blood cells and regulate pH. As a specialized branch of medicine, doctors who specialize in caring for the kidneys are called nephrologists.

Managing CKD

“The kidneys are the body’s filter similar to the filter in a car that helps keep the car engine clean,” explained Board Certified Nephrologist Dr. Alfred Ajise. “The job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and produce urine that carries the waste to the bladder and then out of the body. When the kidneys begin to fail, a person will still produce urine for a while but will begin to lose the ability to filter the blood. Eventually, the ability to produce urine becomes impaired, resulting in severe fluid buildup in the legs and throughout the body, including the lungs.”

Nephrologists help patients by diagnosing and treating the cause of kidney disease with the hope to stabilize the kidney and/or improve kidney function through the management of hypertension, nutrition, exercise, and medication management.

Know the Warning Signs of CKD

If you notice any changes in the amount or frequency of your urination, you should see your doctor. Watch for changes in color, foamy urine, or any odors.

Get a routine physical and have your urine checked for blood and protein– both can be signs of kidney disease.

Many people also experience lower back pain.

Make a Commitment

Talk to your doctor about your kidney health. Watch your diet, limit additional salt, drink enough fluids to stay hydrated, and exercise. If you have other health issues such as high blood pressure, get regular blood pressure checks, take your medicine as prescribed and get enough exercise. For more information about your health, visit NRMChospital.org.

The Influence of Misfortune Upon the Gifted

By Brad Dison

When Mary Porter was in her final year of high school, she wrote an essay entitled “The Influence of Misfortune Upon the Gifted.” She had no way of knowing how well that title fit the life of her son, William Sydney Porter. In 1882, twenty-year-old William Sidney Porter decided to relocate from Greensboro, North Carolina to rural Texas to alleviate his persistent coughing. While in Texas, William worked as laborer on a sheep ranch, as a surveyor, as a newspaper writer and cartoonist at the Houston Post, and finally, in 1891, as a paying and receiving teller for the First National Bank of Austin. During his tenure at the bank, William worked part time on a humorous weekly newspaper of his own creation called The Rolling Stone.

It was while he was working for the First National Bank of Austin that misfortune struck. In 1894, William’s boss accused him of embezzling $1,100.00. William defended himself as well as he could, but the bank’s accounting ledgers were rarely balanced due its “loose methods.” He explained that he had been a loyal employee of the bank for four years. There was nothing William could say that would save his job. After being fired, William worked on The Rolling Stone full time. He was lucky not to be prosecuted.

In 1895, William moved with his family to Houston to work at the Houston Post after The Rolling Stone failed to turn a profit. William’s luck ran out when the First National Bank of Austin was audited. After reviewing the bank’s ledgers, the federal auditor found evidence of embezzlement. William’s ex-boss told the auditor that William had been fired for embezzling money. William was indicted on the embezzlement charge and arrested in Houston. William’s father posted bail and William was released. His trial was set for July 7, 1896.

On the day before his trial was to begin, after much discussion with his wife, William fled to New Orleans then took a ship to Honduras. At the time, Honduras had no extradition treaty with the United States. William’s wife, Athol, and daughter, Margaret, were to join William in Honduras at a later date. Misfortune struck William again when his wife contracted Tuberculosis. Despite being a fugitive, William quickly returned to Austin to be with his wife. William’s wife, 29-year-old Athol Estes Porter, died on July 25, 1897.

While grieving over the loss of his wife, William stood trial for embezzlement. He tried to persuade anyone who would listen that he was innocent, but on February 17, 1898, he was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. He began serving his prison sentence at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio the following month. It must be noted that William’s predecessor in the job had a nervous breakdown and his successor tried to commit suicide. The First National Bank of Austin, the loosely-run bank in which William was convicted of embezzling of money, eventually failed.

William was able to turn the misfortune of prison into a fortunate situation. One newspaper reporter claimed “The prison term, to a man of Porter’s sensitive temperament and culture—he was of the best blood of Virginia and North Carolina—was crushing, yet it revived and stimulated his genius.” For the entirety of his prison term, William wrote short stories with a fervor. He knew no one would publish stories sent from a convicted criminal in the penitentiary, so William enlisted the help of a friend. Each time he completed a story, William mailed it to his friend. Upon receiving it, his friend discarded the prison envelope, addressed a new envelope to William’s publisher, and the publisher was none the wiser. To ensure that no one learned that the stories were written by a convict, William chose a pen name that he had used on occasion.

William’s stories became wildly popular. Newspapers proclaimed after his death that his “name and fame…is secure in American literature. He was one American writer who was touched with the fire of genius. After Poe, he was the greatest American master of the short story, and in depicting American life he excelled Poe and was equal to Mark Twain.” William entered prison “a man chastened by misfortune.” He emerged as an American icon, a man “whose genius had been stimulated and inspired.” William Sydney Porter became famous for stories such as “The Gift of the Magi,” “The Ransom of Red Chief,” and “The Caballero’s Way” in which he introduced his most famous character, Cisco Kid. His pen name was … O. Henry.

1. Austin American-Statesman, August 1, 1897. P.3.
2. The Chattanooga News, November 3, 1916, p.4.

PHOTO: William Porter Working in the Teller Cage of First National Bank of Austin circa 1892

Outpatient Medical Center

Outpatient Medical Center is recruiting a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or a physician to provide primary care at its Natchitoches or Leesville location.  We are a federally-qualified health center offering weekday ambulatory primary care to anyone, but especially the underserved.  
A rewarding career serving those with greatest need, excellent benefits, no Holidays, and competitive pay for a workstyle that supports a family life.  
Anyone interest may contact us at hr@outpatientmedical.org or call 318-357-2071 (ext. 3202).


Haughton 12 (7-7)
Converse 2 (8-6)
South Beauregard 13 (9-7)
Florien 8 (9-3)
Many 18 (11-2)
Red River 0 (3-3)
Negreet 17 (7-3)
Lakeview 1 (0-3)
Many 10 (12-2)
Elizabeth 0 (2-4)
Hornbeck 8 (1-7)
Negreet 7 (7-4)
Converse 14 (9-6)
Hornbeck 4 (1-8)
Ebarb 15 (2-3) (1-0)
Pleasant Hill 0 (1-4) (0-1)
Florien 19 (10-3)
Plainview 2 (1-3)
Negreet 6 (8-4)
Hicks 6 (1-8)
St. Mary’s 14 (12-5)
Zwolle 6 (6-2)
MARCH 18, 19
Converse 12 (10-6)
Ouachita Christian 8 (3-10)
Converse 13 (11-6)
Calvin 2 (4-3)
Converse 16 (12-6)
Evangel Christian 8 (3-10)
MARCH 18, 19
Anacoco 17 (9-4)
Ebarb 10 (2-4)
Ebarb 15 (3-4)
Castor 5 (3-8)
Ebarb 18 (4-4)
Lakeside 1 (2-10)
MARCH 18, 19
Florien 7 (11-3)
Loreauville 6 (9-10)
Grant 4 (12-4)
Florien 3 (11-4)
Florien 10 (12-4)
Pine Prairie 0 (7-5)
Barbe 1 (11-5)
Many 0 (12-3)
Alexandria 6 (14-5)
Many 1 (12-4)
Many 16 (13-4)
Grant 4 (12-5)
MARCH 18, 19
Saline 20 (6-8)
Plesant Hill 6 (1-5)
Red River 15 (8-3)
Pleasant Hill 14 (1-6)
Mansfield 17 (5-2)
Pleasant Hill 2 (1-7)
MARCH 18, 19
South Beauregard 17 (11-7)
Zwolle 7 (6-3)
Evans 3 (3-3)
Zwolle 2 (6-4)


Captain Shreve 3 (5-6)
Converse 2 (5-4)
DeQuincy 5 (8-4)
Many 1 (10-2)
Negreet 3 (1-5)
Evans 2 (1-5)
MARCH 17, 18, 19
Converse 5 (6-4)
Chourdant 2 (12-3)
Converse 11 (7-4)
Zwolle 6 (9-3)
Logansport 15 (5-6)
Negreet 1 (1-6)
Hicks 5 (6-1)
Negreet 1 (1-7)
Zwolle 9 (8-2)
Doyline 0 (3-5)
Zwolle 4 (9-2)
Hicks 0 (6-2)
MARCH 17, 18, 19
Quitman 12 (7-4)
Florien 5 (2-6)
St. Mary’s 14 (10-4)
Florien 3 (2-7)
Sacred Heart 19 (13-3)
Florien 0 (2-8)
Many 10 (11-2)
Montgomery 0 (4-5)
Many 9 (12-2)
Pickering 0 (5-5)
MARCH 18, 19
Saline 6 (3-3)
Pleasant Hill 1 (0-1)
Pleasant Hill 9 (1-1)
Downsville 7 (6-4)