Shreveport

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Region VI gets underway Wednesday at the Strand Theatre in Shreveport. Six college productions were selected out of 46 eligible works. 

Northwestern State University’s Theatre and Dance department was selected to perform the comedy-thriller “The 39 Steps.” Program coordinator, Scott Burrell, said it’s a privilege to be a Kennedy Center finalist. But, the stakes are higher since the audience is comprised of about 900 students and faculty from colleges in the six-state area.

A Cincinnati design firm is refining its plans for a children’s museum in Shreveport after a week-long visit with its client Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center

At the close of 2013, it’s a good time to check in on the Bucket List Chalkboard in Shreveport. The giant chalkboard with a bold yellow frame has three words across the top: “Before I die…” People step up on a platform, pick their chalk color, and write or draw what they feel. 

Plain Dealing, La., artist Megan Davis-Taylor designed and built the chalkboard through a grant from the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. It’s been traveling around Shreveport Common since September.

International Paper has donated its Lake Erling property in South Arkansas' Lafayette County to the Shreveport-based AGRED Foundation. It stands for American Gamebird Research Education and Development. Eric Fletcher, AGRED Foundation director, said this donation – 7,600 acres in all – will ensure that Lake Erling is maintained to the high standards set by International Paper for the past 57 years.

Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is starting a loaner hearing aid program for terminally ill cancer patients. All donated hearing aids will be loaned out to the patients who need them during the remaining months of their life. LSU Health Shreveport clinical audiologist Jessica Bever has fielded requests for spare hearing aids from physicians. Unused hearing aids are all around, according to Bever. It’s a matter of collecting them and creating a lending program.

Amtrak and the Texas Department of Transportation are expected to wrap up a feasibility study at the end of the month that explores higher-speed train service between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Shreveport/Bossier.

The chairman of the East Texas Corridor Council, Richard Anderson of Marshall, Texas, has been working on this effort for the past six years. He meets regularly with public officials in Texas and Louisiana to keep the momentum going. He said he’s optimistic after reviewing Amtrak’s preliminary findings.

More than a dozen people in Shreveport have started a job training program this week made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It could lead to a full-time job next month. Southern University at Shreveport is administering the grant that provides environmental health and safety training certifications.

Employees from Shreveport Home Depot stores completed a number of building projects for veterans. They've built a bus shelter adjacent to the Volunteers of America Veterans Transitional Housing Program facility. The employees used their day off Friday to to serve veterans. Jack Parker, a store manager, has worked for Home Depot 21 years. He said he’s been a part of Team Depot volunteerism since he started with the company.

Handshakes, hugs and thank yous marked the Oct. 1 handover of LSU Hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana or BRF. Under a privatization deal pushed by the Jindal administration, BRF now manages the hospitals with 3,200 employees. BRF president Dr. John George told an overflow crowd in the Biomedical Research Institute Atrium Tuesday that it’s a new day for these north Louisiana hospitals to control their own destiny.

A rodeo that blends urban and zydeco music with cowboy culture comes to Shreveport Saturday. R&B singer T.K. Soul will headline the event. But he could be upstaged by dozens of rodeo competitors and bucking broncos at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum as part of the Hip Hop Cowboys summer rodeo.

Hip Hop Cowboys is a company that Damon Leffall of Plano, Texas, formed four years ago. His hobby as a rancher and team roper turned into his bread-and-butter business. He said the urban cowboy concept is not a stretch.

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