TOP LOCAL HEADLINES Archives for 2021-01

LSUA Named Best College in Louisiana in 2020

The following has been released to Q93 from LSUA:


ALEXANDRIA, La – Louisiana State University of Alexandria recently received national recognition as the Best College in Louisiana for 2020.


According to Best Value Schools, LSUA’s high-quality education at an affordable price makes it the best in the state.


“At LSUA, we know the quality of education our students are getting without accruing massive debt. Receiving recognition and affirmation validates the LSUA mission, and ensures we must keep working to provide this access of higher education to all,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSUA Chancellor.


Notable programs mentioned in the ranking included criminal justice, psychology, business administration, and all 11 online bachelor’s degree programs.

City Moving Forward with Repairs to Johnny Downs Baseball/Softball Fields

The following has been released to Q93 from

the City of Alexandria:



Alexandria, La. (Jan. 26, 2021) — At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Alexandria City Council approved awarding of a construction contract for the work needed to repair the eight baseball/softball fields at the Johnny Downs Sports Complex. The fields were heavily damaged by a tornado in December of 2019.


“This is a significant step in rebuilding the complex, and it keeps us within our timeline to have the fields ready for play to host the upcoming Dixie Softball World Series at the end of July,” explained Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “Getting the Johnny Downs Sports Complex repaired is critical to the city. Not just to the local youth who will get to play on the fields and get all of the benefits that come from youth sports programs, but also to the local economy. Johnny Downs has an established reputation as a tournament host, attracting thousands of people to Alexandria each year. And while they are here, they stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, buy gas and other items from local retailers. It adds up to millions of dollars in revenue annually for our city as well as jobs for our residents. Maintaining a competitive sports complex is an important piece of our overall economic development efforts, right along with reducing blight, providing training programs for local businesses and upgrades to our infrastructure. It all works together to create jobs, increase local revenues and benefit all of our residents.”


The Alexandria-Pineville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau describes sporting events as a high economic impact category that can have direct and immediate results on the local economy. Based on its research, the CVB estimates an average family visiting Alexandria for a two-day softball tournament will spend $550. Looking at figures from the most recent full season tournaments were played at the Johnny Downs facility, including USSSA travel ball tournaments, LHSAA high school softball games and Dixie Boys and Dixie Girls baseball and softball tournaments, sporting events at the facility generated an estimated $2,918,300 in economic impact for Alexandria with 33,000 visitors and 9,205 hotel room stays.


Looking ahead to the Dixie Softball World Series, a six-day tournament with participating teams from across the Southeast coming to Alexandria in late July, the CVB projects more than $1 million in economic benefit to Alexandria. That estimate is based on a projected 1,200 overnight guests and 500 attendees who come just for a single day. The bulk of the benefit is expected to come in food and beverage sales, with an estimated $362,974 in revenue to local businesses.


“This is significant revenue that benefits our local business community,” Hall said. “By adding artificial turf to the infields, we expect to be able to attract even more tournaments, and in turn generate increased revenues. That’s why you are seeing so many other communities – Ruston, Natchitoches, Pineville – investing in artificial turf fields. They understand the economic benefits. Our central location, as well as our reputation as a host city, gives us an advantage. But we must continue to invest in our facilities as part of our overall economic development efforts to maintain these financial benefits for our residents.”

Cleco donates $40,000 to Friends of the Alexandria Zoo

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

PINEVILLE, La. – Jan. 26, 2021 – Today, Cleco presented a $40,000 grant to Friends of the Alexandria Zoo (FOTAZ) to help rebuild and expand the boardwalk that will wrap around the new Aussie Aviary, an interactive habitat that will house approximately 150 Australian birds.  

The original boardwalk for the Australian Walkabout, built in 2002, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Laura.

“Attractions like the Alexandria Zoo strengthen ourcommunities, and Cleco is committed to investing in the communities we serve,” said Shane Hilton, president of Cleco Power.  

Rebuilding and expanding the boardwalk will enablevisitors to view the habitat for the kangaroos, wallabiesand large flightless emu along with birds in the new Aussie Aviary.  The aviary will allow visitors to see the birds up close and even feed them, a popular hands-on activity for the whole family.

“FOTAZ is grateful for this $40,000 donation from Cleco to rebuild and expand the boardwalk used regularly by visitors and staff,” said Lee Ann Whitt, FOTAZ board member. “The donation represents more than financial support of the zoo’s construction project.  It demonstrates how Cleco continues to step up and support quality-of-life projects in central Louisiana, making sure valuable landmarks remain available to our communities and visitors.”

LSUA Releases Secondary Logo

The following has been released to Q93 from LSUA:




ALEXANDRIA, La – The Louisiana State University of Alexandria is excited to announce the release of a new secondary logo to complement its creative assets of the university.


The logo utilizes the fountain, one of the most iconic elements on campus, mixed with a modern, artistic feel.


“The new logo is a breath of fresh air for the university,” said LSUA Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil. “As LSUA quickly becomes one of the premiere university’s in the state, it is imperative that we continue to expand and grow the university brand.”


The fountain was built in 2001 as part of the Plaza Renovation Project. The LSUA Foundation spearheaded this project to create a more attractive space for student functions, now known as the The Quad. The fountain was incorporated to highlight past LSUA donors while also providing the backdrop for the stage/performance area. The walls of the fountain were painted by local artist Leslie Elliotsmith and display the names of individuals and businesses who made substantial contributions to the LSUA Foundation.


Just recently, the university had the fountain restored as part of an ongoing campus beautification initiative.


“The addition of the fountain icon seeks to provide a modern look for a campus rich in history, allowing others to glean a glimpse of the beauty right here on the LSUA campus,” said LSUA Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications, Elizabeth Jonson.

Cleco Crews to Wrap Up Power Restoration in Remaining Areas Today

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco: 


PINEVILLE, La. – Jan. 12, 2021 – As of 8:30 a.m., Cleco had restored power to approximately
5,100 of the 5,300 customers who lost power after a mix of ice and snow moved through north
and central Louisiana.

“The remaining customers without power are expected to have power today if they can receive
power,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “If
there is any damage to your home, business or to the electrical service entrance that may pose
a danger if power is restored, Cleco cannot energize the service until repairs are made by a
licensed electrician. Once repairs are made, the electrician should call the appropriate
governing authority for instructions regarding permitting and inspections.”

Power Outages as of 8:30 a.m.
DeSoto Parish – 103
Natchitoches Parish – 44
Sabine Parish – 92

Customers who do not have power by this evening should call Cleco customer service at 1-800-
622-6537 to report the power outage. For updates on power outages, visit the Cleco Storm Center at or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower.

Power Restored to Over 75 Percent of Customers Impacted by Winter Weather

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

PINEVILLE, La. – Jan. 11, 2021 (5 p.m. update) – As of 5 p.m. today, Cleco had restored power to roughly 4,000 of the 5,300 customers affected by the mix of ice and snowthat moved through north and central Louisiana. 

Cleco estimates the majority of its customers should have their power back on today with some scattered outages overnight.

“We anticipate most customers will have their power restored tonight, but some customers in the Stanley Lake, Pleasant Hill and Pelican communities could be without power overnight,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “Crews are continuing to work into the night with the goal of restoringpower to all customers.”

Power Outages as of 5 p.m.
DeSoto Parish – 900
Grant Parish – 5
Natchitoches Parish – 77
Rapides Parish – 43
Red River Parish – 10
Sabine Parish – 174

For updates on power outages, visit the Cleco Storm Center at or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower.

Cleco Crews Working to Restore Power After Winter Weather Hits Central and Northern Parishes

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:



PINEVILLE, La. – Jan. 11, 2021 – Approximately 4,300Cleco customers are without power this morning due to ice and snow in parts of Louisiana that began last night and continued into early this morning. 

“The majority of these outages are in north and central Louisiana which were hit the hardest.  The roads and ditches are iced over, so in some instances the crews must find alternative routes or wait until conditions improvebefore restoration efforts can begin,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “There are many challenges associated with restoring power in icy conditions, but our crews will work until power is restored to all customers.”

Reasons for power outages during ice and snow:

• Trees can become heavy and brittle due to the accumulation of ice and snow, breaking and falling onto our system.

• Power lines and other equipment can become damaged due to the weight of ice and snow on the system.


Safety tips: 

• Operate portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and plug appliances directly into generators with grounded extension cords. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.

• Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away.  Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911. 

Power Outages as of 9 a.m.
DeSoto – 2,190
Evangeline – 32
Grant – 123
Iberia – 16
Lasalle – 11
Natchitoches – 96
Rapides – 545
Red River – 256
Sabine – 1,065
Vernon – 6

For updates on power outages, visit the Cleco Storm Center at or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower.

LSUA Closed on Monday 1/11/21

The following has been released to Q93 from LSUA:



ALEXANDRIA, La - Due to the impending weather for late Sunday evening (Jan. 10) and early Monday morning (Jan. 11), LSUA will be closed on January 11. All offices will be closed and all classes will be cancelled – this includes both online and on-campus courses. 


As of now, a mix of rain and possibly snow is predicted for the Central Louisiana area. With falling temperatures, roads and bridges could become hazardous. It is with an abundance of caution that the decision was made to close, as the health and safety of the university family remains our priority.  


The university plans to reopen on Tuesday, January 12. Any deadline changes for the university calendar will be forthcoming.

Rapides Parish Schools and Offices Closed Monday 1/11/21

The following has been released to Q93 from the Rapides Parish School Board: 


"Out of an abundance of caution due to the increased potential for freezing temperatures mixed with precipitation during normal transportation times, all Rapides Parish schools and offices will be closed tomorrow, Monday, January 11, 2021.


We pray everyone stays safe and let’s continue to show the world that Rapides Parish truly is #bettertogether!"

City of Alexandria Preparing for Anticipated Winter Weather Sunday

The following has been released to Q93 from the City of Alexandria:



Alexandria, La. (Jan. 8, 2021) — Current forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate a potential for a wintery mix of weather, ranging from snow to icy rain or sleet, in the Alexandria area on Sunday. The city encourages residents to make preparations now in the event local roads or bridges become impassable due to ice. 


“The safety of our citizens is our primary concern,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “We don’t know if we will get snow, sleet or just rain. Either way, we encourage residents to monitor weather conditions and to avoid travelling Sunday if roads are slick or icy.”


Hall noted Public Works employees are prepared to sand roads and bridges if necessary. Utility Systems Director Michael Marcotte said electric distribution crews are on standby to deal with any power outages. “We are actively monitoring the weather forecast and will have crews ready and prepared to respond as needed,” Marcotte said.


Customers are reminded that when storms occur resulting in power outages they may report the outage online through the AlexConnects app. Downed wires, poles, and other equipment should be reported to the Electric Distribution Department at (318) 473-1301. Residents are reminded to avoid downed lines as they may still be energized and avoid driving on slick or icy roadways. Also, residents should stay indoors and off the roads if possible during any storm and exercise extreme caution while driving after a storm as crews and equipment may be clearing debris and making repairs along roads throughout the city.  

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