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Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area … – American Press

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Published 4:13 am Sunday, September 17, 2023

Allen named SAVE vice chairman

The Solutions to Achieve Viability and Efficiency (SAVE) Task Force was created after the approval of Louisiana Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 in the 2023 session and will focus on developing solutions to assist distressed Louisiana municipalities, many of whom are, due to a variety of reasons, currently facing financial doom. For some communities, this could mean the dissolution of their status as a municipality.

At their first meeting on Aug. 29, Leesville Mayor Rick Allen, currently serving as the first vice- president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, was chosen as vice chairman of the committee.

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Cole joins Memorial Group

Lake Charles Memorial Health System is pleased to welcome Jessica Cole, MD, an obstetrics & gynecology physician, to its medical staff and to the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women.

Cole is originally from Moss Bluff. She received her undergraduate degree at LSU in Baton Rouge and her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at New Orleans School of Medicine. Most recently Cole completed her OB/GYN Residency at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.

Linville joins trauma team

Lake Charles Memorial Health System is pleased to welcome general surgeon Eric Linville, MD to its medical staff, and as the newest physician to join the General and Trauma Surgery team.

Linville began his medical journey as a registered nurse, graduating summa cum laude in nursing from McNeese State University. He worked as a hospital registered nurse for four years before furthering his education by earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, where he graduated with honors in research.

He most recently completed a general surgery residency at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston.

A favorite hobby of Linville is to accompany medical mission trips. He enjoys providing desperately needed surgical procedures, direct patient care and wound care to people all over the world. With seven trips under his belt, he has provided care to people in Zimbabwe, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, and more.

Linville is seeing new patients at his clinic at 1717 Oak Park Blvd., at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Bellow named to Hall of Fame

Angelia “Angie” Bellow, chief administrative officer of Southwest Louisiana Credit Union, was inducted into the Louisiana Credit Union Hall of Fame at the Louisiana Credit Union League’s annual convention.

Her Hall of Fame honor comes as Bellow celebrates 30 years of service at SWLA Credit Union. Starting in 1993 as a member service representative, she advanced through the years to become chief administrative officer. During those years, she saw SWLA Credit Union grow from a $17 million financial institution to its present size of $170 million.

The Louisiana Credit Union League established the Hall of Fame to recognize the valuable leadership, dedication, and contribution of inductees like Bellow, “who have given their time, talents, and ingenuity to enhance and strengthen the credit union movement.”

Fuljenz receives service award

Lake Charles native Michael Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, is recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the Congressionally-chartered American Numismatic Association, the largest organization of coin collecting enthusiasts in the United States. Fuljenz grew up in Lake Charles and graduated from LaGrange High School in 1972.

He received the organization’s 2023 Chester L. Krause Distinguished Service Award at the 2023 World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh.

The Chester L. Krause Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of numerous years of outstanding, dedicated service to numismatics. Fuljenz was also recognized with the association’s 2023 Philanthropy Award. In 2021, he was named Dealer of the Year and he received the organization’s Medal of Merit in 2014.

He has received dozens of awards from the Press Club of Southeast Texas and the Numismatic Literary Guild for his four books, weekly newsletters, and television and radio appearances about rare coins and precious metals.

Over the years, Fuljenz has also received awards from the Professional Numismatists Guild and the National Coin and Bullion Association for his consumer protection work combating counterfeits in the marketplace. He has been a significant contributor to consumer alerts released by the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General of Texas, and the Better Business Bureau.

Active in many community, education, and youth sports groups in Beaumont, Fuljenz serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the local Crime Stoppers organization. McNeese State University recognized his literary, business, and civic achievements and decades of service to the university by presenting him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2015, and Lamar University recognized him with a 3T (Time Talent and Treasure) Award in 2007.

Clemons to attend leadership class

Micah O. Clemons, attorney with Todd Clemons and Associates in Lake Charles, was selected for the 2023/2024 Leadership Class of Louisiana State Bar Association.

The Leadership LSBA Class provides information on how the LSBA functions as well as the pressing issues that face the Association and the legal profession. Each year, the leadership class produces a class project to address needs in the profession and the community at large. Previous class projects include the basics of practicing law with a focus on personal injury; military legal help videos, and legal issues the public encountered during the recent pandemic.

Clemons is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Southern University Law Center. He is a former law clerk for the Honorable Derrick D. Kee at the 14th Judicial District Court. He also interned for the Honorable Brian A. Jackson at the United States District Court, Middle District, and Attorney Adam P. Johnson at The Johnson Firm in Lake Charles.

Clemons is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and Southwest Louisiana Young Lawyers Section.

Hernandez joins Lakeside Bank

Lakeside Bank has named Christina Hernandez the assistant branch manager of its Oak Park location.   

Hernandez has been with Lakeside since 2019, working as a teller and then new accounts representative. Before joining Lakeside, she worked for seven years in customer service and administrative positions for a variety of businesses.

Originally from Jackson, Miss.,, Hernandez studied liberal arts at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., and marketing and computer technology at Scott County Career and Technology Center in Forest, Miss.

Lakeside’s Oak Park Banking Center is located at 2132 Oak Park Blvd.

Edmiston named board secretary

Kyle Edmiston, president/CEO of Visit Lake Charles has joined the 2023-2024 Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Destinations International, the global trade association for convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards.

CPSO deputies recognized

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Motors deputies recently competed in the Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Championship in Gonzales.

The competing deputies, Sgt. Casey Steech, Sgt. Jeremy Dansby Sr. Cpl. Jordan Trahan Sr. Cpl. Sam Smith, Cpl. Kerrick Gabriel Jr. and Cpl. Alex Jones put in over 40 hours of competition time.

Dansby placed sixth in expert division; Steech placed 10th in expert division; Trahan placed seventh in the novice division; and Gabrial placed 10th in the challenge course.

The event raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research, said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

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African 2026 World Cup Qualifying Fixtures

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Although the 2026 FIFA World Cup is still years away, the African qualifiers are set to begin soon. The next World Cup will be held in three locations for the first time in history – the US, Canada, and Mexico. CAF has secured 9 slots for African teams who will battle it out for a chance to play on the global stage. Below, we review the African 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification schedule and fixtures.

New Qualification Format

Nine CAF teams will make it to the World Cup. This is a change from the previous five, which means local and international betting sites have to update their betting lines even as the CAF adjusts its qualification format. The CAF announced this new format on May 19 this year. Now, participating teams will be drawn into nine groups of six teams, with each group winner qualifying directly for the World Cup. 

Draw and Groups

On July 13, the CAF performed the draw for the qualifications in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. All 54 CAF football associations will be represented, and the teams will be divided into the following groups:

  1. Group I: Chad, Comoros, CAR, Madagascar, Ghana, Mali
  2. Group H: Sao Tome and Principe, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea, Tunisia
  3. Group G: Somalia, Botswana, Mozambique, Uganda, Guinea, Algeria
  4. Group F: Seychelles, Burundi, Gambia, Kenya, Gabon, Ivory Coast
  5. Group E: Eritrea, Niger, Tanzania, Congo, Zambia, Morocco
  6. Group D: Mauritius, Eswatini, Libya, Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon
  7. Group C: Lesotho, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Benin, South Africa, Nigeria
  8. Group B: South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Mauritania, DR Congo, Senegal
  9. Group A: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Egypt


The qualifiers will be held across 10 match days with some combined dates for the playoff semifinals and finals. The closest dates to look forward to are:

Matchday One: Nov. 13-21, 2023

  1. Group I: Comoros Vs. Central African Republic, Ghana Vs. Madagascar, Mali Vs. Chad
  2. Group H: Liberia Vs. Malawi, Equatorial Guinea Vs. Namibia, Tunisia Vs. Sao Tome e Principe
  3. Group G: Botswana Vs. Mozambique, Guinea Vs. Uganda, Algeria Vs. Somalia
  4. Group F: Burundi Vs. Gambia, Gabon Vs. Kenya, Ivory Coast Vs. Seychelles
  5. Group E: Niger Vs. Tanzania, Zambia Vs. Congo Brazzaville, Morocco Vs. Eritrea
  6. Group D: Eswatini Vs. Libya, Cape Verde Vs. Angola, Cameroon Vs. Mauritius
  7. Group C: Rwanda Vs. Zimbabwe, South Africa Vs. Benin, Nigeria Vs. Lesotho
  8. Group B: Sudan Vs. Togo, Senegal Vs. South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo Vs. Mauritania,
  9. Group A: Ethiopia Vs. Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso Vs. Guinea-Bissau, Egypt Vs. Djibouti

Matchday Two: Nov. 13-21, 2023

  1. Group I: Chad Vs. Madagascar, Comoros Vs. Ghana, CAR Vs. Mali
  2. Group H: Sao Tome Vs. Namibia, Liberia Vs. E. Guinea, Malawi Vs. Tunisia
  3. Group G: Somalia Vs. Uganda, Botswana Vs. Guinea, Mozambique Vs. Algeria
  4. Group F: Seychelles Vs. Kenya, Burundi Vs. Gabon, Gambia Vs. I. Coast
  5. Group E: Eritrea Vs. Congo, Niger Vs. Zambia, Tanzania Vs. Morocco
  6. Group D: Mauritius Vs. Angola, Eswatini Vs. Cape Verde, Libya Vs. Cameroon
  7. Group C: Lesotho Vs. Benin, Rwanda Vs. S. Africa, Zimbabwe Vs. Nigeria
  8. Group B: S. Sudan Vs. Mauritania, Sudan Vs. DR Congo, Togo Vs. Senegal
  9. Group A: Djibouti Vs. G. Bissau, Ethiopia Vs. B. Faso, S. Leone Vs. Egypt

Wrapping Up

The African (CAF) qualification campaign will kick off in November and set the stage for the 54 participating countries to compete for the 9 World Cup slots. Meanwhile, Morocco’s run in the 2022 World Cup has revitalized enough hope on the continent for a real shot at the trophy.

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We do not recognise Mnangagwa as President – says opposition as MPs boycott 10th Parliament opening, SONA address

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By Staff Reporter

CITIZENS Coalition for Change legislators have snubbed the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the opening of the 10th Parliament.

According to a source, the decision to steer clear of the SONA along with the official opening of the 10th Parliament came from the party.

This is the latest protest by the opposition party following the conclusion of the general elections in August.

President Mnangagwa emerged winner with a 52,6% share of the vote while Chamisa got 44%.

CCC has since disputed the election results while calling for a rerun.

“We have been told to remain in our constituencies. The directive came as a party position,” revealed the source.

Opposition spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said: “We are boycotting the processes that Mnangagwa wants us to undertake on the basis of the fact that we as CCC do not recognize an election that put him there. The election was a sham, it did not go well. If fell abysmally short of the expected standards of a free and fair election in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe as well as in terms of SADC and AU protocols on free and fair elections.

“Accordingly, we are not attending that process. We want to send a clear message that there should be a free election in Zimbabwe under the auspices of SADC. So, that is the message that will be sending out.”

After the contested 2018 general election, then MDC-Alliance MPs walked out as soon as Mnangagwa began his SONA in protest.

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Zanu PF dispels any hope for Transitional government, maintains August elections were free and fair

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By Leopold Munhende | Chief Correspondent

ZANU PF Treasurer General Patrick Chinamasa has dispelled hopes for a transitional government or rerun, options being pushed regionally after Zimbabwe’s heavily criticised August polls.

Chinamasa took to Twitter Monday to declare that, despite regional and international criticism of the election, Zanu PF maintained it was free and fair.

He described calls for a rerun of the elections won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as neocolonial.

Mnangagwa claimed 52.6% of the presidential vote against main contender Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) President Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.

“I ask the CCC class and its Prefect, Nelson Chamisa, to repeat after me the following that the 23rd of August 2023 was free, fair, transparent, and credible; that there will be no rerun of the elections,” said Chinamasa.

“There will be no Government of National Unity (GNU), there will be no so-called Transitional Authority (whatever that may mean), Zimbabwe, under Zanu PF’s watch will never be a banana republic.

“Zanu PF will forever say “NO” to neocolonialism and hegemonism and an emphatic “NO” to subjugation by sanctions-imposing Western countries, Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo, Ichitongwa Nevene Vayo, Ichinamatirwa Nevene Vayo, Ichichengetedzwa Nevene Vayo, Ichidzivirirwa Nevene Vayo. 

Zimbabwe will never, never, never be a colony again.”

Mnangagwa’s re-election has received massive criticism after heavy bungling by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on August 23.

Late provision of voting material, allegations of voter intimidation by Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) backed Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), barring of opposition rallies, arrest of opposing politicians and accusations ZEC had been captured by the military all worked against its credibility.

The European Union (EU), Commonwealth, United Kingdom (UK), regional body SADC and AU all questioned its fairness.

Zanu PF has spent the greater part of Zimbabwe’s post election period to lay into Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema whom it accuses of orchestrating negative reviews of Zimbabwe’s polls by SADC.

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