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Community Lighthouses a Haven During Power Outages

Courtesy: Community Lighthouse Proj.

During extended power outages, lighthouses will assist as cooling or heating stations, with food assistance, ice, water, and charging stations.

There’s soon to be a ray of hope for those who suffer the most when the power goes out. Power outages from severe weather have doubled over the past two decades across the country. That’s the word from a comprehensive analysis by the Associated Press. Worse, Louisiana is one of three states in which the duration in outages has increased by 50%, as well.
These disturbing trends have led to the concept of community lighthouses. Just as the name implies, these community lighthouses will be stationed in neighborhoods that may lack the resources to handle all the expenses and challenges caused by extended power outages.
The North Louisiana Interfaith Coalition is spearheading the project. Half of the $1,000,000 in funding is coming from the Caddo Commission, to help pay for two pilot projects. During extended power outages, lighthouses will assist as cooling or heating stations, with food assistance, ice, water, and charging stations. Susan Caldwell, with All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Shreveport. “The leading cause of death after a disaster is not the storm itself. It’s power outages.”

Courtesy: Community Lighthouse Project

Caldwell says one lighthouse will be located at Morningstar Baptist Church at 5340 Jewella Avenue and the other at the Highland Center at 520 Olive Street. “And the great thing about these two places is they already are serving kind of a community neighborhood function. There’s already a network of neighbors who know each other," explains Caldwell. "They’re already providing a lot of services. So, we felt like these were the two locations best suited to do this. And what they will do, they will get large industrial sized solar batteries and solar panels so that this will be a place to kind of make the grid more resilient.”
The public launch of Interfaith’s Community Lighthouse project takes place on Thursday, November 2, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. At Morning Star Baptist Church.

LSUS Working to Attract More On-Campus Students


Higher education in this country has seen a decline in enrollment in the last 13 years. Some of the biggest declines happened in Fall 2020 – as first-time enrollment decreased about 10%. The COVID-19 pandemic is getting much of the blame for recent drops, but not all of it. Falling birth rates and rising tuition costs are also getting the blame. So too is a strong labor market that’s pulling young people straight into the workforce.
LSU-Shreveport, on the other hand, just recorded its second largest enrollment in school history, at just under 10,000 students. The challenge for LSUS is attracting more local students and more students on-campus, as opposed to online.

LSUS Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Helen Taylor, Ph.D, points out the benefits of being on campus. “We have a cyber collaboratory, we have an idea space. We’re working on a business engagement lab. So, there are lots of places for students to learn. Learning skills hands on, immersive, active learning rather than just sitting and listening to somebody in a classroom.”
LSU in Shreveport’s Cyber Collaboratory offers students and faculty access to what’s described as state-of-the-art equipment like large-scale 3d printing, robotics and virtual reality.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, and a graduate of the University of Washington, Jeff began his on-air broadcasting career 33 years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota as a general assignment reporter.