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Alexis Strain, a junior at Mande-ville's Fontainebleau High School, was named the Louisi-ana state winner for Google's an-nual student art contest. Strain now competes in the national finals. Strain is in the running for a $30,000 scholarship, a $50,000 grant for her school and the opportunity for her work to appear on the Google homepage.


Tank and the Bangas was named the winner of National Public Radio's third annual Tiny Desk concert contest Feb. 28. The local band's song "Quick" was among more than 6,000 submissions for the 2017 contest. The band will record a performance for NPR's Tiny Desk series at the broadcasting company's Washington D.C. office before a tour later this year.


Robbie Gatti, current Republican frontrunner for former state Rep. Mike Johnson's seat in Bossier City, admitted to wearing blackface at a "church" function 15 years ago and said he was dressed up as Tiger Woods. A photo of the candidate (who's now a minister) in blackface surfaced on the website The Hayride. On Feb. 27, Gatti wrote on Facebook, "As a medical professional, ordained minister and military officer, I live my life seeing only character and I stand by that."


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