I’m Lee Waskom and I am announcing my candidacy for the office of Parish President in Natchitoches Parish.
My family moved to Natchitoches in 1964 when I was 11 months old. Having grown up on a farm raising 35 head of cattle, I learned the value of hard work at a young age. My summers were spent baling hay. I lived on my family’s farm on Fish Hatchery Road for 31 years.
I attended school in Natchitoches, graduating in 1982 from Natchitoches Central High. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northwestern State University in 1986. I am married to Ginny Fontenot Waskom and we have 3 children and three grandchildren. We attend Westside Baptist Church.
As a successful businessman, I have supported the local economy by creating and maintaining thousands of jobs over the last 35 years. From 1987-2010, I was President and owner of the Campus Corner Bookstores in Natchitoches, with other locations in Shreveport, and Monroe. Because of business market changes in the Textbook industry, I shifted my business focus to property management, property development and investment opportunities. In October 2012, I ventured into the restaurant business through ownership in Smoothie King and, later, Dickey’s Barbecue Pits in Natchitoches and Lafayette.
My active participation in charitable, community and service organizations has given me the opportunity to understand the people of Natchitoches Parish, their needs and concerns. I also served a two-year term as President of the NSU Foundation. As a member of the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club, I was on the Board of Directors for nine years and Treasurer for five. Presently, I am on the Board of Directors of the HDBA serving as Treasurer and I’m a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club.
I want to use my financial success to create a pathway to solve the issues this Parish is facing. As Parish President, it will be my goal to work within the current budget structure to ensure we meet the needs of the parish citizens through infrastructure improvement and business development.
Although he may be a resident of Natchitoches, Mario Fox is no average Joe. After leaving at the age of 19 and joining the Army, Fox obtained his realtor license while in Washington, DC and strived for success. After 10 years he moved back Natchitoches and is now the assistant broker at the ever-growing Rhodes Realty. But Mario’s knowledge of Real Estate wasn’t the only thing he picked up. He learned that the first impression you leave is important and a lot of it has to do with how you dress. Mario is a firm believer of “dress how you would want the world to see you.”
“Nobody going to buy a million dollar home from you if you don’t look the part,” he said.
Anyone that’s gotten the chance to meet Mario, knows he knows how to wear a suit. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him on a good Friday morning to discuss why style is important and how to create dapper looks in the workplace. Even that morning he greeted me in a custom “Obama blue” suit, a crisp white button-down and a knitted turquoise tie (SEE IMAGES BELOW).
KJ: Everyone doesn’t know how to wear a suit, and look good wearing one. How did you get introduced into the art of suit-wearing?
MF: My first four suits came for Burlington, that my wife purchased for me. I got them tailored and started creating my look, but it wasn’t until one of my mentors told me “Fox you gotta get some better suits.” People who wear nice suits can tell a good suit just by quality. I couldn’t afford it at that moment so I continued to sell real estate until I could buy my first custom suit. At that point, I saw the difference of the texture and quality and I never looked back.
KJ: What are some details you should look for when getting a nice suit?
MF: You should always make sure your jacket fits you. You don’t want it too tight but never big and boxy. Custom suit jackets have functional buttons, even small details in the treading. Pants are your preference, I personally don’t like the highwater look.
KJ: What’s your favorite add on?
MF: I put a lot of energy in ties. I don’t think a lot of business people realize how important a tie is. Everything from the color to the pattern on the tie. For me, I know every situation is different. If I’m headed to a meeting I wear bold dominating colors. Not just the color but the knot is important too, for example, the Windsor knot is more aggressive, but the prince fox knot, which I named after myself, is fun and modern.
KJ: Last question, What are 5 tips everyone should know
MF: 1. Dress according to the seasons, velvet or corduroy do not work in the warm seasons.
2. Every man should have a suit in their closet.
3. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and classic. There are ways to look good without doing too much.
4. If you can’t afford custom suits find a good tailor.
5. Last but not least, find your own style and be true to who you are.
For someone so, young Mario has proven that no matter where you come from you too can succeed. Different situations could have taken him down a different path but he wanted more. He wanted to move not just for his wife and kids but for his community.
“Dress the way you want to be acknowledged” – Mario Fox
The Early Childhood Information and Registration Day will be held at the Natchitoches Event Center on Thursday, May 2 from 4:30-6:30 pm. This event is for all families of children Birth-Age 4. Representatives from Childcare Centers, Head Start, and Pre-Kindergarten Programs will be available to discuss enrollment and registration opportunities for children. Programs will provide information for families regarding hours of operation, rates, meal programs, CCAP, tax credit opportunities and educational curricula. To register your child in an Early Childhood Program, please bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate, proof of income, and proof of residency and immunization record. Representatives from other community agencies will also be in attendance to share information about the resources they can provide for you and your children. Don’t miss out!
For more information, call 352-2358 or go online to www.teachingtomorrownow.com. This event is sponsored by Natchitoches Parish Early Childhood Network.
Led by Rhea Verma’s first team All-Southland Conference selection at No. 3 singles, four members of the Northwestern State Lady Demons tennis team earned all-conference honors announced Tuesday.
The other first team nod for NSU went to Judit Castillo Gargallo and Emilija Dancetovic at No. 3 doubles. Ela Iwaniuk and Castillo Gargallo were both recognized with second team singles honors at No. 5 and 6, respectively.
Voting was done by the head coaches and sports information contacts at the 12 Southland institutions that compete in women’s tennis. NSU, Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas led the league, each with four players honored.
“We are very proud of our Lady Demons who received all-conference honors,” head coach Patric DuBois said. “We always play for our team first as Lady Demons, and in the end, a good team will usually have players honored for individual accolades.
“We’re proud to have Rhea, Ela, Judit and Ema representing NSU on these all-Southland teams.”
Verma was a force for the Lady Demons in the middle of the rotation, going 11-0 in Southland competition, one of only two players in the conference to go through the entire conference season unscathed, with Abilene Christian’s Allison Stewart being the other. The redshirt freshman became the first Lady Demon to finish unbeaten in conference play at singles since Natalya Krutova in 2015.
The Toronto native went 8-0 at No. 3 and moved up to No. 2 for the final three matches, where she remained perfect. Her 16-4 overall mark is tied for the best record on the team.
Castillo Gargallo and Dancetovic, both juniors, were a powerful duo at the bottom of the doubles rotation for NSU. The pairing went 5-2 in conference play, and 13-3 overall. The selection gives the Lady Demons at least one duo with a first team All-Southland honor for the ninth time in the past 11 years.
Iwaniuk’s sparkling 10-1 conference mark did not go unnoticed, as the junior was named second team All-Southland at No. 5. It is her second all-conference selection in as many years, after being named first team last season at No. 4. In conference action in her two years with the Lady Demons, Iwaniuk is an impressive 19-3.
The Konarskie, Poland, native is tied with Verma with a team-best record at 16-4, and is 12-1 at the No. 5 spot in the rotation. All 10 of the matches won by Iwaniuk in conference play were won in straight sets, and in only three of the 20 sets she allowed her opponent to claim four games.
Castillo Gargallo followed up her second team All-Southland selection in 2018 with another one in 2019. At No. 6 singles, she was 6-2, including an impressive victory against Ileana Mocciola of ACU, who was named first team All-Conference at No. 5.
She was third on the team with a 14-4 record, including 11-3 at the No. 6 spot.
NSU, the second seed, begins its trek for its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015 when the Lady Demons play No. 7 New Orleans in the Southland Conference Tournament at 10 a.m. on Thursday in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Sam Houston State’s Sahaja Yamalapalli won Southland Player of the Year honors. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi sophomore Kei Kato took the Newcomer of the Year award, while Chunxi Xin of Central Arkansas was the Freshman of the Year and Abilene Christian’s John Walker was voted Coach of the Year. ACU won the regular season and is the top seed in the tournament.
Mark your calendars for our Natchitoches Farmers Market starting April 27. For the 2019 market, there’s lots of new vendors and programming and unique demonstrations to take part in. Visit the booths, listen to live music, enjoy food and drinks and learn by participating in activities and demonstrations.
The Natchitoches Farmers Market is part of Ready, Set, Go: the City’s initiative to improve the health and wellness of residents through a three part plan. The market will SET up shop Saturdays from 8 AM – 12 PM from April 27 – July 27. It will be located on the downtown riverbank.
The Farmers Market offers $5 in free Kids Club Tokens each Saturday for the first 50 children ages 2-13. These tokens can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables! The market also accepts cash, credit, debit, and SNAP.
“This market season is filled with adventure and healthy opportunities,” said Valerie Balthazar, Farmers Market Coordinator.
April 27: “Metamorphosis at the Market”
Kids make healthy butterfly themed snacks
Kids plant milkweed seeds for growing plants that will attract butterflies
The Master Gardeners will be there
May 4: “Walk to Remember”
Homemade butter and corn grinding
Kids make watermelon pops
May 11: A “Berry” Special Mother’s Day
Kids make strawberry flowers and mugs for Mom for Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day celebration and picture booth
May 18: “Get Physical at the Farmers Market”
Herb Growing Demo by the Natchitoches Parish Master Gardeners
Kids make smoothies on Spin Bike
May 25: “Buzz Over for Breakfast Pancakes”
Kids make fruit sandwiches
Bee demo by Natchitoches Bee Keepers Club
June 1: “Celebrate Rural Farmers Month”
Raw vegetable salad tasting
Kids participate in a Scavenger Hunt
First Responders and mascots will be present
Master Gardeners will be there
June 8: “3rd Annual Corn Eating on the Cane”
Hot Corn Dip tasting
Kids make squirrel feeders
Kids participate in Corn Hole Games
June 15: “2nd Annual Battle of the Badges”
Cook-Off featuring the Natchitoches Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and Police Department
Kids make presents for Dad
June 22: “Mini Makers at the Market”
Grilled Okra tasting
Mini Makers battling for the trophy
June 29: “Red, White and Blueberries”
Fruit Kabobs tasting
Kids make patriotic hands on a canvas
July 6: “Super Squash to the Rescue”
Farmers Market Mascot (Super Squash) in attendance
Grilled squash tasting
Kids make squash ducks
Master Gardeners will be there
July 13: “Amazing Veggie Race”
Zucchini noodles with pesto tasting
Kids participate in the Veggie Race
July 20: “Who Let the Dogs Out”
Kids will bring donations for the Humane Society
July 27: “Splash into Summer”
Fruit Salad tasting
Kids will participate in squirt painting
*Prop up your boots with old coots” every Saturday at the Old Coots & Good Advice tent! To participate contact Valerie Balthazar at 318-663-5190.
**4-H Days feature Natchitoches Parish 4-Hers who will man the Community Garden table, which features locally grown produce. A percentage of what these students sell will go back to their 4-H clubs for future programming.
For more information call (318) 663-5190.
This project is funded through a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation. The Healthy Behaviors Program Grant funds projects which have a focus on healthy eating, active living, or prevention of tobacco use, substance or alcohol abuse. To learn more about grant funding from The Rapides Foundation, visit www.rapidesfoundation.org, and click on “Grants.”
The Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated announces its upcoming 29th Annual Beautillion that will be held Saturday, April 27 at 6 pm at the Ben Johnson Auditorium. This event will feature young males from within the Natchitoches community.
The Beaux for the upcoming year are:
Beau Keonte’ Charles who is the son of Darnei Bates and Nekesha Charles. Beau Keonte’ attends Natchitoches Central High School.
Beau Jaylon Triplet-Bell is the son of Christopher Bell and Tyronda Triplet. Beau Jaylon attends Lakeview High School.
Beau Albert Gillie Jr is the son of Pastor Albert Gillie Sr. and Bridget Gillie. Beau Albert attends Natchitoches Central High School.
Beau Maleek Johnson is the son of Michael and Latricia Johnson. Beau Maleek attends Natchitoches Central High School.
Beau Tyrik Johnson is the son of Shawn Johnson and Alicia Davis. Beau Tyrik attends Natchitoches Central High School.
Beau William Roberson is the son of Bishop William Roberson and Jacqueline Roberson. Beau William attends Natchitoches Central High School.
Beau Trevor Williams Jr., is the son of Trevor Williams Sr. and Yvette C. Williams. Beau Trevor attends Natchitoches Central High School.
This year’s speaker will be Phillip Jean-Louis Jr. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. He also received a Master of Science in Addiction Counseling and a Master of Science in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University. He recently earned his License in Professional Counseling and is currently a full-time counselor dealing with families, individuals, juveniles, and addiction. He is a Member of Theta Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He played baseball for the NSU Demon Baseball Team for 3 years in 2004-2007 under Coach Mitch Gaspard.
Tickets will be sold through the Beauxs and members of the Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Proceeds from the Beautillion will be used to fund public service projects of the Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter by helping with Scholarships, the Book Project, Breast Cancer Awareness Projects, the Delta Doll Project, Nursing Home Activities, Thanksgiving food drive, The Council on Aging, and support of many other existing area projects.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Clarence DeWitt Booty, Jr., 78, of Natchitoches, LA will be held at 10 A.M. Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches with Reverend Louis Sklar as celebrant. Interment will follow in Springville Cemetery, Coushatta, LA. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 6 P.M. until 8 P.M. at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home, Coushatta, LA.
Mr. Booty was born October 20, 1940 in Natchitoches, LA and passed away April 22, 2019. Mr. Booty was a long-time parishioner of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a member of the Knights of Columbus #1357. DeWitt was a graduate of St. Mary’s and Northwestern State University. He was an avid Demon Fan and supporter in the 6th Man Club, Quarterback Club and Alumni Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Johnnie Booty; and son, Robert Henry “Skip” Wooley, Jr.
Mr. Booty is survived by his wife, Louise Posey Wooley Booty of Natchitoches, LA; daughter, Rhonda Chamberlin and husband, Bobby of Evelyn, LA; grandson, Rob Chamberlin and wife, Stephanie of Coushatta, LA; granddaughter, Aimee Walker and husband, Chris of Natchitoches, LA; great-grandchildren, Madison and Madelyn Chamberlin, and Hunter and Witt Walker; sisters, Sister Alma Rose Booty of San Antonio, TX and Elly Hurley and husband, Richard of Pelham, AL; nieces, Leslie Cheek and husband, Jarrett and their children, Shelby and Morgan, and Tammy Fisher.
Serving as pallbearers will be Rob Chamberlin, Chris Walker, Bobby Chamberlin, Richard Hurley, Dewey Page, Francis Vienne, Johnnie Muckleroy, and Jarrett Cheek. Honorary pallbearers are his precious great-grandchildren, Madison and Madelyn Chamberlin, Hunter and Witt Walker, two special nieces, Leslie Cheek and Tammy Fisher, Larry Broadwater, Bob Benson, and Doug Lewallen.
In lieu of flowers, to honor DeWitt’s love and heart for the sports program at NSU, memorials can be made to the Demons Unlimited Foundation for Northwestern State University Athletics, 468 Caspari, Natchitoches, LA 71497.
Mayor Lee Posey announces that Lafayette Street between Second Street and Third Street will be closed to all traffic on Saturday, April 27 for removal of the existing base and asphalt surfacing and placement of new crushed stone base.
Once the new base course is in place, the street will be re-opened to traffic until such time as placement of the new asphalt surfacing can be scheduled.
During this closure, traffic may detour around the work site via the adjacent network of City streets. When traveling near the work zone, motorists are advised to exercise caution and to observe all warning signs and flagger instructions.
For questions relative to this temporary closure, please call the Mayor’s office at (318) 352-2772.
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) awarded Dr. Bill Dickens the Southern District Donna L. Dunaway Medal. The Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member by the SHAPE Southern District and recognizes individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions and given meritorious service to the Southern District over a significant period of time.
The medal was presented at the SHAPE National Convention in Tampa, Florida, April 11 Prior to Dickens, there have been only seven recipients of the award.
To qualify for the Donna L. Dunaway Medal, individuals must be a noteworthy leader and a significant contributor to the work of Southern District; have exemplified long term and meritorious service to Southern District for a minimum period of 15 years and be a person of high moral character whose contributions have emulated the spirit of service, dedication and the highest work ethic that the Dunaway Medal represents. Candidates are at least 45 years of age, must have been a member of Southern District for a minimum period of 15 years prior to being nominated for the award and reside in the Southern District at the time of the award.
Dickens has been an educator, scholar, researcher and coach for 52 years. He retired from Northwestern State University’s Department of Health and Human Performance as Professor Emeritus in 2016 following years of service to the department, to NSU, to Southern District of SHAPE America, to the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (LAHPERD), which he served as executive director, and to the profession at large.
Dickens was on faculty at NSU for 28 years during which time he twice served as department head, as well as on numerous administrative committees. Dickens earned numerous honors from the Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (APHERD) during his career for his advancement of professions related to health and human performance.
Dickens has been involved in numerous youth, athletic, civic and service organizations. Among his many other noteworthy services, he was the manager of the American Red Cross Disaster Shelter set up in NSU’s Health and Human Performance Building that housed more than 1,200 evacuees for several weeks following Hurricane Katrina.
Dickens’ colleagues laud him as an encourager, a scholar and a teacher passionate about the field of physical education.
Following his retirement, Dickens has remained involved at NSU as an adjunct instructor, teaching classes that prepare students in Health and Human Performance for their next step as they pursue careers as teachers, physical therapists, wellness specialists, coaches and other health specialties.
Pictured above: Dr. Bill Dickens, center, is the eighth recipient of the Dunaway Medal, a special honor that recognizes individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions and given meritorious service to the Southern District of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) over a significant period of time. From left are Milton Wilder of Mississippi, Cam Davis of Tennessee, Dickens, Donna Dunaway of Alabama, Andrew Lewis of South Carolina and Donna Hester of Alabama. Not shown are Karen Dowd of Oklahoma/Florida and Steve Furney of Texas.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that the LA 153 bridge, over an unnamed drain, located 5.08 miles north of the LA 9/LA 153 intersection, will be closed to ALL TRAFFIC beginning Tuesday, April 30 at approximately 8 AM for bridge repairs. The bridge will remain closed until repairs are complete.
Permit/Detour Section Northbound traffic will be detoured to LA 9 North to LA 153. Southbound traffic will be detoured to LA 9 South to LA 153.
Safety Reminder DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.
Additional Information Call (318) 561-5100 or (800) 542-3509 or 511 or visit www.511LA.org for additional information. Motorists may also monitor the LADOTD website @ www.dotd.la.gov, the DOTD Facebook page or the LADOTD Twitter page, @cenlatraffic for further information.
The Natchitoches Police Department received a walk in complaint on April 14 at 3:40 pm in reference to a shooting that occurred in the area of Berry Avenue. The victim stated that she was driving down Berry Avenue when a male subject began shooting at her vehicle. She advised she was able to drive away and come to NPD.
Natchitoches Police Officers were dispatched to the 800 block of July Street on April 18 at 4:15 pm in reference to a shooting. Officers spoke to a witness who advised that she and the victim were inside the residence when they heard the sound of gunfire. The victim then realized she had been shot in the lower right leg. She was taken by a relative to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with non life threatening injuries.
During the investigation Detectives interviewed the victims and witness. It was determined the same suspect was involved in both shootings. A warrant for the arrest of Quintrarevas White was signed by a Natchitoches Parish Judge on April 22.
Quintrarevas White, 18 of Natchitoches, was arrested and taking into custody without incident on April 23 at 9:30 am. White was transported to the Natchitoches Police Criminal Investigations Division and charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, negligent injuring, assault with a firearm, and 2 counts of discharging a firearm in the city limits. He was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information in reference to this shooting should contact the Natchitoches Police Department directly at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact Detective Beard of the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at (318) 238-3914. All calls shall be kept confidential.
Clarence DeWitt Booty October 20, 1940 – April 22, 2019 Visitation: Wednesday, April 24 from 6-8 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home in Coushatta Service: Thursday, April 25 at 10 am at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches Interment: Springville Cemetery in Coushatta
Kimberly Hall Oas July 21, 1956 – April 19, 2019 Service: Saturday, April 27 at 2 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchitoches Interment: American Cemetery
Charles Myles April 22, 2019 Arrangements TBA
Frederick Lacy April 05, 1967 – April 21, 2019 Service: Saturday, April 27 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum
Narvy Lewis April 10, 2019 Service: Saturday, April 27 at 11 am at the Rock Island Baptist Church Interment: Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery off of Hwy. 6
Joseph Martin Wallace December 19, 1944 – April 19, 2019 Visitation: Wednesday, April 24 from 5-9 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many Service: Thursday, April 25 at 11 am at Fellowship Baptist Church in Oak Grove Community Interment: Oak Grove Cemetery in Converse