Attura named LSWA Player of the Week for third time this season


More than 23 years passed between a Northwestern State Lady Demons basketball player recording consecutive 30-point games.

It took members of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association considerably less time to honor that player.

For the third time this season, the LSWA named Lady Demons senior guard Beatrice Attura its Player of the Week. Attura garnered four of the eight votes from a panel of statewide media members.

Attura collected 30 points in each of Northwestern State’s games this past week – an 89-71 win against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday and a 75-74, last-second loss to defending Southland Conference champion Abilene Christian.

In doing so, Attura became the first Lady Demon to deliver back-to-back, 30-point games since Joskeen Garner in January 1994.

Against Southeastern Louisiana, Attura connected on 8 of 15 shots from the field and all 12 of her free throws to post her second 30-point game of the season. She combined with sophomore post Cheyenne Brown, who tallied a career-best 30 points, to give NSU its first tandem of 30-point scorers in a single game in program history.

Attura, who was named LSWA Player of the Week on Jan. 16 and shared the award on Feb. 7, followed that by tying her career high by hitting six 3-pointers against Abilene Christian on Saturday.

For the week, Attura shot 48.5 percent from the field (16-for-33), 50 percent from 3-point range (8-for-16) and connected on all 20 of her free-throw attempts. At 19.9 points per game, Attura ranks 18th nationally.

Attura’s 497 points place her within striking distance of the top-10 single-season performances in NSU history, needing 37 points to tie Pam Hudson for 10th place in that category.

Attura and Northwestern State return to action Thursday night at Sam Houston State. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. inside Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Photo: Beatrice Attura (left) collected her third Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Week award this season Monday. Credit: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services

NPD will hold Rape Aggression Defense course in March

The Natchitoches Police Department will offer a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) self-defense course for women.  This basic self defense course is for women and girls at least 13 years old. The three day class will held March 14, 21 and 28 from 6-9 p.m. each evening at the Natchitoches Police Department’s training center, located at 525 Bossier Street. The class cost is $20 to cover administrative costs.
To pre-register call Amy Cox at (318) 357-3802. Anyone with questions concerning the RAD class contact NPD RAD Instructor Sergeant Jeff Townson at (318)357-3852.

A Tale Of Two Whippings

By Junior Johnson


This week’s story is dedicated to Donna Masson and the ladies of the Red Hat Society for their support.

You’ve heard the expression “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”  I wasn’t spoiled, but Dad didn’t use the rod, or in his case the belt, very often with me.  I wasn’t perfect, but when Dad issued his punishment, I learned a lesson.  The following story is of two cases where I feel the belt was helpful in determining the man I’d become.

Every little country community has its share of superstitions, which turns into folklore. The one most common in ours when I was growing up was, “You don’t eat fish and drink milk.”  That was taken very seriously in some households.

I have no idea how it began. Perhaps someone found some poor soul slumped over his dinner table with a half-eaten plate of fish and a partial glass of milk.  More than likely he died from a heart attack, but in those days there were no autopsies to determine cause of death, and the fish and milk combination was blamed.

I was attending St. Mary’s Convent back then.  The Sisters of Divine Providence did their best to mold good Christians from their students and I would like to think they did a good job with me.

One Friday night at the dinner table my mom served a platter of fried fish.  As she went to pour my iced tea I said I wanted milk.  She said, “You know you cannot eat fish and drink milk. It’ll kill you”.  I replied, “At the Convent we have fish sticks and milk every Friday, and I’m not dead yet.”

No sooner had I uttered those words, I knew I’d messed up.  I looked over at my dad and he was wiping his mouth with a napkin as he pushed his chair back from the table and said to follow him.

I timidly followed him into their bedroom as he was pulling his belt off.  After about 10 good raps to my rear end, he told me to go back and apologize to mom for sassing her.

Eating fish and drinking milk may not kill you, but it’ll make it hard to sit down for a while.

My next valuable lesson took place when I was 14.  We had pecan trees on our property and in season the crop was picked for money.

After school and when my chores were finished, I’d saddle up our old black mare Dolly.  I’d let my little brother Terry climb on behind me. Terry was a big help because he’d fill the sack with pecans as we picked them.

One evening our pickings were pretty slim. We were near a fence that separated our property from the Little Eva Plantation where the ground was covered with pecans

The next evening Terry agreed to be my lookout as I began to fill our burlap sack.

I’d filled one sack to the limits when Terry said a truck was coming. I hastened to get my sack of pecans across the fence. We jumped on Dolly and headed home, thinking that we’d barely escaped being caught.

A normal routine for dad after a hard day in the logging woods was to stop at Luddy’s Grocery in Cloutierville to have a couple of beers with his friends and pick up whatever Mom needed from the store.

While Terry and I were home congratulating each other on our narrow escape, a different discussion was taking place at Luddy’s Grocery.

A friend of dad’s was the foreman at Little Eva Plantation.  He’d seen us and picked up a sack we’d left behind. Giving it to dad he laughed, telling dad how he’d watched us scurry across the fence.

When Dad returned home he said he needed me to get something out of the back of the truck. Eager to please I rushed out to his truck, and found our other sack of pecans.

I wasn’t as hasty returning to the house because I knew what was coming.  As I entered the house with my sack of “stolen” pecans dad was standing by the door of the bedroom with belt in hand.

Dad was always firm in his discipline and never hurt his children when it was time for punishment; however, when he used his belt you remembered it.

The normal licks with the belt were 10, but on that night I received an extra two. They were for putting Terry in a situation I should’ve known wasn’t right.

I’m sure there were other times Dad used his belt on my behind, but not many.

Perhaps I was not spoiled because Dad didn’t spare the rod.

Register to vote for upcoming March 25 election


Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. for the Municipal Primary Election Saturday, March 25. The last day to register to vote in person or by mail is Wednesday, Feb. 22 by 4:30 p.m. The last day to register to vote online is Saturday, March 4 by 11:59 p.m.

Parishwide Taxing District Election:
Library-Renewal-8 Mills for 10 years
Health Unit-Renewal-3 Mills for 10 years
Public Buildings Maintenance-Renewal-3 Mills for 10 years

Taxing District Election:
Road District 40-Renewal-5 Mills for 10 years

Early voting for all interested voters will be conducted in the Registrar of Voters office Saturday, March 11 and Monday-Saturday, March 13-18 from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Absentee voting by mail is intended for voters who will be out of the parish on Election Day and the week of Early Voting, or if the person is over 65 or has mobility impaired ID card (must provide a copy). Fax requests to 318-357-2212 or mail to: Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 677, Natchitoches, LA 71458.

The last day to make a written request for an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, March 21. A written request form can be downloaded at under “Elections.” Click on the “Vote” link; click on “application to vote by mail.” Your written request must include: voter’s name, Natchitoches Parish address, date of birth, social security number or driver’s license number, reason the ballot is being requested, the election date (March 25, 2017), address to mail ballot and voter’s signature.

Ballots must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by 4:30 p.m. the day before the election. Military and Overseas: Ballots must be returned to the Registrar’s Office before noon on election day. Call 318-357-2211 for additional information.

NSU offering nursing class in DeRidder


Northwestern State University is using technology to bring nursing classes to DeRidder. Classes began two weeks ago at the former DeRidder Elementary School where a classroom has been set up for distance education, according to Linda Nichols, nursing coordinator on the Leesville-Fort Polk campus.

Nichols said the class originates on the Leesville-Fort Polk campus and is delivered by compressed video. Students in the class are from DeRidder and Beauregard Parish and chose to take the class in DeRidder instead of driving to the Leesville-Fort Polk campus.

“The class is going well so far. The students are glad they don’t have to spend as much time on the road,” said Nichols. NSU hopes to expand offerings in DeRidder to include additional nursing classes and other subjects depending on demand.

Students in DeRidder are taking fourth level nursing which focuses on cardiac, respiratory and pediatric nursing. Nichols said NSU hopes to expand offerings in DeRidder to include additional nursing classes and other subjects depending on demand.

The effort to add classes in DeRidder began when DeRidder Mayor Ron Roberts expressed a desire to Northwestern State officials to make college courses available in the community. Dr. Darlene Williams, vice president for technology, innovation and economic development, and Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health, worked with DeRidder officials on the project.



A Jackson Parish teenager escaped serious injury during a single-vehicle crash on La. Hwy 486 (Campti Cutoff) on Monday afternoon according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday afternoon at approximately 1:41pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division, Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS responded to 911 reports of a single-vehicle crash in the 5600 block of La. Hwy 486 near Campti, La.

Deputies say the 18-year-old female operator of the 2005 Ford F-150 from Quitman, La., was traveling westbound on La. Hwy 486 when she apparently lost control of the vehicle partially leaving the roadway on the right side.

She then overcorrected, traveling across both the west and eastbound lanes leaving the roadway on the left side overturning coming to a rest in a ditch.

The operator was treated at the scene by EMS for lacerations but not transported.

Deputies say the road was wet during the time of the crash.

Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E investigated the crash.

NPSO: Photo and Release

Foundation raises record amount of money during eighth annual phonathon


A record amount of money was donated during the eighth annual phonathon held Feb. 6-9 and sponsored by the LSMSA Foundation.

The event raised more than $94,800, the most in the phonathon’s history. Gifts came from 460 individual donors, nearly 19 percent of which were first-time donors to LSMSA.

Sixty-four unique student volunteers completed nearly 4,000 phone calls to parents, alumni and other friends of LSMSA to seek their support. Additionally, a small group of four alumni volunteers in Houston and Seattle made coordinated phone calls to alumni friends to help raise funds.

“I participated in phonathon because I am always looking for ways to help the school,” said Juliet Flanagan, a sophomore from Pearl River. “I ended up loving phonathon because of all the sweet alumni I got to speak to. I didn’t realize LSMSA alums were all over the country.”

Kiara Padilla, a junior from Fort Polk, volunteered to help with the phonathon because she thought it seemed like a cool way to step out of her comfort zone and raise money for her school.

“I enjoyed talking to people on the phone and getting to know them,” said Padilla. “I also enjoyed seeing, with my own eyes, how much people really support LSMSA. Some donations were small, some were large, but it was good seeing that regardless of the amount, it all made a difference and helped us smash our goal.”

By the end of Thursday, Feb. 9, the total raised was a little more than $90,000. By Friday, Feb. 10, additional donations had come in that raised the total to $92,000. And by Monday, Feb. 13, that number had risen to $94,800.

That number is expected to continue to rise slightly over the next few weeks as more donors go online to make late gifts or mail in checks.

“The LSMSA Foundation’s phonathon is not only the most critical fundraiser of the year, it has also turned into quite a fun event for our school,” said Katja Thomakos, executive director of the Foundation. “We had alumni literally sitting by their phones waiting for their call this year. They took to social media to post about their experiences talking with current students or alumni friends and were thrilled to see so much money being raised in support of their alma mater.”

Gifts from the phonathon are intended for the Foundation’s annual fund. The annual fund provides support to LSMSA where and when it needs it most. Examples of recent annual fund support to LSMSA include new and replacement textbooks, athletic equipment, costumes and set materials for theatrical and dance productions, scientific equipment and mathematics supplies.