NATCHITOCHES-A former employee of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office assigned to the Civil Operations Bureau has been arrested on felony theft charges according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright. James Bankston Jr., 53, of Natchitoches, a 17-year-veteran of the NPSO was arrested by detectives assigned to the
NPSO Criminal Investigations Division on April 14 after an investigative probe. Bankston was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention charged with 1-count of felony theft. Bankston made full restitution and has been released on bond pending his court appearance.
On March 24, Bankston was terminated due to violations of the NPSO Standard Operating Procedures according to Sheriff Wright.
The violations were found during an internal audit of the individual deputy’s day-to-day work assignment that discovered improprieties.
The Civil Operations Bureau is responsible for the collection of property taxes, garnishments, sheriff’s sales, civil processing issues and the collection of cash fines and bonds.
As mandated by law, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and Natchitoches Parish District Attorney have been notified.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office has no tolerance towards the misuse or misappropriation of taxpayer funds or assets.
Dear NSU Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni and Friends:
Earlier today, I notified University of Louisiana System President Dr. Jim Henderson of my plan to retire from Northwestern State University on June 30, 2021.
This is a decision that was made during prayerful deliberation with my family and was based entirely on considerations of our family’s future plans and aspirations. There has been no pressure or even the slightest nudge from anyone for me to step down from the presidency.
It has been an honor to serve as president of this great institution since 2017 and as a member of the faculty, staff and administration at NSU for 33 years.
My love for Northwestern has grown continually since enrolling as a freshman at the school four decades ago. The opportunity to serve students, work collegially with faculty and staff and interact with alumni and supporters of the university has been enjoyable and rewarding.
As gratifying as it has been to work over the years in athletics, recruitment and enrollment management, alumni and development, student affairs and as a vice-president and president, those responsibilities have necessitated extensive time away from my family.
Retirement will allow me to spend more time with family and friends and to explore new opportunities for serving others in education or related areas.
It is certainly my plan to serve Northwestern until the retirement date and to assist in the transition to new leadership in any way possible.
My career at Northwestern has been much more pleasure than work. The memories of student achievements, faculty and staff accomplishments, athletic success and alumni philanthropy and support will make these years at Northwestern forever meaningful.
The university’s vital role and prominence in Louisiana and the region continues to expand, and it has been exhilarating to be a part of the school’s growing impact on lives and communities.
Northwestern has a bright future, and I will always cherish my time here as a student, faculty member and administrator.
Please accept my very best wishes for your continued wellbeing and success. I hope each of you will join me in continuing to support and promote this university that is so important to all of us and which we hold in such great esteem. And as always…
The Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) discussed next year’s budget at its April 15 meeting. Due to Covid restrictions not all of the events the NHDDC normally sponsors were able to occur over the past year. This means there will be an amount they’re able to carry over, but the exact number hasn’t been determined yet. At this time, the NHDDC is planning to continue as they’ve done in the past as far as funding events and is hopeful that a lot of them will be able to occur later on this year. One event that they’re sure is happening is the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival on May 22. A similar budget will be proposed as in previous years
The NHDDC is interested in bringing back facade grants. Commercial entities who have contributing structures in the Historic District can apply for facade grants to include painting, or other work approved by the Historic District Commission. $10,000 would be taken out of special projects and put into a separate line item, which would be matched by the Cane River National Heritage Area. There will be an application process and a committee that will review the submissions so the NHDDC is still figuring out all the details. This will be part of the budget proposal and will be voted on at a later meeting before the new fiscal year.
Other business items included:
NSU: Prospective numbers look great for entering freshmen. Applications were 14% higher than last year. May 6,7, and 8 are graduation dates.
NHF: The Natchitoches Historic Foundation will hold a membership event at the Roque House on Sunday, May 2 from 5-7 pm.
Main Street: The Northwestern State University Steel Band will perform Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fleur de Lis Stage at the Natchitoches Downtown Riverbank. Admission is free and open to the public.
Benton High School’s band will perform at the Fleur de Lis Stage at the Natchitoches Downtown Riverbank on Saturday, April 17 at 6:30 pm. Admission is free and open to the public. April 27- The Natchitoches Northwestern Symphony Society. Admission is free and open to the public. April 22- Citywide Cleanup for Earth Day from 9-11 am April 24-July 31- Natchitoches Farmers Market May 2- British Brass Band. Admission is free and open to the public. May 7-8- Sale on the Trail
June and July- Natchitoches Parish Summer Reading Program on the downtown riverbank stage on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:30 am
June 18- Lady Bass Anglers Tournament
June 25 and August 27- Friday night riverbank concerts that coincide with Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies
May 8, 15, 22 and 29- Lecture Series at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
July- The Main Street Office is working on new activities to bring people to Natchitoches, which is usually a down time for the Historic District. July 4 falls on a Sunday, so fireworks will be moved to July 3 and that will kick off the July festivities. Main Street is looking at having live music on the downtown riverbank stage every Saturday night in July. They’re working with the NSU Folk Festival, who will be putting on some unplugged music sessions at the La Sports Hall of Fame for 6 Saturdays. Details are still in the works.
Mid July- Restaurant week (More details will be announced)
Tourist Office: Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival- April 17-18
May 2-8- National Travel and Tourism Week (Celebration at Fort St. Jean Baptiste Friday, May 7 at 2 pm and a community wide cleanup event on May 3)
October- FAM Tour with Group Travel through the Louisiana Office of Tourism
November- LACVB will hold its annual statewide meeting in Natchitoches
November 28- Pre-FAM Tour out of Shreveport for Travel South International, which is being held in New Orleans. They will be coming through Natchitoches during the Christmas Festival season.
Cane River National Heritage Area:
Fort Jessup will host a Mother Daughter Historic Tea that’s open for registration on May 8 in conjunction with the Sale on the Trail. More information is available through the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission.
April 23-24- The Choctaw Apache Tribe of Ebarb will host its annual Spring Pow Wow. This event is open to the public.
April 17- Night Photography Workshop
April 23- The NPS will be part of the Lunchtime Lagniappe Series at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
April 17-24- National Park Week. New APP will be launched consisting of all 400 parks.
The NPS will hold a Train Depot Tuesday Series on Social Media to prepare for the Natchitoches Train Depot project. Each week will address a different part of the depot historically and talk about its features and what it will be used for
Late May- The NPS will hold two community meetings regarding the Train Depot restoration project (Details will be released soon).
I’ve always heard there are two things in life that are certain, death and taxes. However taxes repeat and seem to get worst every year. When I was younger, my Dad would help friends and neighbors with preparing their taxes. This was long before TurboTax, TaxSlayer and other computer programs were around. He was not a CPA , but he loved helping friends and neighbors with preparing and filing their taxes each year. I can still hear him telling jokes about paying taxes. He loved to say, “In April, millions of Americans have a long form and a short memory.” He would often say, “If a person uses the short form, the government gets your money and if they use the long form an accountant gets the money.”
I still remember times as a teenager, seeing him at the kitchen table with a friend from church helping them do their taxes. He would jokingly say things like, “You cannot write off last year’s taxes as a bad investment. You cannot claim depreciation on your wife or send the IRS twenty- five cents and say you are going to pay your taxes by the quarter.” I’ve been taking my taxes to an accountant for years. I’m not ashamed to ask for help because quite honestly I’ve never been able to find what goes on line 7 by taking the lesser of line 2 and dividing it by line 5 then multiplying it by line 3 to see if line 6 is greater than line10. I agree with the man who said, “If the government really wants to simplify the tax form, they need to come up with one that I can color.”
Personally I’m very thankful for people who are good at helping with tax problems! I’m even more thankful for a savior who has helped me with the sin problem that I could not solve on my own. The day Jesus shouted “It is finished!” He was shouting that our sin debt had been paid in full! Unlike our tax debt, our sin debt has always been too massive to pay off. I don’t know what religion you are. It doesn’t matter. No religion on earth can pay it off. It took the perfect, sinless, lamb of God who willingly came and gave everything so that we could have everlasting life.
This is the amazing miracle of the cross. Jesus paid our sin debt in full! There’s no sin He did not cover when He died. But you’ve got to do something with what He did for you. You go to that cross in your heart, renounce your sin, bow before Him and say, “Lord, I ask you to be my personal Savior for my personal sin.” If you’ve never done that, then why not today? There’s two things in life that are certain – death and eternity!
Long before the Corona Virus hit our nation, before schools and businesses were forced to find alternative ways of doing business, we were slowly saying goodbye to traditional hardback paper text books in our schools. We are now a society that relies more on technology such as; Smart Boards, iPads, Chrome Books, and Google Classrooms to assist in teaching our children. Back in my day, I can’t say that we loved our text books, but this was all that we knew at the time.
They were heavy and bulky and if you could not leave them in a classroom, it was a burden to lug them around everywhere while making frequent trips to your locker. Sometimes, we even had two for each subject that we were registered for. I am not one to complain about change and progress but I must admit that there is one thing that still brings me joy when I reflect on those days.
In the olden days some people associated the new school year with new school clothes and shiny clean shoes. There was always the excitement of moving up a grade. There was a pride factor of growing older and wiser among your peers. With that, sometimes there would be the excitement of even moving to a new school the older you got. I thought I was full grown when I moved from East Natchitoches Elementary to Natchitoches Junior High. Sometimes I associated the new school year with the smell of a classroom when there was a fresh new coat of paint. The smell would linger for weeks.
But, the one memory that totally gave me life during my school years was opening a textbook to see the names of all of the students who held the book prior to me. I always wanted a book that a popular kid or my older sister had. Or, I would merely settle for it being any name I recognized. This produced so many “show and tell moments” among my friends.
There were also many occasions where the previous student even wrote the answers to questions in the blank spaces or underlined important facts that may show up on a test. That was almost like winning the lottery. Sometimes, there was even profanity that littered the pages of the books. You never knew what you may find…. but I was most interested in the names.
The Bible tells us that there is also a book in which many names are written on the pages. The Book of Life and the contents of the pages are so important to our Lord and our salvation. He cherishes those names and it is not because they are the most popular kids or even the smartest kids. The names written are the ones who have shown faith and accepted salvation. The names written also believe that Christ died for our sins and rose again.
Unlike the traditional outdated school text books with many names that have faded over time, this book is written with a permanent record for eternity. This book will never be outdated and replaced by a newer version or a new technology. It is never too late to have your name added because you do not have to wait until the book is issued to you. Salvation is free for all of those who believe.
“Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16
“And if anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
Well, I’m back. After an absence of a few years of writing columns for the Natchitoches Parish Journal, I’m going to give another shot at expressing myself more or less regularly in these spaces.
You may remember that I had put aside my pen, so to speak, because it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an interesting topic week after week. Heck, I also just felt myself getting older and perhaps was trying to rid myself of some of my obligations and duties, if that makes sense.
But my life has changed completely in the interim. And not in a good way at all. I consider myself as more or less a private person when it comes to the important issues, to the things that really matter. But in my first column back, I’m going to share what’s happened to me. And what has happened has been the most difficult, sad and heart-wrenching thing that I have ever experienced. I have more time on my hands now and, although I’m certainly older than I was when I previously ended my columns, I now need to find something constructive to do.
So, a few weeks back I had to place my beloved wife Mary, who is known to some of you, in a nursing home because of advanced dementia. I don’t really know where to begin in trying to describe what has happened. I have been filled with depression, loneliness, grief and guilt. Guilt, because although I know what was done had to be done, I still wonder — did I betray my love, by sending her away from her home? Should I have kept her here a while longer, even though taking care of her properly and safely had reached a point that I could no longer fulfill?
Her daughter by her first marriage, Shannon, was an absolute indispensable help to me. She would come up here four days a week, from her home in the Baton Rouge area, to help me take care of Mary, who could no longer take care of any of her own basic needs. There is no way at all that I could have gotten through this without my amazing step daughter.
But there came a time when, physically and mentally, we had reached our limits. We anticipated the day when Mary would leave our home with dread, doubt, fear and, as I said guilt. But Mary had begun to get up on her own in the middle of the night and fell several times. Short of staying awake 24 hours a day on alert, that was a danger that we could not live with. More than once Shannon and I would say to each other, as the day approached, something like, “Well, do you think it’s a little too soon? Should we keep her home for a couple of more weeks?” But always in the background loomed the inevitable — that for Mary’s own safety, she was going to have to have full time professional care.
In the last few weeks before the departure, more and more often she became unsure of who I really was. Sometimes she would tell me I wasn’t her husband and that I was not to be trusted. She wondered what kind of bad medicines I was giving her. At other times she knew I was Joe and she would look at me with the sweetest smile in the world and tell me how much she loved me. That, my friends, was absolutely heartbreaking. And the memory of that smile, my friends, has brought tears to my eyes as I write this.
I want to mention a wonderful lady, Erin Boyt, whom Mary and I had contacted through the Council on Aging many, many months ago, seeking support for our situation. Erin gave us both great counsel and advice and then as Mary’s cognizance lessened, gave continued moral assistance to me. She was always upbeat, caring and wise. How could I have gotten through this without Erin?
Also, toward the end, Shannon and I did have invaluable physical help from a sitter. A terrific lady, Ann Smith, came by three days a week. She was compassionate, knew how to make Mary laugh and was experienced in caring for dementia patients. Mary was also under hospice care and the hospice staff were a group of wonderful women who met Mary’s medical and bathing needs.
But, finally, the day came. Because Mary’s three children and her sister live in the Baton Rouge area, forming a pool of four potential frequent visitors as opposed to just me up here in Natchitoches, I agreed for my lady to be placed in a nursing home down there. From what I have seen, it has to be one of the best facilities for dementia care in the state.
However, I miss my Mary terribly and am prone to breaking out in tears at any moment. When she was first placed in the home she was quite unhappy and that added to Shannon’s and my grief. But in recent visits, she has seemed more content and has known me every time I have seen her. That helps a little. I’m seeing a professional counselor and I think she is going to help me a lot.
So, there, I have bared my soul and perhaps have written some things that my precious wife would not ever have wanted to be made public. But I expect that one day when she and I are reunited above, she will understand and forgive.
So, it’s just me and my great little poodle mix dog, Baby. I rattle around the empty house, doing basic housekeeping, reading my many books and working on my coin and stamp collections. I’m going to get through this (there was a time when I wasn’t sure that was the case). But I know I am not alone. I have the love and moral support of family, none of whom live in the Natchitoches area, and also of friends.
And, finally, I want to say that I never realized how widespread this insidious disease of dementia is. Almost invariably, when I mention my situation to someone, they will reply, that they had an aunt, a grandparent or even a parent who is afflicted by the same thing. There are so many good folks out there who are affected by this. And, over and over, I have heard that it is more difficult on the caregiver than on the patient, because the patient will tend more and more to just live in the moment. For those of you who have experienced what I have, God bless you. I know you understand.
NCHS Graduation for the Class of 2021 will be held on May 21, 2021 at 7 PM. This year’s ceremony will be held at Turpin Stadium. Guests will sit on the home side of the stadium. Graduates will receive diplomas on the field. There will be a graduation practice at 9 AM on Friday morning.
The Faculty and Administration of NCHS want to congratulate the Class of 2021. This has been a very special group of students. We wish them a bright and prosperous future.
It does not matter what life throws at you, there’s always choices or decisions to be made. Some are easy and straightforward, and some are an educated guess while others are a calculated risk. Just like in the movie “Spiderman” we have a choice, but our choices or decisions have consequences. Some decisions we make are for selfish reasons but then some might be for the good of helping others. As an angler every day on the water is full of choices and decisions that lead us either to victory or just an average finish.
Today I’m going to walk you through what an angler goes through before and during a bass tournament. An angler’s choices or decisions are based on things like; time of year, the lake he’s on, watercolor, water temperature to moon phase. All these things can dictate bait selection. He bases his choices and makes his decisions off his pre-fishing time. Let’s start with maybe the most important element; what time of year is it?. For this article, let’s go with April. Here in the south, most of our waterways or lakes are warming up fast. Warm nights and warmer days really bring the water temps up into the lower to mid 60’s. In April we still have bass that have not spawned (laid eggs) yet. But if you look ahead for the next full moon, you’ll know when there will be another group of female bass ready to pull up shallow for the spawn. The general rule of thumb is that three days before and after the full moon is when fish are the most active but not all fish spawn at the same time.
Mother Nature is smart on how she replenishes our lakes and waterways. From February even into the month of May, there will be bass spawning during each of those months and it usually coincides with the full moon. Knowing this information allows you make an informed decision to either go shallow for spawning fish or find the first deep drop off leading into the shallow water where bass might be staging before pulling up for the spawn. Hence, we call these “staging fish”. Some anglers like myself are very comfortable in shallow water while others like to find fish in the deeper water near the drop off. If your decision is to go shallow, now let’s decide what baits to throw. My first choice is to pitch, flip or drag a lizard. Then I’ll pick up a spinnerbait or maybe a shallow running crankbait. Creature’s baits like the V&M Baby Swamp Hog or a beaver style bait are also great choices. But don’t forget to have a frog tied on as well. Nothing draws a bigger more aggressive strike than a frog sitting over a bass on bed.
If you decide to go for the bass in pre-spawn or staging mode in deeper water, you can tie on a Texas rigged worm, a Carolina rig worm or a deep diving crankbait. A slow rolled spinnerbait or a swim bait is also a great choice. The pre-spawn fish might be a little easier to catch for two reasons, they might not have had the fishing pressure and are not as skittish as the bass that have moved up to spawn. A bass on a bed can be a difficult fish to catch and you can waste a lot of precious time on tournament day trying to trigger a bed fish into biting.
People have asked me how much luck comes into play in fishing? The luck part is when you hook a fish and just as you flip the fish in the boat, the hook falls out while the fish lands in the boat rather than in the lake. That’s luck! Good anglers seem to have instincts rather than luck and it seems like they always make the right choices and decisions. This is why pre-fishing can be so useful and help an angler on tournament day to make the right choices. Maybe he caught a lot of two-pound fish in an area, but the luck part is that when he got there on tournament day, three and four pounders had moved in. But his decision to start an event in that particular area is calculated based on the results of what he caught while pre-fishing.
While watching Major League Fishing a short time ago, MLF Pro John Cox made a tournament clinching decision by stopping in a small pocket 10 minutes before weigh-in. The result was John catching a four-pound bass, sealing the win for him on Smith Lake. Now this does not always happen but it’s a great example of an angler making the right decision on tournament day.
So, whether you’re a tournament angler or a weekend warrior, the decisions or choices you make on the water, can be the difference in having a successful tournament or one that you would rather forget. Till next time, stay strong, keep the faith in your abilities and the choices you make. Good luck and don’t forget to set the hook!
Steve Graf Owner/Co-host Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show And Tackle Talk Live
Bank of Montgomery is a team sponsor for the 12th Annual James “Jimmy” Oliphant Memorial Golf Scramble. Pictured from left to right are: BOM Vice President and Marketing Director Carrie Beth Hough, Tourney organizers Odell Oliphant and Nicole Gray, BOM Executive Assistant/Commercial Loan Processor, Brooke Latham, and BOM Marketing Assistant Micah Murchison.
The tournament will be held on Saturday, May 15 at Northwestern Hills Golf Course. Registration and Continental Breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The day will conclude with a luncheon and awards reception, featuring an array of door prizes. Entry fee is $80 per person or $300 per team. Continental Breakfast, Lunch, Green fees & Cart rental are included. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams, as well as recognition for the Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin.
The annual tournament raises funds for the James Oliphant Endowed NSU Football Scholarship established in 2008 in honor of the beloved teacher and coach who succumbed to ALS in 1988. Mr. Oliphant was a Scholar and All-Star NCHS athlete, graduating with honors in 1973, and was well-respected by his classmates, teachers, and friends. Jimmy’s love for young people and all forms of athletics led him to Northwestern State University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Physical Education in 1977.
While attending NSU, Jimmy sought to serve humanity both socially and intellectually. He was a charter member of the Theta Lambda Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and he taught in Natchitoches Parish schools serving as a football, basketball and track coach until his retirement in 1987.
For more information, Nicole Gray at 972-897-5357 or Odell Oliphant at 318-581-5949.
By Aaron Ferguson, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
ALEXANDRIA – Northwestern State tennis’ Friday regular season closer at LSU-Alexandria has been postponed to 1 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 19 at the Alexandria Aquatic-Racquet Club due to the threat of inclement weather.
In preparation for the start of the Southland Conference Tournament in Beaumont, Texas on Friday, Apr. 23, the Lady Demons rescheduled the second match of a Jan. 30 doubleheader against LSUA, which had been postponed indefinitely.
Monday’s match against the Generals marks the Lady Demons’ final competition before postseason play begins the following weekend. Owners of the fifth seed in the tournament, NSU is scheduled to face No. 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday at 2 p.m.
Northwestern State University will hold dedication ceremonies for two campus facilities recently named in honor of individuals who played important roles in the institution’s development and history.
The dedication of the Lucile M. Hendrick Room will be held on Tuesday, April 20 at 11:30 a.m. in Room 121 of the Friedman Student Union. The Seven Oaks Stage will be dedicated on Friday, April 23 at 1:30 p.m. on the Iberville Green.
Hendrick was assistant dean of women at Northwestern from 1959 until 1963 and was dean of women from 1963 until her retirement in 1974. A 1929 graduate of Louisiana State Normal, Hendrick was a charter member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and remained active until her death. She received a master’s degree in personnel, guidance and administration from Northwestern State College.
Professionally, she served as vice president of Kappa Delta Pi, president and secretary/treasurer of the Louisiana Women Deans and Counselors and was founder and charter member of the NSU chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta.
During her tenure as a college administrator, she was named Outstanding Dean of Women for Louisiana, and was inducted into Byrd High School’s Hall of Fame. In 1998, she was named to Northwestern’s Long Purple Line, the highest honor bestowed on a Northwestern alumnus. She was also the recipient of the Nth Degree at Northwestern.
She was awarded citations from several NSU student organizations, including SGA, Purple Jackets and Panhellenic Council, who created the Lucile Mertz Hendrick Panhellenic Foundation Scholarship in her honor. Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority also created the Lucile Mertz Hendrick Outstanding Alumna Award in her honor.
Hendrick volunteered many hours to her community by serving in various capacities for numerous local non-profit organizations.
The stage on the Iberville Green will be named in honor of the first seven Black students to attend Northwestern State, Steve Jackson, June Coefield, Doris Ann Roque-Robinson, Hynes J. Baptiste, James Johnson, Johnnyne Britton-Paige and Pearl Jones-Burton.
The Seven Oaks Stage is on the site of the former Sabine Hall. Plans were developed over five years with input and support from the University Programming Council (formerly called the Student Activities Board), KNWD, the Student Government Association, Alumni and Development and the Student Union Life Concert Committee.
The stage is equipped with four anchor points which are load bearing in order to hang industrial and concert lighting. The venue is open to recognized student organizations as well as departments and is designed for concerts and a variety of campus events.
Planning began in 2014 when NSU was awarded $10,000 from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation following a Lunchtime Likes competition. Students voted to use the award as seed money to develop an outdoor venue for concerts and other performances and chose the location at Iberville Green, a wide plateau next to Iberville Dining Hall conveniently close to university residence halls.
Mark Friday, April 23 on your calendar and support Natchitoches Central High School’s fundraising efforts for the Quarterback Club. Meals will be served up in the Dixie Plaza Shopping Center from 10:30 am – 1 pm. Plates are $10 and include chicken, side and bread. Orders of 8 or more can be delivered. Contact Coach James Wilkerson for preorders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natchitoches Junior High JAG, Quest for Success and Boy to Men Club students attended a NBA game on April 1: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic. We stopped in Baton Rouge to allow the students to play laser tag, arcades, bowling, mini golf, billiard, and shop at the Mall of Louisiana. We had an AMAZING TIME!!! JAG would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our parents for their support.
In April of 2021, the Natchitoches Multi Jurisdictional Drug Task Force received several complaints in reference to suspected drug activity at an apartment located within the Cane River Apartments complex in Cloutierville, Louisiana. Agents received reports that children were present at the apartment and were potentially being exposed to a harmful environment.
On 04/09/2021, Agents of the Natchitoches Multi Jurisdictional Drug Task Force traveled to the location listed in the complaint where they made contact with Autumn Holloway (w/f), who is the primary resident of the apartment, also present at the apartment was Holloway’s juvenile child, John Perkins III (w/m) of Rapides Parish, and Erica Glenn (w/f)of Rapides Parish. During a consensual search of the residence, Agents located suspected ecstasy pills, as well as suspected methamphetamine. During the preliminary investigation, Agents were able to determine that the suspected controlled dangerous substances belonged to Holloway, and Perkins. Agents also learned that Glenn, and Perkins had active warrants through Rapides Parish. At the conclusion of the search, Holloway, Perkins, and Glenn were all placed under arrest, and transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center to await bond.
Suspect information and charges are as follows:
Autumn Holloway 1 count R.S. 40:966C Felony possession of a schedule I controlled dangerous substance (ecstasy.) 1 count R.S. 14:91.13 Possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of persons under the age of 17.
John Perkins III 1 count R.S. 40:967 Possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance (Methamphetamine.) Article 737 bench warrant Failure to appear through Rapides Parish.
Erica Glenn Felony obstruction of Justice warrant issued by Rapides Parish served.
The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason, the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Northwestern State University will hold six Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies Wednesday, May 5 through Friday, May 7 in Prather Coliseum. Masks will be required, and social distancing and other health and safety protocols will be in effect while honoring Spring 2021 graduates.
Users can click this link https://www.nsula.edu/graduation/ to access more details, information and Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Spring 2021 commencement format, which is being guided by COVID health and safety protocols.
“We are pleased to be able to celebrate our Spring 2021 graduates with a series of carefully-planned ceremonies,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Our Fall 2020 commencement was a success and we feel it’s very important to celebrate these students who persevered to complete their degrees despite many unexpected obstacles. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation in honoring graduates while keeping health and safety in mind.”
Each graduate will be issued four guest wristbands that must be picked up in advance by the graduate with ID. Children and others without wristbands will not be admitted due to capacity regulations in Prather Coliseum. Guests must enter the coliseum together and be seated together to maintain social distancing protocols. Masks will be required for everyone inside the coliseum, which will be cleaned after each ceremony.
Guests of graduates with last names beginning with A-L should enter and exit the coliseum on the east side of the coliseum, which faces the NSU tennis courts. Guests of graduates with last names beginning with M-Z should enter and exit on the west side of Prather Coliseum, which faces Caspari Street and the Kappa Sigma house.
Graduates should enter the main doors of the coliseum, which face Chaplin’s Lake, where they will check in and be escorted to their seats. There will be no graduate procession.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 5, bachelor and associate degrees from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health will be awarded. At 2 p.m. May 5, graduate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences, graduate and doctoral degrees from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and graduate and doctoral degrees from the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development will be awarded.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 6, bachelor’s degrees from the College of Business and Technology will be awarded. At 2 p.m. May 6, bachelor’s degrees from the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development will be awarded.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 7, Bachelor of General Studies and associate degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and bachelor’s degrees from the Louisiana Scholars’ College will be awarded. At 2 p.m. bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences will be awarded.
Graduates should have received an email through their student email account regarding armbands and pickup information and should select where they wish to pick up armbands. Each graduate will receive four armbands for guests that can be picked up at the location they selected during business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 am.-noon Friday) starting Monday, April 26. Pick up location for College of Nursing students is the Student Services Office, Room 102, Shreveport. Cenla students can pick up wristbands at NSU Administrative Offices, Suite 158 in Alexandria. Leesville students can pick up wristbands in the Main Building Room 108. Natchitoches students can pick up wristbands in the lobby of the Student Services Center.
On Monday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 4, guest wristbands for graduation can be picked up by the graduate at the Student Services Center on the Natchitoches campus from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. On Wednesday, May 5, Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7, guest wristbands can be picked up at the Turpin Stadium Will-call booth from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The ticket booth is located on the west side/southwest corner of Turpin Stadium.
All ceremonies will be livestreamed at www.nsula.edu and will be recorded.
Alexandria— The Louisiana Community Technical College System Board announced on April 14 that four current Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) campuses will be realigned to other community colleges in the state. This action is in an effort to assist in achieving new accreditation goals, better serve the needs of students, and provide greater access to expanding opportunities in each campus community. The realignment will take effect July 1, 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.
“CLTCC continues to make progress towards meeting the requirements for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation,” said CLTCC Chancellor Jimmy Sawtelle, “Historically, Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges have realigned colleges in an effort to promote and facilitate accreditation.”
The four CLTCC campuses affected are the Lamar Salter Campus in Leesville, which will be realigned with SOWELA Technical Community College; the Ward H. Nash Avoyelles Campus, which will be realigned with South Louisiana Community College; and the Natchitoches Campus and Sabine Valley Campus, which will both be realigned with Bossier Parish Community College.
Under the realignment, CLTCC will include the Alexandria Campus, Ferriday Campus, Huey P. Long Campus in Winnfield, and Rod Brady Campus in Jena. LCTCS has realigned campuses in the past, with the most recent realignment coming in 2017. No campuses are being closed as part of this realignment.
“Today’s action by the Board of Supervisors is driven by the need to be more equitable in our program mix and delivery model as well as ensuring more students, specifically those in rural communities, have greater access to transferable and workforce training programs. Additionally, the realignment will put a greater emphasis on placing CLTCC in a better position to achieve Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation,” said LCTCS President Dr. Monty Sullivan.
What is now CLTCC has been accredited under the Council on Occupational Education since 1976 and was most recently had a successful affirmation visit in March of this year. In 2012, CLTCC was established as a Technical Community College by the Louisiana Legislature. At that time, CLTCC was directed toward accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
Work has continued since that time to achieve SACSCOC accreditation, but efforts have been impacted by several factors, including statewide fiscal challenges that impacted all post- secondary education and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, CLTCC completed the three legislative audits required by SACSCOC in order to make an application for accreditation. The school plans to submit a SACSCOC application later this month.
NATCHITOCHES, LA- The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) held two matriculation ceremonies for the 99 new students in the Blue and Gold Cohorts while they were on campus for the 2021 spring semester.
After monitoring the successes at some of LSMSA’s sister institutions across the country as well as universities and boarding schools across the region, the decision was made to bring students back to campus for the Spring semester–under very controlled conditions. The cohort design allowed for social distancing, smaller class sizes, and restricted group gatherings.
“It’s been a terribly difficult time for our students, but we felt we owed it to them to pursue a return to campus,” said Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton.
At the Matriculation Ceremonies, held on Feb. 11 and March 23, Associate Lecturer of History Dr. Kyle Stephens delivered the Keynote Address. “You are no longer Louisiana School novices,” he said. “You are already veterans who have been tested in virtual classrooms that in many ways have been more challenging than the real thing. By being in this room you demonstrate your commitment, your boldness, and your bravery. The future belongs to you and the future is bright indeed.”
Director of Academic Services Dr. Kristi Pope Key and Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate offered words of wisdom to the students as they walked up onto the stage to receive their certificates. SGO President Paige Delsa, SGO Vice President Kait Berry, Junior Class President Issac Lecompte, and Senior Class President Madeline Lorio oversaw the signing of the matriculation roster by each student.
The matriculants were invited onstage individually and officially welcomed as LSMSA students. Dr. Horton gave them each a certificate and an elbow bump in place of the usual handshake. The event was live-streamed so friends and family members could watch from home.
“You’ve been Eagles for seven months and you’ve only been in the nest for four weeks,” said Dr. Horton as he addressed the new students. “It seems like you got here yesterday and the time has flown by. Some of you are part of the first group to come back to the nest after we closed the campus during the pandemic. We’re doing things a little bit differently and we’re all here to celebrate with you.”
The certificate students received for their matriculation will soon be replaced by the prestigious LSMSA diploma when they graduate.
“They’re bookends to your experience here,” said Dr. Horton. Between now and then you’ll fill reams of important paperwork. Remember to equate love and work. Your actions are always the measure of your love for the Louisiana School…Flex your talents and abilities…Sense what it can mean for you to soar with the Eagles!”
Class of 2021:
Sy’rai Adams – Slidell John Littleton, West Monroe Andrew Palermo, Houma Jamie Simpson – Lake Charles
Class of 2022:
Julius Adams, Columbia Ashton Andrepont – Arnaudville Allie Benoit, Sulphur Lee Braud – Saint Martinville Sylver Chaisson, Gray Max Collette – Lake Charles Hailey Dangerfield, Slidell Haley Flynn, Pineville Liliana Geier, Mandeville Nicholas Guagliardo – Ponchatoula Jordan Hoffman – Lake Charles Abby Huddleston, Lake Charles Seth Huertas, Houma Jillian McDougal – Baton Rouge Michael Meaney – DeRidder Tristan Nilsson, Slidell Lianzei Perez, Monroe Adrianna Rhodes – Benton Lily St. Amant – Ruston Brandon Turner – Sulphur Allison Viator, Maurice Cami Wainwright, Pine Grove Yara Younces, Alexandria Zeina Younes, Alexandria
Class of 2023:
Ren Ackoury – Baton Rouge L.J. Aguillard – Ball Juliana Allemand, Thibodaux Alexis Andersen – Pineville Ravi Baker Nick Bennett, Slidell Olivia Bergen – Lake Charles Aidan Borne – Prairieville Will Brown, Industry, TX Aaron Burton Annemarie Campbell – Patterson Emma Cecchini, Denham Springs Hunter Chaisson, Houma Aroma Chanda, Hammond Rachael Christensen, Natchitoches Emma Circello, Livonia Natalie Conravey – Destrehan Carter Copsey – Tickfaw River Costello, Baker Ethan Cruz, Benton Manasi Desai – Monroe Adam Deslatte, Hammond Joy Dong, Calcasieu Parish Samantha Dugan – Mandeville Jolie England – Alexandria Madeline Falgout – Ponchatoula Aidan Feess, Locust Grove, GA Beau Fontenot – Ville Platte Elizabeth Garner, Batchelor Marshall Gawel, Bossier City Josh Gillett, Lake Charles Ashley Green, Houma Lacey Guagliardo, Morgan City Grace Guidry – Covington Kaitlyn Hoang – Houma Alyse Huguet, Greenwell Springs Arianna Jackson – Mandeville Leighanna Kain – Bossier City Paulina Lamont – Benton Danielle Lamy, Covington Ari Lee – Bush Isabella Leslie, Lake Charles Kate Long, Alexandria Nena Lyons – Lake Charles Meredith Methvin, Natchitoches Kate Montgomery, Benton Emma Moss, Lake Charles Jordan Murray – Pineville Lyrrice Mwaghore, Luling Kylie Nguyen, Prairieville Reese Nordan – Lake Charles Talyn Novak, Alexandria Sam Owen, Ruston Jeanne Patterson, Opelousas Jaime Perdue, Kingwood, TX Cece Perry, Alexandria Kate Peterson – Ruston Anh Pham, Ruston Uyen Nhi Pham – Lafayette Cara Plaisance, Lockort Joy Qiu – Houma Elise Ramcourt – lake Charles Sara Rodrigue – Thibodaux Evan Shelton, Leesville Rosie Shultz – Ruston Justice Sittner, Monroe Noah Speights – Lake Charles Karli Swanzy, Ville Platte Maddie Williams, Paulina Cole Williamson – Lafayette Kelsey Young, Sunshine