An Evening of Performances for a Very Worthy Cause!

Kevin’s Gallery

The LSMSA’s Treen Auditorium hosted a delightfully unique concert Dec. 4. The 11th annual Multicultural Christmas Concert, sponsored by NSU’s Louisiana Folklife Center, Office of Cultural Diversity and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, featured a truly eclectic variety of music, poetry and dance. Sixteen different acts performed everything from poetry, praise dance, bag-piping and Scottish Highland dance, to Bollywood dance, The LSMSA Dance Ensemble gave a superb, high energy, performance. Local musical legend Hardrick Rivers capped off the evening’s festivities with several tunes. He also led the audience in the traditional group singing of Silent Night.

The event was quite enjoyable, but had a serious purpose, raising funds for Cane River Children’s Services, a fixture of the local non profit scene since 1978. The agency operates a home for foster children, provides transitional living classes to assist them when they grow older, as well as counseling services. This worthy cause is always in need of assistance in furthering their mission to our parish’s children. If you would like to donate, time, material support or money, please contact the agency at 318-352-9349 and they will be glad to assist you.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. If you download a photo, please consider a donation the this wonderful cause.
Judaism has a concept called Tikkun Olam, or “Repair the World.” There is no finer example of that than the people of Cane River Children’s Services and what they do for the children entrusted to their care. Their actions truly reverberate into eternity. Let us help them out.


Volleyball — Northwestern State set for NIVC matchup with Wyoming

LARAMIE, Wyoming – Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.

Northwestern State volleyball had all but resigned the 2019 season to the record books when the National Invitational Volleyball Championship tournament came calling offering the second postseason berth in program history.

It was a call that fifth-year head coach Sean Kiracofe gladly accepted if for nothing else as a cherry on top of a stellar season.

“It’s great validation for the program as a whole,” Kiracofe said. “We had a great run before I got here with the Hernesmans, being second in conference and then winning the championship in 2014. To be able to back that up years later with this success and even the potential that we had in 2018 and a great season in 17.

“It’s hard to define how much of a validation it is. That it will be a continual thing that this volleyball program is going to have an impact on the Southland Conference.”

The Lady Demons (20-12) take on Wyoming in the first round of the NIVC tournament Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. It is just the second postseason match in Northwestern State volleyball history.

After a 3-1 loss in the semifinal of the SLC tournament a week and a half ago, the Lady Demons said their farewells and all but hung up their jerseys to enjoy Thanksgiving break. With a week off and not a volleyball in sight, the Lady Demons had to get back to action quickly once the NIVC field was completed.

“Monday was just about knocking that little bit of rust off,” Kiracofe said. “I told them ‘touch the ball, play some, it’s going to be ugly, you’re going to make some dumb mistake.’ Tuesday was much more what we’ve done in terms of implementing a scout, more detail orientation about things with more competitive drive to it.”

One of the driving forces for the Lady Demons all season has been the senior leadership and the experience they bring to the floor that naturally carries over to the rest of team. Those intangibles will be what NSU needs when they face Wyoming in the opening round Thursday night.

With nine players standing 6-feet tall or better, the Cowgirls (21-8) possess one of if not the biggest roster NSU has faced this season. Wyoming finished second in the Mountain West Conference with its only two losses in league play coming to undefeated champion Colorado State.

Their spread-out attack is led by all-conference sophomore KC McMahon and her 318 kills. Two other all-conference players have over 270 kills on the season with another checking in at 188 on the year.

“They’re definitely going to be bigger than us,” Kiracofe said. “We do have a few matchups from a physical standpoint that benefit us. I feel like we are going to be able to present them with some matchup issues based just on the way we play. It’s just a matter of if we can get into those scenarios or not.”

Stay connected to NSU volleyball by following @NSUDemonsVB on Twitter and Instagram or by liking Northwestern State volleyball on Facebook.

Photo credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services


Supporters of Northwestern State athletics continue to raise the bar

For the third straight year, those who gave to the NSU Athletic Department during the annual Giving Tuesday campaign produced record numbers. Because of the generosity of its supporters, Northwestern State was able to surpass its $25,000 goal, pulling in almost $10,000 more than a year ago. Demons supporters pledged $25,351 in support, the largest total the DUF has received in four years of Giving Tuesday initiatives.

For the second straight year, each Northwestern State athletic team was given a unique code to line up donations for their programs through mobile giving, which contributed to another record influx of support.

“The level of success realized by NSU Athletics is significantly dependent upon the level of support from alumni, friends and former student-athletes. That’s why this record-setting Giving Tuesday is such exciting news,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke. “Whether it was joining the N-Club, making an annual gift to the Demons Unlimited Foundation scholarship fund, or contributing to an existing endowed scholarship, every individual who generously supported NSU on this special day is greatly appreciated.”

Ninety-nine donors, including current and former student-athletes, answered the call to assist NSU’s Demons Unlimited Foundation on Giving Tuesday, a globally recognized day of making charitable contributions. A complete list of donors can be found at www.nsudemons.com/nsugivingday, which also remains open for additional donations.

“We are overwhelmed with the support and generosity of our supporters,” said Director of Development Mike Jaworski. “It is truly special to see all our Demon fans join in on one day to make such an impact for the athletic department and our student-athletes.”

The DUF supports athletic scholarships, the purchase of textbooks, facility enhancements and recruiting efforts among other areas to help NSU operate a Division I athletics department that houses 14 programs. For more information on the Demons Unlimited Foundation and how you can be part of the progress, visit nsudemons.com/unlimited or contact Mike Jaworski at jaworskim@nsula.edu.

The Demons Unlimited Foundation must generate over $1 million annually to assist the department and individual sports in underwriting annual operating expenses and program enhancements.


Rotarians learn about importance of Veterans Day from Louie Bernard

Rotarian with the Program Henry Kinberger introduced State Senate District 31-elect Louie Bernard at the Rotary Club of Natchitoches 12/3/19 meeting. Bernard discussed the importance of Veterans Day, and how much he values the veterans, the humble men and women who served and quietly molded America. He shared the story of his brave uncle PFC Cullen Bryan Bernard who was killed in action saving lives on Iwo Jima on March 14, 1945. Pictured from left are Rotary President David Guillet, Bernard, and Kinberger (Photo by Dr. Ron McBride).

Private First Class (PFC) Cullen Bryan Bernard, United States Marine Corps (USMC), 13th Regiment, 5th Division who was killed in action on Iwo Jima Volcano Island, March 11, 1945. The memorial reads “on Iwo Jima uncommon valor was a common virtue”. The flag was draped on his casket and presented to Bernard’s parents: Mr. and Mrs. Louis L. Bernard, Iota, Louisiana.


Lady Demons bring home a win.

Slowing things down offensively helped the Lady Demons bring home a win.

Northwestern State committed just five second-half turnovers and used efficient third-quarter offense to provide enough cushion for a 65-61 win against the visiting Tigers at Prather Coliseum.

“That was huge,” fourth-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said of limiting turnovers. “We had 12 in the first half, a lot of which were unforced. On the flip side, we turned them over 29 times. That’s what we needed to do, and we turned those into 26 points. I told the team after, we have so many areas we can improve on, but a win is a win and needs to be celebrated.”

The Lady Demons (3-4) entered Wednesday’s game ranked second nationally in turnovers forced (29.33) and 14th nationally in steals per game (15.5). They came up just shy in those categories (29, 15), but their ability to build off those miscues helped set up a fast start that saw the lead grow to 11 less than seven minutes into the game.

Tristen Washington’s fast-break layup put NSU up 18-7 at the 3:04 mark of the opening quarter before Grambling (1-6) closed the quarter on a 9-2 run.

Washington, a freshman point guard making her first career start, finished with eight points and handed out a game-high six assists. Three of those came on inbounds passes to junior forward Leilani Moncrease, who turned those catch-and-shoot jumpers into a career-high 10 points.

Before connecting on half of her 10 field goal attempts Wednesday, Moncrease had tallied 14 points before nearly matching that total in 21 minutes of action against Grambling.

“I had a rough couple of games, but once I got into the groove and learned the tempo of the game, I started to adjust,” said Moncrease, a transfer from Diablo Valley College. “(Catch-and-shoot shots) was what I specialized in at my last school. All the credit goes to Tristen for finding me.”

The Washington-Moncrease connection brought a smile to Dupuy’s face as did the Lady Demons’ third-quarter performance.

Building on an 8-0 run to end the first half, Northwestern State survived a back-and-forth start of the quarter to finish with another strong closing kick, holding the Tigers scoreless for the final 3:58 of the third quarter, building a 14-point lead as Jasmyn Johnson scored the final four points of the quarter.

Johnson paced three Lady Demons in double figures with a season-best 18 points and led the NSU defensive effort with six steals, continuing a Prather Coliseum trend for the senior guard. Johnson has collected at least three steals in each of NSU’s five home games this season, averaging four per game.

“I just feel like I have a knack for the ball,” she said. “I see it, I want it, and I get it.”

NSU’s 14-point advantage after three quarters never was in much doubt in the final quarter. Grambling whittled the lead to five with 4:13 to play before NSU again turned stingy.

While the Lady Demons’ offense scuffled down the stretch, their defense answered, holding the Tigers without a field goal from the 4:13 mark until Candice Parramore’s 3-pointer with 8 seconds to play. In between, Washington, Johnson and Kira Bonner (15) knocked down six free throws to keep Grambling at arm’s length.

“Give the players all the credit,” Dupuy said. “We created some competition in practice this past week, and it showed. There wasn’t a loose ball where we didn’t have two or three white shirts on the floor. Our posts played physical. Our guards played physical. We had some fouls, but you can live with them because we played hard. We made strides in the right direction, but we still have a ways to go.”

The Lady Demons will have an 11-day break between games, allowing for fall semester finals, before heading to Arkansas to face the Razorbacks on Dec. 15.


What's With the Phony Emails About Packages in the Mail?

Have you all been getting a lot of emails, purporting to be from FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service?

I’ve been plagued with these things for weeks and weeks. They look official, often even using the proper logo, although sometimes the wording is a little awkward and the grammar is questionable. This leads me to believe they are sent from some foreign land.

Anyway, these emails either inform me that my “package has been delivered” or that they tried to deliver it and missed me. The bottom line is that they want me to open up their “tracking” attachments and provide some type of info to them, which they would doubtlessly use in some nefarious manner.

I’m sure that these are scams because a couple of times I tried to open the attachments and my computer warned me that they are unsafe. So now, when I get them — and that’s pretty much every day — I put them directly into the “phishing” file.

These emails about phantom packages are only a portion of what bombards one’s computer these days. Every day I get at least a couple about ketos. I don’t open them because I don’t know what a keto is and I don’t want to know. Apparently it’s something to do with a healthy diet. But I’m too busy eating my hamburgers, ribs, pies and cakes to worry about something called a keto.

Hey, it sounds kind of like a small Asian car, doesn’t it? “Have you driven the new Keto? Visit your Keto dealer today!”

Oh, well. Getting back to unwanted emails, among the more prevalent kinds are the ones promising to enhance your sex life and make you feel 20 years younger. I’m sure they’re a scam, too. They’re probably selling sugar pills that would no more help your love life than an Oreo cookie would. In fact, I’d put my money on the Oreo. At least they get you in a good mood.

And thank goodness, we’re pretty much over the emails that claimed to be from a young lawyer in Nigeria who is handling the estate of a multi-millionaire who has passed away. And the young lawyer has picked me — ME — out of all the people on the planet, to receive the millions. Gosh, think of the odds. All they want me to do is to forward my bank account number to them, so they can make the deposit in my account, making me rich as all get out.

Well, I can’t imagine that anybody would fall for that one, but apparently a few people did. But those young lawyers from Africa have pretty much been chased from the realm of Email.

When I think about scams like this, I start to get angry, because it’s likely that old folks make up most of the victims. How someone could devote time and effort to stealing the life savings of some senior citizen is beyond my comprehension. If those scammers were ever arrested I would hope that they would be given 99 years, without possibility of parole.

So, anyway, if the postal and package scammers start to send you email notices that your parcel has been delivered or is missing, don’t open up the attachment. They waiting to get you if you do!


Natchitoches CVB Sponsors Christmas Festival

The Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to sponsor the 93rd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival.

Pictured are Arlene Gould, CVB Executive Director, Jill Leo, Director of Promotions and Events for the Historic District Business Association, and Kelli West, CVB Marketing & Communications Director.


Keeping You Informed and Healthy: Because Caring For You is What We Do

By Carl I. Walters II, Chief Executive Officer, Outpatient Medical Center Inc.

Dear Parish Families,

The Christmas season is fast approaching and we wanted to share some of the things we are most grateful for at Outpatient Medical Center Inc.

This holiday season:

-The opportunity to work with close to 100 of the most patient-centered, personal and professional staff who work at Outpatient Medical Center Inc.

-The opportunity to open three more Natchitoches parish school based health centers to expand the offering of integrated Behavioral Health Services in same

-The opportunity to put more of our valued community families to work through the nearly $1 mil- lion in Federal dollars we have recently earmarked to come to Outpatient Medical Center Inc.

-The opportunity to expand our company footprint into DeSoto parish by acquiring The DeSoto Health- care Center Inc., a respected health center who has faithfully and dutifully served the families of DeSo- to parish for over 20 years

-The opportunity to bring more diverse Behavioral Health Services to our valued patients by success- fully bringing up outpatient Psychiatric Services through a telemedicine treatment platform

-The fact we have successfully brought up and expanded the offering of Substance Abuse Services in our Natchitoches and Leesville Health Centers. We have plans to roll these services out in our other health centers as well

-The fact we have successfully brought up Podiatry Services in our Natchitoches Health Center

-The fact we have successfully brought up Physical Therapy Services in our Natchitoches Health Center

-The fact we have successfully been reaccredited with The Joint Commission

-The fact we have been awarded close to $100,000 in HRSA Quality program dollars in recognition for our sustained commitment to deliver high-quality, cost-effective and medically-appropriate medical services to you – our valued patients

-The fact we will use the $167,000 received in HRSA Integrated Behavioral Health Services grant dollars to hire two full-time Natchitoches parish school- based Licensed Clinical Social Workers and a full- time Case Manager to support their practices

-The fact we will use the $300,000 received in HRSA Oral Health Initiative grant dollars to upgrade our Dental Service-line x-ray equipment, chairs and dental software across the company. We were one of only four Federally Qualified Health Centers awarded this federal funding in the state of Louisiana

-The fact that we continue to “set the standard” when it comes to ensuring our patients are screened for colorectal cancer

-The fact that our Centers For Disease sponsored “Change Your Lifestyle” Diabetes Prevention Pro- gram continues to grow. Outpatient Medical Center Inc. was the only Federally-Qualified Health Center awarded this five-year $500,000 grant and we are the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the state of Louisiana with a Centers For Disease recognized Diabetes Prevention program; which will soon be offered in our DeSoto Healthcare Center Inc.

-The fact we have brought up Medicaid/Health Plan Outreach and Enrollment Services in our DeSoto Healthcare Center Inc.

-The fact we will also be expanding the offering of Medical Group Services in our DeSoto Healthcare Center Inc.

-The fact we will soon be expanding the offering of core preventative and minor restorative Dental Services from two weeks every month to four days per week every week of the month in our Leesville Health Center

-The fact our core Administrative team is now fully strengthened and stabilized

-The fact our core Nursing Group is now fully strengthened and stabilized

-The fact we have picked up multiple prestigious community service awards this year and;

-The fact we have grown our progressive company from a $5.7 million dollar integrated healthcare de- livery system to close to a $9 million dollar system over the past three years.

But the thing we are absolutely the most thankful for this Christmas season; is for your continued love and support of this wonderful company, our long-standing and respected community service mission and the privilege to partner with you to help keep our valued community families healthy and whole. On behalf of our Board of Directors and dedicated staff, thank you for your unabated sup- port of Outpatient Medical Center Inc.; as we could not do what we love to do; which is taking good care of you; without your sustained, love, support and confidence in Outpatient Medical Center Inc.

May your Christmas holiday season be filled with all of the love, family, friends, good food, laughter, fond memories, fellowship and warmth the Christmas season is intended to bring. It remains our privilege and pleasure taking good care of you; as caring for you is what we do at Outpatient Medical Center Inc. Catch the spirit of the holidays!!


PARISH OFFICES TO CLOSE AT NOON ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6

Parish President Rick Nowlin has announced that all Parish Government offices will close at noon on Friday, December 6, 2019, due to the expected increase in traffic associated with the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. The closures will not affect the Parish landfill or bin sites, which will remain open for normal operating hours.

Residents who have questions about the closures may call the Parish Government offices at 318-352-2714. President Nowlin wishes everyone a happy and safe Christmas Festival weekend.


CITY OF NATCHITOCHES: Assistant Recreation Director

POSITION: Assistant Recreation Director – Recreation Department

DESCRIPTION: Assists the Recreation Director in performing a variety of complex professional and administrative work in planning, developing, scheduling, directing and implementing a year round, city wide recreation program.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university in Recreation or Parks Administration or other related field and at least 6 months related experience.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department, located at 1400 Sabine St. or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches, LA 71458-0037. Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall located at 700 Second St. or may be downloaded at www.natchitochesla.gov

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION:

Applications will be accepted through December 9, 2019

The City of Natchitoches is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.


NSU Soccer: Northwestern States Nicole Henry named to United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region team

The accolades keep coming for sophomore defender Nicole Henry as she was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region second team Tuesday.

She is the first NSU player to be selected to that all-region team.

The sophomore from Tomball, Texas, was named the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, as well as being named first-team All-Southland.

She was the first Lady Demon to be named to the All-SLC first team since Alex Latham and Esdeina Gonzalez in 2016.

Henry helped NSU allow just 1.27 goals and 8.5 shots per gamefor the best mark in the conference. She also helped the Lady Demons surrender one goal or fewer 17 times in 22 matches.

One of those contests was in the regular season against conference champion Lamar, holding the Cardinals to one goal, their lowest total in league play.

Henry helped lead the Lady Demons to their best season in 14 years, as NSU went 13-8-1 and a second-place finish in the conference.

The sophomore also was key in the run to the conference tournament championship match. She scored her first career goal in the conference tournament championship against Lamar and was named to the All-Conference team.

Henry is one of five Southland Conference players to be honored on the All-Midwest team. Lamar’s Lucy Ashworth, the conference Player of the Year, and Esther Okoronkwo were named to the first team. Henry joined Shay Johnson and Christina Arteaga of Abilene Christian on the second team.

Graphic Credit: Co-head coach Jess Jobe


Lighted Boat parade coming back to Cane River

The Natchitoches Rotary Club presents the Lighted Boat Parade 2019, an event that is part of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival season. It will be held on December 14 at 5:30 p.m.

The Natchitoches Rotary Club will sponsor the Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 14, at 5:30. The parade will begin at the north end of the Riverbank adjacent to the Roque House. Boats will check in at Beau Jardin on the riverbank beginning at 4 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. The parade will precede south under the Church Street Bridge to the end of the downtown riverbank and adjacent to the Santa House and Restrooms. It will turn north and precede back to Beau Jardin to complete the run. Three trips will be made following the same pattern. The Natchitoches Christmas Belles will serve as official judges for the boat parade.

Cost to participate: $10 per boat. Registration can be completed online at: www.NatchitochesChristmas.com or the entry can pay with check at registration. Boats entered will receive priority parking for the fireworks.

Requirements: each boat must be lighted and remain lighted for the duration of the parade.

Recognition: awards will be presented for 1st place-$100, 2nd place-$75, and 3rd place-$50.

About the Natchitoches Rotary Club: this event is used as a fundraiser to support local Rotary projects. Two include: (1) the Rotary Club Dictionary Project where every 4th grade student in Natchitoches Parish Schools receives a personalized dictionary/resource book which includes many items such as information about U.S. Presidents, the Constitution, any many other items. A second project is the Scholarship Essay Competition where students at area high schools write an essay and submit it for possible scholarships to address college expenses.

Cancellation: if predicted weather becomes an issue, the parade will be canceled by noon Saturday, December 14.

ROV Office to close Friday for Christmas Festival

The Natchitoches Parish Registrar of Voters Office Will Close on Friday, Dec. 6 at 12 pm. The Parish Government is closing the building at 12 pm on Friday due to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival and the over flow of traffic that will be in our town this weekend. We Will Re-Open For Normal Business hours on Monday, December 9 , 2019 at 8 a.m.