Meat Pie festival provides two days of fun filled entertainment – Starts Today!

The Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival, will be held Sept. 20-21, filling the air with  energetic music and the spicy aroma of meat pies. Vendors will be on hand to sell their wares from jewelry to metal wall hangings and more.


Open Friday from 5:30 – 10:00pm; Saturday from 10am – 10pm.  


5:30pm – If They Ask Band
7:30pm  – American Petty Band


Noon – If They Ask Band
2:00pm – Clifton Choctaw Band
4:00pm – Front Cover Band
6:00pm – Moon Dogs
8:00pm – Bad Moon Rising a Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Band
9:30 – Fireworks over Cane River 


Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a Natchitoches man on felony theft charges in connection with a theft in the Blanchard Road area in Natchitoches on Tuesday according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday morning, September 17, at approximately 11:50am, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports of a theft in progress in the 300 block of Blanchard Road in Natchitoches.

The caller then called back shortly afterwards reporting a silver Dodge pickup truck leaving the residence traveling towards the St. Maurice Lane area.

NPSO and NPD units searched the area for the vehicle.

NPSO Detectives also responded.

Items reported stolen were: Generac generator, Miller plasma cutter, a DeWalt metal cutting chopsaw and other assorted items valued over $3000.

During the investigation, detectives identified Michael Cobb of Natchitoches as a suspect in the theft.

Deputies contacted Cobb by telephone and then made contact with him at the home of a relative on Royal Street in Natchitoches.

Cobb was transported to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division and interviewed by detectives.

During the interview, Cobb told deputies where the stolen items were taken.

Deputies recovered the items at an undisclosed location on Old River Road.

Michael Cobb, 37, of the 700 block of Royal Street, Natchitoches was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Felony Theft.

Cobb remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.

Lt. M. Wilson was assisted by Deputy D. Hobley and Detective J. Kilpatrick

Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids at L.P. Vaughn

Students in grades 1-2 at L.P. Vaughn received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of September recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance.

Pictured on front row from left are William Ayres, Cameron Washington, Jewel McDowell, Melanie Lewis, Kylee Riser, Keith Byrd, A’Myrah Shields, Zayden Jones, Giselle Martinez, and Maylasia Angelle. On back row are Azille Lewis, Sharon Baptiste, Ladarrius Smith, Hannah White, Faith Howard, Atarah Willis, Gracelyn Reed, Boss LaCaze, Eric Issaac, and Eli West. Not pictured is Mariah Skinner. Pictured with students are Principal Sandy Irchirl and Kiwanian Heather Martin.

Louisiana Crawfish Co: Office Manager

POSITION: Office Manager for Growing E-commerce Business– Full Time

 DESCRIPTION: Office manager role is to create and maintain a pleasant work environment, ensuring high levels of organizational effectiveness, communication and safety.  Some Office manager duties and responsibilities include scheduling staff, management of incoming online orders, take incoming phone orders, office supplies purchasing , and providing general administrative support to our employees.  A successful Office manager should have experience with a variety of office software (email tools, spreadsheets and databases) and be able to accurately handle administrative duties

  • Ultimately, the Office manager should be able to ensure the smooth running of the office and help to improve company procedures and day-to-day operation.  
  • Additional Responsibilities:
  • Maintain the office condition and arrange necessary repairs
  • Partner with HR to update and maintain office policies as necessary
  • Organize office operations and procedures
  • Coordinate with IT department on all office equipment
  • Assist in the onboarding process for new hires
  • Proven experience as an Office manager, Front office manager or Administrative assistant
  • Knowledge of office administrator responsibilities, systems and procedures
  • Proficiency in MS Office (MS Excel and MS Outlook, in particular)
  • Hands on experience with office machines (e.g. fax machines and printers)
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritize work
  • Attention to detail and problem solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and planning skills in a fast-paced environment
  • A creative mind with an ability to suggest improvements 

EDUCATION: High School degree; Associate or Bachelor’s Degree will be a plus

CONTACT: Send inquiries and resumes to

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted until position is filled.


Notice of Death – September 19, 2019


Michael (Mike) Wilson
February 11, 1946 – September 18, 2019
Service: Friday, September 20 at 10 am at Holly Grove Nazarene Church
Interment: Rocky Mount Cemetery

Effola Zeno Ivey
September 18, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Elijajuan Walker
February 28, 1986 – September 15, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Daniel Beaudion
August 15, 1986 – September 15, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, September 21 from 9-10 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Service: Saturday, September 21 at 10 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville
Interment: St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery

Robert W. Neuman
September 14, 1930 – September 09, 2019
Service: Saturday, October 5 from 4-6 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Reception: Saturday, October from 6-9 pm at 202 Bird Avenue

Rodeo memorializes dream of Antonio Esparza

The 4th Annual Antonio’s Dream Arena Memorial Rodeo will be held Sept. 20-21 at 8 pm nightly. Events include bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, bull riding, ranch bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie down roping and hometown barrel racers. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free.

The arena, located at 10867 Hwy. 1, is the fulfillment of a dream Antonio Esparza had ever since he was a boy. Antonio passed away four years ago, but his mother Pam made sure his dream came true last year by hosting the inaugural rodeo in his

Antonio always loved going to the rodeo when he was growing up. He especially loved to watch the bull riding. His dream was to raise bulls and own an arena. He was looking at buying land to make this dream a reality when he passed away. Pam bought the exact piece of land Antonio wanted and constructed an arena in his memory.

The arena is also a tribute to the special bond Antonio shared with his friends, the late Brandon Boyd, the late Todd Roque, the late Blaine Foshee. and Rusty Moss. These cowboys are all rodeoing in heaven together. A special feature at this year’s rodeo will be a balloon release in their honor Friday night at the opening ceremonies.

The Sabine River Rodeo Company will provide stock and cowboys. The LA Rodeo Cowboy Association and the Tri-State Rodeo Association will participate. PRCA entertainer Dwayne Poteet will provide the entertainment. For more information, contact Pam Esparza at 318-471-9996.

Waitr Delivery comes to Natchitoches

Northwestern State University’s first couple were the first very customers catered to by Waitr – Natchitoches, a food delivery and carryout service that delivers individual and group food orders from local restaurants and eateries. Dr. Chris and Mrs. Jennifer Maggio were also the first ever university president to be the first delivery, having ordered a meat pie lunch from Lasyone’s that was delivered Monday. Natchitoches users can download the Waitr App and use the code FORKEM for free delivery until Sept. 29. Waitr is also networking with NSU’s Career Center to hire NSU students as drivers. “We are excited to be a part of the Natchitoches community, and we grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the University and the NSU Career Center,” said Bryan Horton, Waitr Market Manager of Alexandria/Natchitoches. “We have a variety of restaurants to choose from, and we hope to continue to grow and make Waitr a staple in this great community…and always, Fork ‘em, Demons!”

Join the Natchitoches Parish Journal and 94.9 The River this evening at The Landing for the WAIT-R APP Launch party.

Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program graduates its first cohort

The Ben Johnson Educational Center in partnership with the Coordinations and Development Corporation held a Meet, Greet, and Learn event on Sept. 13.

Board Member Ed Ward thanked everyone for attending for helping the Center be a stepping stone and an improvement to society at large.

The main event was the graduation of the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program’s first cohort: Christian Anderson, Phoenix Pichon, and Jamarcus Jackson.S

President of the Ben Johnson Foundation Claire Prymus said she is excited about the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program and collaborating with the Workforce Development Center Center.

The Legacy Café is a part of the Ben D. Johnson Education Center and functions as the hands-on training environment for the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program. The fresh, made-from-scratch menu offers breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, 7AM to 2PM. All proceeds from the Café supports the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program.

Director of Workforce Development Angie Rymer said that people come from all different walks of life and some need more work skills than others. The Ben Johnson Educational Center covers the training and Workforce Development handles the financial part to get students where they need to be.

The Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program serves young people ages 17 – 24, who are out of work and out of school. The program offers job readiness and culinary training; and provides support to help students overcome their barriers to getting and keeping a job. In addition, participants receive a stipend and get breakfast and lunch daily.

In June, the BDJ Center was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and is now a Licensed Proprietary School. The responsibility of a proprietary school is to prepare individuals for gainful employment.

This allows the BDJ Center to build a strong working relationship with the Workforce Commission and ultimately help young people in the community enter and remain in the workforce and have more self-sufficient lives.

Keynote Speaker Ava Dejoie, Secretary of the LA Workforce Commission said the work being done at the Ben Johnson Educational Center in Natchitoches is truly planting seeds and building a legacy.

“Dream big,” she said. “The sky’s the limit. There’s no one pathway.”

You can get involved with the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program in more than one way.

Donate to the program at the Center’s website

Like the Center’s Facebook pages BDJCenter and 400MLK

Patronize the Café located 400 MLK Drive, Suite J or make an online order for delivery at

Use the Café for your office lunches, plant events and private parties

Become a Partner – hire students upon graduation

Volunteer at the center

Refer potential participant

For additional information call 318-460-7460.

NSU calendar of events for Sept. 22-28

Here is a look at the week of Sept. 22-28 at Northwestern State University.

Sept. 24 – Fall Career Fair, Friedman Student Union Ballroom, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sept. 24 — Screening of Documentary “Silicone Soul,” Varnado Hall Ballroom, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 – Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 25 – Public forum for candidates running for Natchitoches Parish Sheriff, Magale Recital Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 25 – Northwestern Theatre and Dance presents “Our Country’s Good,” Theatre West, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 – Public forum for candidates running for Parish Council and Parish Council President, Magale Recital Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 26 – Volleyball vs. Sam Houston, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 – Miss Northwestern – Lady of the Bracelet pageant, Treen Auditotrium, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, 3 p.m.

Sept. 27 – Soccer vs. Lamar, Lady Demon Complex, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28 – Volleyball vs. Houston Baptist, Prather Coliseum, 11 a.m.

Sept. 28 – Football, NSU vs. Southeastern Louisiana, Turpin Stadium, 6 p.m.

Sept. 28 – Musical Theatre Recital featuring Dr. Grace Edgar and D’Nissa Hester, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

BOM Sponsors NCHS Football

BOM is a maroon sponsor of the NCHS Football Program. Pictured from left are 33-Derick Payne, Kyler Burns, 16-Nathan Lawson, 11-Carlos Moses, Coach Byron Keller, 45-John Waskom, 5-Derienne Robinson, Katrice Below, and 3-Jaylin White. Good luck and Go Chiefs!

Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids at Natchitoches Magnet School

Students at the Natchitoches Magnet School received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of September recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance.

Pictured are Aiden Bush, Jasmyn Carpenter, Myonah Bernstine, Bryan Chen, Lexi Powell, Axel Laning, Belladonna Jones, Ferguson-Max-Deford, Mackynzie Goleman, Avery Mitchell, Mia Dawson, Adaleigh Perot, Chance Fontenot, Kevin Rodriguez, Derhani Alexander, and Akeelah Wade. Pictured with them are Principal Stephonie French and Kiwanian Annette Roque.

What Might Heaven Be Like?

By Joe Darby

Now, Dear Readers, here is something completely different. I hope you like it.

From time to time, I have this daydream about what, I suppose, is my version of what Heaven could be like.

I’m standing on a hilltop, which is covered with lush, dark green grass. I’m in a circular clearing which is surrounded by lovely shrubbery and flowering bushes, like azaleas, camellias and thornless roses.

There is music literally in the air, old time music like “Shenandoah” and “The Streets of Laredo,” being played on a slow beat by strings — violins, cellos and other stringed instruments.

I’m dancing with my beloved wife Mary when up comes my Mama. She wants to dance with her son, so Mama and I hold each other at arm’s length, slowly twirl to the beautiful music and look into each other’s faces and her face is radiant with beauty and joy, just like it used to be. Over there is Daddy, in a sharp brown suit with a red tie, holding hands with his two girls, my sisters Patsy and Joan.

And there’s Grandpa Armstrong, dancing with his daughter Rita, my aunt and Mama’s younger sister. Grandma Armstrong smiles and looks on, slowly moving her head from side to side in time with the music. They’ve been here more than 50 years already, which seems like no time to them.

And just coming out of the bushes, like the baseball players came out of the cornfield in the movie “Field of Dreams,” are grandparents Dr. J.W. Darby Sr. and his wife, born Maud Baker. I didn’t know them on earth. I must go over shortly and greet them.

And there, also, comes Great-grandfather John Baker, who survived serving in the Civil War with the 10th Missouri Confederate Regiment. He takes his daughter, Grandma Maud, in his arms as Dr. Darby smiles and releases his wife to her father.

Over there is my first wife, Rachel. Our faces light up as we spot each other, because there is no animosity in Heaven and all old hurts are forgiven.

More ancestors are arriving, whom I’ve never met, but I instinctively know who they all are. I see F.O. Darby and his wife Julie Beauvais, who’ve been here well over 100 years. They, too, survived the Civil War although their home was ransacked by Northern troops. I had always thought, for some reason, that Great-great-grandmother Julie would have been an unusually beautiful woman. I was right. She is stunning and her French heritage is obvious in her lovely face.

In the short time we have been gathering, many years have passed on earth, and here come my precious daughters, Becky and Liz. Mama doesn’t mind when I pause in our dance and go over to embrace my beloved girls.

The patch of grass on the hilltop is getting a little crowded but I have never felt such peace, such love, such joy, back on earth. The happiness, as we all gather, pervades the very air itself.

My gosh, here is old St. Denis himself, the founder of Natchitoches. His great granddaughter Constance DeBlanc, married young Francois Darby in New Iberia in 1806. So they, too, also make up a small part of what was my earthly DNA. Even in Heaven St. Denis’ charisma is evident and other ancestors gather around to speak with the tall French Canadian as he recounts a few of his earthly adventures.

More and more people come, the late arrivals now wearing the clothes of the 17th, 16th and 15th centuries, then even more are here, in Medieval garb. Soon my ancestors are wearing clothes of the ancient days. And as more and more of us gather, so grows stronger the overwhelming feeling of love and happiness.

Yes, this is Heaven without a doubt. Because Jesus is here, smiling, walking among us and greeting us one and all, clasping our hands and letting us know we are most welcome in his domain.

Then my daydream is over. And I wipe my eyes.