New school board members installed at committee meeting

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Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court David Stamey swore in new board members at the School Board Committee Meeting on Jan. 15. The Board Meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 17 at 5 pm at the School Board Office on Royal Street.

School board members include: Reba Phelps, Emile Metoyer, Steven Harris, Beverly Broadway, Katrina Willis, Rhonda Guidroz, Billy Benefield, Dorothy McGaskey, Russ Danzy, Tankeia Palmer, and Eugean Garner.

New board members 2019

CITY OF NATCHITOCHES JOB OPPORTUNITY

CON Job Opening

 

POSITION: Finance Director – Finance Department

DESCRIPTION: Performs a variety of complex supervisory, professional, administrative and technical accounting and finance functions in maintaining the fiscal records and systems of the City. Will serve as chief financial advisor to the Mayor and prepare and maintain financial reports and records. Oversees payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, Utility Service Center, Information Technologies and Programming and Promotions Department.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful applicant shall have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in accounting. A working knowledge in Governmental Financial Accounting and GASB rules and regulations are required. An MBA or Certified Public Accountant is preferred.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine Street, 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 you may download an application on line at www.natchitochesla.gov

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2019

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

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Girl Scout Cookie Season Begins

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Girl Scout troops across Natchitoches Parish met on Jan. 4 for a Cookie Rally. The purpose of the Cookie Rally was to prepare Girl Scouts for cookie selling season. There were over 40 Girl Scouts in attendance, plus Troop Leaders and volunteers.

By selling cookies, girls develop five essential skills – goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics – all of which help them succeed today and in the future. They grow their confidence and practice leadership, too.

When you buy Girl Scout Cookies, you help Girl Scouts earn money for fun, educational activities and community projects. Girls decide exactly what to do with their earnings- and 100 percent of the money stays local!

Girl Scouts will be selling cookies through March 10.

Girl Scout Cookies 2019 (1)

Double Reed Day to be held Sunday

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The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will host Double Reed Day on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.

The event is open to oboists and bassoonists of all ages and will include a recital by bassoonist David Wells at 4:30 p.m. He will be assisted on the recital by Douglas Bakenhus on bassoon, Leah Forsyth on oboe and Chialing Hsieh on piano. The recital is free and open to the public.

Wells is a multifaceted performer and scholar who teaches bassoon and music history at California State University, Sacramento. On modern bassoon, he freelances with orchestras throughout northern California, frequently collaborates with colleagues in chamber groups and plays with the swing quintet Hot Club Faux Gitane. On baroque bassoon, he performs with Sinfonia Spirituosa, the Sacramento Baroque Soloists, Capella Antiqua and the American Bach Soloists.

As a music scholar, Wells has presented papers at the conferences of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Music Library Association and the International Double Reed Society. He also serves as co-executive director for the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Bassoon Symposium, a biennial event focused on equity, diversity and inclusion within the profession.

Wells holds degrees in bassoon performance and musicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and previously studied at Florida State University and Arizona State University.

Kiwanis collects Coats for Kids

Kiwanis Coat Drive

With big help from Alliance Compressors, The Kiwanis Club was able to donate over 30 coats to the School Board Office. The Board will distribute them to kids in need during this cold season. The Kiwanis Club will continue to collect coats through the end of January. Collection sites are set-up at Waskom, Brown & Associates, BOM, City Bank, and Alliance Compressors.

Pictured above are Reba Phelps, Anita Dubois, Kiwanis President Rodney Boswell, and Heather Martin.

Natchitoches’ Newest Residents Are “Born to Read”

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2019 will mark 80 years of service for the Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL), and to celebrate its birthday it is giving presents to Natchitoches newest residents through the “Born to Read” program. The NPL and Friends of the Natchitoches Parish Library (FONPL) have partnered to promote literacy and learning from birth. All children born at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center throughout 2019 will be receiving a book bag, book, information on childhood literacy, and a form to sign their child up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (through the United Way).

“Studies show that language learning, which is greatly improved by reading to children, is a reliable predictor of a child’s success in school and later in life,” says Alan Niette, Community Outreach Coordinator.

“We hope that by promoting library use and providing easy access to books from this early age we will set up our youngest patrons for a lifetime of success.”

After enrolling in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the child will receive 1 book a month until their fifth birthday, giving them a nice 60 book library of their own before even starting kindergarten! The NPL also offers its One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten program, encouraging an early interest in reading as kids listen, learn, then read their way through one thousand books. Participants are invited to a “graduation” party each year at the library before they start their first day of school. This works out to be 200 books a year after being born, or about 4 books a week, to reach the goal before kindergarten.

These programs are also available to any child living in Natchitoches Parish having yet to have entered kindergarten. Sign-up forms are available at the NPL.

For more information, visit the NPL’s website (natlib.org), call the NPL (318-357-3280), or visit them at 450 Second St.

Northwestern State softball season tickets on sale

2-15 Team, Dougout

Northwestern State softball season tickets are now on sale as the Lady Demons prepare for a 24-game home slate at Lady Demon Diamond.

Fans can visit nsudemons.com or call the ticket office at 318-357-4268 to purchase chairback seats ($75) and general admission seats ($55).

Softball supporters can also purchase season tickets in the Outfield Club for $100. Interested parties can visit nsudemons.com or contact assistant coach Brooke Boening at boeningb@nsula.edu.

Outfield Club members receive food and drink at each game.

The home schedule opens with Fairleigh Dickinson (Feb. 19) before heading into the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission’s Lady Demon Classic from Feb. 22-24.

LSU, a perennial Women’s College World Series participant, visits March 5 before the Lady Demons start Southland Conference play.

NSU hosts Abilene Christian, Southeastern, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Central Arkansas with midweek contests against in-state foes Louisiana Tech and Grambling sprinkled in. The Lady Demons also welcome Prairie View A&M for a doubleheader.

The Lady Demons will also host the Southland Conference Tournament from May 7-10.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

New School Board member thanks voters for their support

Dorothy-McGaskey

 

To the District 3 Voters, my campaign manager and committee, Mu Omega Zeta-the Graduate Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma, Natchitoches Amicae, members of the Natchitoches Voters and Civic League and concerned citizens of the Natchitoches community at large, I humbly thank each of you for all of your assistance and financial support during my campaign. I deeply appreciate your dedication during this time. Your assistance made the process easier for me. I pray for your continued support as I move forward to represent you to the best of my ability as your District 3 Schoolboard Member. As a member of the schoolboard, I ask each of you for your continued active participation to ensure positive change for our children and the educational community.

NPD Arrest Suspect for (Felony) 3rd Degree Rape of a Juvenile ​​

Simmon Griffin

On January 1, 2019 the guardian of a fourteen (14) year old female juvenile came to the Natchitoches Police Department and reported that the juvenile had been raped. The Natchitoches Police Department’s, Criminal Investigations Division was then alerted and responded. Detectives later discovered that the rape had occurred the previous night on December 31, 2018. Detectives then gathered enough evidence to obtain a warrant of arrest and began actively searching for Simmon Griffin. On January 14, 2019 Simmon Griffin turned himself in which led to his arrest and booking. Simmon Griffin, black male, 28 years of age, of 1109 Lake St., Natchitoches, LA was arrested and booked on one count of (Felony) 3rd Degree Rape. Griffin was later transported out the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he awaits bond.

Due to the fact that this investigation is ongoing the Natchitoches Police Department is urging anyone who has information about this incident or who may have been a victim of Mr. Griffin to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, Detective Bobbie Beard at (318) 238-3914. All calls shall be kept confidential.

NPD Investigates Alleged Threatening of Parish Council Member

Rod Bedgood

The Natchitoches Police Department’s, Criminal Investigations Division began an investigation into the alleged threatening of a Natchitoches Parish Council Member, Russell Rachal. Mr. Rachal later came to the Natchitoches Police Department where he filed a complaint with the police department against his fellow Natchitoches Parish Council Member, Rodney Bedgood. Allegations were made which stated that Mr. Rachal had been threatened by Mr. Bedgood during a special called meeting on the night of January 3, 2019. Council Member Rachal later explained to detectives that as he was exiting the meeting he was confronted byBedgood, who turned to him and made a threatening remark.

Based on the complaint of Council Member Rachal, detectives then spoke with various persons believed to have witnessed the incident and based on the complaint and witness statements Mr. Bedgood was issued a summons on one count of LA R.S. 14:122.2 Threatening a Public Official, Bedgood was issued a court date of February 26, 2019.

If you have any additional information in regarding to this investigation please contact Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

City Council discusses Front Street noise complaints, recycling

City Council Meeting 01-14-19

David James, a Front Street property owner, came before the City Council Jan. 14. He’s received noise complaints from his tenants in second floor condos that are located adjacent to The Landing Restaurant and Bar.

Police Chief Mickey Dove said there is a 60 decibel maximum allowed in the Historic District. Mayor Lee Posey said the individuals managing The Landing were notified of the problem and that the City will do what it has to do if the situation doesn’t take care of itself.

The Council also discussed the recycling center located at the Public Works Department on Mill Street. The City just put in five larger bins that hold twice as much material. They are also newer and look better.

Some people have already vented on social media that they’ve found trash in these bins, which contaminates all their recyclables. Posey said a video surveillance system will soon be installed with adequate signage and a large fine in place. (increased from $100 to $500 for a first offense).

With the brewery’s late operating hours, the gates providing access to the reclining bins will stay open more. Hours of operation will expand to the following:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 6:30 am – 3:30 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 7:30 am – 11 pm
Sunday from 7:30 am – 8 pm

Other agenda items included:

PROCLAMATIONS:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:
Enter Into A Lease Of A 125 Acre Tract At The Natchitoches Sewer Treatment Plant For Hay Operations With McNeely Cattle, LLC

Extend The City Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches Annexing the following land related to the Sports and Recreation Park Project: A .256 Acre Tract, More Or Less, Situated In Section 81, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, A .25 Acre Tract, More Or Less, Situated In Section 83, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, And A 1 Acre Tract, More Or Less, Situated In Section 83, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, All Of Said Tracts Being Owned By The City Of Natchitoches And Lying Adjacent To The Southeasterly Right Of Way Of Louisiana Highway 6, And Adjacent To The Existing Municipal Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches, And Further Providing For The Fixing Of A Public Hearing, Advertisement, Fixing Council District For Same, Fixing Zoning Classification And Providing For An Effective Date Of The Ordinance.

RESOLUTIONS:
Enter Into A Contract With Travelers Casualty And Surety Company Of America For The Public Official Schedule Bond For The City Of Natchitoches

Re-Appoint Gene Spillman And Peyton Cunningham On The Waterworks District #1 Board Of Directors For The City Of Natchitoches

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The City of Natchitoches offices will be closed Monday, January 21, 2019 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, January 28, 2019.

Gabe Firment State Rep Announcement

Gabe Firment-2019
Dear Citizens of Natchitoches Parish:

My name is Gabe Firment and I am running for LA state representative in District 22 in 2019 because I am gravely concerned about our state and what the future holds for our children and grandchildren. The state of Louisiana has been blessed with abundant natural resources and is home to the greatest people in the world, however, decades of mismanagement, corruption, and good ole boy politics have decimated our communities and forced our family members to flee to other states to make a decent living. As your next state representative I will fight to bring jobs and opportunity to District 22, and will work tirelessly to make sure that the American dream is still attainable for anyone with a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed.

I am happily married to the former Erica Miller of Pollock, who is a 5th grade teacher at Pollock Elementary School. We are the proud parents of 3 children, all of whom are enrolled in Grant Parish public schools. I have over 20 years of experience in the insurance and construction industries, and I have been a small business owner for more than 10 years. My family attends Pollock First Baptist Church where I am honored to serve as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. In addition to my service in our local church, I am an active member of the LaSalle/Grant camp of the Gideons International, and I have coached youth sports in Grant Parish for several years. I have a Bachelors degree in Public Administration from Louisiana College, and a Masters of Business Administration from LA Tech University.

I am a true conservative who is sick and tired of politicians in Baton Rouge raising taxes on the hard-working middle class citizens of District 22 in order to grow government and further their personal agendas. Our local governmental officials are struggling to secure funding for failing water systems, crumbling roadways, and school safety while our elected officials in Baton Rouge are wasting billions of dollars on failed social welfare programs. As your state representative I will work with our elected officials in Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Red River, and Winn parishes to find solutions to these problems. I have the experience, education, and determination to fight for good government that works for all people and communities in District 22.

It is time for us to kick the career bureaucrats out of Baton Rouge and turn our state legislature over to men and women who will demand accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility from state government. If elected to serve as your state representative I will bring strong leadership, integrity, and common sense to the state capitol. Please join me on October 12, 2019 as we drain the swamp in Baton Rouge and give the people of this great state a government of the people, by the people, and for the people!

For additional information about our campaign please call or text (318)201-6769, email gabeforstaterep@gmail.com or check out social media – facebook.com/Gabeforstaterep.

Thank you for your support!

Gabe Firment