Bookstore transition underway at NSU

NSU-New book store
Northwestern State University completed an agreement for the Follett Higher Education Group to operate its bookstores on the Natchitoches and Shreveport campuses.

At the close of business Friday, Feb. 16, Barnes and Noble ceased management of bookstores in the Friedman Student Union on the main campus in Natchitoches and at the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health in Shreveport.

Follett will reopen both stores in the existing locations on Tuesday, Feb. 27. During the transition in Natchitoches students, faculty, staff and others are encouraged to use the NEEBO Campus Corner bookstore at 912 University Parkway. That facility, which has been operated by the Follett Group for a number of years, will undergo extensive renovations beginning next month.

This transition in bookstore operations is part of a long-range plan for NSU to expand and enhance its bookstore services and to develop a comprehensive one-stop shopping facility on University Parkway adjacent to the main campus. This 8,000-square-foot Campus Store will be designed to provide a broad range of books and other course materials, high-quality fast foods and specialized promotional apparel and other gear and products with Northwestern emblems and logos.

Northwestern students, faculty and staff, alumni and the public will be served by this bookstore and shopping area that is scheduled to open for the Fall semester of 2018. The Northwestern State University Foundation has acquired this property directly across the street from the campus, and the partnership between Northwestern, the NSU Foundation and Follett will create a dynamic and high quality Campus Store experience for the university and community for years to come.

This exciting new partnership and the Campus Store concept will help maintain and increase the positive momentum that Northwestern has experienced in recent years.


NHDDC begins work on new park project

NHDDC-Next park project

Payne Williams told members of the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission about a new park project that was started at its meeting Feb. 15. The new park will feature a landscaped area on Touline Street behind the First Baptist Church. This area was the original site for the St. Mary’s Academy.

Van Erikson confirmed that the floating docks on Cane River will be extended another 30 feet thanks to two $5,000 sponsorships from the NHDDC and the Cane River Waterway Commission. The docks will arrive in the next few weeks and will connect to the existing ones. Rowing events will revolve around March 3 and March 17 with some teams bringing 150 members.

The Dragon Boat Races, set for March 3, has 17 teams registered already. Erikson said he’s trying for 25 teams. A higher number of teams will allow more boats to race at a time and will help build a crowd on the downtown riverbank.

Other upcoming NSU events include:

March 20- WRAC named for Dr. Webb

March 21- Dancing with the Sigmas

March 23- Long Purple Line Luncheon and Flavor of Louisiana event

March 24- Military Ball


Other upcoming downtown events include:

March 17- NYP Pub Crawl, Krewe of Barkus Parade, and Bloomin’ & Art Along the Bricks

March 23-24- Cane River Film Festival

May 6-12- National Tourism Week

Cynthia Sutton spoke about projects at Los Adaes including the Cane River National Heritage Area’s application for funding to improve the walking trail and put up signage. They’ve also contracted with a company to clean up the site so visitors can see more of the landscape that’s currently hidden.

APHN will hold its annual Melrose Arts&Crafts Festival April 21-22. They are also working to finish masonry work on the African House this month.

Edd Lee gave an update on the continued renovations on the downtown riverbank. Pavers are being installed around the stage for an enlarged dancing area. The new bathrooms should be finished in time for the Jazz Fest. The next step will be the installation of two docks on the south end near the restrooms for boats.




Lott Oil Makes Donation to St. Mary’s

Lott Oil makes donation

Mike Howard, Retail Marketing Rep with Lott Oil, made a $500 donation to St. Mary’s Math and Science Department on behalf of 3 J’s 4Way Store on Feb. 9.

This is part of the Exxon Mobil Educational Alliance Program. Exxon Mobile has a long history of supporting educational programs that focus on improvements in math and science from pre-school to higher education.

John Abraham, owner of 3J’s 4 Way, Mike Howard and Michael Lott are shown with 4th grade science teacher Laura Hogg. Mrs. Hogg’s class was in the hallway testing Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion when the check was given!



St. Mary’s FBLA results


St. Mary’s had 70 students participate in FBLA’s District Conference at Northwestern State University Feb. 9.

Pictured above, in no particular order, are: Abby Williams, Abigail Wheat, Lexi Brossett, Faith Maxey, Ashton Behrendsen, Bailey McConnell, Brady Poche, Britney Turner, Brock Zeagler, Carissa Kautz, Caroline Bishop, Caroline Stokes, Chloe Cremeans, Chloe Longlois, Claire Guillet, David Thibodaux, Dylan Bennett, Emily Maggio, Erica Hubbs, Tate Nelson, George Ingrish, Graysen Bates, Hailey Seaman, Hannah Deranger, Izzy Peluso, Jack Wright, Jay Parker, Jensen Parker, Jessi Lucky, Aaron Howell, Katelyn Yopp, Kelsie Ward, Laura Aviles, Lauren Vienne, Maci Messenger, Macy Vascocu, Madeline Godfrey, Madison Lester, Maggie Gilmore, Makenzie Methvin, Maggie Wheat, Maria Bienvenu, Mary Grace Long, Mary Anna Scruggs, Matthew Nelson, Matthew Thibodaux, Meredith Matt, Michael Guillet, Noah Heard, Olivia Miller, Bailey Shelton, Peyton Green, Ragan Hale, Renea Cunningham, Ryan Sampite, Sara Loach, Katie Aldredge, Sarah Aviles, Sarah Gilmore, Sarah Stamey, Sean Grappe, Kale Eversull, Stephen Mayeux, Stephen Wheat, Thomas Howell, Walker Jackson, Wes Manuel, William Broadway, Zac White and Zoe Brock.


Six students received 1st place plaques and will advance to State Competition in Lafayette in March:
Jay Parker – Mr. FBLA and Current Events
Lexi Brossett – Computer Problem Solving
Zac White – Current Events
Matthew Thibodaux – Current Events
Jack Wright – Computer Applications
George Ingrish – Organizational Leadership

The following students received Superior Rating and will advance to compete in State FBLA in Lafayette in March: Renea Cunningham, Britney Turner, Thomas Howell, Makenzie Methvin, Caroline Stokes, Dylan Bennett, Brady Poche, Katie Aldredge, George Ingrish, Matthew Nelson, Laura Aviles, Hannah Deranger, Aaron Howell, William Broadway, Mary Grace Long, Michael Guillet, Noah Heard, Maggie Wheat, Jensen Parker, Maggie Gilmore, Madison Lester, Madeline Godfrey, Katelyn Yopp, Walker Jackson, Sarah Stamey, Stephen Wheat, Ryan Sampite, Claire Guillet, Sara Loach, Hailey Seaman, Caroline Stokes, Ashton Behrendsen, Sarah Aviles, Wes Manuel, Jeremy Friedel and David Thibodaux.

Students receiving Excellent rating include: Matthew Nelson, Ragan Hale, Emily Maggio, Bailey McConnell, Bailey Shelton, Lauren Vienne, Peyton Green, Zac White, Carissa Kautz, Caroline Bishop, Stephen Mayeux, Abigail Wheat, Makenzie Methvin, Sarah Gilmore, Erica Hubbs, Olivia Miller, Tate Nelson, Chloe Cremeans, Zoe Brock, Abby Williams, Graysen Bates, Sarah Stamey, Sean Grappe, Izzy Peluso and Meredith Matt.


NSU will present French film festival

French Film Fest


Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies will host “Vive le Cinéma: Tournées French and Francophone Film Festival” with screenings to run Feb. 21 through March 28 that will feature the best contemporary French and francophone films. Films will be shown in French with English subtitles in Room 206 of the new Creative and Performing Arts Building. Admission is free and open to the public and donations are welcome.

The Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment. Tournées Film Festival is a program of the FACE Foundation, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which aims to bring French cinema to American college and university campuses.

“The Tournées program provides all grant honorees with a catalogue of over 80 films to choose from,” said Allison Rittmayer, assistant professor of English and film. She and two other faculty members, Dr. Ben Forkner and Christine Ferrell, went through the list separately and watched the trailers, then met together and came up with a long list on which they voted until they had six films.

“Surprisingly a lot of our students have had exposure to foreign films because they’ve grown up watching Anime, and now Netflix and other streaming platforms have given them access to more films around the world,” Rittmayer said. “In my classes, the majority of the films I assign are from other countries. After the screenings we have informal discussions, and in our classes, Dr. Forkner, Mrs. Ferrell and I will discuss the films.”

Students do not need to do any prep work or research before watching the films, but can watch the trailers or read more about them online. Rittmayer said last year’s Spanish Film Festival at NSU was a success and they hope to continue to expanding programs and seeking support from the community.

“The goal of cultural studies is to examine how popular culture intersects with systems of power,” Rittmayer said. “Programs like the Tournées Film Festival allow us to show our students current films that they might not have encountered otherwise, so we can discuss the dynamics of international film production and distribution. Beyond that, these films expose our students to social and historical issues in other countries that students might not have been aware of, and can open up discussions of representation and how certain stories get told.”

For more information, a full schedule of screenings and trailers for each film, visit Rittmayer can also be reached at


Plaque honors ancestor’s involvement with Briarwood Nature Preserve

Briarwood -nora patterson plaque.JPG

Briarwood Nature Preserve held a Novella “Nora” Patterson remembrance event on Feb. 10. The event was attended by descendants of Nora and their families.

Nora Patterson assisted Caroline Dormon and her sister Virginia Dormon in working the gardens at Briarwood. This tradition continues today with her granddaughter and great-granddaughter who assist the current caretaker of the preserve in much the same way that Miss Nora assisted Miss Carrie.

The plaque was purchased by members of the Johnson family who grew up in the area and worked at Briarwood. Richard Johnson, the first curator of Briarwood recalled many times coming to Briarwood as a child and spoke with great fondness about Nora.

At the time of Nora’s death in 1992, a Bald Cypress was planted in her memory. The plaque was placed at the base of that tree and unveiled for Nora’s decedents on Saturday.