Top Five: Week ending July 24, 2021

Top Five (5) Stories on the Natchitoches Parish Journal for the week of July 16, 2021 to July 24, 2021.

If you missed any of these, take a moment to read them now.   If you are not receiving this on your social media of choice, then sign up for the morning update delivered each morning, Monday through Friday, to your inbox.

View Big Boy No. 4014 as it passes through Natchitoches on August 23

Politically Correct versus Biblically Correct: The issue for a new generation

Louisiana Veto Override Session – Transgender Sports & Constitutional Carry – How Did Our Parish Senators Vote?

Michael Ferdinand has resigned as Natchitoches Economic Executive Director

There sits a cemetery

Jury Service cancelled for July 26

Clerk of Court for Natchitoches Parish David Stamey announced that for anyone who received a summons for Jury Service to appear July 26, 2021, the trial has been continued.  You are no longer required to appear.

We apologize for the late notice and are doing our best to get the word out to the public.

You don’t have to do anything else in regards to this matter.

The 10th JDC thanks you for willingness to serve your community.

Enjoy your weekend.

Natchitoches man and woman arrested for possession of various narcotics.

According to a Task Force official, on 7/18/2021 at approximately 1751hrs, Deputies assigned the IMPACT team stopped a white BMW for expired tags.

Upon contact with the occupants of the vehicle, Deputies identified the driver, Christian Collins, 30, of the 300 block of Blanchard Rd, and the front seat passenger, Anna Faust, 33, of the 300 block of St. Maurice Lane, and her two children in the back seat. During the traffic stop investigation, deputies advised that they gathered an odor of marijuana coming from the inside the vehicle.

Due to the odor of marijuana, Deputies began a search. The following items were located during the search:

•A purple cloth zip bag was located, which contained approx. 5g of suspected methamphetamine along with assorted glass meth pipes.

•A half burnt blunt of suspected marijuana.

•Two pill bottles with the names ripped off, along with a green digital scale covered in suspected methamphetamine residue. Inside the first pill bottle with the only visible label “propo” approx. 7.4 grams of methamphetamine was found along with 18 Darvocet prescription CDS IV pills. In the 2nd prescription bottle with the only visible label “morphine” approx. 2.6 grams of methamphetamine, approx. 10 ecstasy pills, 4 half 2mg Xanax bars (white), 5 half Xanax bars (yellow) and approx. 57.5 – 30mg morphine pills.

All items appeared to be packaged for sales.

Upon the location of the various narcotics, both children were released to a concerned and both adults were placed under arrest.

This incident has been reported to the DCFS.

Both subjects were placed under arrest. Faust was transported to the NMJDTF for booking. Collins was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for medical evaluation after he began exhibiting seizure like symptoms. Collins was evaluated and released. He was then transported to the NPDC.

Anna M. Faust was arrested for the following:
•Poss. Of CDS II (methamphetamine)
•Poss. Of Drug Paraphernalia
•2 counts – Poss. Of CDS in presence of a juvenile
•Obstruction of justice

Christian Collins was arrested for the following:
•3ct Poss. w/intent CDS IV (Xanax, Darvocet)
•2ct Poss. w/ intent CDS II (methamphetamine, morphine)
•Poss. w intent CDS I (ecstasy)
•Poss. CDS I (marijuana)
•Obstruction of justice
•Second or Subsequent offenses
•2ct drug paraphernalia
•2ct CDS in presence of juvenile
•Improper equipment
•Switched tags

Any additional information or inquiries can be obtained by contacting the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force at 357-2248.

Johnson Announces $2.2 Million Federal Grant for Natchitoches Airport

WASHINGTON— United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today announced that the City of Natchitoches will receive $2,222,222 to make structural improvements to the Natchitoches Regional Airport.

“This grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will allow the City of Natchitoches to reconstruct 4,000 feet of existing runway pavement,” Johnson said. “I’m grateful for this investment, which will ensure the continued safety of airport passengers and allow city officials to make proactive improvements to runway infrastructure.”

Background: This grant provides funds for the reconstruction of 4,000 feet of existing runway pavement that has reached the end of its use. The grant funds the final phase of this rehabilitation project.

Best Dressed

Let’s be completely honest with one another. Southern moms just know how to dress children. Boys and girls, Southern kids are generally the cutest kids on the block. Southern moms also know the power of classic smocked outfits and pinafore dresses. Outfitting a newborn for a first time mom is one of the sweetest ventures that one could undertake. When I found out my first child was going to be a girl I eagerly began the planning and plotting to make sure she was adorable and presentable.

As a child, I was never the best dressed. In all of my childhood photos I always appeared like I had just rolled out of bed with a bad hair cut and I truly wanted to avoid this with my own children.

I spent so many hours planning her coming home outfit, outfits for her first photos and of course they would have to have the matching bows. Most Southern moms would agree that they have spent most of their hard-earned paychecks to buy the biggest bows that their child’s head can support without regard to the possibility of future chiropractic care.

I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion, especially when I only had one daughter to dress. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a neighbor who told me she could always spot Meredith down the street because she was the only child who matched. That still makes me smile to this day. My child matched….

However, having a stylish child was all thrown out of the window when my second daughter came along. Yes, Kathryn wore smocked dresses but would only wear Crocs with them. Yes, she wore bows but she was also known to throw them out of the car window when no one was looking or simply place them in the trash. No, she did not match and had no desire to wear anything that I put on her body. She had an affection for wearing fake high heels with her soccer uniform and everything that was glittery, gaudy and sequined to the hilt.

If she didn’t look so much like me I would have sworn that I brought home Dolly Parton’s child.

Somewhere along the way I merely gave up and let her dress herself. Since I was an older mom and more confident in my mothering skills, I did not even apologize for her appearance or her lack of bows and smocking. It was truly painless, I just let her dress herself and my house was much more peaceful and my budget applauded what it saw.

Although I had a new found freedom in caring less about what my daughter is wearing it does not stop me from trying to micromanage her style from time to time. This summer while on our way home from vacation we stopped for coffee and gas and I noticed that Kathryn was wearing bright pink shorts, turquoise Jesus sandals with socks, and a tourist t-shirt she found in one of the shops in downtown Jackson Hole. To top it off, literally, she had shimmery tinsel from Amazon that was weaved into her hair.

I mildly scoffed at her outfit under my breath and laughingly told her she looked like Rainbow Brite. She was not phased, she said she felt beautiful.

As we were leaving a lady walked up to Kathryn and said, “I am loving so much about your outfit right now….the bright colors, the shoes, the hair….who did your hair? I would love some of that in my hair”

After Kathryn gave me an “I told you so” glance they then began a ten minute long discussion about the proper way to care for the shimmery tinsel once it was weaved into place. As I watched them converse about style I could only think about the hours upon hours of time that women spend worrying about their clothes, hair, makeup and just their appearance in general.

We have multibillion dollar industries designed to cater to women and their insecurities about the way they dress or look. So much wasted time worrying about our outer appearances when all of this is just a distraction from what is really going on in our souls.

Worrying about what to wear, when to wear it and how to wear does not even register on the radar of worries in the Kingdom of God. But yet it was addressed for us in Mathew 6:28. It tells us to consider the lilies of field…how they grow and how they toil not. They do not worry about a thing, they know God will take care of them. God is not concerned about our fashion choices, he is more concerned about whether his children live with him in eternity.

“Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or in what shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom, and his righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you.” – Mathew 6:31-33


By Tommy Rush

Tuesday while traveling on the Interstate in Texas I watched an amazing sunset. I’ve seen some awesome sunsets in my lifetime but this one might be the most beautiful I’ve ever witnessed. What made it so spectacular was the indescribable color of the sun and the sky as it went down. It seemed as though God was blessing us Tuesday with a display of His glory! It is great to know that somewhere the sun is setting at this very moment and many are seeing a beautiful one given to them by the hand of God.

Tuesday I was driving from Louisiana to Texas the sunset took place right in front of me and it seemed extremely close but it didn’t hurt your eyes to look at it. I was traveling to Dallas to attend a conference called the Celebrate Recovery Summit. This ministry has touched the lives of literally millions of people battling addictions, deep hurts and destructive habits in their lives. It began with a man named John Baker who himself battled alcoholism before finding new life in Christ. John died in February 2021, but the testimony of God’s grace in his life has been a beautiful story to hear. His love for people and families suffering through the pain and wounds of addiction led him to start this Christ-centered ministry of hope over 30 years ago.

Throughout the 3 Day Summit, references were made to the legacy of mercy and grace that John Baker left behind. His love for Jesus and his love for hurting people was evident as people shared testimony after testimony of the hope and freedom they found in Christ through the ministry of Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve thought about the beautiful sunset I saw this week and it’s been a reminder to me that one day the sun will set on every person’s life, including mine. Sunsets can be beautiful or they can be ugly. Sadly, for many people who are beginning to see the sun of their life move slowly but surely toward sunset, their sunset isn’t very beautiful. Some fill their later years with complaining, self-pitying, demanding. Honestly, it’s not very pretty. Others however, like David choose to live the sunset of life being a blessing to God and everyone around them. David wrote in Psalms 71, beginning with verse 17, “since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” What a great prayer for a beautiful sunset to life! I hope you will join with me in praying the same prayer before the sunsets today.

The Glass is Not Even Half Full

By Joe Darby

Allow me to repeat my headline from above. The glass is not even half full. And I don’t see anybody getting ready to pour more water into it. If anything, people are fighting so much that they’ll probably knock the darned glass onto the floor and break it.

Of course you can tell what I’m getting at. The old saying as to whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist is guided by whether you see a glass as half full or half empty. Seeing it as half full means you think things will be alright. Why, we have half a glass of water, don’t we?

If you perceive the glass as half empty, you’re looking on the gloomy side. My gosh, we’ve lost half a glass already. What happened to it?

So, continuing this metaphor, I can say I wish the glass were half full. Indeed, the water level is down and dropping fast, I fear.

I’m talking about the state of the world and most particularly this old beloved country of ours. Last week I wrote about how one can make a good case that God saw to the creation of this nation by causing extraordinary weather conditions that aided George Washington and his Continental Army in battle.

But it may be that the Lord has tired of helping us out, that because of our continued follies He’s just leaving it to us to try to work out our desperate problems. I don’t know.

But in my 80 years of life I have never seen this country so divided, so misguided, so confused. So self-destructive. Our politics have not been so bitter since the 1850s — the years just before the outbreak of the Civil War. I don’t foresee the country breaking out in organized warfare, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us, maybe 10 or more years down the line, splitting into two or more countries. Being very close to turning 80, I’m probably not going to be around to see it. Thank God.

For a nation of some 330 million people, our leadership is non-existent. Out of all those people the best we can come up with is Trump and Biden? One’s a dangerous egomaniac and the other is an incompetent bumbler who tends to keep kowtowing to the extreme left. Compare that to the 1770s when we had a population of 3.5 million. That small group of humanity produced Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton and dozens of others who worked so hard to form the United States.

And the extremes of our political spectrum are getting more extreme all the time. The far left truly hates our nation, the Constitution and all it stands for. They are distorting history to make it fit their version of a myth, that the US is founded on racism and all white people are guilty.

The far right has become incredibly intolerant and, following Trump’s example, often insulting, crude and rude. After the Trumpies attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, I changed my registration from Republican to Independent. I would truly love to see the formation of a good moderate conservative party, devoted to the ideals that we were originally founded upon. But I don’t see that happening. Like I said, there’s not enough water in the glass.

Now, Covid is coming back with a vengeance, which bodes to further split Americans on what restrictions are necessary and which ones should be required. We have all talked about what a horrible year 2020 was. We are still just in July of this year and 2021 may yet turn out to be just as bad.

Well, I hope I haven’t ruined your day, particularly if you woke up in a really good mood this morning. I may be all wrong. Things may turn around. There may be lots more water available for the glass.

But I ain’t counting on it, my friends.

Yvette Landry Trio to perform July 31

The Yvette Landry Trio will perform at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in downtown Natchitoches on Saturday, July 31 at 2 p.m. The performance is part of the 2021 NSU Folklife Concert Series, a series of six Saturday concerts in July and August. The concerts will highlight different folk musical traditions with a 45-minute music set followed by interviews with the musicians and an audience Q&A. Admission is free and open to the general public.

San Antonio, Texas, rock artist Nina Diaz will perform on August 7. Rounding out the series, Blato Zlato (“Swamp Gold” in Bulgarian) will perform Balkan music from New Orleans and Bulgaria on August 14. In addition to the music performances, folk artists will demonstrate and sell traditional crafts on each day of the series.

Landry grew up in Breaux Bridge, not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin. It was in and around that swamp where she learned an appreciation for the music, dance, stories and language of her Cajun culture. After earning a master’s degree in education and developing a successful teaching career, she began telling stories through song. Her debut award-winning album titled “Should Have Known” was released in 2010. (The album was named Offbeat Magazine’s Best Country/Folk Album and Landry “Best Country/Folk Artist”). Over the past several years, Landry has traveled the world and played countless cultural festivals and venues – from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Bluebird Café in Nashville. She toured Russia and served as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the Library of Congress to perform at the Festival of Traditional American Music and graced the stage at both the Library of Congress and John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Support for the NSU Folklife Concert Series is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332, email, or go to

Interview With Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry

Here’s an interview I did last week with the 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry. Hank just accomplished what only three other anglers have ever done in history by winning back-to-back Classics. Today you’ll see from his perspective how this tournament unfolded and allowed him to win once again. Financially, a Classic win is worth $300,000 but the impact it has on an angler’s career is huge. Now let’s here from the man himself…Hank Cherry!

Angler’s Perspective: Hank have you recovered from the Classic and the high temperatures you all experienced at Ray Roberts?

Hank: “The heat was unbearable and just the grind of the Bassmaster Classic getting up at 3:00 in the morning every day takes a toll on you both mentally and physically. Now I’m just trying to figure out what happens next and where do we go from here? At the same time, I’m trying to get the family settled back down and make sure they are taken care of before setting out and completing the 2021 regular Elite Series season.”

Angler’s Perspective: This being your second go round with winning the Classic, you should have a pretty good idea for what lies ahead. Compare last year’s win to this year.

Hank: “Well last year I won this event during the Covid 19 pandemic and this year’s win has already been a lot different. I missed out on several promotional opportunities last year with all the restrictions of Covid 19. But this go round, it looks like I’ll be traveling more and doing more speaking engagements which I really like. I enjoy the interaction with other anglers and the fans. Heck, I might have to hire a travel agent! This year I’m really looking forward to a true victory tour.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Hank, several anglers who many thought would win this event really stumped their toe and struggled. Was it an advantage for you to not have any experience or history on this body of water?

Hank: “I’ve never been a huge practice guy, but this tournament if you knew anything, then you really knew nothing due to the high-water conditions and the lake changing every day. There were bushes that are normally on the water’s edge, that were now 4 feet under water. Also, that late winter freeze they had in this region back in the early spring, really set everything back about a month. So, for this event, you really had to fish the moment and disregard what you might have learned in practice due to the constant changing conditions.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Tell us about day 1 and 2 and what you did to catch a good limit both days.

Hank: “Well the first 2 days I got off to a great start by catching a 6 pounder and 5 pounders early. This really put me in position to fish the way I wanted to by flipping the bushes and throwing a jerk bait along the dam. The problem in this event was the fact that there was an early shad spawn bite up until 8:00 or 8:30. Then it got really tough, and it became a true grind as the bite really slowed down. But I was able to weigh-in a really good bag on day 1 at 20 pounds 4 ounces and 17 pounds 10 ounces on day 2. This was really unexpected but allowed me to get off to a great start one days one and two which set me up to go for the win on day 3.”

Angler’s Perspective: Talk about how tough it was on the final day.

Hank: “The third and final day was really tough, hot and humid. Caught one early on a jig and then I went forever without a bite. Then I caught another fish that was a 4 and 3/4 pounder that was probably the dumbest fish in the lake as I pitched to a bush and the bait ricocheted off the bush 4 feet and the fish swam out and ate the bait and went back to the bush. The turning point for me on the final was when I hung up my jig and broke it off in a bush and I decided to downsize with smaller line and a smaller profile bait which is how I caught my last three fish and finished out my limit. I actually went the last two hours of the tournament without a bite.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank did you know you had won the Classic as you headed in or were you thinking someone probably busted a big bag toady?

Hank: “No, but I knew I had done my best considering the conditions and how tough it seemed. As I got to the weigh-in I heard that my buddy Matt Arey had caught them pretty good, but I also knew after doing the math in my head that someone would have really had to crush them to beat me. The thing about this event was that every guy in the top 5 had lost enough fish to win the Classic including Matt Arey who lost two really good fish that would have sealed the deal for him had he landed those fish. But that’s the nature and unfortunate reality of this sport. You’re going to lose some fish; you just hope it does not cost you the win.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank earlier you talked about feeling good about how you fished this event and that you gave it your best. Have you ever fished a tournament where you did not feel this way?

Hank: “I’m sure there’s been an event or two where I defeated myself mentally. As a former baseball player, there were times when I felt like I was just going through the motions and just didn’t perform at a high level or the level that I expect. It’s not something I make a habit of but there are times when fishing is comparable to any other sport in that the mental approach is just as important as the physical approach.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank, talk about the frame of mind going into the final day as the leader versus being a few pounds back of the leader and having to come from behind.

Hank: “Well, I’ve always said it easier doing the hunting versus being the one hunted. Your approach is totally different in the fact that you don’t have that pressure of trying to close out the tournament. Mentally when you’re chasing someone, you can just go out and fish and swing for the fences so to speak. But when you’re leading and things aren’t going your way on the final day, you start to second guess yourself and what you’re doing. But for me, I pride myself on being a closer and I can’t think of any time when I wasn’t able to close out a tournament when I did have a lead. Winning an event of this level and having won last year, gives you a tremendous amount of confidence knowing that you’ve been there and done it before.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Hank, thank you taking the time to share your incredible victory and I’m looking forward to watching you go for the three-peat in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic that will be held on your home body of water at Lake Hartwell.

Hank: “Hey thanks for having me today and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event. Hopefully I’ll being doing another interview with you!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview and insight with 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry held at Lake Ray Roberts outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. Hank has done an outstanding job of representing the sport over the last year. He’s truly been a great champion and will once again do another awesome job of promoting the sport. Till next time, good luck and good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Opportunity: School Secretary

JOB VACANCIES: School Secretary

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent
communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule


Linda Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, and two letters of reference.

St. Mary’s Youth Football Camp

Sharpen your football skills before the 2021 season at the Tiger Football Camp July 26-28 from 9-11:30 am at the St. Mary’s Football Field. This camp is for students in grades K-8. The cost is $75 per student. To receive a registration form email Coach Aaron York at Registration and payment will be accepted up until the first day of the camp.

Come prepared for the camp wearing cleats/tennis shoes, a t-shirt and gym shorts and bring a water bottle, a good attitude, and great effort.

For more information contact Coach York at 850-774-2903.

Demons relish feeling of normalcy at SLC Media Day

HOUSTON – Milling around the Hilton Post Oak Hotel at The Galleria on Thursday morning made things feel a bit normal for three members of the Northwestern State football team.

As coach Brad Laird, wide receiver Gavin Landry and safety P.J. Herrington handled their responsibilities at Southland Conference Football Media Day, there was a feeling of the way things were ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I did the Zoom version last summer, and it was a weird feeling,” said Landry, who is back for his sixth season at Northwestern State. “To have the opportunity to be here today and represent Northwestern State University is something I’m excited about. It brings a sense of normalcy.

“To feel like football is in the air in general, but to have something like this kick it off and talk about football and expectations and to see other players around the conference, it’s something we’re excited about and excited to be a part of.”

Both Laird and Herrington echoed Landry’s sentiments about the normalcy permeating the hotel on Houston’s southwest side.

And while the Demons expect to play a “normal” 11-game season this fall, each of the three NSU representatives found positives in the six-game spring 2021 season that concluded April 10 with a thrilling two-point, walk-off win at Incarnate Word on April 10.

“Anytime you go through the spring, you’re competing against yourself,” Laird said. “Those 15 days are Northwestern State vs. Northwestern State. Let’s look at the positive. We had nine weeks this spring to compete against six different teams. We learned a lot about who we are. That will benefit us as we move forward.”

The spring served a greater good for the individuals who donned the Purple and White in game action as well.

Herrington used the six-game spring season to acclimate himself to Division I football after two seasons of high-level play at East Mississippi Community College.

“This spring was good for me to get into the playbook, since I came in and played right away,” he said. “We learned to play with each other and to build a bond with each other. Now that we’re back, I feel like our bond is stronger. We play for each other. We care about each other. It’s a brotherhood now. It’s bigger than football.”

Landry, who suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the 2019 season, was grateful for the spring season allowing him “ultimately, to get back to myself.”

Ahead of Thursday’s media activities, which included a live question-and-answer segment on ESPN+ and additional media opportunities, the Demons were chosen fifth in the annual Southland Conference preseason poll, voted on by league coaches and sports information directors.

None of the Demons, who open the season Sept. 4 at North Texas, were concerned with the opinions of the voters.

“Preseason polls are preseason polls – based off last year,” Laird said. “We’re not going to finish where we did last year. That’s up to us as coaches and players to change that.”

Added Herrington: “We really don’t pay attention to it. People are going to say what they’re going to say. We know who we are. We have to turn the Ls to Ws. We know what we can do, and that’s all that matters.”

Landry found additional motivation in the Hilton lobby, leading into the ballrooms that hosted Thursday’s events – a piece of hardware he shared with his NSU teammates.

“I sent a picture of the Southland Conference championship trophy to our team GroupMe and said we need it,” he said. “We’re excited about it. Guys are committed and expect to win. We look forward to proving everyone who put us down there wrong. We’ve got a great group that we’re excited about going to battle with this fall.”

2021 Southland Conference Football Preseason Poll

Team (First-place votes) Total
Southeastern (8) 48
Nicholls (4) 43
UIW 32
McNeese 26
Northwestern State 21
Houston Baptist 10

BOM Welcomes Dustin Dauzat

BOM Bank would like to welcome Dustin Dauzat as Branch Manager and Loan Officer of our University Branch location. Dustin has over 10 years banking experience and is a member of the Louisiana Bankers Association Leadership School. Dustin and his wife, Gretchen, have been married for 10 years. They have four children: Elise, Luke, Owen, and Andrew. They are members of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Natchitoches. He is also an Ambassador with the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching sports, and volunteering at his church. Welcome, Dustin!

Notice of Death – July 22, 2021

Mae Belle Bynog Troquille
April 10, 1938 – July 19, 2021
Her wishes were to be cremated and a committal service after cremation will be scheduled at a later date in Gorum Cemetery in Gorum

Alice Lovick
July 21, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Bennie Mitchell
July 13, 1969 – July 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, July 24 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Sam Telsee
July 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Cynthia D. French
May 15, 1958 – July 05, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Obie Travis Stewart Sr.
April 19, 1935 – July 21, 2021
Service: Friday, July 23 at 1 pm at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church

Steven Touchton Glassco
July 23, 1985 – July 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, July 24 at 10 AM at Belmont Cemetery

Smith makes deal with DA, pleads guilty to infant’s death, sentencing hearing set for October

State of Louisiana


Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith


State of Louisiana
Billy Joe Harrington, District Attorney
Cliff Strider, Special Prosecutor

Elliott Brown, Defense Attorney
Christine Lehmann, Defense Attorney
Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, Defendant

Accused murderer Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith pleaded guilty to the burning death of 6-month old Levi Ellerbe on July 21 at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse. There were lengthy negotiations between Smith’s lawyers and District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington until a “case termination agreement” was reached.

In August of 2018, Smith was indicted on the charge of first degree murder of the child which carries a life-without-parole sentence if convicted. At the hearing, the prosecution announced that the State and Smith reached a plea agreement.  In a new Bill of Information, the State amended the charge from first degree murder clearing the way for  Smith to plead guilty to three reduced charges: Manslaughter, maximum sentence of 40 years; Criminal Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, maximum sentence of 30 years; and Cruelty to Juveniles, maximum sentence of 10 years. These will be served consecutively and without probation or suspension of sentence for a total of 80 uninterrupted years at hard labor.

This deal is conditional upon Smith’s testimony and her cooperation in the case against her co-defendant, the child’s mother. Hannah Barker’s trial begins Sept. 27.

Smith admitted her guilt and agreed with the State’s claim that Hannah Barker “recruited and manipulated” her.  Official sentencing hearing and victim impact statements are scheduled for October 27, 2021.

Trial date set for Felicia Smith in the death of baby Levi

Trial date set for tragic baby burning case: Smith pleads not guilty

Amended bill of indictment brings Hannah Barker up on additional charge of conspiracy to commit murder

Jury for Hannah Barker trial will come from St. Landry Parish

Grand Ecore bridge will be reduced to ONE Lane on July 22

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) advises motorists that on Thursday, July 22, 2021 between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, the LA 6 bridge over the Red River (Grand Ecore Bridge) will be reduced to one lane for emergency guardrail repairs.

This bridge is located 2.3 miles north of the LA 6/LA 3175 intersection in Natchitoches Parish.

Permit/Detour section:

No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times.

Safety Reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information:

Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at Additionally, you can follow the Traffic Management Center on Twitter: (@Alex Traffic).

Utility work will cause lane closures on July 27 on University Parkway

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) advises motorists that beginning on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, there will be lane closures on LA 6 Business (University Parkway) in the City of Natchitoches.

These lane closures are scheduled to begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on July 27th and reopen at approximately 5:00 p.m. on July 28th.

These lane closures are necessary to allow for utility work, and will require a detour for thru traffic. Detour information is as follows:

Permit/Detour section:

1) West Bound Lane Between Behan Street & MLK Drive
Detour North onto Caspari Street and proceed West onto Bossier Street and proceed South onto MLK Drive and back to LA 6 Business (University Parkway)

2) West Bound Lane Between 2nd Street & Boyd Street
Detour North onto 2nd Street and proceed West onto Bossier Street and proceed South onto Boyd Street and back to LA 6 Business (University Parkway)

3) Detour for Large Trucks for these Lane Closures with Detours
a) Large Trucks heading North Bound on LA 1 must take the LA 1 Bypass to LA 6 Business intersection
b) Large Trucks heading South Bound on Jefferson Street must take LA 1223 (Mills Street) to LA 1 then proceed to LA 1 Bypass to intersection of LA 1 and LA 6

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.

Safety Reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.

Additional information:

Call 511, visit, or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Out-of-state travelers may call I-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

Opportunity: School Secretary

JOB VACANCIES: School Secretary

QUALIFICATIONS: High School Diploma or equivalent, Associate or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, excellent
communication skills, and proficiency in computer skills.

SALARY: According to Parish Salary Schedule


Linda Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 3:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, and two letters of reference.

NSU Calendar for July 25-31

Here is a look at the week of July 25-31 at Northwestern State University.

July 1 – August 27 — Hotter ‘N Hell National Collegiate Art Exhibition, Orville Hanchey Art Gallery
July 25-31 – Registration for fall semester
July 26-30 – Virtual NSU STEAM + ACT Prep Camp, junior high students, 8 a.m.-noon, high school students 1-5 p.m.
July 31 – The Yvette Landry Trio as part of the NSU Folklife Concert Series, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, 800 Front Street, Natchitoches, 2 p.m.


Politically Correct versus Biblically Correct: The issue for a new generation

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

Many of us probably remember the story of the Trojan Horse from our school lessons. According to the story, the citizens of the city of Troy accepted the gift of a large wooden horse from the Greeks. But inside the horse Greek soldiers were hiding. Once inside, these soldiers opened the gates and let in the Greek army, capturing Troy. Hence, the words Trojan Horse have come to symbolize anything that seems good at first, but later on brings harm. Political Correctness is a Trojan Horse. In the beginning it seemed like a good thing to reward sensitive human behavior and punish racist, sexist or insensitive behavior or attitudes. But over time, that has morphed into a moral and social value system that persecutes and even denies freedom to some. In fact, in many cases, political correctness actually punishes people for having values or beliefs that conflict with popular ones. This is particularly true when it comes to religious beliefs. Christians in particular have many such conflicts. What follows is a partial list of examples of some of the major conflicts. It helps to understand that we Christians are called to obey the Holy Bible. It is the moral standard for all believers. This means the priority for believers is to follow, not what is politically correct, but rather to obey what is biblically correct. The challenge however, is this often means following God even at those times when worldly values conflict with Christians ideals (Acts 5:29). In short, Christians must place the priority on what is biblically correct, not on what is politically correct, regardless of the consequences. Read on to see what I mean:

It is politically correct to say a woman has the right to choose. Meaning a woman has a right to decide if she has an abortion because it is her body and she is in charge of it. The Pro-Choice Movement trumpets this.

In sharp contrast, according to the Holy Bible, it is biblically correct to believe that everyone who becomes a Christian gives up control of their body after becoming a Christian. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “You are not your own, you were bought with a price.” The believer believes his or her body belongs not to self, but to Jesus Christ and so Christ decides what happens to it.

It is politically correct to celebrate gay life styles. We are now seeing gay pride festivals sponsored by major corporations and applauded in media and promoted by Hollywood stars. But read the Holy Bible and you will see it is biblically correct to recognize homosexuality as behavior, not an identity, and to believe that God did not make people gay. In fact, the Bible bluntly says it a sin in both Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, in The Book of Leviticus 18:22 God said,” Man shall not have sex with a man. In the New Testament, Romans Chapter 1 also says homosexuality is a sin. So, does 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 which warns of the eternal consequences. Verse 11 reminds us that it is necessary to repent and quit practicing a sin in order to get forgiveness and enter heaven. As for the new Gay Pride celebrations, the Bible says that pride is a sin as well (Proverbs 16:18). Most relevant of all for Christians, is the fact that it is God himself who has called homosexuality a sin. Sin is evil. And Scripture also says, “Woe to those who call evil good” (Isaiah 5:2)). How then can any Christian celebrate a sin by attending a gay pride parade, gay wedding, or by endorsing gay lifestyles in any way or by downplaying homosexuality?

It is politically correct for men and women to live together before getting married. Some corporations even proudly offer domestic partner benefits. But if you are Christian and the Bible is your standard, it is biblically correct to view sex as being for marriage only and to believe sex before marriage as a sin. It is the sin of “fornication” (1 Corinthians, Chapter 6).

It is politically correct to keep your faith to yourself. The Bible says it is biblically correct to share your faith so that those who do not believe in Jesus will one day accept him as savior and Lord of their lives and be able to go to heaven (Matthew 28:19-20). We Christians do not want anyone to go to hell. It is why we even pray for those who hate us.

It is politically correct to keep controversial Christian beliefs to yourself. People are afraid of the backlash from sharing unpopular views. Not long ago, the CEO of Chic Fil A Restaurants was soundly criticized for saying in an interview that he was not for gay marriage. Should have been his right. But some cities went so far as to threaten to ban Chic Fil A Restaurants. Over the top oppression has intimidated many who claim Christ. But Jesus warned us that it would be this way. He said that the world would hate us because we are Christians because he are his (John 15:19). The Bible also tells us that we Christians are assured that every one of us will be persecuted at some point in some way (2 Timothy 3:12). The intimidation is meant to make Christians ashamed of Christ, silence us and stop the teaching and spread of the full gospel. Sometimes even pastors and Sunday School teachers avoid teaching controversial doctrine such as the Bible’s complete teachings on morality—particularly sexual immorality. The problem is, this leaves their congregations at the mercy of a world that is determined to brainwash them into accepting immoral concepts. Even small children are targets. For example, recently I found a children’s book titled “My Two Moms”. On the other hand, it is biblically correct to be faithful and not deny Christ and not be ashamed of him or Bible teachings, no matter how unpopular they are. Jesus taught us that if we will suffer with him, we will be rewarded with him (2 Timothy 2:12). The ultimate goal is salvation. In the long run, the faithful are blessed with eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10).

Why is there such a conflict between what the Bible says and so much of what political correctness promotes? Simple. Humans have an enemy: Satan. He has always sought to lure God’s people away from obeying him. Satan hates humans and wants all humans to be damned eternally to hell. He knows one sure way to make this happen is get people to disobey and reject God and his commands so God will then remove his arms of protection from them and they will pay the price for sin: death—-an eternity in hell (Romans 6:23). He has done this from the beginning of the world. God gave Adam and Eve only one command and warned them if they broke it, they would die (Genesis 2:15-17). Satan schemed to get them to break this one little command by telling them they did not have to obey God. Like a slick salesman, he used tricky words and told them what they wanted to hear. It worked. This brought sin, pain, suffering, hate and death into the world. He is still dreaming up new, creative ways to-tell people they can ignore God’s moral standards.

But why is Political Correctness able to effectively intimidate Christians even when it is in clear conflict with the Bible? Three reasons: 1) We all want to fit in. Violating society’s social norms brings consequences: people can lose jobs, friends, social acceptance and even lose their lives. We humans want to live like those around us. One reason Ancient Israel kept getting into trouble with God is that they imitated the pagan cultures around them, even though God warned them over and over not to. They did not want to stand out. But God wanted them to be different from the wild cultures that practiced evil moral concepts. The Bible even tells us he wanted them to be a “peculiar” people. 2) Many people who claim to be Christians do not read their Bibles so they have very little biblical knowledge. For instance, in 2012 Christianity Today released a study that showed only 20% of churchgoers read the Bible daily. This means Satan and his false prophets can distort The Bible and mislead people weak in biblical knowledge. In Matthew, Chapter 4, there is an encounter where Satan even tried to distort the Bible to fool Jesus himself. But it did not work because Jesus is the Word of God. It shows that reading the Bible is a form of protection. 3)We do not love God enough to obey him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” Love does not merely involve hugs and kisses and warm feelings. It requires sacrifice and obedience. Abraham loved God so much, when God asked him to kill his only son as a sacrifice, he was willing to do it. God blessed him for his faithfulness and did not require him to kill the boy. When we love others, we will be willing to sacrifice for them. Many moms would go hungry in order to feed their children. It is no different with God. He wants us, like Abraham to put ourselves aside and put him first on the priority list and then put other people second on it (Matthew 22:35-40). In 1 John 2:4, it says, “Whoever says, “I know him” but does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.” That said, why would we give up our preferences for what God asks? Only love would enable us to. The Bible teaches that anything we place above God is an idol (Exodus 20). God is the only morally perfect being. So only he should decide what is moral. No other moral system should replace his.
Yet, the parade that is Political Correctness rolls on by. People are merrily joining the parade. People in this parade are celebrating all kinds of” perceived” freedoms, which are mostly just sins dressed up to look like rights. Will these so-called freedoms free them from God’s authority? No. God is always in control and his will is going to be done. In the end, being away from God is not really freedom. As Pastor Andy Stanley preached, sometimes freedom is a trap. That is because all good things come from God (James 1:17). We need him. Freedom that causes us to disobey God, leads to separation from him–this is also known as hell. Those of us who choose to obey God and not join this parade can expect to be mocked or worse. But when a believer sticks with God, God sticks by the believer. And that is definitely biblically correct (Romans 8:31).

Righteousness exalts a people. But sin is a reproach to any people. –Proverbs 14:34

So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.—James 4:4, Second part of verse, Holman Bible

If God is for us, who can be against us? –Romans 8:31