Parish Council stalemates on a vote to fill vacant District 2 seat, Governor will appoint

The Parish Council held a special called meeting on June 24 to approve a proclamation appointing a qualified candidate to District 2 of the Parish Council to fill the vacancy due to the resignation of Councilwoman Patsy Ward Hoover.

There was a conflict of scheduling with Evans so Council members were given the opportunity to call and speak with him before the meeting.

Scott is a Natchitoches native, who has worked for Alliance and Weyerhaeuser in the past. He’s currently a deacon at North Street Baptist Church and has been involved in the community all his life.

Layton has lived in Natchitoches since 1980. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and theology. She described herself as a quick learner with the heart of a servant, who desires better for her community.

Reaching a stalemate, Kilcoyne and Salter voted for Layton while Paige and Cheatwood voted for Scott.

The Governor will be notified to appoint someone to fill the position.


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Stacy named dean of the College of Business and Technology

Dr. Mary Edith Stacy has been named dean of the College of Business and Technology at Northwestern State University. Her appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Stacy has been interim dean since October 2021.

“I look forward to continuing to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders to advance the College of Business and Technology,” said Stacy. “Among my priorities will be attract and retain strong students and working closely with business and industry to make certain our programs are preparing our graduates for the workforce.”

The College of Business and Technology includes bachelor of science programs in accounting, business administration with concentrations in business analytics, e-sports management, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management and marketing. The College also includes bachelor of science programs in computer information systems with concentrations in application development, core programming, cyber security, networking and system management, web development and hospitality management and tourism with concentrations in culinary arts, hospitality services, travel and tourism. The College of Business and Technology offers a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems.

“Dr. Stacy brings a wealth of experience and perspective to the role of Dean,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. “She understands student engagement, faculty development, and has perspectives and connections to Business and Industry that will help expand our advisory councils. We are excited for her to continue to our work with public and private partnerships, and look forward to the development of new international connections.”

Stacy has been a member of the staff and faculty at Northwestern State since 1992. She has worked in the Office of Financial Aid as coordinator of university scholarships from 1992 to 1998 and as director of auxiliary services from 1998 until 2003.

From 2003 to 2011, she was director of enrollment management where she was responsible for NSU’s student recruitment and retention plan and future enrollment forecasting. Under her leadership, the university had a record enrollment and made a successful transition to selective admissions which strengthened the institution.

Since 2011, Stacy has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and School of Business. In the School of Business, she has taught classes in business statistics and operations management to an average of 120 students per semester. Stacy has designed assessments to demonstrate a student’s knowledge of real-world business problems and finding solutions through problem solving techniques.

Stacy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Northwestern State and a doctorate at Louisiana State University.

As a faculty member, Stacy has made numerous presentations to state, national and international professional conferences often collaborating with colleagues at Northwestern State.


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The 2022 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Welcome Reception Starts the Fun!

Several hundred sports enthusiasts and area residents enjoyed the opportunity to meet the inductees into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at the welcome reception for the LSHOF’s 2022 class held Thursday, June 23. The event, a fun local tradition, was free and open to the public and was an excellent opportunity to meet some of our state’s sports legends. The NSU Men’s basketball team was on hand to greet the arriving guests. Members of NSU’s Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha chapters were also on hand to volunteer as were volunteers from the LSHOF Foundation Board and FLASH. The induction events are a true community effort.

The official portraits of each inductee were on display for the first time to the general public. Each portrait shows the inductee in the context of his or her sport and is a tradition of the Hall of Fame. In addition, a silent auction of donated items and sports memorabilia helped raise funds for the organization. This year’s reception featured a special treat. Billy Cannon’s 1959 Heisman Trophy is on loan to the LSHOF and will soon be joined by Louisiana’s three other Heisman winners: John David Crow (1957), Joe Burrow (2019) and DeVonta Smith (2020).

The festivities are far from finished. Friday will feature a concert along the riverbank complete with signature Natchitoches quality fireworks show. Saturday morning will feature the Junior Training Camp on the NSU campus in which young people will be able to test their abilities, win prizes and learn what it takes to succeed on-and off-the playing field. The weekend will culminate at the induction dinner Saturday evening at the Natchitoches Events Center.


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Few Folks Remember the Ones Who Followed the Leaders

By Joe Darby

It’s human nature, I suppose, to remember those of our species who achieve significant firsts. Theirs is lasting fame, usually.

But what about the poor guy or gal who accomplished the same difficult task, but were merely the second to do it. We all know Christopher Columbus. But who remembers the explorer who was the second person to lead an expedition to the New World? Most remember Charles Lindbergh’s solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Who made the second such flight? Even with our current abysmal knowledge of history, most can name George Washington as the first US president. Poor John Adams would not be named by many as the second chief executive.

So I want to bring to your attention a man who, except for a matter of less than three months, would be one of the most famous American athletes of all time. But few, except for real baseball history buffs, have heard of the fellow.

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball (except for a couple of young men who did it in the 1880s for a very brief time), Jackie broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. He was a great player and a great person.

His accomplishments are justly renowned. He put up with horrific verbal abuse from fans and opposing players alike and even had problems with some of his own teammates. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. On Jackie Robinson Day each year, all MLB players wear jerseys with Jackie’s retired number, 42. He deserves all the recognition he has gotten.

But, I ask, what about Larry Doby, a black man who started playing with the Cleveland Indians on July 4, 1947, just 81 days after Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers. Doby did achieve a first of his own. He was the first African American to play in the American League. Brooklyn, now the Los Angeles Dodgers, was in the National League.

Larry was also a darned good ball player and a tough, resilient guy. He had to be, because he received the same type of abuse that Robinson had suffered. But how many people know that? Doby was born in Camden, S.C., in 1923 and began playing baseball for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues in 1943. When Cleveland owner Bill Veeck brought him up to the American League in 1947, he didn’t get off to as good of a start as Robinson did in Brooklyn that year.

But he returned in 1948 and helped lead the Indians to a World Series title that year, batting .301 with 14 home runs. He was still a star in 1954, when he hit .272 with 32 homers and 126 runs batted in. Even if his is not a household name, he was recognized by the sport and was belatedly voted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, just three years before he passed away.

So, what did he have to say for himself?

“Part of history? I have no ideas about that. I just want to play baseball.”

“The only difference was that Jackie Robinson got all of the publicity. You didn’t hear much about what I was going through because the media didn’t want to repeat the same story.”

I had a Larry Doby baseball card about 70 years ago. I sure wish I still had it. But I remember Larry. And it would be nice if lots more folks did, too.


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NPSO DEPUTY FINDS SUITCASE ON I-49 NEAR NATCHITOCHES; TAKES EXTRA STEPS TO FIND OWNER

(Natchitoches)-Little did a family from Henderson, Texas know that while traveling on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish to Florida on vacation and dropping off their daughter in south Louisiana for water skiing classes they would lose their daughter’s most important things, her suitcase, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday, June 13, Deputy Benji Phelps was patrolling on Interstate 49 near milepost #139 north of Natchitoches when he observed a large suitcase lying in the road.

Deputy Phelps stopped, took precautions and retrieved the suitcase from the roadway placing it in his unit.

Deputy Phelps would later check the contents of the suitcase finding clothes, cash, other essential items and a medicine bottle.

The medicine bottle contained a patient’s name and pharmacy in Henderson, Texas.

Deputy Phelps contacted the pharmacy and spoke with the pharmacist who was familiar with the family.

The pharmacist agreed to assist and contacted the family asking them to call Deputy Phelps.

The father called, Deputy Phelps asked if they had lost a suitcase in which he responded “they lost his daughter’s suitcase while they were traveling from Texas somewhere and they were in the process of purchasing and replacing all of her lost items in south Louisiana”.

They needed to replace the items because she was excited to attend the week long skiing class in Zachary, La.

The remaining family would continue to Florida for vacation while the daughter attended the class.

Deputy Phelps informed the father that he found the suitcase on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish, that everything appeared to be in order inside it and that he would be glad to return it to them on their return trip.

This past Saturday, June 18, Deputy Phelps and the family made arrangements to meet at French Market Express off of I-49 to return the suitcase to the family.

The suitcase was returned to the happy juvenile female, and she and her family continued their trip home to Texas.

Thank you Deputy Phelps for a job well done. Thank you for caring, and taking the extra steps to return the suitcase to the Rains family of Henderson, Texas.

The father said the suitcase apparently flew out of the bed of the their pickup truck without them knowing it.

Good luck Jolee, we wish you well.

Deputy Phelps is assigned to the NPSO Warrants/Transportation Division.

NPSO – Press Release


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Get Wild(life) at the Library

The Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) will be welcoming back Animology as part of this year’s Summer Reading Program (SRP), “Oceans of Possibilities!” You never know what creatures you might meet at this educational wildlife program. The performance at the Northeast Branch in Campti will take place on Wednesday, June 29 at 2 PM. Performances in Natchitoches will be on Thursday, June 30, on the Riverbank Stage at 10 AM and 6 PM, and at the Main Branch at 2 PM.

You won’t want to miss this interactive and Informative learning experience, where you will hear all about the various animals’ natural habitats and habits!

To register for SRP online, text SUMMER to 318-357-3280. Weekly programs for teens and adults will be offered in addition to the children’s performances. SRP participants can read to earn prizes and entries for grand prize drawings for their age group through July 31.


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PODCAST: Louie Bernard discusses his decision to not seek re-election

Senator Louie Bernard talks about his recent vote on the concealed carry weapons issue and his decision to not seek re-election in 2023. Senator Bernard talks about the challenges of public service on one’s family and the difficulty of being elected to public service in such turbulent political times. Louie also explains his passion for election workers and the challenges recent attacks on election integrity have on our democracy.


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Key Moments in Bass Fishing History – Part III

By Steve Graf

Now let’s take a look at the impact of the 1980’s and 90’s, just to see how big bass fishing has become. Ray Scott (who passed away this past May) was the man who had the greatest impact and should be given the credit for everything professional bass anglers have today. Ray, from the very beginning, had a vision and wanted the sport to be on the same level as professional baseball or golf. He wanted anglers to have a career and be able to make a living while providing for their families. It was during the 80’s and 90’s that the sport of bass fishing progressed the most.

In 1980, an Oklahoma boy by the name of Jimmy Houston kissed his first bass and, according to his wife Chris, she got used to smelly kisses from that point on. Jimmy, of course, became a household name with his successful fishing career and the TV host of “Jimmy Houston Outdoors,” still airing today as one of the longest running outdoors TV programs ever. But in 1985, there was a shakeup at the top of which was America’s favorite fish to pursue. After a national survey by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, it was determined that the largemouth bass was now the most popular fish to catch, dropping panfish to number two.

In 1987, working from his garage, Herb Reed created a new bass lure that took the fishing world by storm and created a whole new category for soft plastic stick baits with his creation of the Slug-Go. This was the first of its kind and would later be followed by another bait that just might be the greatest bass lure of all time…the Senko. This one was created from the mold of a Bic Pen by the legendary Gary Yamamoto. This bait has many tournament wins to name. It’s a bait that when professional anglers are asked if they could take a bait from today and go back in time, what bait would it be? Ninety five percent will say a Senko. This versatile bait catches fish all year long, in all types of conditions, and has become a staple for all serious bass fishermen.

Moving into the 90’s, Berkley Bait Company introduces the “Power Worm” with a built in scent that fish will bite and won’t let go. The success of their scented worm encouraged other companies to do the same. It’s also a time when scent became all the rage that some thought, and still think today, is a key to catching fish. Some anglers think it’s a hoax and others believe it really works and won’t fish without adding it to their baits in some form or another. One day I asked Michigan’s Kevin Van Dam, who many consider the greatest angler of all time, if he thinks scents work. He told me, “It doesn’t matter what others think, do you believe it works?” I told him “Yes” and he said, “Then that‘s all that matters. Anglers should always fish with confidence and with things they believe in. This is what makes an angler great….confidence.”

In 1992, Arkansas’s Larry Nixon, the greatest worm fisherman ever, became the first pro angler to earn over $1 million in B.A.S.S. events. To compare, Kevin Van Dam has won over $6 million since the late 1990’s. The closest angler to Kevin is California’s Skeet Reece who is #2 on the “All Time Money List” at a little over $3 million in winnings.

Next week, we’ll look at how the TV cable station, ESPN, changed the landscape of professional bass fishing forever. This one move to primetime TV changed the lives of professional anglers forever and exposed Americans to the sport in a way never seen before. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf – Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
& Tackle Talk Live


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Sorority Awards Scholarships

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Mu Omega Zeta Chapter awarded scholarships to two high school seniors on June 9. The scholarship committee met the recipients on the Fleur-de-Lis stage in downtown Natchitoches to present the awards. The scholarship awardees were required to have maintained a 2.5 GPA and wrote a 500-word essay on “The Importance of Education and What It Means to Me.” Recipients of this year’s scholarships are Jared Braxton, Ariyonna Sarpy, Aky’a Chatman, and Zoie Britt.

Jared is the son of Kenny and Catherine Braxton, a member of Mu Omega Zeta, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. He is a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School and plans to attend the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. His high school activities include Football, Powerlifting, Track, Teacher Assistant, and Upward Bound.

Ariyonna is the daughter of Eric and Tonya Sarpy and a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School. She plans to attend Northwestern State University. Her high school activities included Maroon Line, Orchestra, and Soccer.

Aky’a is the daughter of Matthew and Tamala Chatman and is a graduate of Lakeview High School. She plans to attend the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. In high school, she was a Cheerleader, a member of 4-H, National Honor Society, BETA Club, and the Youth Volunteer Corp.

Zoie is the daughter of Titus and Cheryl Britt and is also a graduate of Lakeview High School. She plans to attend North Carolina A&T. Her activities in high school included National Honor Society, Youth Volunteer Corp, JROTC, 4-H, BETA Club, Powerlifting, Track and Field, and Basketball Manager.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was organized at Howard University on January 16, 1920, by five ladies affectionately known as “The Five Pearls”, who chose not to embrace the tenets of established sororities and chartered Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated to encourage the highest standards of scholarship through scientific, literary, cultural and educational programs; promote service projects on college campuses and in the community, foster sisterhood and exemplify the ideal of Finer Womanhood. The founding principles are: Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood, and Finer Womanhood.

Pictured above: Zeta Phi Beta member and Jared’s mother, Catherine Braxton, President Josephine Winder, Jared Braxton, Ariyonna Sarpy, and Vice President and Scholarship Committee Chairperson Candance Grayson.

Pictured below: Mu Omega Zeta President Josephine Winder, Aky’a Chatman, Zoie Britt, Vice President and Scholarship Committee Chairperson Candance Grayson, and 2nd Vice President Sandra Williams.


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OPPORTUNITY: Chief Financial Officer

OPPORTUNITY: Chief Financial Officer

Outpatient Medical Center (Natchitoches Headquarters) is looking for a fulltime CFO to join our leadership team and report to our CEO and Board of Directors. The CFO is responsible for fulfilling all financial and collections priorities/requirements of the organization and to effectively manage and direct assigned staff. Must be willing to join a new leadership team and continue improvements initiated over the past two years – necessary to rebuild an organization once seriously threatened financially.
A successful candidate will not only be knowledgeable but also an excellent communicator with the ability to clearly explain fiscal and budgetary matters to executives and policy-makers.

Must be exceptionally organized, assure accuracy of reports and tasks, and meet deadlines in a proactive manner. A successful candidate will have a record of highly responsible CFO experience in a healthcare setting, managing and accounting for multiple grants and revenue sources. OMC will also consider progressively responsible candidates who have extensive FQHC experience with audits, budgeting, management reports, accounting, billing, and supervision.

Resumes are being accepted by email to hr@outpatientmedical.org. Confidential inquires may be made to the CEO, Dr. Mark Guidry, at 318-357-2055.


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OPPORTUNITY: Finance Department Controller

POSITION: Controller – Finance Department

DESCRIPTION: Performs a variety of routine and complex clerical and administrative skills in the Finance Department. Responsible for supervising all functions of the payroll department, all functions of the accounts payable department, including monthly sales tax, balancing cash, invoice processing, airport credit card report, monthly sales tax and 1099’s. Train other employees in the Finance Department. Assists in monthly, quarterly and year end reports. Monitors and performs the daily operations in relation to various employee benefits offered including health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, retirement and other benefits offered to employees.

Sets up new vendors and account codes in the GMBA system.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful applicant shall have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in accounting or related field or 4 years of experience in municipal accounting and finance work.

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 until position is filled.

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.


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Remote feral hog trapping offers possibilities

The frightening commentary about feral hogs around much of the country today is this – if you don’t have hogs on your property now, just wait; they’re coming.

So, what is the problem with having feral hogs on your property? Aren’t they just another species of wildlife that have a right to compete for living spaces? Not exactly – wild pigs not only can but do horrific damage to the landscape, rooting up food plots and fouling water sources.

They’re worse than that. Feral pigs also are disease carriers of up to 37 parasites with at least 30 diseases that can be transmitted to people, pets, or wildlife. The case is thusly made that wild pigs need to be eradicated or their numbers reduced.

But how do you go about that? You can try to shoot them but when harassed just a bit, they become as wary as deer and start doing their damage under the cover of darkness.

Trapping efforts thus far have only a margin of success as when some are caught, the others become wary of traps. In wide open spaces like south Texas where they present a serious problem, hiring a team of shooters firing from helicopters has been somewhat successful.

The use of poisoned bait will take out hogs, but more species than pigs are attracted to the bait. Surely there must be some method that has promise of working.

According to Union Parish resident Peyton McKinnie, there is a way that can put a damper on feral hogs, but it only works in one area at a time, unless the general public gets behind the effort and coughs up the dollars necessary to get it done.

“Feral pigs began showing up on our hunting club over the past few years,” said McKinnie. “We did some research and learned that there are an estimated 700,000 feral hogs in Louisiana. We felt we had to try and do something about those in our area.”

Contacting a company headquartered in Sterlington, he and some of his hunting club members invested in a product manufactured by Hog Boss, a system that utilizes a pen and gate that can be triggered remotely when hogs enter the pen.

“You can purchase the whole package for around $4,000 but if you build your own pen with panels that can be purchased at several area businesses along with t-posts, you can purchase the gate from Hog Boss that includes a control system with a remote camera that can be activated by a cellular phone,” added McKinnie. “We built our own pens and purchased the gate and control system for about $1,300.”

Does it work? Consider that since deer season ended this year, McKinnie and his friends have trapped and disposed of 145 feral pigs, and they trapped these on just two hunting clubs in Union Parish, plus another area they had permission to trap.

In a statement on the Hog Boss website (hogbossgates.com) the owners said, “In just a few nights, feral swine can decimate lawns, native habitats, and pasture lands. Common feral swine damage includes rooting, wallowing, and trampling of sensitive vegetation totaling an estimated $1.5 billion in damage annually.

“Hog Boss gates are the most effective cellular-controlled hog trapping system on the market. The gate includes a cellular control unit, long range antenna, and solar panel. It requires cellular activation that can be operated for about $100 a year. The gate requires a 12-volt battery and cellular trail camera, and our system will work with any cellular trail camera.”

We inquired of McKinnie as to what happens to the pigs that are trapped.

“All the meat is donated, and we have had no problem finding individuals or groups who are happy to make use of the meat,” he said. “We have been pleased with the way it has worked for us and encourage any group to invest in the system to help in reducing the numbers of these

destructive animals.”

For more information, contact Hog Boss Gates at 800-726-9930 or email hogbossgates@gmail.com.


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Notice of Death – June 23, 2022

NATCHITOCHES:
Rodney D. Vinzant Sr.
June 25, 1958 – June 22, 2022
Service: Friday, June 24 at 10 am at The Pentecostals of Cloutierville

Isabel Sylvie Delphin Arceneaux
May 7, 1927 – June 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, June 25 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Iberville

Virginia Lou “Gingie” Trieschmann Pierson
February 6, 1922 – June 16, 2022
Service: Saturday, June 25 at 1 at First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches

SABINE:
Doyle Jennings
May 26, 1938 – June 21, 2022
Service: Saturday, June 25 at 2 pm at Jennings Chapel Congregational Methodist Church in Marthaville

Winnie Ebarb Webb
April 4, 1921 – June 21, 2022
Service: Monday, June 27 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

WINN:
Larry E. “Eddie” Bridges
July 30, 1945 – June 23, 2022
Service: Saturday, June 25 at 10 am at the Temple Baptist Church in Jena


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Temperatures in Natchitoches hit 100 degrees

With temperatures in Natchitoches reaching 100 degrees on June 22, the heat will persist through the rest of this week into the weekend with maximum temperatures forecast to reach or surpass the 100-degree mark on multiple days.

A Heat Advisory is in effect today, June 23, from 11 AM to 7 PM. Additional Heat Advisories will be possible. Precautions should be taken to avoid heat related illnesses.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.
Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.


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School Board President Reba Phelps to seek reelection to Natchitoches Parish School Board

It is with much prayer and self-reflection that I formally announce my candidacy for reelection to the Natchitoches Parish School Board District 6 seat. For the past four years you have entrusted me to make decisions that directly affect the education of our children, the state of our budget and the employees of our district.

As I come to the end of my first term in office, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have served and I humbly ask you to consider allowing me to continue my public service to you and the children of Natchitoches Parish School Board District 6.

My original reasons for seeking office four years ago were echoed in my work on a daily basis. Those goals included a commonsense approach to everyday problems that face our school system, complete transparency while keeping parents and the community informed and forging partnerships between businesses and schools.

Soon after election our current School Board member team was tasked with hiring a new Superintendent. We set a new precedent as a board and interviewed all fourteen applicants for this position and invited the public in, every step of the way. Soon after our newly hired Superintendent was on board our world was introduced to COVID-19. During this time, we learned to work together as a board and a community to meet the needs of our students and families. This is when, for the first time in our history, we became a 1:1 district. Meaning every child in our district has access to a computer device. (IPad)

This blazed a trail for us to create The Natchitoches Virtual Academy.

During this time communication was paramount. Under our new leadership we established an increased online presence in the form of social media, (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) live streaming of meetings on our Youtube Channel, and even the development of a mobile app to keep parents informed. As well as building a user-friendly website. Our school district has earned respect in school branding and has been invited to present at the Southern Leadership Conference that covers a Tri-State area.

Where we lagged grossly behind, we are now leading the way.

Even though we were faced with so much uncertainty during our first term in office we never wavered with our goals of creating a school district that would enhance student achievement, attract new employees and new students to our area. During this time, particularly in the past year, our new leadership has drastically reduced the number of uncertified teachers. Through incredible management and good stewardship, for the first time since 2006, we are able to give a pay raise to every employee in our school district.

Our list of wins is the product of our team work and not the work of one individual. While our list of “wins” is impressive and exciting, our work is simply not finished. We are faced with new challenges on a daily basis as the world around us is changing drastically. It is imperative that we have experienced board members who are accessible to the public, problem solvers and who recognize that our children are the backbone of our future and need us more than ever.

I am a proud product of Natchitoches Parish Public Schools and I will always remain a passionate advocate of public education. I am also honored to serve as a Presidential Appointee on the Louisiana School Board Association representing Natchitoches Parish. My prayer is that in some respect it ultimately shines a light on our hard-working students and staff of Natchitoches Parish Schools. I am extremely blessed to be part of a board who was elected to create transformational change and my prayer is that you will support me in my efforts to keep the momentum going and continue our hard work.

Thank you for your support and prayers in the past. Thank you for putting your trust in me. I am truly grateful for every single moment that I have experienced over the past four years. Mistakes and triumphs. Serving the public has been the biggest blessing to me and my two daughters.

I humbly and prayerfully ask you to continue that support.

For questions or concerns you can contact me at 318-332-4260 or email me at jreba.phelps@gmail.com


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Parish Council holds brief meeting on June 22

The Natchitoches Parish Council met on June 22. Parish President John Richmond’s report to the Council contained several updates. Drainage work has begun on Bermuda Road and crews are working on drainage (side and cross drain installation) from the North to the South. The Natchitoches Parish Courthouse entrance will continue to be closed intermittently as structural investigative work and maintenance is performed to address some cracking of the exterior stonework. Replacement stone has been ordered, but the vendor is experiencing supply chain delays.

Power is due to be hooked up this week for the solid waste bin site in Kisatchie, which will then be operational. The bin site in Gorum has been stalled pending approval from the Natchitoches Parish School Board for partial use of the location. The Chestnut bin site is complete with electrical hookup pending this week. An agreement has been reached with a property owner to move the current Mammy Trail bin site further off the road and to provide for a manned, fenced, and controlled bin site.

(DID NOT PASS) Approve override of the Parish President veto on the adoption of Ordinance 009-2022 to remove section 1.11 The Recording Policy from the Natchitoches Parish Personnel Manual.

Remove 350 feet from the back of the road out of the Parish road system on Sparks Road, Road #625 (total of 4,523 feet of road) – putting up a gate at the end of the road where their property starts to minimize traffic

Introduce Ordinance 013-2022 to remove Berney Hays Road from the Parish road system, Road #931 (total of 1,478 feet in District 5) – same deal

Introduce Ordinance 014-2022 to remove Felise LaCaze Road from the Parish road system, Road #751 (total of 1,285 feet in District 5) – same deal but just closing up as no one is there to watch over the property

Introduce Ordinance 016-2022 to affect a zoning change from I-A to B-3 for a food truck and commissary/cafe on a 1.31 tract of land in Cloutierville

Adopt Ordinance 010-2022 to affect a zoning change from I-A to I-2 for a compressor station on a 10-acre tract of land that’s being divided from an approximately 485 acre parent tract

Adopt Ordinance 011-2022 to affect a zoning change to request a special exception on an I-A tract of land to allow an interconnecting pipeline servitude between existing pipeline and proposed compressor station

Adopt the millage rates, which the Council chose to remain the same

Authorize the issuance of a certificate of substantial completion for the resurfacing project on Fish Hatchery Road

Authorize the Parish President to distribute a request for proposals/qualifications for engineering services related to providing updated load ratings for specified bridges in the Parish system

Advertise for bids for the resurfacing of Hart and Harmony Roads

Authorize the increase in per diem from $60 to $100 per meeting for Waterworks District 2 Board of Commissioners

Discuss and vote to add the past council chairman’s pictures to the picture board in the Council boardroom

Award bids for culverts for the Highway Department

 


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NPSO HAS IDENTIFIED AND CITED TWO PEOPLE FOR GROSS LITTERING

(Cypress)-Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have identified and cited two Natchitoches men for illegal dumping on the Old River Road near Cypress according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday June 20 at approximately 9 am, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies responded to citizen complaints of illegal dumping on the south end of Old River Road near Cypress.

Upon their arrival, deputies photographed the scene and determined assistance would be needed to remove the large amount of trash dumped on the side of the road and in the ditch.
Deputies made arrangements to return to the scene on Tuesday morning, June 21, with the assistance of deputies from the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and two parish inmates.
While sifting through the debris, deputies discovered one piece of evidence that led them to review and obtain video images from a local business.

It took deputies and inmates nearly 2-hours to clear the area of litter.

Deputies also found other items in the trash that suggested the person or persons may have been working or remodeling a home in the area.

Deputies posted three images of a person of interest on the NPSO social media page.
Within 3-hours of the post, deputies received multiple tips identifying the person of interest, his address and other investigative information.

As a result of tips and other information on Wednesday morning, NPSO Deputies cited the following:

*Milford E. Wilson Jr., 56, of the 100 block of Melle Street, Natchitoches cited for Gross Littering and released pending his court appearance in the 10th Judicial District Court.
*Joshua L. LaCour, 34, of the 200 block of Melle Street, Natchitoches cited for Gross Littering and released pending his court appearance in the 10th Judicial District Court.

Deputies say while interviewing Wilson, they asked him why they didn’t place the trash at a parish compactor dump site? He responded it was closed. When they asked Wilson if he knew it was illegal to dump he responded “yes, common sense, I’m wrong, how did y’all catch me?” We did our homework and citizens were willing to help.

Deputies also learned Wilson was making repairs to a mobile home he recently rented.

§2531.1. Gross littering prohibited; criminal penalties

A. No person shall intentionally dispose or permit the disposal of any household or office furniture or appliances, automotive parts, including but not limited to tires and engines, trailers, boats and boating accessories, tools and equipment, building materials, roofing nails, and bags or boxes of household or office garbage or refuse upon any public place in the state, upon private property in this state not owned by him, upon property located in rural areas in this state not owned by him, or in or on the waters of this state, whether from a vehicle or otherwise, including but not limited to any public highway, public right-of-way, public park, beach, campground, forest land, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley, except when such property is designated by the state or by any of its agencies or political subdivisions for the disposal of such items and such person is authorized to use such property for such purpose.

C. The person shall be cited for the offense by means of a citation, summons, or other means provided by law.

D.(1) Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall, upon first conviction, be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and sentenced to serve eight hours of community service in a litter abatement work program as approved by the court.

Deputies would like to thank the local business and the public for their tips that assisted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office in identifying the persons involved in this matter.

Please Don’t Litter!!!!!


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Qualifying for November Elections scheduled for July 20-22.

While the Fall elections for U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Natchitoches Parish School Board Members and municipal elected positions are a long way off (Tuesday, November 8), qualifying for those positions is right around the corner (July 20-22).

All Natchitoches Parish School Board Member positions run in November and qualify this July 20-22.

The municipalities of Ashland, Campti, Goldonna, Provencal and Robeline all have Mayor, Councilmen/Aldermen and Chief of Police elections. Also both Clarence and Powhatan will have elections to fill unexpired terms for Mayor.

All of those positions also qualify July 20-22. Please give us a call if you have questions at 318-352-8152.


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More than 30 NSU theatre students working in summer professional productions

More than 30 Northwestern State University theatre and dance students are working throughout the United States in professional theatre and dance jobs this summer. The students are working for 15 different companies or facilities in 11 states in a variety of performing, technical and business-related roles.

“One of the things I always here from prospective students and parents is how will anyone succeed in this industry? Isn’t it very competitive? Should I plan for a backup and pick up another major or minor?” said Brett Garfinkel, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Northwestern State. “The wonderful thing about the Theatre & Dance Department is that regardless of the student’s passion and specialty we at NSU prepare our students for the professional world.”

Garfinkel said several professional companies come to NSU annually to audition students. He said students also submit, audition and attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) that allows them to audition for over 50 companies looking to hire talent for summer or for year-round employment. Approximately 35 current students or alumni have worked at Cedar Point Amusement Parks in Sandusky, Ohio, over the last two years. The amusement park hires over 300 performers and technicians for the whole summer.

“Many students received multiple offers and had to make the decision that would be best for them,” said Garfinkel. “I am so proud to see out students get professional while work while still in school and then of course after they graduate.”

Mary Scott Pourciau and Jordan Thomas of Baton Rouge, Dylan Fuselier of Chalmette, Nicole Lala of Kenner, Sarah Lord Holoubek, Myjoycia Cezar, John Jefferson and Trevor Van Eaton of Shreveport, Andrea Mouton, Damari Padilla and Joyous Celestine of Lafayette, Joy Davis of Minden, Mallory Speir of Pineville and Elvin Froylan Hernández Diaz of Honduras are at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Pourciau is dancing with the Swell Tones and performing in the 150th Anniversary Spectacular night show and parade. Thomas is a host for park shows. Fuselier is a dancer in the Street Squad/Peanuts block party and performs on stilts in the night show/parade. Lala is a member of the wardrobe crew. Holoubeck plays Chess Watkins on Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island. Cezar is stage manager for their Motown show “Come See About Me” and will also work their Night Show/Parade and Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee, from August 2022 to July 2023 as a stage management intern. Andrea Mouton is a character escort and swing host. Davis plays the role of Whisper Perez in the Forbidden Frontier. Speir is a character escort.

Jefferson is a performer in the street squad. Padilla is attendant usher escort at Aldrich Theatre. Celestine is a costumer/wardrober. Diaz is a dresser. Van Eaton is a performer in Snake River.

Mikiah Odum of Marshall, Texas, is at Camp Wicosuta in Hebron, New Hampshire, as a camp counselor and theatre teacher. Kristi Contreary of Geismar is in “TEXAS Outdoor Musical,” in Canyon, Texas, as a performer. Ashley Stevens of Baton Rouge is in the 85th Anniversary of The Lost Colony in Manteo, North Carolina, as a member of the ensemble and on-stage swing. Jeremiah Mitchell of Alexandria is a costume character at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Victoria Hickman of Slidell is at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in the Disney College Program.

Leslie Israel of Lake Charles is with Christian Youth Theatre as director of the kid’s camp. D’Sherrick Williams of Marshall, Texas, earned a one-year contract as a fulltime company member at STREB Extreme Action Company, Brooklyn, New York. Liam Gardner of Gonzales is working with New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, New York, as head electrician. Austin Anderson of New Orleans is a performer at Bigfork Summer Playhouse, Bigfork, Montana. Amber Slater of Minden is at Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield, New Hampshire, as props designer/assistant scenic designer.

Jose Arrieta Cuesta of Cartagena, Colombia, is at Starlight Camp in Starlight, Pennsylvania, as an activity specialist/dance instructor. Drelan Evans of Baton Rouge is at Ogden Musical Theatre in Ogden, Utah, playing the Donkey in “Shrek The Musical.” Abigail Aldridge of Covington and Summer Jones of Shreveport are at Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Montana. Aldridge is a performer and Jones is props manager. Christian Osborne of Plaquemine and Erin Fallis are performers at Thingamajig Theatre Company in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Fallis received a year-round contract with Ballet Legato in Cleveland, Ohio, as an apprentice.

Marshall Merritt of Shreveport is working at Post Playhouse in Crawford, Nebraska, as a performer. He has the roles of Van Buren in “Damn Yankees,” Herr Zeller/Von Trapp understudy in “The Sound of Music,” Father Morse in “Desperate Measures” and Minstrel/Brother/Jeremiah/Priest/Ensemble/Nostradamus understudy in “Something Rotten!” Sophie Stechmann of Chalmette is directing and performing in the Missoula (Montana) Children’s Theatre production of “The Frog Prince.”


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