Nelson Road – Reopened to traffic.

ParishgovsealNatchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin announces that the Nelson Road near Marthaville has been re-opened to traffic.
This road had been closed to through traffic since late January after heavy rainfall resulted in a cross-drain being washed out near the intersection of the Johnnie Doolittle Road.  High flows in the channel at this location delayed the replacement of this cross-drain by the Parish Highway Department.
Parish officials wish to express their thanks to citizens affected by the extended road closure for their patience.
Questions may be directed to the Parish Highway Department at (318) 357-2200

A PLEA DEAL: 25 Years for Rape of Mentally Challenged Woman.

Natchitoches man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the rape of a mentally challenged woman last year while he was working for the organization caring for the woman, according to a release.

Glenn Michael Redman, 52, was sentenced by 10th District Judge Lala Sylvester, who ordered his sentence to be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington.

Redman was arrested by Natchitoches police after an employee of the Natchitoches Association of Retarded Citizens had told the group’s director of her suspicions. She had noticed that Redman, a bus driver, always took the client on his bus, according to an article published by The Town Talk on March 1, 2014.

The group’s director confronted Redman, and the client was examined at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. Redman was arrested the next day, charged with aggravated rape, cruelty to the infirm and false imprisonment.

NPDA: Press Release


Parish Solid Waste Facilities – Holiday


Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin announces that all Parish solid waste facilities, including the Parish Landfill located at 4597 Highway 1 North, will be closed on Sunday, April 5, 2015, in observance of Easter.
All Parish solid waste facilities will be open during their regular operating hours on Good Friday, April 3.
Citizens may contact the Natchitoches Parish Solid Waste Department at (318) 238-3704 with any questions.

Kisatchie National Forest – Now on a US Quarter

KisatchieKisatchie National Forest officials along with representatives from the United States Mint are pleased to announce the ceremonial launch of the America the Beautiful Quarter featuring Kisatchie National Forest. On Wednesday, April 22nd at 10 a.m. at the Alexandria Riverfront Center located in downtown Alexandria, the quarter featuring Kisatchie National Forest will be celebrated.

“We are thrilled to represent the State of Louisiana in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program,” said Eddie Taylor, Kisatchie National Forest Supervisor. “This is an incredible honor and an opportunity to showcase the Kisatchie, Louisiana’s only National Forest.” Known throughout the south as an outstanding turkey hunting destination, the Kisatchie quarter depicts an Eastern Wild Turkey in flight over blue stem grass with Longleaf pine trees in the background.

The ceremony will include live music, singing, videos, presentations and much more. Each person 18 years and younger will receive a newly minted Kisatchie quarter. Adults will have the opportunity to exchange cash for rolls of uncirculated Kisatchie National Forest quarters. Tom Tidwell, Chief of the US Forest Service, B. B. Craig, Associate Director for Environment, Safety, and Health of the U.S. Mint, along with other elected officials and dignitaries from across the state will attend.

“The Kisatchie quarter launch is forging new relationships and strengthening existing ones within our community, explained Jim Caldwell, Public Affairs Officer for Kisatchie National Forest. “We could not put an event of this magnitude together on our own,” said Caldwell. “We have community partners who are excited about this historic event, and have a love of Louisiana and the Kisatchie National Forest.”

USDA: Press Release

Ten Minutes That Could Save Your Life!

The Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center located at 211 Medical Drive in Natchitoches is holding FREE Head & Neck Cancer Screenings on Friday, April 10, 2015 at the center. Walk-ins are welcome, however, you can register early by calling 318-238-3322 for a priority appointment.

Don’t miss this opportunity – Call today.
A Public Service Announcement from the Natchitoches Parish Journal. If you have a public service announcement, please send it to or fax it to 318-352-9598.

Ten Minutes

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center moving forward.

10828093_958527460837953_2885282187826230395_oHyperbaric Chambers Arrive

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC) received two hyperbaric oxygen chambers on March 5. The chambers weigh 1,992 pounds and are approximately 9 feet by 4 feet by 5 feet and will be installed at NRMC’s Comprehensive Wound Care Center. Scheduled to open in the next 30 to 45 days, the Wound Care Center will offer state of the art treatment for chronic wounds

“Many people in Natchitoches suffer from chronic wounds and must travel for this type of specialized treatment. We are pleased to now provide this service locally for our community,” explained Kirk Soileau, Chief Executive Officer of NRMC. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment that can restore overall health, mobility, and quality of life.”

The hyperbaric chambers have clear sides with built in televisions and most patients find them relaxing. Treatment consists of breathing pure oxygen inside the pressurized chamber. The Wound Care Center team is specifically trained in hyperbaric medicine and wound care management to provide advanced wound care using a variety of clinical treatments, therapies and support services.
The Center is located at the hospital in a newly constructed suite with easy access from Keyser Avenue. For more information, please call 318.214.4770.

Contact: Cathy Jacobs
Director of Physician and Community Relations

Photo Courtesy of NRMC

Kids Health Fest 2015

Jones_GogglesNatchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. demonstrates the Fatal Vision Goggles at the 9th Annual “Kid’s Health Fest” and 13th Annual Fun Run held Friday morning, March 27th at the NSU Coliseum and Track & Field sponsored by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Youth Services Division.

The Fatal Vision® Impairment Simulation Goggles are a hands-on prevention tool that allows students to experience with a sober mind what it’s like to be under the influence of alcohol. Participants experience how alcohol impairs a person’s balance, vision, reaction time, and judgment. Simple activities with the Fatal Vision® Goggles such as walking a line, one-leg stand, reaching out to grab a set of car keys, or tossing a ball become important aha moments as the participant realizes how susceptible they are to potentially dangerous consequences of impairment.

“Kids Health Fest 2015” offered children a fun run, health screenings, games, safety lessons, prizes, and snacks.

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with other law enforcement agencies and health care providers, were present to visit with children and conducted safety presentations.
NPSO: Press Release

Henderson invested as NSU’s 18th president.

welcome2NPJNATCHITOCHES – Dr. James Braswell Henderson was installed to the office of the President of Northwestern State University of Louisiana Friday during a day of ceremony, nostalgia and celebration.   Henderson, his wife Tonia and their children were honored throughout the day by dignitaries, academic officials, political figures, prominent clergy, friends and representatives from other institutions as students, faculty, university staff and the community gathered for the formal ceremony, the first Northwestern State has hosted in 18 years.

The proceedings were steeped in tradition as a procession of Northwestern State faculty in full academic regalia, accompanied by the NSU Wind Symphony, began the investiture in A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, attended by students, staff, alumni and friends. Garrett Pierce, Student Government Association president; Faculty Senate President Dr. Massimo Bezoari, Joseph B. Stamey, president of the Alumni Association, and Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey offered welcome.

In his Investiture address, Henderson acknowledged his family, his wife Tonia, daughter Reagan and sons Nicholas and Alexander, his mother, Dr. Martha Henderson, and the recent loss of his father, the late Clement Henderson Sr., who died March 9.

“This would have made him proud, and everything in my spiritual and religious being assures me that a part of him is with us today,” he said.

Henderson dedicated the Investiture to the Northwestern State students.

“Let this program be an emphatic signal and message that Northwestern exists because of you: to serve you, inspire you, guide you, motivate you and help you in any way possible to reach your goals,” Henderson said.   “Northwestern has adopted a new slogan, after extensive discussions and interaction with students, faculty and other stakeholders, that captures our philosophy. It is this: at NSU, we are ‘Dedicated to One Goal. Yours.’  More than a slogan, that will be the beacon that guides us in serving students whether they are on campus or online, traditional or non-traditional, local or global. Northwestern will be committed to assisting students in meeting their goals in life, helping them become who they want to be.”

Henderson said that hundreds of faculty, staff and students have been involved in the shaping of his vision for the university.

“Northwestern State University will become the nation’s premier regional university through innovative, transformative student learning that prepares graduates for life and career success,” he said.

The Investiture is about more than the presidency, Henderson said.

“This investiture is about students and it is about faculty and staff who have been providing an ethos and atmosphere of learning on these grounds and far beyond for 13 decades, Henderson said. “Northwestern State University is a gigantic tapestry—or the word potpourri might be more fitting—of students, faculty and staff, alumni, parents and families of students, people in the community and region and others who have been touched by and become part of this great school.”

Media executive Gregory Ashlock, a 1991 graduate of Northwestern State, was guest speaker.  Ashlock is executive vice president of operations iHeartMedia USA and president of iHeartMedia Southern California. He spoke of the commitment required to effect positive change.

“Change is not by chance, it is by choice,” he said. “It comes from remaining focused and committed and it is necessary for progress.  You have to change to move forward.”

Henderson, Ashlock said, represents change, progress and the augmentation of the accomplishments of those before him.  Ashlock enumerated seven aspects related to change: a sense of urgency, advocacy groups, creating a vision, communicating the vision, empowering others, setting realistic goals and finishing the job. Ashlock offered a quote from Albert Einstein, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking;  it cannot be changed without changing our thinking,” in relation to change at Northwestern State.

“The university we create is a product of our mind and the way to change it is to change our thinking,” he said.  “It’s not easy but it’s rewarding.”

Dr. Sandra K. Woodley, president of the University of Louisiana System, of which NSU is a member, issued the presidential commission.  Henderson was robed by Pierce with assistance from Woodley and Jimmy Long, a member of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, in regalia that is a gift to the president from the student body.  The robes, in school colors of purple and white velvet, were designed by the Student Government Association and represent the mutual collaboration between the students and the administration.

Pierce expressed gratitude to the Presidential Search Committee for listening to student concerns and said Henderson is a leader who has already taken steps to secure the future of Northwestern State.  He reminded the assembly of Northwestern State’s motto:  Educatio Adulescentis est Civitatis Salus, which translates “The education of the youth is the salvation of the state.”

“I would like to thank Dr. Henderson for reminding us all what makes our university the premier regional university of the south,” Pierce said.  “It is our loyal dedication to the educational experience of the individual, and how that experience fosters the prosperity of our exceptional university, our beautiful community, our state and the world at-large. On behalf of our students, thank you, for making our one goal yours.”

Woodley and Long presented Henderson with the President’s Chain, which bears the university seal and links engraved with the names of all Northwestern State presidents and the years they served.  The chain was a gift to the president in from the Student Government Association to commemorate the university’s 125th anniversary in 2009.

The Northwestern State Chamber Choir, singing from the auditorium balcony, performed an Investiture Anthem during the ceremony and the Northwestern State alma mater at the close, accompanied by the Wind Symphony.

The day began with an Investiture Mass of Thanksgiving at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches, concelebrated by both the dioceses of Alexandria and Shreveport. The Principal Celebrant was the Most Rev. Michael G. Duca, Bishop of Shreveport. Msgr. Earl Provenza, pastor of the Hendersons’ home parish, Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Shreveport, delivered the Homily. Other celebrants and readers included the Rev. Ryan Humphries, rector of the Minor Basilica, and visiting priests from both dioceses including three who are Northwestern State alumni and for whom Immaculate Conception is their home parish.  The Northwestern State Chamber Choir was featured in vocal selections chosen for especially for the Mass.

The Investiture Mass marked the first occasion that the university has been prominently included in a Mass celebrated concurrently by both dioceses, which until the 1980s were part of the one Diocese of Alexandria/Shreveport.  Prior to 1910, both were part of the Diocese of Natchitoches, whose See was the Minor Basilica. The Most Rev. Ronald P. Herzog, Bishop of Alexandria, who was scheduled as principal celebrant but unable to attend due to health reasons, granted a dispensation to Catholics attending the Investiture celebration from the Lenten obligation of abstaining from meat.

Late morning classes were cancelled and campus offices were closed for the event so that all faculty, staff and students could attend.

Following the campus ceremony, the Hendersons opened the Arnold R. Kilpatrick President’s Residence for a community reception in which guests congratulated the new first family.

Henderson and his wife, the former Tonia Istre, are both graduates of Northwestern State. Henderson earned his undergraduate degree in journalism at NSU in 1994, his master’s in administration from the University of West Florida and a Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland-University College.  Mrs. Henderson earned a degree in journalism at NSU in 1993.

Prior to his appointment at NSU, Henderson was chancellor at Bossier Parish Community College for five years, where he oversaw enrollment growth of more than 84 percent and increased annual certificate and degree completions by 90 percent.

Henderson was named Northwestern State president last September and took office on Jan. 1.  He built an immediate rapport with students through social media, personal accessibility and his presence at campus functions.  Throughout the Investiture, students and others commented on the proceedings via Twitter postings @DrJBHenderson  #newprez and on Facebook.

Friday’s Investiture was well-received by students who respond to Henderson’s personable nature.

“It was an awesome ceremony and I was glad to be part of it,” said Sherry Lucas, a third-level nursing student from Natchitoches.  “I wanted to be here to support Dr. Henderson. He has shown he cares about the students and will be a great president.”

Mass, HendersonFamily              Investiture 1


Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives have arrested Campti man in connection with a theft in the Campti area according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Office.

On Monday March 16th, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to a reported theft in the 2500 block of US -71 near Campti, La. Upon their arrival, they spoke with the complainant learning that a 1950’s model 8n Ford Tractor, Mercury outboard motor, wood heater, aluminum boat, farm implements and a Dodge pickup truck were stolen valued over $2000.

During the course of the investigation, detectives developed a “person of interest”,  identified as Michael Colton White, 22 of the 2200 block of US71/84, Campti, La. Detectives obtained sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain a criminal warrant signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge for the arrest of White.

As a result of the investigation on March 19th, NPSO Deputies arrested Michael Colton White, and booked him into the Natchitoches Detention Center charged with 1-count of Felony Theft. White remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center.   Bond has been set at $5000 by a District Judge.

Detectives also during the investigation they recovered a Homelite Pro chainsaw, Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw, Craftsman chainsaw and a Craftsman tool box with assorted tools that are unaccounted for.  If you have any of the above items reported missing, contact Detective Darrel Winder at 318-357-7830.


NPSO: Press Release




POSITION: Part-time Mosquito Sprayers

DESCRIPTION: Parish of Natchitoches is accepting applications for part-time Mosquito Sprayers.

CONTACT: Applications and Job Description may be picked up from the Parish of Natchitoches, Room 210 of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse; 8:00 a.m. thru 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.



Natchitoches – How is it possible that one of the most technologically advanced buildings in the country was built in a small town in Louisiana called Natchitoches?

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum is located in Natchitoches (pronounced NAK-uh-tesh), a city of almost 20,000 people that last year celebrated its 300th anniversary, making it the oldest settlement in the vast area that in 1803 was included in the Louisiana Purchase. It was founded as a French outpost in the alluvial plain of the Red River and in the nineteenth century served as a port for the shipment to New Orleans of the cotton produced in the entire region. Today, the historic character of Natchitoches is maintained by a cadre of retirees and more than a million annual visitors. The city is home to Northwestern State University, Cane River National Heritage Area, and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

Even prior to its completion, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, as it has become known, gained the attention of the design and industry press. Designed by Trahan Architects of New Orleans, the museum’s many accolades include recognition for its use of digital technologies and materials of cast stone and copper and as “best of the year” by several architectural journals. Its design has received AIA Honor Awards from both local and state chapters, and this year the museum attained an AIA National Honor Award for Interior Architecture. One might ask: How did this award-winning museum, requiring a team of consultants from as far away as Boston and Copenhagen to design and detail the structure, actually get built in the heart of a historic district in a mostly rural region of the Deep South?

Read the whole article from Cite Magazine.

Photo Credits:

Small-Town Avant-Garde: The Building of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum. All photos by Timothy Hursley.
Site and context. Courtesy Trahan Architects.


Natchitoches Parish Principal Arrest – UPDATE

SEE  UPDATE  BELOW:  NPD Arrests School’s Principal On Incident Involving Student

*** If anyone has information about the this incident they are urged to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact Detective Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852 of the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.  All calls shall be kept confidential. ***

NATCHITOCHES: On March 16, 2015 the Natchitoches Police Department received a call from a concerned parent who stated that her eleven (11) year old son came home in tears stating that he had been struck multiple times by his school’s Principal.  Furthermore, the juvenile advised his mother that while he was at school the principal took him into the boys’ restroom where no one else was present and slammed him up against the wall, causing his head to hit the wall, and the juvenile went on to state that the principal then punched him in the chest with his fist.  The mother then stated that her son explained he was allowed to exit the restroom but was then taken to an unoccupied classroom where he was poked in the chest with the principal’s paddle and later allowed to return to class, however she stated that her son was immediately taken out of his class a second time and taken back to an unoccupied classroom and paddled by the principal.  The juvenile was later transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center to obtain treatment to injuries sustained during the encounter with his school’s principal.

The incident in-question was immediately turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Natchitoches Police Department.  Further investigation of incident led to the discovery of addition facts which led to the arrest of the Principal of the Frankie Ray Jackson Technical Center; Bobby Joe Benjamin Jr., forty-one (41) years of age, of 306 Pine St., Natchitoches, LA was taken into custody for violation of LA R.S. 14:93 Cruelty to Juveniles, LA R.S. 14:34 Aggravated Battery, LA R.S. 14:35 Simple Battery, LA R.S. 14:34.1 Second (2nd) Degree Battery.  Mr. Benjamin was later transported out to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and later released on a Ninety-five Hundred Dollar ($9500.00) Property Bond.

If anyone has information about the this incident they are urged to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact Detective Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852 of the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.  All calls shall be kept confidential.

Bobby Benjamin

Elephants to the rescue in Natchitoches Parish.

On Tuesday morning March 24th at approximately 7:03am, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies received a call requesting assistance with a stranded eighteen wheeler truck on Interstate 49 near the Powhatan exit.
Deputies were dispatched to assistance.  When deputies arrived on scene, they were astounded to find two elephants keeping the eighteen wheeler from overturning. Three elephants on the truck were being transported from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas.

A local wrecker service was contacted to assist in the removal of the 2000 Kenworth eighteen wheeler.  The truck was stuck after the driver pulled on the edge of the soft shoulder.

No citations were issued.

NPSO: Press Release

Natchitoches Parish Principal Arrested

A principal at the Alternative School under the Natchitoches Parish School System has been arrested on the following charges:
Cruelty to a Juvenile, Aggravated Battery, 2nd Degree Battery and Simple Battery. The administrator has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is completed.

NPSB: Press Release
Bobby Benjamin

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office – Helping Those in Need.

NPSO LogoPEOPLE IN NEED – Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office In Natchitoches Parish, we have a long history of helping our family, friends and strangers when they are in need or trouble. The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s office always help those described above and they received the attached letter acknowledging their help.

Thank you to Sheriff Victor Jones and Staff!

NPSO: Press Release

NPSO - Mike Smith Letter

Job Opening – City of Natchitoches


POSITION: Recreation Department – Parks and Grounds MaintenanceCON LOGO

DESCRIPTION: Responsible for the maintenance of all Recreation Department facilities including but not limited to all playgrounds, parks, sports fields, John Below Community Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center. Ensures that all facilities are mowed, manicured, clean and properly maintained for the public. Performs other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from high school or GED equivalent. One year of related experience required.  Must have a valid State operator’s license. All employees must have the ability and willingness to learn and apply all    safety rules and other administrative policies.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St. 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 can download an application on line at

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:  Applications will be accepted through: April 2, 2015


Job Opening – City of Natchitoches


POSITION: Electrical Department – Groundman Laborer

QUALIFICATIONS: A working knowledge of principles and practices in overhead and underground electrical power
line installation, maintenance procedures and operating/maintenance of substations including
low voltage service work is desirable, trim trees and branches and assist the Right of Way Crew. Must work towards obtaining a CDL license. Overtime, standby and dependability is required.

EDUCATION: High School diploma or equivalent.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St., 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
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through April 6, 2015