Dr. Chris Maggio named interim Vice President for the Student Experience.

Chris MaggioDr. Chris Maggio has been named interim vice president for the student experience at Northwestern State University. The appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System and is effective July 1. Maggio will serve while a search is conducted to fill the position on a permanent basis.

Maggio will oversee the Offices of University Recruiting, Admissions and Financial Aid along with areas under the dean of students. For the past two years, Maggio has served as assistant vice president of external affairs for university advancement. He has been a staff member at Northwestern State since 1988. He was named Dean of Students and Assistant Provost for Student Success in 2007. Maggio was selected as Director of Alumni Affairs in 1999, Director of Alumni and Development in 2003 and Executive Director of the NSU Foundation in 2005.

Under Maggio’s leadership, the NSU Foundation completed its first capital campaign in Northwestern’s history, exceeding a campaign goal of $18.84 million and raising $31 million to support the university. He has also been a faculty member in the Department of Health and Human Performance for 19 years as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor.

Maggio has co-authored publications on student achievement and retention, student media and student affairs for state and national professional publications. He has been a co-presenter at regional, state and national conferences on the university’s Summer Bridge program, advisor training, advising student media, student affairs and alumni affairs. Maggio has made numerous presentations about Northwestern State to a variety of local and regional groups.

During his career at NSU, Maggio also served as Director of Admissions and Recruiting and Director of Enrollment Services. He joined the staff at Northwestern State as women’s track and field coach.

Maggio, a 1985 summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern, earned his master’s of education at NSU.  He received a doctorate in developmental education from Grambling State University.

He is a member of the board of directors of Exchange Bank and Trust Company and is president of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation Board. Maggio is a eucharistic minister at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He served as a member of the City of Natchitoches’ Recreation Commission and Economic Development Commission.

Maggio is a member of professional organizations including the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, SHAPE America, the Association of Louisiana Alumni Executives and Phi Delta Kappa International.

Word to the current Parish Council

The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from LTC. Charles “Sandy” McNeely. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. McNeely and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

It bears repeating, the Parish Council, and ONLY the Parish Council, can decide to allow the voters to decide whether they want to tax themselves enough to pay for road maintenance by putting a proposition on the October ballot. The Parish President, Mr. Nowlin, has no say on that matter. If an increased tax proposal (sales or millage) does not get on the ballot, the parish roads will continue to worsen due to lack of funds. If the Parish Council refuses to put a tax proposal on the October ballot, I hope the individual Council members responsible are called to task by the parish voters.

Despite the current misinformation being dispensed by certain Parish Council members, there is simply NOT enough money taken in each year to resolve the current road problems. Nor can any tax revenues dedicated to other parish activities be reassigned to the road fund without going through a parish-wide vote or the Legislature in Baton Rouge. Any parish resident can review the annual budget and in particular, the detailed expenditures for road maintenance if they choose, by simply going to Mr. Nowlin’s office. Those records are available for public scrutiny, along with the history of how the previous form of government allowed the roads to deteriorate to their present condition.

Sandy McNeely

Public Meeting on South Drive – Roadway improvements for La. 1 Business


Mayor Posey and the City of Natchitoches will host a public meeting with an update to roadway improvements on La. 1 Business at the intersection of Royal Street on Monday, July 6, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 305 Royal Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana. Representatives involved with the project will be present to provide updates and answer questions. This project will widen the northbound and southbound lane at Royal Street. Reconstruction of sewer/drainage lines is set to start the week of July 6th.

For more information, please call City Hall at (318) 352-2772.

Contact: Mayor Lee Posey, City of Natchitoches
Phone: (318) 352-2772
E-mail: cityhall@natchitochesla.gov

Road to Redemption?

DennisColemanThe Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Dennis Coleman. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. Coleman and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

Think it was about a decade ago that I attended a funeral at Rocky  Mount …out west of Robeline. The hearse turned off La 120 onto Post Mill Road, eventually winding up at Rocky Mount. The parish road (Post Mill) was pothole after pothole. Though driving slowly and being careful the hearse driver, unfamiliar with the road, hit several potholes and one bad one in particular. It looked like the whole car ‘pancaked.’ We made it to the church and the pallbearers unloaded the hearse and carried the coffin inside the church. I remember hearing the funeral director say, ” … closed casket.”  There was concern about what the pothole may have undone and as it turned out it was a ‘closed casket’ funeral….Have those potholes been ‘patched’ since then? Of course they have, but a PATCH is a temporary measure and only  puts off what must ultimately be done. Like a worn out pair of jeans, there’s only a certain number of times they can be ‘patched’ before the patches need patches, etc. etc.. Ultimately a new pair of jeans must be bought. Some would say there are a lot of roads in Natchitoches Parish that have reached that point. It’s time to rip it up and put down new. Now we have a road full of potholes, even a parish full of potholes, and no funds to fix them with. Hopefully,  a plan which offers a way out of this place with the Third World Country roads and into the 21st Century of Natchitoches Parish will be forthcoming.

The Advisory Commission ably points out that Road District 40 millages have not changed since 1985. In other words, we have been asking our Parish road administrators and  crews to build, maintain and repair these roads with the same funding that was present in 1985. Who could do that? By comparison, the minimum wage in 1985 was $3.35 per hour.  The tax rates have remained the same while all expenditures have increased significantly.

The Advisory Commission has delivered its report. The detractors of the report can and will begin their attacks on the report; ”it didn’t allow for this” and “it didn’t provide for that.”  This is nothing new; there are those who purport to be Christian and at the same time find fault with God’s creativity.  Sadly, there are some who “serve” in positions of leadership who seem to do whatever is necessary to impede progress, instead of embracing an opportunity for progress.  For what reason would anyone oppose moving the parish forward?

In the political arena, reports, bulletins and briefings are commonplace, and they often give off more heat than light.  The Advisory Commission’s report is the rare exception. It is thorough, it is insightful and it could not be more timely.The report submitted by the Advisory Commission offers a road map out of the current quagmire, but as realistic as it is, there are no guarantees it will be acted upon. The Parish Council, of course, has the responsibility to endorse or reject any or all of the commission’s report. It is the Council and the Council alone which must either act to move Natchitoches Parish forward or do nothing and keep the parish roads in this failing state they are now in.

Will the roads of the Parish “Rise up like a Phoenix from the flames,” or will they receive a pauper’s burial in a ‘Potter’s Field’ with the service being “Closed Casket?”

Parish Solid Waste facilities will observe Independence Day.

Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin announces that all Parish Solid Waste facilities will observe Independence Day, and all facilities will be closed,  including the Parish Landfill located at 4597 Highway 1 North, on Saturday, July 4th, 2015.  The Solid Waste office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd.

All Parish solid waste facilities will be open during their regular operating hours on Monday, July 6.
Citizens may contact the Natchitoches Parish Solid Waste Department at (318) 238-3704 with any questions.Parishgovseal

“Heritage, Not Hate”

NPJ - CunninghamOnce upon a time, there was a terrible war. Fathers went to war against their sons, sons against fathers, brothers against brothers, and so on. It was all centered around a deeply divisive issue, but at the same time was portrayed as being centered around something only tangentially related. I am, of course, referring to the Civil War, but what was it really about?

In a large sense, yes, the war was over the issue of slavery. However, it wasn’t a matter of the South wanting to keep black slaves in oppressive conditions forever. Rather, it was an issue of state rights versus federal rights, an argument that we are actually having once again in our Supreme Courts now (wait for my next column for that). The states that would eventually form the Confederacy had two problems. The first problem is that completely abolishing slavery would hurt their economy, as the economic driver of the south was the plantation. The second problem was that states felt it was a state issue as to whether or not to force slavery to be illegal.

I’m omitting a lot there in recapping the events leading up to the Civil War, but history is not the point of this column – it’s the censorship and removal of history from modern culture.

That’s why, in the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the push to remove what is commonly referred to as the Confederate Flag from all visible locations in society. In Charleston, South Carolina, a young man by the name of Dylann Storm Roof walked into a predominantly black church and shot many people to death. His aim was to start a race war, and photos emerged of him with the Confederate Flag. Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, called for the Confederate Flag to be removed from its position over the state house.

And Haley is absolutely right – the flag is a symbol of something the state is no longer a part of. It belongs, as Professor Jones would say, in a museum. However, it didn’t stop there. Calls from activist groups came to completely remove the flag from society grew. Amazon, Walmart, and Ebay, just to name a few, stopped selling anything with the Confederate Flag on it. The issue is now about how the flag is interpreted. And, to be honest, the common interpretation is about race. There are not very many people out there who would hang that flag from their front porch as anything other than a sign that black folks aren’t very welcome there. It’s a sad fact, but it is true in many, many places. Certainly, we should not fly that flag over state houses and government buildings. It is wrong to do so, because it alienates people from the government that is supposed to represent them.

But to call for its removal from all walks of life runs dangerous risk of obliterating what it really meant (“Heritage, Not Hate”) and rewriting history. If we were to do rewrite the meaning of the Civil War there, what will we rewrite next?

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @joec_esquire.

McDonogh 35 Wins Inaugural 7v7 Football State Championship

From the Sports Desk with Adam Bosworth

Gonzales, Louisiana was the host of the 2015 Airo 7v7 State Championships sponsored by Adidas. The event was held at Spartan Stadium and was hosted by East Ascension. The two day tournament included 29 top high school football teams from Louisiana.2015-06-28 12.58.59

The event kicked off Friday, June 26th with rounds of pool play to determine who the best team was in each group. The teams played for high seeds on the championship bracket. At the end of day one, group winners were St. Paul’s A, Landry Walker, Lutcher, West St. John, St. Paul’s B, and Port Allen. But the final standings meant nothing heading into Saturday, June 28th.

On day two, teams were winning and teams were being eliminated. The final four was eventually set up and it featured top seeded West St. John vs. a surprising McDonogh 35 team, and John Ehret vs. Landry Walker. The first semifinal was shocking as ,top team fell 19-10. The Roneagles of McDonogh 35 punched their ticket to the finals. That was West St. John’s first loss of the tournament. The second semifinal was equally as good as the first, if not better. John Ehret edged high seeded Landry Walker 24-22. An unpredicted final featured two low teams with a lot of heart as John Ehret battled McDonogh 35. The Roneagles continued their Cinderella run through the tournament as they blasted the Patriots 26-4. The victory comes with a very big relief because the past few seasons have not been that great. Their coach Wayne Reese Sr. exclaimed the victory “Was a very exciting thing I witnessed. I’m very proud of those guys.”

The top four teams advance to the Regional Championships in Valdosta, Georgia on July 17th-18th. They will be playing the top teams from both Georgia and Florida.

If you have a sports story or need a sporting event covered in Natchitoches Parish – Just email Adam Bosworth 

Funeral Service for Vaughn Shirley

Vaughn ShirleyFuneral service for Vaughn Shirley will be at 10 am Monday, June 29, 2015 at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home of Natchitoches. Burial will follow at Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery in the Oak Grove Community of Natchitoches. The family will receive friends from 5 pm until 9 pm on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home.

Vaughn Robert “Poppy” Shirley, born on September 7, 1964, to Ronald Robert Shirley and Ethel Marie Thomas Shirley went home to be with our Lord Friday, June 26, 2015. Vaughn loved life, hunting, fishing, good music and good friends, but most of all he loved his family. Vaughn married his childhood sweetheart, Karen Leigh Brown Shirley April 9, 1983, and became father to three wonderful beautiful children, Timothy Christopher Shirley, Rachel Madelyn Shirley, and Brooke Ashleigh Shirley Cole and father-in-law to Nicholas Cole, and “Poppy” to amazing grandchildren Gavin, Anna Leigh, and Maddie. Vaughn is preceded in death by his mother Ethel, his step-mother, Katie Elizabeth Dean Shirley, his paternal grandparents, Robert William Shirley and Vera Marie Ammons Shirley, his maternal grandparents, John Wesley “Daddy Red” and “Granny” Annie Thomas as well as Clifford Chelsey and Billie Joy Dean.

Vaughn is survived by his wife of 32 years, Karen, his son Timothy, his daughters Rachel and her other half Jeff Scaife, Brooke and son-in-law Nicholas, his precious grandchildren, Gavin Lyle, Anna Leigh, Madelyn Alyce, and Mikayla Rose, his father Ronald Robert and step-mother Odene Shirley, brothers Darius Dean Shirley and wife Nicke, Richard Ryan Shirley and wife Jamie, Jonathan Tate and his wife Katherine, Benjamin Tate and wife Larah, his sisters, Virginia Richmon and husband Kerby, Brandy Williams and husband Rick, and Victoria Schleben and husband Jon. He is also survived by his in-laws, Garland and Sybil Brown, sisters- & brothers-in-law, Donna Brown, Cheryl and Jackie Guin, Robin and Leman “Boogie” Wadkins along with children by love T J Mitcham and Chase Williams and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Those honored to serve as pallbearers include: Anthony Shirley, Reed Stephens, Ron Jones, Nicholas Cole, Jeff Scaife, and Greg Moran.

Same-Sex marriage licenses to be delayed in Natchitoches Parish.


According to Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate, Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court Louie Bernard stated “We were advised by our legal counsel through our Association that there’s a 25-day hearing process that the Supreme Court has,”   Mr. Bernard went on to say that Natchitoches Parish isn’t issuing same-sex marriage licenses at this time.


JuvenilleCAMPTI-A thirteen year old Campti juvenile has been arrested in connection with shooting a BB gun at motorists on La. Hwy 9 near Campti according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
On Sunday evening June 21st, between the hours of 10pm-11pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports from motorists traveling on La. Hwy 9 near US-71 in Campti, La., that someone had apparently shot at their vehicles shattering the passenger side door glass on a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck and a 2001 Honda Civic passenger car.
The reported damages to the vehicles was approximately $500.

During the initial stages of the investigation, deputies believed the damages were caused by someone shooting a BB gun at the vehicles.

Deputies interviewed the victims, photographed the vehicles, collected information for offense reports and checked the area for possible suspects but were unable to locate anyone at the time.

The investigative file was turned over to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division for an follow-up investigation.
During the week, detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations began speaking to residents near the crime scene.

Detectives say during those knock and talks they were able to collect valuable information from residents in the area willing to help that led to a juvenile suspect according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

On Thursday June 25th, detectives interviewed the juvenile at the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division after reporting with a parent.

During the interview, detectives say the juvenile confessed to shooting at the vehicles with a BB gun.

The BB gun was collected and seized for evidence.

As a result of the investigation, detectives arrested:
13 year old Campti juvenile, booked at the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and charged with 2-counts of Criminal Damage to Property.

The juvenile’s name which is not being released because of juvenile justice laws was released into the custody of a parent pending court appearance.

Sheriff Victor Jones Jr., expresses his thanks and appreciation to the residents of Campti that were willing to help and assist detectives in this investigation which led to an arrest. We are also pleased that no one was seriously injured or a traffic accident did not occur as a result these incidents.
Detective Darrel Winder investigated the case.

Kilcoyne named interim Dean of the College of Business and Technology

DrKMargaret Kilcoyne has agreed to serve as the interim Dean of the College of Business and Technology. With a major grant award pending in CIS, several partnerships blossoming with business entities, and a number of economic development announcements in the works, we must have a college focused on securing a leadership role for NSU and our graduates by developing synergies among our business programs, technology programs, and engineering programs. Our academic leadership will be meeting with faculty and other stakeholders to develop a profile of the desired candidate. A committee of faculty will lead the search process.

Congrats to Dr. Kilcoyne… named as interim
Dean of Bus & Technology!
Jim Henderson – twitter                     

Tennis – Northwestern State adds pair of transfers

The defending Southland Conference Tournament champion Northwestern State women’s tennis team picked up an influx of experienced talent, announcing the addition a pair of transfers Friday.TennisTransfers

Joining second-year coach Olga Bazhanova’s program are Ilijana Ivic, who comes to Northwestern State from Laredo Junior College, and Virginia Commonwealth transfer Alžbeta Veverkova.

“We are very excited for the new girls to join our team,” Bazhanova said. “They are all good students and hard-working athletes.”

Ivic was a top-15 junior player in Croatia and held a top-20 ranking in Germany before coming to Laredo. During her time in junior college, she was the No. 12 ranked player in the national junior college rankings.

Ivic, a native of Split, Croatia, graduated with a 3.6 grade-point average. She had a pair of second-place regional tournament finishes and won the consolation bracket of the national tournament.

“Ilijana played the No. 1 position at Laredo Junior College, one of the top junior college tennis programs in the country,” Bazhanova said. “She is ready to take the next step in her career and compete at a stronger Division I program. She has heavy groundstrokes and can control points from the baseline. She wants to improve and be the best she can be. She also is a very good student.”

Veverkova was part of the Atlantic-10 champion VCU program before deciding to transfer to Northwestern State following her freshman season. A native of Martin, Slovakia, Veverkova played three sports in high school, lettering in tennis, track and badminton.

She was ranked in the top three in Slovakian juniors and in the top 23 nationally in women’s tennis.

“Alžbeta joins us from a very good tennis program,” Bazhanova said. “She has strong groundstrokes and is very consistent. She is physically strong, competitive and hard working. Alžbeta is a solid student who will study pre-medicine.”