Services for James Debon Lasyone

LasyoneThe sun has set on a legend in our community of Natchitoches, Louisiana – James Lasyone passed away on Wednesday, June 25, 2015. He was 84 years old.

Services for James Debon Lasyone will be held at 2:00 pm Sunday, June 28, 2015 at Blanchard-St-Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches, LA. Interment will follow at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA. A visitation will be held Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

James grew up as a sharecropper’s son in Dodson, a village in Winn Parish, Louisiana and enjoyed meat pies from street vendors when his family came to town in Natchitoches. He could never have imagined back then that he would single handedly put the famous “Lasyone’s Meat Pie” on the map worldwide. In the 1960’s, James Lasyone was running a little butcher shop in town and selling meat to the ladies that were making meat pies at home, which was the only way to get them back in the day. In the mid-1960’s he began experimenting with recipes to make his own pies and began selling some over the butcher’s counter at the store – the Live Oak Grocery. In 1967, he opened his restaurant in a small retail space near the meat market. It has over time and to this day become a southern food landmark now owned and operated by his daughters, Angela and Tina.

No food in Louisiana is more famous than the Lasyone’s Meat Pie of Natchitoches. When the Spanish settled Natchitoches, they brought with them the empanada, the forefather of the meat pie. But its transformation from humble hand-held food to a leading menu item in restaurants, catering venues and sports arenas worldwide could not have been possible without the vision of James Lasyone.

There is no other place in Natchitoches that can boast of more celebrity sightings, TV and magazine exposure, grueling bridge card games, business deals made over breakfast or lunch, family memory making at the tables of this standard blue-collar Southern diner and as the New York Times states, “….the best reason to visit Natchitoches is the meat pies – and the best ones in town can be found at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen and Restaurant.” James and his wife, JoAnn, can be credited as the original trailblazers for the tourism industry in Natchitoches. People from all over the world have stopped in to try one of their meat pies, as a result of the magazine and book articles, national and international newspapers features, radio and television highlights including Southern Living, The New Yorker, Gourmet Magazine, Calvin Trillin’s Third Helpings book, The Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, papers from France, Italy and Spain and On the Road with Charles Kuralt and Good Morning America just to name a few. Starting in 1967 with a used Garland stove at a small location on Second Street in Natchitoches, James could never have imagined how his life would impact so many.

He was generous chef and his generosity extended far beyond the kitchen. James was an amazing father who’s influence on his daughters, Angela and Tina, continues today as they bring the family business to even greater success, mass producing meat pies for major clients and delivering the highly recommended fares of red beans and sausage, dirty rice, southern fried catfish, bread pudding and of course, the famous meat pie in the original restaurant started by their dad so many years ago.

James is survived by his daughter Angela, his daughter Tina Smith and her husband Dwight. He has one surviving brother, Buddy Lasyone, who resides in Beaumont, Texas. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, JoAnn, his parents Mattie Lou Worsham and J.D. Lasyone.

James has been a longtime resident of The Courtyard of Natchitoches and the family wishes to thank the special caretakers who have aided in his care: Nanette Bienveue and all her staff for the past ten plus years.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the NSU Foundation for Lasyone’s . This will benefit a Culinary Arts student’s education at NSU.


Home Grown Grows Green$$$

Campti Field of Dreams Hosts USDA NRCS Conservation
Field Day for Farmers, Ranchers and Value-Added Producers

Churchman FamilyCampti Field of Dreams is excited to announce its USDA NRCS Conservation Field Day, July 27th from 4:00 – 8:00 pm to promote sustainable agriculture, agri-business and agri-tourism in the Red River area.

12 year old Cameron Churchman is not new to farming. His parents, Ryder and Hope Churchman farm 1,000 acres in corn and soybean.  Cameron can operate the 200 horsepower tractor, 1000 bushel grain cart, and often loads the big truck with grain. He did not plan to start an agri business either.  He just wanted to earn enough money to purchase an Xbox.  His mom suggested that he grow some vegetables and sell them from a farm stand.  Cameron was given a small area near the road to start his vegetable garden.  He tilled the soil, hoed the grass, picked produce and sold it at the farm stand with a little help from his sister, mom and dad.  His stand consisted of a small table and his radio flyer wagon filled with squash. At the end of the summer, Cameron had earned enough money to buy his Xbox, “and then some,” he says with a big grin.  An agribusiness entrepreneur was born.  Encouraged by the response to home grown vegetables, his mom helped him expand the garden the following year and added a tent.  Now into its third year, they have quadrupled the vegetable farm to a total of 2 acres and added a permanent produce stand with a container which they plan to convert to a refrigerated unit.   Under the new Cottage Food Law (HB1270 August 1st, 2014), Hope can also sell up to $20,000 per year of a wide variety of products including candies, jams and jellies, preserves, baked goods, sauces, seasonings, spices, and honey to name a few without a license from the health department.

Last year Hope invited a group of students to tour the farm.  The tour began with each student getting a bottle of water.  They used some to plant a seed on the farm and consumed the rest while on tour.  Hope explained that the bottle was still usable.  She had the students cut off the top of the bottle, gave them soil and seeds and explained that each of them now had their own plant to nurture. Hope had gone beyond agribusiness to agritourism. Agritourism is a business venture located on a working farm, ranch, or agricultural enterprise that provides an “experience” for visitors while generating supplemental income for the owner.  Agritourism ventures feature:

  • Something to see
  • Something to do
  • Something to buy

Agritourism is growing in our state according to Dora Ann Hatch, agritourism coordinator for the LSU AgCenter. “The latest statistics compiled by the Agriculture Census, showed that agritourism in Louisiana more than doubled from 2007 to 2012,” said Hatch. Some farmers and ranchers are hesitant to bring visitors on their farm due to the increased risk and liability.  However, the state of Louisiana has enacted the Agritourism Limited Liability law which provides liability insurance to farmers.  “Many agritourism operators in Louisiana are not taking advantage of the agritourism limited liability law passed in 2008 by the Louisiana Legislature which limits the liability of an agritourism professional for injuries that occur through no fault of their own,” said Hatch.

“It is not easy to get into conventional farming,” Ryder points out, and “The uncertainty of next year is the worst thing about farming today because we tie millions of dollars up in these crops quickly. Technology assisted farming is different. Now we have combines that drive themselves and drones to monitor crops but not knowing how you are going to come out at the end of the year is stressful.” Given all of that he admits, “I don’t know of anything else I would want to do. The labor is the love.”

To attract female, minority and families with limited resources there has been an emphasis on growing “specialty-crops” such as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture) as well as serving niche markets such as certified organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meat and poultry. Sustainable agriculture utilizes a systems approach which fosters crop diversity and when farmers sell directly to the consumers they can generate a larger profit-margin making this a viable option for beginning farmers or ranchers with limited resources.

“Home Grown fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, dairy and value-added products provide supplemental income, create jobs and help to build our local economy,” explained Donna Isaacs, executive director of Campti Field of Dreams.  “By partnering with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service we can help to educate farmers, ranchers and value-added producers about the financial and technical assistance available to improve productivity and grow their agribusiness. If you are interested in starting or growing an agribusiness then this is the event for you. The conservation field day will begin at the Campti Historic Museum, 211 Edenborn Street, Campti, Louisiana on July 27th at 4 pm.  After a presentation on Soil Health by Dr. Michael Lindsey, State Soil Scientist, participants will tour the farm at 681 Campti Bayou Road with State Agronomist, Chris Coreil and Area Rangeland Specialist, Chris Ebel. Dr. Lindsey will perform a rainfall simulation and discuss soil impact.  The event is FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Churchman Farm Stand: Seasonal Hours

Oaklawn Plantation, 2888 Highway 494, Natchitoches, LA 71457

For more information about the conservation field day, visit or contact Donna Isaacs, (318) 332-7791,

For more information about USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, contact Dexter Sapp, (318) 473-7688,

To learn more about the agritourism law contact Dora Ann Hatch at (318) 927-9654 x 229 or email

Conservation Field Day Flyer

Tomatoes and Pickles Honey and Sun Flowers Pickles and Preserves

Ponderings with Doug – June 26, 2015

By request:

I’m wondering why the milk is always in the back of the grocery store. It turns out the milk is often located in connection with the large storage refrigeration of that particular grocery store.  If you will look, you will notice that most milk coolers are backless. The answer is milk is really near the refrigerated storage and/or the loading dock. I was hoping for a more conspiratorial answer since I too grow weary of walking to the back of the store when all I need is milk.dougthumb

That imponderable was posited while I was standing in the line of Brookshire’s. I started thinking of other imponderables.

If a fine is a tax for doing wrong, is a tax a fine for doing well?

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

Isn’t Disney World a people trap operated by a mouse?

If cats like mice why can’t you buy mouse flavored cat food?

Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?

If you fail and succeed, which have you done?

If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?

Is there another word for synonym?

Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn’t they be wearing night gowns?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.

If you mixed vodka with orange juice and milk of magnesia, would you get a Philips Screwdriver?

Is Atheism a non-prophet organization?

If all is not lost, where is it?

Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”?

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you that a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw fish at them?

How do you tell when you run out of invisible ink?

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with, “Quit while you’re ahead?!”

How much faith does it take to be an atheist?

So what’s the speed of dark?

After eating, do amphibians need to wait an hour before getting OUT of the water?

I hope you will find many things to smile about today.

Final Road Commission Meeting – June 25, 2015

RoadCommissionThe ad-hoc committee that was appointed by parish President Rick Nowlin met this evening at 5:00 in the Court House in Natchitoches at their last scheduled meeting to present their findings on how to improve the parish roads and the means with which to implement those changes.

The meeting was called to order by committee Chairman Mr. Roger Williams who then asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes.

Then Mr. Williams called for old business and asked Ms. Donna Isaacs to give a brief summary of the final report which is attached to this synopsis. Ms. Isaacs explained that there were a couple of things that had changed since the last meeting and that they were the deletion of two methods of raising revenue from the proposal which were the fuel tax suggestion and the wheel tax suggestion. The reasons given were that the fuel tax is administered solely by the state and that the wheel tax is not utilized in the state of Louisiana. That leaves the parish residents with two options for raising revenue which are a sales tax and an ad valorem tax. It is estimated that a 1/2 % sales tax would generate approximately 3.1 million dollars annually. The biggest advantage is that revenue generated by this option would begin coming into the road/bridge budget within 90-120 days. In regards to the ad valorem (property) tax issue Ms. Isaacs said that an in depth study of adjoining parishes showed that on average those parishes collected 15-20 mills whereas Natchitoches was around 4.7 mills. The report says that if we raise the millage to 15 in Natchitoches parish that it would generate approximately 3.2 million dollars from the parish and approximately 1.2 million dollars from the city. The added benefit is that as property values rise so would the amount generated from the tax. The disadvantage is that this option will not even begin to generate revenue for one to two years into the future whereas the roads need attention now.

There was an added proposal which would solve both of these disadvantages is the generation of a hybrid tax. This would be a combination of the 1/2 % sales tax and an ad valorem tax. The 1/2 % sales tax would be voted in with a “sunset” provision which would phase it out after five years during which time the ad valorem taxes would have been implemented and money would be coming into the road fund from it. This is the proposal which the committee will be presenting to the parish President and from him to the parish Council to present to the voters hopefully to be put on the October ballot.

Then the committee Chairman called for public comments and there were two. Mr. Russell Rachal who is running for district five Councilman commended the committee for putting together such a comprehensive package. Then I stood and basically seconded Mr. Rachals points and thanked the committee for all their hard work and dedication to this project.

The final report is attached.

As a final word I would ask that ALL parish residents please read the attached report. I believe it to be a very good approach to the problems of the parish roads and a very real approach to helping bring new business and residents into the Natchitoches area.

Thanks for listening,

Clif Hart

Final Report – June 25 2015

Natchitoches Parish School Board Burglary

Title: NPD Seeking Information In Reference To School Board Burglary

BurglaryThe Natchitoches Police Department (NPD) is seeking information in-reference to a burglary located at the Natchitoches Parish School Board, 310 Royal St., Natchitoches, LA. Apparently suspect(s) entered into the School Board sometimes between Friday, June 19 and Sunday June 21, 2015. Once inside the School Board suspect(s) took approximately twenty-five (25) laptops with an estimated value of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00). The stolen laptops are of various names brands and all were described as black with the word, METHODS, written on the top of each laptop.

The Natchitoches Police Department is requesting that if anyone has information about the School Board Burglary or the whereabouts of any of the stolen laptops they’re urged to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact Detective William Connell of the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at (318) 238-3911. All calls shall be kept confidential.

TRUST: The Bond between the Government and the Governed

John McAlpinThe Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from John McAlpin.  The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. McAlpin and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to

Trust: The definition of the word is firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. It is also something that is not usually easy to obtain, and if it is lost, can be very hard, if not impossible to obtain again.

This is the problem facing the leaders of Natchitoches parish. I know I am not alone in my thinking, In fact I have heard from several people who share the same ideas that I am about to present to you. I can not speak for every citizen in Natchitoches Parish, nor would I ever attempt to do so, but I know these feelings are there among several citizens.

Different people have different opinions of when the problems started. Some like to point out the problems that the police jury was having. In fact there seemed to be so much of a problem that the steps were taken to change the form of government in this parish. When it was brought before the voters of this parish, 57.58% of those who voted, chose to change the form of government. Just a little more than half. (Source:

There are also citizens that thought things were going smoothly and did not think that a change was needed. They point out that things have gone downhill since the new government took over. Some have even stated how they would like to go back to the police jury form of government. Either way you look at it, you will find that there is a problem with trust of how the government is being run in this Parish. The problems did not happen overnight and it will not be fixed overnight.

I, among others on the Facebook page dedicated to the roads that I moderate, would like to see this system work. Personally, I think if we change the focus to changing the form of government, we will never see any improvement in the roads!! The problems have been going on for years and that covers both forms of government.

I will give the parish credit; they are at least attempting to look into the problem. However, since it has taken so long to even start that process, our roads have crumbled to the point simple repairs are not possible. There is no denying that the parish is broke and does not have the funds to maintain them, as they should be. The ad-valorem tax (Road District 40) has been the same since the late 80s. Several times, it was brought before the voters to attempt to raise it but each time it was voted down.

People in this parish pay a lot of taxes, as the economy has yet to pick up there is less money to go around. There is what on paper seems to be a simple answer to fix the roads of Natchitoches Parish, Raise the ad-valorem tax! However, that is not as simple as it seems. To get the money required, it would involve raising the tax from the current 4.87 mills to 15 mills. That means you would be paying three times as much. There is talk about a cap of $36 for Parish residents that I have not been able to clarify as of now; I do plan to try to find out more about it. I have spoken to several parish residents and it would not matter if they only wanted to raise it one mill, they are not in favor of it, reason being, TRUST. They do not trust the government in Natchitoches to spend it wisely. And I can say I understand

As I moderate the Facebook page, I see a lot of pictures being posted, pictures of “repairs” that the parish does that makes everyone scratch their heads. Potholes that are full of water being filled with the mix they use, and the hole is only halfway filled. One load of rock being dumped in a place that needs three. We understand that the parish has limited resources, but the quality of the work we are receiving for what we do pay in seems to be lacking just a bit. There are also reports of graders just driving by homes and not even attempting to work the road. In addition, I also see reports of roads that have been graded and it was worse than it was before, to the point where citizens are questioning the ability of the operator to do the work. We all saw how the picture taken of the grader man taking a “nap” spread like wildfire on social media. Granted that instance is now a dead subject, but things of that nature are the reason the citizens of this parish question the ability of the public works department to maintain the roads. Most residents feel the parish asking them to pay more in taxes is a slap in the face to them. They simply do not feel that the money would be used wisely. It is not the fact that it is needed; it is a trust issue that they will put the money to good use.

I personally have not seen enough information myself to endorse a tax, Is it needed? Yes, But I have been burnt enough times in my life by someone telling me they are going to do something and then they do the opposite. I would like to see the parish come up with a plan of attack on the road issue, something like a master plan, once I see how they plan to address the issue, as in prioritizing roads, drainage improvement plans, etc… and I see exactly what it is going to cost me, then I will determine how I wish to vote on such a proposed tax. There is not enough information for me to decide yet. I, among others, know it is needed, but simply do not trust the parish to spend it wisely. It’s not that we do not want the roads fixed; it is simply a matter of trust.TrustWordCloud

If the Trust issue is not addressed to the voter’s satisfaction, then any tax presented to the voters will fail. It is past time to put away our differences of the past and work together for a solution. Only if we do that, will we find a way to figure out the problem we are ALL facing!!. This should not be about how things got this way; it should be about finding a solution to the problem!

I for one, hope that the trust issue will be addressed for the betterment of all the citizens of Natchitoches Parish.

John McAlpin

Sean receives Blue Bayou Water Park Tickets – Happy Birthday

20150624_081758I want to wish my sweet friend, Sean Stewart, a very Happy 10th Birthday! Sean is on the Autism spectrum, super smart, has the memory of an elephant, and on several occasions has helped me with my Mary Kay business because he has memorized the product info. Really!

I met Sean a little over a year ago and at that time knew next to nothing about Autism.  I have learned so much in the past year, the brain is an amazing organ and I’m astounded by its complexity. I also have a new appreciation of the term “spectrum.” No two people on the spectrum are alike. Sean refers to them as Snowflakes. Each one is beautiful but completely different.

One of Sean’s favorite things is to receive mail. He loves card, letters, and postcards. The ladies at the post office are always excited to see him coming. They have a special box for his hundreds of pieces of mail, yes! I said hundreds.  If you would like to participate in the Sean’s Snowflakes movement, please drop him at card at:

Sean Stewart, PO Box 359, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71458

If you have a child or family member on the spectrum, I’d love to hear from you and feature your child, their interests and challenges, here at the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  Just email me at the address shown below.

Georgia Hilton

Northwestern State adds JUCO All-American receiver

MafiGraphicWhether Southeastern Conference transfer Stephen Rivers or one of the five quarterbacks on campus this spring wins the Northwestern State starting job, the weapons cache got a little deeper this summer.

The Demons added receiver William Mafi II, who was selected to the All-American squad in the California Community College Football Coaches Association, of San Joaquin Delta College.

Mafi, who will have two seasons of eligibility after joining the Demons this summer, was Delta’s leading receiver as a freshman and sophomore.

The 6-foot-2 target, ranked as the No. 24 junior college receiver in the nation by writer Brad Hoiseth, caught 72 passes for 963 yards and six touchdowns in just nine games this past season.

“William is a very productive player, and he’ll bring needed size to the position,” said NSU coach Jay Thomas. “He’ll compete immediately for early playing time. He led all California junior colleges with eight catches per game as a sophomore.

“The best thing is that he’s a great character kid and is a really great fit for our program.”

The Stockton, California, native averaged 108 receiving yards per game and tallied four games over the 100-yard mark. Two breakout games included an 11-catch, 203-yard performance with a touchdown against Fresno City College. Mafi also recorded 169 yards and a touchdown against College of the Siskiyous.

As a freshman, Mafi collected 32 catches for 369 yards and a touchdown. The team MVP and team captain also ran track, clocking a 10.7 in the 100 meters. He leaves San Joaquin Delta with a 3.2 GPA and will major in criminal justice at NSU.

Mafi joins an NSU receiving corps that returns its top four pass catchers from this past season, but none of those returners are taller than 5-11.

The Demons coaching staff stumbled upon Mafi while recruiting the area, but NSU has had success scouring California junior colleges before.

Record-setting quarterback Zach Adkins came from Riverside City College, and receiver Bryant Mitchell (Southwestern Community College) provided Adkins a solid target. Offensive lineman Zach Schumann (Siskiyous) should also factor into the Demons’ rotation this season.

Fireworks over Cane River Friday night – June 26, 2015

Fireworks over caneriver

As part of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Weekend Celebration, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation will host “Tailgating – Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Style” at the Landing Restaurant on Friday, June 26, 2015 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. There will be fireworks over the Cane River Lake Friday night beginning at 9:15p.m.

In preparation for the fireworks show, the downtown riverbank will be closed to all vehicular traffic beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015.  The Church Street Bridge and Williams Avenue from Whitfield Drive to Henry Avenue will close to all traffic both pedestrian and vehicular at 8:45 p.m. The streets will remain closed until the conclusion of the fireworks show.


Parishgovseal Natchitoches Parish Office of Community Services (OCS) is announcing the availability of funds dedicated to assist low-income households with their energy payments in Natchitoches Parish. All applications are taken on a first come, first served basis. Appointments for applications will be given Thursday, July 2, 2015 starting at 8:15 A.M. by phone calls only.

Click Here for:


Road Closings – June 24, 2015

RoadClosureNPJAs of 7am, the following roads in Natchitoches Parish system are closed to traffic due to backwater flooding:
Powhatan Area
Hymes Road
Johnson Chute Road, between Johnson Chute Bridge and LA-485
Black/Clear/Saline Lake Areas
Mack Wall Road
Montgomery Camp Road
Oil Road 
Cross Lake
Other Areas
Tauzin Island Road ( closed from ARufus Morgan Road)
Good Hope Road, near I-49
Emmanuel Road, north of Bayou Barbue Bridge
Nid Aigie
Total Number of Flooded Roads at this time = 8
We will continue to provide updates as they become available.  For more information, please contact the Parish Highway Department at 357-2200.

NPSO Deputies and LSP arrest Natchitoches man after he allegedly fires shotgun several times

Ricky_Anthony_CulbertResidents in Cedar Grove Sub-Division near Natchitoches were alarmed Monday evening when they observed a man walking in the in the area with a shotgun and then heard several shots fired according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday afternoon June 22nd at approximately 6:52pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division and Louisiana State Police responded to reports of a man walking in the Pecan Court area of Cedar Grove Sub-Division, south of Natchitoches, La. allegedly firing a shotgun.

Deputies were provided with a description of the suspect.

Deputies and LSP canvassed the area and took the suspect into custody without incident on Vienna Parkway Drive after they observed him fire an additional round into some bushes.

Deputies report there were no injuries.

Deputies arrested:

Ricky Anthony Culbert, 54 of the 100 block of Pecan Court, Natchitoches, La., was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Illegal Use of a Firearm.

Deputies report smelling a alcoholic beverage odor about Culbert’s person during his arrest.

Culbert remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.

Sheriff Jones stated he is pleased the arrest ended peacefully and innocent people were not injured by the fired rounds.

Job Opening – Mosquito Sprayers

MosquitoSprayParish of Natchitoches is accepting applications for part-time temporary Mosquito Sprayers. Applications and Job Description may be picked up from the Parish of Natchitoches, Room 212 of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse; 8:00 a.m. thru 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parish of Natchitoches is an equal opportunity employer and a drug-free workplace. THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS IS JULY 6, 2015. All selected applicants are subject to a background check, pre-employment drug screening, and physical examination.