Free Vaccine provided by the Department of Health & Hospitals

DHEALTHandHospitalsThe Department of Health & Hospitals will administer the Tdap vaccine that protects against (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) to anyone who has been in or near floodwaters that has inundated Natchitoches Parish.

The Tdap vaccine will be given on Friday, June 19th at 10:00am until 3:00pm at the following location:

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Office
Office of Community Services
726 Third Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
For more information please call Mary Jones (318) 471-2942.

The vaccine is free of charge.

NPSO Deputies arrest Natchitoches Man and Woman on Felony Drug Charges;

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a Natchitoches man and woman on felony drug charges during a traffic stop on US-71 near Campti on Saturday evening according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Saturday evening June 13th at approximately 11:38pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were patrolling in the Campti area, when they stopped a 2007 Dodge dually truck on US-71 near La. Hwy 480 for a traffic violation.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as April C. Wise, 36, of Natchitoches, La.

A passenger in the vehicle and owner, was identified as William H. Giddens Jr., 46, of Natchitoches, La.

Deputies say during the traffic stop both the driver and passenger acted suspiciously leading them to believe criminal activity existed.

During the traffic stop, deputies learned the vehicle compulsory insurance card had been expired for over three months.

Deputies contacted a local wrecker service to impound the vehicle.

During an inventory of the vehicle, deputies seized approximately 8 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine ice with a potential street value of $1200, and $1247 US currency.

Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents also responded to the scene to assist.

As a result, deputies arrested:

April_WiseApril Cosette Wise, 36, of the 200 block of Vienna Road, Lot#6, Natchitoches, La., transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute-2nd Offense, and traffic charges.

William_Giddens_JrWilliam H. Giddens Jr., 46, of the 9100 block of La. Hwy 1 South, Natchitoches, La., transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute.

Both suspects remain in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.

The seized US currency will be turned over to the Natchitoches District Attorney’s Office for Asset Forfeiture proceedings in the Tenth Judicial District Court.

Deputies D. Caballero and M. Williams made the arrests.

Parish Road Update – June 16, 2015 at 5PM

The following roads in Natchitoches Parish system are closed to traffic due to backwater flooding:

Powhatan Area
Bayou Pierre Road
Hymes Road
Three League Road
Johnson Chute Road, between Johnson Chute Bridge and LA-485

Spanish Lake Area
Posey Road, approx. 1/2 mile west of Andrew Gibson Road
Lake Loop, south end
Burkett Slough Road

Campti Area
Front Street in Campti [previously reported as Church Street]

Black/Clear/Saline Lake Areas
Sonny Black Road
Mack Wall Road
Pardee Road, near intersection of Gary Salard Road
Clear Lake Road
Montgomery Camp Road
Trichel Road
Roy Fredrick

Other Areas
Tauzin Island Road
Hampton Road
Good Hope Road, near I-49
Emmanuel Road, north of Bayou Barbue Bridge
Nid Aigie

Total Number of Flooded Roads at this time = 20

We will continue to provide updates as they become available.  For more information, please contact the Parish Highway Department at 357-2200.

GOHSEP REPRESENTATIVES VISIT NATCHITOCHES PARISH

GOHSEPNatchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin and staff, representatives of the Natchitoches Parish OHSEP, and Mayor Lee Posey of the City of Natchitoches met today with Mark Riley, Deputy Director of Recovery, and Teresa Basco, Region 6 Coordinator with GOHSEP. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the post-event activities and documentation that will be required in the event that the Parish is covered under a Federal Declaration of Emergency.

Regulations require the Governor to request a Presidential declaration within 30 days from the last date of the Event. The flooding of the Red River in Natchitoches Parish started on May 28th and it is anticipated that the Event will be kept open with FEMA until the flood waters have receded. In light of the potential for new flooding due to Tropical Storm Bill, GOHSEP is working with FEMA representatives to keep the current Event open as a continuing event. As many of the tributaries are still full, Louisiana could see another round of flooding in early July once the new rainfall moves down the Red River.

If it is determined that the damage caused by the flooding exceeds the monetary damage indicator as published by FEMA, a Preliminary Damage Assessment will be requested and performed in conjunction with FEMA, GOHSEP and the Parish OHSEP office. In the event that the Parish does receive a FEMA Public Assistance Declaration, all recovery activities will require the Parish to have a 25% cost share.

Press Release: NPG-Parish President Rick Nowlin

Tropical Storm Bill: Impacts to Region

StormBillTwo to four inches with higher amounts possible from near Tyler to Clarksville, with expected amounts less further east. Flash flooding will be possible, especially if rainbands set up and train over the same areas repeatedly. A flash flood watch is in effect for portions of the region through 7 PM Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Bill is expected to make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast near Matagorda Bay later this morning. It will move into central Texas by late tonight and into North Texas during Wednesday, bringing heavy rainfall and the potential for isolated tornadoes for portions of the region.

BillAbove

Parish Council Meeting – June 15, 2015.

The Natchitoches Parish Government held its regularly schedule meeting for the month of June tonight at the Parish Courthouse. In attendance were Council Members John Salter, A.J. Johnson, Rodney Bedgood and Ricky LaCour. Chris Paige was not in attendance.

Parish Council - June 15, 2015

Parish Council – June 15, 2015

When a motion was made to adopt the minutes of the previous meeting from May 2015, Ms. Debbie Miley asked that a conversation be added to the minutes. Ms. Miley read the conversation to the Council. This conversation was a recap of Mr. Chris Paige’s speech in which he was upset about a mail out and wanted it investigated. A motion was made and the Council voted to add Mr. Paige’s speech to the record of the May meeting.

The Council will consider introducing a $10 fee to be added to all guilty plea or convictions after the trial, with the exception of traffic violations. On a motion made, a second received the motion carried.

An agenda item to consider paying Charles Cloud for maintenance at the bin site on land temporary leased from him received no motion and died.

The Council adopted a resolution to authorize the Parish President to advertise for public bids for improvements to the Coco Bed Road.

The Council tabled applying for the Block Grant for one month to acquire more information.

Mike Wolff spoke on behalf of the Natchitoches Community Alliance regarding a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Parish Government and the newly formed Natchitoches Community Alliance (NCA) whereby the Parish is required to issue payment to NCA in the amount of $10,000. AJ Johnson, Ricky LaCour and Rodney Bedgood voted to approve and Mr. John Salter voted to reject.

The Council authorized the Director of Public Works to advertise for the temporary lease of additional road work equipment for the summer months.

Head Start presented next year’s calendar which was accepted – the vote was unanimous.

The Council asked the Parish President what chance we would have in receiving FEMA money for the flooded homes. FEMA wants all flooded homes to be inspected; Flood Plain Manager, Greg Lemoine stated that the current number of homes flooded is 350 and rising. Mr. Nowlin stated that we would first need a Federal Emergency Declaration before we could expect FEMA funds.

Finally, Mr. Nowlin reported that the 6 week summer interns have been selected.

There were no visitor or public comments made.

The Parish Council then voted to go into Executive Session to take up an employee matter?

Red River Flooding Has Minimal Impact on Natchitoches Port

Natchitoches Parish Port - North

Natchitoches Parish Port – North

The Natchitoches Parish Port continued normal operations Monday as the Red River began to drop after cresting at 42 feet, approximately 9 feet over flood stage.  Red River is now at 41.85 and continues to drop.  Though lock and dams along the Red River remain closed, the Natchitoches Parish Port has been able to continue normal on-site activity, such as truck and rail activities.
Attached photos show the water levels relative to freeboard elevation of the port site.

The Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc. was formed in late 2014 with the mission to provide support and leadership for economic development and workforce solutions affecting economic activity in our parish and region.

Press Release: NACC & NPPA

Natchitoches Parish Port - South

Natchitoches Parish Port – South

Parish Road Update – No Change June 15, 2015 at 9AM

RoadClosureNPJAs of this time, the following roads in Natchitoches Parish system are closed to traffic due to backwater flooding:
Powhatan Area
Bayou Pierre Road
Hymes Road
Three League Road
Johnson Chute Road, between Johnson Chute Bridge and LA-485
Spanish Lake Area
Posey Road, approx. 1/2 mile west of Andrew Gibson Road
Lake Loop, south end
Burkett Slough Road
Campti Area
Front Street in Campti [previously reported as Church Street]
Black and Clear Lake Areas
Sonny Black Road
Mack Wall Road
Pardee Road, near intersection of Gary Salard Road
Clear Lake Road
Montgomery Camp Road
Other Areas
Tauzin Island Road
Hampton Road
Good Hope Road, near I-49
Emmanuel Road, north of Bayou Barbue Bridge
Total Number of Flooded Roads at this time = 17
We will continue to provide updates as they become available.  For more information, please contact the Parish Highway Department at 357-2200.

Natchitoches’ first outdoor yoga class June 20, 6:30pm at Beau Jardin on the‬ Riverbank.

Celebrate summer with an FREE yoga class at the beautiful lawn at Beau Jardin! Summer officially kicks off June 21. Whether it’s the longest day or shortest night of the year for you come check out the benefits that yoga can offer you as we welcome summer! For all ages and levels!

We’ll check out a few key yoga postures, find out what the Summer Solstice has to do with yoga and participate in a class that will be accessible and refreshing for all! Feel free to bring a mat, towel or blanket.  We will be accepting donations to the Red Cross for flood relief in our area.

June 20, 6:30pm at the lawn at Beau Jardin (in front of Maglieaux’s on the Riverbank)

FREE & open to the public!

Restore, Renew, Reignite with Spark studio, yoga for all!  Stay tuned for Spark Studio – Fall 2015!

Spark Studio Website

SparkLogo

Have we created a generation of children who feel “entitled” to just about everything?

FathersHandPlease take about two minutes to read this.  by Melanie Rowland Poynter

A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked, ‘

– Have you received a scholarship for school?’ The boy replied, ” No ‘.
-‘ It was your father who paid for your studies? ‘
-‘ Yes.’- He replied.
-‘ Where does your father work? ‘
-‘ My father is a Blacksmith’
The Director asked the young to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
-‘ Have you ever helped your parents at their job? ‘
-‘ Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.
The director said:
-‘ I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.’
The young felt his chance to get the job was high.
When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash their hands.
His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed their hands to his son. The young washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.
This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his study. The bruises on the hands were the price that he payed for their education, his school activities and his future.
After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.

The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young when He asked him: -‘ Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?’
The boy replied: -‘ I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop ‘
-‘ Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents , I would not be who I am today . By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value in helping the family.

The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others , a person who knows the hardship of others to do things, and a person who does not put money as his only goal in life”. ‘ You are hired ‘.

A child that has been coddled, Protected and usually given him what he wants, develops a mentality of ” I have the right ‘ and will always put himself first, ignoring the efforts of their parents. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we destroying our children?

You can give your child a big house , good food , computer classes , watch on a big screen TV . But when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall , please let him experience that too.

After eating have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you have no money to hire someone to do this it’s because you want to love them the right way . No matter how rich you are, you want them to understand. One day your hair will have gray hair, like the father of this young man.

The most important thing is that your child learns to appreciate the effort and to experience the difficulties and learn the ability to work with others to get things done. “

Parish Road Update – June 12, 2015 at 7AM

As of 7AM this morning (06-12-15), the following roads in Natchitoches Parish system are closed to traffic due to backwater flooding:RoadClosureNPJ
Powhatan Area
Bayou Pierre Road
Hymes Road
Three League Road
Johnson Chute Road, between Johnson Chute Bridge and LA-485
Spanish Lake Area
Posey Road, approx. 1/2 mile west of Andrew Gibson Road
Lake Loop, south end
Burkett Slough Road
Campti Area
Front Street in Campti [previously reported as Church Street]
Black and Clear Lake Areas
Sonny Black Road
Mack Wall Road
Pardee Road, near intersection of Gary Salard Road
Clear Lake Road
Montgomery Camp Road
Other Areas
Tauzin Island Road
Hampton Road
Good Hope Road, near I-49
Emmanuel Road, north of Bayou Barbue Bridge
Total Number of Flooded Roads at this time = 17
We will continue to provide updates as they become available.  For more information, please contact the Parish Highway Department at 357-2200.

Ponderings with Doug – June 12, 2015

dougthumbIn the Methodist Church we baptize in three modes.

Sprinkling, which involves very little water, is done primarily with infants. There is a mode called affusion. By this method of baptism, water is poured over the head of the individual. The third method is immersion. In Greek, the word baptize means “hold them under until they bubble.” Josephus wrote that King Herod baptized two of his sons to death. In the Methodist church, you can choose your mode of baptism. Last Sunday I was in a swimming pool, doing a full body dunking! It was great.

It did remind me of my first baptism. The church of my baptism would ordain anything willing, and I was. I was licensed to preach in 1976 and ordained in 1978. Barely out of High School, I was serving as the associate pastor of a church. In that church the mode of baptism was immersion. It was a Sunday night and the minister wanted to give the neophyte associate minister baptism experience. I was very excited about my first baptism. Clergy do have a low threshold of whoopee.

The candidate was a young man named Henry Dale. He was a part of our youth group and I had prayed with him that morning at the altar as he gave his life to Christ.

The church had a font or baptistry behind the choir loft. I put on the sacred duck waders and the robe the minister wore to hide the sacred waders from the congregation. Clearing my throat loud enough for the choir director to hear, the switches on the curtains and the lights were flipped. There I stood in the lit baptistery. The only light in the whole sanctuary emanated from pool holding the waters of baptism. I was thinking that I certainly must look wise and dignified standing there. It was a very satisfying moment for a novice minister.

I reached out my hand signaling Henry Dale to enter the waters of life. As we stood waist deep in the baptistry, I discovered something about Henry Dale. I should have known given the history I had with that particular minister. I was not being given an opportunity. I was handling a problem. Henry Dale was terrified of water.

I moved Henry Dale into place. Made sure his feet were properly placed in the anti-feet-floating-box hidden in many baptistries. I spoke the words of the ritual.

“Henry Dale I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

I placed one hand on his neck and the other on his hands clasped reverently in front of him. I started to put him under. As I headed him back, he slipped one foot out of the anti-feet-floating-box. His legs were now in the spread position. I was pushing and he was pushing back. At that time, I was a legalist. I knew that all of Henry Dale had to go under or his soul would burn in not properly baptized hell. So I lifted my left leg up and with my left knee caught him in the chest and powered him under.

Amen.

He came up spitting and coughing, but he was properly baptized.

You know when you bend down into the water with duck waders they will fill up on you. Those suckers are heavy filled with water. Another insightful moment came with the realization that the choir was already baptized and they were not overjoyed by all the water that splashed on them during that baptismal debacle. The baptistry is not a very good wave pool and water will slosh into the choir loft in copious amounts.

I was told to hurry back into the sanctuary. My duty was the concluding prayer. I was walking around with water in my waders. It necessitated a trip outside to get out of the waders. Then I rushed back into the sanctuary to face the music at the end of the service. There I stood in my soaked suit pants, muddy socks and wet dress shirt with the still trembling Henry Dale. He had a change of clothes with him. He was dry I was all wet.

I’m thankful that Jesus doesn’t count style points.

City Pool to Open Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Natchitoches

Swimming Lessons Begin Monday June 15

NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches Recreation and Parks Department announces that City Pool will officially open to the public on Saturday, June 13, 2015 with swimming lessons starting Monday, June 15, 2015.  City Pool is located at 311 Amulet Street in Natchitoches.City Pool

The opening of the pool had been delayed due to weather and renovations being completed at the pool.  Renovations to City Pool included updating and repairing pump room equipment, filling in the deep end of the pool so that the pool has a max depth of five feet, and replastering the pool to prevent leaks.

“We are sorry for the delay in opening the pool, but feel like these improvements will be a great addition to the community,” stated Kendrick Llorens, Recreation and Parks Department.  “In the past, we have been limited to the amount of kids we can safely have in the pool.  With the pool now being five feet at its deepest level, we will be able to accommodate up to 100 kids in the pool for swimming lessons as well as increase the amount of play area in the pool for recreational swim.”

City Pool will be open on Saturday, June 13 for recreational swimming beginning at 2:00 p.m.  City Pool will be open for recreational swimming Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The cost for recreational swim is $1 per person.

Swimming lessons will begin on Monday, June 15 at 8:00 a.m.  Swimming lessons are offered in sessions and cost $20 for the first child enrolled and $17 for each additional child.  The sessions are June 15 – 26, June 29 – July 10, and July 13 – 24, 2015 and will be offered at 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. time slots.  Registration for each session ends the Friday before the session begins.

For more information about swimming lessons and recreational swimming at City Pool, please contact the City of Natchitoches Recreation and Parks Department at (318) 357-3891.

Contact: Samantha Bonnette, City of Natchitoches

Phone: (318) 352-2746

Equipment Operator III needed – Parish Public Works

The Parish of Natchitoches Highway Department is soliciting applications for temporary seasonal employment as an ParishgovsealEquipment Operator III.

The primary duties will involve operation of a motor grader for 40 or more hours per week.  The period of employment is anticipated to not exceed four months, beginning on or around June 29, 2015.

Prior experience in operation of a motor grader is required.  Candidates will be selected based on an evaluation of their experience and qualifications, and a check of references.

An Application for Employment may be obtained from Room No. 212 of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, which is located at 200 Church Street, or from the Parish Highway Department located at 4597 Hwy. 1 North.

THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS IS JUNE 22, 2015.

The Parish of Natchitoches is an equal opportunity employer and a drug-free workplace.  All selected applicants are subject to a background check, pre-employment drug screen, and physical examination.

For questions, please contact Nick Verret, Director of Public Works, at (318) 357-2200.