Single-vehicle crash on I-49 south of Chopin.

I49 Wreck
NPSO, LSP and EMS respond to single-vehicle minor injury crash on Interstate-49 south of Chopin

On Friday afternoon July 31st, at approximately 2:39pm, NPSO Deputies, Louisiana State Police, and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics responded to a single-vehicle injury crash on Interstate 49 just south of Chopin, La.

The driver and passenger of the 2009 Ford Van received minor injuries were not transported by EMS.

Deputies say the vehicle was traveling northbound when the vehicle apparently had a blow out, leaving the roadway on the right side overturning.

Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police, Troop-E Alexandria is investigating the crash.

NPSO Deputies and Natchitoches Fire District #9 respond to early morning structure fire.

Fairview-Alpha fire

NPSO Deputies and Natchitoches Fire District #9 respond to early morning structure fire near Fairview Alpha Friday morning July 31st at approximately 4:20am in the 1100 block of US-71 near Fairview Alpha, La.

Fire District #9 arrived within 6 minutes of the time of the call.

The residence owned Milton McCullough and occupied by Shannon Jones was a total lost.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the La. State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Tickets remain for Tuesday night Delaney film screening at NSU

Joe Delaney-1980 sideline

Under 70 tickets remained available Friday morning for Tuesday evening’s screening of the ESPN 30 For 30 Short Film “Delaney” at NSU’s Magale Recital Hall.

Tickets, $10 each, are available at NSUDemons.com or by calling the NSU Ticket Office at 357-4268 during business hours Monday or Tuesday. If any remain, they will be available at the Magale Recital Hall Tuesday evening when a 6:30 reception precedes the 7 p.m. screening hosted by “Delaney” producer Grant Curtis and the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

Casual attire is welcomed for the event, which should conclude about 8:15. After the film, which runs approximately 20 minutes, a panel of former teammates and friends of Joe Delaney will discuss the film and his life. Delaney, a two-sport All-American who became a Pro Bowl running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, perished in a June 1983 attempt to rescue three drowning children, one who survived.

A  “Delaney” screening is also being held on Wednesday night in Shreveport. For ticket information for that event, visit LaSportsHall.com. The film will debut Aug. 19 on ESPN platforms to be announced soon by the network.

Curtis has been a producer on the “Spider-Man” film trilogy, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” and is currently involved with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.”

Applications for the Reserve NPD Unit are now beign accepted.

NPD PatchSince the early nineteen nineties, the Reserve Unit of the Natchitoches Police Department has provided important services to the Natchitoches community and its citizens.  Reserve officers are utilized as additional manpower for events and on patrol as well as offering a visible police presence in the Historic District during the holidays and numerous festivals.

New reserve officers are trained by experienced certified law enforcement trainers during a two month academy.

This training is performed at night for the convenience of the trainee.

Applications for the reserve unit are now being accepted until August 17th
Anyone interested can contact Lieutenant Stan Williams at 318-357-3878 or Sergeant Jeff Townson at 318-357-3852.”

Ponderings with Doug – July 31, 2015

dougthumbDid I tell you about the time I was stuck on I-10 in New Orleans?

I was visiting a preacher friend of mine and we had gone to New Orleans East to drool over the books at the seminary bookstore. My preacher friend had a 3 o’clock appointment back in his office on the Westbank of New Orleans. We were headed back and the traffic on I-10 into town had backed up. We were both grousing about the idiot who likely was in an accident at the Claiborne exit. The closer we came to down town the more obvious that our traffic prognostication was correct. The accident was in the left lane and that was our shortcut to the Westbank. We wedged over into the middle lane to pass the accident.

As we rolled by my friend cried, “Oh no, it’s Stephanie!”

I pulled ahead and parked in front of the accident in the left lane. It was my friend’s daughter Stephanie. She had rear-ended someone in her Volvo. She was fine. Actually she was mad because she and the other party were waiting for the police to come do whatever they do at accidents. While her car remained in the left lane the other party had moved to the opposite shoulder and already had Morris Bart at the scene of the accident.

Stephanie was fine. The Volvo, which means “I run” would run despite the crumpled front end. My friend hugged his little girl and assured her it was OK. He then looked at me and said, “I need to meet this couple about their wedding would you wait with Stephanie until the police come?” I said the dumbest thing I have ever said in my life, “Sure.” As I watched the tail lights of my car vanish in the direction of the West bank I had this sick sinking feeling.

I should have told him to wait and I would have done the wedding conversation. I should have said, “Lets abandon this heap and all go to the Westbank.” I didn’t.

I stood with Stephanie and the crumpled Volvo on I-10 blocking the inside lane for two hours. Dad never returned with my car! I learned so many words of encouragement from passing motorists. Stephanie who was really cute received several offers from passing male motorists. I also learned that despite her innocent appearance, Stephanie knew how to respond in kind to some of the words and gestures being shared with us by delayed passing motorists. It was an afternoon from hell!

Two hours later the police showed up, spent five minutes at the accident sight and said, “Move the vehicle.” I had already opened the crumpled hood so I knew what needed to be done to the car. I took off my tennis shoe, used the string to pull the radiator off of the fan. I tied the radiator to the remains of the front of the car. I told Stephanie, “Get in, I’ll drive.”

We safely traversed the distance to my friend’s Parsonage on the Westbank. I thought about that story because my friend’s mother died this week and I’m making plans to go to the funeral. I’m going to ask Stephanie if she remembers our afternoon together in New Orleans. If her kids are there, they will be old enough to hear the story, complete with a recounting of Stephanie’s colorful vocabulary.

I’m glad I was there to help. It is much funnier now than when it was happening.

Jesus never said that helping another person would be easy.

Why Donald Trump?

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

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.

Donald Trump is a thing in national presidential politics. A lot of people are frankly shocked at this, but it’s happening. I don’t particularly care for the guy as a candidate – he has been a major Democrat donor (including to Hillary Clinton), he is for single-payer, etc. – but there is something about his campaign that people in Washington D.C. can’t quite pick out.

“Why is Donald Trump a thing,” they ask. That curiosity has turned to outright anger. They don’t like that he’s making some headway and now leading in several polls. They are certain that Trump will pave the way for Hillary in 2016. I don’t blame them for their anger. I am angry as well. But, there is a simple reason that these GOP folks are overlooking or ignoring.

They have completely shut out the base of the Republican party in order to keep special interests happy. It may shock you to know that a very large group of conservative voters do not like big businesses running the party or the country. They don’t like that the biggest beneficiaries of government are special interest groups. They want something different.

Enter Donald Trump. The GOP Leadership has completely given up on securing the border and solving immigration. Trump, already well-known and a crowd-holder, speaks out against the GOP’s capitulation on the subject, and the conservative base is enthralled. His poll numbers shoot up, and he will be on the debate stage on August 6.

Is Trump going to win? No. Is he going to go third party and ruin things? Well, maybe (though he did assure the folks at RedState he was not going to – his invitation to their big Gathering the weekend of the debate would’ve been revoked).  However, the conservatives will move on and find someone else they like.

Trump’s campaign will fizzle out as the other candidates get into their grooves and the novelty of Trump wears off. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and others will be there to get those supporters. Polling right now really only means that the person on top has been very visible. They don’t mean the person on top is going to win.

But the GOP leadership needs to re-evaluate its priorities before they drive off any and all support they have left. And, given how things in Congress looked this past week… well, that might not be so far off.

Demons see fifth-place pick as good omen.

NSU5thplace

by Matt Vines, NSU Sports Information Graduate Assistant

LAKE CHARLES – Every season in every conference across the country, football coaches describe preseason league polls as instruments of entertaining conjecture with no real predictive value.

Northwestern State was picked fifth in the Southland Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, but coach Jay Thomas and the Demons hope that this poll is accurate.

It’s not that the Demons want to see themselves fifth in the final SLC standings, but NSU has won three of its four regular season Southland titles (1988, 1997 and 2004) and made two additional playoff appearances (2001 and 2002) when picked to finish fifth in the preseason.

“Being picked in that spot is kind of ironic, and hopefully it works out like those years did,” said Thomas, whose 6-6 records in his first two seasons as NSU head coach broke a streak of four consecutive losing campaigns. “We feel like we have the team that can get it done, but it will have to come together.

“A lot of that happens in camp, so hopefully we can pull that together really quick with some of the new faces. I think it’s fair for us to be in that (fifth spot), but maybe we can be that dark horse in the end.”

Senior receiver Ed Eagan (purple shirt) will spearhead a stable of offensive weapons that is arguably the deepest in the Southland Conference.

SLC Commissioner Tom Burnett joked with NSU receiver Ed Eagan, who is picked at three different positions on the conference preseason team, that he’s surprised to learn that Eagan is just one person at Tuesday night’s dinner.

Eagan, who appeared as a first-team receiver, punt returner and all-purpose player, said he doesn’t have a favorite responsibility among the many duties he performs for the Demons.

“That’s a hard question,” said Eagan, who started his college career as a cornerback after intercepting five passes in one high school game at Holy Cross in New Orleans. “I’ve been switching around as a corner and receiver, but punt returner has been my one constant as a position. I like receiver as well.

“(Having played cornerback) I can see what they are trying to do to me, but I’ll do whatever my team needs me to do … I do like scoring touchdowns more than getting hit.”

The only question on NSU’s offense is what quarterback will be tossing Eagan and others the ball.

Former LSU and Vanderbilt quarterback Stephen Rivers transferred to NSU this summer, throwing his hat into a ring that included as many as five other quarterbacks this spring.

Eagan, who’s been named a preseason All-American as an all-purpose player, said he’s developed a strong relationship with Rivers in a short time, but he knows quarterbacks like sophomore J.D. Almond (Haughton), junior Daniel Hazlewood and junior college transfer Joel Blumenthal will compete well with Rivers.

Thomas characterized the competition as a “huge battle” heading into fall camp, which begins Aug. 6, just a few weeks before the Demons kick off their regular season against defending Southland co-champion Southeastern on Sept. 3 in Turpin Stadium.

“Adding Stephen into that mix makes it a lot more heated,” Thomas said. “Joel is very talented and athletic with a very strong arm, and he’ll have three more years with us.

“Almond has been in our program since Day 1 as a freshman, and he’s really developed well and his knowledge is starting to improve. Almond has the talent and moxie I look for in a quarterback to handle what I call the gray elements of the game. Hazlewood is a talented guy as well. It might be a difficult decision in the end, but it will be fun, different and exciting to think about all the things we can do. Whoever our quarterback or our quarterback combination will be, he won’t have to win the game by himself. We just need him to be a good distributor of the football and make good decisions.”

Leading a defensive contingent with a mix of youth and experience, Armstrong said the defense is adjusting to new defensive coordinator Daryl Daye. Armstrong, who was recruited by Thomas when Thomas was NSU’s defensive line coach, will play for his fourth defensive coordinator in his NSU career.

“It’s always been a challenge changing defensive coordinators, but even with the changes, we’ve had similar schemes,” said Armstrong, who is one of three Natchitoches natives likely to be starters. “It hasn’t been too hard for the defense to pick up. Daye is a great guy, and he has a great personality. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Likely more challenging than the defensive coordinator changes was the defensive line battling a rash of injuries, which include six defensive linemen missing significant time during the season.

Armstrong will anchor a deep front that will play in front of relatively experienced linebackers and safeties.

Thomas coached under Daye at Division II Missouri Southern and with Daye at Nicholls State, calling Daye his best friend.

“It’s been great to have your best buddy working with you on staff.  “It was great having (former defensive coordinator) Mike Lucas, a former head coach as well, on staff.

“It’s very comforting having Daye there, and it’s been different because I’m used to sitting on the side of the table with him at the head of the table. But I think the kids are really buying into his personality, and he’s a gung-ho coach who likes to get after it and has fun with the kids. Our defense is talented but young in a lot of areas. We do have a number of guys back who have played a ton, but he’s got some work to do there. His wisdom will be great to have.”