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 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 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, 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.


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.”

Fire District 7 Responds to accident.

FireDist7 - JeepNatchitoches Parish Fire District 7 responds to a one vehicle accident with minor injuries on Hwy 120 west of Marthaville.

A Profile of Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7 as provided:

Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7 covers 288 square miles. District 7 is located in the west part of Natchitoches Parish. There are 6 stations within Fire District 7.  There are 16 units in service – It’s takes a lot to keep a fire district together. In March our 3 new 2014 Freight Liner fire units arrived. One of the trucks replaced was donated to a fire department close to Ruston Louisiana.   Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7 is an all volunteer unit.  We are expecting later this year to order more fire units to replace our older units. The older units getting replaced are 1981 models. Every 5 years the insurance commissioner sends a group down to look at the equipment to make sure it is up to date.  They review the paper work and make sure the water can be pumped at their standards.  It takes a lot of money to keep a fire department going. Without the Fire Department Districts of Natchitoches Parish,  good folks could not get insurance or it would be so costly they couldn’t afford it.

District 7 currently has 30 Volunteer fire fighters – most, if not all, have full-time jobs.  Many of them clock out after 10-12 hours on their main jobs and then go straight to a scene. Some go to bed at 10 pm, get paged out at midnight, come home at 2 am and wake again to get ready for work at 4 am. They do not get reimbursed for gas in their personal vehicles. They also do not get reimbursed for the lights/sirens on their personal vehicles. They purchase them out of their own money to better serve their community.  Everyone is encouraged to help your local fire department district. When you have a fire you depend on us.

Natchitoches Parish Fire District 7
PO Box 68
Marthaville, Louisiana 71450

Concealed Carry Class set for August 8, 2015.

ConcealedCarryNorthwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Louisiana Concealed Carry Class Saturday, Aug. 8. The class is for those age 21 or older who want to obtain a Louisiana concealed handgun permit.

The course will be from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. in South Hall on the Northwestern State campus and at the Natchitoches Shooting Range. The cost is $110. The class will cover pistol shooting fundamentals, safe handling, use of force laws and related topics.

For more information, call (318) 357-5682, (800) 376-2422 or go to

Recreation & Parks Department to Hold Back to School Bash August 8

Back to School Bash 2015The City of Natchitoches Recreation and Parks Department will host a Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at City Park on Amulet Street in Natchitoches.  Students of all ages are invited to attend and show off their school pride in a parish-wide pep rally.

The Back to School Bash begins at 10:00 a.m. at City Park located at 300 Amulet Street. Events will include a pep rally featuring spirit groups and athletics teams from area junior high and high schools, performances by Kimmy’s Zumba and local dance troupes, and music provided by MC Lil Chris and My 93.9 FM. Additional activities include a backpack giveaway sponsored by Walmart and a school uniform drive sponsored by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. Concessions such as hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, pickles and water will also be available free of charge.

The Recreation and Parks Department is also holding a School Supply Basket and Crayola Wreath raffle as a fundraiser for the event. Tickets are $1 per chance to win either of the two items. The winner will be announced at the Back to School Bash.

The Back to School Bash is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Back to School Bash and raffle, please call the City’s Recreation and Parks Department at 318-357-3891.

Contact: Samantha Bonnette, City of Natchitoches
Phone: (318) 352-2746

Raffle Flyer

NPSO: Golf Cart Crash claims the life of Natchitoches man

3254789Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies and the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office are investigating a golf cart crash that claimed the life of a 22 year old Natchitoches man on Saturday according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

On Saturday morning July 25th at approximately 8:00am, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports of a missing person in the 1100 block of Miller Farm Road near Natchitoches, La.

Deputies spoke with the mother, who reported her son missing, collecting information for an offense report to issue a BOLO message to area law enforcement agencies.

Deputies say the mother was also concerned because her son was recovering from recent surgery.

Surveillance video at the residence showed the victim leaving the residence on a golf cart.

NPSO Deputies, Natchitoches Police, and neighbors started searching immediate areas.

A friend of the family also conducted an aerial flyover of the area.

While searching areas near the residence, NPSO Sgt. Ronnie Ross discovered evidence that led them to a fence row approximately 200-300 yards behind the residence near a wooded area where they located the overturned golf cart and victim deceased.

Deputies say it appears that the victim identified as Justin David Wyatt, 22, of 1154 Miller Farm Road, Natchitoches, La., was operating a 2015 golf cart when he apparently struck a fence post causing the cart to roll ejecting Wyatt causing fatal injuries.

Wyatt was pronounced dead at the scene by Natchitoches Parish Asst. Deputy Coroner Steven Clanton.

The body was transported for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Justin attended St. Mary’s Catholic School where he went from Pre-K until he graduated in 2011.

A gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Justin David Wyatt will be held Monday July 27, 2015 at Blanchard St. Denis in Natchitoches, La. from 5-8pm. Services will take place on Tuesday July 28, 2015 at 11:00am at Blanchard St. Denis with burial to follow at Memorial Lawn Cemetary in Natchitoches.

Laird, Brewer, Bloodworth, Matthews among NSU’s N Club Hall of Fame class of 2015

NClub2015All-time greats in football, basketball, soccer, track and field and tennis will be inducted in Northwestern State’s N Club Hall of Fame Oct. 17 as part of the university’s annual homecoming celebration.

Basketball stars Charles Bloodworth and Lisa Brewer, football record-setters Brad Laird and All-American Clarence Matthews, two-time All-American triple jumper Eric Lancelin, soccer’s Holly Horn and tennis star and coach Willie Paz will be enshrined in 10 a.m. Saturday morning ceremonies at the Magale Recital Hall. The event is open free of charge to the public.

Also honored with the N Club’s Distinguished Service Award will be former head football coach A.L. Williams. Assistant athletics director and NCAA compliance director Dustin Eubanks, who is nearing two decades of service to NSU Athletics, will be presented honorary N Club membership, only the fourth time that has been awarded to a non-competitor by the association of athletic letterwinners at Northwestern State.

Induction in the N Club Hall of Fame is the highest honor NSU awards to its former student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff. The Hall of Fame display is located in Prather Coliseum.

Bloodworth and Brewer starred in Prather as trailblazing basketball competitors. Bloodworth was NSU’s first black student-athlete, transferring home to NSU in 1967 and sitting out a year before competing from 1968-70. Brewer was among the first 13 women to receive full athletic scholarships in state history, signing with the Lady Demons as a high school senior in April 1975 after a stellar career at DeRidder High School.

Bloodworth was a two-year All-Gulf States Conference selection as a power forward for coach Tynes Hildebrand’s Demons and was drafted in the NBA (Chicago) and ABA (Washington) before an injury ended his career. He averaged 17.7 points and 12.3 rebounds as a senior in 1969-70, a rebounding figure that ranks eighth best in school history for a single season. His 10.3 career rebounding average is fourth best. The Natchitoches native was chosen for the Top 100 Demon Basketball Players roster celebrating the centennial season of the sport at NSU in 2013.

Brewer played three seasons at NSU and played two years of professional basketball in the Women’s Basketball League as a second-round draft pick in 1980. From 1975-78, the explosive guard scored 1,906 points (prior to 3-pointers and the now-smaller women’s ball), fifth all-time in school history. She has the third, fourth and fifth-ranked season scoring totals in Lady Demon history, averaging 20.9 points in a 91-game career, topped by 25.7 as a junior. She shot 46.1 percent from the field, holds NSU records for baskets (854) and attempts (1,852) and had 13 30-point games, including 39-point performances on back-to-back nights against UL Monroe and Louisiana Tech as a freshman.

Horn is the first Lady Demon soccer player to earn induction. She was a four-year All-Southland Conference selection, earning first-team honors in 1999 and making the second team in 1997, 1998 and 2000. The Lafayette product played for the 1997 and 2000 Southland Tournament champions, with the 2000 team advancing to NSU’s first NCAA appearance.

Laird and Matthews, who played together as Demons, were both on the program’s Top 100 Football Players of All-Time chosen during the 2007 NSU football centennial celebration. Among highlights during their careers under coach Sam Goodwin were wins at Boise State in their junior and senior seasons.

A four-year starter at quarterback, Laird holds school records for total offense (6,178 yards), passing yards (6,037) and set a record as a senior in 1995 with 113 consecutive passes without an interception that was topped last season by Zach Adkins. Three of Laird’s season passing totals rank in NSU’s career top 10 although none of his best single-game totals do, demonstrating his consistent production. A Ruston High product who is now head coach at his prep alma mater, Laird was an assistant coach for the Demons under Goodwin, Scott Stoker and Bradley Dale Peveto.

Matthews, a New Orleans-St. Augustine product, was an All-America tailback as a senior when he set the Demons single-season rushing record with 1,384 yards (now third) and scored 13 touchdowns as he broke school all-purpose yardage season (2,277 yards) and career (4,651, now second). He played in the Hula Bowl, becoming the second player in school history to earn an invitation to that postseason all-star game. Matthews stands seventh on the NSU career rushing list with 2,628 yards.

Lancelin was eighth in the triple jump at the 1994 NCAA Indoor Championships and seventh at that spring’s NCAA Outdoors to earn his pair of All-America honors. His 54-8 career best is third all-time at NSU behind marks by USA Olympians LaMark Carter and Kenta Bell, and ranks fifth all-time in Southland history. He swept the 1994 Southland Indoor and Outdoor triple jump crowns after Carter won the previous two years.

Paz played dynamically for one season, 1973, for NSU’s now-dormant men’s tennis team, helping it emerge as a nationally-prominent program under coach Johnny Emmons. He was head coach of the Lady Demons from 1995-2006 while also serving as a teacher at East Natchitoches Elementary. Paz, a two-year junior college All-American at Odessa Community College, played his junior year at Austin Peay before transferring to NSU. He was the Gulf South Conference No. 1 singles champion with a 19-4 record, and he and Carlos Blanco were the No. 1 doubles GSC runner-ups with an 11-5 mark. Paz helped Emmons’ squad to an 11-3 overall record and second in the conference.
As coach, his best season was a 14-5 overall mark including a 9-1 Southland record in 2004. His Lady Demons excelled academically, following his lead. Paz graduated with a 3.5 grade point average and obtained his master’s degree in 2000.

Williams was the Demons’ head coach from 1975-82 and coached some of the most dynamic players in school history, including Joe Delaney, Mark Duper, Bobby Hebert, Petey Perot, Gary Reasons and Sidney Thornton. He was also athletic director and helped with the design of the NSU Athletic Fieldhouse, innovative at its dedication in 1979. Williams was one of the leaders as Division I-AA football was created in 1977 and several of his teams were in the Top 20 as the NSU offensive record book was rewritten.

Eubanks is in his 19th year on the NSU Athletics staff and his 16th as assistant AD and NCAA compliance director. The native of Elizabeth began as a graduate assistant, then full-time assistant sports information director, and has provided compliance expertise to all NSU sports and staff members since 1999.

The seven Hall of Fame inductees along with Williams and Eubanks will be honored in the Saturday morning ceremonies on Oct. 17, then introduced at Turpin Stadium before the 6 p.m. kickoff of NSU’s homecoming football game against Lamar.

NSU’s Annual Summer Victory Tour 2015

JayThomasVictoryTourNorthwestern State supporters in and around Shreveport-Bossier gather Monday evening at Superior’s Steakhouse to hear from Demon football coach Jay Thomas and kick off the second week of NSU’s annual summer Victory Tour engaging supporters and friends around the state.

Superior’s Steakhouse at 855 Pierremont Road is the site Monday for a 6 p.m. reception, with Thomas, athletics director Greg Burke and others addressing the crowd midway through the two-hour party open to the public at no charge.

In his first two years as head coach, Thomas has led the Demons to their best back-to-back seasons since 2003-04, including record-shattering offensive numbers, wins over nationally-ranked FCS foes and last year’s 30-27 victory at old rival Louisiana Tech in Ruston.

All stops along the tour will feature a brief program in which Thomas and other Demons coaches will speak to the crowd. Each stop will last approximately two hours

The Vernon Parish Tour Stop follows on Wednesday at Mexico Lindo, 2503 McRae Road in Leesville, beginning at 6.

A night later, Rapides Parish and surrounding areas are the focus when the Victory Tour comes to Alexandria at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Buffalo Wild Wings (2711 South MacArthur Drive).

The Red River Parish Tour Stop will be held Friday at the home of former Coushatta mayor Tray Murray, 185 Army Road, beginning at 6:30.

For more information on any Victory Tour stop or for details about season tickets, contact Blount via e-mail at or by calling her at 318-357-4278. Complete ticket information is also available at the website.


RoadClosureNPJThe City of Natchitoches advises the public that Watson Street, at the intersection of South Drive, will be closed Monday, July 27 through Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in conjunction with the water and sewer line relocation construction project being conducted on South Drive. Watson Street will be closed, except to local traffic, from South Drive to Williams Avenue and from South Drive to East Seventh Street.

The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience while these improvements are being made and reminds everyone to please drive with caution through the construction sites.

Samantha Bonnette
Main Street & Public Relations Manager
City of Natchitoches
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Tues – Sat 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Office: (318) 352-2746
Cell: (318) 471-0957

Services for LTC James “Jim” Edmund Reichel

JimReichelLTC JAMES E. REICHEL, passed peacefully, on July 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm, with his loving family surrounding him. James Reichel was born on January 5, 1935 on the family farm in Russellville, MO. The farm to this day remains in the family. He graduated from high school from Laura Speed Elliot High School, (Boonville High School) in 1952. He attended Kemper Military School and Junior College. He graduated with an Associates Arts Degree and then transferred to South West Missouri State College in Springfield, MO. He played football on the SMS college team and was a member of Kappa Alpha Order for over 50 years. He graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Social Studies, with a Teaching Certificate. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, United States Regular Army. He attended the Senior Reserve Officers Training Corp at SMS and entered the United States Army August 8, 1956. His overseas duties took him to Germany, 1959-1962. He had two tours of Viet Nam 1965-1966, and 1971-1972. He retired from the United States Army August 8, 1976, with the rank of Lt. Col. His Lt. Col insignia and rank was pinned by General Westmorland.

During his distinguished military career he received the following awards and schools: Basic Infantry Course, Airborne and Ranger School. While attending Ranger School, Jim was in the major film production of Darby’s Rangers. He attended the Associate Military Police Academy, Military Police Officers Advanced Course, The Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Provost Marshal Military Police School.

Col. Reichel was with the 82 Airborne Division during the Detroit and Washington D.C. Riots. He was respected by those in the military, his students and friends, forming many lasting relationships to this day.

During his distinguished military career, he received the following awards: Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal (20LC), Meritorius Service Medal, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal, Viet Nam Campaigne Medal, Air Medal, Viet Nam Counter Offensive Phase 1 and 2, Ranger Tab and Senior Parschitus Badge.

After retirement he came to Natchitoches to organize and establish the first Junior Army Reserve Officers Training Corps Program, at Natchitoches Central High School. Under his direction, NCHS was named an Honor School in the first year in a three state region, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. The Honors were awarded to the school for the next two years.

During the annual inspection by III U.S. Army Corps officers from Fort Riley, Kansas other achievements were the formation of the Cavalier and Cavalettes Drill Team. The JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team and the ROTC Orienteering Team also won awards for competition.

Col. Reichel had the distinction of attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, Instructors Course for Correctional Administrators at the American University Washington, D.C., and Law Enforcement Officers at Quantico, Virginia. He served as the Chief of Police of the City of Natchitoches, was a Criminal Justice Instructor at Fort Polk and Northwestern State University. He also taught for the Central Texas State College in Baumholder, Germany.

He also served as the Director of the Caddo Detention Center, Sheriff Office, Keithville, LA. Col. Reichel is a member of First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches and belonged to many different organizations in which he holds membership: A Life Member of District 10 American Legion, served Voices of Democracy Chairman for many years, a member of American Legion Post #10, Commander, V.F.W. #1962 Commander, 6th V.F.W. District Commander for many years. He belonged and supported Gideon’s, Masonic Bodies: Phoenix Lodge #38 of Natchitoches and was a Master Mason for over 50 years, a member of York Rite, Scottish Rite Temple of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, El Karuba Shrine, Shreveport, LA, and International Association of Chiefs of Police, American Corrections Association, Heroes of 1776 and Sojorners.

Many a time you could find Jim participating in local theatre and church productions; “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “The Butler Did it Again”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, The Last Supper” at First United Methodist Church, and “Louisiana Cavalier” at Grande Ecore Outdoor Theatre. Jim was also in the movie “Steel Magnolias” filmed in Natchitoches.

He was preceded in death by his parents Archie. P. Reichel (California, MO.) and Gladys Irwin Reichel, (Russellville, MO.) his brother Norman Irwin Reichel (7/4/2015).

He is survived by his loving wife Ethelene S. Reichel of 22 years, one daughter, Brenda K. Reichel and grandson James Keanu-Reichel of Honolulu, Hawaii. One Son, James E. Reichel II and his wife Susan, along with his granddaughters Ashley and Brittany Reichel of Boonville, MO. Loving step-daughters, Elizabeth B. Windham (Leslie Windham), Rhonda B. Kuhlmann (Lee Kuhlmann) and Sarah B. Maines (Tommy Maines). Additional grandchildren Zachary Kuhlmann, Jim Kuhlmann, Matthew Maines, Paula Geoghagan, Shannon Oberle, Melissa Maines, and seven step great grandchildren. Jim Reichel is also survived by his sister-in-law Tudie Reichel (Boonville MO.), and brother, Norris and Barbara (wife) Reichel of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches, LA, with Reverend Doug de Graffenried officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:00 pm until service time at the church on Sunday. Memorials may be made to Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport, The Wounded Warrior Project, or any charity of your choice.


Ponderings with Doug – July 24, 2015

Worship is very different for those of us leading it.dougthumb

First we can see you guys. The universal truth across all denominations is that people are creatures of habit. For the most part you sit in the same seat every Sunday. We have three services and the ministers have three seating charts locked in our minds. If you are a missing Methodist, we likely noted that in our mental seating charts. Our new worship guy rearranged the seats in our CrossRoads worship space. It has been hilarious watching folks discover their new seating arrangement. Most landed within five feet of their previous seats. Amazing!

We also notice other mundane things like light bulbs needing to be replaced. There are a couple of Exit signs that need replacement bulbs. So, while we are singing “Standing on the Promises” watching all the folks sitting on the premises, we are making mental notes for the church maintenance staff. We are also noting what comes next so there will not be any unplanned silence. Everyone knows that during the offering the preacher is mentally finishing the sermon.

Last Sunday, during the visual perusal of the worship space I made an amusing discovery. It seems that in putting Christmas up, one of the Chrismons (A chrismon is a Christian symbol representing Jesus Christ.) escaped the tree and landed behind the organ console. I don’t know why I looked back there but my visual daydreaming yielded that discovery. I have made a note to capture the elusive Chrismon and pack it away until the appropriate time.

I figured if Hobby Lobby can have whole sections of their store devoted to Christmas I can write about it in July. It won’t be long until the city will start decorating for the festival. Those are my two fall countdowns. The countdown to the first SEC football game and the countdown to Christmas festival decoration are benchmarks in my spiritual journey. I know that fall is coming when those two things happen.

How would our world be different if we had an outbreak of Christmas joy in the middle of the July heat?

Now sing along with me:

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”

When Should I Dial ‘911’


You should only dial ‘911’ in an EMERGENCY.

An EMERGENCY is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police department, fire department, or ambulance service. Here are some examples:
• A Fire
• A Crime, especially if in progress
• A Car Crash, especially if someone is injured
• A Medical Emergency which requires immediate medical attention

When you dial ‘911’, be prepared to answer the dispatcher’s or call-taker’s questions, which may include:
• The location of the emergency, including street address
• The phone number you are calling from
• The nature of the emergency
• Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experience by a person having a medical emergency.

*Remember, the dispatcher’s or call-taker’s questions are extremely important so that the right kind of help can get to you quickly. Be prepared to follow the instructions of the dispatcher or call-taker and DO NOT hang up until the dispatcher or call-taker instructs you to do so.*

If you dial ‘911’ by mistake, or if a child in your home dials ‘911’ when no emergency exists, do not hang-up because your call will result in an emergency response. Instead, simply explain to the dispatcher or call-taker exactly what happened.

You may call the Natchitoches Police Department directly to report a NON-EMERGENCY or a situation that DOES NOT require immediate assistance from the police department.
• CALL: 352-8101 for a NON-EMERGENCY

By following these simple guidelines you will ensure that your emergency or non-emergency is immediately taken and that the proper first responders are dispatched to your location. The Natchitoches Police Department remains committed to providing all citizens of the City of Natchitoches the best emergency service.

Micky Dove Release Date: July 22, 2015
Chief of Police
Natchitoches Police Department

David Stamey – Candidate for Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court

David Stamey, a local business owner, realtor and member of the Natchitoches City Council, on Thursday formally announced his candidacy for the office of Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court. The vacancy which Stamey seeks to fill results from the upcoming retirement of highly-respected Clerk of Court Louie Bernard.

Stamey, who has been the District 1 City Councilman since 2012, is also past chairman and current financial chair of the Natchitoches Historic District Development commission.

In addition, he has served as president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife of 32 years, Brenda Collins Stamey, are the parents of two adult sons, Brent and Bryan Stamey. David and Brenda are active members of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church.

He has been a resident of Natchitoches Parish for almost 50 years. David is a proud graduate of Northwestern State University where he received his degree in business administration with honors in 1982. He served as vice president of the NSU Athletic Association and is an active ember of the NSU Alumni Association.

David has long served the local community by coaching Dixie Youth baseball for 12 years and he spent over a decade as an active Natchitoches Area Jaycee member where he chaired such projects as the group’s Toys for Tots Drive and twice chaired the Ducks Unlimited Banquet.

He was named the Natchitoches Outstanding Young Person in 1993. He received his real estate sales license in 1986 and is currently broker and owner of Collins and Stamey Real Estate.

In announcing his candidacy, Stamey stressed his experience in not only working with the Natchitoches Parish business community but also serving the real estate needs of citizens throughout the parish for nearly 30 years.

Stamey genuinely believes that experience matters, particularly in view of the important roles which your Clerk of Court has in our daily lives. The duties of the Clerk of Court include recording deeds and mortgages, serving as member of Jury Commission, chief election official, custodian of voting machines, receiving all filings in civil and probate matters and many other important functions. The clerk’s office is taxpayer-generated revenue. “My business background and management experience have prepared me to serve as your Clerk of Court.”

Stamey’s professional, civic and governmental experiences uniquely qualify him to successfully lead the office of Clerk of Court. Through his business and as a Natchitoches City Councilman, Stamey has been charged with duties of reviewing, approving and supervising multi-million dollar budgets as well a performing a wide range of managerial functions, including personnel and administrative duties. Stamey want to build on the outstanding legacy established by Mr. Bernard and his staff.

“As your Clerk of Court, I pledge to perform the duties of Clerk in a fiscally responsible and courteous manner and to maintain the friendly and prompt service our citizens have come to expect.

“I humbly ask for your support for my candidacy for Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court and for your vote for Clerk of Court this fall.”

Fire District #6 responds to vehicle fire

ParishTruckFireFire Chief Bryan Wimberly and volunteers with the Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6 responded to a vehicle fire on Hampton Road around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22nd. The vehicle belonged to the Natchitoches Parish Health Department and was one of two vehicles used in the Parish’s mosquito control program. The fire started in the mosquito sprayer equipment and quickly spread to the rest of the vehicle. The fire was extinguished by 10:00 p.m. Parish President Rick Nowlin responded to the emergency to check on the safety of the Parish employee and to ensure that the appropriate agencies were notified. No injuries were reported, but the vehicle was a total loss.

Royal Street in Natchitoches to Close today and tomorrow

RoadClosureNPJThe City of Natchitoches advises the public that Royal Street at the intersection of South Drive will be closed today, July 22 and July 23 in conjunction with the water and sewer line relocation construction project being conducted on South Drive.  Royal Street will be closed from South Drive to Williams Avenue and from South Drive to East Fifth Street.  Only local traffic will be allowed access.

The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience while these improvements are being made and reminds everyone to please drive with caution through the construction sites.

Samantha Bonnette
Main Street & Public Relations Manager
City of Natchitoches
781 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA  71457
Tues – Sat 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Office: (318) 352-2746