Football – Local icon Petey Perot is Saturday’s Demon Great of the Game

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Petey Perot is known as one of the greatest football players ever in Natchitoches, and ranks among the finest to pull on the purple and white at Northwestern State before becoming a well-regarded mainstay in the National Football League.   At Saturday evening’s 6:06 football game in Turpin Stadium, the NSU athletic department will recognize Perot’s career achievements as he is presented as the Exchange Bank Demon Great of the Game during the first quarter.

An offensive lineman, Perot was a St. Mary’s High School All-State selection who became a second-round NFL Draft pick after an outstanding career at NSU. He started at offensive guard in Super Bowl XV for the Philadelphia Eagles.    Perot was a four-year starter, mostly at tackle, for the Demons from 1975-78 under coach A.L. Williams.

An All-Louisiana selection in 1977-78, Perot was the 48th player picked in the 1979 NFL draft. He played guard for eight NFL seasons as a starter in Philadelphia and New Orleans. He was noted for his consistent ability to handle Dallas Cowboys’ star defensive tackle Randy White, the future Pro Football Hall of Fame member, in classic Eagles-Cowboys contests. Perot was also Sports Illustrated’s Player of the Week for his performance with the Saints against a strong San Francisco team in 1985.

A 1993 N Club Hall of Fame selection, Perot was in the spotlight last May as one of the featured Legends at NSU’s annual Legends Dinner in Bossier City.   Perot was on the roster of the Top 100 Demon Football Players of All-Time selected during NSU’s 2007 football centennial celebration.

He had a highly-successful career in college coaching, mostly at Louisiana Tech, where he is credited with developing Pro Football Hall of Fame member Willie Roaf.

A Demon Great of the Game is spotlighted at each NSU home football game. Another former NFL player, cornerback Keith Thibodeaux, was the NSU great honored at the Sept. 3 home and season opener.

 

“Rent” to open at Northwestern State Sept. 30

Rent cast

Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will present the musical “Rent” Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 – 11 in Theatre West.

The cast includes, front row from left, DeAngelo Renard, Taylor Smith, Michael Carrier, Alyssa Farmer and Breanna Collier.  On the back row are Alexia Mullally, Grace Brumfield, Holli Conway, Marissa McMickens, Charles Anderson, Jessi Miller and Annie Dauzat. Also in the cast are Chase Miller, Austin Pecot, Luke Matherne and Christian Dantes. Reservations are required. For ticket information, call (318) 357-4218 or (318) 357-4483

Natchitoches Parish Council Meeting – September 21, 2015

ParishCouncil072015

Approved: Adopt the minutes of the regular meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council held Monday, August 17th 2015. And special meeting held Thursday, August 6th.

Conduct a public hearing with the Natchitoches Parish Council sitting as the “Board of Review” to hear complaints on values of property for assessment purposes fixed by Parish Tax Assessor:

Multiple roads have been approved for funding including Payne Subdivision for $515,000 and Coco Bend for $280,000. Other projects that were not approved for funding this year will be resubmitted for funding next year.State Contracts take 60 to 90 days to be filed and work on the funded roads will not begin until the middle of next year. Councilman Rodney Bedgood questioned why Goldonna Road was not on the list of roads that would receive federal money for repair. Each District was able to submit one road for consideration for funding, a priority list for roads was decided by the Council and when reviewed by the State some changes were made. There were many concerns about other individual roads and why they are not being repaired. Donna Isaacs, who served on the Road Advisory Commission, reminded the attendees that there is no way to receive the service that they desire without paying for it. The Parish is grossly underfunded compared to surrounding parishes and a tax increase was suggested.

Approved: The Parish will be submitting an application to the State for improvements to the Payne Subdivision sewer system under the Community Development Block Grant program.

Introduction: Ordinance #10-2015; a budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 3, 2016 and making appropriations for each Department, Project and Account. Changes may need to be made to the Health Insurance budgeting and could go from 16% to 25%.

Discussion of the hiring process with the Parish Departments: Salter inquired about a position for Road Maintenance Supervisor that was filled without being advertised. Directorof Public Works, Mr. Nick Verret, stated that the hiring was approved by the Parish President.

Approved: Authorizing the President to solicit proposals for the lease of a new dozer to replace the current dozer at the Parish Landfill. The current lease expires in November.

Approved: An extension of the Parish road variance along Five Forks Road, relative to the mining operation at the Five Forks Mine. This is based off an operation that was approved in 2012, and is regarding a new mining permit to expand another 90 acres.

Approved: Authorizing the Parish President to advertise for bids for hot mix asphalt patching and leveling work on the Kisatchie Mora Road, Parish Road No. 920, using funding from the U.S. Forest Service Road and Schools grant program, and to award the contract to the lowest bidder.

Approved: Awarding Consultant/Engineering for the LCDBG Program application to G NF Consultants.

Approved: Authorizing the Parish President to execute an Amended Agreement for the transfer of Five Forks Road to LA DOTD, with the Parish to retain the 2,500 linear foot bypassed portion of the existing road in order to provide access to the Friday Road, Parish Road No. 226.

Introduction: Ordinance 11-2015 authorizing the sale of Parish Property to the City of Natchitoches to serve as a future recreation site. The site is an old Public Works building near MLK Head Start center, about 3 acres. The city is buying the property for $73,500.

Introduction: Ordinance 12-2015 authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the City of Natchitoches for Replacement of Defective Electrical Service Equipment to the Parish Courthouse. On July 19th, a conductor faulted and the Parish is responsible for the repair. The City has agreed to help pay for the project.

Introduction: Ordinance 13-2015 authorizing the Parish President to enter into an Agreement with the City, the Sheriff’s Office and the DA in connection with funding of a response vehicle and operating expenses for use of the Parish Coroner.

Unemployment insurance will be changing to Employee Unity Incorporated and the cost will be $1,000 less starting in November.

NSU supports Turn Teal Natchitoches ovarian cancer awareness month

Turn Teal

Northwestern State University is joining Turn Teal Natchitoches to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and support National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  The university Columns will be lit in teal every night this week and several activities are planned to educate the public about ovarian cancer, the importance of knowing one’s family medical history and the effectiveness of early detection.

Students will be painting nails teal in the NSU Student Union from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22. Literature and awareness materials will be available. Turn Teal organizers will also be at Collins Pavilion for the Demon Dash at 5 p.m. Tuesday, where students will compete in a variety of relay games.  Turn Teal will provide teal blue Gatorade.  Turn Teal is also holding a banner contest for Registered Student Organizations.

Turn Teal will be featured during NSU Family Day on Saturday, Sept. 26 prior to the football game versus Central Arkansas.  From 2 p.m. until game time, Turn Teal will be giving away teal ribbons and temporary tattoos, along with teal cotton candy and popcorn, and will host a balloon release for ovarian cancer survivors.

Last week, the Natchitoches City Council issued a proclamation in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

Turn Teal Natchitoches was initiated by Leah Coleman Lentz in honor of her mother, Sue Gregory Coleman, who lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2012.

“Seeing the Turn Teal initiative grow to this level is heart warming and wonderful,” Lentz said. “For every survivor and every woman who has lost her life to ovarian cancer – this for you.”

Stephanie Dyjack, who was instrumental in organizing this week’s events, is an ovarian cancer survivor who feels led to act for the women who’s journey ended.

“In June of 2012 my teal journey began when an ER doctor said to me the words I never expected to hear: ‘We have found a large mass in your abdomen – the Cancer Center has been called and they are waiting for you.’ I could never have imagined the impact those words would have on my life…but it was not the impact I thought,” Dyjack said.

Over several months and an extensive surgery Dyjack heard the good news that the questionable cells were contained within the two large masses that were found and safely removed.

“What did remain was the lasting impression that the women I met and sat with each week at the Willis Knighton Cancer Center had on me and my outlook on life,” she said.  “The strength, determination, hope and faith that each of those women wore on their face and held within their hearts forever changed me.

“At my lowest times when I was faced with a possible second surgery as my recovery was not going as planned, my mother, who had become my champion and caregiver, would take my hand and tell me to look at the other women sitting in the waiting room, their diagnosis much different than mine and to remember how hard they were fighting and that I was not to give up nor ever forget the grace I had been given.”

For each month Dyjack was a patient at the Cancer Center, she was given a pass card for access.

“I keep those pass cards as a reminder to myself that my teal journey is not over and that I still have to fight to be a voice for awareness as Ovarian Cancer is a cruel disease, a ‘Silent Killer,’ as there are no diagnostic tools for early detection, vague symptoms that are misleading and that there is not enough awareness and education being done. I am thankful for each day that I get to tell my story and to educate my community about ovarian cancer.  My voice is for the women who survived, those that fought hard but their journey has ended and for those strong, brave women who continue to “Fight like a girl,” ever full of hope for a cure.”

For information on Turn Teal Natchitoches, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/TurnTealNatchitoches.

BESE District 4 – Tony Davis

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I am excited to announce my candidacy for BESE District 4 to my family, my friends, my colleagues and the citizens of northwest Louisiana! I have been a passionate advocate for education for years and have made education, STEM and workforce-related projects a primary focus during my service as President of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce.

I want to bring this perspective to BESE along with a genuine desire to ensure that public education in Louisiana offers every child the chance to learn, that high standards are the norm and not the exception, and that programs like Jump Start and industry-based certifications are used to their fullest potential.

Please join me in supporting our children and the future of our great state!

You can LIKE and SHARE my campaign page, Facebook.com/TonyDavisForBESE, to help spread the word and be sure to visit the site at TonyDavisForBESE.com to join my mailing list and donate.

Sincerely,

Tony (and Amy and Jackson!)

1973: Jim Croce – dead at just 30 years of age.

Jim Croce

Jim Croce had just wrapped up a show in Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches, La.  Croce boarded a small chartered plane to travel to his next show in Sherman, Texas.  Sadly, the plane never made it much past the runway. In what was later described as solely a pilot error, the Beechcraft E18S failed to clear a pecan tree while taking off and crashed. All six people aboard were killed.

An investigation showed that the plane crashed on takeoff after clipping a pecan
tree at the end of the runway. The plane failed to gain enough altitude to clear the tree and did not maneuver to avoid it, even though it was the only tree for hundreds of yards. It was reported as dark, but with clear sky, calm winds, and over five miles of visibility with haze darkness limiting use of visual references.

Others who died in the crash were charter pilot Robert N. Elliott, comedian George Stevens, manager and booking agent Kenneth D. Cortose, and road manager Dennis Rast.  Croce was just 30 years old.

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

I Got A Name

Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)

Time In A Bottle

You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Croce-on Plane
Croce - News Story

Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival 2015

Louie Bernard, Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court, was the Marthaville Good Ole Days Festival Grand Marshal.  Louie and his staff rode in the parade on a patriot float.  NPJ and the citizens of Natchitoches Parish thank Mr. Louie for his years of perfect service to our great Parish!

Louie Bernard, Clerk of Court

Louie Bernard, Clerk of Court

Marthaville-2015

Bond Commission approves Natchitoches Parish projects

StateBondCommission

Below is a press release from the State Bond Commission.  Please note that the projects listed are not for the Capital Outlay/Line of Credit approvals.  This press release covers the approval of projects requiring bonds and taxes.  Concerned about the lack of projects for the Parish of Natchitoches, NPJ contacted FP&C Director, Mr. Mark Moses and inquired about the Payne Subdivision, Fish Hatchery Rd. and Blanchard Rd.  projects.

NPJ is pleased to report the following approvals:

Payne Sudbivision – $500,000

Fish Hatchery Rd. – $125,000

Blanchard Rd. – $280,000

BATON ROUGE, LA – The State Bond Commission approved $308 million for projects statewide and approved more than $17.1 million in savings at its September 17 meeting, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

“We approved projects across Louisiana,” said Treasurer Kennedy. “Because of these approvals, Breaux Bridge will improve its water system, Baton Rouge will work on its sewer structure and Lafayette will build fire stations. These are vital projects.”

Among the individual projects approved were:

  • Ascension Parish, $18 million in Revenue Bonds for the Louisiana Community Development Authority’s East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1 Project: for (1) drainage improvements and (2) funding a reserve fund or purchase a reserve fund surety, if necessary.
  • East Baton Rouge Parish, $20 million in Taxable Revenue Bonds for the East Baton Rouge Sewerage Commission’s DEQ Project: for constructing and acquiring sewers and sewerage disposal works.
  • Lafayette Parish, $5.5 million in Public Improvement Sales Tax Refunding Bonds for the city of Lafayette: saving taxpayers $1 million.
  • Lafayette Parish, $27.3 million in Public Improvement Sales Tax Refunding Bonds for the city of Lafayette: saving taxpayers $3 million.
  • Lafayette Parish, $35 million in Public Improvement Sales Tax Bonds for the city of Lafayette: for (1) purchasing, constructing, acquiring, extending and/or improving public works or capital improvements and (2) funding a reserve fund.
  • Lafayette Parish, $30 million in Public Improvement Sales Tax Bonds for the city of Lafayette: for (1) opening, constructing, paving, resurfacing and improving streets, sidewalks and bridges, (2) constructing and purchasing street lighting facilities, (3) constructing and improving drains, drainage canals and subsurface drainage, (4) constructing and purchasing fire department stations and equipment, (5) constructing and purchasing police department stations and equipment, (6) constructing and purchasing garbage disposal and health and sanitation equipment and facilities, (7) constructing public buildings, (8) purchasing, constructing and improving public parks and recreational facilities and acquiring the necessary equipment and furnishings, (9) purchasing equipment for civil defense, (10) constructing, acquiring or improving any work of permanent public improvement, (11) purchasing and acquiring all equipment and furnishings for the public works, buildings, improvements and facilities and (12) establishing reserves.
  • Lafayette Parish, $1 million in Water Revenue Bonds for the city of Scott’s DHH Program: for constructing, acquiring and installing meters and other improvements and extensions to the waterworks system, including appurtenant equipment, accessories and properties.
  • Madison Parish, $4.9 million in Water Revenue Refunding Bonds for the city of Tallulah: saving taxpayers $366,977.
  • Orleans Parish, $98 million in General Obligation Refunding Bonds for the city of New Orleans: saving taxpayers $12,776,686.
  • Orleans Parish, $28 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for the Louisiana Housing Corporation’s Village of Versailles Apartments project: for acquisition, rehabilitation and equipping a 400-unit residential rental facility in New Orleans.
  • St. Bernard Parish, $10 million in Taxable Utilities Revenue Bonds for the St. Bernard Parish Council’s DEQ Project: for constructing and acquiring additions, extensions and improvements to the sewer portion of the combined water and sewer system.
  • St. Landry Parish, $12.5 million in School Improvement Revenue Bonds for the Louisiana Community Development Authority’s St. Landry Parish Public School System: for acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of public school facilities.
  • St. Martin Parish, $225,000 in Limited Tax Revenue Bonds for the city of Breaux Bridge: for acquiring vehicles and equipment.
  • St. Martin Parish, $2.7 million in Revenue Bonds for the city of Breaux Bridge, Sales Tax District No. 1: for water system improvements set forth in the Master Plan.
  • St. Mary Parish, $1 million in Limited Tax Bonds for the city of Patterson: for constructing and improving roads, streets, sidewalks and related easements and rights-of-way.
  • St. Tammany Parish, $5.5 million in Sales Tax Bonds for the city of Slidell, Fremaux Economic Development District: for (1) various capital improvements, (2) funding a reserve fund and (3) paying capitalized interest.
  • St. Tammany Parish, $800,000 in Limited Tax Certificates for Recreation District No. 11: for acquiring, constructing or improving parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and other recreational facilities, together with necessary furnishings and equipment.
  • Winn Parish, $2.5 million in Sales Tax Bonds for the Winn Parish Police Jury: for improving and repairing public roads and bridges.

The Louisiana State Bond Commission meets monthly to review and approve applications from parishes, municipalities, special taxing districts, and other political subdivisions of the State requesting authority to incur debt. For more information, visit www.LATreasury.com.

Two Natchitoches men arrested on drug and animal cruelty charges.

According to a Task Force Official, on the 9th of September Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 4509 Highway 3278 to investigate an animal welfare complaint that was reported to the Natchitoches Animal Shelter.  Upon arrival, deputies were informed that the occupant, Dylan Brown, had hung a dog in his back yard recently and was possibly involved in growing marijuana.

Deputies then made contact with Dylan Brown and his brother, Dennon Brown, inside the residence.  While this occurred Deputies observed several marijuana plants being grown in one of the rooms.  At that time, Drug Task Force Agents were contacted and the Brown’s gave permission to search the residence.  During the search Deputies and Agents recovered 14 marijuana plants along with lighting apparatuses, cultivation supplies, a small amount of loose marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.  Agents estimate the street value of the 14 plants to be approximately $35,000.00.

As a result, the brother’s both admitted to their involvement in their growing operation.  Dylan further admitted to hanging the complainant’s dog because it had killed an indoor cat.  Both, Dylan and Dennon Brown, were then transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and were charged with the following:

Dylan Brown

Dylan Brown

• RS 40:966A Cultivation of CDS I Marijuana
• RS 40:1023 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
• RS 14:102.1 Cruelty to Animals

Dennon Brown

Dennon Brown

• RS 40:966A Cultivation of CDS I Marijuana
• RS 40:1023 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Contributing Agencies Include:
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office
Natchitoches Drug Task Force
Natchitoches Police Department

Candidate withdrawal

AJDOUG

I am withdrawing my candidacy for the District 3 Councilperson seat of the Natchitoches Parish Council.  I appreciate the opportunity the voters of District 3 have given me to serve them over the last three years, but the time has come for me to step aside.  Doug Degraffenried has qualified for this position and I firmly believe he is capable of leading the Natchitoches Parish Council for the next term.  Mr. Degraffenried will bring a fresh set of eyes and new ideas that are critically important to solving the challenges ahead.  Please support Doug and good governance at the local level!

Aaron Johnson
Councilman, District 3
Natchitoches Parish Council

Natchitoches Parish Port Commission Board Meeting

Natchitoches pairsh Port

Regular Meeting
Time of Meeting: 8:30 AM
Date of Meeting: September 21, 2015
Place of Meeting: Natchitoches Parish Port Commission

AGENDA

Roll Call

Approval of Minutes
Activity Report
Treasurer’s Report
Old Business Discussion regarding status of projects

ADA Expansion

Red River Flood Impacts

New Business

Executive Session
Personnel Matters
Litigation Matters
Potential litigation

Natchitoches Parish Port Commission v. DeBlieux & Kelly, Inc., Case No. 73,994B, 10th Judicial District Court, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana

Other Business

ADJOURNMENT

Football – NSU faces 2015’s biggest challenge Saturday at Mississippi State

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STARKVILLE, Miss. – Northwestern State football coach Jay Thomas will be thinking about getting back into Southland Conference play at home next Saturday while his Demons take on their biggest challenge of the season Saturday at Mississippi State.

NSU (0-2) and Mississippi State (1-1) meet at Davis Wade Stadium in a 3:01 p.m. contest Saturday, carried to a national television audience on the SEC Network. The game broadcast will be on the Demon Sports Network, flagshipped by 100.7 KZBL in Natchitoches and including 710 AM KEEL in Shreveport, 105.5 FM KBKK in Alexandria and 103.1 KWLA in Many/Leesville. A free audio stream is available through NSUDemons.com.

A week later, the Demons begin a string of eight consecutive Southland contests with a home game against Central Arkansas (0-2), which is off this weekend.

While the ultimate goal is to pull a stunning upset of a team that had the No. 1 ranking in major college football last season, and boasts one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates this fall in senior quarterback Dak Prescott, Thomas is at least equally determined to use Saturday’s visit to Mississippi State as a key evaluation tool.

“First and foremost, we go there to try to win a football game. Our guys have been on a big stage before and they won’t be intimidated. They know it’s a heck of a challenge and that excites competitors,” he said.

“As a coach, I’ve got to see the big picture, and this game is kind of a final checkpoint for us to evaluate how we operate and some players who could show us they should be in the mix as we get back to conference games after playing two straight bowl teams from last year,” he said.

The Demons fell 44-17, although they suffered dropped passes that would have provided two more touchdowns, last week at UL Lafayette. Mississippi State’s comeback fell just short in a 21-19 homefield loss to LSU.

Saturday’s game will see the Demons start a different quarterback for the third straight week. Sophomore J.D. Almond shined in his first collegiate experience in the second half at UL Lafayette and will open the game behind center for NSU. Thomas plans to get senior Stephen Rivers, junior Daniel Hazlewood and last week’s starter Joel Blumenthal into the game.

Defensively, NSU is trying to shore up a unit that has yielded big rushing totals in the first two games and faces its most daunting task against the SEC Bulldogs.

The Demons’ top tacklers are senior safety Chase Collins (19) and senior defensive end Leroy Armstrong (16), both Natchitoches Central products.

Rice faculty to present recital Sept. 30

Tim Pitts pic

Tim Pitts

Bassist Timothy Pitts will perform at Northwestern State University Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Pitts will be joined by pianist Charles Tauber. The concert will include works by George Frideric Handel, Johannes Matthias Sperger, Arvo Part, Paul Hindemith, Julius Goltermann and Girolamo Frescobaldi and Gaspar Cassado.

Pitts’ orchestral career began as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra after which he was appointed principal bass of the Houston Symphony, a position he held for 17 years. Pitts also served as principal double bass of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of John Williams.

An active chamber musician, Pitts has appeared as a guest artist with Bay Chamber Concerts, the Mainly Mozart Festival, Boston Musica Viva, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, Strings Music Festival in Colorado and the Skaneateles Festival in New York as well as with the Los Angles Piano Quartet and the St. Lawrence, Jupiter, Takacs and Vermeer Quartets. He has collaborated with such artists as Menahem Pressler, Arnold Steinhardt, Christoph Eschenbach, Heinz Holliger, Robert McDuffie, and Roberto Diaz. As a member of the Houston Symphony Chamber Players, Pitts toured Germany and Japan, and appeared at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.

Pitts has appeared as soloist with the Houston, Greenville, Savannah, Albany, and Mainly Mozart Festival orchestras. In April of 2006, Pitts gave the United States premiere of John Harbison’s “Concerto for Bass Viol” with Hans Graf conducting the Houston Symphony.

Pitts has presented master classes at the National Orchestral Institute, the New World Symphony, Boston University, Indiana University, the Glen Gould School, Colburn School and the Pacific Music Festival. His students can be found among the ranks of the world’s finest ensembles.

Formerly on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory, Pitts is currently a Professor of Double Bass at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He plays on a historic double bass made by Domenico Busan of Venice made in 1771.

Since 2002, Tauber has been Staff Pianist at Rice University Shepherd School of Music and at the Aspen Music Festival and School. A graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with the eminent pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Joseph Kalichstein, Tauber has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad in such distinguished venues as the La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Dumbarton Oaks, Vancouver Recital Society and the Kammermusiksaal der Berliner Philharmonie.

As a proponent of modern music he has performed at the FOCUS! Festival at Juilliard, Summergarden at the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Guild of Composers in Merkin Hall, and the Charles Ives Center for Contemporary Music, where he participated in the premieres of six new piano trios.

Prior to his current appointments, Tauber worked as staff pianist at The Juilliard School.

Charles Tauber

Charles Tauber

Liner named Cenla campus manager

Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson Liner has been named campus manager for Northwestern State University’s Cenla campus in Alexandria.

Liner, a Northwestern State alumna, has been a staff member at the university since 2011 as a counselor in the Office of Counseling and Career Services and an advisor/instructor in the Office of Student Support Services.

“This is such an exciting opportunity and I look forward to working with all of the staff, faculty, and students at NSU’s Alexandria campus,” said Liner. “I also look forward to collaborating with other Learning Center for Rapides Parish partners and the surrounding community and businesses.”

Before joining Northwestern State’s staff, Liner was a clinician in the Region VIII Office of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Hospitals and a student services specialist at the Louisiana Technical College – Natchitoches campus.

As a counselor, she provided counseling services to university students, faculty and staff, served as an advisor to S.W.A.T., a student organization with a focus on health and wellness and coordinated and implemented a grant through the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

In the Office of Student Support Services, Liner provided academic advising and support services to eligible students, assisted students with financial aid applications, planning questions and concerns and provided personal, career and academic counseling. Northwestern State students that participated in the SSS program have consistently graduated at a higher rate than their peers within the University

Liner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Art degree in Student Personnel Services. She is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives attempting to identify Armed Robbery suspect

Robbey1

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives are attempting to identify an Armed Robbery suspect involved in the Armed Robbery of Sibley Lake One Stop on Monday evening in the 900 block of La. Hwy 504 in the Oak Grove community near Natchitoches according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

Detectives say on Monday evening September 14th  at approximately 8:38pm, a unknown black male suspect armed with a blue steel semi-automatic handgun entered Sibley Lake One Stop robbing the cashiers of an undisclosed amount of cash according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

The suspect fled on foot.

There were no reported injuries.

Refer to attached surveillance video photographs.

Sheriff Jones said detectives have been interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video as the investigation continues.

If you have any information regarding this robbery, please contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-352-6432, or the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division at 318-357-7830.

All calls will be kept confidential.

Robbey3

Robbey2

High schoolers pen winning essays on Louisiana people

Brant Guerin of Greenwell Springs won first and Chelsea Franklin of Crowley won first and second place in the Louisiana High School Essay Contest held in conjunction with the Northwestern State University-sponsored Louisiana Studies Conference.  From left are Dr. Shane Rasmussen, conference chair;  Dr. Lisa Abney, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs;  Guerin, Franklin and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.  Not shown is third place winner Andrea Bradley of Ville Platte

From left are Dr. Shane Rasmussen, conference chair; Dr. Lisa Abney, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Guerin, Franklin and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson. Not shown is third place winner Andrea Bradley of Ville Platte

Brant Guerin of Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge won first place with an essay on “Pistol Pete Maravich” in the 7th annual Louisiana High School Essay Contest held in conjunction with the Louisiana Studies Conference at Northwestern State University.  This year’s contests theme was “Louisiana Time Machine” with the prompt “If you could meet and talk with any Louisianian from the past, present or future for one hour, who would you choose and why?”  Second place winner was Chelsea Franklin of Crowley High School for “The Mysteries of Huey Long.”  Third place went to Andrea Bradley of Westminster Academy in Ville Platte for “A Talk with A Madame.”

The winning essays were presented at the conference and will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal, the Louisiana Folklife Center’s scholarly journal.

“The essays by this year’s contest winners are magnificent,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU and co-chair of both the conference and the essay contest. “These young writers have managed to capture in words just what makes the historical figures they imagine meeting both interesting and significant.”

Northwestern hosted the conference with the theme “ Louisiana Cultural Crossroads” with presentations and panel discussions that focused on aspects of Louisiana art, history, culture and literature.

“This year’s conference highlighted some of the many ways that folks in Louisiana have influenced each other at a variety of cultural crossroads,” said Rasmussen. “The significance of these influences upon Louisiana culture cannot be overestimated. Louisianans are stronger and better because of our diversity.”

Tony Davis for BESE 4

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/jcunninghamwrites.

Education has been undergoing quite the revolution in the last several years. Admittedly, in Louisiana, we’ve not been the most consistent at revamping our educational structure. As a teacher and a political commentator, all this talk of standards and Common Core and Bobby Jindal this and David Vitter that… well, it gets a little cumbersome.

The Common Core debate is so incredibly nuanced that, at times, we lose sight of what it actually is, does, and could do. This is because of various power structures, largely bipartisan I might add, that are committed to representing interests over people.

In Natchitoches and the surrounding parishes, we have a chance to try and elect someone to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who isn’t a rabid supporter or a rabid opposer of Common Core State Standards (or whatever they will be called when the state is done rewriting them). There is an election coming up in which we have a chance to get a more active, thoughtful, and ultimately practical BESE group to get to work on revamping the education system in the state.

One member of the Natchitoches community is running for the BESE District 4 seat, and he is someone I know has the best interests of the education system at heart. Tony Davis, the President and CEO of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, qualified for the race last week.

If you don’t know, under Davis’ guidance, the Chamber has done a lot to increase educational opportunities in Natchitoches Parish. He secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to fund various STEM-related programs in the area, and has put into place a very pro-education mentality in the community.

Education reform is, of course, not something that just happens in a few years. But it’s time that we as a state went beyond the talking points of Common Core and actually began working on solutions. Tony Davis is the kind of man who can have that conversation, and he is the kind of man that would make sure students, their parents, and the education system all benefit when a solid plan is implemented properly.

It is paramount that the Natchitoches community supports Tony Davis for BESE 4 this year.