The Greatest of Clown Shows

GOP Debate on CNBC

If you watched the Republican debate on Wednesday night, you were treated to one of the greatest dumpster fires of all time live on television. I mean, chances are you didn’t watch it – it only drew 14 million viewers, way down from the other two Republican debates – because it was on CNBC, which I guess very few people still know exists.

Still, there were plenty of good things to come out of the debate. First, there were arguably three winners. Ted Cruz landed solid hits on the media thanks to the trainwreck of a moderating panel (we’ll get to that shortly). Marco Rubio beat the living snot (verbally) out of Jeb Bush. And Ben Carson didn’t screw up, which very likely leaves him as the frontrunner for the time being.

Cruz’s shot at the media came after a series of non-serious questions aimed at increasing hostility between the candidates. It backfired, and the moderators ended up breaking the first rule of journalism: Never make yourself part of the story. Cruz killed it with just one response, too. “This is why the American public doesn’t trust the media.”

Jeb Bush and his campaign has been telegraphing for a week that they were going to hit Marco Rubio on his lack of voting in the Senate. The moment the moderator brings it up, Rubio knocks it down. Then Jeb chimes in, and Rubio tells him basically that whoever on his campaign told him to say that gave him bad advice. Jeb’s night was ruined.

One of the moderators, John Harwood, is a known Democratic activist and has defended Hillary Clinton on multiple occasions. It was entirely forseeable that this would be a trainwreck. The only person who appears to have been blindsided is Reince Preibus, the chairman of the GOP, who blasted the event afterward. I am of the belief that Preibus, despite the trashing he’s getting, is one of the luckiest men on the planet.

Harwood and the other moderators walked into the make-up room at CNBC and said “We want to appear as the Republicans see us.” So, the make-up artist painted them up as clowns and sent them on their way. They reinforced the conservative idea that the media is out to get them, and it played very well with the base – people in the debate crowd booed on live television. CNBC did the Republicans a huge favor, giving virtually all the candidates at the adult table some great soundbites.

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at

Witch Way to Main Street Moved to Natchitoches Events Center

Witch Way to MainStreetNATCHITOCHES – Due to the strong possibility of rain for Saturday, Witch Way to Main Street has been moved to the Natchitoches Events Center located at 750 Second Street. The free trick-or-treating event will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Witch Way to Main Street will take place at the Natchitoches Events Center and will allow children age 12 and younger to trick-or-treat at sponsored booths. Witch Way will also feature face painting, Sparky the Fire Dog, games, inflatables, laser tag and more!

Children must be in costume and accompanied by an adult to participate. Candy and prizes will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Natchitoches police officers will be on duty to ensure children’s safety.

For more information on Witch Way to Main Street, please call the Natchitoches Main Street office at (318) 352-2746.

LSMSA, NSU sign dual enrollment agreement

LSMSA signing

The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, the state’s preeminent state supported residential high school, signed a course articulation agreement with Northwestern State University that will allow LSMSA students to earn college credits though NSU’s Louisiana Scholars’ College, the state’s only designated honors college.  Administrators say the articulation is beneficial to LSMSA students who will be able to transfer credits to a baccalaureate degree.

“There is great value in the articulation agreement.  We know our students will step into the class appropriate for their next step where they will be both prepared and challenged,” said Dr. Patrick Widhalm, director of LSMSA.  “We are making sure our students’ potential is maximized.”

Through the agreement, LSMSA students will be eligible to graduate from high school with their LSMSA diploma as well as an associate degree from NSU. The earned credits will save the students time and money earning their undergraduate degrees before continuing on towards advanced degrees.

“This allows them to save their debt for grad school,” said NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson. “This agreement is great for our respective institutions but it’s really about the students.”

LSMSA offers 10-12 grade students an accelerated curriculum, specialized electives and opportunities for independent study and research. Because the school is adjacent to the NSU campus, all students benefit from access to NSU’s library and programs, especially in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

The Louisiana Scholars’ College at NSU is the state’s only designated honors college and combines great books-based courses with courses in mathematics and sciences to provide students with a strong foundation for their more focused study in a concentration or in a traditional major.

The dual enrollment agreement was developed by faculty from Scholars’ and LSMSA for courses in visual and performing arts, computer science, social science, English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, science, health and physical education, business and economics.  The agreement also improves the transfer and advising process between the institutions.

For information on the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, visit  For information on the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State, visit

NSU will present Christmas Gala at the historic Strand Theatre


Northwestern State University’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will stage its most popular holiday production in a new venue this December.  The annual Christmas Gala, a perennial holiday favorite in Natchitoches, will be presented on the stage of Shreveport’s historic Strand Theatre with two show times on Saturday, Dec. 12. The Gala at The Strand performances will be in addition to the traditional Natchitoches performances on Dec. 2-4.

“This will be the entire show taken on the road,” said Dr. Greg Handel, director of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts.  “Gala is a collaborative effort from all areas of CAPA, music, art, theatre and dance.  Over 300 students, faculty and staff participate in the production of the show, from costumes, to decorating, to program design, to performing and directing.”

Show times at The Strand will be a 4 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. evening performance. Tickets are $10. for general admission.  NSU and BPCC students with IDs can attend at no charge.

For many, the Christmas Gala is a holiday tradition and the CAPA faculty and students are excited about presenting the show at The Strand.

“When I came to NSU in 1983, there was already a Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra concert held early in the evening the night before the Christmas Festival and afterwards our elected officials would host their Festival parties,” recalled Bill Brent, CAPA’s long-time director.  When Brent became department head in 1986, he realized there weren’t many people attending the concert and wanted to do something to change it up.  Later, when Dr. Jack Wann was hired as coordinator of theatre and dance, he and Brent discussed ways to attract more people to the Christmas concert. Their idea was inspired by the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

“We wanted to showcase not just music, but everything else we had to offer,” Brent said.  “We were also doing children’s concerts at the time and we wanted to strike a balance between fun things for kids as well as a performance adults would enjoy. As our theatre and music programs grew, we added dance and included different types of acts and more and more people wanted to get involved.  We wanted to offer something that people would find entertaining that would include singing, dancing, theatre and artwork.”

As the Gala’s popularity grew, many elements have become expected favorites.

“The crowds always want to see tin soldiers and they love the percussion line,” Brent said.

Logistically, the timing of Gala presents several challenges, falling the week after Thanksgiving and the week before finals, but the audience appreciation and exposure for the university make it worth everyone’s extra effort, Handel said. Planning and preparation begin in the spring and continue, along with rehearsals, throughout the fall semester. Intense rehearsals begin three weeks prior to show’s opening, annually held the Wednesday before the Natchitoches Christmas Festival in A.A. Fredericks Fine Arts Auditorium.

Over the years, the Gala grew from one evening performance to five daytime shows and four evening shows and organizers are enthusiastic about adding two more performances for the Shreveport audience.

“More than 12,000 see the gala in Natchitoches each year, and it is met with enthusiasm from all audiences. The school-age students particularly love the show, and we are hoping to bring together all of the audience favorites for this year’s production,” Handel said.

“One wonderful thing about Gala is it creates an atmosphere for the students as to what will be expected of them, whether they are a pit orchestra musician, a costumer, a dancer or a sound technician.  This is what happens in a Broadway show atmosphere when you have multiple performances in a short amount of time. It’s a great laboratory experience for the students,” Brent said. “Another thing is it showcases all of Creative and Performing Arts, so if you don’t like dancing, just wait a minute and the jazz orchestra is going to play. There’s something in there for everyone. It’s a top notch production that leaves a positive impression in people’s minds.”

Handel said presenting the show in Shreveport opens it up to a wider audience and viewers may see familiar faces as several performers hail from the Shreveport/Bossier and east Texas area.

“The 4 p.m. showing is ideal for school groups and we can’t wait to share the experience with Shreveport/Bossier,” Handel said.

For tickets to the Gala at The Strand, visit and click on the link to Gala at The Strand.  To view a sneak peak of the show visit

4-H Makes You Marketable

4-H Banner

Did you know that the experiences gained in 4-H are valuable workforce skills? Many employers value the ability to effectively work in a group as much as the technical skills associated with the job. And over 50% of employers say that most employees lack basic skills to be employed and advance in a job-these basic skills include honesty, being on time, coming to work on a regular basis, knowing how to work as a team, and working hard on the job. No matter which path you choose in 4-H, every life skill you learn can be beneficial to you in the future! So take advantage of the many wonderful contests, activities, and gatherings that we offer. You won’t regret it in the future!

LSU AgCenter
624 Second Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
(318) 357-2224 or (318) 357-2225 fax

Ponderings with Doug – October 30, 2015


I spent two days interviewing Methodist ministers. In the Methodist church, while God might call them to ministry, our Board of Ordained Ministry credentials them. On a regular basis these ministers in the process toward ordination appear before various committees to talk about their ministry. I can give you a list of the really good ones who appeared before our committee. The other folks were “coming along” and we could see improvement. So what do you do after listening to the third minister of the afternoon?

I confess that I glazed over and my mind wandered. I made a list of all the things I needed to get done. I thought through the supper menu for the week. I made vacation plans for the future. Now I know what is going on in your head when you get that far away look on Sunday morning! This interview adventure reminded me to shorten my sermons! If you are looking for a short sermon, I will have one for you this Sunday.

One of the thoughts I had was a memory.

Our eldest child, Allison is an attorney in Baton Rouge. I have lost every argument with her since she was in the ninth grade. We have kept all of her “Memos to my Parents.” To the extent possible, she breezed through law school and passed the bar a week after we took a Caribbean cruise. I can tell you she was not studying on the cruise. She does some kind of real estate law that I really don’t understand but it is second nature to her. She is a very gifted young lady.

When she was in elementary school we took Allison to be tested for those “gifted classes.” Allison was a very smart child and wanted her to have the best education possible. We knew almost immediately that Allison did not pass the gifted student test. As with most failed testing experiences it boiled down to one question. The question the kept Allison from entering a gifted program was, “What is the purpose of a postage stamp?” Allison answered, “The purpose of a postage stamp is to decorate the envelope.”

I think that was a good third grade answer, albeit an incorrect answer. It kept her out of the gifted program. But it seems that even as an attorney, Allison approaches some legal matters in unique ways.

I wonder how a third grader would answer the stamp question today. I’m not sure many of them would grasp the concept of an envelope. They would inform you that email requires no envelope, thus the decorative stamp would be superfluous. We would look silly asking the question in the first place. As our culture changes traditions we understand are mysterious to our children and grandchildren.

We are entering the holiday season where traditions abound. Some of our traditions are solemn and holy. Some of our traditions are just plain silly and no one has called us on them. Whatever your tradition, have you shared the story with your family? Do they know the why behind the what? Do you?

The church is entering our great story telling time. It is the story of the Creator of the universe being born in a barn with teenagers for parents. You could not make up a stranger story if you tried. It is the story of one named Jesus who came down to lift us up. I thought I should remind you before you started unpacking your holiday traditions.

Witch Way to Main Street – Weather Outlook

Witch Way to MainStreet

The City of Natchitoches has been getting lots of calls about Witch Way to Main Street and the dreadful weather forecasts. At this time, Witch Way to Main Street is still scheduled to take place on the downtown riverbank from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. However, in the event of bad weather, the event will be moved to the Natchitoches Events Center on Saturday from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Cross your fingers and toes that the forecasts will miraculously change!


Volleyball — As schedule lightens, Northwestern State heads to Central Arkansas

9_2 Glynna Johnson (4)

For the next two weeks, the Northwestern State volleyball team will learn how the other half lives.

After playing its first 12 Southland Conference matches in the span of five weeks, NSU slows it down in the final three weeks of the regular season, playing four matches in that time.

The first in that span comes Thursday night at 7 when NSU travels to Central Arkansas in its only match of the week. After playing 12 matches in 31 days, Northwestern State will play just two in the next nine days.

“We have a lot of time to prepare that we haven’t had leading up to this,” first-year head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We had the vast majority of our matches on the front end of the conference season, so we have only a few matches left where everyone else has a lot left. It will give us some time to prepare for a couple of individual matches.”

Northwestern State (6-19, 4-8) has played three quarters of its 16-match conference schedule while Central Arkansas (12-10, 8-2) is one of six conference teams who have played 10 matches.

Stephen F. Austin has played 11 matches while McNeese State, Southeastern Louisiana, Lamar and New Orleans have yet to play more than nine conference matches.

As it stands, the race for Southland Conference Tournament positioning is jumbled with two games separating five teams battling for the final four spots in the tournament.

To make a move toward the tournament, Northwestern State first has to dispatch the Sugar Bears in a rematch of last season’s Southland Conference Tournament championship game.

Northwestern State won that in a 3-0 sweep – its second sweep of Central Arkansas in 2014. Both of those matches took place in Prather Coliseum.

Additionally, both teams looked much different than they do today.

“They have a new coach as well,” Kiracofe said. “They had a feeling-out period at the beginning of the year and struggled a little bit. They’re firing on all cylinders now. I know (NSU) beat them twice last year, but it’s a different team with a different staff and some people leaving the roster. It’s a completely different look, but I think we’ll be able to match up in a few ways that will be beneficial to us.”

The similarities don’t end with new coaching staffs in both Conway and Natchitoches.

Thursday’s match features the top two statistical servers in the conference. UCA’s Heather Schnars leads the conference in aces per set (0.62) while Northwestern State’s Natalie Jaeger ranks second in that category (0.49).

Schnars leads the conference in kills per set (4.16) while Northwestern State’s Glynna Johnson is tied for sixth among active Division I players in career blocks (469).

“She reads the attackers well,” Kiracofe said of Johnson. “She’s big and she takes up a lot of space, but she’s smart enough to use that. She’s not there just to take up space. She does a fantastic job and is consistent. She puts herself in position to get those blocks. To be able to pile up all those numbers is really fantastic.”

Following Thursday’s match, Northwestern State enjoys its longest break of the year, going nine days between matches. NSU resumes play Nov. 7 at Stephen F. Austin.

Demons Unlimited Foundation membership push is resounding success

The Demons Unlimited Foundation, the fundraising organization supporting Northwestern State Athletics, has successfully completed its “99 Members in 99 Days” campaign by adding over 100 new members and nearly $200,000 in new revenue.

Director of athletics Greg Burke, associate AD for external affairs Adam Jonson and assistant AD for development and marketing Haley Blount made the announcement Wednesday.

The campaign launched as the 2015 summer Victory Tour began on July 20. DUF Board members were tasked with helping recruit new DUF members, and Blount said their efforts were significant in growing the DUF roll. There were nearly 30 new members who joined the DUF during the two-week-long Victory Tour.

The nearly $200,000 in new revenue will help offset additional expenses incurred by the fiscal year 2015-16 athletic budget, she said. A total of 101 new members have signed up since July 20.

“The best part about this campaign is that we’ve been able to successfully communicate the message that all donors at all levels are both needed and appreciated,” said Blount. “Most of the new donors we’ve gained during this campaign have signed up to contribute just $10-20 per month, but look at the end result and significantly positive impact on our athletics program.  Imagine if many more NSU alumni and supporters would make that same commitment.”

The DUF has a 2015-16 goal to raise nearly $1 million in cash from annual gifts, sponsorships and special events to underwrite the cost of items critical of being competitive in NCAA Division I. The money supports awarding the full complement of scholarships in 14 sports, team travel, equipment, coaching salaries and performance incentives, recruiting, marketing and promotions, and other vital elements of the overall operating budget of NSU Athletics.

That target, said Blount, includes a goal of over $350,000 in contributions for its annual fund. Jonson said NSU Athletics has almost reached the $500,000 goal for corporate sponsorships in 2015-16.

Although “99 Members in 99 Days” has concluded, Blount emphasized that the push for new DUF memberships continues.

Additional focus on reconnecting with former student-athletes has been initiated this summer with the reorganization of the N-Club, the association of former and current athletic letterwinners at NSU.

Another recent launch with significant momentum is the Perpetually Purple Program which presents opportunities to establish endowments and planned giving benefiting NSU Athletics.

Supporters can visit the Demons Unlimited Foundation link on for additional information or contact Blount via email at or by telephone at 318-357-4278. All donations are tax deductible.

Veteran’s Day Program 2015 – November 11 at 2:30 PM

Veterans Park

Veterans and Memorial Park

Master of Ceremonies – Truman Maynard
Opening Prayer – Rev. Suzanne Wolfenbarger
Posting of the Colors – Lakeview High School Jr. ROTC
Pledge of Allegiance – James Gay
Singing of the National Anthem – Sara Puryear-Dunn
Veteran’s Day Remarks – LTC Kat Carlson

Roll Call of Living Natchitoches Parish WWII Veterans – Valerie Minchew

Raymond Gilbert
Robert E. Patterson, Jr
O.P. Moore
L.J. Melder
Lloyd Ponder
Jett Houston Cook
Willard C. Mayfield
Wilder Lindsey
Allen Solomon
James Guy
Troy Vascocu
James Brunsgaard
John Hardy
Tom Paul Southerland
Carol Wells
Johnnie Williams
Les Williams
Richard H. Galloway
Leland Lacaze
Robert L. Lacaze
Ray Hargis

Presentation of Park Pins to WWII Veterans in attendance – Becky Ham

Patriotic Tree (on display 11/4-11/24 Downtown City Bank Lobby) – Colleen Lancaster

Fundraising (donations, sponsorships, pavers) – Bob Gillan

Closing Comments from the VFW/American Legion and Axillaries – Dee Fowler

Closing Prayer – Rev. Merry Byers

Many thanks to the NSU ROTC, Lakeview Air Force Jr. ROTC, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1962/American Legion Post and Axillaries, Sigma Nu Fraternity, Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office, City of Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish Council, the NPVAMP Committee Members and the Veterans and friends of Natchitoches Parish for making this program possible.

Inclement Weather Plan – Natchitoches Arts Center

A Band Called Honalee to perform benefit for theatre program


A Band Called Honalee, a modern day folk trio inspired by the legacy of Peter, Paul & Mary, will perform at Northwestern State University Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.

The performance is a benefit for the NSU Theatre and Dance Scholarship Fund. Tickets are “pay as much as you wish” and can be picked up at the NSU Theatre Box Office or at the door. Northwestern State alumnus Chris Ware is a member of A Band Called Honalee.

For more information, please call (318) 357-4483.

A Band Called Honalee draws inspiration from The Mamas & Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds and other legends of 1960s folk/rock. By reinvigorating their iconic songs with fresh harmonies, A Band Called Honalee brings this vital American music back to life.

Following in the footsteps of Peter, Paul & Mary, A Band Called Honalee got its start in the heart of New Year City’s East Village in 2009. Since then, they have pursued an active touring schedule around the country. Their self-titled debut CD was released earlier this year.

A Band Called Honalee believes the melodies and messages of the 1960s folk and folk/rock era are just as relevant today as they were when they were first sung, perhaps even more so. Their mission is to share this uniquely American music with new audiences, while rekindling the passion of long-time fans. Above all, they celebrate the undeniable ability of these songs to inspire people and bring them together once again.

More info regarding A Band Called Honalee can be found on their website at

Hoops – McConathy expects even better from Demons’ West, Woodley as Preseason All-Southland honors are released


Can Northwestern State’s “J-Z on Tour” tandem of Jalan West and Zeek Woodley match their long list of 2014-15 accomplishments again this season?

West and Woodley gave NSU the nation’s highest scoring tandem in 2014-15, posting a combined 42.2 average as the Demons led the NCAA with 84.0 points per game.

They spearheaded a 19-win season that earned NSU a Tournament berth, the fourth national postseason tournament appearance for the Demons this century.

Demons’ basketball coach Mike McConathy sees even better things ahead for his dynamic duo, who good-naturedly debate who plays the role of “Batman” and who is “Robin” in the NSU pecking order.

West, a senior point guard from Bossier City-Bossier High, and Woodley, a junior swingman from Pelican-All Saints High, were first-team selections Tuesday when the Southland Conference released its 10-man preseason all-conference roster.

“I expect they’ll be better this year,” said McConathy. “They’re putting in the work. They have good players around them and they are consumed first and foremost by winning games and constantly improving so we can reach our team goals.

“They put up some amazing numbers last season. Neither of them really noticed,” he said. “Most everybody else is justifiably impressed with the statistics. I can’t say if those numbers will be better or not, but I can say it’s great having two players with their special gifts who are all about our team.”

NSU was the only school with two players on the Preseason All-Southland first team, which also included returning conference Player of the Year Thomas Walkup of defending champion Stephen F. Austin, Rashawn Thomas of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Sam Houston State’s Paul Baxter.

Second-team selections were SFA’s Ty Charles, Zay Jackson from Southeastern Louisiana, McNeese’s Craig McFerrin, Kyle Hittle of Incarnate Word and Anthony Odunsi from Houston Baptist. Voting was done by the 13 head coaches in the conference.

West, a 5-10 sharpshooter, won the NCAA assists championship while ranking among the nation’s top 20 scorers in 2014-15. Woodley, a 6-2 force inside and outside, was No. 2 nationally in scoring last year with a 22.2 average and ranked 27th in shooting aim at 56 percent.

West was the nation’s leader in assists as he registered 7.7 assists per game and he ranked 16th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 20 points per game. He broke Northwestern State records in both assists in a season and assists in a career.

West posted seven double-doubles, one including 11 rebounds, and had 13 games with at least 25 points, five of 30 points or more.   At the end of the 2014-15 season, West ranked third among active players in the NCAA in career assists at 6.39 assists per game. It was one of eight career top 30 rankings among all NCAA players, and eight in the top 100.

He stood fourth in assist to turnover ratio (plus 2.6) and eighth in career steals average (2.31 pg). West was 29th with his career 16.5 scoring average and was among only 19 players in NCAA Division I to have at least 1,500 career points (1,567) and 350 assists (608).

West’s national assists championship was among five NCAA top 25 per game 2014-15 rankings, six in the national top 35. Adding in season total statistics for aggregate scoring, assists, free throws, three-pointers and attempts, he had 17 top 100 listings among college basketball leaders last season.

He finished with 45.5 percent shooting aim (124th nationally), 42.2 percent accuracy on 3-pointers (20th nationally) and 86.2 percent free throw shooting (32nd).

West was 22nd in assist-turnover ratio (plus 2.7) and 23rd in both steals per game (2.1). His 2.7 made 3-pointers per game ranked 45th nationally, and his seven double-doubles was 96th.

During the season, West broke both the season and career school records for assists. He has moved into sixth on the Demons’ career scoring list with 1,567 points and is third all-time in steals with 219.

He averaged 4.4 rebounds per game, including a career-best 11 (along with 34 points) in NSU’s Tournament first-round loss to Tennessee-Martin.   West was a Mid-Major All-American and among the 30 finalists for the Lou Henson Award presented to’s Mid-Major Player of the Year in college basketball.

West was also a first-team selection on the All-District 23 Team chosen by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, with Woodley on the second team from District 23, comprised of players from the Southland and Southwestern Athletic conferences.

West was the leading vote-getter on the team.   Woodley won last season’s Southland Conference Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year honors based on his 3.3 cumulative grade point average and his basketball accomplishment.

The 2013-14 Southland Freshman of the Year had a breakthrough year in 2014-15. He was a standout on the national scene not only with his scoring, but his shooting aim. At 6-2, he was the only player in the country under 6-4, and among only four under 6-7, in the top 30 nationally in field goal percentage with his 56 percent rate, including 60 percent inside the 3-point arc.
He was NSU’s second-leading rebounder with a 5.0 average. His shooting eye was sharp all over: he drained 81.3 percent of his free throws (115th nationally) and 39.8 percent on 3-pointers.

Woodley shattered the Demons’ 38-year-old season scoring record with 711 points, topping 686 in 1976-77 by Billy Reynolds. He became the first sophomore in school history to pass 1,000 career points and already ranks 21st all-time at 1,142 points. Including season aggregate totals for points, field goals made and attempted, and free throws made and attempted, he ranked in the NCAA’s top 100 in seven stat categories last season.

His career 18.1 scoring average placed him 13th among all 2014-15 players in major college basketball. Woodley’s career 58.1 field goal percentage was 25th in the country and he was the only player in the top 50 under 6-4.

His career scoring total is third-best nationally by any player beginning his junior season next month, topped only by Murray State’s Cameron Payne (1,279 points, 18.5 per game) and Andrew Rowsey of UNC Asheville (1,244, 19.7 ppg).

His 2014-15 scoring average is fourth-best in school history.

Woodley’s first-team All-Southland Academic status goes alongside his Southland Conference All-Tournament honor, and second-team status on the All-Southland and All-Louisiana teams, among honors claimed last season.

Perhaps the strongest basketball accolade:  his inclusion on the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s 10-man All-District VI Team, along with eight stars from the Southeastern and Big XII conferences and Stephen F. Austin’s Walkup; and being one of the 40 players considered beginning in midseason for the Lou Henson Award presented by to the country’s Mid-Major Player of the Year.

1-24-15 Zeek Woodley

11_29 Jalan West (3)


Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin has lifted the Parish burn ban due to the heavy rainfalls in the Parish. President Nowlin thanks the residents of the Parish for their cooperation and adherence to the burn ban restrictions that have been in place the last 3 months and encourages residents to take extreme care while burning materials, whether in contained or open areas.

Cane River Lake – Public Notice

Cane River Lake
At about 8:30 pm Cane River Lake reached 96.4 MSL and rising.  The lake is now open.   Spillway and Washington Street Landings remain closed due to low water levels, when the lake reaches 97.4 MSL they will reopen.   Shell Beach and Point Place launches are open to public use.  Question and/or concerns please contact Betty Fuller at 318-617-3235 cell, 318-379-2878 home, 318-357-3007 office.

Election Day 2015

Nowlin Logo-SPOT-2012-08-22 with No. 52Dear Friends,

Saturday, October 24th, is election day and it is important that you exercise your right to vote.  If you did not vote early, please make every effort to vote.

While there are a number of important elections to be decided, the Parish President election is critically important to the future of our beloved Parish.  It will determine not only who will serve, but also the direction the Parish will take.  Since taking office less than 3 years ago, we have accomplished so much.  Here are just a few of our accomplishments:

1.  Balanced the budget
2.  Paid our bills as they became due.
3.  Paid down nearly $200,000 of the debt to the Detention Center that the Police Jury created.
4.  Reduced the size of the administrative staff to save over $200,000 per year in operating expenses.
5.  Reorganized Parish departments to make them more efficient and productive.
6.  Adopted a more accountable and transparent method of operation—focusing on service to the public.
7.  Achieved renewal of the Head Start program for 5 years.
8.  Improved maintenance of all Parish buildings and facilities.
9.  Implemented a more comprehensive and effective purchasing system based on requisitions and budget considerations.
10.  Prioritized our road maintenance program.
11.  Secured over $8,000,000 in State Capital Outlay funds in the State plan for local projects—primarily roads and bridges.

We have made a great start, but there is much more to be done.  We simply cannot afford to go back to the old days and the old ways of doing business as a Parish.  We must continue to move forward.

It is a great honor to be allowed to serve as your Parish President.  I humbly ask that you help me continue our progress by voting to re-elect me as your Parish President on Saturday, October 24th.

Thank you, and may God bless you and our Parish.


The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Parish President Rick Nowlin. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. Nowlin and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to

Election Day Weather


Thus far portions of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma have received about three inches of rain mainly from Idabel to Clarksville overnight. Rainfall is forecast to continue and shift east today through the weekend. At this time, our flash flood guidance suggests that between 3 to 4 inches of rainfall per hour is necessary for flash flooding to occur. At worst, even with prolonged rainfall we would need upward of 6 inches in a 6 hour period to experience flash flooding problems. Therefore, we are holding off on any type of flash flood watch at this time based on the fact that our dry soils can manage a substantial amount of rainfall through the weekend.

However, there are a number of uncertainties in the timing and placement of precipitation through early next week. One of these uncertainties is what becomes of the remnants of Hurricane Patricia in the Eastern Pacific ocean. Moisture from this storm is forecast to stream northeast and will maintain a wet forecast across the region through possibly Tuesday. There are many different model solutions as to the nature of Patricia’s characteristics after traversing across Mexico and its reentry into the Gulf of Mexico (should that occur). At this time, we will continue to monitor this evolving event and if necessary will follow-up should the situation warrant.

Election Coverage 2015


Join My93.9 for Election Coverage Saturday night starting at 8PM. Pastor Steve Harris, Paul Johnson, George Sluppick and A.B. Dupree will cover the returns. You can listen on My93.9 and 1450 AM KNOC.

Ponderings wtih Doug – October 23, 2015

dougthumbHave you noticed that none of the guys in your wallet are smiling?

It could be bad teeth. Most of the guys in your wallet lived before modern dentistry. I suppose they aren’t smiling because of bad teeth. Maybe they are not smiling because of the lack of indoor plumbing. Even the guys on the coins are not smiling. Perhaps they are not smiling because they need woman to join their money fraternity.

Look in your wallet. Can you find a woman in the bunch? There were times we had females on our coins, but only three in circulation now that depict women. Do you know which coins and the identities of the women? I wanted you to get up and look something up this morning. At the beginning of the 20th century, lady liberty appeared on several coins as well as the Morgan silver dollar. Something happened and lady liberty is not the symbol she once was and our money became male dominated. Still, those guys are not smiling. You would think that they would smile since what you do with them brings some measure of satisfaction and in instances happiness.

This made me think of a bit of church humor.

A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.

The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. “I’ve had a pretty good life,” the twenty proclaimed. Why I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.”

“Wow!” said the one dollar bill. “You’ve really had an exciting life!”

“So tell me,” says the twenty, “where have you been throughout your lifetime?”

The one dollar bill replies, “Oh, I’ve been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church…”

The twenty dollar bill interrupts, “What’s a church?”

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him. “Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you.” The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him.

The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward he dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, “Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!” But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through.”

St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, “You brought pavement?”

Jesus never condemned wealth, money or possessions. He talked about money more than he talked about prayer, so the subject is of spiritual significance. He warned us to be careful with our money because our money could tempt us in ways that were destructive. Maybe those guys in the wallet are not smiling because they have done harm to good people.