Ponderings with Doug – November 11, 2015


I was watching all the immigration stuff this week. One of the TV people, a guest legal expert said, “This is not fair.” I went to a Bible to look up the concept of fairness. The Bible does not speak of fairness. Maybe the law books say something about fairness.

My only connection with the law is that I raised lawyer. I heard TV legal experts talk about the immigrationproposal as unconstitutional and disqualifying for the candidate.

United States Federal law states,

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

It is from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, it is also known as the McCarran-Walter Act. While it might not be fair, it seems the law gives the President of the United States certain rights as regards entry into the United States. It is not fair, but it is the law of the land.

If you want to experience a rich full life forget fairness. Life is not fair. Jesus was not fair. Jesus said, “The last will be first and the first will be last.” That is wonderful if you are at the end of the line, but what about those people standing in the front of the line. He told stories about workers in the field. The early morning workers had a contract. The mid-day hires had an oral agreement for wages. By the time the late afternoon crew was hired, they had a job with only a promise of just compensation. The last were paid the same as the first. That is not fair! Want to holler “unfair,” consider the older brother standing out in the field listening to the sounds of celebration for the younger brother who has returned home

There is a thief right now in heaven. This guy is walking the streets of gold. He is listening to the angelic choirs. He knows Jesus. He did nothing. He never confessed his sins or repented. He never joined the church. He was never baptized. He never served on the finance committee. He never had a prayer. In the end that is all it took.

“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus told him, “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

We know him as the thief on the cross, Jesus knows him by name.

It is not fair!

Star Wars storms Natchitoches


Photos: Kevin Shannahan


The first Star Wars in the Park was held Sat Night in the First United Methodist Church  gym. It was a fundraiser for CASA sponsored by the Natchitoches Young Professionals, Blue Frog Technology and the Harrington Law Firm and has raised over $1,500.00 for this great cause. Fans of all ages got to see their favorite Star Wars characters and have their picture taken with them. Jedi Sarah Dyess showed off her lightsaber skills while Eddie Harrington and the 501st Legion provided the Imperial Stormtroopers.

Dickey’s Barbecue CEO Announces Newest Brand Champion, Lee Waskom in Natchitoches Louisiana

Dickeys BBQ

Texas barbecue chain Dickey’s Barbecue has a new brand champion thanks to CEO Roland Dickey Jr., who has announced Lee Waskom as the latest franchisee to earn the title

For any business, the success of its brand is its lifeblood. Brands represent the underlying ideals by which a business identifies and relates to its customers, and championing the values of a brand can help strengthen that relationship between a business and its audience. Roland Dickey, Jr. is celebrating those who best embody the chain’s brand values. The most recent Brand Championship awards has been given to Lee Waskom, of Natchitoches, Louisiana.

For 25 years, Lee Waskom operated a textbook business that serviced university campuses in northern Louisiana. He also owned a shopping center building that had a space open up at just the right time that he was ready for his next venture. After researching franchise businesses at length, Lee chose Dickey’s because of the quality food, solid internal structure and ongoing franchise support from the corporate office. The pellet ice and Coke products gave him the extra nudge and now Lee is the proud owner of one of the largest Dickey’s locations with plans to open another store in Lafayette in March.

Lee’s store is located across the street from Northwestern University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Having partnered with universities his entire career, Lee leveraged that experience as he got his start in the barbecue business. In discussions with the school’s athletic director, Lee discovered that a large restaurant with high-protein options and TVs playing sports in demand when hosting opposing teams. Filling that need has been an excellent community engagement tool for this Dickey’s store.

In the college town of 20,000, Lee has found a niche market not only for sports, but for what he calls “in-store catering.” He was able to use extra space in his shopping center as a party room and he frequently hosts wedding parties, birthday parties and other get-togethers, in which he sets up full-service catering spreads in-house. This holiday season, Lee is already booked with many holiday parties.

A spokesperson for Roland Dickey, Jr. explained, “Roland was insistent from the beginning that we implement the best and most comprehensive support system for our franchisees, and ensure they felt part of our family. Lee has really reciprocated that family feeling, and have given back more than we could ever have expected, which is why Roland is so pleased to recognize them as Dickey’s Barbecue brand champions.”


20th Annual Radio M*A*S*H – Day One!

Radio Mash FB
RADIO M*A*S*H…MAKE A  SMILE HAPPEN for the children of Natchitoches Parish.  It’s hard to imagine waking up on Christmas Morning with no toys under the tree… but for many boys and girls in our area, that is what happens in many homes in our Parish!

We’re collecting new, unwrapped toys and cash to buy more toys to Make A  Smile Happen this Christmas Morning.

Little Madison said it best “my Dad lost his job last year, if it wasn’t for Radio M*A*S*H and the Natchitoches Jaycees, we would not have had a Christmas last year….”

Do you part and please come by the Radio M*A*S*H tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot and donate to help Make A  Smile Happen this year.

Radio M*A*SH 2015  – Broadcasting Live until Saturday at 5pm from the M*A*S*H tent in the Wal-Mart Tent.


Bill Vance
Market Manager
Elite Radio Group


Carts and Carts of Toys



A Family gives so others can have a Merry Christmas this year!

Natchitoches’ Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception hosted their annual Lessons and Carols

Minor Basilica 3

Photo: Kevin Shannahan


This past Tuesday, Natchitoches’ Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception hosted their annual Lessons and Carols. Northwestern State University’s Chamber Choir serenaded the candlelit church with a variety of sacred music in between Bible readings. Fr. Ryan Humphries and Fr. Stephen Soares led the service while Dr. Nicholaus Cummins conducted the Choir. Dr. Christine Allen was the pianist while Dr. Greg Handel played the organ.

Minor Basilica1

Photo: Kevin Shannahan



Minor Basilica2

Photo: Kevin Shannahan

ROTC commissioning Dec. 18 at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry Building

Baptist Bld

Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science will commission three U.S. Army ROTC Cadets in a ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday, December 18, at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on the NSU campus.

Cadets will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants in conjunction with their graduation from NSU.  The cadets and their degrees are Alejandro M. Cespedes of Fort Polk, Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in social science with minors in history, military science, and Spanish; Bianca M. Covington of Leesville, Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in biomedical, and Coleman D. Hearne of Natchitoches, Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice.

Guest speaker for the commissioning ceremony will be Colonel Brian P. Sullivan, Chief of Staff of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and Fort Polk.  Sullivan is a Global War on Terrorism combat veteran and a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a master’s degree from Webster University.  Sullivan is slated to take command of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), in June 2016.

NSU ELab offering PLTW Launch in January


Jessie Church’s fourth and fifth grade science classes at NSU Elementary Lab unpacked PLTW Launch supplies. On the front row from left are Raylan LaCaze, Reed Walker, Olivia Walker, Farrah Murchison, Alana Ryder, Ethan Brown and Logan Saucer. On the middle row are Aubrey Houghtby, Cooper Hudson, Cherie Neal, Sadie Smith, Bailey Ebarb, Cason Dillard, Austin Lorenz and Makenzie Rachal, On the back row are Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, professor of Engineering Technology at NSU; Caden Conley, Jace Carpenter, Christopher McNeely, Dalton Augustus, Bailey Newlee, Liam Conn, Eli Dyjack, Cason Cooper, Shelbi Sampson, Trent Middendorf , PLTW Coordinator Dr. Phil Brown and Church.

The Northwestern State University Elementary Lab School will implement PLTW Launch, the elementary curriculum for Project Lead the Way, a national program that introduces engineering concepts to students to encourage interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas. The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce Education Fund has pledged to support the cost of implementing the program.

ELab science teachers Hillary Gray, third grade, and Jessie Church, fourth and fifth grade, participated in PLWT-Launch training last summer at NSU and will begin the program in January with 44 first graders, 48 third graders, 54 fourth graders and 56 fifth graders.

“The curriculum we are implementing includes the following STEM concepts: computer science for first grade, force and motion for third grade, energy collisions and conversions for fourth grade and bio-medical science and robotics for fifth grade,” Church said.

“The NSU Elementary Lab School has shown strong commitment to STEM programs by starting a robotics club in the past two years and participating in regional competition,” said Mike Wolff, an officer with the Natchitoches Economic Development Commission.  “The five focus areas for the Chamber Education Fund is Project Lead the Way, middle school math development, robotics, summer camps and industry based certifications.  We stated that the majority of our funds, or roughly 60 percent of these funds, would be our goal to spend on Project Lead the Way with the balance on the other areas of focus.”

Northwestern State is Louisiana’s affiliate university for Project Lead the Way and offers facilities, training and support to PLTW programs in place in several parishes throughout the state.  This year, NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development began PLTW training as elective hours for its teacher candidates so those graduates are already PLTW certified when they begin their careers.

For more information on Project Lead the Way, email Brown at brownp@nsula.edu or visit pltw.org.


Hillary Gray’s third grade science students were eager to unpack Project Lead the Way-Launch materials. On the front row are NSU Engineering Technology Professor Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, Sarah Stephens, Krish Patel, Ellie Wilson, Anna McNeely, Campbell Morrow, Breanna Hale and Skylar Braxton. On the middle row are Vivian Fatheree, Olivia Bryant, Keigan Piquet, Leah Norton and Kyron Payne. On the back row are Gracie Moore, Jonah Maynard, Gavin Williams, Gray, Kate Perkins, PLTW Coordinator Dr. Phil Brown, Dillon Braxton and Andrew Odom.

Cane River Lake is now open

Cane River Lake
Cane River Lake  is now at 98.0 MSL. (pool stage)  The lake and all landings are open.  Please remember to boat safe, sober and always wear your life jackets.


Betty Fuller
Cane River Patrol

Northwestern State using 3-D printers to assist business and industry

Eng. Tech lab

Curtis Desselles, a lab technician in the Department of Engineering Technology at Northwestern State University, demonstrates a 3-D printer in one of the department’s laboratories.

Students and faculty at Northwestern State University are using some of the latest technology to help preserve some of Louisiana’s past.

Northwestern State is using 3-D printers for a variety of tasks such as producing prototypes for business and industry, designing mouthpieces to help musicians, creating art and making replicas of Native American pottery that can be closely examined by students and scholars.

3-D printing refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In 3-D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3-D model or other electronic data source. A 3-D printer is a type of industrial robot.

NSU has two 3-D printers, one that can print small objects up to 5.5 inches high, 5.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches long and another for larger size objects. The larger printer was obtained with funds from the Workforce and Innovation for a Stronger Economy Fund created by Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature in 2014.

“The printer can print something as small as .01 millimeters,” said Curtis Desselles, lab technician in the Department of Engineering Technology. “An object can be printed in as little as 15 minutes up to 10 hours.”

Desselles said the Department of Engineering Technology has created specialized nuts and bolts, parts for equipment on campus and even a mouthpiece used by tuba players in the School of Creative and Performing Arts. According to Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology Jafar F. Al-Sharab, the most practical use is to assist business and industry.

“We use the 3-D printers to solve real world problems,” said Al-Sharab. “We talk with business and industry and they tell us about problems they have encountered. We try to solve those problems.”

NSU has worked with Beta Engineering in Pineville to create a miniature substation that can be shown to clients. The university has also met with officials from Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport to discuss making prosthetics for use by patients.

“I’ve learned there is a lot more in the world besides a CNC machine or a drill press,” said Ethan Perkins, senior industrial engineering technology major from Hornbeck. “Having this experience makes me more marketable. I’m glad Northwestern is working to stay one step ahead and is trying to get the best technology they can.”

Perkins worked with 3-D printers for three semesters and produced about 30 different things from screws and nuts to the model substation for Beta Engineering.

Desselles has worked with Professor of Anthropology Dr. Hiram F. “Pete” Gregory to produce a replica of a 15th century Caddo effigy pot that students can hold and examine. The original pot was rediscovered by Dr. Clarence Webb in the 1930s at the Belcher site in Caddo Parish. The Williamson Museum at Northwestern State acquired the pot and other Caddo pottery in the 1960s and plans to return the original pottery to the Caddo Nation in the near future. The Caddo allowed Desselles to make a replica of the pot.

“It is amazing how good the replica is,” said Desselles. “You can see the cracks and crevasses that exist in the original. This replica is something that one can look at without worry about damaging an antiquity.”


Northwestern State to hold fall commencement Dec. 18

Northwestern State University will hold its fall commencement exercises Friday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Prather Coliseum.

The morning ceremony will honor graduates from the Louisiana Scholars’ College, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development. Graduates from the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health and the College of Business and Technology will be recognized at the afternoon ceremony.

Nicole Vasquez, a teacher at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, will be the speaker at both ceremonies.

Vasquez was the 2016 State High School Teacher of the Year. She provides instruction in ninth and 10th grade English and 11th and 12th grade liberal arts which covers philosophy and multicultural perspectives. Vasquez has taught general, enriched, honors and gifted phases. For the past three years, she has taught summer school classes in English, social studies and English language arts for grades eight through 12.

At Captain Shreve, Vasquez serves as co-sponsor for Z-Club, a service organization with more than a hundred girls in grades 10 – 12. She has been Youth and Government co-sponsor and Drama Club sponsor. Vasquez has performed a variety of volunteer roles working at club fundraisers and other extracurricular activities.

Vasquez is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern State, earning a bachelor’s in secondary education. She obtained a master’s in special education, gifted, in 2010 from NSU and a certification in secondary social studies from Northwestern State in 2011. Vasquez is a 2003 graduate of Leesville High School.

In 2007 and 2012, Vasquez developed and organized information for SACS accreditation. Currently, she is a member of the High School Graduation Task Force, working with the director of high schools and other high school teachers to increase graduation rates and options for graduates such as field-based certifications.

NSU, BPCC sign multiple articulation agreements

NSU, BPCC signing (1130)

From left are Peggy Fuller, dean of Student Success, BPCC; Sandra Partain, dean of BPCC’s Division of Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Adam Jannick, associate professor in NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology; NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of NSU’s College of Business and Technology; Lesa Taylor-Dupree, BPCC vice chancellor of Academic Affairs; Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, and Curtis Penrod, director of NSU’s CIS program.

NATCHITOCHES –  Northwestern State University and Bossier Parish Community College administrators called the signing of several articulation agreements Monday an example of how 2- and 4-year institutions in Louisiana should work together.  The two schools finalized agreements that facilitate the transfer of credits from the associate degree to a bachelor’s degree in cyber technology, industrial technology, computer information systems and business administration.

BPCC Chancellor Dr. Rick Bateman said the schools are increasing program alignment not only with transfers in mind, but also with workforce development in mind.

“We’re building pathways to employment and a regional economy that makes sense,” Bateman said. “We are defining clear structured pathways that are more intentional than traditional articulation agreements so our students can earn market responsive degrees to move into the workforce and strengthen our economy.”

Under the agreements, students who earn the Associate of Applied Science degree in cyber technology from BPCC will be able to transfer credits towards the Bachelor of Science in computer information systems (CIS).  Students completing the associate degree in business administration will be able to transfer credit towards the bachelor of science in business administration, CIS and accounting.  Students completing the Associate of Arts Louisiana Transfer degree with business concentrations will also be able to transfer credits towards business administration, CIS and accounting.

Students earning an associate of applied science in oil and gas technology and associate of applied science in industrial technology with concentration in engineering graphics will be able to transfer into NSU’s industrial engineering technology degree program.  Students earning an associate of applied science in industrial technology with a automations and controls will be able to transfer into NSU’s electrical engineering technology program.

The students will enroll at Northwestern State as juniors.

Because of the agreements, “students that graduate from these two schools don’t struggle with process and minutiae.  What ties NSU and BPCC together is our 100 percent focus on students,” said NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

The 20th Annual Radio M*A*S*H

Radio Mash FB

The 20th Annual Radio M*A*S*H (Make A Smile Happen) is December 10th, 11th and 12th at the Natchitoches Wal*Mart. It’s a 54-hour marathon broadcast on all Elite Radio Group radio stations…94.9 The River (KSBH-FM), Adult R&B My923 and 1450 AM (KNOC-AM) in support of the Natchitoches Jaycees annual Toy Drive.

Plan to join us in our efforts to assure that every boy and girl in Natchitoches Parish wakes up Christmas morning with lots of presents under their Christmas tree. We’ll be collecting toys and cash donations to buy even more toys. Listen to the broadcast from noon Thursday December 10th until 5 pm Saturday December 12th for constant updates.

Schedule a time during Radio M*A*S*H to come by the MASH Tent at Wal*Mart and donate a toy. Challenge others in your profession to match your gift. See for yourself how many great things the generous people of Natchitoches can do.

We started back in the 1990s loading up all Elite Radio Group stations and moving them to an army tent in the parking lot at the Natchitoches Wal*Mart Supercenter. We bring the disc jockeys, salespeople, lock, stock and coffee pot. Every year generous residents turn out in droves, donating shopping cart after shopping cart full of new toys and cash. The Natchitoches Jaycees distribute these toys to less fortunate boys and girls in this area.  We’re depending upon the businesses and residents of our area to “put us over the top” again in 2015 to help Make A Smile Happen.

Thanks in advance for doing your part to make sure there are toys under the tree this Christmas for every girl and boy in the parish. You, the Natchitoches Jaycees, and the Elite Radio Group will Make A Smile Happen.


Bill Vance
Market Manager

Applications for Radio M*A*S*H Toy Drive are at Dr. Hogg’s office located at 615 Bienville St. across from the Hospital Emergency entrance.  The phone number is 318-352-6800.

The Narrative


Joe Cunningham, III

The media takes it upon itself to declare the narrative of the day based on the news that is out there. Every news organization does it and it’s not just what we commonly refer to as the liberal media, which makes up the vast majority of the media most Americans are exposed to.

In Colorado Springs, before the facts of the case of the Planned Parenthood shooting were (and still largely are) known, the media proudly marched out Right Wing Rhetoric as the reason the shooter went on his rampage. There is no evidence of this – in fact, the man had no running water or electricity, had a history of increasingly odd behavior, and did not seem to target any Planned Parenthood doctors or staff.

In San Bernardino, the same thing happened. And talk of gun control happened. It wasn’t until that night, when the name of one of the shooters finally came out, that the “Right Wing Rhetoric” claims went away. The gun control claims still linger, however.

What is worse is that the Democrats screamed and complained and moaned and whined when the Republicans blocked legislation that would make it illegal for anyone on the terror watch list to purchase a gun. “REPUBLICANS WANT TERRORISTS TO HAVE GUNS,” they screamed.

Except, background checks already include a cross-reference with the terror watch list. The FBI is notified if there is someone wanting to purchase a gun who is on the list.

That doesn’t change the narrative, however. The narrative remains the same: we don’t control guns enough in this country. We don’t do enough to stop gun violence. What’s left in California but to seize all weapons and blanket ban them? California already has some of the strictest laws in the country.

The problem is not the Right Wing Rhetoric or the lack of “sensible” gun laws. The problem has been a refusal to look at mental health issues and violent Islamists who have been repeatedly saying they want to destroy the West. No, not every person with mental health problems is going to go violently insane and no, not every Muslim is a terrorist waiting to kill us. But, the major shootings we are seeing in the news of late have featured these types of shooters.

Setting a narrative instead of just reporting the news is bad enough. Setting a narrative that looks at the wrong issues and doesn’t change even when the facts do? That is so much worse.

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.

2015 Natchitoches Christmas Festival a great success!


The 89th Annual Christmas Festival was, by all accounts, deemed a major success.  The weather was picture-perfect with clear skies and a high temperature of 65 degrees. The festivities on the riverfront kicked off early this year with music starting at 11:00 followed by the Festival of Lights Parade, which was considered one of the best parades in years by many who lined the parade route. While official numbers are expected to be reported later in the week, the preliminary figures show that attendance at this year’s festival was down slightly from last year. However, vendor ticket sales appear to be up more than 10% according to Lee Waskom, Chairman of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee. While there was a small showing of supporters for the Confederate Battle Flag, there were no major incidences reported and the controversy appeared to be a non-issue for the thousands of people who attended the festivities.

The Christmas festivities continue with fireworks and activities on the riverfront each Saturday. See remaining schedule below.



Friday, December 11 – Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank

* 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 5:00-8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation. For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

Metoyer Brown House, 366 rue Jefferson. The house was constructed by Trizzini and Soldini for the Metoyer family at a cost of $17,000 in 1850. It is a typical 2-story Late Greek Revival with French influence. Remodeled in the early 1900s in a Mission Bugaloid manner and again in 1974 when purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Brown III, the original architecture of the house was preserved. The home is a private residence.

Chamard-Dunahoe House, 120 rue Amulet. This unique and historic French Colonial home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has features including hand hewn cypress rafters, bousillage walls, and fireplaces on the interior of the rooms rather than on the exterior walls. The home features an extensive display of Old World Santas and a collection of Pat Martin’s cypress Santas and is a private residence.

Prudhomme-Rouquier House, 446 rue Jefferson. This Save America’s Treasures property, circa 1790, is the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure on the North American continent. Owned and operated by the Service League of Natchitoches, Inc., the house went through an extensive restoration in 2005. League members take pride in its period décor and decorations appropriate for the Christmas season in the City of Lights. Used as the Service League headquarters, Prudhomme-Rouquier is available for rental throughout the year as well as during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 12 – Admission to Downtown Riverbank beginning at 2p.m. – $5 Ages 12 & over. Advance armband will be available to purchase November 1st.

* 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 1:00-4:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

Chaplin House, 434 rue Second. A fine example of Victorian architecture circa 1892. Particularly interesting are the wide gallery, the original fan-shaped floor and the curved roof of the main entrance. Chaplin House contains much of the original family furnishings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home is decorated for the Christmas Season and is a private residence.

Steel Magnolias, 320 rue Jefferson. Constructed before 1841 by the Italian architects Trizini and Soldini, this home is reported to have been used as a hospital during the Civil War. The home was made famous by serving as a filming location for the movie “Steel Magnolias”. The “most photographed home in Natchitoches” is beautifully presented with classic Christmas décor and is open to the public for events and as a bed and breakfast.

Maison Louisiane, 332 rue Jefferson. A Queen Ann Victorian house that was built in the 1880’s by Giovanni Anselmo Rusca. Much of the home’s original architectural features such as the front doors, turned balustrades, gabled bay, and cypress pocket doors have remained intact. Maison Louisiana features traditional Christmas displays as is open year round to visitors as a bed and breakfast.

Complimentary Admission for Saturday Tour Ticket Holders to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest Louisiana History Museum

* 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Entertainment – After Hours – Downtown Riverbank
* 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Entertainment – Hank Staples & Thunder Creek – Downtown Riverbank
* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River

Sunday, December 13

* 6:00 p.m. – First Baptiste Natchitoches, 508 Second Street presents Christmas Fantasia.

Wednesday, December 16

* 5:00 -8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

         Steamboat House, 200 rue Jefferson. This two-story home was reportedly constructed by a Captain Haynes from materials taken from two dismantled steamboats in the 1850’s. The
interior ofthe home features bousillage construction. The beautiful second-floor veranda has hosted many wonderful evenings for visitors and locals alike. The home has been recently
renovated by new owners and is a private residence.

         Green Gables, 201 Pine Street. Built in the 1890s by Estelle Ducournau Plôché as a wedding gift for her niece, Green Gables remained with the original family until 1939 and is an excellent
example of a one-story Victorian. Turned and sawn woodwork on the exterior and a wrap-around front gallery, ornate fireplaces, stained glass windows, original art and eclectic antiques
from the 18th and 19th centuries, create a unique ambiance for all who visit this bed and breakfast.

         Samuel Guy House, 309 rue Pine. Built in 1850 by Samuel Eldridge Guy, this Greek revival style house remained in the Guy family for more than 150 years before being moved by its
current owner from Mansfield to Natchitoches in 2002. Known for its ornate collection displays and elaborate Christmas decorations, Guy House operates as a bed and breakfast.

Thursday, December 17

* 6:30 p.m. “Lessons & Carols” Featuring Trinity Episcopal Church choir and special guests, Trinity Episcopal Church, 533 Second Street. FREE

Friday, December 18 – Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank

* 3:00-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $

* 5:00-8:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation. For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714 $

         Metoyer Brown House, 366 rue Jefferson. The house was constructed by Trizzini and Soldini for the Metoyer family at a cost of $17,000 in 1850. It is a typical 2-story Late Greek Revival
with French influence. Remodeled in the early 1900s in a Mission Bugaloid manner and again in 1974 when purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Brown III, the original architecture of the house was
preserved. The home is a private residence.

         Chamard-Dunahoe House, 120 rue Amulet. This unique and historic French Colonial home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has features including hand hewn
cypress rafters, bousillage walls, and fireplaces on the interior of the rooms rather than on the exterior walls. The home features an extensive display of Old World Santas and a collection
of Pat Martin’s cypress Santas and is a private residence.

         Prudhomme-Rouquier House, 446 rue Jefferson. This Save America’s Treasures property, circa 1790, is the only known two and one-half story bousillage structure on the North American
continent. Owned and operated by the Service League of Natchitoches, Inc., the house went through an extensive restoration in 2005. League members take pride in its period décor and
decorations appropriate for the Christmas season in the City of Lights. Used as the Service League headquarters, Prudhomme-Rouquier is available for rental throughout the year as well
as during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 19 – Admission to Downtown Riverbank beginning at 2p.m. – $5 Ages 12 & over. Advance armband will be available to purchase November 1st.

* 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $

* 12Noon-4:00 p.m. Cane River Creole Christmas at Badin-Roque House.

The St. Augustine Historical Society hosts special tours and Creole holiday stories. FREE

* 1:00-2:30p.m. Christmas Downriver. Cane River Creole National Historic Park presents Creole Christmas with special tours, educational programs and musical events FREE

* 1:00-4:00 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes, hosted by Natchitoches Historic Foundation For Tickets Call: 800-259-1714

* 3:30 – 6:00p.m. – Entertainment – TBA – Downtown Riverbank

* 6:00 – 8:30 P.M. – eNTERTAINMENT – Johnny Earthquake & The Moondogs – Downtown Riverbank

* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake

Friday, December 25 Free admission to Front Street and Downtown Riverbank – MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 26
* 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Holiday Kids Fest on the Downtown Riverbank $
* 3:30-8:30 p.m. – Entertainment – Downtown Riverbank
* 7:00 p.m. Fireworks over Cane River Lake FREE

Thursday, December 31
*7:00 p.m. – Fireworks over Cane River Lake FREE

December 7 – 23
* 6:00-8:00 p.m. Photos with Santa. Visit with Santa & Photos with Santa on the south end of downtown riverbank.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum will have extended hours on Saturday November 21 and 28, December 12, 19 and 26, 2015 until 7:00pm, last ticket sold at 6:30pm.  Regular admission prices will apply.

Natchitoches Historic District Business Association & the City of Natchitoches hosts the annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival. For additional information call 1-800-259-1714.

Natchitoches Levee and Drainage District meeting notice

Levee Board

The Natchitoches Levee and Drainage District requests that notice be provided to the general public of its monthly meeting to be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Please call if you have any questions.

Assistant Secretary/Attorney


Ponderings with Doug – December 5, 2015


I have been Santa twice in my life.

I danced fifteen shows with the Lake Charles Civic Ballet as Santa. I have the picture that went into the newspaper on the shelf in my office. I was also paid for my dancing. By definition that makes me a professional dancer. I have come a long way from the church of my baptism. The direction of that trip is still a matter of debate and discussion. I did set the standard as the most “active” dancing Santa they ever experienced.

When we were dancing in Lafayette we took a school bus from our hotel to the civic center. I was wearing my normal stuff. I was in a bus surrounded by kids and some of their parents. The little tyke sitting across the aisle was a boy of four or five. He was one of the elves in the show. I asked him, “What is Santa bringing you for Christmas?” Well his mom answered from her window seat, “In our house hold we don’t believe in Santa or other myths.” I made a mental note to avoid this lady; she was one of those mothers. Later that afternoon I was back stage dressed as Santa. The little boy came up to me and tugged on my arm.

“Santa,” he said.

“I really do believe in you.”

Perhaps children develop their own belief systems despite our best efforts.

The other time I was Santa was at an elementary school in Bienville Parish. It was part of my duty as the father of two kids in the school. I walked around distributing candy and read stories to the children. As I was leaving that day a little boy blocked my path. He looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t believe in you because you didn’t come to my house last year.” That little boy still haunts my heart.

I should also count the first Christmas I was Santa for my kids. Andrew wanted a Teenage Ninja Turtle blimp. The blimp had a zillion parts. It also included the Yuletide lie, “some assembly required.” I began assembly at one in the morning and finished at four. The kids were waking us up at five. In later years, Andrew confessed to hiding in the hall and watching us assemble his blimp.

That blimp led to our great family gift giving tradition, gift cards! No assembly required!

Can you tell, I’m thinking about the Christmas parade which will conclude with Santa? I won’t see Santa because of a higher football calling this afternoon. He will show up and the boys and girls will be excited and hopeful when the see him.

While you are pondering the existential ramifications of belief in Santa, remember we are celebrating the gospel truth that the creator of the universe was born into our world as a helpless baby. God loves you so much that He risked helplessness to come to earth to show His love for you.

NPSB – Meeting of December 3, 2015


Natchitoches Central Orchestra performed Christmas arrangements for the board. The orchestra will be traveling to Europe this summer to perform in multiple cities.

The board wants to wish the St. Mary’s football program luck as they compete for the state championship.

Finance, facilities, services, & insurance report

  1. Take appropriate action

Awarded as an All or None Bid to: SYSCO FOOD SERVICES OF LONGVIEW, TX.

  1. No transportation report
  2. Tax Commission Report

$3 million dollars in Sales Tax was allocated to the Parish School System.

  1. Approved: distribution of one time MFP appropriations: $583 for all certified personnel and $250 for all other support staff.
  2. Postponed until January meeting: authorizing custodial supplies to be funded by BRE funds instead of General Funds. The board discussed multiple questions funds and where they are coming from and going to. Also the $7 million maintenance tax and what that went to.

Personnel Report

  1. The parish is in need of only one more speech therapist. Wilson asked to view the contracts that are given to the therapists hired.

Executive Report

  1. Board approved option B for the board calendar for 2016.
  2. The Board declared The Natchitoches Times the Official Journal.
  3. Report on Technology items

Graham called for the state police to be involved to bring those responsible for the disappearance of the laptop to justice. (14 laptops, $1000 each) Skinner informed to the board that the city police suggested the option of administering a lie detector test. The board decided to seek legal counsel on how to move forward.

  1. Board will receive report on grade assignment from Magnet School at the January meeting.
  2. On the status of the drainage project at the Central Office: $8,000 was spent on the study to begin the project. Bids of been projected at $120,000 to complete. The construction on South Drive will not affect the project.

FINAL – Qualifying for the March 5, 2016 Elections.


Member of School Board District 1
Rhonda E. Guidroz
161 Orchard Run
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Altrio “Al” Holden
192 Plantation Point Blvd.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Mayor City of Natchitoches
Jackson Jones
823 Brewton St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Jeremy “JW” Odom
P.O. Box 162
Natchitoches, LA 71458

Lee E. Posey
102 Lynn Cir.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Mayor Village of Clarence
Tommy Evans
P.O. Box 354
Clarence, LA 71414

William Phillips
P.O. Box 38
Clarence, LA 71414

Leslie Oglesby
P.O. Box 160
Natchitoches, LA 71458

Carolyn Sawyer
P.O. Box 102
Clarence, LA 71414

Chief of Police Village of Clarence
Earther Hall
P.O. Box 154
Clarence, LA 71414

Mack Lewis
P.O. Box 557
Clarence, LA 71414

Councilman at Large City of Natchitoches
Don Mims Jr.
516 Lindsey Cir.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Councilman District 1, City of Natchitoches
C. Edward “Eddie” Harrington
603 Saint Clair Ave.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Councilman District 2, City of Natchitoches
Dale Nielsen
125 Lodi St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Councilman District 3, City of Natchitoches
Sylvia Morrow
1112 Lake St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

James W. Scarborough
P.O. Box 164
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Carl Douglas Sias
1401 Amulet St.
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Councilman District 4, City of Natchitoches
Lawrence Batiste
P.O. Box 92
Natchitoches, LA 71458