NPSO Detectives investigating Stabbing Death of Dylan Kyle Poche; 1 Suspect in Custody

 

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NPSO Detectives investigating Stabbing Death; 1 Suspect in Custody

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives are currently investigating the overnight stabbing death of a Natchez, La. man according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

On Saturday night January 30th at approximately 11:43pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division, and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics responded to multiple 911 calls reporting a stabbing at the Sibley Lake boat launch in the 900 block of La. Hwy 504 in the Oak Grove community near Natchitoches, La.

Deputies say upon their arrival, they discovered eighteen year old Dylan Kyle Poche of Natchez, La., on the ground suffering from a fatal stab wound to the upper body.

Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigation Division also responded to the scene.

The victim was transported from the scene to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead by the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office.

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

According to Chief of Investigations Detective Greg Dunn, four detectives have been working throughout the night actively gathering evidence and interviewing potential witnesses in the case.

A suspect is currently in custody.

Detectives are currently not releasing any additional information or the name of the suspect at this time, while the investigation continues.

If you have any information regarding this investigation or was at the boat launch during the time of this crime contact NPSO Detectives Tim Key, Jared Kilpatrick, Jonathan Byles or Darryl Winder at 318-352-6432 or 357-7830. All information is confidential.

Sheriff Victor Jones extends his sympathy and prayers to the family and friends of Dylan.

2016 Annual Burns Night Supper

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The Annual Burns Night supper was held at a local restaurant in beautiful downtown Natchitoches on January 30, 2016.

 

Annual Burns Night: A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are held on or near January 25, 2016, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day, Robbie Burns Day or Burns Night.

Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland but occur wherever there are Burns Clubs, Scottish Societies, expatriate Scots, or aficionados of Burns’ poetry. There is a particularly strong tradition of them in southern New Zealand’s main city Dunedin, of which Burns’ nephew Thomas Burns was a founding father.

Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in Address to a Haggis), Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns’ poetry. Formal dinners are hosted by organisations such as Burns clubs, the Freemasons or St Andrews Societies and occasionally end with dancing when ladies are present.

SEE ALL PHOTOS – by Kevin Shannahan

Women’s Basketball: Balanced Northwestern State offense leads to big win against Southeastern

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Beatrice Attura scored a game-high 21 points to lead Northwestern State to an 82-62 victory against Southeastern on Saturday at Prather Coliseum.

Quick ball movement and opportunistic defense guided the Northwestern State women’s basketball team to an 82-62 win against Southeastern on Saturday at Prather Coliseum.

Four different NSU players recorded at least five assists as part of 26 team assists on 32 baskets to snap a three-game skid.

Junior guard Beatrice Attura contributed a game-high 21 points and six assists to help the Lady Demons (12-9, 7-4 Southland Conference) beat Southeastern (3-16, 2-6).

Attura, who scored in double figures for her sixth straight contest, said playing with a four-guard offense helped create offensive spacing.

“We made a little bit of an adjustment with the four guards, and it helps us move the ball better when everybody can shoot and everybody is a threat,” said Attura, who shot 8-of-13 from the field. “It helped all of us get our rhythm … and it was easy for me because I had wide open shots that my teammates created for me.

“My coaches have been on me about playing in control, and my teammates made that easy for me (Saturday).”

After Southeastern took its only lead of the game at 10-8, Attura scored seven of her nine first-quarter points as NSU ended the first quarter on a 14-3 run. The Lady Demons never looked back from the 22-13 margin.

Attura led four NSU players in double digits, which included freshman post Cheyenne Brown (16 points) and senior guards Keisha Lee (13 points) and Janelle Perez (12 points).

Lee added six assists to go with five each from Perez and junior guard Shahd Abboud, who led the team with nine rebounds.

“We talked a lot about our energy and effort level and commitment to being unselfish, and our assist-to-turnover ratio (26-12) exemplified that today,” said NSU women’s co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. “When we share the basketball and get the ball moving, we’ve got threats out there that can score.

“It’s great to score (82 points) because when Janelle shoots (3-of-10 from 3-point range) – and look, there’s a lot of people that would love to shoot 30 percent from there – but when that’s happened in the past, we didn’t have the people that could pick up the slack. When you can get balance inside and out, it makes you that much more difficult to guard.”

Brown and sophomore Tia Youngblood (eight points) provided post scoring along with four combined assists. Abboud, who played in the post at times, also added eight points to contribute to NSU’s 40-26 edge in points in the paint.

Brown’s scored in double figures six times this season, and she said she’s becoming more comfortable in her first collegiate campaign.

“I feel like I’m learning everything better, and it is getting easier,” Brown said. “I’m still a freshman, so at times it still can be hard, but I can’t ask anything more from my teammates and coaches the way they work with me.

“The ball movement creates space for me, and I’m able to work and do what I do best. (On defense), going against (Southeastern’s Nanna Pool) helped my defense and what I need to improve. She’s an awesome post player, and post defense is one of my biggest challenges moving forward.”

Pool collected a game-high 11 rebounds and four blocks to go with a team-high 19 points. KaeLynn Boyd was the Lions’ only other double-digit scorer with 10 points as Southeastern shot 44 percent from the field.

NSU forced 20 Southeastern turnovers, which it cashed in for 20 points. The Lady Demons turned 11 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points.

“We’ve struggled with experienced post players because it’s hard to stick a freshman post one-on-one like that,” Stoehr said. “But we contested Southeastern’s 3-pointers (7-of-20 for the game) in the second half and forced turnovers.

“We were active and only allowed one shot, and that’s something we’ve struggled with the past three games. It all comes down to energy and effort, and I was proud of them today.”

NSU goes on the road for a two-game stretch starting at Stephen F. Austin on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Honorable Mayor Lee Posey and Katrina O’Con

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Mayor Lee Posey presents Katrina O’Con, CRNA, MSNA with the proclamation recognizing January 24-30, 2016 as CRNA Week in the City of Natchitoches. Katrina and husband, David, are the owners of Natchitoches Anesthesia Associates who have provided anesthesia services at NRMC since 2007. We are proud to have their experienced and dedicated CRNA staff as part of our hospital family.

Pan-Am and Town South residents fear that the new interconnector and access road will not free them from their trapped environment

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By Rose E. Thorn

Train delays have been plaguing the Pan-Am and Town South subdivisions since they were built.The two are not connected and both have only one way in and out which is over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Residents are trapped when a train is passing or stopped on the tracks. Pan-Am was built in the 1930’s-1940’s and Town South was built in the 1960’s-1970’s. They were both built as Federal Housing projects.  Combined, they have over 140 lots. If these subdivisions were built today, they would be connected or possibly not have been built in this location at all.

“We didn’t have the ordinances back when these places were built that we have now,” said District Two Councilman Dale Nielson.

Residents have been fighting for a second exit road for 20 years.Nielson has been aware of the need for a new road for the subdivisions since he campaigned for councilman six years ago. The issues with the train came to a head in 2014 when a train blocked the exit of the Pan-Am subdivision for seven hours.

Currently the City Council is making headway towards a new access road. The plan is to connect the two subdivisions so that the new access road will provide an exit for both subdivisions and not just one. The access road will intersect with Mill Street.

“Part of it may be paved, part of it may be gravel,” said Nielson.“Our first priority is safety. The road will allow access to first response vehicles and allow residents to come and go.”

Therein lies the problem, will residents truly be able to “come and go?” The Department of Transportation and Development will not not allow the road to become permanently open because the intersection with Mill Street is at an “S” Curve.This means that the only access to the subdivisions that does not pass over railroad tracks will be under lock and key.

“They want to lock us up like we are animals,” said resident Joella Wilson. “If you’re going to build a road do it right. We want a normal road in our community like they have in other communities. We want to be treated like everyone else.  We don’t want to feel like we are locked in. It may be an access road but it is still controlled, placing us in a controlled environment. We don’t want to be controlled. We are not prisoners. We are not slaves. We want to be free and feel free. This road is not what we want.”

Whitney Wolfe works at the gas station across from the subdivisions. “The train blocks those tracks about once a month,” said Wolfe. “It will completely just stop in front of the entrances. It is something that has always been a problem. I feel like this new road is a waste of time and money if the people can’t use it when they want to.”

The residents of Pan-Am feel an overall lack of support for their community.  “Why don’t we have a sign that says Pan-Am,” asked resident John Roe. “Why don’t we have trees and fountains? Why don’t we have proper drainage? They don’t care about us, they don’t give a damn about us just like that Michael Jackson record.  They want to lock us in so there is no escape when the police come.”

Some residents are willing to put up with the gate because it allows access to first response vehicles. “There are elderly ladies in here and small children,” said resident James W. Johnson. “If they need an ambulance it would be a good thing. If you get sick and need to go to the hospital, you could make it up to the tracks just to lay up there and die. Nobody wants to die like that. I think it would be nice if they just go ahead and do it. I’m okay with them locking it.”

The City Council still needs to work out a few kinks before the interconnector and access road become a reality. Attempts to create a second exit for these subdivisions have fallen through in the past. Listening to the concerns of the residents leaves one wondering if there will ever be an answer to the subdivisions problems.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Rose E. Thorn. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ms. Thorn 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 NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

NSU great Ginger Craig establishes scholarship as part of Perpetually Purple endowment program

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Northwestern State softball great Ginger Craig (center, wearing a team jacket from her playing days from 1985-88) is flanked by (right) NSU director of athletics Greg Burke and assistant athletics director Haley Blount as she presented a $10,000 check to create a scholarship supporting the Lady Demon softball program to celebrate her 50th birthday.

 

It was supposed to be a surprise 50th birthday gift, but the creation of the Ginger Craig Softball Scholarship at Northwestern State instead is a tribute to precious parents and a gesture of thanks for a life-changing opportunity.

A career Red River Parish educator since ending one of the most remarkable careers in Lady Demon softball history in 1988, N-Club Hall of Fame member Ginger Craig is following through on the plans of her mother and best friend.

The late Mrs. Helen Craig, and NSU graduate Kelley Taylor Lee got the idea a couple of years ago to honor Ginger by creating a scholarship in her name at her alma mater. Unfortunately, Mrs. Craig passed away unexpectedly last year, leading to Ginger learning of the plan. Her father, Joe, readily agreed that his late wife’s plans should go forward.

“It can’t be a surprise any more, like it was supposed to be, but it is very special,” said Ginger Craig, once a slugging outfielder whose No. 3 softball jersey was retired not long after her career ended. “Not only is it an honor but it’s a privilege to me to be able to give back to the school that gave me so much – – great opportunities to play ball, have fun, meet people who changed my life for the better and continue to do so today.

“This will hopefully inspire others to do the same thing. Maybe it’s a birthday, an anniversary or just the right time for somebody to create their own endowment at NSU.  We’re enjoying getting this established and it’s something we’ll be proud of always, and it will help student-athletes here forever.”

The announcement of the creation of the scholarship came Friday on her 50th birthday.

The endowment is the latest in a series created since the beginning of the “Perpetually Purple” program operated by the Demons Unlimited Foundation, the non-profit 501-c-3 support organization for Northwestern State Athletics. A fundamental goal of the initial push is to reach the $5 million milestone, allowing the endowment to completely underwrite book scholarships for all NSU student-athletes, an expense of nearly $200,000 currently paid by annual gifts to the DUF. Annual gift revenues will then be redirected to more significantly enhance facilities, bolster recruiting budgets, retain or hire outstanding coaches, and offset ever-increasing scholarship costs.

Since being formally announced last May, the Perpetually Purple program has averaged a commitment each month thereafter, said assistant athletics director Haley Blount.

Greg Burke, director of athletics at NSU, said while each gift is profoundly appreciated, contributions by former competitors like Craig, her family and friends are particularly rewarding.

“It is especially meaningful to have a former student-athlete ‘pay forward’ the opportunity they received at NSU.  Ginger has stayed very involved with her alma mater and understands the value of endowed scholarships from a competitive angle, as well as for providing educational and life-lesson opportunities for young people,” he said.

“She is appreciated for establishing this scholarship which will ensure her perpetual connection and impact on the athletic program that she loves so much.”

Blount noted that Craig wore her vintage NSU softball team jacket when she came to present the gift to establish the scholarship.

Craig serves on the steering committee for the N-Club, the organization of former athletic letterwinners at NSU. She is in her 26th year of teaching and coaching in Red River Parish, the second teaching adapted physical education as part of the parish special education program.

She coaches the golf team at Red River High School, also helping with the softball team, and coaching the fourth and fifth grade girls basketball team at Red River Elementary. Craig is also in her 15th year as the volunteer director of the Red River Biddy Ball Association in her 25th year of involvement. That organization serves roughly 250-300 kids with basketball during the winter and T-ball and “coach pitch” leagues in the spring.

I’ve seen a lot of kids make their first hit or score that first basket, make that first surprising catch. You see their faces, and they’re so excited and amazed,” she said. “It’s great when we can bring some of them to NSU games.”

Watching her alma mater’s teams compete helped solidify the decision to establish the scholarship, which she plans to supplement annually.

“I know what it takes. Kids don’t go to college with everything they need already. Resources are limited, and gifts like this give our coaches more to work with to make our programs stronger and make things better for those young people,” said the native of Converse in Sabine Parish.

Craig set 10 Lady Demon career hitting records, one which remains three decades later with 18 triples. She holds single-season school records for batting average (.428, 1987) and slugging percentage (.783, 1988). Craig was the 1987 Gulf Star Conference Most Valuable Player and the first Louisiana Athletic Directors’ Association Player of the Year.

She was a Lady Demon basketball player for a couple of years (1984-86) while starring in softball. Whether online at NSUDemons.com or making the short drive from Coushatta, she keeps close watch on all NSU sports, and especially the softball team led by veteran coach Donald Pickett.

“I love watching them. Coach Pickett has it on the right path. Three championships in a row, that’s incredible. I have season tickets but can’t get away often enough, so I try hard to find somebody who will use the tickets and get to see them play,” she said. “It’s a great game and the young women playing it are great representatives of NSU, and great examples for the kids I work with.”

NRMC Associate of the Month

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Scott Weatherford, Pharmacy Director, accepted the Associate of the Month Award on behalf of Courtney Owens, Staff Pharmacist. Others nominated for their great customer service were Christina Bamburg, Katherine Byone, Juanita Remo, (Weatherford), Janiece Richard and Terri Wells, representing the entire OB Department nominated by a happy patient, Tiara Holmes, standing in for Marie Woodel and Seth Johnson.

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Michelle Garlington, ED Manager, received the Leader of the Quarter Award from Buzz, Scott, VP of Human Resources and Support Services.

APHN Membership Luncheon with Dr. Henderson

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The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches will hold its annual membership luncheon February 13, 2016, 11:30 a.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center.  Cost of lunch catered by Angela Lasyone is $25.00.  Reservations must be received no later than February 5 by mailing your check to APHN, PO Box 2248, Natchitoches, LA.

Roy O. Martin will be the featured speaker.  Special guests will be Dr. And Mrs. Jim Henderson.

Ponderings with Doug – January 29, 2016

 

There is a great cooperative effort here in Natchitoches Parish. It is the Cane River Food Pantry. The Cane River Food Pantry is the grandchild of the food pantry started in Robeline. A group of churches have organized to make sure this ministry continues to help those who need a little extra help putting food on the table. The city of Natchitoches is loaning the ministry space temporarily. Food is distributed on the second Saturday of the month at the Pantry’s location on Edwina Drive. If you want to drop by and help consider yourself invited!

The congregations who formed this ministry have been generous in their support of the Food Pantry. Your contributions last summer were overwhelming and some continue to give to this cause. It has grown because of your generosity.

I have an opportunity to givegenerously to the Food Pantry.

In a moment of weakness or complete insanity I said yes and found myself a Natchitoches Parish Councilperson. I am going to see if I can be “in the world but not of the world.” In so many ways government work is like church work, but right now I won’t draw the parallels for you, I’m saving that article! I was actually surprised that I was paid for this political service. I think we might have better government if it were not seen as a career track but public service. I digress!

I am giving all of my Parish paycheck to the Cane River Food Pantry. After taxes and whatnot I will give over four hundred dollars a month to the food pantry. I thought that would be the best use of money I was receiving from the tax payers of Natchitoches Parish. Each council member is paid 500 a month. The problem is little money adds up. There are five of us on the Council. We serve four year terms. Over the course of the term of office, you pay 120,000.00 to the members of the Parish Council to represent you. The paying of representatives is repeated at almost every level of government.

I will give over twenty thousand dollars to the Cane River Food Pantry over the course of my term as a member of the Parish Council.I know of other representatives who give away most of their salaries from governmental bodies. God bless them.

As the Food Pantry starts 2016, there are a couple of things I ask of you. Would you consider sending a check for twenty dollars and sixteen cents to the Cane River Food Pantry? You will notice I have upped the amount from last year by one penny. Also on Super Bowl Sunday we are collecting peanut butter and jelly for the food pantry. If you would like to help us with that you can drop the peanut butter and jelly by the offices of First United Methodist Church. Our offices are located at 220 Amulet in Natchitoches.

If you would like to help monetarily you can mail your checks to:

The Cane River Food Pantry
P.O. Box 120
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71458

Last month, five hundred people were helped by Food Pantry. I am so appreciative of you, the churches and the city of Natchitoches for making this ministry happen. We talk almost daily of the miracle you are helping to create.

Do you support a cause that transforms lives?

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM INTERNET PREDATORS

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Detective Carey Etheredge is the director of the High Tech Crime Unit of the NPSO.

Protecting our children from the dangers of society is always in the front of minds of every parent.  When kids are young, your direct control and management of their lives are never farther away than the back yard or the day care center.  As adolescents become teens, they seek their independence from parents and want acceptance from their peers.

We all know how the internet, particularly social media, influences our young people and how social media is used to establish their identity.  In the process of building their own social brands, teens provide a great deal of personal and private information online for all to see, including those whose intentions are harmful and predatory.

According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in seven teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet say they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the internet and 25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online. Additionally, 75% of children online are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services such as coupon offers or free downloads.

It is imperative that parents in Natchitoches Parish take a proactive and managerial role in protecting our children from internet predators.  The very first thing you can do is to talk to your kids about the potential dangers that could occur online.  Discuss what it means to receive inappropriate messages or discussions from adults, including unnecessary compliments and accolades from strangers.

The next step a parent should take in protecting children on the internet is to install parental control software that can identify and block harmful content in chat rooms and on social media.  Set family rules regarding social media access.  Require from you kids that you are ‘friended’ on all of their accounts and make sure that they have not blocked your access to them.  Since most kids use tablets and mobile devices rather than laptops, make sure you know which apps your kids are using by reviewing all downloads on their devices.  Also note that many mobile gaming apps have chat and messaging capabilities.

Ensure that kids’ user accounts on social media do not include personal information such as full name, home address, school attendance, or where and when parents are working.

Lastly, the most important step in protecting teens from internet crime is to build trust with them so they will talk with you if there is an unsafe occurrence online.  Let them know that you are not trying to “ruin their social life” but to ensure they have a safe experience with their friends and not with strangers.

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office has an investigative unit dedicated to protecting families from online crime and sexual predators.  Our High Tech Crime Unit works with schools, churches, and parents to help educate children about the safe use of the internet and to investigate online criminal activity in Natchitoches Parish.

Additionally, our Sex Offender Compliance Unit closely monitors all registered sex offenders in Natchitoches Parish to ensure they are complying with all applicable laws including prohibiting their use of social media, visiting schools, parks, or playgrounds, and ensuring they have notified us of their place of residence and employment.  We routinely visit their residence to ensure they are not participating in any of these activities.

We all want our kids to be protected from harm, whether it’s in the community or online. By staying observant, engaged, and involved with our kids’ daily lives, we will have a large impact on keeping them safe.

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office wants to support your proactive efforts.  We are always available if you need assistance in educating your teens, preventing unwanted internet communications, or investigating potential harmful activity.  Our mission is to keep you and your family safe.

Voting for the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Luncheon begins today

 

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Show your appreciation for local businesses by casting your vote at www.natchitocheschamber.com. Four deserving Chamber members will be recognized by their peers as Small, Mid-Sized and Large Business of the Year and New Business of the Year at the Awards Luncheon February 17th from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.at the Events Center

“The Annual Awards Luncheon is the largest event the Chamber holds each year,” said Chamber President Tony Davis. “With a great year behind us and an even brighter year ahead, this year’s event promises to be the largest yet.”

At the luncheon 2015 Chair Dion Boyett of Bank of Montgomery will officially hand the gavel over to 2016 Chair Janice Bolton of Bolton Realty. This year’s program will also include several special recognitions, including the “4 under 40” of the Natchitoches Young Professionals.

Join local and regional elected and business leaders for this important and distinguished event.  Doors will open at 11a.m. and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to mix and mingle.  The program will begin no later than 11:45a.m. and conclude by 1 p.m.Register for the luncheon at www.natchitocheschamber.com/events/details/annual-awards-luncheon-56136. Registration for chamber members is $35 before February 1st and $40 after and $50 for non chamber members. For information contact the Chamber of Commerce at 318-352-6894.

Northwestern State University’s 2014-2015 yearbook, Potpourri, is a first place winner

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The American Scholastic Press Association recognized Northwestern State University’s 2014-2015 yearbook, Potpourri, as a first place winner in the category of college yearbook.

“Your yearbook shows excellence in the fields of writing, photography and page design and contains elements/sections of an effective yearbook that will be treasured for years to come,” according to the ASPA award letter.

Former Editor Jordan Smith directed a staff of 19 in producing the book. They included Associate Editor Jessie Gabor, Designer Nicholas Myers, Lead Photographer Karalee Scouten, Fall Copy Editor Olivia Martzell, Photographers Derrick Notice, Katelon Ramos and DeAna Meshell; Staff Writers Apryl Jenkins, Brian Cook, C.J. Webster and Kathleen Barkley; Writers/Photographers Chelsea Taylor and Emily Fontenot; Satellite Campus Writers Lisa Lee, Joy Hill and Jordan Creasey; Online Writer Vanessa Posey; Fall Social Media Director Alexis Reliford and Freshman Scholar Hunter Horton. NSU Photographer Gary Hardamon, photographers Chris Reich and Tra’Van Cooper also contributed to the book.

“I am very proud of the entire staff,” Potpourri Advisor Stephanie Masson said. “These awards recognize the hard work of everyone involved in the yearbook process at NSU.”

Potpourri is an independent student media organization. Students plan, design and produce the book. Coverage runs from February to February of each year, allowing the staff to feature many campus events.

The 2015-2016 Potpourri is in production and should be available in late April. Distribution dates and times will be announced.

Natchitoches Police seek public’s help in identifying suspect wanted in AT&T Store theft

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The Natchitoches Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect that removed several items from the AT&T Store located at 929 Keyser Avenue.

On, 10/30/2015 around 9:08 p.m., an unknown white male wearing a black button down shirt and blue jeans entered the AT&T Store and began looking at several products. While browsing the stores products the suspect noticed that the store clerk was helping another customer. During this time the suspect placed several items inside of his pants and exited the store. The items removed from the store are valued around $7,500.00.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914.

Remember all information given shall remain confidential.  

Chief Micky Dove
Natchitoches Police Department
Date:  January 27, 2016

What’s Happening in Natchitoches Parish

What’s Happening 1-28-16

 

By Natalie Covher

Food, Art, Music Ohh My! There are so many opportunities to have fun in the coming weeks. Don’t let life pass you by, get out and celebrate, support and discover Natchitoches Parish.

Get information and sign up to help kick cancer at Relay for Life’s Kick Off Party Thursday, January 28th at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom at NSU. Relay for Life was able to provide free services to 40 cancer patients in Natchitoches Parish last year. Help beat that goal by signing up. Anyone can come and learn how to can make a difference in the fight against cancer. Relay for Life of Natchitoches Parish will be held April 22 at 6 p.m. at the NSU tailgating field.

No other instrument has as much soul as the saxophone. Listen to Saxophonist Paul Forsyth Friday, January, 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Magale Recital Hall at NSU.  It won’t cost you a thing to listen to Forsyth perform works byBach, Pierre Max Dubois, Karel Husa and JacobTV. Forsyth, an associate professor of saxophone at NSU, will be accompanied by fellow faculty member Elen Bocaczova on piano. Equally adept at both the classical and jazz repertoire, Forsyth has performed recitals and taught master classes at numerous concert halls, universities and conferences around the world. Start your Friday off with a song in your step and attend this recital.

Satisfy your curiosity and your taste buds at the inaugural Johnny Antoon Memorial Battle for the Paddle Chili Cook-off Saturday, January 30 at 2 p.m. at Prather Coliseum at NSU. See which team takes home the paddle and try out the different chef’s chili recipes after the Women’s basketball game.  Three judges will give awards for first, second and third place as well as a people’s choice award. Donations for the peoples’ choice award will benefit the American Cancer Society. Help raise money for Relay for Life while supporting NSU as they take on Southeastern in a double header.

Hear vocalist Dr. Corey Trahan and friends perform in concert with friends during“Come Fly With Me” Sunday, January 31st at 3 p.m. at Magale Recital Hall at NSU.  There are no excuses to miss this treat since it is free and open to the public.”Come Fly with Me” is a concert highlighting decades of Broadway musicals. Trahan, director of music theatre and assistant professor of music theatre at Northwestern State, will partner with pianist Julian Jones, a faculty member at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The one-hour program features selections from the American Songbook (George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen), Disney musicals and “Phantom of the Opera.” A number of students, faculty and visiting artists will join in for this fun filled performance.

Explore your creative side with Art a’la Carte.Paint your very own“Can’t Weigh Me Down Anchor” Tuesday,February 2nd at 7 p.m. at Maglieaux’s on the Cane. This paint along party is for anyone, of any age who wants to enjoy a fun, relaxing evening of art. Artist Ginger Hughes promises that even if you’ve never painted before, or never thought that you couldthere is still fun to be had. Admission is $35 per painter and includes supplies. After the event you can take home your 16’x20’ painting.

Ladies 13 and up can learn how to kick some but at Sgt. Jeff Townson’s self-defense classes for women February 2nd,9th and 16th from 6-9 p.m. at the Natchitoches Police Department’s training center. To get the full benefit these classes have to offer it is best to attend all classes.  Sgt. Jeff Townson is a certified instructor in the RAD defense technique that can teach you all the tricks needed to defend yourself incase you ever need to. RAD classes teach women ways to defend against aggression and assault with hands-on training.The class is $20. To pre-register call Amy Cox at 357-3802.

zumba party

The Natchitoches Parish Library will host a free exercise series beginning Wednesday, February 3rd from 6-7 p.m. Start working on that summer body and focus in on healthy living with the help of these classes.  Each month will feature a different type of exercise and a different local instructor. February’s classes are Zumba with Meagan Metoyer every Wednesday from 6–7 p.m. Zumba is a fitness program involving dance and aerobic elements that uses choreography from a variety of influences including martial arts, salsa, hip-hop, samba and mambo.  Adults 18 and oldercan sign up for the one of the 20 spots available. Participants must register and sign a waiver. Wear you best work out gear or comfortable, loose clothing along with gym shoes for the class. Whether you are interested in signing up to participate or are willing to teach an upcoming class, contact Martha Uchino at 318-357-3280. For more information, contact Martha Uchino or Amy Walmsley at 318-357-3280.

Celebrate the life and times of Marie Therese Coincoin Saturday, February 6th from noon-2 p.m. at the Lemee House. The Resurrection Fern Foundation Inc. will present the event that will include live performances, walking tour and refreshments. Learn how this woman beat all odds and gained her freedom. For information call Kelly Jackson at 818-384-6921.

Dress up your dogs and kiddos in their Mardi Gras best for the Natchitoches Humane Society’s Krewe of Wag-uns Parade Saturday, February 6th at 4 p.m.  Get there early to registerat 3 p.m. before the parade line-up at 3:45 p.m. in the Bank of Montgomery parking lot. Bring your own throws, candy and dog treats to get those tails wagging. The parade will roll from the bank, south on Front Street to Touline Street, and east on Rue Beauport to the downtown riverbank.The fun doesn’t stop there, a King and Queen’s “Pawty” will ensue directly after the parade. Prizes will be awarded for Best Float, Best Dressed Pet and Best Dressed Child. The entry fee for the parade is only $5 and pets can be registered for the chance to be crowned as “King Rex-Rufus” or “Queen Mutt-A-Gras.” Golf carts are permissible if driven by adults. Children can ride scooters, bicycles and wagons, but must be accompanied by an adult. No ATVs are permitted. For information about the parade and admissible animals, call the Humane Society at 357-3885. All funds benefit animal spay and neuter programs in Natchitoches Parish.

Mardi Gras Natchitoches style, follow the Krewe of Dionysos through the looking glass Saturday, February6th at 6 p.m.The family friendly nighttime parade consists of a dozen or more super floats and much more. Catch throws including beads, cups and specialty items from members masquerading as your favorite Alice in Wonderland characters. The parade will roll from the stage parking lot down South Drive to Keyser Avenue; to Keyser Avenue; Left onto Keyser Avenue to Keyser Avenue Bridge; Right onto Jefferson to Front Street to Washington Street; Left onto Texas Street to Second Street; Left onto Second Street to Church Street where the parade ends.

Don’t keep the fun all to yourselves let the people know where to go, what to do, and how to have fun in Natchitoches Parish! Send in events to NPJNatLa@gmail.com

The Red River Waterway’s history, impacts, successes and challenges.

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Chamber Luncheon – January 2016

Guests at the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce Luncheon January 27th,learned about the Red River Waterway Commission from Marketing Director Robert Vinet. He explained the Red River Waterway’s history, impacts, successes and challenges.

The Red River begins as a small creek in eastern New Mexico and flows through fives states including New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Waterway Commission serves the seven parishes the Red River runs through in the state.

Everyone was waiting to hear what the Waterway Commission had to say about the summer 2015 flooding.

“It was a mess, really a mess,” said Vinet. “It shut down commercial commerce for a couple of days which is something we haven’t seen in a long time.”

He explained that there will be a 1.5-million-dollar survey to find out what is happening on Red River. The survey will increase accuracy of flooding forecasts in the future. The estimated damage of the flooding totaled $1,945,000.

The Waterway Commission includes five locks and dams, 20 recreation areas, five public ports and private terminals. The Natchitoches Parish Port is the only slack-water port on the Red River it has a cargo dock, transit shed and wood chip loading facility. One of the 20 recreation areas along the Red River is Grand Ecore where a new RV Park is under construction. It is 25 percent finished and is scheduled to be complete in October.

The Waterway Commission impart with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries released approximately 300,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings into five pools along the Red River from Shreveport to Marksville. The stocking was part of a larger effort by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation that began with the release of approximately 7,700 fingerlings at Clark’s Landing in September 2000 and will conclude with additional releases in the fall. Each fingerling, ranging in size from one to three inches long, has the potential to become a trophy bass. Florida largemouth bass appeal to anglers because they grow larger than our native largemouth bass. Introduction of this genetic trait into the Red River largemouth bass population is the reason behind the stocking project.

“We are very pleased to be part of this outstanding project. Releasing pure Florida strain bass into each of the waterway’s five pools will assure some exciting sport fishing for everyone along the Red River and the business opportunities the region will enjoy due to increased fishing activity by local residents and visitors will greatly contribute to our mission of economic development,” said Ken Guidry, executive director of the Red River Waterway Commission.

Vinet also discussed some of the challenges the Waterway Commission faces including reduction in federal funding for dredging and the reduction of lock and dam service.

“The Corps does the best they can with the money they have but this is a bad Idea,” said Vinet. “It will decrease economic growth and future business opportunities. This will deter recreation activities and threaten the navigation industry.”

The Red River carries a greater sediment load than any other river in the United States. This is why constant dredging is so important. The Waterway Commission must maintain a navigable waterway that is at least nine feet deep and 200 feet wide.Vinet explained how moving cargo via barge is cost effective and better for the environment.

Another challenge facing the Waterway Commission is the Giant Salvinia. It impedes access to backwaters and oxbows, decreases the quality of fish and threatens the entire food chain.

The Iowa Caucuses

JPCIII

Joe Cunningham, III

Lots of speculation is currently running wild about the Iowa caucuses, which will occur this week, and specifically how Donald Trump will do. A recent poll had him up about 11 points over Ted Cruz, who is in second place behind the billionaire mogul.  Every campaign (other than Trump’s) seems to be acting as though their internals say it’s really much closer than that. If it turns out that Trump wins Iowa, then that should worry some folks, but not as much as you might think.  The caucuses have been terrible at picking candidates.

Moreover, the Trump campaign has no professional infrastructure and is not even relying on their own polling – they don’t have a pollster at all.

If the business mogul’s campaign can put together a good showing in a caucus system (which Trump supporters may not even be able to navigate), then it’s entirely possible that the race is thrown into even more chaos than we’ve already seen. There is panic among conservatives that Trump could actually get the nomination and it’s thrown the Republican Party into a state of disarray.

D.C. Republicans are trending toward Trump over Cruz because they see the negotiating prowess of Trump and know a deal can be reached with him. They likewise know that Cruz would be as likely to throw them out on their ears as listen to them. They don’t like Cruz and he doesn’t like them.

But, if Trump underperforms, as is expected by a few folks, then Cruz gets a big momentum boost.  He has invested a lot into winning Iowa.  While the Iowa caucus does not have a good track record of picking the nominee in a normal year, this is not a normal year. Trump has seen to that.

If Cruz wins Iowa, and someone who is not Trump can take New Hampshire, then it would deal a big blow to Trump. If Trump takes New Hampshire, he will likely get South Carolina. Things will only get more complicated from there because, here in the Republican Party, we didn’t want any semblance of order, clearly.

SOLICITATION OF VOLUNTEER TO SERVE ON TOURIST COMMISSION BOARD

Parishgovseal

PRESS RELEASE: January 26, 2016

Parish President Rick Nowlin has announced his intention to make an appointment to the Parish Tourist Commission. Any non-profit organization that has an interest in the tourism industry in Natchitoches Parish may nominate a person for appointment. Nominations and contact information may be mailed to the Office of the President, P. O. Box 799, 200 Church Street, Natchitoches 71458-0779, or by calling Mrs. Lynda Vance, Executive Assistant to the President at (318) 352-2714, or by sending an email to admin@npgov.org .

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
200 CHURCH STREET
NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA 71457

BOIL ADVISORY – Oak Grove Area

Boil Order

Oak Grove Area within the Natchitoches Water Works #1 Distribution System is experiencing low pressure problems with the water supply system. This drop in system pressure below 15 pounds has been caused by repair efforts to the service lines.

Therefore, as a precaution, the Water Works #1 Distribution System is issuing a BOIL ADVISORY effective immediately for Oak Grove Area only.  This BOIL ADVISORY is to remain in effect until rescinded by the Water System.

It is recommended that all consumers along Johnson Chute Road, Sisson Road, Paul Jordan Road, Posey Road, and La. Hwy 3191 from Smith Garage Road to La. Hwy 1 North, La. Hwy 504 and all roads leading off from it in an area between La..Hwy 3191 and Bennet Loop, disinfect their water before consuming it (including fountain drinks), making ice, brushing teeth, or using it for food preparation or rinsing of foods by the following means:

Boil water for one (1) full minute in a clean container.  The one minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil.  (The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a clean bottle or pouring it from one clean container to another, or by adding a pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled.)

Again, please be sure to disinfect your own water prior to consumption until you have been advised otherwise.

Guidelines for food service establishments are attached.

Upon notification from the Office of Public Health’s State Regional Laboratory that the samples collected from our water supply have been found to be safe, the State Health Department will notify the water supply of the sample results.  Upon such notification, the Water System will then rescind the Boil Advisory and notify its customers that the water has been found to be safe.

Johnson Chute Road, Sisson Road, Paul Jordan Road, Posey Road, and La. Hwy 3191 from Smith Garage Road to La. Hwy 1 North, La. Hwy 504 and all roads leading off from it in an area between La.. Hwy 3191 and Bennet Loop.

This Boil order does not affect the City of Natchitoches Water Distribution System.

Water Supply Representative: _Bryan Wimberly
Title: _Utility Director
Date: _January 25, 2016