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



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


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

Beatrice Attura-0130

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


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


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

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


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 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.”