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.


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


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.



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 .


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

BOIL ADVISORY – Natchitoches Water System

Boil Order

The City of Natchitoches, Hwy 1 South, (Bienville Street to Royal Street) Distribution area have experienced a drop in system pressure caused by contractor damage to the water distribution line.

Therefore, as a precaution, The City of Natchitoches, is issuing a BOIL ADVISORY  for the area listed above, effective immediately.  This BOIL ADVISORY is to remain in effect until rescinded by the City of Natchitoches.

It is recommended that all consumers located in the area listed above distribution area 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 City of Natchitoches will then rescind the Boil Advisory and notify its customers that the water has been found to be safe.

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


Boil Advisory Guidelines for Food Service Operations

All retail food establishments should voluntarily close if they do not have water provided.

Minimize food preparation and bare hand contact with ready to eat foods.

Use single service utensils.

Use bottled water from an approved source for drinking or follow boil advisory.

Suggested hand-washing instructions using two (2) buckets of boiled or bottled water from an approved source:

Use first bucket of clean potable water to remove soil off hands, using soap and water for a minimum of twenty (20) seconds, then rinse with clean potable water poured over hands.

Use second bucket as hand dip well containing 100 PPM free chlorine or 25 PPM iodine or 200 PPM Quaternary Ammonia.

Disconnect or turn valves off to water supply lines for ice machines, dip wells, coffee machines, fountain drinks, Icee machines, or any other machines requiring a direct potable water line connection.

Dump ice bin and clean with an approved sanitizer.

Use only boiled water or bottled water from an approved source for washing dishes/utensils in a three (3) compartment sink – do not use a mechanical dish machine.

Follow the water boil advisory until notification from the Office of Public Health that the water is safe for human consumption.

City Council votes with the people after massive turnout against bridge on Williams Ave.

CityCouncil01-25-16 Crowd

City Council Meeting 01-25-16 Bridge Meeting

These are not official minutes

There wasn’t a seat left at the January 25th City Council meeting. They ran out of agendas as people started lining the walls of the room to speak out against the possibility of a bridge on Williams Avenue. Residents signed up to speak during the meeting instead of the pre-council meeting to ensure all council members heard what they had to say.


Mayor Lee Posey introduced Valerie Balthazar explaining that she was coming before the Council with an unusual request. She proposed a hot dog vendor cart called Demon Dogs for downtown Natchitoches. The cart would operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and during special events beginning March 4.  Since she would not be operating out of a stationary location, she will need to get approval from the Tax Commission office instead of Planning and Zoning. “I came before you today because I would like you to be aware of my plan,” said Balthazar.

Jessica Broadway provided the 2015 Audit Report stating “This is an unmodified report.”   “The ending fund balance is 32 million with 10 million assigned for specific purposes. Our numbers stand at 19.3 million.



#065 of 2015 Failed:   Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Lee Posey, To Execute An Option To Purchase On Behalf Of The City Of Natchitoches Which Will Give The City The Option To Purchase Property At 1128 Williams Avenue From Wayne Arlo Sibley, Et Al, For A Period Of Nine Months For The Consideration Of Two Hundred Four Thousand Dollars, To Provide For Advertising, And A Savings Clause.

Posey began the discussion by urging residents to be concise and stating that he understands that 95 percent of the people here are opposed to the ordinance.

Among the residents of Williams Ave. at the meeting in opposition of the proposed bridge were Janet Harrington, Ronald Davis, John Luster, Sara Puryear-Dunn, Bray Williams and Bill Maley.  Some of the concerns voices were increased traffic, safety for bikers and pedestrians and fears that a temporary project would become permanent. Residents from streets in the area surrounding Williams Ave. were also on hand to speak out against the project. The Council voted unanimously against the proposition.

#001 Approved – Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 046 Of 2015 Authorizing Mayor, Lee Posey, To Enter Into An Intergovernmental Agreement With The Parish Of Natchitoches, The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department, And The Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office In Connection With The Funding Of A Response Vehicle For The Use Of The Coroner.

#002  Approved – Ordinance Approving The Purchase Of Several Tracts Of Ground Adjacent To The Union Pacific Railroad Right Of Way Said Tract Situated In That Area Bounded On The West By Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, On The North By Lafayette Street, On The East By Sixth Street And On The South By Trudeau Street From Northwest Louisiana Athletic League, For The Consideration Two Hundred Forty Thousand Dollars, And Authorizing The Mayor  Of The City Of Natchitoches, Lee Posey, To Execute A Cash Sale Deed  For The Purchase Of The Tracts And All Related Documents, To Provide For Advertising, And A Savings Clause.

#003 Approved – Ordinance Approving The Form And Content Of A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement With The Jackson Square Cemetery, Inc., A Non-Profit Corporation, To Provide For The Transfer Of An Area On The South End Of The Jackson Square Cemetery Property That Is Currently Used As A Part Of The Cemetery To The Jackson Square Cemetery, Inc., And To Provide For The Future Use And Maintenance Of The Area Transferred, And Further Authorizing The Mayor To Execute Same.


#004 Introduced – Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For The City Park Walking Track And Parking Project (Bid No. 0576)
Proposed Bids Include: Regional Construction, LLC Natchitoches, LA…$359,475
Credence Construction Madisonville, La … $398,720

#005 Introduced – Ordinance Renaming The Unrevoked Portion Of Lakeview Road To Harris Drive, Providing For A Public Hearing, Providing For An Effective Date Of The Ordinance, Providing For Procedure In Remarking Street, And Providing For Designation Of Name Change On Public Records.


#006 Bid Awarded – Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches
To Award The Bid For The East Fifth Park Improvements.  (Bid No. 0577) The bid was awarded to Pat Williams Construction, LCC Leesville, LA…$363,488.87


#003 Approved – Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Enter Into A Contract With Travelers Casualty And Surety Company Of America For The Public Official Schedule Bond For The City Of Natchitoches.

#004 Approved – Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Advertise And Accept Bids For Christmas Lighting Supplies (Bid No. 0578)

#005 Approved – Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Advertise And Accept Bids For The Natchitoches Riverfront Overlook And ADA Ramp Project (Bid No. 0570)

#006 Approved – Resolution Ordering And Calling A Special Election To Be Held In The City Of Natchitoches, State Of Louisiana, To Rededicate The Revenues Derived From The Levy Of A Sales And Use Tax; Making Application To The State Bond Commission In Connection Therewith; And Providing For Other Matters In Connection Therewith.

REPORTS:  Pat Jones – Financial Report


  • The next scheduled City Council meeting will be February 8, 2016.
  • The offices of the City of Natchitoches will be closed Monday,February 15, 2016 in honor of President’s Day.




These are not official minutes

NPSO Deputies, Robeline Police and Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office investigating Fatal Double-Shooting in the Robeline Community

Robeline Shooting

NPSO Deputies, Robeline Police and Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office investigating Fatal Double-Shooting in the Robeline Community.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives, Robeline Police and the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office are currently investigating a fatal double-shooting in the Robeline community in west Natchitoches Parish according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

On Monday morning January 25th at approximately 8:04am, the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office received a welfare concern call in the 200 block of Pine Street in Robeline, La.

Robeline Police was dispatched to the call arriving at approximately 8:08am.

Robeline Police gained entry into the residence, discovering a 23 year old male and a 30 year old female suffering from apparent single gunshot wounds in the master bedroom of the mobile home.

NPSO Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol and Criminal Investigations Division along with Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics and the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office responded to the scene.

The male victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the Natchitoches Parish Coroners Office.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

The female victim was transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to an Alexandria hospital in critical condition.

According to Chief of Investigations Detective Greg Dunn, there were no signs of forced entry into the residence and a handgun was found at the scene.

Detectives remained at the scene until approximately 2pm, collecting information and gathering evidence in connection with the investigation.

The names of the victims are currently being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

The investigation is currently continuing.

If you have any information please contact the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division at 318-357-7830.

Hebert earns LACUE honor


Dr. Dustin Hebert, right, a professor in NSU’s College of Education and Human Development, was named Post Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators. Dianne Leblanc, LACUE board member and awards conference chair, presented the award.

Dr. Dustin Hebert, associate professor and Steeg Endowed Chair in Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, was named Post Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators.  LACUE is an organization that enables educators to fully utilize technology in teaching, provides information and technical training to educators and promotes opportunities for all students to enjoy enriched instruction through technology.

Hebert is faculty and program coordinator in the master’s program in educational technology leadership and education specialist degree in educational leadership and instruction (educational technology concentration).  He has experience teaching secondary business courses and has served in e-learning leadership and faculty roles in higher education teaching computer studies, office systems, education and educational technology.

“Being recognized by LACUE is a career highlight,” Hebert said.  “I have been a LACUE member for over 10 years and continue to be impressed with the opportunities the organization provides its members and the caliber of educators who are attracted to become members. Receiving one of the LACUE awards is a great honor, but that honor is elevated in this instance because I was nominated by colleagues. My gratitude to my peers for the nomination and to the award selection team for the recognition is incredible. I cannot thank them enough.”

Hebert serves as program reviewer for the International Society for Technology in Education and a site visitor team member for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation on both state and national teams. He has been extensively engaged in advancing the use of technology to support learning by serving on advisory councils, technology committees, technology steering teams and e-learning committees at several universities.  He is active in numerous professional associations related to education, counseling and technology, has presented at several conferences and seminars and has published articles on education technology and e-learning in education journals.

LACUE selects winners from categories in eight districts, then a top state winner.  Last year’s winner was Dr. Darlene Williams, NSU’s vice president of Technology, Innovation and Economic Development.

“I have known Dustin for several years and cannot speak highly enough of him,” said Inkie Landry, LACUE president.  “He is a great guy, professor and technology user.  Your university is lucky to have him and I know he is a wonderful asset to NSU.”

LACUE goals include providing for sharing of ideas, techniques, research, materials and procedures used in technology and to represent members’ viewpoints in laws and regulations.  The group cooperates with the State Department of Education, the state legislature and other governmental agencies in matters that relate to technology in education.  Any educator who uses technology is welcome to join the organization in which membership is free.

McNeese State outlasts Northwestern State in overtime


Janelle Perez enjoyed another record shooting day inside Burton Coliseum on Saturday.

The result for the Northwestern State women’s basketball team, however, was the same as it was a season ago.

Despite a career-best-tying seven 3-pointers from Perez, Northwestern State could not finish off host McNeese State as the Cowgirls rallied for a 78-74 overtime Southland Conference victory, knocking off NSU in extra time for the second straight season in Lake Charles.

NSU (11-8, 5-3) dropped its second straight game despite enjoying strong starts to each quarter of regulation and the second 27-point performance of the season by Perez.

McNeese did its part by outrebounding NSU by five and turning 15 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points. Included in that was a fourth-quarter possession that featured two offensive rebounds and a go-ahead 3-pointer from Jayln Johnson.

“You have to be tough enough to force a contested shot and then secure a rebound,” fourth-year co-head coach Brooke Stoehr said. “We weren’t able to do that today. We have up 23 second chance points. That was the ball game.”

Northwestern State led by eight points with 6:13 to play after Cheyenne Brown knocked down a pair of free throws before the Cowgirls (12-7, 4-3) ran off 12 of the next 16 points to tie the game at 61 with 2:42 to play.

After Perez spun in a floater in the lane to re-establish a two-point NSU lead, Johnson took advantage of a pair of Cowgirls offensive rebounds to drain a straightaway 3-pointer to give McNeese a one-point lead with 58 seconds  to play.

Northwestern State could not convert on its offensive possession, but Johnson, a 91.7-percent free throw shooter, hit just one of two free throws.

Given a lifeline, NSU converted when Brown scored on a putback with 5.6 seconds to play. Brown collected the first double-double of her career and NSU’s first of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes.

“I was proud of our young posts,” Stoehr said. “I thought they battled and competed on the boards. Cheyenne pursued the ball today. It was good to see that rebounding effort. Her energy to go get that last one and get the putback to send us to overtime was very good to see.”

Northwestern State began the game with a 9-2 run, then opened the second and third quarters with 8-0 and 9-0 runs, respectively. In overtime, however, the Cowgirls grabbed the early momentum, scoring the first six points.

NSU made it a one-possession game when Perez tied her career high with her seventh 3 of the game with1:05 to play.

McNeese then hit 5 of 6 free throws to close out the victory. Johnson led McNeese with 23 points while Allison Baggett added 15.

Joining Perez in double figures for NSU were Lee (12 points), Beatrice Attura (11) and Brown. Attura set a career high with six assists while Perez chipped in four assists.

With her 27 points, Perez moved into ninth place on NSU’s all-time scoring list with 1,468 career points. During NSU’s previous trip to Lake Charles, Perez hit a then-career-high six 3-pointers and finished that game with 1,000 points in her career.

Perez shot 10 for 19 from the field and hit 50 percent of her 14 3-point attempts.

“She just wanted to win and was trying to will this group to a tough road win today,” Stoehr said. “Her stats speak for themselves. She’s as tough of a competitor as I’ve been around. She’d trade individual stats for a win any day for our team.”

Northwestern State returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Central Arkansas at 6:30 p.m. It will be the first home game for NSU since posting a 60-43 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Jan. 13.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Opening of Ashlar Medical’s New Office


Ashlar Medical, LLC celebrated the opening of its new office located at 816 University Parkway with a special ribbon cutting ceremony on January 19. Founded in 2006, Ashlar is a U.S. based Urodynamic equipment company committed to offering innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of common urinary conditions. Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey; Tony Davis, President of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce; and representatives from the Bank of Montgomery helped commemorate the occasion with local Ashlar investors and stakeholders.

“The opening of our new office marks an important milestone in the evolution of our company,” remarked David Waskom, Ashlar’s CEO. “This new space will allow us to more effectively meet the needs of our customers and expand our offerings in order to remain competitive in the Urodynamic industry.”

Ashlar’s main offering is its unique rediCADDY© unit, which allows physicians to evaluate the function of the lower urinary tract, including the bladder and urethra, through a series of studies that can be performed in-office. This testing can benefit individuals suffering from a variety of common urinary complaints, including urinary frequency, urgency, incontinence, and frequent urinary tract infections.

“People often live under the assumption that there is nothing they can do about their bladder problems,” noted Dr. Jamie Wright, an Ashlar Board member and expert in women’s health. “But the good news is there are effective treatments available. And undergoing Urodynamic testing is the first step in diagnosing the cause of the problem and identifying the ideal treatment.”

The prevalence of urinary incontinence, the inability to control urination, is more widespread than one might think. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and National Association of Continence, incontinence affects 25 million Americans and 200 million people worldwide. Women and people over age 65 are more likely to experience problems, but incontinence affects people of all ages and both genders.

For more information about Urodynamics and Ashlar Medical, visit http://www.ashlarmed.com.

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Ashlar Medical is an innovative technology company that offers relevant, accurate, and cost effective solutions for Urodynamic testing to healthcare providers and patients. Its unique rediCADDY© unit is an intuitive, turn-key system designed to maximize testing efficiency and patient comfort while also optimizing revenue streams.

Dr. Henderson addresses budget plan

Northwestern State University President Dr. Jim Henderson said Friday that a possible reduction in state funding for the remainder of the fiscal year could force NSU to enact a hiring freeze, make adjustments in funding athletics and initiate employee furloughs.

The state faces a $750 million shortfall in funding for the current fiscal year that ends July 1, and colleges and universities have been asked to explore options and submit plans to curtail state spending by $121 million for that period.

Northwestern would face a $3.4 million cut under that proposal, which Henderson said would force the university to freeze hiring immediately, shift $1.6 million in state funding for athletics to auxiliary accounts and plan furloughs of three to five days for faculty and staff members.

The NSU president said, “A reduction of this magnitude would be difficult at any time following seven years of reductions in state general funds.  Adjusting to a cut of that magnitude with essentially two-thirds of the fiscal year behind us would be an extraordinary task.”

Henderson emphasized that the university’s priorities for funding if there are reductions in state allocations “will be for instruction and direct student services.”

He added that furloughs “are the least tolerable part of the plan.  We will do everything possible to avoid that scenario.”

In informing faculty and staff members of the university’s plans and options for addressing a possible state funding reduction of $3.4 million, Henderson emphasized that the governor, legislative leaders and others have expressed strong support for increased investments in higher education.

He said he had never seen as much agreement among Louisiana leaders that “expanded financial support for higher education is critical in this time of unprecedented economic opportunity.”