2016 Demon Crew Erg-a-Thon


The NSU Demon Crew, a fixture on the Cane River for more than 20 years, held it’s bi-annual erg-a-thon fundraiser Saturday, February 27th in front of NSU’s Watson Library. The 37 rowers of the Demon Crew under coach Jason Stelly are rowing the distance from Natchitoches to Oak Ridge Tennessee where the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta will be held. The rowers divided the distance among themselves and rowed that distance on the crew’s ergometers. Additionally, 5 members of the crew did a full marathon on the machines.

SEE ALL PHOTOS from Kevin Shannahan

2016 Scholar’s Day


Dr. William “Bill” Housel, Interim Director Of Scholars’ College

30 prospective students and their families attended The Louisiana Scholars’ College bi-annual Scholar’s Day Saturday, February 27th. The prospective students attended sample classes and a roundtable with current Scholars students who answered their questions about life at Louisiana’s only designated honors college.

SEE ALL PHOTOS from Kevin Shannahan

FINAL Early Voting Stats for Natchitoches Parish

Early Voting

Early Voting – Saturday 02/27/16
1 168 106 10 284 83.29%
2 11 8 0 19 5.57%
3 12 7 0 19 5.57%
4 11 8 0 19 5.57%
202 129 10 341
Early Voting – TOTALS ALL WEEK
1 1,100 580 52 1,732 77.88%
2 124 50 1 175 7.87%
3 88 31 4 123 5.53%
4 84 82 28 194 8.72%
1,396 743 85 2,224


Theatre and Dance to perform “Really Really” March 9-13, 16-19

Really Really

“Really Really” will be presented by Northwestern Theatre and Dance March 9 – 13 and 16-19 in Theatre West Show time is 7:30 p.m. except for a March 13 matinee at 2 p.m. The cast is, from left, Asher Van Meter, Thomas Hadzeriga, Luke Matherne, Sean Grady, Hannah Hays, Chelsey Goldsmith and Alyssa Farmer.

Northwestern Theatre and Dance will perform the drama “Really Really” March 9 – 13 and 16-19 in Theatre West Show time is 7:30 p.m. except for a March 13 matinee at 2 p.m. The play contains content that may not be suitable for children.

Tickets are $15, $12 for children and seniors and Northwestern State, BPCC@nsu and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. For ticket information, call (318) 357-4483.

“Really Really” is about a group of Generation Me college students in the aftermath of a wild campus party. The play, one of off-Broadway’s most acclaimed hits upon its New York premiere, takes a disturbing look at Generation Me and its unstoppable quest for success at all costs. “Really, Really” is edgy, funny, caustic, and shocking, but thoughtful and weighty enough to hold its own even among audience members who think tweeting’s for birds and “Glee” is an after school activity.

The play raises questions about a generation so quick to demand things (money, sex, power) that is doesn’t stop to consider what they cost.

“(Artistic Director) Scott (Burrell) challenged me to find a play that would engage our student audience by presenting something they would be interested in,” said director Pia Wyatt. “The play raises a lot of questions that people don’t want to talk about, but need to be talked about.”

Members of the cast are Hannah Hays of Baton Rouge as Leigh, Chelsey Goldsmith of Edmond, Oklahoma as Grace, Alyssa Farmer of Shreveport as Haley, Thomas Hadzeriga of Edmond, Oklahoma as Cooper, Luke Matherne of Monroe as Davis, Sean Grady of Leesville as Johnson and Asher Van Meter of Edmond, Oklahoma as Jimmy.

A post-show discussion of issues raised in the play will be held after each performance.

BOM Financial Services Acquires Traber Insurance Agency


NATCHITOCHES, La. – BOM Financial Services has acquired Traber Insurance Agency in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The purchase agreement was completed on Feb. 26.

Traber Insurance employees will remain with BOM Financial Services and in their current location at 105 Williams Ave. In June, the office will move to Suite 108 at 814 Washington St. The phone number remains (318) 357-8277.

“Combining two independent agencies will enable BOM Financial Services to offer more markets to our existing customers,” says BOM President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Hale. “With Brian Ohnoutka remaining as agency manager, Traber Insurance strengthens BOM Financial Services’ ability to provide a wide variety of insurance options for our customers.”

Traber Insurance customers will be notified of the acquisition. BOM Financial Services customers will see no change as a result.

“I am very excited about us selling Traber Insurance Agency to BOM Financial Services. I am a customer of BOM, and the relationship I have with their company is great,” says Sam Friedman, former co-owner of Traber Insurance. “I’m excited to see our company flourish in the hands of BOM Financial Services, and I know the team at BOM will handle our business with the utmost care.”

BOM Financial Services offers auto, home, life health and commercial insurance, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of BOM.

About BOM Financial Services

Opened in 2006, BOM Financial Services is based in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The company offers a wide array of insurance products provided by top rated companies, insuring individuals and businesses with the best coverage at the best price. BOM Financial Services agents live in and are involved with the communities they serve, which help them understand customers’ needs.

CONTACT: Ken Hale, BOM President and CEO, (318) 352-3060, ext. 1400, khale@bankmontgomery.com

BOM Financial Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of BOM.

BOM__2 Color_FS copy

CBS producer Mary Walsh to speak at Northwestern State March 10

CBS News national security producer Mary Walsh will lecture at Northwestern State University Thursday, March 10 at 2 p.m. in the Ora G. Williams Studio in Kyser Hall. Admission is free. The public is invited to attend.

Walsh is coming to Northwestern State to speak to a class being taught by Raymond Strother, the Erbon W. and Marie Wise Endowed Chair in Journalism at Northwestern State University.

In her time as a journalist, Walsh has covered the explosion of space shuttle Challenger, the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, Geraldine Ferraro’s vice presidential campaign and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush’s successful campaign for president.

Walsh, a winner of multiple Emmy awards, produces stories for “The CBS Evening News” and “60 Minutes.” Walsh has also been assigned to the Pentagon since 1993 covering the American military throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Her outstanding work has won her two Alfred I. DuPont awards from Columbia University, the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for Excellence in Journalism and a Wilbur Award from the Religious Communicators Council.

As CBS News producer in Tokyo from 1989 to 1993, Walsh was responsible for news coverage in all parts of Asia. A graduate of the University of Texas where she was editor of the Daily Texan in 1976-77. Walsh began her career as a journalist at the Rome Daily American in Italy in 1977.

Northeast Library Branch Grand Opening – Campti, Louisiana


The grand opening of the Northeast Branch of the Natchitoches Parish Library was a celebratory event. There was an excited feel in the air as almost two hundred patrons of the parish gathered at the Northeast branch in Campti, LA to commemorate this momentous occasion. The grand opening represents a culmination of years of hard work and dedication by library staff, board members, and patrons alike in making this project a reality. The Natchitoches Parish Library is always looking for ways to expand and improve services throughout the parish and we would like to thank our loyal patrons for their continued support.


Burroughs, Brinson make homecomings as NSU visits Southern Miss

Cort Brinson NSU

Cort Brinson is a Hattiesburg, Mississippi, native who returns home this weekend to face Southern Mississippi. Credit: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services

There is nothing designating Northwestern State’s three-game baseball series at Southern Miss as homecoming for the Golden Eagles.

For a couple of Demons, it is just that.

Fourth-year head coach Lane Burroughs spent nine years of his career at Southern Miss while Cort Brinson was born and raised in Hattiesburg and attended numerous baseball camps during and after Burroughs’ career.

Burroughs’ and Brinson’s collegiate paths come full circle Friday when the Demons (3-1) open a weekend series against Southern Miss (4-0) at 6 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

Graduate manager Brandon Smith, who tied the Demons’ single-season saves record, is also making a homecoming, returning close to his hometown of Petal, Mississippi, Hattiesburg’s neighbor to the east.

“It really is a second home to my wife and I,” Burroughs said. “We spent nine wonderful years there. We had great success on the baseball field. We had great friends in the community. All three of our children were born there in Hattiesburg. It will be an emotional trip back.”

The same can be said for Brinson, who was the Mississippi Class 6A Player of the Year as a senior at Oak Grove High School while leading the Warriors to a 34-3 record, a state championship and a No. 2 national ranking.

Brinson returns home ranked in the Northwestern State career top 10 in hit by pitches (39, T-2nd) and doubles (37, T-4th) and closing in on the top 10 in seven more categories.

“I haven’t gotten to play in front of my friends yet,” Brinson said. “There have been some at LSU games who have come down and watched. Not a lot of my family has been able to come see me play. My grandparents get to come. Some friends I haven’t seen in a while have been texting me, excited about the game.”

Brinson was a two-sport standout at Oak Grove, playing linebacker in football and catcher in baseball. He has carried a traditional linebacker’s mentality to the diamond, which has served him well.

Brinson’s challenge this weekend will be to temper the emotions that have made him a mainstay in the NSU lineup for four seasons.

“You’ve got to go into it with an open mind,” Brinson said. “Obviously, I’ll be a little more pumped up than I am for other games, but baseball is a game where you have to calm down and let yourself live in the moment and just breathe. I think I’m prepared for it. You’ve got to go into it, get going, get settled and be relaxed.”

Some of Brinson’s Oak Grove teammates from their state championship run will be in the opposing dugout this weekend.

Similarly, someone with whom Burroughs shares a special bond will be as well.

“(Southern Miss head coach) Scott Berry is a mentor,” Burroughs said. “He’s like a brother to me. We speak every day. I don’t make a big decision in my life without speaking to him. He’s a brother in arms. I’m not excited about competing against him, but we have to do it.

“He knows me like the back of his hand, and I know him. It will be fun to compete against them, and go home to Hattiesburg and Southern Miss. They have a great program, a great team. You’ve got to get all of that – seeing people, shaking hands, smiles and hugs – out of the way and get down to business.”

Ultimately this weekend is a business trip, the first of the season for the Demons, who opened the season with four straight home games.

As much as the trip will test Burroughs’ and Brinson’s emotional capacities, it will test Northwestern State as a whole.

Southern Miss hit nine home runs in a season-opening sweep of Eastern Illinois, including three by Brinson’s former teammate Taylor Braley.

“It will be our first road trip and the first time we’re not playing on turf, which is a big deal,” Burroughs said. “It will prepare us for the next couple of weeks. It doesn’t get any easier. They had a great opening weekend and played good baseball. It will be a great test.”

Probable Starters

Friday – NSU RHP Adam Oller (0-0, 0.00) vs. USM RHP Cord Cockrell (1-0, 0.00)

Saturday – NSU RHP Jeffrey Stovall (1-0, 1.80) vs. USM RHP Jake Winston (0-0, 2.08)

Sunday – NSU LHP Chase Hymel (1-0, 5.40) vs. USM LHP Kirk McCarty (0-0, 7.20)

League of Women Voters Meets with Sheriff’s Office Staff

LWV meeting_02-22-2016

League of Women Voters of Natchitoches members discussed Sheriff’s Office responsibilities with (standing, left to right) Kenny Kaufman, Merry Byers and Sheriff Victor Jones. Seated, clockwise from left, LWV Natchitoches president Meg Barnum, Judy Allen, Dian Snowden, Betty Shields, Ann Manger (partially hidden) and Betty Smith.

Sheriff Victor Jones and two of his division chiefs met with the League of Women Voters of Natchitoches on February 22 for an informative discussion of the responsibilities of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. Merry Byers, Chief of Community Services, spoke about the various activities her division carries out, including the services they provide to families in need, recovering drug offenders, and victims of domestic violence. Kenny Kaufman, Chief of the Civil and Tax Division, outlined the taxes and other revenues the Sheriff’s Office collects and the allocation of those revenues to the various parish departments and programs. Sheriff Jones emphasized the importance of renewing the 0.5% sales tax that is on the March 5 ballot and that supports the many activities of the Sheriff’s Office.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. The League never supports or opposes any political party or candidate and instead has two primary roles: (1) to present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues and (2) to study issues and advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

The League of Women Voters of Natchitoches meets on the fourth Monday of each month at The Front Street Marketplace (formerly Cane Break Café). The meetings are open to the public, and both women and men are welcome. The next meeting will be Monday, March 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Natchitoches Parish Landfill will close for Safety Stand-down


Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin announces that the Natchitoches Parish Landfill, located at 4597 Hwy. 1 North, will be closed between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 AM on Friday, March 4, 2016.

The temporary closure is to allow Progressive Waste Solutions to conduct a mandatory company-wide Safety Stand-Down with its employees.

The Parish of Natchitoches contracts with Progressive for the operation of the scales and transfer station at the Parish Landfill.

In a February 25, 2016, letter to Progressive’s customers, Louisiana Area Manager Bruce Emley explains, “This Safety Stand-Down reinforces our commitment to the safety of our employees, our customers and the communities we serve.”

Following the Safety Stand-Down, the Landfill will resume its regular operating hours.

For more information, please contact the Parish Solid Waste Department at (318) 238-3704.

NSU Students Rally in Baton Rouge Wednesday


About 100 Northwestern State University students joined more than 2,000 others from community colleges and universities from around the state for a rally in support of higher education on the steps of the state capitol in Baton Rouge Wednesday. The rally, organized by the Council of Student Body Presidents, featured speakers representing more than 200,000 students enrolled in Louisiana post-secondary institutions who urged legislators to oppose further cuts to higher education in Louisiana. Gov. Jon Bel Edwards addressed the students saying, “It’s a sad fact that Louisiana has disinvested what we have in higher education. I do not want to cut higher education and I do not want to end TOPS. I do not want universities and community colleges to close.”

Natchitoches Parish Benefits from NPSO Efficiency & Focus


The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office is funded by the taxpayers of Natchitoches Parish, who entrust us to provide law enforcement protection, response to citizens’ service calls, and community service programs.

The Administration Division of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office ensures that all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office are operating efficiently, properly funded to carry out their mission, and to measure their performance in accordance with professional law enforcement standards.


Kenny Kaufman serves as the Chief Deputy of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Speaking of standards, we dedicate significant funds to train and test the standards applicable to every deputy at the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Victor Jones firmly believes in having the highest quality law enforcement professionals serving the community. Our Training Division provides annual 40 hour re-training programs that includes firearms certification, stress combat courses, investigation techniques, field sobriety testing, and defensive tactics. Additionally, deputies receive updated annual training on other aspects of their profession including traffic management, courtroom testimony procedures, ethics training, first aid, CPR, and the use of AED devices.

Certain divisions require specialized training to perform their duties. The SWAT team receives training in crisis management and active shooter response. The High Tech Crime Unit is trained to help protect citizens from online fraud and counterfeit money.
The citizens of Natchitoches Parish deserve a Sheriff’s Office that is ready for any potential situation and we want to ensure our team is ready to perform all duties safely and successfully.

In order for our deputies to succeed, we fully equip and maintain the equipment for each division. One of largest expenses we incur is keeping our patrol fleet operational at all times. We must make sure that our vehicles can quickly respond to a service call, an automobile accident, or any emergency situation. We reduce some costs by performing regular routine maintenance of our fleet internally at our motor pool at the Detention Center.

Additionally, we invest funds in keeping all technology equipment up to date in our vehicles, our offices, and at our 911 Communications Center. The use of updated technology has allowed us to respond much quicker to an emergency and to pinpoint our closest deputy who can be on the scene first to provide assistance to an emergency situation.

The Administration Division, under the direction of Sheriff Victor Jones, is focused on operating our budget in a prudent and efficient manner. We feel that we are good stewards of your tax dollars and are providing a good return of investment and trust in the NPSO.

With the continued support of the citizens, we will continue to provide the highest quality law enforcement protection and beneficial community based services that benefit children, senior citizens and families of Natchitoches Parish.


Early Voting – Tuesday 02/23/16

Early Voting

February 23, 2016
WARD White Black Other Totals %
ONE      107       50            5        162 73.30%
TWO        18         5          –          23 10.41%
THREE          5         7          –          12 5.43%
FOUR          6       13            5          24 10.86%
     136       75          10        221 100.00%
February 22, 2016
WARD White Black Other Totals %
ONE      117       57            4        178 70.36%
TWO        19       12          –          31 12.25%
THREE          9         2            1          12 4.74%
FOUR        12       17            3          32 12.65%
     157       88            8        253 100.00%
February 20, 2016
WARD White Black Other Totals %
ONE      178       93            5        276 84.66%
TWO          7         6          –          13 3.99%
THREE        12         4            2          18 5.52%
FOUR          6       10            3          19 5.83%
     203     113          10        326 100.00%
WARD White Black Other Totals %
ONE      402     200          14        616 77.00%
TWO        44       23          –          67 8.38%
THREE        26       13            3          42 5.25%
FOUR        24       40          11          75 9.38%
     496     276          28        800 100.00%

Fiesta Bunco February 25, 2016

Fiesta Bunco

The Les Amies Service Organization will be chippin’, dippin’ and sippin’ at Fiesta Bunco Thursday, February 25th at 6 p.m. All Natchitoches Parish Ladies are invited to come out to the Best Western Conference Center to play Bunco for a good cause. It is $20 to play.

“If you can roll dice you can play Bunco,” said event organizer Crystal Metoyer.

The fiesta themed dinner will be at 6 p.m. and will include tacos and a nacho bar. The games will begin at 7 p.m. The ladies will play 12 rounds and prizes will be awarded for most Buncos, most wins, 50/50 (6 wins and 6 loses), last Bunco and most loses.

All funds raised are donated back into the Natchitoches Community through charities such as: NSU Foundation (Local scholarship recipient), Women’s Resource Center, Council on Aging- Meal on Wheels program, March of Dimes, Natchitoches APHN, Natchitoches Humane Society, 10th Judicial Juvenile Drug Court, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Operation Support Our Troops, Natchitoches Hope for Paws, Natchitoches DARE program (we sent two girls to summer camp in 2015), and school supplies for our local schools.

For more information or to buy tickets in advance contact ckmetoyer@yahoo.com

Celebrate Spring at Bloomin’ on the Bricks


Experience the beauty of springtime in downtown Natchitoches at the Bloomin’ on the Bricks spring garden festival Saturday, March 19th from 9 a.m.-2p.m. on the downtown Riverbank. The is no charge to attend Natchitoches’ spring garden festival that was named a Southern Travel Treasure by AAA’s magazine AAA Southern Traveler.

Bloomin’ on the Bricks, organized by the Natchitoches Main Street Program, is a celebration of spring throughout the City’s Historic District. Visitors will be able to see the beauty of springtime in downtown Natchitoches through its hanging flower baskets and thousands of daffodils and tulips planted along the riverbank. The event will feature lawn and garden vendors, live musical entertainment by the Luke Jazz Trio, children’s activities and food booths. Vendor spaces are available for $50 per each 10×10 space.

Children of ages will be able to take Easter pictures with live bunny rabbits from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Photos are $5 for emailed photographs and $6 for printed 4×6 photographs. The Easter Bunny photo shoot is sponsored by the Natchitoches Parish 4-H Junior Leaders.

In conjunction wit the spring festival Les Amies Service Organization will host the Ann Williams Brittain Butterfly Release. The release is held in honor of the First President and founding member of the Les Amies Service Organization, Ann Williams Brittain, who passed away in 2003 after a courageous battle with cancer. The release will take place at the Fleur de Lis Stage on the downtown riverbank at 1 p.m. Participants can purchase an individual butterfly to be released at a cost of $30 per butterfly or choose to have a loved one honored during the mass butterfly release at a cost of $5 per honoree. All proceeds from the Butterfly Release will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

In addition, the Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery will host Art Along the Bricks on front Street above the downtown riverbank from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Front Street. Art Along the Bricks serves to provide visitors to the Natchitoches Historic District opportunities to see the latest offerings in fine arts and crafts as local and area artists display their work in an outdoor art show. Vendors and artists of fine arts and crafts (defined as hand-made) are encouraged to participate. Spaces are $50 per 10×10 space. For information on Art Along the Bricks, contact the Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery at (318) 352-1626.

For information on Bloomin’ on the Bricks or to become a vendor, please contact the City of Natchitoches Main Street Office at (318) 352-2746.

Reigning Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year Mikayla Brown to miss rest of season with knee injury


Northwestern State sophomore Mikayla Brown, the reigning Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Brown suffered the injury to her left knee on Feb. 13 in the sixth inning against Texas State while throwing a pitch.

The Deville, La., native won two games this season, allowing one run on six hits in 12 2-3 innings.

The Buckeye High School product had a stellar freshman season, recording a 13-4 record with a 1.56 ERA.

NSU coach Donald Pickett said Brown is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing season-ending surgery in the coming weeks.

“Mikayla really came on last season and established herself as a dominant pitcher,” Pickett said. “We will miss her, but that doesn’t change the expectations for this team.

“(Sophomore) Micaela Bouvier and (junior) Shelby Sells are veteran arms who are very capable. Bouvier is an all-conference pitcher and Sells was very consistent this past weekend. They can work together, and we can accomplish all of our goals that we need to accomplish.”

Bouvier, an All-Southland Conference first-team selection as a freshman, is 5-1 in the circle this season.

Sells (1-3), who has more than 20 career starts, allowed three earned runs or fewer in three of her five starts this season.

The Lady Demons are 8-4 to start the season and will host ULM on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Marthaville student receives Police Jury Association scholarship

Police Jury Scholarship

Ashleigh Daniels, a history major from Marthaville, has been awarded the 2016 Louisiana Police Jury Association Scholarship. NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson joined members of the history faculty in congratulating Daniels. Shown, front from left, are Dr. Kathleen Smith, Henderson, Daniels, Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Dr. Chris Gilson, and Dr. Kent Hare and, back from left, Dr. Charles Pellegrin, Dr. James MacDonald and Dr. Greg Granger.

Ashleigh Daniels, a history major from Marthaville, has been awarded a 2016 Louisiana Police Jury Association Scholarship.  The $500 scholarship will support Daniels as she works toward a degree.

“I am paying for school on my own, so this scholarship is important to me,” said Daniels, who has a 3.97 grade point average. “To get this kind of recognition for the work I have done so far means a great deal to me.”

In addition to excelling academically, Daniels is assistant editor of The Potpourri, Northwestern State’s yearbook, and a member of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra where she plays viola. Daniels is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of Omega and Demons Support Demons.

“College is something you only do once so I feel like to get the most value, you should take advantage of every available opportunity,” said Daniels. “The real life experience you get means so much. At first, I didn’t want to get involved, but once I started, it added so much to my college experience.”

Daniels will graduate in May and hopes to begin law school this fall.