Lions Club 2016-17 Scholarships Awarded


Jill Bankston, Associate Director of Development (NSU Alumni Association) recently spoke to the members of the Natchitoches Lions Club. Warner Lee, a senior at St. Mary’s High School, was recognized and congratulated by the club as a 2016-17 recipient of a $1,000 Lions Club scholarship. He will be enrolled at NSU this fall as a full time student pursuing a degree in nursing. Warner is currently serving as the President of the Natchitoches Leo Club. Lions President Brandon McKee introduced the students to the club. Nactchitoches Central High School senior, Christopher Gistarb, was also recognized and congratulated by the club as a 2016-17 recipient of a $1,000 Lions Club scholarship. Christopher will be attending NSU in the fall to pursue a degree in Electronic Engineering and psychology. Valerie McCoy, Christopher’s mother, also attended the meeting.

Natchitoches physician Dr. James D. Knecht to receive honorary doctorate from NSU

Dr. James Knecht

Dr. James Knect

Northwestern State University will award an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Natchitoches physician Dr. James D. Knecht at spring commencement exercises Friday May 6 at 10 a.m. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has approved the awarding of the honorary doctorate.

Knecht has been instrumental in creating a solid foundation for the establishment of an extensive medical community in Natchitoches over the past 35 years.  He has maintained a widely recognized private practice in family medicine during that periodwhile also playing a major role in attracting new medical personnel, facilities and services to the parish.

Since joining his medical mentor Dr. Joseph Thomas’ family practice in Natchitoches in 1982, Knecht has earned a far-reaching reputation for prominence in the medical profession.   He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and has served on the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Academy of Family Practice. Knecht has been recognized as a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. He is a member of the Louisiana Medical Society and the Natchitoches Medical Society. Knecht has served as a member of the family medicine faculty at LSU Health Science Center in Shreveport.

Knecht has been a member of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center staff since 1982 and serves as chair of the hospital’s Continuing Medical Education Department. He is considered a driving force in the substantial expansion and enhancement of thehospital over the years.

Throughout his medical practice in Natchitoches, Knecht has served as a physician for Northwestern State Universityathletic teams.   He has provided those services to the university since the early 1980s without pay, spending countless hours atathletic events in Natchitoches and numerous other sites and in treating injuries, conducting physical examinations and providingother medical assistance to Northwestern State student-athletes.

Knecht has also supervised internship and practicum experience programs for students at Northwestern State who wereworking toward degrees in allied health fields. He has been a mentor for dozens of high school and college students who wereinterested in careers in the medical profession.

Knecht has been active in local civic, cultural and historic preservation programs. He has been King of the St. Denis Art League Spring Festival and is a member of the Natchitoches Historic Foundation and Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society. He is vice president of the Mystic Krewe de St. Denis and has served as captain.

Ponderings with Doug – April 29, 2016



Doug De Graffenried – First United Methodist Church, Natchitoches, Louisiana

The Apostle Paul encouraged the church to put on the whole armor of God. The armor consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. I wonder if it is all color coordinated? The metaphors Paul would choose today would be very different, but the necessity for preparing for spiritual battle is more pressing than any time in memory. It is dangerous to be a Christian and to hold Biblical views on social issues.

If I were putting on the whole armor of God in my usual way on Sunday morning I would look quite the mess. Since I leave early for church I dress in very little light. I don’t want to disturb those girls who pile up in the bed once I leave it. There is one two legged girl and she is joined by two four-legged girls. They don’t like to be disturbed early on a Sunday. The other dressing challenge I have is that even in bright sunlight, I can’t tell the difference between black and navy blue. Someone has sorted by socks such that the black ones are in the drawer below the navy blue ones. I have no such short cut with my slacks. Sunday, my desire and intention was to wear black slacks.

This leads me to my clothing malfunction on Sunday morning. I preached four times last Sunday. I was invited to preach at the Lion’s Club meeting at the Civic Center. I gave them my best shot at 7:40 a.m. and then preached the usual three sermons at the church. By the time I got to the fourth sermon I was “not bad.” On my way out of the church, I was ambling with my bride toward the car.

She said, “I still can’t believe you wore that this morning. I am so embarrassed.” This was the second time I had heard those words.

I have previously confessed to my oval shape. I used to have six pack abs, but now I have a keg. In our early service I wear a pulpit robe. You can hide any body shape or any clothing malfunction under a robe. I look stately and dignified, as much as is possible for me. The other two services I am in street clothes. There are two liturgical clothing seasons for me. October to April is the sweater vest season. May to September is the Hawaiian shirt season. That is one of the joys of a contemporary worship service culture; I can wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes! An oval preacherand a tucked in dress shirtare the ingredients for clothing embarrassment. You can’t preach faithfully if you are worried about your dress shirt coming un-tucked. You can’t preach up a storm with your arms by your side. That is where you must keep them if you worry about “tuck-in-age.”

Sunday was likely the last of the sweater vest Sundays. The sin I committed was that my sweater vest did not match my slacks. My bride was on the front row in our contemporary service Sunday. She watched me preach up close and personal. When I joined her for the last song, she leaned over and said, “You don’t match. There is no blue in your sweater. You are wearing navy blue slacks and your sweater doesn’t match.” It was a multi-colored vest, having gray, maroon and black. Although there was no blue, there were plenty of complimentary colors to blue. After all, doesn’t everything match navy blue?

I told her, “But the gray in the sweater is a complimentary color and therefore I match.” It is so confusing because gray can be spelled properly“gray” or “grey.” You should look up the internet articles on “gray” they are fascinating. I was thinking about the complexity of gray, when she said:

“You do not match. I am so embarrassed.”

I said, “So the whole time I was preaching you were looking at my sweater?”

She said, “It was very distracting. I’m sure that your clothes were distracting many people who wondered, how could she let him out of the house looking like that?” I was just happy my oval shape was completely covered!

I am going to buy her a t-shirt that reads, “I love my colorblind husband.” Or “He got out of the house without my approval.” Or “He dresses himself.”

I am not fully color blind, I am clothing color challenged. I know that very soon my closet will have the slacks placed in such a way that I won’t have any doubt about navy blue or black.I would not be surprised if she introduces a scheme for matching my clothes. I have also learned that for some reason, the way I look seems to reflect on her abilities as a spouse. I’m glad she never saw me in college!

Sunday will begin the Hawaiian shirt season! Those shirts don’t match anything which is another way of saying they match everything.

Jesus doesn’t count our clothing sins against us, He looks into our hearts.

Thank God!

Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents arrest a Natchitoches couple on narcotics trafficking charges.

According to a Task Force Official, On April 22, 2016 Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Criminal Patrol Units arrested Patrice Brimsey B/F 27 on a traffic stop where they located marijuana in the vehicle that Brimsey was operating. During the arrest of Brimsey, Terrance Hamilton arrived on scene to inquire about the ongoing arrest of his girlfriend Brimsey. The NMJDTF currently had an active investigation on Terrance Hamilton for distributing illegal narcotics in the Natchitoches area and was detained pending further investigation.

Agents then learned that both Brimsey and Hamilton resided at 418 A McDobson Way. Agents then obtained a search warrant for the residence and seized approximately 91 grams (3.25 Ounces) of suspected crack cocaine, 76 grams (2.7 Ounces) of suspected powder cocaine, a digital scale, $14,407.00 U.S. Currency and other items used in the manufacturing and distribution of illegal narcotics.

The street value of the narcotics seized was approximately $10,000 dollars. Both Brimsey and Hamilton were placed in NPDC and charged with the following:

Terrance Hamilton
– Possession of CDS II with intent to distribute (Cocaine/Crack Cocaine)
– Possession CDS II manufacturing Crack Cocaine
– Possession of drug paraphernalia

Patrice Brimsey
– Conspiracy to distribute/manufacture CDS II crack cocaine
– Simple possession of marijuana
– Possession of drug paraphernalia
– Driving under Suspension
– Switched registration tags

The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.

NSU student has two poems published in national journal

Shundrika SmithTwo works by Northwestern State University English major Shundrika Smith will be published in the next issue of Dark River Review, a national undergraduate student literary magazine produced by Alabama State University.

The poems, “Mystery of a Toga” and “Tall Tales” came out of class assignments for Professor of English Julie Kane.

“Having this opportunity is amazing,” said Smith, a senior from West Monroe. “I never thought my poems would be published. When I found out about the opportunity in Dark River Review, I decided to take a chance. This is a great start for me to be able to say I have been published.”

In “Mystery of a Toga, ” Smith talked about an item of clothing, a purple sweatshirt that had meaning to her.

“I called it a toga as a way of working in Greek mythology and characters such as Atlas and Cerberus,” said Smith.

“Tall Tales” was inspired by the series of Harry Potter novels. Smith said she was a big fan of the popular novels and used the poem to talk about personal relationships and their evolution.

As she has evolved as a writer, Smith says poetry has become the most meaningful form to her.

“I have written short stories and fiction, but I love the way I can express myself through poetry,” said Smith. I have found poetry to be more personal. It has allowed me to develop my own voice.”

Smith has been a junior editor for Argus, the campus literary magazine, writing opinions on works that were submitted and edited those that were selected.

Tommy Whitehead on “The Life and Times of Francois Mignon”


Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum
800 Front Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6 p.m.
(318) 357-2492

In the fall of 1939, Melrose took on a new resident – Francois Mignon. Until his death in 1980, Mignon shaped the region’s cultural landscape – whether by writing for the Natchitoches Times or encouraging Clementine Hunter to paint her famous murals. Join Tommy Whitehead at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum as we explore the legacy of a man born in Cortland, New York as Frank Mineah who became Francois Mignon of Natchitoches, Louisiana.

FREE and Open to the Public.

Phi Alpha Theta inducts history students


The Northwestern State University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, held a ceremony for new members Tuesday to induct students who have excelled in the study and writing of history. Phi Alpha Theta promotes the study of history through the encouragement of good research, good teaching, publications and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. Dr. Charles Pellegrin, associate professor of history, left, inducted new members Emory Rae Rachal of Moreauville, Ashleigh Daniels of Robeline, Kayla Ashford of Baton Rouge, William Keran of Natchitoches and Shaffer Kimball of Shreveport. NSU’s Pi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was founded in 1934.

Students unveil design for mini golf course


A design created by several Northwestern State University students was selected for the City of Leesville’s miniature 18-hole golf course, which will be constructed at the Leesville Municipal Golf Course. According to officials, the course was designed to be challenging, aesthetically pleasing and incorporates themes that reflect the history and culture of the city of Leesville and Vernon Parish. The course is reconfigurable and was designed to withstand the rigors of high traffic.

The plans were announced during a press conference Wednesday, April 27 at the site of the proposed miniature golf course at the Leesville Country Club.

Dr. Mohammed Benalla, a professor in NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, worked with Mirla Enriquez, a professor in the Department of Fine and Graphic Art, on the interdisciplinary project to produce a proposal for the design, along with graphic illustrations highlighting various themes. Involved with this project are engineering technology students Ethan Perkins of Leesville and Mitchell Landry of Doyline and art students Ashton Sanford of Calvin, Jessica Cross of Natchitoches and Katherine Benson of Leesville.

“The department worked with the Leesville mayor’s office and produced a detailed engineering drawing based on the proposed dimensions of the mini-golf course,” Benalla said. “Further discussions with the mayor’s office identified the need to incorporate different design themes that reflect the history of the city of Leesville, which include No Man’s Land, the railroad, the timber boom and Fort Polk. This project manifests interdisciplinary collaboration between the engineering technology and the art departments. This project allowed students to work together in order to generate solutions conveying architectural engineering design with layout design illustrations.”

“We are absolutely thrilled with what these students have created,” said Leesville Mayor Rick Allen. “Not only do we now have a detailed, scaled design for a new mini golf course, we’ve also got a design that is very unique and reflects the culture and history of the town we all love. We are so grateful that these professors and these students saw the value of working on this project. It helps them to become better at what they do, and it helps us to become a better City.”


LOMA Seminar to reduce\eliminate flood insurance


The Natchitoches Board of REALTORS® will be hosting a FREE informational seminar on May 3rd from 6-7pm at Freedom Life Church (1530 Keyser Ave). This seminar is open to the public. Attendees will be educated on the process to file a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) to possibly reduce or eliminate their flood insurance if they qualify.

Two of our local surveyors, Brandon Thornton with Nowlin & Associates and Robert Davis with Davis Surveying, will join us for the seminar as well.

If you need further information, please contact Jill Leo at 318.238.3883.

Jill Leo
Association Executive
Natchitoches Board of REALTORS®
207 Church Street
Natchitoches, LA  71457

The Kids Are Alright

By  Kevin Shannahan

kevinS-TWOThe nation is going to Hell in a handbasket. The schools are graduating, if you can call it that, semi-literates who can barely read their diplomas. The military is a mere shadow of what it used to be, now a bunch of politically correct whiners whose chief threat to this nation’s enemies is making them collapse with laughter as hapless GIs wave stress cards at Putin’s tanks.

As a middle aged curmadgeon, the glass if always half empty, if not completely empty, being almost a matter of faith that society is slipping off the rails. There’s just one problem-it is not necessarily so. One of the advantages of growing older is that it gives you a sense of perspective, of seeing the arc of people’s lives and of your own. In the twenty-two years I have lived in Louisiana after leaving the Air Force, I’ve been a schoolteacher and a Scoutmaster. Both positions allowed me the privilege of working with young people of different races and backgrounds. The intervening years have given me the opportunity to see them become adults.

My former Scout Troop just had its second alumni graduate from basic traing at Parris Island with two more on the way this summer. All of them are smart, capable young men, easily the equal of their ancestors at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima and Khe Sanh. The current generation has done everything our nation asked of it in going on 15 years of continuous warfare. Any failures were not theirs on the battlefield, but of leadership-people my generation’s age. The popular internet meme showing WWII soldiers and comparing their sacrifices to hapless 20 somethings living in their parents’ basements and demanding safe spaces are somewhat unfair, if not downright insulting. Other young men from my old Troop are finishing up their college degrees or married and starting their own families. It was an honor to have played a small part in their upbringing and a pleasure to have witnessed them become husbands, fathers, Marines and workers-the kind of steady, reliable men who make this country work on a day-to-day basis.

Our society does indeed face serious problems, as it always has. From the Civil War, to the Great Depression, to WWI & II, to the upheavals of the 1960’s, there have always been problems, for such is the Human condition. I have no doubt that older cavemen sat around the fire and groused about how the younsters were spoiled rotten and couldn’t hunt mastadons like they did when they were young.

In 1941, Adolph Hitler, suffering either a memory lapse about how Belleau Wood turned out for the Kaiser less than twenty years earlier, or under the delusion that somehow the American Army of WWI was an accident of history, said in 1941, “What is America but beauty queens, millionaires, stupid records and Hollywood?” Events at Normandy, Bastogne, Anzio and countless other places were to prove that there was much more to America. It is no less so now than it was then. Each and every day in this great nation, young men and women get up and go to work, go to class, raise their children and build families. They stand watch all over the globe and fight with ferocity and courage. The nation is in good hands.

NSU competitors lauded at Second Annual Vic’s Choice Awards

Some of Northwestern State’s top student-athletes were in the spotlight at the Second Annual Vic’s Choice Awards, a celebration of achievement primarily outside of the games they play.

Remarkable accomplishments in academics and community service were highlighted, along with other outstanding contributors at Monday night’s banquet and ceremony at the Friedman Student Union Ballroom on campus.

More than 300 student-athletes attending heard a compelling keynote speech from former Demon baseball player Sonny Terrill, a senior human resources executive at Cigna-HealthSpring and chairman of Cul2vate, a non-profit organization that fights world hunger.

Lady Demon basketball senior Janelle Perez received the “Heart of a Demon Award” selected by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, in tribute to her career achievements and conduct. The award goes to a student-athlete who embodies NSU Athletics’ cornerstone values of academic achievement, personal responsibility and competitive success, while supporting fellow Demon athletes.

JeMarcus Marshall, a junior defensive end on the football team, and soccer senior Natalie Pena shared the Commitment to Service Award.

The Academic Trailblazer Award, recognizing remarkable perseverence and achievement, was presented by City Bank and Trust president John Ackel to junior offensive guard Terrance Boyd of the football team. Boyd has overcome illness, injury and initial academic struggles to become a Dean’s List student heading into his senior season.

Three outgoing 2015-16 competitors were recognized as the Academic Seniors of the Year. Lady Demon tennis star Natalya Krutova owns a cumulative 4.0 grade point average in biology, as does Meghan Cross of the women’s basketball team. Demon basketball senior Matt Killian posted a combined 4.0 GPA in the spring and fall 2015 semesters, and has a cumulative GPA of 3.86 in health and physical education.

Demon basketball standout Sabri Thompson and Lady Demon basketball star Beatrice Attura, both business administration majors, were the Academic Juniors of the Year. Attura had a perfect 4.0 in 2015’s two semesters and Thompson owns a cumulative GPA of 3.71.

For the sophomore class, winners were Lady Demon track and field competitor Kylie Nodorft and football offensive lineman Andrew McAlister. He posted a 4.0 GPA in 2015 and has a cumulative GPA of 3.88 in business administration. She has a 4.0 cumulative GPA in health and exercise science.

There were a dozen freshmen student-athletes who posted a 4.0 GPA in their first semester of college last fall. Four came from the Lady Demon volleyball team: Channing Burleson, Madeline Drake, Abby Gardea and Reagan Rogers. The list included two football players, Hunter Bedgood and Chris Zirkle, and two Lady Demon track and field athletes, Tyra Duma and Sarah Lewis. Also perfect in their first semesters at NSU were softball’s Katelyn Boles, soccer’s April Ficarrotta, Colby Koontz of the Demon basketball and baseball programs, and baseball’s Kyle Swanson.

One competitor from each of NSU’s sports was recognized as their team’s Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2014-15 year. For women’s sports, the winners were Presley Owens (basketball), Cassandra Barefield (softball), Yanci Johnson (soccer), Natalie Jaeger (volleyball), Rechelle Bessard (track and field), Jacqueline Rushford (cross country) and Krutova (tennis). In men’s sports, the awards went to Cody Jones (football), Regan Kaufman (baseball), Tra’von Joseph (basketball), Quinton Helaire (track and field) and Tyler Corwin (cross country).

Athletic director Greg Burke presented the Outstanding Community Member Award to NSU alumnus (1982) and Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court-elect David Stamey. The award recognizes longterm involvement with the athletics program and its student-athletes, and major service and support provided to NSU Athletics. The inaugural winner in 2015 was retired local businessman Layne Miller.

A new honor, the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award, went to Fellowship of Christian Athletes co-sponsor Christie Price of the Military Science department. It spotlights constant engagement with, and support of, the student-athletes who represent NSU in competition.

The NSU Coach of the Year honor was a tie in voting by all head coaches on staff. Track and field head coach Mike Heimerman and Lady Demon softball coach Donald Pickett were co-winners.

The final awards presented were the Demon Cup honors, given to the teams that compiles the highest point totals in athletic and academic achievement, community success and “Demons4Demons” participation in attending home events for other sports. The narrow winners were Demon baseball and Lady Demon tennis.

Demon Sports Network announcer Tony Taglavore was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Among the guests were NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson and first lady Tonia Henderson, and Kenny Knotts, chairman of the board of the Demons Unlimited Foundation, the non-profit support organization for NSU Athletics.
Attachments area

NSU student media leaders selected


Northwestern State University’s student media leaders for the next academic year will be, from left, Ashley Wolff, editor of the Current Sauce; Courtney Page, general manager of KNWD; Ashleigh Daniels, editor of Potpourri, and Maggie Harris, editor of Argus.


Northwestern State University selected four student media leaders for the 2016-17 academic year. Students selected are Courtney Page of Zachary, general manager of KNWD, Northwestern State’s campus radio station; Ashley Wolf of Destrehan, editor of the university’s newspaper, the Current Sauce; Ashleigh Daniels of Robeline, editor of Potpourri, the university’s yearbook, and Maggie Harris of West Monroe, editor of Argus, the school’s annual literary magazine.

Page is currently a junior majoring in biology/pre-physical therapy with a minor in English. She has worked with KNWD 91.7 the Demon since 2013 as a disc jockey, assistant music director, assistant program director and program director.

KNWD is a student-run, non-commercial radio station that transmits a digital stereo FM signal 24 hours a day to the campus and surrounding area. KNWD provides students with opportunities to acquire radio management skills through studio work, remote broadcasts and with Demonfest, the station’s annual music and arts festival, set this year for April 22-23.

Wolf is currently a junior majoring in mass communications with a minor in dance. She has worked with the Current Sauce for the last year as the paper’s a multimedia coordinator and staff writer, producing weekly articles and photos, creating digital editions of the newspaper and overseeing a biweekly newsletter and social media strategies. She has also been a contributor to Potpourri.

The Current Sauce is NSU’s independent, student-operated newspaper that covers campus and community activities as well as relevant social issues of interest to students. The Current Sauce is published weekly during the regular semester and bi-weekly during the summer. To view the paper, visit

Daniels is a senior majoring in history with a minor in English. She served as associate editor of Potpourri for the last year and has contributed articles to Potpourri, the Current Sauce, the Natchitoches Times, the Sabine Index and NSU’s The Odyssey.

The Potpourri is an independent publication that is planned, designed and produced by students. Coverage runs from March to March of each year, allowing the staff to feature many campus events.

Harris is a sophomore majoring in business administration. She has worked with Argus as associate editor and as this past year’s editor in chief, where she increased the involvement of staff editors and increased marketing for the publication. She also increased the magazine’s social media presence.

Argus is Northwestern State’s award-winning art and literary magazine that showcases the best of student art, poetry and creative writing and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Editions are released every spring.

“Student media provides hands-on experience for students that is difficult to find in a classroom setting,” said Daniel Thiels, student media coordinator. “Whether they are designing a newspaper, yearbook, producing a live broadcast or organizing a festival, students are able to learn about theories in the classroom and then put them to work in a laboratory setting through student media. By the time they graduate, they’ll already have real work experience that makes our students competitive in the workplace.”

Northwestern State’s student media is directed by the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts. Scholarships are available for some positions and one scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman interested in working with KNWD or the Current Sauce.

For more information, on the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts visit

Boy Scouts Troop 60 Campout

By Sarah McFarland


Boy Scouts from Troop 60 (Natchitoches) went primitive camping April 22-23, putting into action the objectives of the Boy Scouts of America to develop character, leadership, teamwork, and fitness through a fun and engaging program of outdoor activities. Pictured here are Koda DeBlieux, Griffin McFarland, Austin Dees, Ward Allen, John Burrell; Jim Roberts, Scoutmaster Sarah McFarland, Caleb Martinez, Stephen Wheat, John Martinez; Jacob Miller, Mark Melder, and Jennifer Dugas. Photographer is Stephen Wheat.

Interested potential Scouts aged 11-17 are welcome to attend a Boy Scout meeting, held Thursdays 7-8pm at First United Methodist Church Natchitoches.


Red River Farm Fresh: A Virtual Local Food Marketplace



Waylon Breaux demonstrating the building of a hugelkultur bed inside one of the NRCS funded high tunnels at the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Farm in Campti, Louisiana.


Campti Field of Dreams is pleased to bring you Red River Farm Fresh, a virtual local food marketplace serving Natchitoches and surrounding parishes. Beginning May 1st, 2016, we will be registering new vendors and customers. The online store will open on Friday, June 10th with the first orders being filled on Thursday, June 16th.  We are focused on providing locally grown produce that is both high quality and affordable.  Value-added products, such as jams and jellies, will also be offered.

If you’re looking to buy fresh, locally grown produce, Red River Farm Fresh is your one-stop shop.  When you buy your produce through the online marketplace, you are supporting local farmers, ranchers, artisans, and other small businesses in the Red River area.  You are helping to create local jobs for people in our community thereby building the local economy.

Local growers and artisans will also benefit from using our online marketplace.  We take the guesswork out of the retail process for you.  Growers only have to harvest what has been ordered earlier in the week, which reduces waste and allows you to easily adjust the amount you grow and harvest in the future.  Local artisans will benefit by having an online space to list and sell their arts and crafts.

The system is set up on a weekly cycle.  On Friday, the marketplace opens for the following week and producers enter the products that they have for sale that week. On Sunday morning the vendor portion is closed and the marketplace is opened to customers, who will be able to place orders up until Wednesday afternoon. Customers can place their orders 24 hours a day from their computers or mobile phones, choosing from several convenient pick-up locations.  Vendors get a “pick list” on Wednesday evening. All produce is picked and distributed on Thursday, thereby ensuring maximum quality and freshness.

We invite small producers within 120 miles of Campti, Louisiana to participate in our online marketplace.  Did you grow extra produce in your backyard garden or truck patch last year that went to waste? Then the marketplace is here for you.  You can earn money from your extra veggies and be a source of locally grown food for your community.  For more information, call Donna Isaacs at 318-332-7791 or visit our website to register

Red River Farm Fresh is the online market for the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Farm located in Campti, Louisiana. The working farm will produce all natural fruits and vegetables, yard eggs, and grass-fed meat. Year round production is facilitated through 3 high tunnels funded with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture High Tunnel Program.

Are you interested in starting or growing an agri-business but need technical or financial assistance? The USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service has several programs to assist beginning farmers and ranchers, veterans, women, minority groups, and specialty crop producers. These organizations offer their help and information for free.  In addition to technical assistance they provide grants and low-interest loans to qualified individuals. If you are located in Northwest Louisiana (Caddo, De Soto, Red River, Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides, Vernon and Sabine) you can contact Donna Isaacs at Campti Field of Dreams, 318-332-7791 or USDA Natchitoches, 6949 Louisiana Highway 1 Bypass, Natchitoches, LA, 71457, 318-357-8366, for more information.

Baseball-Demons host Mississippi Valley State in two-game midweek series

By Jason Pugh

Nick Heath[4]

Nick Heath and the Demons host Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday and Wednesday. Credit: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services

It won’t be “Throwback Thursday,” but part of the Northwestern State baseball team’s two-game midweek series with Mississippi Valley State may qualify for “Way Back Wednesday.”

The Demons (20-18) and Delta Devils (6-30) begin their series at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Brown-Stroud Field and conclude it with a noon matchup Wednesday.

During the Wednesday game, Northwestern State will debut its “Normal” jerseys, a tribute to the days of yore when the school was known as Louisiana State Normal College.

“We’re going back old school,” fourth-year head coach Lane Burroughs said. “We’re going to wear the ‘Normal’ jerseys. We’ll wear those on Wednesday, and we’ll auction those off online. We’re excited about that. Our guys are excited about wearing something different, kind of a throwback day.

“We’ll do nothing but try to be Normal all day.”

Tuesday’s game is Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day with two tickets and concession vouchers available for all NSU faculty and staff members. Wednesday’s matchup, in addition to being a celebration of Louisiana Normal, is Field Trip Day with free admission offered to all students.

This marks the second straight season the Demons have hosted the Delta Devils in a two-game midweek set. The series also opens a five-game homestand for Northwestern State, which has not played a home game since defeating Southland Conference-leading Southeastern Louisiana, 3-2, on April 10.

NSU needs only to look at last year’s meetings between the teams to make sure it does not underestimate a Valley squad that has won just six games this season.

After taking the opening game of the series 13-0, the Demons grinded out a 4-1 win in the series finale against a team that came into the series well under .500.

“They’re not having a great year, but I know one thing, they came in here last year in kind of the same situation, and they had a young man playing shortstop who got drafted and was one of the best players I saw all year,” Burroughs said.

“They’ll be excited about coming in here and playing us. They’ll bring everything they have, and our guys have to be on point. Midweek games are very tricky. Sometimes you’ve got to pump your guys up and ready to play, especially after a mentally draining, stressful weekend like we just had.”

That weekend, which ended with a 7-5, 10-inning victory at Central Arkansas that clinched a Southland Conference series win.

Northwestern State coughed up a two-run, ninth-inning lead before scoring a pair of runs in the 10th inning to win the series.

“If that doesn’t get us going, there isn’t much that will,” Burroughs said.

The Demons will send junior right-hander Tim Winders (1-2, 6.63) to the mound for Tuesday’s series opener and have yet to name a starter for Wednesday’s game. Mississippi Valley State has not named a starter for either game.

El Camino Real – Ready to “shop ‘til you drop”



El Camino Real – Ready to “shop ‘til you drop”? The eighth annual El Camino Real Sale on the Trail takes place May 6th and 7th along 175 miles of the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas. Follow the trail through the Caddo region which stretches from LA Hwy 6 in Natchitoches to TX Hwy 21 into Alto, TX.

Along the trail, shoppers will find new and used items sold by local businesses and private individuals. If you are a shopping warrior, collector, or just looking for fun, a weekend shopping the trail is a wonderful way to take advantage of the beautiful spring scenery and historical markers along the El Camino Real.

Designated as a National Historic Trail in 2004, El Camino Real de los Tejas has existed for more than 300 years. The Spaniards and the French who marked the trail were followed by early missionaries of multiple faiths and later by such men as Sam Houston Stephen F. Austin, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett.

For more information on shopping or participating in the “Sale on the Trail”, call the Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission at (800)259.1714 or visit

Louisiana Small Business District Center – Jim Kilcoyne

Jim Kilcoyne, Director of our local LSBDC, is prepared to help area small businesses with their needs. Partnered with the Small Business Administration, the local District Center is housed at NSU and has resources available at no cost to the business owner. The department has access to research data, statistics, and information that would take an entrepreneur countless hours and cost to gather on their own.

“You might be an amazing chef, but don’t have a clue as to how to run a business. Maybe you’re an artist or craftsman but don’t know how to set up your retail business for maximum efficiency and sales. That’s what the LSBDC can help with,” according to Mr. Kilcoyne, “ by simply moving your checkout you can increase sales.”

For more information or to make an appointment go to

2016 Spring DigFest

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

The Northwestern State University Volleyball team held its Spring Dig Fest at the Point Place Marina. The Spring Digfest, along with one held in the Fall, are fundraisers for the NSU Volleyball team and a fun annual tradition for the community.

Twelve teams from Natchitoches, Monroe, Shreveport and Ruston battled throughout the day under a crystal clear blue sky. NSU Volleyball supporters brought food giving the event a tailgating family atmosphere. NSU Assistant Volleyball Coach, Alicia Roth, stated that the event is held to finance projects and extras for the team not covered by their budget, such as new equipment for practicing and renovating the locker room. The funds also allow the team a few nice extras while on the road. This year’s Spring Dig Fest is expected to raise between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 with the Fall Dig Fest bringing in a bit more.

Senior Dance Concert set for April 30

By David West


NSU senior dance students, front from left, Kathleen Kerner of Covington, LG Williams II of New Orleans, Joshua DeAlba of Orlando, Florida, back from left, Ebony Johnson of New Orleans and Taylor Walker of Shreveport.

Northwestern Theatre and Dance will present its annual Senior Dance concert Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert, “Shift” features choreography by graduating senior dance students Joshua DeAlba of Orlando, Florida, Kathleen Kerner of Covington, Ebony Johnson and LG Williams II of New Orleans and Taylor Walker of Shreveport.

The works by Johnson are “Bella Noche” and “Bastet.”

“Bella Noche” is a work loosely based on a viral news interview about a popular Baton Rouge nightclub. In this piece, Hazel London and her friend Jerhonda Henderson run head first into a wild and crazy night at their favorite weekend night spot.

Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of cats, is featured in stories, myths and legends in Egyptian mythology. She was revered as the kindly goddess of pets and household cats and also as the warlike lion-headed goddess. Bastet (also known as Bast) replaced the ancient cult of Mafdet, the earliest cat goddess of ancient Egypt. In her benign aspect, Bastet was worshipped as the life giving god of fire, cats, of the home and pregnant women. In her malignant aspect, Bastet was worshipped as the hostile war goddess and protector of Egypt. She was therefore known as the giver of blessings to the good and a deliverer of wrath to the evil and could be depicted as cat, lion, lynx or cheetah. In this piece, we will experience her two most distinguished archetypes, the warrior and the lover and the malignant aspects of both.

Walker’s two pieces are “Stained Leaves,” which was inspired by the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s focusing on lynchings that happened during the era and “Stay,” a playful, light-hearted duet about two young people falling in love.

Williams’ works are “Trap’t” and “I Don’t Know if I can Make it….”

“Trap’t” is a hip hop piece that’s purely an entertainment piece that has three couples that each belong to a very different social status. This piece shows that no matter who we are or where we come from, we can all come together through expressing ourselves in the arts.

“I Don’t Know if I can Make It….” is a duet that portrays one’s struggle with depression and anxiety which leads to suicide. This piece goes through some of the textbook stages that people go through when experiencing depression before it leads to a suicidal state and this will hopefully raise an awareness so that people may be able to more easily pick up on these signs be able to help.

DeAlba’s works are “Homo Evolutis” and “On the rocks.” Kerner’s works are “Time Lapse” and “Scarlett Nile.


This event is for all families with children aged BIRTH – FOUR years old
Location: Natchitoches Event Center
Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Time: 4:00-6:00 pm

All Parish Childcare centers, Head Starts, and Pre-Kindergarten Programs will be available to discuss enrollment and registration opportunities for all children aged birth to 4 years old.

Programs will provide information for families regarding
Hours of operations
Meal programs
Child Care Assistance funding opportunities
Tax credit opportunities
And educational curriculums

Come find out about your choices for educational quality opportunities for your children in Natchitoches Parish

For more information contact
Amy Metoyer Early Childhood Coordinator at 318-238-7505
Natchitoches Parish School Board at 318-352-2358 or Parish Early Childhood Care and Education Network