2016 DemonFest at NSU

By: Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University’s Iberville Green was transformed into a concert venue for this weekend’s DemonFest, a two day music festival featuring NSU student and alumni performers as well as nationally known top-40 artists. This budding NSU tradition, in its fourth consectutive year, featured 14 acts on two stages over a two day period. NSU students participated in a “Battle of the Bands” in which student acts submitted sample videos and were voted on by the student body. The winners were invited to perform before their fellow students at DemonFest. Kopacetic, a band composed of NSU students fresh from a performance at last week’s Natchitoches Jazz Festival, entertained the crowd with their signature sound.

DemonFest closed on a high energy note with nationally known hip-artist Wale who kept the dancing and waving crowd on its feet throughout his set as he performed his hits such as “Lotus Flower Bomb.”

Natchitoches Police make arrest in negligent shooting death of three year old

Alverious Demars

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested Alverious Demars (B/M, 22 y.o.a., of Natchitoches) for the negligent shooting death of a three year old child.

On April 22, 2016 around 5:28 p.m., Officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 600 block of Sabine Alley in reference to child being shot. Upon Officers arrival they located a three year old child who was suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head. The child was transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he later died.

Detectives were called to the scene and were able to determine that the three year old child came into possession of a firearm and accidently shot himself.

Alverious Demars is charged with Negligent Homicide and Obstruction of Justice. He is currently awaiting bond at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective John Greely at (318) 357-3811. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Chief Micky Dove
Natchitoches Police Department
Release Date: April 23, 2016

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Dr. James Holly to speak at NSU spring commencement

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Dr. James L. Holly will be the speakers at Northwestern State University’s spring commencement Friday, May 6.

Edwards will speak to graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development and the Louisiana Scholars’ College at 10 a.m. Holly will speak to graduates from the College of Business and Technology and the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health at 3 p.m. More than 950 students are expected to receive degrees.

Graduates of the Military Science/ROTC program will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during the morning ceremony.

Edwards was sworn in as the 56th governor of Louisiana in January. The governor grew up in Amite as one of eight children. With four Tangipahoa Parish sheriffs in his lineage, he learned the importance of public service at an early age.

Edwards graduated in 1988 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. The governor served eight years as an Airborne Ranger on active duty with the United States Army and commanded a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University Law Center and set up a civil law practice in his hometown of Amite.

In 2008, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 72, where he served for eight years until the voters of Louisiana elected him governor in November 2015.

Edwards and his wife, First Lady Donna Edwards, have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen and John Miller.

Holly, a 1965 graduate of Northwestern, is founder and chief executive officer of Southeast Texas Medical Associates. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, where he is an adjunct professor of Family and Community Medicine. Holly is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine. He was a 2016 inductee into the Northwestern State Alumni Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line.

Holly received the 2015 inaugural National Patient-Centered Medical Home Practice Award from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative and the 2012 National HIMSS Physician IT Leadership Award.

Last year, on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of their graduation from Northwestern State, Holly surprised his wife, Carolyn Bellue Holly, at the NSU Golden Jubilee luncheon by announcing the establishment of Carolyn Bellue Holly Distinguished Professorship in Teaching and Learning.  In addition to the Distinguished Professorship endowment, the Hollys have honored their mothers with the Marie Cobb Bellue Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and the Irene Woodruff Holly Scholarship in Health Care Education.

The Hollys have advanced medical education at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, making several financial contributions to the school. James and Carolyn Holly have also received numerous honors at the Health Science Center including the Dr. And Mrs. James L. Holly University Auditorium and membership on The University of Texas Chancellors Council. In 2012, James Holly was named the 2012 Distinguished Alumni of the School of Medicine.

2016 Natchitoches Relay for Life

By: Kevin Shannahan

The Natchitoches Relay for Life, an annual community tradition since 1998, was held on the NSU football tailgating field Friday, April, 22nd. This year’s event featured 36 teams representing every facet of our community, from the Sheriff’s Department, City of Natchitoches, local businesses, churches, and sororities to the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. In addition, Lifeshare had a booth at the Natchitoches relay promoting marrow donation.

The crowd was entertained by bands and performances by local dance schools. In addition, the teams competed in fun events such as “Flip-Flop Relay” throughout the evening. The evening’s entertainment culminated in a fireworks display.

The Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the nation’s leading non-governmental organization devoted to fighting and eradicating this insideous disease. According to Ms. Danielle Antoon, Senior Community Manager for the Society, the Natchitoches area raised $109,000.00 last year with at least this much expected this year.

The Relay for Life is an event that remembers cancer survivors as well as those who succumbed each year. More importantly, it is a celebration of their spirit and of life.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating tonight’s photography. The album is not photo protected and anyone may download the files for free. The Relay for Life is welcome to use any they wish. If you do download a file from the Relay, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society in lieu of payment.

Kevin’s Gallery

NSU Wind Symphony and Fredericks Concert Band Concert

By: Kevin Shannahan

These two components of Northwestern State University’s College of Creative and Performing Arts put on a concert at NSU’s Magale Hall on Thursday, April 21st. The Wind Symphony, conducted by Jeffrey Matthews, and the Fredericks Concert Band, conducted by Oliver Molina, played a variety of classical pieces. Graduate Assistant Micheal Cox took over the reins, conducting the band in a piece named Vesuvius. NSU faculty member and tenor, Michael Rorex, brought a change of pace singing a variety of American Gospel songs while accompanied by the band.

Kevin’s Gallery

Superior Livestock Cattle Auction Happening Now in Natchitoches


LIVE from the Natchitoches Event Center

NATCHITOCHES – 57,000 cattle are expected to be auctioned today at the Superior Livestock Gulf Coast Classic Cattle Auction taking place today at the Natchitoches Events Center. More than 300 cattlemen from across the country are attending the live video auction which will feature calves on cows, feeder cattle, weaned cattle, and bred stock cattle. All cattle will remain on the farm until delivery. The auction, which began at 7:30 a.m. today, will continue until approximately 5:00 p.m.

This is the first time that the Superior Livestock Cattle Auction has been held in Louisiana. Organizer Emily Smith stated that “the auction is usually held in larger cities like Fort Worth. Bringing this many people from states like Montana, South Dakota, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana is great for the City of Natchitoches.” Smith continued, “We are hoping that this will become an annual event and bring more people to the City.”

The cattle auction is being broadcast live Rural TV on Dish Network channel 232 or online at SuperiorLivestock.com.

For more information, please contact Emily Smith at (318) 471-2771.

Natchitoches Humane Society -Calling all Dirty Dogs….




Finally, the weather is warmer and the NHS bathing season has begun. Can I get a “Bark, Bark?”  NHS will be hosting their first bath and clipping day of the season, May 10, from 9-1, at Tractor Supply in Natchitoches.  No appointment is necessary. For pups under 40 pounds, the cost is $5, and for those over it’s $10. Nail clipping is $5.  Bring the kids (No, we’re not going to bathe them) and let them play with the dogs while you wait.

The Natchitoches Humane Society is also  seeking volunteers, message them to find out how you can help. You can donate an hour of your time, your grooming skills, technical skills, or just visit with the animals.  For more information visit their FaceBook  page at:


Ponderings with Doug – April 22, 2016


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


Do you have stuff in your pockets?

Before the washer is loaded, my bride sometimes extracts some folding money and maybe a coin or two from my pockets. If I have been working in the yard there is the rare nut, bolt, or screw. The majority of time my pockets are empty. The first few times I left money in them I discovered if she finds money, she keeps the money! I am neurotic about hanging keys up when I come into the house. Once inside, my cell phone and wallet come out of my pockets as well. My pockets are pretty boring.

I learned that just because my pockets are empty doesn’t mean her pockets are empty. This is important if you are considering doing the laundry.

The other day I decided to help my bride by doing her laundry. She is staying in Gibsland for most of the week and comes home on the weekend. We will have this strange living arrangement until her chemotherapy is completed in June. I am always thrilled when she comes home. I want to be a loving and helpful husband, so that she will want to come back on the weekends.

Her white basket is her method of packing for a four day stay in Gibsland. When she returns and the basket has clothes in it, those are dirty clothes, right? The clothes are at the bottom of the basket below the laptop, the clothes hangers and her shoes. One must be an archaeologist of sorts to get to the laundry.

Last weekend I grabbed all her clothes and chunked them in the washer. I still do laundry by the collegiate method. You throw all the laundry in the washer, make sure you wash in cold water; thus avoiding the time and wasted effort of sorting clothing. I did tell my bride that I was washing her clothes. She asked, “You didn’t wash my mouse did you?”

I didn’t tell her, but the washer was making more noise than is normal. I had a sinking feeling that something had slipped into the laundry when I chunked the contents of her basket in there. I just knew I had washed a mouse. When I looked in the bottom of her basket there was great rejoicing. Her mouse was in the bottom of the basket still sitting on its mouse pad.

What was making the extra sound in the washer?

It was not long until the source of the sound was revealed.

My wife doesn’t believe in the empty pocket hypothesis. She knows that her pockets are like walking into an antique store. You never know what will drop out of those pockets. She has washed, keys, tools, thumb drives, tubes of lip balm and large denominations of currency. I was not so lucky with this load of laundry. Had I used the normal method of sorting and checking pockets, I would have discovered a tube of lipstick in her jacket pocket. I will confess to you that her windbreaker jacket was in the basket I chunked it in the washer too.

This was my first experience with lipstick laundry. It was not a pleasant experience. The lipstick was on everything, and everything belonged to her exclusively. I was “dead Doug walking.” I felt sick and then I felt very afraid. There was the necessity of confession and pleading for spousal mercy.

“I did it. I didn’t check the pockets. I didn’t sort the clothes. I didn’t look I just threw them in the washer. I was trying to get husband brownie points. I failed. I’m sorry. I will buy you a new wardrobe. I didn’t wash your mouse but this is worse.” It is always good to think through your spousal confession.

You know, she laughed at me and with me. She took out her secret wife laundry chemicals and proceeded to remove the lipstick stains and rewash the clothing. I joyously report that the lipstick stains have all been washed away. I experienced love, forgiveness and grace in the laundry room.

“Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow!”

NSU Research Day highlights student, faculty scholarly endeavors


Northwestern State University presented research awards to students and faculty during the school’s 29th annual Research Day. From left are faculty award winners Dr. Tommy Hailey, Dr. Jim Mischler and Dr. Rick Jensen with Dr. Margaret Cochran, chair of the NSU Research Committee and student winners Aaron Bradford and Megan Duhon.

For the first time, Research Day presentations were streamed live via WebEx to allow distance learning students and students and faculty on our other campuses to participate in the day’s activities. One distance student presented a virtual session.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi annually presents Student Research Awards to increase student participation in Research Day. Awards are presented to the best contributions regardless of academic classification. Students in all academic disciplines are eligible. Student Research Award winners were Megan Duhon of Crowley and Aaron Bradford of Frisco, Texas. Both are students in the Louisiana Scholars’ College.

Bradford’s topic was “The Change in Cardiovascular Endurance and Body Fat Percentage of Drum Corps Athletes.” Dr. Margaret Cochran is his faculty mentor. Bradford documented the changes in fitness levels of participants in Drum Corp International, a physically and mentally challenging activity that requires marching arts performers to rehearse between eight and 12 hours per day for 12 weeks. He then assessed the changes in fitness level and athleticism of the participants over the course of the summer to determine if the demanding level of physical activity mirrors that of competing sports.

Duhon’s topic was “The Regulation of Angiogenesis by Lysophosphatidic Acid.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Massimo Bezoari. Duhon’s research investigated whether lypophosphatidic acid, a natural lipid in the body, could be used to create a healthy and safe angiogenic therapy. The research is applicable in therapies used to combat coronary artery disease, the buildup of plaque in the arteries, globally the most common cause of natural death.

Amanda Schultz of Leesville, a senior in the Department of Fine and Graphic Art, was recognized for producing the winning program cover and Research Day poster design. This was her second year to win the honor.

Faculty Research Awards presented during Research Day honor the memories of former NSU faculty.

Dr. Jim Mischler, a professor in the Department of English, Foreign Language and Cultural Studies, was named the recipient of the Dr. Mildred Hart Bailey Faculty Research Award for research in cognitive linguistics. Those nominated for the award are evaluated on scholarly or creative significance, national, regional or local impact; originality and ingenuity of project design and critical recognition by experts in the field.

Dr. Tommy Hailey, a professor in the Department of History, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, was named recipient of the Dr. Marietta LeBreton Louisiana Studies Award for research in anthropology. This award acknowledges faculty whose research careers have been dedicated to topics in any discipline related to Louisiana. Nominees must have made significant contributions to their field of study through publications, creative pieces, presentations, sustained work on a major projected relating to the history, culture, languages, science, math or other fields. Nominees must demonstrate a sustained record of research on Louisiana topics or other projects that illustrate a significant connection to Louisiana.

Dr. Richard Jensen, a professor in the Louisiana Scholars’ College, was named recipient of the Dr. Jean D’Amato Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award for research on the history of anarchistic terrorism and political violence. This award honors a senior faculty member whose career has included a significant commitment to research and service to their discipline. Nominees must have made significant contributions to their field of study, remained dedicated to a consistent research agenda spanning their career through publication, presentations, research grants or related activities and demonstrated a sustained record of service to the discipline.

Church, the keynote speaker, works with the materials conservation program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, which is housed on the NSU campus. NCPTT is a research and training office of the National Service and Church divides his time between conducting in-house research, organizing training events and teaching hands-on conservation workshops.

Church discussed outsider art and art conservation and NCPTT’s role in helping the FBI examine the work of Natchitoches artist Clementine Hunter and forgeries of her art.

Dr. Margaret Cochran chairs the NSU Research Committee that annually organizes Research Day.

National Library Week – Natchitoches Parish Library


Highlights from last week’s National Library Week activities. Patrons who attended enjoyed face painting by our very talented staff members. Popcorn was also offered and everyone who filled out a questionnaire telling us why they love the library was entered into a drawing for a give-away. The winners of this drawing were: Anita LaCaze, Dorothy Burt, Janet Powell, and Aaliyah Goston.

Louisiana Bankers Education Council’s annual college scholarships.


Congratulations to Ryan and Reagan Cunningham for being awarded the Louisiana Bankers Education Council’s annual college scholarships. These scholarships have been made possible by the generous support of LBA members. Each fall, LBEC offers cash scholarships to incoming freshmen who have at least one parent employed with a bank or if the student is employed with a bank in Louisiana. The students must enroll in an accredited Louisiana college or university with a declared major in a banking related field.

Special Called Natchitoches School Board Meeting – April 21, 2016


In a considerably more tranquil than expected meeting, the Natchitoches School Board met this Wednesday in a special called meeting to discuss the Natchitoches Magnet School relocation. After a rollcall to determine that there was a quorum with members Mr. Daniels and Mr. Hilton absent, the floor was opened to questions from board members and the audience.

After minimal discussion, the proposal passed with each member voting yes. The proposal, set to begin next school year, is as follows:

1. L.P.Vaughn will house infants & toddlers through 5th grade (all students from Parks and Vaughn.)

2. 6th graders from Parks and Vaughn will attend NJH/FRJ where they will have the opportunity to take electives (such as band) and be involved in athletics.

3. Natchitoches Magnet will be moved to the Parks facility.

Anna Slay Coaching, Voice and Talent Accepting Clients

Just in time for the Louisiana Cinderella Pageant


Having a daughter that won the Cinderella pageant as a toddler has taught Anna Slay a lot about pageants and performances over the years.  Anna, of ”Anna Slay Coaching,” has transformed her experience and knowledge into helping others achieve excellence. With 12 years as a talent agent, she has booked jobs for children in TV, film, voice overs, and much more.

Anna works with ages 8 and up, but includes pageant contestants much younger. “If a young lady is in the pageant world, I know she already has discipline skills and I will work with her.”

Anna uses an unconventional, but obviously successful, approach to voice coaching. “I don’t sit and play the piano while they sing,” she says, “I have music playing and I stand in front of them to coach their breathing and make sure they are singing correctly.”  She adds that by standing and watching them, the child becomes comfortable with performing in front of people, it gives them confidence and they are used to an audience by the time they are on stage.  She uses voice and video recording so they can study their movements and improve.

Adult Clients

It’s not just for children either, with the proper coaching and breathing techniques, adults can become confident in public speaking, giving presentations and any occasion where they are in front of an audience.

To book a consultation with Anna,  call 919.949.5067 or visit her FaceBook page:


Symphonic Band, NSU Wind Symphony present concert

By: David West


NATCHITOCHES – The Fredericks Symphonic Band and NSU Wind Symphony will present their spring concert Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Assistant Professor of Music Oliver Molina conducts the Symphonic Band with assistance from Michael Cox. Director of Bands Dr. Jeff Mathews conducts the NSU Wind Symphony with assistance from Jaime Cisneros.

The Symphonic Band will present a program featuring selections composed by Stuart, Grainger and Ticheli.

The NSU Wind Symphony’s program is titled “Fanfares, Festivals and Songs.” Vocal faculty member and tenor Michael Rorex will join the Wind Symphony as a special guest performer. The program will feature works by Stamp, Lacerda, Nelhybel, Zaninelli and Smith.

French Festival set for April 30

By: Leah Jackson


Northwestern State University’s French Club will host a French Festival to celebrate French language, history and culture from 2-8 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at Collins Pavilion on the NSU campus. Admission is free and open to the public. The event will feature French music, art, food and games for a day of entertainment in a carnival atmosphere.

 “This festival is a celebration of the language we love, which is also a huge aspect of Louisiana culture,” said Club President Karla Ewing of Lafayette. “Spanish is now the most spoken second language in Louisiana. Promoting the French language is important to me and the other club members.”

The NSU French Club was reestablished last year as a Recognized Student Organization and an education opportunity for students, Ewing said. Membership consists of students and faculty with an interest in the French language.

For more information on the French Festival, contact Ewing at kewing566941@nsula.edu.

Natchitoches Police Detectives Make Arrest in Business Burglary

ShowImage[1]The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested a Natchitoches man in connection with a burglary that took place at Total Care Salon last month.

On March 22, 2016 Officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to Total Care Salon in reference to a burglary that occurred over the weekend. Upon Officers arrival they made contact with an employee who stated that several hair clippers and a flat screen television were missing. The items missing are valued around $1500.00.

After interviewing several employees and receiving several tips from the public the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division arrested, Andre Sowell (B/M d.o.b. 10/10/1993), and charged him with Simple Burglary.

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

Remember all information given shall remain confidential. 

Chief Micky Dove
Natchitoches Police Department

27th Annual Delaney Bowl

By: Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University’s Turpin Stadium was the scene of a hard fought family feud as the NSU football team’s orange squad under guest coach Tony Joe Maranto squared off against the purple squad under guest coach and fellow former Demon, John Evans, in Saturday’s 27th Annual Delaney Bowl. John Evans’ purple squad edged out Tony Maranto’s 21-17 before a crowd of family, friends and Demon fans as well as the unbiquitous Dr. James Henderson. Both sides battled hard for victory and bragging rights which included having the losing team carry the winning team’s cafeteria trays for a week.

Halftime featured several long standing NSU traditions as each player who lettered for the first time last fall was presented his letter jacket by a former NSU letterman and welcomed into the Demon family. NSU Head coach Jay Thomas also presented Legendary Links, an award given to individuals who have made an impact on NSU’s football program to several individuals, most notably Joe Delaney’s grandson Nick. Joe’s wife, Carolyn, and daughter Crystal also received presentations.

The man the game is named in honor of is Joe Delaney, a former Northwestern State University athlete. He ran track and field as well as playing football, setting school records in both sports. After graduation, Joe went on to play for two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs where he was named “Rookie of the Year” by United Press International.

It wasn’t his feats on the gridiron that earned him an honored place in Northwestern State University’s history however, but rather his character off the field. On June 29th, 1983 Joe went with some friends to a park in Monroe, Louisiana. While there, he saw a group of three children who had ventured too far out in the water and were calling for help. Despite not being able to swin, Joe Delaney went in anyway to try to rescue the children. One child survived, but tragically the other two and the man who gave his life to try to rescue them did not. In 1983 President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Joe Delaney the Presidential Citizen’s Medal. President Reagan’s remarks at the ceremony sum up this remarkable man’s legacy well.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice by placing the lives of three children above regard for his own safety. By the supreme example of courage and compassion, this brilliantly gifted young man left a spiritual legacy for his fellow Americans…”

Today’s NSU Demons have some big shoes to fill.


Women’s Resource Center – Run, Baby, Run


Beverly Broadway, Executive Director

On Saturday, April 30th, the Women’s Resource Center will host its 5th annual “Run, Baby, Run”, a 1 mile and 5K fun run and walk. Both races begin at the Cane River Lake riverbank and will take runners through beautiful parts of downtown and East Natchitoches.

Official race times will be recorded courtesy of NSU Track program. Registration/check-in for both races will begin at 8am on the riverbank.

Both races are open to all ages. Pre-registration is encouraged to guarantee t-shirt availability. Registration is available online at http://www.wrcfriends.com or by stopping by the WRC office at 107 North Street. Children under 5 years of age are free.

At the conclusion of the race there will be a balloon release to honor all the boys, girls and unborn children reached and served by the WRC.

The goal of Run, Baby, Run is to increase awareness of the Women’s Resource Center and the services they are able to provide to the community. The WRC is a non-profit pregnancy help medical clinic that serves over 400 women every year in central Louisiana, most of whom are in unplanned pregnancies. All services are free which include prenatal education, lifestyle skills, ultrasound, material assistance, childbirth education, and life affirming options counseling.

For more information about this event, visit the website, wrcfriends.com or call 318-357-8888.

Northwestern State crew wins first conference championship

By: David West

Northwestern State University’s Crew won its first varsity conference championship, capturing the Women’s Varsity 4+ event at the annual
Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Conference Championships in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The winning boat consisted of Jami LeBlanc of Hathaway, Melissa Pesacreta of Lafayette, Glory Deaton of Pineville, Holly Smith of Natchitoches and was coxed by Nicole Plunkett of New Orleans.

Twenty-two teams entered the race. NSU advanced from the time trials to the semifinals where the squad posted the fastest overall time. Northwestern State won the championship by five seconds.

NSU Crew Coach Jason Stelly said the crew’s previous highest finish in this event was fifth overall in the grand finals in 2007. Stelly expects the Women’s Varsity 4+ to be very competitive in the national championships.

The SIRA Championships are the largest sprint race in the South. Northwestern State will compete in the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championships May 28-29 in Gainesville, Georgia.