NHS’ rescue facility Happy Tails and caregiver Jeff

The goal of Happy Tails, the Natchitoches Humane Society’s rescue facility on the grounds of the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, is “Transporting Animals Into Loving Situations”. This goal would not be possible without the daily care and love given to the dogs that come through Happy Tails by Jeff, our animal caregiver. Many of these dogs have come from abusive or neglectful situations, and many are just abandoned. Jeff makes these dogs feel safe and loved while overseeing their daily needs, medical needs, and providing basic obedience training. The bond between Jeff and Deuce, now Zeus, and Soldier is apparent as Jeff wishes them well as they leave Happy Tails for their new forever homes.

The Emperor’s New Genderless Bathrooms

By Edwin Crayton

Once upon a time there lived an emperor so exceeding fond of new things that he promoted new ideas with a relish, especially those of the politically correct variety. The emperor was quite popular and so he knew that his ideas would receive widespread support throughout the kingdom. Because he spoke eloquently, he had the rare ability to promote his concepts with much success.

One day, a tribe called the LGBT Tribe began to promote the concept of allowing men who identified themselves as women to enter the women’s room. And likewise, the tribe of LGBT women who identify themselves as men also wished to use whatever bathroom they desired. The emperor, intrigued, agreed with them as he often did with many new-fangled notions.

However, the emperor knew that most people don’t think it’s natural or safe to allow men in the women’s room. He was intrigued with the LGBT Tribe but he and the tribe realized they would have to reach the citizens when they were still young children so that they would grow up to believe genderless bathrooms were normal. So one day the emperor pro- claimed that all school restrooms should be “transgender restrooms”. It had a nice ring he thought and hey, it was new and so since he liked just about everything new, naturally he went with it.

Throughout the land, the adults discussed it in hushed, nervous, uncomfortable tones. You see, no one wanted to speak out loud because in the kingdom you could be called backwards or a bigot if you had an opinion different from what was new. So almost everyone convinced themselves it would be alright to go along with the program and not rock the royal boat, so to speak.

It seemed the King’s proposal was a shoe in to become a law for the entire land. The proud king even had a grand parade to show off a model of his new genderless bathroom. He had the bathroom model perched on a giant royal float. And then, one little boy shouted, “Mommy I have to use the boy’s room?” Mommy said, “Hush! There will be no more boy’s room, son!” The boy cried all the more, “Mommy, how can I go to the boy’s room if there is no boy’s room? Mommy thought about it and so did many in the crowd along the parade route. People began to grumble. One man asked, “But isn’t the little boy right? What’s wrong with the way bathrooms are now and have been for centuries? Everyone and anyone can go to the bathroom now, right? Why is this change needed?” A woman shouted, “What about my little girl? How can girls or women safely know for sure that some rapist or nut case isn’t lurking in there taking advantage of this situation?! The crowd became louder and louder. “It’s not safe” someone shouted.

But someone else screamed, “Bigots!” A young woman replied, “We are not bigots. We don’t hate anyone; we just don’t think this all makes any sense.” A businessman shouted, “I don’t agree with it either, but we need the business from the LGBT tribe—-they spend lots—-think of my profits. Let’s go with the no gender bathrooms.”
Another businessman said, “I disagree. The public should decide. Why not at least vote on this?!” Someone else shouted, “We need to pray for our country and pray for an answer to this!”

The noise became louder and louder as people debated it pro and con. Someone shouted, “Let’s go write our congressmen and congresswomen!” The roar of approval for that idea was so loud, the earth shook and all the gender signs fell off the bathroom model the king had propped up on his royal float. Underneath the sign was the old sign saying “Boy’s Room.” “Mommy,” the little boy shouted, smiling happily, “Look mom! It says boys room! Now I can use the boy’s room!” There was a great happy cheer and they all lived happily ever after—-well, until the next bizarre idea came out of Washington and Hollywood. The end—for now.

Note: Recently, President Obama and some federal agencies came out in favor of genderless bathrooms. Schools were threatened that if they did not comply, funds could be withheld. How this real life tale will play out depends on public reaction. Re-printed from The Real Views

Cloyd Benjamin, Jr., attorney-at-Law




A proud NSU graduate, Cloyd Benjamin, Jr, is a man who wears many hats. Not only is he our Assistant District Attorney, he has a private civil law practice and is involved in many community organizations and activities.

“To whom much is given, much is required,” he says  “With faith, preparation and courage you can accomplish anything in life.”

Mr. Benjamin takes that statement seriously and cares about the youth of Natchitoches and the surrounding areas and his heart is in helping them succeed.  He is a board member for the Boys and Girls Club and Legal Services of Louisiana.  His goal is to give young men and women a fresh start if they “just do something stupid one time.”

In his private civil practice, Mr. Benjamin assists those who have been injured in an accident, uncontested divorces and successions.

“I have a heart to help people. Your insurance company loves you when you’re making your premium payments, but not when you need to make a claim.” He knows how to navigate those waters and is on your side.

Mr. Benjamin is a native of Natchitoches, attended public school here, graduated from NSU, and worked in local law enforcement before going to law school. He loves life and is excited to be a part of the local community and making Natchitoches a wonderful place to live.

Join Mr. Benjamin Monday –  LIVE on My92.3 at 7:30a and on 949 The River at 10:15a.

Contact Mr. Benjamin  at:
726 3rd St Ste B
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
Phone: (318) 352-7575

Website  http://www.benjaminlawfirmllc.com

Chef returns to St. Mary’s to cook dinner and help raise funds for memorial garden

By Corey Poole


St. Mary’s Catholic High School will welcome one of its alum as he cooks dinner for the school’s fundraiser.

The event will be held Saturday, June 4 at St. Mary’s. Funds will go toward establishing the St. Mary’s Catholic School Memorial Garden. Activities include dinner, music, silent and live auctions, a school memorabilia display and a cocktail hour with a cash bar.

Henry was excited to announce that hams from Grayson’s Barbeque in Clarence will be featured at the event, along with several of his signature dishes.

Tickets are $75 per person. For more information contact Melissa Frye at 318-352-8394 or Payne Williams at 318-352-6695.

“My time at St. Mary’s is one of the best times in my life,” said Chef William Henry “Bodie” Chandler. “The friends I made there are the friends I have for life.”

Born and raised in St. Maurice on his family’s 1,500-acre cotton, cattle and pecan farm Henry learned to cook with his Nanny Castell as she prepared the family’s meals. He is the last of three boys.

Henry cooked and served his first meal of chicken and dumplings at the age of 10. His family’s positive reaction to his food solidified his passion for the culinary arts.

“I never wanted to do anything else,” he said.

Henry’s dad, known as “Big H,” was a WWII veteran who ran a local liquor store in addition to the farm. Henry’s home was often the gathering place for his classmates and other community members, who gathered around the table for a home cooked meal.

Henry attended Parks Elementary, Ira Campbell’s school at Hickory Ridge through eighth grade and then enrolled at St. Mary’s for high school.

“My parents thought it would be a perfect fit for me because it was a smaller school than Natchitoches Central,” said Henry.

It was at St. Mary’s that Henry began playing football and met the infamous John Wayne Odom.

“He had a big impact on all of us,” Henry said. “He turned us into men.”

Henry also met and became lifelong friends with John Ackel, Thomas Plunkett III and Hugo Grayson. Henry calls himself, Plunkett and Grayson the “other side of the river boys.”

Living over 17 miles from Natchitoches, Henry would sleep over at the homes of the McKnights or the Ackels every Friday night after football games.

Henry recollected on the following memories from his days at St. Mary’s:

  • Collecting boxes for homecoming
  • His love of football
  • Skiing on Cane River after football practice
  • Sneaking into the Shammrock
  • Riding up and down the strip and grabbing a burger at Casper’s.

Growing up there was no Food Network on the television and no famous chefs to look up to. It wasn’t until he went to college in Lafayette that he got exposed to Cajun and Creole cooking.

After a stint working on an oil rig and in construction, Henry married in 1989. He and his wife opened a catering business before Henry enrolled in a culinary school at Guilford Tech, graduating with a degree in French culinary arts.

Eventually settling in Georgia, the couple followed their dream, opening Henry’s Louisiana Grill. After four successful years of operation, the restaurant needed a bigger location.They renovated a building and created a new home, which customers followed them to.

Today, the grill continues as a thriving, exciting restaurant in the heart of downtown Acworth.

Natchitoches Parish Library celebrates National Pet Month

Natchitoches Parish Library partnered with the Natchitoches Humane Society for National Pet Month to celebrate the benefits of pet ownership. Children spent time with a dog and a kitten that are available for adoption and learned about proper pet care and handling. If interested in pet adoption or fostering, learn about the Natchitoches Humane Society online at www.natchitocheshumane.com.
The library is continuously looking for opportunities to partner with local groups and organizations to better serve the community. If interested in scheduling a tour for a group, or are interested in partnering with the Library, contact the Community Outreach Coordinator at 318-238-9236.

Sheriff announces recent promotions

NPSO 05-20-16

From left are Robertson, Roberts, Jones, LaCaze, and Dunn.

Sheriff Victor Jones announced the recent promotions of Sgt. Matthew Robertson to NPSO Patrol Division Shift “C”, Sgt. Jonathan Roberts to Narcotics/NMJDTF, Lt. Shane LaCaze to Patrol Shift “A”, and Sgt. Clinton Dunn to Patrol Shift “A”.

Lifeshare seeks donors for upcoming blood drives

Blood Drive


Sandra Moreau with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office donated blood May 18. Lifeshare Blood Centers will hold the following blood drives in Natchitoches Parish:

May 22 at Walmart from noon-6 p.m.
May 27 at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center from 9a.m.-4:30p.m.
May 27 at Walmart from noon-6 p.m.

NSU Baseball team helps ‘strike out Autism’ with B&G Club

NSU Strike Out

NSU hosted the Boys & Girls Club of El Camino Real for a “Strike Out Autism” event May 19. Summer camp attendee AJ Barfield, his brother Bernard and Ashton Behrendsen to be recognized at the Thursday Baseball game. AJ and Bernard’s parents and sister, Madison (BGCECR Club Member) attended the festivities too.

Thursday’s game was the first “Strike Out Autism” game. Northwestern State will sell the “Normal” jerseys it wore against Mississippi Valley State and Louisiana Tech for $50 each with proceeds benefitting the Boys and Girls Club.

2016 Tiger Athletic Association Golf Tournament and Crawfish Boil

By Kevin Shannahan


Kevin’s Gallery

The predicted rain held off for the St. Mary’s Tiger Athletic Association’s Annual Golf Tournament and Crawfish Boil held at this Friday at the NSU Recreational Complex. Twenty golfing foursomes participated in the tournament assisted by members of the St. Mary’s golf team. The tournament concluded with the TAA’s signature crawfish boil, featuring 1,200 pounds of crawfish donated by Casey and Shonda Messenger and the Crawfish Hole. This fun annual event is expected to raise about $10,000.00 for the Tiger Athletic Association and will be used to assist the St. Mary’s athletic program.

Natchitoches Parish 4-H presents awards at banquet

4H 05-20-16



Natchitoches Parish 4-H recognized its outstanding 4-Hers and volunteers at its Awards Banquet May 20.

Anne Mertens received a $500 Ruth Johnson Memorial Scholarship. She will attend the Louisiana Tech University and major in English with a minor in business.

Leneigh Hennigan received the $300 H.C. Sanders Memorial Scholarship. She will attend Northwestern State University and major in nursing.

Amber Miley received the Louisiana 4-H Foundation Award. This award is given to a graduating senior in each parish who has excelled in his or her 4-H project work and demonstrated leadership, citizenship and community service.

Leneigh Hennigan, Josey Hemperly and Anne Mertens received the Scott Truck and Tractor Company 4-H Achievement Award. Hennigan received a $700 scholarship and Hemperly and Mertens received a $150 scholarship.

Ian Sarpy received a $250 Natchitoches Parish 4-H Scholarship. He will attend Central Louisiana Technical College and major in nursing.

The following students received 4-H Honor Cords:

Josey Hemperly: Lakeview High School

Leneigh Hennigan: Christian Scholars at Home

Anne Mertens: Christian Scholars at Home

Amber Miley: Provencal Christian Academy

Ian Sarpy: Natchitoches Central High School

Josey Hemperly and Kate Dickson received the Louisiana 4-H Foundation Key Club of Excellence Award.

Katie Anderson and William Morrison were recognized as junior 4-H members active in their 4-H club, excelled in their 4-H project work and completed 4-H record books. The award also focuses on general leadership and participation in 4-H activities, community drives and citizenship awards.

The following 4-H volunteer club leaders won awards for their dedication and service: Lisa Wiggins, NSU Elementary: Innovative Programming; Emily Morrison, Christian Scholars at Home: Outstanding Club Work; and Kim Hennigan, Christian Scholars at Home: Above and Beyond.

State 4-H Vice President Jill Wiltz and SET Board Kate Dickson represented Natchitoches Parish on leadership boards that give youth an opportunity to work together on a common focus while developing leadership for statewide programs. The youth serving on these boards provide valuable leadership and guidance to the positive direction of the 4-H Program.

Natchitoches was represented by 15 delegates at the 4-H University last June. Twelve of them competed, and eight named to the blue ribbon group. One was named a state winner. They included: Taylor Roberts, state winner in Fashion Casual Division; Jill Wiltz, Abigail gardner and Danielle Settle, Top 10 Team in Consumer Foods Judging. Other participants include Mikalynn Burns, Karmel Davenport, Kate Dickson, Corey Gallion, William Lacaze, Rachel Rachal and Jordan Rodriquez.

Katie Anderson was the state winner in 6th grade achievement at the State Record Competition.

Other awards included:

Emily Morrsion: Alumni Blue Ribbon and Blue Ribbon winner in the 4-H Alumni Division

Jesse Foshee and Amber Miley: Blue Ribbon Winners in the Louisiana Honey Bee Association.

Victoria Wiggins, Carleigh Lofton and Kennedy Barnum: Red Ribbon Winners in the Louisiana Honey Bee Association.

The following students placed in the Louisiana 4-H Area Culinary Arts Contest:

William Morrison: Ground beef appetizer and seafood fish

Joseph Yount: Ground beef main dish

Bradford Morrison: Beef other cuts and pecan appetizer salad

Sean Stewart: Egg appetizer/salad

Jordan Brady: Egg desert

Kaylee Stacy: Poultry Chicken

David Elliot: Pecan desert

Stasi Brady: Seafood shrimp

Caitlyn Taylor: Seafood crawfish

The following 4-H members were recognized for their participation in overnight camping events: Sawyer Anderson, Amara Morales, Zachary Birdwell, Kate Dickson, Kimberly Cain, Za’Niyah Grayson, Delaney Coutee, Karmel Davenport, Corey Gallion, Kelsey Lacaze, Williams Lacaze, Kinley Nugent, Cieria Shepherd, Amy Smith, Caiden Baines, Austyn Bazar, Donovan Calk,CholeCoutee, Roper Hays, Daylon Lucas, Jequaylon Lucas, Julian Oakes, Rachel Rachal, Rosa Randolph, MadisynTroquille, Katie Anderson, Kathryn Lee, Brandon Wablington and Harley Wablington.

Club officers of the Junior Leadership Club are President Leneigh Hennigan, Vice President Ian Sarpy Secretary Kate Dickerson, Treasurer Corey Gallion, Community Resource Development Chairman Jill Wiltz and Fundraising Chairman Madison Pleasant.

The Junior Leadership Club Service Award was awarded to Leneigh Hennigan. Junior Leadership Club advisors recognized at the banquet included Fredda Burns, Connie Gallion and Kim Hennigan.

4-H Club leaders include Emily Morrison, Rodney Meziere, Frances Sarpy, Shanita Grayson, Amy Stepp, Jennifer Robertson, Krista Schultz Lisa Wiggins, Teresa Miller, Cady White, Angela Jennings and SuSu Burk.

Randall Mallette presented the following 4-H members with awards for Horse Project and Shooting Sports: Tayler Anderson, Coleton Anderson, Jordan Brady, Staci Brady, Vincent Ferreyros, Bradford Morrison, William Morrison, Austin Thomas, Bill Lacaze, Porker Bernard, Tucker Henderson and John Waskom.

Natchitoches Standards of Excellence Awards were given to the following 4-H members: MadelynnMisuraca, Kaylee Ann Stacy, Victoria Wiggins, Coleton Anderson, Tayler Anderson, Stasi Brady, Brittany Gregory, Lindsay Gregory, Racheal Gregory, LeneighHennigan, Anne Mertens, Bradford Morrison, William Morrsion, Cooper Johnson, Cole Johnson, Tucker Henderson, Katie Anderson and Madison Pleasant.

Outstanding 40H Club Member Awards were given to the following: Leneigh Hennigan, Rylie Stiles, Zoie Britt, William Lacaze, Kiley Nugent, Josie Fontenot, London Wright, Daylon Lucas, Jequaylon Lucas, Brantley Gray, Hannah Roquemore, Luke Churchman, Alexia Saucier, Joseph Yount, Elizabeth Shirley, Amber Miley, Christopher Jennings, Abigail Ramian, TenleyGahagan, Kate Dickson and Anne Mertens

High Tech Crime Unit arrests Marthaville man in connection with bank fraud investigation



Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a Marthaville man in connection with a bank fraud investigation that began on May 13. Officials with a Natchitoches financial institution contacted the NPSO reporting that a fraudulent check in the amount of $2,854 was passed by Kasey Hailey, 36 of the 700 block of Townsend Ballard Road.

Hailey deposited the money into his personal account but withdrew it shortly thereafter.Detectives contacted L.E.K. Consulting and learned that in the past several months multiple fraudulent checks were made on their business account.

Detectives interviewed Hailey May 16.

He allegedly confessed that he received the fraudulent check through an online website. Shortly after receiving the check, he deposited it into his account and withdrew the money with instructions to send various amounts to different people. Instead he kept all of the money for himself.

Hailey was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and charged with one-count of bank fraud and one-count of Illegal transmission of monetary funds.

Hailey has been released on bond pending his court appearance.

Detective Amber Shirley was assisted by Detectives C. Etheredge and V. Kay of the NPSO High Tech Crime Unit.

Chamber president warns members of unsolicited ad sales

Tony Davis 10

Tony Davis,P resident and CEO

The Chamber did not commission this project, nor is it endorsing the company or their practices or products.

The email from New Start Media LLC titled, “2016 Natchitoches Information Guides” states:

There will be up to 5,000 exclusive full color Natchitoches Information Guides to be distributed in July.

The distribution will be direct mail and local high traffic areas for local families and businesses to pick up.

The Information Guides are meant to keep the households safe by having all the emergency contacts and other important numbers like the local school, utilities, Police and Fire Departments.

The Information Guide is a perfect fit for all businesses looking to grow long-term in the community.

We are only looking for three to five ads from businesses that understand and support the fight to keep our families safe.

Groups meet to discuss next steps in flood recovery process


Flood Meeting

United Way of Northwest Louisiana held a meeting May 17 at the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding flood relief efforts in Natchitoches, Sabine and Winn parishes.  Those represented at the meeting were Tony Davis, Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce; Lynn Stevens, United Way of Northwest Louisiana; Suzie Calvert, FEMA, Logan Fileccia and Tracy Haacker, American Red Cross; and Mary Jones and LamarrMcGaskey, Natchitoches Parish OEP.





Highlights from the meeting included:

  1. FEMA reviewed the process of approval/denial of assistance for individuals impacted by the floods.
  2. This led to a discussion on the amount of individuals impacted:
  3. Natchitoches Parish- 1,394 applied for assistance; 407 individuals received IHP assistance (Individual Housing Program funds) totaling $2,856,295; 15 individuals received the maximum grant amount and one individual house was totally destroyed.
  4. Sabine Parish- 167 applied for assistance; 44 individuals received IHP assistance (Individual Housing Program $) totaling $172,675; no individuals received the maximum grant amount and no houses were totally destroyed.
  5. Winn Parish- 385 applied for assistance; 149 individuals received IHP assistance (Individual Housing Program $) totaling $1,342,748; nine individuals received the maximum grant amount and no houses were totally destroyed.
  6. This means that approximately 1,344 individuals in the three parishes were impacted by the flood and received no assistance.  This led the group to discuss the need of establishing an unmet needs committee and the need to provide case management to help these folks.
  7. The group then decided that the first step of this process will be to go back to the master list of those reporting damage and to re-contact them to inquire what their needs are at this time.  United Way of Northwest Louisiana will be coordinating that over the next few weeks and is seeking volunteers to help with that process.
  8. The group will meet again in early June prior to the deadline of filing a claim for FEMA.
  9. Community groups, government officials, nonprofits, and service organizations are all needed and encouraged to participate in this process.


For more information contact Lynn Stevens at 318-677-2504 or email lynn@unitedwaynwla.org

Cowboy Church events to raise fund for mission work

By Corey Poole

Honduras Trip

Don Cummins, Jay Bass and Hunter Hendrix pose for a picture after a long day of work on the vet team.

The Red River Cowboy Church will hold several fundraisers for its mission trips to Honduras through the Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International (BMDMI).
Upcoming fundraisers include:

• Bake Sale at Natchitoches Walmart’s grocery-side door June11 from 8 a.m. until mid afternoon
• Church-wide garage sale at the corner of Keyser and Williams avenues, across from Cellular One, June 4 and 11 from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In July of last year the church partnered with BMDMI to travel to Guaimaca, Honduras. There, they supplied the locals with a vet team, construction team, medical team (Doctors, nurses, dentists and orthopedists) and children’s ministry. The teams passed out food and water as they cared for the people.

Their next trip is scheduled for July 15-22.

For more information contact Don Cummins at 471-2456 or cumminsdon2@gmail.com.