Former Northwestern State thrower Trecey Rew made round-about journey to U.S. Olympic Trials

Rew spinning disc

Trecey Rew Hoover felt that familiar competition itch.

Hoover, the NCAA discus champion in 2011 at Northwestern State, wanted one more shot at her Olympics dream after falling short in the discus and shot put in 2012.

The 5-foot-5 thrower will get her shot in the discus in Eugene, Ore., making her second U.S. Olympic Trials appearance in her career.

NSU coach Mike Heimerman said Hoover decided in May 2015 to pick up the discus again with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in sight.

Hoover tossed a 57.26m throw two weeks ago, clearing the 57-meter Olympic standard and making her eligible.

“She’s been strong the past couple of weeks, she’s getting better and better,” said Heimerman, who has worked out the full-time Dallas in Natchitoches. “She took this past week off because she thought she didn’t make (the Olympic Trials), but when we found out she in fact did qualify, she worked out and then got on a plane to Eugene the next day.

Ponderings with Doug – July 1, 2016




A selfie is a photograph of oneself usually taken with one’s cellphone. The photograph is then posted on social media. I have never taken nor would want to take a Doug-selfie. If you don’t want your arm showing in the selfie, you can purchase a selfie stick to hold the camera at proper selfie distance. One uses a selfie stick so they can give the illusion of having friends who are taking the photograph. Selfies are mostly harmless and ubiquitous. I can’t decide if they are evidence of a troubling trend or a theological truth.

We are self-centered creatures. What matters is what matters to me and not you, right? Selfies are evidence that “it is all about me.” American photographic culture has descended from Ansel Adams’breathtaking landscapes to Bambi and Bubba Bimbo’s goofy self-aggrandizing selfies. We are missing a world around us because we are so busy taking pictures of ourselves.Our social media mania could be retitled “all about me.”

Selfies can be dangerous.

A 17-year-old Russian amateur photographer climbed atop a railway bridge in Saint Petersburg to take a selfie. She lost her balance and fell to her death.A 32-year-old woman from North Carolina collided with a truck moments after posting selfies of herself online.The pilot of a Cessna 150K and his passenger were killed when the pilot was distracted taking selfies and lost control of the plane. A 19-year-old from Houston died after trying to take an Instagram selfie while holding a loaded gun to his head. He accidentally fired the gun and shot himself in the throat. There is a common theme in these selfie death stories, which involve falling, moving vehicles, guns and energized electrical transmission lines.

These stories are categorized and collected in a couple of places. I can’t tell if they narrate the accidental improvement in the gene pool or the sad decline of our culture. I know an employer who caught one of their employees taking selfies in the bathroom. She was caught when she posted the bathroom selfie to her Facebook account. There are places where cameras should be outlawed and the porcelain palace is one of those places. People have no boundaries when it comes to selfies and sharing them with the world.

The selfie takers are now upset that Samsung is attempting to beautify the selfie world.Their cell phone comes with software to automatically Photoshop your selfie. The particular example was of a young woman who had a beautiful freckled face. The software edited her photo to remove the freckles. The feature is called “Beauty Face.” The software also adjusts the facial proportions to be longer and narrower, thus slenderizing the subject of the photo. This falls under the broad category of lying to ourselves about ourselves. I wonder if I can skip Dr. Meg’s weigh in next time and show her my slenderized selfie as proof of weight loss and healthy eating. The scales don’t lie, now selfies can.

So now cell phone manufacturers determine what is and is not beautiful. I have to tip my hat to the selfie culture; they are balking at the intrusion of this feature into their culture.

I should rejoice at the improvement in technology. In the olden days we would set the timer on the camera and sprint into the picture. You could tell who was in charge of the camera.They were the one with the surprised look on their face.They found out five seconds is not a lot of time to get into the picture. Selfies have some advantages over the olden ways. They are instant.They don’t require friends to take a picture of you. They can be funny or evidence in court depending on what you are doing. They are a commentary on our culture and you might see the nature of the commentary differently than I do. They are here to stay and people in them will get better looking and the camera will finally remove ten pounds with this new software. In theory this should mean I could take a skinny selfie!

I was thinking about it. God didn’t take selfies. He sent a selfie to us to show us what He was like.

We call God’s selfie Jesus.

Bonnette golf tournament set for Aug. 20

bonnette golf

Northwestern State University will hold the 16th annual Buddy Bonnette Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday, Aug. 20 at Northwestern Hills Golf Course.  The 18-hole golf scramble for 4-person teams will benefit the Coach Buddy Bonnette Scholarship Fund for Northwestern State students in the Department of Health and Human Performance who intend to become teachers or coaches.

The shotgun start is at 8a.m. Entry fee is $75 per player or $300 per team, which includes green fees, golf cart, lunch and refreshments.  Mulligans will be sold at registration, two for $10.  Sponsorships are available at the $500, $350 and $50 levels with corresponding recognition during the event.  Checks can be made payable to the NSU Foundation.

Dr. Buddy Bonnette taught health and physical education classes at NSU for 35 years. He was known for his outstanding work in the field of water safety and life saving. Bonnette influenced generations of students and was honored with the title of Professor Emeritus at NSU. He was inducted into NSU’s Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line, in 2001.  He passed away in 2002.

For more information, contact Tiffany Chasteen at (318) 357-5213 or or Hall Adams at (318) 357-6300.  Checks can be made payable to the NSU Foundation.

David Stamey sworn in as new Clerk of Court

By Natalie Covher


David Stamey was sworn in as the Clerk of Court for the 10th Judicial District Court of Louisiana Thursday, June 30 at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse. He is now the 12th Clerk since records began in the 1800s. David’s brother Joe Stamey led the ceremony, Truman Maynard led the Pledge of Allegiance and Doug de Graffenried led the invocation.

“Thank you for being here today on the eve of the weekend that Louie Bernard gets to look forward to sleeping in for the first time in years,” said Joe.

President of the Natchitoches Bar Association Richard de Vargus presented outgoing Clerk of Court, Louie Bernard with plaque commemorating his 24 years of service.

“I always hoped to God that I would be able to stay here in Natchitoches, raise my family and work a job that has meaning to it,” said Bernard. “I’ve never come to work a day in my life dreading it. I owe the people more than I can pay them. When you know you’re leaving your position in good hands it means a lot. It’s been the kind of transition a transition is supposed to be. Working with David has been great.”

Bernard swore Stamey into office on Stamey’s grandmother’s Bible.

Stamey thanked family and friends for getting him through the election.

“The first group I visited was the toughest, the coffee club,” said Stamey. “They gave me great free advice but it sometimes took two cups of coffee to choke it down. Really though, it was some of the best time spent.”

Stamey acknowledged that today was Louie Bernard’s, Linda Cockrell’s and Machelle Dowden’s last day and that the office would be losing 100 years of combined experience. He praised the office for preparing for the transition by cross training and delegating new duties.

“I’m thrilled to have had eight months to be coached up,” said Stamey. “My training included two Clerk Association meetings in Baton Rouge. Since Clerk offices run on self-generated funds a common theme from parishes our size is that they are barely making it. Thanks to Louie’s diligence, we are fiscally sound with a good reserve.”

Stamey spoke to the credentials of each staff member he will be working with and named Faye Jenkins as the Chief Deputy Clerk.

“I plan on building on the solid ground Louie left us,” said Stamey.




Bartels named Scholars’ College director



Kirsten Bartels has been named director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University effective July 1. Her appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

Bartels has been director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors Program at the University of Illinois for the past two years and was associate director of the program for one year.

“What attracted me to the Scholars’ College was the people,” said Bartels. “When I am involved with recruiting events, I tell students to use their heads to collect all the information that they need, but then let their hearts decide where they go. And that is really why I am now at Northwestern State. I explored a variety of options, but NSU felt right.”

Bartels was selected after an extensive national search. As part of the interview process, Bartels had an opportunity to meet and talk with Scholars’ College students who made a strong impression on her.

“What really sealed it for me was meeting with the students during my interview,” she said. “Not only were they amazing, but the fact that the search committee scheduled me to teach and time to talk with the students showed how important students are — their thoughts and opinions are valued at NSU and in Scholars’. My personal values align incredibly well with the school and the commitment to students. Every one I met on the faculty and in administration is student-focused, and supportive of the Scholars’ College and that is incredibly important to me.”

From 2010 to 2013, Bartels was a member of the Frederik Meijer Honor’s College Scholar’s Institute at Grand Valley State University where she served as the first faculty fellow in residence; and team coach, co-facilitator, co-director for their Scholars’ Institute.

Bartels earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and a master’s in ancient philosophy and mythology from the University of Wales, Lampeter. She received a doctorate in English literature from the University of Wales Aberystwyth.

As a faculty member, Bartels has made more than a dozen presentations at local, national and international conferences. She has had research published in peer reviewed and edited publications. Bartels received the Alpha Sigma Alpha Award of Excellence and Pan Hellenic Society Excellence in Teaching Award at Grand Valley State.

Prior to becoming a career in academics, she was executive director of the Lakeshore Children’s Museum in Grand Haven, Michigan and worked as a safety and environmental compliance consultant, environmental specialist, environmental geologist and project manager.

HDBA names director for festivals and events

Jill Leo was named the new Director of Festivals and Events for the Historic District Business Association (HDBA).

“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as director,” she said. “After living in Natchitoches for the past 18 years, receiving a degree from NSU, and now raising a family here, I am eager to give back and promote what makes Natchitoches such a great place!”

Jill will work to organize the Christmas Festival and Car Show.

HDBA representatives said they are excited to have Jill working with and helping to lead them to fulfill HDBA’s goal of making Natchitoches the #1 tourist destination in Louisiana.

Moondogs take Natchitoches to Pensacola


When Natchitoches musical group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs returns to perform at The Pensacola Beach’s popular “Bands on the Beach” concert series on July 5, they plan to not only entertain the crowd, but educate them as well…..about their hometown.

“We’re proud to be from Natchitoches and wherever we go we spread the word about our town and about NSU.” said band leader Rodney Harrington. “We invite them to come and visit and teach them how to say Natchitoches. We figure in the past four years we’ve played for 15-20,000 people in Florida alone and every one of them heard about Natchitoches and Northwestern. We made sure of that.”

Buck Lee, executive director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority says the people in the area have embraced the group and looks forward to their concert every summer. “They are our favorite group.” he said. “Everyone wants to know when ‘that Louisiana group’ is coming back. They put on a great show and draw the largest crowds of the summer.”

Lee laughed when asked about The Moondogs’ promotion of their hometown. “Oh, they definitely go into their ‘Chamber of Commerce’ mode.” he said. “They are sure to tell everyone where they are from and invite them to visit.”

Lee said the concert MC mistakinly introduced them as being from New Orleans a couple of years ago. “They told the crowd: ‘We ain’t from New Orleans! We’re from Natchitoches and damn proud of it!’ Then they taught the crowd how to say it. The crowd absolutely loved it.”

This year they’re bringing Natchitoches themed goodies to toss to the crowd, courtesy of the Natchitoches Tourist Commission. Now audience members will have a souvenir to take home and remind them that they need to visit the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase.

Moondogs to 4th

Les Amies sponsors golf tournament

Les Amies_Golf
Les Amies is a proud Team Sponsor of the Johnny Antoon Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament. The Tournament will be held Saturday, July 16 at the NSU Rec Complex/Northwestern Hills Golf Course. For more information email Jill Bankston at



City Marshal Randy Williams wanted to inform the following people that they have outstanding bench warrants through the Natchitoches City Marshal’s Office. The names on this list did not pay their fines in full nor did they return to court on the court date they were sentenced to by City Court Judge Gahagan. These individuals will need to clear up their fines and bench warrant fees at the City Marshal’s Office located at 373 Second St. to stop any further actions:

Crisa Gilliam, 2626 Linda LN, Coushatta, La – SPOM
Ron Sanders, 2185 Mammy Trail Rd, Goldonna, La – Loud Music
Corey Rogers, 309 Rec Site 4 Rd, Converse, La – DWI
Latoya Revels, 144 Caroline Ave, Powhatan, La – Theft
Cordaro Owens, 9516 Wesso Cir, Shreveport, La – DP
Aaron McCoy, 5703 Jackson St, Alexandria, La – Remaining on Premises
Yolanda Jones, 2805 Springville Rd, Coushatta, La – Loud Music
Leah Admire, 407 Robbins, Natch, La –No DL
Ladaja Pye, 1002 Pavie St, Natch, La – Dp, SCDP
Bonnie Rainey, 251 Cherrie Loop, Natch, La – DP
Ashisa Moore, 654 Genti 57, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Erica Jackson, 104 Amanda St, Natch, La – Possession of Stoles Things
Kenneth Gay, 702 Myrtle Dr, Natch, La – SCDP
Sheree Brown, 200 Lakeview Dr, Natch, La – DP
Shaquita Coleman, 409 MLK, Natch, La – Exp MVI, SB, Unlicensed Driver
Michael Helaire, 204 University Dr, Nat, La – SPOM, Loud Music, No DL
Linda Kent, 100 Rolling Hills LP Lot #10c, Coushatta, La – Theft
Angela Kimbrough, 583 Middle Creek Apt D2, Many, La – Theft
Willie Beard, 409 Jean Marie St, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Dontrell Davis, 177 Lewis Loop, Natch, La – Resisting an Officer

Trial (T):
Michael Womack, 1001 Dennis Ave, Leesville, La – SPOM
Shakria Vhoories, 255 Day St, Many, La – NSB, Unlicensed Driver
Whitney Solitaire, 396 Main St, Natchez, La –Unlicensed Driver, No Insurance, Ran Red Light
Shendell Solitaire, 1901 South Dr, Natch, La – Speeding, (3) Unlicensed Driver, No DL, Improper Backing, Speeding
Ariel Peair, 5907 Hwy 167 Apt 6, Winnfield, La – Theft, Misrepresentation during booking, Contributing to the Delinquency of Juvenile


Jordan Dupuy’s first Northwestern State women’s basketball coaching staff continues to come into focus.

Olivia Grayson

Dupuy announced the addition of former Tulane standout Olivia Grayson as an assistant coach.

“When I was at Southern Miss, I recruited her,” Dupuy said. “I liked her demeanor on the court, the way she played. Her high school coach always talked about how good she was on the court, but she was a better person off the court. That’s something that carried her through her playing career and into her coaching career.”

Grayson’s hiring is subject to approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.

She joins associate head coach Deneen Parker as members of Dupuy’s first Lady Demons coaching staff.

After a standout career at Metairie’s Archbishop Chapelle High School, Grayson was a four-year letter winner at Tulane where she became the 24th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.

Grayson, 25, was a Conference USA All-Freshman selection in 2010 and a first-team all-conference selection in 2012. She wrapped up her career with second-team all-conference honors in 2013.

She transitioned into coaching as a graduate assistant with the Green Wave, working with the marketing, alumni and video departments. She spent two seasons as a GA while completing her master’s degree in social work.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Grayson, who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2013. “It’s a small town, a basketball town. The community backs us.”

We Have Met the Road Hazards – And They Are Us!


Did you all catch that news item earlier this week about Louisiana being rated as having the fifth worst drivers in the nation. We’re not really surprised, are we?

The ranking was based on several factors, including fatal accident rates, drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, not wearing seatbelts and other violations.

We actually rated first (or worst) in one category — running stop signs. And again, I don’t think that’s any surprise. Many Louisiana drivers think stop signs mean slow down a little to see if anything’s coming.

Our fatal accident rate is 1.47 deaths for every 100 million vehicle-miles driven. That may not seem too bad, but that of Massachusetts is .55, almost three times better.

We rank seventh worst in careless driving, called reckless driving in Louisiana. That may tie in with the distracted driving problem and the great majority of distracted driving offenses are caused by the use of cell phones, particularly texting.

Studies have shown that texting while driving is just as deadly as driving while drunk. It seems every few months or so we’ll read about some young person who was killed by running off the road in a one-car accident. And the great majority of those are likely caused by texting.

Another interesting fact is that the folks most non-compliant with wearing seatbelts are pickup truck drivers. For some reason that doesn’t surprise me either. Now I have nothing at all against pickup truck drivers. Some of my best friends drive trucks. I’m just not surprised that they don’t like seatbelts, for some reason.

All of these driving problems of course cause our car insurance premiums to be among the highest in the country. I’ve met people who moved here from out of state and they’re shocked at our insurance rates. (Of course they love our low property taxes, so I guess it sort of balances out.)

There’s no doubt that it’s dangerous out there on the highways. I try to avoid the interstates whenever I can. If I have time, I take good old La. 1 to Shreveport or Alexandria. Of course, on a two-lane road like La. 1, all it takes is a moment’s distraction for some driver to drift into your lane. So, we’re sort of darned if we do and darned if we don’t, huh?

One thing that bothers me about interstate driving is the following situation. Say I’m approaching an 18-wheeler and I’m doing about three mph faster than him. Way back in my rearview mirror a car is approaching me fast.

So do I go ahead and pass the truck, knowing the car will soon be right on my rear bumper and trying to force me over? Or do I wait for the car to pass and then go around the truck. The first option is scary and the second is frustrating.

Of course, the state of Louisiana roads and highways makes it difficult for even the most cautious of drivers. So, we have that obstacle to overcome, as well.

Anyway, my friends, let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Slow down, put that seat belt on, find a designated driver if you’re sipping booze. And don’t forget to stop for those darned stop signs!

Krewe crowns court royalty for ‘Masquerading on the Cane’

krewe of excellence

This year’s theme for the Krewe of Excellence Mardi Gras festivities is “Masquerading on the Cane.” The Krewe held a coronation ceremony to crown and formally present its 2017 court members June 26 at Calvin Sr. and Peggy Braxton’s home on Cane River. Over a dozen parties and events will be held for the court and Krewe members prior to the ball, set for Feb. 4 at the Events Center.

The Royalty Includes:
King IV; Victor Darrell Pinkney
Queen IV; Sandra Blake Williams
Duke of Superiority III; Donta Dewon Latchie
Duchess of Superiority III; Alecia Hamilton Jones
Duke of Perfection III; Sean Kevin Pinkens
Duchess of Perfection III; LaQuita Harris Collins

J&J Exterminating – Bad Bug Season

By Natalie Covher


It can be hard to enjoy summer when everyone is constantly trying to battle mosquitoes, fleas and other pests that are lurking around. It was easy to enjoy the mild winter while it was happening but now we are staring a bad bug season right in the face. Pair that with the wet weather and it can be a challenge to keep pests out of the house.

NPJ talked to some folks from J&J Exterminating to see what services they offer to help reduce the buzz around town about bugs.

“Painful bites and stings are only the beginning,” said Branch Manager Michael Jordan. “Mosquitos, ticks and rodents can carry dangerous diseases that put your family at risk. We can do a free inspection to figure out what services would best suit your property and get you a quote.”

Many people don’t think about pest control until there is a problem. Most panic and waste money on DIY treatments.

“The effectiveness of our treatments comes from our knowledge of pest control, access to chemicals and how we apply them,” said Michael. “For instance, people have been told for years that you can’t kill spiders but we have chemicals specially developed to kill spiders.”

Take advantage of J&J’s referral program.  If a current customer refers you then both of you get discounts. You will each receive $30 off for a Mosquito referral or $50 off for a Gold Shield Quarterly referral.

“This program works because of our high level of customer satisfaction,” said Michael. “Recently our mosquito services have more than doubled. We believe this is because people don’t want to deal with the threat of zika and our loyal customer base lets the public know where to go for good service. The blower packs we use disperse a fine mist under hard to reach shaded areas like shrubs where mosquitoes and other insects like to stay during the day. The spray gets down in between the blades of grass. It covers an area radius and blows up leaves so there is nowhere to hide.”

Gold Shield quarterly treatments were designed with J&J’s philosophy in mind: “If we can keep the bugs from getting to your home, we can keep them out of the home.” None of the treatments will harm your dogs or cats. If a problem arises between quarterly treatments, they will be remedied at no extra charge. The gold shield protects your home and a 50-foot radius around it.

J&J covers a wide service area. For more information or to get a quote call 318-352-7324 or visit

Dr. Raymond M. Gilbert of Natchitoches, Louisiana 1922 – 2016


Services for Dr. Raymond McCuin Gilbert, 93, who passed away peacefully in Natchitoches, LA on June 26, 2016, will be held on Friday, July 1, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches. Visitation will be held at First Presbyterian Church from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., with funeral services celebrating his life to follow at 3:00 p.m.

May collections up over last year for Tourist Office


Agenda items at the Tourist Commission meeting Tuesday evening, June 28 were routine as Director Arlene Gould discussed financials and visitor numbers. The Hotel and Motel Tax Collections for May were $38,647. With administrative fees at $1,159, the net was $37,487. This is 15 percent above last year’s collections and $6,221 over the projected budget of $31,266. Net collections for the year to date are $150,936, which is 8.8 percent over for the fiscal year.

The P&L Report for May showed a total income of $55,160 with expenses at $37,030 for a net income of $18,130. Gould said the office’s expenses were right in line with what was budgeted for the month. Year to date, the office is $12,611 below budget for its income with $183,375 spent of the $188,499 budgeted amount. Gould said they’re trying to control expenses since the income isn’t there.

There were 492 visitors from Louisiana in May, 270 from Texas, 81 international visitors and 301 from other states. The year to date visitor total is 4,370. The plantations received 3,471 visitors, which included a lot of school groups. The Fort had 1,897 visitors, the museum had 1,297, the Grand Ecore Visitors Center had 801 and the Fish Hatchery had 355.

Art Guild puts out ‘Call to Art’

The Natchitoches Art Guild and Gallery’s 23rd Annual Juried Art Competition and Exhibition will be held in August. Christine Bailey, owner/curator of Norsworthy Fine Art Gallery in Shreveport, will be juror for the event.

Artworks may be 2D (painting, drawing), 3D (sculpture, basketry, gourds, etc.), or photography. The deadline for entries is July 8 at 5p.m. Artists may visit the Gallery at 584 Front St. or call 318-352-1626 for entry information.

Accepted artworks will be displayed in the Gallery during August. On August 6, there will be a reception at 5p.m., followed by the Awards Ceremony at 6p.m. Both are open to the public.

According to Jo Lapeyrouse, Natchitoches Art Guild President, this annual event is a wonderful time for our community to celebrate art in Natchitoches. She urges artists and art friends alike to join in the festivities.

Northwestern State triple jumper Aaron Williams to compete at U.S. Olympic Trials


Northwestern State jumper Aaron Williams admitted he was disappointed to not cap an outstanding collegiate career with a trip to the NCAA Outdoors Track and Field Championships in early June.

But Williams won’t end his track and field career without gracing the runways of Eugene, Ore.

The Duson native qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the triple jump with his personal best of 16.10 meters (52-10) launched at NSU’s Leon Johnson Invitational this past April.

Williams, one of 24 triple jumpers, will compete July 7 in the opening round, hoping to be one of nine jumpers to make the July 9 final.

“I didn’t get to end my NSU season like I wanted, but I was sitting around (at the NCAA Regionals), and (coach Wes Miller) said I had a good chance to qualify for the Olympic Trials,” Williams said. “I told him I would love to take that opportunity to compete, and we had to wait and see if my mark would be in the top 24 (finished tied for 23rd).

“Everything was confirmed in the middle of last week, and I just don’t have the words to describe the blessing that is to be able to make it. I’m excited, happy and a little nervous.”

A maximum of three triple jumpers can represent the U.S. in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro provided they meet the Olympic standard (16.66m).
Williams is nearly halfway to his fundraising goal of $3,000 (raised $1,315 by Monday evening), and the jumper is humbly asking for financial support.

“It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the Olympics, and it would mean a lot to me for people to continue to support so I can make it to the Olympic Trials,” Williams said. “It’s all I’ve thought about since I started progressing my athletics ability at NSU, and I would greatly appreciate any help people can give.

Truck goes up in flames near interstate

A Despino’s service truck caught on fire Tuesday morning, June 28, on University Parkway near Interstate 49. The driver told responders that the two side-by-side tanks store approximately 32 gallons of propane to fuel the vehicle. A large jet of flames shot out the back of the truck as a pressure release valve released pressure as the tanks were under extreme heat.

Responders evacuated the nearby restaurants and blocked off traffic in case one of the tanks exploded before they could get the fire under control.

Propane is an alternative fuel for vehicles that is cheaper than gas and diesel. There is a natural gas filling station on the Hwy. 6 Bypass. No comment was available from Despino’s at the time, as they’re currently working through the situation. A restaurant employee submitted the video.


The City Council meeting Monday night, June 27, was over in record time, as there were a small number of items on the agenda.

CON Council 06-27-16

• Ordinance amendment changing zoning classification of property at 226 Keyser Avenue for the opening of a car wash

• Ordinance to amend Code Of Ordinances to provide for the waiver of the prohibition of a jury trial in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 13:5105

• Ordinance to convey a lawnmower, which is considered movable surplus property to the Village of Natchez

• Ordinance to lease a portion of 560 Second St. to Van Kyzar for 3rd Circuit for $250 a month

• Resolution appointing William “Bill” Finical to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Joe Cunningham Sr. as a member of the Natchitoches Fire And Police Civil Service Board.

NSU alum Barbier grateful for chance to skipper Demons


NSU president Dr. Jim Henderson, Kody Barbier, Landry Barbier, Bobby Barbier and NSU athletics director Greg Burke

Bobby Barbier said his path to the Northwestern State head baseball coaching position started when he stepped on campus 14 years ago.

In introducing Barbier as NSU baseball’s 12th coach in program history Monday, NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke showed the assembled crowd in the Stroud Room proof of Barbier’s commitment to landing the position.

“Last week when Bobby and I talked, I was in Indianapolis at an NCAA meeting, and I told him what we wanted to do,” Burke said. “I reminded him four years ago when we were looking for a baseball coach, he called me and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you about the job.’ (Barbier’s wife) Kody was with us, and we sat in my office for about an hour and talked about that job.”

Burke then produced a bound “blueprint of success” with a purple cover page and Barbier’s name.

“This wasn’t something Bobby gave me last week,” Burke said. “This is something he gave me four years ago. This is how much he loves this university. This is how much he has prepared himself for this job. This is Bobby Barbier’s blueprint on how he will lead Demon baseball to greater heights than have already be achieved.”

With his wife, his daughter, his parents and his paternal grandparents seated in front of him, Barbier joined Burke in holding up a No. 30 purple pinstriped Demons baseball uniform top before thanking his assembled family – both genealogical and baseball-related.

At times fighting to hold back tears, Barbier thanked his parents, even as he struggled to focus on them.

“We’re bringing in a guy that bleeds purple to lead the B-Stro Boys,” NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson said. “He led them to one of the greatest ERA seasons in our history this year, ranking ninth in the country. He has helped build a team, build a program into something we can be proud of, and he’s done it the right way.

“In the 18th months I’ve been at Northwestern State, I don’t know that I’ve been prouder to bring someone to this new level of serving this university. We understand what those three columns represent. When you can bring a guy like Bobby Barbier to be the head coach of Northwestern State baseball, it’s a great day to be a Demon.”