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