NPSO, LSP and EMS respond to Hwy. 486 crash, power outages in area

CamptiWreck2016Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, State Police and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Paramedics responded to a single-vehicle crash June 27 at 5:39 p.m. on Hwy. 486 (Campti Cutoff) near Campti.

The operator of the 2013 Freightliner truck transporting US Mail left the roadway for unknown reasons at this time, striking an Entergy utility pole.

Deputies report power outages outside the city limits of Campti and in the Fairview and Black Lake areas due to the crash.

SWEPCO’s website reported 1, 264 power outages in Natchitoches Parish at 9:07 p.m.

Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E are investigating the crash.

NSU SID office wins four LSWA awards

LSWA Artwork

Northwestern State staffers Doug Ireland, Jason Pugh and Tony Taglavore picked up honors Sunday in the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s awards announcements capping the LSWA’s convention and the 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.

In the sports information subdivision of the annual LSWA awards for excellence in writing, publications and broadcasting around the state, NSU captured four awards.Ireland, SID since 1989, won a first-place award for editing the Demons’ 2015-16 men’s basketball media guide, which featured design work by assistant SID Jason Pugh and content by graduate assistant SID Matt Vines.

Ireland’s game notes package for the Demon football team’s contest against Stephen F. Austin won second place in that category. Patrick Walsh’s Louisiana Tech football game notes won the contest, with Pam Lafosse of McNeese and Alex Edwards of Louisiana- Monroe tying for third for their game notes.

Pugh, who is wrapping up his second year on staff at NSU, captured a third place award in the “best release” category for the second straight year. He won for his story “Emotions flow during advance screening of ESPN Delaney film,” the 30 For 30 documentary short “Delaney” that premiered last August about Demon great Joe Delaney.

Taglavore is a veteran announcer for the Demon Sports Network, which the NSU SID office helps coordinate. He earned third place for radio play-by-play broadcasting with his call of the Lady Demon basketball team’s Southland Conference Tournament game against Sam Houston State.

With the two awards he won Sunday, Ireland raised his collection of LSWA contest awards to 27 in the last 16 years.
The honors were announced at the annual LSWA Awards Brunch in Natchitoches, following the 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration, which is hosted in part by the NSU sports information office each year.

Museum opens “Hometown Teams” traveling exhibit

By Natalie Covher

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The “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” traveling exhibition will be at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum for the next six weeks. The museum opened the exhibition Saturday, June 25 as a part of its Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.Visit the museum to see how sports have reflected the trials and triumphs of the American experience and shaped the national character over the past 100 years. The exhibition was produced by the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program and is making its way across Louisiana for a yearlong tour that stops in six sites.

The museum has paired programs with the exhibit that are free and open to the public.

There will be a Panel Discussion Tuesday, June 28 at 6 p.m. on the recent vote to expand the Select/Non-Select playoff system used in football to other sports, including basketball. The event will include a moderated discussion of the topic with high school administrators and coaches about the new system.

Let the museum take the kids off your hands Saturday, July 9 from 5-10 p.m. for a craft and movie night. Children grades 3-8 can enjoy an evening of movies, crafts, popcorn, hot dogs and candy. Pre-registration is required, to register call (318) 357-2493 or email jbiddiscombe@crt.la.gov.

Attend a screening of 2013 LEH Documentary Film of the Year “T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story” Tuesday, July 12 at 6 p.m. followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Connie Castille. Tracing the history of Louisiana’s equine connections from the colonial period to the present day, the film pays special attention to traditions surrounding horses in the Cajun and Creole cultures.

Hang out with the Natchitoches Young Professionals Thursday, July 21 at 5 p.m. for an evening of Sports and History Trivia. Teams will compete for prizes while enjoying light refreshments sponsored by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission and FLASH with a cash bar. Members and non-members are welcome.

NSU Assistant Professor in Culinary Arts Valerie Salterwill host a Nutrition and Fitness Program Saturday, July 30 at 2 p.m. The program will include a Zumba demonstration to get everyone moving! The whole family is welcome to attend this informative and fun afternoon.

Youth work toward tobacco free community

Tobacco Free_Main Photo

 

The “Tobacco Annihilators” Program at the Campti Field of Dreams organized a community awareness event: the Tobacco Free Jamboree.

The jamboree offered healthy menu items including BBQ chicken, a kale salad and a pasta salad. City Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow opened the celebration with Pastor Steven Harris. Community member Kendell Stiller shared his testimonial of how he quit smoking.

Area youth participated in the program, funded through the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living. They learned about the ways tobacco companies, that spend around $9.5 million yearly in advertising, target youth in America with deceptive ads to make smoking “cool.”

Nearly 3 million middle and high school students are current smokers. Around 5.6 million children under age 18 will die from smoking-related deiseases, unless current rates are reversed.

Local efforts include:

  • Regular meetings
  • Visit local convenience stores and examine outdoor tobacco advertisement
  • Participate in community awareness events
  • Travel to state capitol and advocate against tobacco company advertising tactics towards youth
  • Participate in rally on capitol steps
  • Meet State Rep. Kenny Cox and Terry Brown
  • Create poster to educate youth and adults
  • Share with school, community and faith-based groups

2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

By Kevin Shannahan

SHOF - 2016

Kevin’s Gallery

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame held its class of 2016 Induction Ceremony this Saturday evening before a capacity crowd at the Natchitoches Events Center. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser joined Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey in welcoming the inductees and well wishers while NSU basketball coach Mike McConathy delivered the invocation and Kayla Terrell sang the national anthem. Master of Ceremonies, Teddy Allen, kept the program moving along with humorous asides and jokes. This year’s class included 11 inductees, including Natchitoches native and former NSU football player Dr. Julian Bailes, Jr., the first neurosurgeon to be so honored.

NPSO Det. Tim Key retires with 32 years of service

TimKey

Detective Tim Key retired after 32 years of law enforcement service to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and Natchitoches Parish community.

He served in the Corrections, Communications, Warrants and Patrol and Criminal Investigations Divisions.

While in the patrol division, he was promoted to Lt. and served as Shift Commander.

Detective Key started his law enforcement career early, when he was initially hired as a Deputy Marshal under his father, the late Natchitoches City Marshal Tommy Key.

Since that time, he has served under the leadership of Sheriff Norm Fletcher, Sheriff Boyd B. Durr and Sheriff Victor E. Jones Jr.

Detective Key also received letters of commendation and a Life Saving Award.

“We are so thankful for his dedication to serving our community, and the contributions he has made to the NPSO and citizens of Natchitoches Parish,” said Jones. “Thank You Tim for your service and we wish you the very best in your retirement.”

From Austria to Romania, international tour operators visit Natchitoches

Tour Operators

Natchitoches was part of a Post FAM Tour June 24 with 17 international tour operators. The Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted a lunch for the operators and showcased the Historic District before leaving and heading to Shreveport. During lunch, Mayor Lee Posey and Arlene Gould, executive director of the NACVB, welcomed the group, while Katherine Johnson, NACVB groups and special events manager encouraged future tours of Natchitoches. The operators visited and mingled with Natchitoches City officials and listened to Rebecca Blackenbaker, director of communications with the Cane River National Heritage Area, present an overview of the history and cultural heritage of the region. Dustin Fuqua, chief of resource management, provided an synopsis of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Jeremy McCormick, interpretive ranger at Fort St Jean Baptiste discussed the history of the Fort; while lastly, Steven Fullen, director of interpretation at CRNHA, discussed the importance of the Grand Ecore Visitor Center.

Over 6,000 attendees from 73 countries convened in New Orleans for IPW 2016. International travel buyers and U.S. travel suppliers conducted a record number of business appointments, which will bring billions in future travel business to the U.S.—and further serve to keep America open and connected to the world. A special thanks to the premier partner, Brand USA, and our local hosts, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and Louisiana Office of Tourism, who helped make this an incredibly successful event.

Tour Operators on the FAM tour represented:

Anuj Bang – India
Arnaud Devanlay – France
Ruth Drynan – Canada
Chris Getley – USA
Ribanna Ginsberg – Germany
Lene Guldmann – Denmark
Sandra Hao – China
Iris Koepke – Germany
Ana Caroline Merida – Guatemala
Shane Nelson – Australia
George Nicolescu – Romania
Mihaela Nicolescu – Romania
Karin Ochenbauer – Austria
Hai Peng – China
Silvio Rebmann – Germany
Ed Smith – Australia
Horst Wurm – Austria

Midsummer Jam supports Jazz Fest

Midsummer Jam

Poole Photography

Music lovers gathered near the traffic circle at the end of Front Street at a local restaurant for good food, multiple music performances, games and the chance to support the Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival. The community came out and, as the sun set, they danced in the late summer heat. No one let the heat keep them from having a good time!

A silent auction boasted a selection of music memorabilia and other items and a basketball goal offered challengers the chance to beat Rodney Harrington in a free-throw contest.

Music included Cane Mutiny, Billy O’Con and Badd Apple, The Kelli Roberts Band, The Goodlowe Brothers, The Snake Doctors, Jarrett Bridges, Luke Brouillette and more.

Celebration on the Cane to Commemorate the Founding of America

SamanthaNPJ

Spend Independence Day at Celebration on the Cane Monday, July 4 beginning at noon on the downtown riverbank.  The Fourth of July festivities will feature live music, food vendors, amusements for kids of all ages and a spectacular fireworks show over Cane River Lake. This event is free and open to the public.

“We want residents to bring their families and spend the day celebrating the founding of America with the whole community,” said Samantha Bonnette. “Kenneth Krefft will recite the Declaration of Independence from memory while dressed in period clothing. It is an awesome opportunity to show kids a truly patriotic moment.”

There will be inflatable water slides, bounce houses and face painting.  Food vendors will sell Fourth of July favorites such as Italian ice, funnel cakes and hot dogs.  Trinket vendors will also be on site with Independence Day memorabilia and souvenirs.

Live musicwill kick off at 3 p.m. with a performance by Cane Mutiny. Centered around the musical influences of multi-instrumentalists John Litzenberg and Ed Huey, and featuring guitarist Donnie Hyams and drummer Sammy Nix, they play a variety of Louisiana and Americana music spanning the genres of swamp pop, funk, soul, country, blues, R&B and rock. Cane Mutiny combines a deep connection to the history of popular music with the energy of a New Orleans second line.

The excitement continues at 6 p.m. with the G.Q.P. Band. Exuding great quality with precision, this versatile party band plays a mixture of Southern Soul, Zydeco, Blues, Classic Rock, R&B and Swing Out jams.

“What better way to spend a Monday,” asked Bonnette. “Stay through the day and get out and dance to G.Q.P. They promise to put on a good show that everyone will enjoy.”

No Fourth of July Celebration would be complete without fireworks.  At 9 p.m., the festivities will conclude with a dramatic fireworks show over Cane River Lake.

The downtown riverbank will be closed to motorists. In preparation for the fireworks show, the Church Street Bridge and Williams Avenue from Whitfield to Henry Avenue will close to all traffic, including pedestrians and motorists, at 8:30 p.m. The roadway and bridge will reopen after the fireworks show is completed.

For information call (318) 352-2746 or visit http://www.downtownnatchitoches.com.

Celebration on the Cane Natchitoches, LA

Photography professional initiatives scholarship

Robert Davis

A Northwestern State University alumnus who enjoyed a long career as a successful commercial photographer has created the first-ever endowed scholarship for a student interested in pursuing photography as a career. The Robert Davis Endowed Scholarship will be presented to a junior or senior minoring in photography with first preference given to students who aspire to become professional photographers. The student must maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

Davis of Baton Rouge began as a photography hobbyist but an elective course he took at Northwestern State pointed him in the direction of serious photography. Davis attended NSU majoring in business and participating in ROTC from 1965 until he graduated in 1968. After serving in the Army for three years, he returned to NSU on the GI Bill to pursue an MBA and enrolled in a photography class to learn the darkroom skills of processing film and developing prints.

“Photography was a serious hobby so I took the course and it taught me so much,” he said. “I eventually had a free lance commercial photography business for 38 years. It was really good to me and I always attributed that good fortune to that class at Northwestern.”

Davis’s father, Dwight Davis, was the NSU band director and, although he knew he wanted to go to college, wasn’t sure what field to pursue. The photography course he took turned him to a more serious pursuit of photography.

“When I graduated, I dabbled in some other jobs. I knew I wasn’t going to be happy unless I was working for myself, so I moved to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge had state government, LSU and a lot of thriving industry. I got here at the right time. There weren’t many commercial photographers at the time, so I went to work and learned a lot on the job. I had lots of luck. It took off from the beginning,” he said.

Commercial photography involved broad-based subject matter in relation to advertising, public relations, brochures, reports, people shots, board rooms and working situations. He migrated to digital photography around 2000.

“After 30 years, the darkroom became a chore and I found I enjoyed Photoshop because it gives you so many opportunities you don’t have in a darkroom,” he said. The industry has changed with technology and today many graphic designers are their own photographers. He retired two years ago and dabbles with computers as a hobby. He has built three.

Davis worked with the NSU Foundation to arrange for a percentage of his investment portfolio to benefit Northwestern State. He said the ideal recipient of the Robert Davis Endowed Scholarship would be a student with a strong desire to pursue professional photography.

“I don’t have any direct heirs and I thought I ought to just pay it back,” he said. “I’d like to help a student in the position I was in at the time.”

“Through the kindness of Mr. Davis, one photography student each year will be able to use these funds to expand their learning opportunities,” said Matt DeFord, coordinator of the Department of Fine + Graphic Art. “The student will be able to purchase photography equipment, pay tuition or use it for other living expenses. Our photography students have a history of success in the field, and with this generous endowment, they will be helped on their way.”

City summer camp teaches history in ‘truth or fiction’ walking tour

Walking Tour 2

Youth campers in the City Recreation and Parks Department’s Summer Camp went on a “Truth or Fiction” Downtown Walking Tour.Interpreters were at the following locations to tell the campers fictional stories about the sites:

• Zane Harper was Benjamin Swett at the Old Courthouse
• Funke Adeleye was Pacale’s daughter at the Roque House
• Mali Simmons was at the Immaculate Conception Church
• Emma Gruesbeck was at the spiral staircase
• Sophia Gruesbeck was at the Natchitoches Walk of Honor

Campers were challenged to figure out if some of the facts in the stories were true or false. APHN member Chris Evans helped with the facts for the “truth or fiction” challenge.

Walking Tour 3
Walking Tour 1

LSMSA students look forward to Boys State, Girls State

milan maya and elizabeth

Wanting to learn more about how the government works on the local, state and national levels prompted several students from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts to apply to serve as delegates at Boys State and Girls State.

Elizabeth Long, a rising senior from Natchitoches, hopes to learn more about what it takes to be a contributing citizen and how important it is to be active in government and her community.

“I wanted to attend Girls State because I am interested in taking a closer look on how government works and learning about all of the different steps it takes to make a government successful,” she said.

Others included Milan Arpino, a rising senior from Monroe, who has a strong interest in political science and law; Annie Noel of Mandeville ; Maya Bochas of Morgan City; and Parker Felterman of Patterson, who will attend Boys State.

Girls State participants are sponsored by local American Legion Auxiliary units. Boys State is sponsored by American Legion posts.

Boys State and Girls State will be held June 26 – July 2 on the campus of Northwestern State University.

Explore local sourced food options at Fresh! Natchitoches

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Fresh! Natchitoches will be held Thursday, June 30 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Events Center. This celebration of Central Louisiana foods and food producers will include a variety of events, workshops and discussions. This event is free and open to the public.

“The idea behind Fresh is to showcase all of the great local food activities that are already occurring in Natchitoches, while demonstrating how easy it is to get involved in the movement for the future,” said Samantha Bonnette, Market Manager of the Cane River Green Market.

There will be “How To Workshops” on beekeeping and backyard chickens. Local food leaders will participate in a question and answer panel titled “What’s Going On In The Region.” A talk on growing communities with school greenhouses will be led by Rory Gresham from Rayville High School’s Greenhouse project. Fresh! Will break for lunch where select restaurants will serve locally sourced items.Afternoon events will feature local food and farm activities at various locations in the area including the Smith Family Farms, Ed Lester Farms, Gray-Walk FarmsPavie Street Garden and the Flowing Hills Creamery.

“We’ve worked hard to increase local food awareness in our region, and we’ve seen positive changes,” said Carol Chin, local food leader and member of Eat Local Natchitoches. “However there is always more work to be done. Fresh! Natchitoches will help move our community’s local food efforts forward.”

Participants can attend any workshops or activities they want. The event and activities are for anyone interested in supporting the local foods movement.A complete agenda and addresses of farms are available at freshcentral.org or at canerivergreenmarket.com.Registration is strongly encouraged but not mandatory.

To register visit freshcentral.org or call (318) 441-3408.

Sorority inducts new members

Mu Omega

 

Mu Omega Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. inducted three new members into their graduate chapter on June 5. The new members are Chasity McClendan, Willie Mae Clark, and Kayla Viree. Members of the Zeta graduate chapter include Linda Howard, Viree, Clark, McClendan, Dorothy McGaskey, Nicole Antwine, Josephine Winder, Mary Calhoun, Sontonia Hilaire Cheryl Remo, Tanesha Marchand, Jessica Askew, Pat Beaudion, Pamela Bradley, Catherine Braxton, Sandra Williams, Sharon Blake and Jovelyn Johnson.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was founded Jan. 16, 1920 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. by five co-eds who dared to depart from traditional conditions for black women and sought to establish a new organization based on the four principles of scholarship, service, sisterly love and finer womanhood. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated is a community-conscious, action-oriented organization.

2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction-Tailgating Hall of Fame Style!

By Kevin Shannahan

Rick Knowlin & Billy Nungesser

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Parish President Rick Nowlin

Kevin’s Gallery

Over 200 supporters of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame joined this year’s inductees and Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, William “Billy” Nungesser, at a local restaurant for an evening of fun and fundraising. The event had a tailgating theme and featured a silent auction of memorabilia as well as live entertainment from a local musician. The festivities culminated in a second line dance out to the street followed by a fireworks display over the Cane River, a signature Natchitoches event. The induction week activities are expected to raise approximately $150,000.00 for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.

Lt. Gov. Nungesser also got to display his versatility outside the political arena, adding bartending to his list of talents. One of the young ladies tending bar that night wanted to get inductee P.J. Brown’s autograph, but was afraid to leave her station to do so. Nungesser told her not to worry and took her place at the bar while she got her autograph.

Public shelters subject of new legislation

PublicShelter

New Orleans – Louisiana Animal Welfare Commissioner Juanita Murphy traveled to Baton Rouge to witness the signing of SB 216 by Governor John Bel Edwards. Based on Murphy’s work with the Natchitoches Humane Society, Senator Gerald Long, asked her to serve on the LAWC commission. She has served since 2013 with 12 other appointees and acts as treasurer for the commission.

The Humane Society of Louisiana, an animal advocacy organization based out of New Orleans, has been inspecting public and private animal shelters since its inception in 1988. A high number of animal shelters operating in the rural areas of the state are substandard and sometimes fail to provide basic care for animals placed in their care. Many often consist of a single row of cages at the edge of town and half of the 64 parishes in Louisiana do not have a single sheltering facility for stray or unwanted companion animals.

The Humane Society of Louisiana, realizing that more needs to be done to help shelters get into compliance, introduced SB 216 with the help of State Senator Troy Carter. The bill, which passed with amendments, asks shelters to register with the LAWC and submit contact information and annual reports on the number of animals housed, euthanized, adopted or returned to owners. Their statistics will help all agencies identify problem areas and try to shift resources where they are most needed.

Nominations open for Distinguished Educator awards

NSU Educators

Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development Alumni Advisory Board is seeking nominations for the Hall of Distinguished Educators and Distinguished Young Professional for 2016.

Nominees for Hall of Distinguished Educator must have graduated from Northwestern State’s College of Education at least 30 years prior to nomination and have made significant and/or impactful contributions to the field of education.

The Distinguished Young Professional in Education award recognizes an outstanding young professional who has made contributions in Pre-K through higher education or to the profession of education through teaching, research or community service.  Nominees must be 40 years old or younger, have at least 10 years of meritorious service to education and gained prominence in some areas of teaching, administrative achievement, contributions to research, leadership in professional associations, contributions to professional literature and outstanding community service.  Nominees should be of high moral character whose contributions have most fully expressed the spirit of service the award represents.

Inductees will be honored during a brunch and induction ceremony at the Teacher Education Center during Homecoming festivities on Oct. 22.

The deadline to submit nominations is July 18.

To nominate an individual for these awards, send the nominee’s resume and other documentation outlining the reason for the nomination to NSU Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, c/o Janet Broadway, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA 71497.

Additional information is available by calling Broadway at (318) 357-6278 or e-mailing broadwayj@nsula.edu.

Diagnosis of rare disease motivates Natchitoches native to raise awareness

By Corey Poole

AVM Family copy

After a bike accident, Curtis Harrington had a concussion. Doctors performed a cat scan to make sure there wasn’t bruising on his brain. What they discovered was life changing.

Curtis had a brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation), which is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain. A brain AVM creates a hostile environment for blood circulation throughout the body.

Curtis’ father called lifelong friend and high school classmate Dr. Julien“JuJu” Bailes, who recommended a doctor in Pittsburg for the treatments Curtis would need in order to overcome this rare disease.
As Curtis began to research the disease, he quickly found out just how rare it is. Rare diseases, defined as those affecting less than 200,000 people, receive little funding and attention. There are less than 60,000 cases of brain AVMs reported in the country.

Curtis had questions like “Can I pick up my niece, Alice, even though she is over my weight restriction of 30 pounds?”

“As an AVM sufferer, I have experienced the frustration caused by the lack of research, information, and guidance pertaining to my condition,” he said.

His frustration led him to create Team Harrington and host a local fundraising event where he currently lives in Nashville, Tenn. The fundraiser benefittedThe Aneurysm and AVM Foundation (TAAF), based in California.
“I feel like it’s my duty, in carrying this thing around, to do some good through my situation,” said Curtis.

“It’s been a struggle to say the least.”

With a $2,000 goal, the event quickly raised over $9,000. Curtis said this was largely from the Natchitoches area.
“People really reached out and supported the Foundation,” he said. “It was moving to see how many friends and family members donated their hard earned money toward AVM research.”
Rodney feels a mix of emotions including pride concern and gratitude. Gratitude toward Dr. Bailes who was a constant source of information and support, concern over his son’s ongoing and complicated treatment and pride for his courage.

“I’m very proud of him for stepping forward as he found out he had this,” said Rodney. “His involvement will shine a light on this condition, which can have a positive affect on thousands of people.”

Curtisand his wifeKaseyAVM

Comfort Suites Hotel wins Gold Hospitality Award

Sharplin2016Gold

The Comfort Suites Hotel of Natchitoches received the prestigious 2016 Gold Hospitality Award from one of the world’s leading hotel companies, Choice Hotels International, Inc., franchisor of the Comfort Suites brand.

“The Comfort Suites Natchitoches hotel’s commitment to excellence and outstanding guest service has earned it this well-deserved recognition as one of the best hotels among the Comfort Suites brand,” said Steve Joyce, president and chief executive officer for Choice Hotels International. “We here at Choice Hotels are very proud to award this distinguished honor to the Comfort Suites Natchitoches hotel.”

Gold Award status represents a tremendous accomplishment for a hotel and its entire staff. Each year, only the top hotels in each brand are eligible to receive this elite distinction. As a top performing property among over 5,200 U.S. franchised hotels, the Comfort Suites Natchitoches hotel is among the top percentage of properties within the Comfort Suites brand. The hotel has demonstrated an exceptional focus on guest satisfaction and dedication to providing superior service. Since its opening in April 2011, Comfort Suites Natchitoches has been a top ranking and award winning hotel for the past 5 years in a row.

From left are staff members, Jordan Rains, Stephen Bryan, Nicole Ducharme, Cara Crawford, Mary Slayton, Delaiah Rose, Lauryn Sharplin, and Dave Coates.