No charges will be filed at this time and there will be no further press releases or information disseminated until the District Attorney’s Office has the opportunity to review the case.
No charges will be filed at this time and there will be no further press releases or information disseminated until the District Attorney’s Office has the opportunity to review the case.
Two Northwestern State University alumni were inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC National Hall of Fame last month during the 100th anniversary commemoration and induction ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Lieutenant General (Ret) Joseph M. Cosumano Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Truman Maynard were among more than 300 distinguished graduates to be honored.
The Hall of Fame is intended to honor graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.
Cosumano is a NSU ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate where he commanded the ROTC Cadet Corps as a senior. He served on active duty from 1968-2004. He served with distinction during the Vietnam, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom eras. He was a Patriot Brigade Commander with units in Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Desert Storm and culminated his career as the commanding general of the Army Space and Missile Defense Command with units in both theatres of war.
Cosumano has had significant impact on the future of the Army, having served as the director of the First Quadrennial Defense Review in 1996, the first program manager for National Missile Defense in 1997-98. He was the Army Force Modernizer defining/resourcing all Army programs and the program manager for future combat systems.
Cosumano maintained close ties with NSU ROTC and is a member of the NSU ROTC Hall of Fame and the university’s alumni hall of distinction, the Long Purple Line. He is the first colonel of the NSU Demon Regiment, which provides mentorship and funds to aid and attract ROTC students.
As a civilian, Cosumano continues to support troops, notably as the senior vice president of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) executing the COGCAP III contract, building base facilities and providing services to both theatres of warm from 2004-08. Cosumano had over 64,000 civilian contractors reporting he and was often deployed in support of those operations.
Cosumano resides in Huntsville, Alabama, and sits on many community boards and committees, such as YMCA, Still Serving Veterans and the American Cancer Society.
Maynard was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry in 1960 through the NSU ROTC program. After entering active duty, he was the top graduate in both his flight school class and infantry advanced course and piloted the Army’s largest plane during the Vietnam conflict. After tours in Vietnam, he was selected for faculty Command and General Staff College and was an author/instructor in the Department of Tactics there. He completed an Army helicopter training course, serviced a helicopter unit commander and was engaged in developing flight simulators.
Maynard retired from active duty in 1980 and operated movie theatres in four Louisiana cities. In 1988 he began his third career as an engineering project manager for Xerox managing printing contracts for the Army and developing large commercial printing systems. Since retiring from Xerox in 2006, he has been a leader in NSU’s ROTC alumni, the Demon Regiment, devoting many hours to strengthening the ROTC program and enhancing resources available to support the program.
Cadet Command is the parent organization of the Army ROTC program. The program produces over 70 percent of the new officers entering the Army each year and is available through nearly 1,000 college campuses nationwide. Nearly 30,000 college-level students are currently enrolled in the program. Cadet Command also oversees the operation of more than 1700 Army Junior ROTC programs at America’s high schools. Over 300,000 high school students are enrolled in that program – which fosters leadership and citizenship skills in the nation’s youth.
By Natalie Covher
Tony Davis of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District Four presented an update on Education in our State Tuesday, July 19 at the Events Center. Starting this school year Louisiana Student Standards will replace Common Core in our schools. Davis explained that over 125 teachers and experts came together for over 9,000 volunteer hours during public meetings to review Common Core Standards. During the review they looked at what was working and what wasn’t. Some standards were tightened up others were opened up but the result was a set of standards tailored to fit our state, teachers and children. It was estimated that about a 25% change was made to Common Core standards to create the new Louisiana Student Standards.
The review resulted in a report given to the BESE board that was approved by state legislatures. Although this is the biggest change this year there are other changes in education. Davis explained how we got to these changes by reviewing the 2012 Legislature Acts 1, 2 and 3. These acts gave superintendents more autonomy, setting up school board members to begin selecting the superintendents as if they were selecting a CEO of a large company. Acts 1, 2 and 3 also looked at other things effecting education including Tenure Reform, Evaluations and Early Childhood Coordination.
Davis believes that the way Common Core was implemented in 2012 may have led to many of its issues. Saying that too many districts ended up rushing through implementation because they only began implementing it when they realized it wasn’t just going to go away. Davis reminded the public that the Louisiana Student Standards and Common Core are a sets of standards and are not curriculum. Curriculum is chosen at the district level. Standards are set to show where students need to be at the end of the year but they do not state how to get there.
Davis also updated the community on where we are now. He discussed alternative teacher certification methods, Every Student Succeeds Act, updated Science Standards, budget and emphasis on Early Childhood Education.
“The secret to success is early childhood education,” said Davis. “This is the key to the education gap.”
Davis explained changes to the rating system of early childhood development centers. The plan is to do away with star ratings and give them a letter grade just like the schools. Grading centers on teacher and child interactions instead of using tests and making expectations clear to create a unified system.
For more information on Louisiana Student Standards visit http://www.LouisianaBelieves.com
Beta Engineering is completing three years of funding $6,000 for scholarships awarded to Northwestern State University students pursing degrees in engineering technology. One is for an entering freshman focused on Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) or Industrial Engineering Technology (IET). The second is for a senior student, also focused on EET or IET. The scholarship stipulates that both students reside in Rapides Parish with a preference for graduates of Pineville High School. From left are NSU Advancement personnel Tiffany Chasteen and Brittany McConathy, Chris Wilson, substation design manager for Beta Engineering and 2005 NSU alumnus; Dr. Ali Ahmad, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the School of Business and Technology, and Kimberly Gallow, NSU Advancement.
For more information on supporting student scholarships at Northwestern State, contact the Office of University Advancement at (318) 357-4414.
By Junior Johnson
I seem to find adventure by accident when I am riding around looking for old historic sites in our area. A couple of months ago while looking for an old Civil War battle site called Henderson’s Hill in the area of Boyce and Cotile Lake, I found myself lost on a narrow sand and gravel road leading deeper and deeper in to the woods.
I finally decided to turn around and hope to find my way back to civilization. As I was driving back I saw a pickup truck coming in my direction and was immediately relieved. I slowed to a stop, and when the vehicle arrived a wonderful elderly man smiled and asked if I was lost. It was obvious to him it seemed, and I told him that I was in search of Henderson’s Hill. He laughed and said that I was nowhere near the place, but if I would pull over he would turn around and I could follow him to the location.
When we arrived at an old cemetery where the remains of several Confederate Veterans were buried, he got out of his truck and walked to my car and said that this was the place that I was looking for. He introduced himself as Jim Willis. He said that he was an 89-year-old retired school teacher. When he noticed the Northwestern State shirt I was wearing, he said that he graduated from there in 1948. I laughed and said that I was born in 1948.
He began a story that had me spell bound. He said that he played basketball for the Demons and was on the 1948 NAIA Final Four team. He was also a pitcher on the Demon Baseball team and his number 28 had been retired and was on the centerfield wall in Brown-Stroud Field. As I listened to this remarkable man tell this story I could not believe what I was experiencing.
When I thought he was finished, I saw a spark in his eyes, and he said, “I was also a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in 1953 and 1954 after I served my Country in the military.” He said he appeared in 27 games and had a record of 2-2. I was totally blown away at this point. He said that he lived in the area and loved the solitude of long rides in the woods.
I related this story to my friend Doug Ireland at Northwestern State and he said Willis was a remarkable man who was honored at a football game several years ago.
If getting lost in the forest in the future brings me this much joy and excitement, perhaps I should throw away the maps, fill the tank with gas and head to the nearest wooded area……and of course be sure to wear a Northwestern State jersey.
Hospice of Natchitoches invites the public to its monthly Bereavement Meetings, held on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, located at 911 5th St. Light refreshments will be served. The meeting is open to anyone who has lost a loved one and it’s encouraged to bring a guest. Contact Hospice of Natchitoches at 214-0944 with any questions.
By Natalie Covher
South Williams residents and property owners came out in numbers to the City Council Meeting Monday, July 25 at the Arts Center. They came unified with a group statement for council members in response to the introduction of an ordinance to move forward with the proposed brewery on Mill Street.
Marion Salter, South Williams Homeowners Representative, spoke for the group citing six concerns (See Document Below.) The statement was signed by 81 residents and property owners. Upon the introduction of the ordinance, Mayor Lee Posey made it clear that the homeowners concerns were taken into full consideration when forming the lease for the property.
CRB Partners LLC will use the property to open the Cane River Brewery and tap room and has indicated that it anticipates that it will have 8-10 employees. The proposed 10-year lease with a rental rate of $1,583 per month included options to purchase. The lease proposed a change of zoning from B-3 to B3 special exception to allow for the operation of a brewery. Improvements and renovations will have to be approved by the City.
The brewery agrees that a special condition of the lease is that any and all lighting installed outdoors will be installed in a manner so the light is directed downward. The brewery agreed to provide samples of any and all outdoor lighting to the City for its approval prior to installation. Unlike in previous proposals there will be no green space or access to Cane River Lake.
The only things in the lease that did not align with the South Williams Homeowners wishes were that the brewery is on the boarder of the Historic District and not included in it, and the threat of noise pollution. The homeowners hope that the brewery will be included in the Historic District. The city has made it clear that because the brewery boarders the Historic District it will have to follow the same noise restrictions. In an effort to further appease the homeowners, Posey announced that an acoustic engineer will be visiting the site in the next two weeks. Usually, when an ordinance is introduced, it is up for vote at the next meeting. This is not the case with this specific ordinance. Posey has decided to wait until after the acoustic engineer’s visit to put it up for a vote.
Other agenda items included:
The next City Council meeting will be Aug. 8.
Carey Carruth Hamblin:
“As a family member of an officer that was killed by a person specifically targeting police, these recent events really have hit me and my family hard, as it has ALL family members of fallen officers and active officers alike. There have been people targeting police and killing them for years; this is nothing new to us. Social media has brought more awareness to the problem and also fueled the fire in ways. My personal opinion is that all officers of the law should be respected, and differences of opinion should be handled in court, not on the streets. This ambush style murder of officers is cowardly and unfair. The officers in these situations have no chance to defend themselves.
As for a solution, I honestly don’t know how to end the hate. I don’t know how to end this racial tension that is so deep rooted. I can’t understand it, because I don’t feel it. My brother was a Caucasian male. He was murdered by an African American male and I still can’t feel any hate towards an entire race. My brother’s murderer doesn’t represent an entire race. He represents a single person. Just as I don’t represent an entire race when I say I feel this way, sadly…
The main thing I want everyone to do is just be nice to each other. Hold the door for someone, pick up something they drop, say please and thank you. Say yes ma’am and no ma’am. You can only fight anger and hatred with happiness and love.
Our police officers need us to support them and I hope quite a few agree when I say that I appreciate every single officer and their families also.
“My step father, Brian Powell, is a deputy with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. Some of my best friends are cops so I support them 100% and most cops are out there to protect us! Yes they have bad cops out there just like they have bad bankers, bad real estate agents, bad accountants, bad city workers, etc. When they do something illegal, they get fired! There is no sure fire way to eliminate bad people in any job! So don’t let the media paint the picture that cops are bad because it’s dangerous and untrue!”
Greg submitted the following Facebook post, made by a former Detroit police officer, to the Natchitoches Parish Journal as a plea for support of law enforcement in the wake of tragic events across the nation.
“This is me at 21 years old. This is the day I graduated from the Detroit police academy at 4:00pm, went home and took a couple hour nap, woke up at 9:30 that night and reported to my first tour of duty at the 12th Precinct for midnight shift. Look at that smile on my face. I couldn’t have been more excited, more proud. Armed with my dad’s badge that he wore for 25 years on my chest, one of my mom’s sergeant stripe patches in my pocket, my lucky $2 bill tucked into my bulletproof vest, a gun I was barely old enough to purchase bullets for on my hip and enough naive courage for a small army, I headed out the door…my mom snapped this photo on my way.
The next 17 years would bring plenty of shed blood, black eyes, torn ligaments, stab wounds, stitches, funerals, a head injury, permanent and irreparable nerve damage, 5 ruptured discs, some charming PTSD and depression issues and a whole lot of heartache. They brought missed Christmases with my family, my absence from friends’ birthday get-togethers, pricey concert tickets that were forfeited at the last minute because of a late call and many sleepless nights.
I’ve laid in wet grass on the freeway for three hours watching a team of burglars and orchestrating their apprehension, I’ve dodged gunfire while running down a dark alley in the middle of the night chasing a shooting suspect, I’ve argued with women who were too scared to leave their abusive husbands until they realized they had to or they would end up dead. I’ve peeled a dead, burned baby from the front of my uniform shirt, I’ve felt the pride of putting handcuffs on a serial rapist and I’ve cried on the chest of and kissed the cheek of my dead friend, coworker and academy classmate even though it was covered in his own dried blood and didn’t even look like him from all the bullet holes. I know what a bullet sounds like when it’s whizzing past your ear, a few inches away, I know what the sound of a Mother’s shrilling scream is like when she finds out her son has been killed in the middle of the street and I know what it’s like to have to tell a wife and mother of 3 that her husband was killed in a car accident while on his way home from work.
Smells, pictures, sounds and sights are burned and engrained into our minds…things we can never forget, no matter how hard we try; things that haunt our sleep at night and our thoughts during the day; things that we volunteered to deal with so that you don’t have to. Things I don’t want my sister, little cousins or YOU to even have to KNOW about.
I never once went to work thinking, “I’m gonna beat someone tonight.”; “Hmmm…I think I’m gonna kill someone tonight.” I DID, however, go to work every night, knowing that I was going to do the best I could to keep good people safe, even if that meant that I died doing so.
We ALL need to start being more understanding and compassionate toward one another. Violence doesn’t cure violence and hate doesn’t cure hate. I’ve seen and experienced both sides of the spectrum since I left the PD and I get it. I truly do. But this all has to stop.
Are cops perfect? No. Are there bad cops? Yes. But please…understand that the vast majority of police are good, loving, well intentioned family people. They have husbands and wives and children and parents and pets and cousins and mortgages and electric bills and lawns that need cutting, just like you. They have hearts and consciences. They aren’t robots, they’re not machines and they just want to help keep the wolves away from the sheep. I KNOW there’s people who don’t deserve to wear the badge but they’re SO VERY few and far between. It breaks my heart to see all this hatred and anger flying around. All it’s doing is encouraging more of the same.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for listening. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that if you hate or don’t support one side or the other, to unfriend me and never speak to me again…I hope those are the people who come straight TO me. Because I’ll be more than happy to hug you and pray or meditate with you. I’ll be more than happy to listen to your concerns and let you vent and empathize with your feelings. But then I’ll encourage you to help me find a solution to end all this nonsense because if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. Love to all of you. ALL OF YOU. We’re all SO much better than this.”
An essay written by a rising junior at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts placed third in the 2016 Northwestern State University Louisiana High School Essay Contest.
Bryce Moulton, of Natchitoches, wrote an essay titled “I AM FROM.”
Participants in the essay contest wrote on the theme “Louisiana Inspirations,” addressing the prompt “What experience in Louisiana has inspired you the most?” The first, second and third prize winners will each receive a $200 per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 for four years. All of the contest winners will receive a cash prize in honor of their accomplishment.
The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9-12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments, as well as home schooled students.
“This year’s essays were simply outstanding,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and co-chair of the contest. “The essays conveyed a sense of gratitude these student writers feel for their families, their communities and their state.”
Contest winners were invited to attend the eighth annual Louisiana Studies Conference to be held Saturday, Sept. 17, to read their essays to the conference participants prior to having their essays published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal which is published by the Louisiana Folklife Center. The Louisiana Studies Conference will be held on the NSU campus. The theme is “Sacred Louisiana.” Attendance at the conference is free and open to the public.
The contest was sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Office of Recruiting, the NSU Writing Project and the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research. The contest is annual, with a new theme to be announced in early spring 2017.
Lions Club member Lisso Simmons was presented with a Lifetime Membership Certificate by past president Brandon McKee at the club’s meeting Monday, July 25.
After lunch, Stacey LaCour, founder of Little Angels of God, spoke to the group. Stacey started the charity in 2010 after meeting a foster child and hearing her story.
“God told me this is what I had to do,” she said.
Working with CASA, the group puts together gift boxes for Christmas and baskets for Easter for children in the foster care system. After CASA’s needs are met, the group gives the boxes and baskets to children in the community who live in a displaced home or others in need. The boxes are full of fun and necessary items including toiletries, small toys, jewelry, books, art supplies, accessories, individually wrapped candy and more. Infant boxes include bibs, pacifiers and more. All donations need to be in by Dec. 16. The Christmas boxes will be wrapped Dec. 17 and help is appreciated.
Donation items can be dropped off at Evolutions Hair Salon, 7071 Hwy. 6 West. For more information call 318-472-6430. Board members will pick up donations if necessary. Homemade items are accepted. Diaper and clothing donations will be given to Project Celebration in Many, which services nine parishes.
-donations for girls and boys from birth to 17-years-old
-no used items or food for boxes and baskets
-bibles are also needed (any size)
-no razors, bath salt, mouth wash, lighters, matches or alcohol accepted
-bulk items are preferred (pack of pens, hot wheels cars, etc…)
The Natchitoches Parish School District was listed among the “Top 10” in the state for ACT score gains this year. Scores went up 0.6, to a district average of 18.2.
By Calhoun Hipp, Southland Confrence
Veteran Northwestern State sports information director Doug Ireland was named the 2016 recipient of the Southland Conference’s Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award.
The Southland’s award, named after longtime McNeese sports information director Louis Bonnette, is presented annually to an individual that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of sports information, print journalism, broadcasting or other media focused on the Southland Conference and/or its member institutions. The Southland’s sports information directors, athletic directors or other university personnel, and outside media executives nominated worthy individuals for the honor, and the sports information directors make the final selection.
Ireland, a graduate of Northwestern State, began his sports information career in 1982 at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he worked with the men’s basketball program that reached three straight postseasons.
He worked as Natchitoches bureau chief for the Shreveport Times in 1981-82 while an NSU student, providing news coverage of an eight-parish region stretching from Mansfield to Leesville and Alexandria. After leaving UL Lafayette, he worked at the Natchitoches Times in 1985-86 as the sports editor, then briefly attended graduate school at Louisiana-Monroe before joining the sports staff at Alexandria Town Talk in 1987. At the Town Talk, he won 15 Louisiana Sports Writers Association writing awards in 18 months while covering Northwestern State, high school and amateur sports, and LSU. His nine awards and six first places in the 1988 contest set an LSWA writing contest record.
In January 1989, Ireland took charge of athletic media relations at his alma mater, where he coordinates publicity efforts for Northwestern State’s 14 intercollegiate teams. While at Northwestern, Ireland has earned awards from the College Sports Information Directors of America, including his 1992 football media guide being named “Best in the Nation” in the FCS division.
He’s also earned writing and editing awards from the LSWA, including 27 honors since 2000. Among the highlights of his NSU career was the successful promotion of 1993 football senior offensive lineman Marcus Spears for the Football Writers Association of America All-America team, which made Spears a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy given to college football’s top lineman. Spears and legendary receiver Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley) are the only two FCS players ever to earn a spot on the major college FWAA All-America Team.
Bonnette’s son, Matthew, was associate SID at NSU under Ireland for nine years and succeeded his father as SID at McNeese.
The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a shooting that resulted in the death of a juvenile earlier this afternoon in the parking lot of 1205 Texas Street (Super Stop).
On July 24, 2016 around 2:57 p.m., Officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 1205 Texas Street (Super Stop) in reference to a juvenile (B/M, age 15 of Natchitoches) being struck by several bullets while in the parking lot. Officers and Detectives are currently interviewing several witnesses to this incident.
The juvenile was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased from his wounds.
The Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.
If you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914 or Detective Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.
Chief Micky Dove
Natchitoches Police Department
Natchitoches youth Garrett Wells and Josh Fortenberry helped Team Louisiane beat Team Louisiana Broncos 12 – 0 this weekend in Lake Charles for the championship game of the Ammo Bats World Series. Wells pitched the winning game with no runs scored and only three hits against him.