George Sluppick 1946 – 2016 Radio Tribute to be held

Radio Station KNOC will host a Tribute to George Sluppick and Talkback Natchitoches on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 7am.   Please set your calendars and tune in to 92.3 FM or 1450 KNOC Radio from 7a to 8a.  Guests include Pastor Steve Harris, John Brewer, Paul Johnson, A.B. Dupree, Greg Granger, Lou Bennett and Paul Washington.

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A wake will be held on Monday between 5pm and 8pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home.  Funeral Services will be on Tuesday at 10am at the Freedom Life Church on Hwy 494.

VIEW FUNERAL NOTICE

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Board approves B.S. in Applied Microbiology

Biology Lab

The Louisiana Board of Regents approved a new bachelor of science degree in applied microbiology at Northwestern State University this week. The new degree will prepare students to enter directly into the workforce in the public or private sectors of environmental compliance, water and air quality, food safety, public health, organic farming/gardening and homeland security. Graduates will also be adequately prepared to further their education in medical school or graduate schools in pursuit of master’s or doctoral degrees in microbial biomedical research.

“This is not your traditional or classical microbiology degree, which tends to focus on the medical/pathological side of microbiology,” said Dr. Francene J. Lemoine, acting director of NSU’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences. “Instead, this degree will focus on the application of microbiology; that is, how microorganisms can be used in food and environmental industries. We will be focused on educating and developing students who are capable of understanding complex environmental issues and regulatory demands and how to relate these demands to the human condition. Our program will provide students with the critical thinking, problem solving and applied academic skill sets necessary for success in the workforce.”

U.S. Labor statistics predict a 19 percent increase in the field due to continued growth in the biotechnology industry.

The degree offers two concentrations, an environmental and applied microbiology concentration and a medical and health profession concentration. The environmental and applied microbiology students will take classes that focus on the impact and use of microorganisms in various industries such as food production and quality control as well as environmental control. The medical and health profession students will take traditional microbiology classes as well as some applied microbiology courses to understand the global relationships of microorganisms with man.

“Any students interested in working in the area of environmental compliance or water, air, or food safety would be a great fit for the environmental and applied microbiology concentration of this program. Students interested in careers in biomedical research or who are interested in attending medical school via a route other than biology would be a great fit for the medical and health profession concentration,” Lemoine said.

Lemoine’s appointment as director of the School is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System. She has been on faculty since 2005 and is an associate professor in the Department of Biology, Microbiology and Veterinary Technology. Lemoine earned an undergraduate degree in biology at University of Southwest Louisiana, Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine and completed postdoctoral fellowships in genetics and microbiology at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Northwestern State’s new School of Biological and Physical Sciences was formed last year through a reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. The school offers bachelor of science degrees in physical science or in biology with concentrations in either biomedical science, clinical laboratory science, forensic science, natural science or veterinary technology.

Lemoine credited Dr. Michael Land for spearheading the creation of the new degree program. In addition to Lemoine and Land, other faculty who will teach courses applicable in the degree are Dr. Christopher Lyles and Dr. Bridget Joubert. All have specialties in some area of microbiology. Other faculty will contribute to the medical and health profession concentration.

For information on degree programs offered through Northwestern State’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences, visit biology.nsula.edu.

Dr. Francene J. Lemoine leads studies in a biology lab at Northwestern State University, where a new bachelor’s degree program in applied microbiology was approved this week. Seated from left are students Kaymin Carter, Anna Rogers, Kaitlin Lewing, Demetri Hill and Ezra Bess.

Cellist Joy Bedillion to perform Sept. 2

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Cellist Joy Keown Bedillion will perform at Northwestern State University Friday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will include “Suite No. 5” by J.S. Bach and Benjamin Britten’s “Suite No. 1.” Bedillion will do a master class for members of the NSU Cello Studio on the afternoon of Sept. 2.

Bedillion began her musical studies at age four. At 13, she was awarded the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra Quartet Scholarship to study cello with the faculty of Columbus State University. A year later, Bedillion was invited to be a part of the National Symphony Orchestra, a group of young musicians who performed in Carnegie Hall under conductor and composer Lucas Foss. As a 17-year old, she won the Blount-Slawson scholarship to the Boston University Tanglewood Institute for the summer of 2005.

Bedillion completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Recently she was awarded a master’s degree from Louisiana State University. As a student she has performed for such world renowned musicians as David Finkel, Steve Doane, Andres Diaz and Alan Stepansky. In June of 2011, Bedillion was named as a Texas Music Festival Orchestra Fellow.

An avid chamber musician, Bedillion has collaborated with such renowned musicians as Christopher O’Riley and Dennis Parker. She also served as a founding member for the Aloha Piano Quartet in 2012.   As a cello teacher, Bedillion began taking students at the age of 16 and has been teaching ever since. She joined the staff at Grace Notes Music Studio in 2009. In 2012, she assumed part ownership of Grace Notes and became administrative director. Bedillion resides in Baton Rouge and performs in the cello sections of the Baton Rouge Sympony Orchestra, Opera Louisiane, Rapides Symphony Orchestra and Baton Rouge Little Theater.

For more information on the concert, call (318) 357-5802.

Twenty-Four Citizens welcomed in Naturalization Ceremony

By Kevin Shannahan

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Kevin’s Gallery

Our Nation grew a bit stronger today. The United States of America welcomed 24 new citizens from 13 different countries in a naturalization ceremony held at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) on NSU’s campus this Thursday, Aug. 25. Natchitoches Central’s Army Junior ROTC presented the colors while the NSU Middle Lab Orchestra played the National Anthem.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Officers Stanley Crockett and Eureka Arties administered the Oath of Citizenship after having each new citizen stand as their country of birth was called out. The newest Americans hail from nations, ranging from Canada to Vietnam, India and everywhere in between.

The Lt. Governor of Louisiana, Billy Nungesser, gave the keynote address after which Rebecca Blankenbaker of the Cane River National Heritage Area led the Pledge of Allegiance as the crowd joined their fellow Americans in their first pledge as citizens.

These 24 men and women left behind allegiance to their former countries and made a solemn oath:

“…that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate our 24 fellow Americans and wish them well. On this, the 240th year of the independence of the United States, ceremonies like this one in a small town in Louisiana show America is still a shining city on a hill. May it be ever thus.

Poet James Scannell McCormick to present reading Sept. 1

McCormick HeadshotPoet James Scannell McCormick will present a reading at Northwestern State University Thursday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Cane River Room of the Friedman Student Union. The event is part of the Cane River Reading Series. Admission is free and open to the public.

McCormick earned a doctorate in creative writing-poetry from Western Michigan University in 1995. His works have appeared in CutBank, The Lucid Stone, SLANT, Rattapallax and most recently in The Pedestal. His poem “Trouble” won the 2010 Dzanc Best of the Web prize. McCormick’s “Lot (Hermes in Tulips)” was nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize. He lives in and teaches in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Cane River Reading Series will feature Erika Jo Brown, BJ Love, Phillip Estes on Oct. 17 and Laurie Ann Cedilnik and Glenn Shaheen on Nov. 11.

Students participate in “1 of 7” service initiatives

Students participate in '1 of 7'

Nearly 200 Northwestern State University students participated in “1 of 7” service projects Friday as part of Demon Days welcome week activities. “1 of 7” is a project that encourages individuals to pledge one day a week to helping others by performing service activities or volunteering in ways that improve the world around them. NSU’s Office of First Year Experience and Leadership Development annually incorporates “1 of 7” initiatives into Demon Days activities in partnership with several community organizations and non-profit groups.

This year, students worked with the Cane River Food Pantry, Wesley Campus Ministries/Foundation, Fort St. Jean Baptiste, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Natchitoches Humane Society (Happy Tails Rescue), Oakland Plantation, Cane River Children’s Service Group Home, Girl’s Transitional Home and Boys Transitional Home. Administrators said the response was overwhelming, both from students and from those who benefitted from volunteer work.

For information on Demon Days, visit nsula.edu/fye/demondays. For information on “1 of 7,” visit 1of7.org.

Shreveport student comes back from serious accident to pursue her dream

Lauren Edwards

It’s doubtful anyone was looking forward to the fall semester at Northwestern State University more than Lauren Edwards.

The sophomore nursing major from Shreveport was scheduled to begin classes on Northwestern State’s Natchitoches campus last fall. Days before she was to move into a campus residence hall, Edwards was involved in a traffic accident on La. Highway 1 near Shreveport. She had to be extricated from her car and had serious injuries that required months of rehabilitation.

“I don’t remember much about that day,” said Edwards, a 2015 graduate of Byrd High School. “ I don’t remember getting ready or leaving the house. All I remember is my dog Cricket playing with a bunch of socks like they were a toy.”

In the accident, Edwards suffered a traumatic brain injury, broke her left femur, had a skull fracture of the left side and broke her nose, cheek and jaw in three places. She recalls waking up in physical therapy later, but admits the next six weeks are not clear to her. Edwards spent three months in rehabilitation hospitals, the last seven weeks at two facilities in Houston. She was able to take two classes on NSU’s Shreveport campus last spring. Edwards has largely recovered but still has some pain and occasionally may have trouble remembering or thinking of a specific word but she was determined to be at Northwestern State for the start of fall classes.

“I was a little nervous because I didn’t really know anyone on campus,” she said. “But I am also excited and ready to learn. I really wanted to get the full college experience in Natchitoches before starting clinicals.”

Edwards is philosophical about her accident taking a long-term view of the events.

“Maybe this was God’s plan for me,” said Edwards. “Perhaps this will allow me to better understand what the patient goes through and will make me a better nurse.”

Edwards career plan began to take shape during her junior year in high school.

“I love taking care of people,” she said. “I want to be a trauma nurse. That field seems like a calling to me. I would have a chance to help patients who could be going through what I was.”

Edwards admits going through a life-threatening event has changed her.

“I know how things can change in an instant,” said Edwards. “I don’t take things for granted. I have a grateful heart knowing I have the opportunity to pursue my career dream.”

Edwards hopes to enter clinicals next fall and graduate in 2019. Despite the accident, she plans to graduate on her original schedule. While at Byrd, Edwards gained 30 hours of credit at NSU through the dual enrollment program that allows high school students to take college classes during the school day.

Parish Council Clerk – Full-time or Part-time?

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A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that employees spend at least half an hour of each day “loafing.” According to the American Time Use Survey, the number is closer to 50 minutes.  So, what qualifies as excessive?  Should taxpayers foot the bill for an employee whose productivity averages 75%?  What about 50% or even less than that? Should it be acceptable for employees to use government equipment to visit shopping sites or dating sites? What about gambling sites or financial and/or loan sites? More importantly, should three Council members be allowed to usurp the authority of the Chairman as supervisor of the Council employees?  Perhaps the most important question is whether or not these three councilpersons’ knowledge of a situation and their refusal to address it rise to the level of misprision of felony and/or malfeasance of public office?

At the urging of Parish Councilman Doug de Graffenried at the August Council meeting, NPJ submitted a Request for Public Information seeking documentation regarding the computer usage of Parish employees. The question has arisen whether or not certain employees of the Parish are spending excessive time surfing the Internet and/or working on non-Parish related projects during working hours. Councilman de Graffenried made the request after Council members Paige, Hoover and Bedgood refused to go into Executive Session at the July Council meeting. To understand how it is that we’ve gotten to this point, it is important to remember that the Parish Council is allowed to have employees independent of those supervised by the Parish President.

BACKGROUND:

In July of 2013, Catherine Hamilton, the former Parish Administrator who also served as the Parish Purchasing Agent and the Council Clerk, retired from the Parish Government.  In the months leading up to her retirement, the Council discussed at its May 20th meeting  whether the Council Clerk position should be full-time or part-time and voted 3-2 with John Salter, Chris Paige and Rodney Bedgood voting in favor of the position being full-time (see exhibit below). The Council also adopted the job description of the Caddo Parish Council for their Clerk (see exhibit below). At its meeting held July 15, 2013 (see exhibit below), the Council unanimously voted to set the salary of the incoming Council Clerk at $35,000 per year. At its December 16, 2013 meeting (see exhibit below), the Council voted to increase the Clerk’s salary to $40,000 to be retroactive to October 29, 2013. In March of 2014, all Parish employees, including the Council Clerk, received a 3% cost of living pay increase.

During this time frame, Councilmen Salter, Paige and Bedgood frequently complained about the salaries of employees in other departments of the Parish Government.

In February of 2014, the Parish Council unanimously passed a new personnel manual that applied to all Parish employees, including those employed by the Parish Council. The Manual specifically addresses Internet usage, personal phone usage, prohibited websites and conditions for termination, among other things. All employees must sign acknowledgment forms showing receipt of the Parish Manual.

In 2016, a new Parish Council was seated. At its first meeting, Mr. Russell Rachal was appointed Council Chairman and Mr. Doug de Graffenried as Vice Chairman. Section 2.06.A. of the Home Rule Charter states (see exhibit below), “… The chair shall be the presiding officer at council meetings, supervise or delegate supervision of council employees, and carry out any other duties the council may authorize.”

In light of the refusal by Councilpersons Paige, Hoover and Bedgood to go into Executive Session in July, the question remains on how they will address the situation now that they can no longer sweep it under the rug. The information obtained under the FOIA request clearly indicates that the position of Council Clerk should not be full-time.

NPJ will continue to monitor for new developments in this story.

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Sample of Parish Log Provided under FOIA

SEE LOG OF SITES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER – >>  NPJ Activity Log – Clerk

 

Parish Council Meeting Minutes1Natchitoches Parish Council Clerk Job Description1
Natchitoches Parish Council Clerk Job Description2

Parish Council Meeting Minutes2Parish Council Meeting Minutes3

Page 4 of the Natchitoches Parish Home Rule Charter

Was a Secret Meeting Held by Parish Council Members?

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NPJ obtained a copy of the letter from Councilman Chris Paige to fellow Councilman and Chairman Russell Rachal in which he advises Mr. Rachal to refrain from interfering with the day-to-day operations of their only employee.  Council members Patsy Ward-Hoover and Rodney Bedgood also executed the letter showing their agreement with Mr. Paige’s recommendations. Did the Council Clerk prepare the letter and obtain the signatures of the Council members?  A copy of the letter was sent to Councilman Doug de Graffenried. The signed letter containing the recommendations of the three Council members was mailed in a Parish envelope and the Parish’s postal machine was used to mail the letter.

Council members Chris Paige, Patsy Ward-Hoover and Rodney Bedgood previously refused to go into Executive Session at the July Council meeting.  Did they instead decide to have a secret meeting? Have these three Council members violated the Open Meetings Act? Does their interference in the supervision of the Council’s employee violate Section 2.06 of the Home Rule Charter which Mrs. Ward-Hoover herself said was the Council’s bible?

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Page 4 of the Natchitoches Parish Home Rule Charter

Natchitoches Celebrates Tourism at the Annual Lt. Governor’s Tourism Summit

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Louisiana Travel Promotion Association kicked off the largest educational opportunity at the ‘Lt. Governor’s Tourism Summit’. A “State of the Industry” address from Lt. Governor kicked off Summit with how the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism is moving the state forward in the world marketplace as Louisiana celebrates its fourth consecutive record-breaking year. Kyle Edmiston, Asst. Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Tourism spoke at a General Session about breaking down the Louisiana visitor profile data with the help of statewide research and marketing experts. Top educational speakers from around the country spoke at workshops addressing the latest industry trends. These educational sessions were tailored to different areas of the tourism industry with new ideas, tips, tools and key takeaways. Other opportunities included networking breaks with other tourism professionals and much more. The Tourism Summit was held in Shreveport at the Hilton Convention Center, August 23-25th.

Attendees started off with Area Familiarization Tours around Shreveport/Bossier City including a Shopping Tour, Discover the Arts and Sciences and a Taste of Shreveport/Bossier. Sam’s Town Casino hosted the Opening Reception Tuesday evening, where tourism partners noshed on food items including the Official North Louisiana meal, tamales, and Natchitoches meat pies. Music was provided by Windstorm Entertainment out of Shreveport.

Natchitoches CVB staff that were in attendance at Summit included Jean Carter, Travel Counselor and Stephanie Rabb, NSU/HMT Intern who both took the LTPA Travel Counselor exam to become “Certified Travel Counselors”, Madeline DeBlieux, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Katherine Johnson, Groups and Special Events Manager and Arlene Gould, Executive Director. Also in attendance were Melissa Cloutier with Chateau Saint Denis, Rebecca Blankenbaker of Cane River National Heritage Area, and Samantha Bonnette with Natchitoches Main Street.

Picture: from left to right – Madeline DeBlieux, Jean Carter, Stephanie Rabb, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Arlene Gould, and Rebecca Blankenbaker shown at the Travel Fair Breakfast and Showcase at Summit

67th Demon Battalion activated

67th Demon Battalion

Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science hosted an activation ceremony for the 67th Demon Battalion Thursday. The annual ceremony included the uncasing of the unit colors, introduction of the cadet chain of command and remarks from ROTC leadership. Steeped in Army tradition, the uncasing of the colors signifies the unit’s esprit de corps and cadets’ commitment to the program and each other. The annual activation ceremony marks the start of a new academic year and establishes the new Battalion and its leadership.

NSU’s Army ROTC cadets are, front row from left, Shaffer Kimball, Joey Wills, Scott Stearns, cadet commander; Steven Bryant, Alexander Stewart, Joshua Perkins, Teamara Judkins, Autumn Mitchell, Cameron Coleman, Taylor Andrews, Danny Hatcher and Ronicia Howze. On the second row are Ramon Stetson, Bryan Lee, Brandon Homan, Aliona Salter, Kari Taffi, Shanice Fields, Ada Tate, Larancion McGee and Sonia Ortiz. On the back row are Logan DeOre, Jaelon Davis, Karl Marzahl, Phoenix Gibson, Angel Rodgers, Brandon Bullock, Adam Barnes, John Ham, Taylor Saucier, Albert Tuiel, Hunter Seck, Dale Granier, Taimata Luafalemana, Neilahldwin Garcia, Crystal Smith, Michael Kingsley and Briyonna Collins.

2016 Seersucker, Sandals and Sundresses Cancer Society Fundraiser

By Kevin Shannahan

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The local chapter of the American Cancer Society held its annual “Seersucker, Sandals and Sundresses” fundraiser Thursday, Aug. 25 at the Natchitoches Events Center. The popular event, unique to Natchitoches and in its eighth year, featured live entertainment from the Cane Mutiny Band and a silent auction. Former NSU Professor, cancer survivor and honorary chairman, Stanley Chaddick was the keynote speaker.

This year’s event is expected to raise $40,000, all of which will stay in the area to help people dealing with cancer. The fundraiser drew 150 people who enjoyed a superb dinner and entertainment while helping create a world with more birthdays.

Class of 2016 at LSMSA crushes state average ACT composite score

act report - 2016

 

Members of the class of 2016 at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts matched the school’s highest average ACT composite score in the history of the school, set the previous year by the class of 2015.

Graduates in the class of 2016 posted a composite of 29.2 on the national college admissions and placement test, according to data released earlier in the week.

“Testing can often give hit or miss results that don’t provide good consistent details about student potential for success,” said Dr. Steve Horton, executive director. “The consistency in our students’ high performance on the ACT over the past years is definitely an indication of the preparedness of our students as they pursue higher education studies.I am proud of the students and the faculty who prepared them.”

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 – 36. Students receive scores in four testing areas, which are combined for the composite score.The sub scores for LSMSA were 30.5 in English, 27.3 in mathematics, 30.2 in reading and 28.1 in science.

The school’s score outpaced the state average by several points. The average composite was 19.5.

“We take great pride on our student’s success on the ACT, especially as it reflects aspects of college readiness,” said Dr. Kristi Key, director of academic services. “It is our hope that each graduating senior will leave here well prepared for college success, not just in the core areas assessed by the ACT, but also in skills related to critical thinking and critical inquiry.Our students and faculty work diligently in these areas, and I think those efforts are reflected on our ACT composite score.”

For more information about LSMSA, call 1-800-259-3173, visit http://www.LSMSA.edu or the school’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lsmsa.

Natchitoches Parish loses Radio Personality

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NPJ has learned that George Sluppick passed away shortly after 5:00 p.m. today. George was a long-time radio personality on 1450-KNOC and was the anchor of Talk Back Natchitoches for over a decade. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Radio M*A*S*H (Make A Smile Happen) Radio-thon which raised funds and toys for needy children at Christmas. He was a dear friend and will be sincerely missed at the tent. Funeral arrangements will be provided in a future post.

Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will headline the Friday session of The Ark La Tex Music and Heritage Festival

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Natchitoches musical group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will headline the Friday session of The Ark La Tex Music and Heritage Festival tonight at the Red
River District in downtown Shreveport at 8 pm.

Festival chairman Greg LeGrand said The Moondogs are a natural choice to be headliners.
“Our festival features the best bands in the Region and everyone knows that The Moondogs are the best high-energy showband in the Ark La Tex!”

Joe Stampley and the Uniques and several other musical luminaries will be honored before The Moondogs performance. LeGrande said he also expects lots of surprises.
There is no admission to the Festival.

Ponderings with Doug – August 26, 2016

DougFUMC
Miss Liza was a big woman. She took up her seat and another one beside her on the pew in her church. She wore big loud hats which blocked the view of the three pews behind her. Her opinions were as big as she was. They were not to be questioned or opposed. Her options were to be obeyed and shared by all those seeking to get along with Miss Liza.

Miss Liza didn’t believe in going to bed early. She stayed up very late. She may have been eating bonbons and drinking diet Coke. She was likely formulating plans to convert another person to her way of thinking. Maybe she was making a list of all those with the temerity to disagree with her large, loud opinions. It was known that late at night she would listen in on or take over the party line. Because she stayed up late, she also slept late. She didn’t believe in getting up with the chickens.  If a chicken caused her to arise before her time to get out of bed, the offending fowl would likely be on a platter that evening for supper.

When the new preacher came to town, Miss Liza made a habit of calling him very late in the evening to inquire about the health of church members. That was her stated position, but most likely gave her cover for listening on the party line conversations. In church life, we don’t gossip.We share joys and concerns. Or we seek information about persons so that we might pray more effectively for them. Some really do pray, others like to know the inside scoop. Miss Liza wanted to know the inside scoop so she could share it with others in a big way. She took to calling the new preacher at 11:00 p.m. This particular preacher was an early to bed early to rise Methodist minister.

Many a night Liza woke him up, even after he told her that he went to bed early. He finally broke her of calling him late at night.For several days in a row, he called her at 5:00 a.m. and woke her up. Quid pro quo is an effective strategy against one’s adversary.

Being a big woman with big opinions it was fitting Miss Liza had a big voice to boot. Even when she was whispering the whole church could hear her under-the-breath conversations. She was known for her running commentaries on the sermon in progress. She would rarely agree and mostly question the educational background of the present occupant of the pulpit. Even when she was muttering to herself the choir could hear every word. No one questioned whether this was purposeful or some kind of vocal accident. It was the way of Miss Liza and everyone knew it.

Liza sat on the same pew in the church for over seventy years. I think the pew gave out before Liza did. She died before the new sanctuary was opened and she could claim her big place in the new church. She was one of the salty saints. Even today they are telling Miss Liza stories in that church. Since there is a Natchitoches connection back to that church I should be circumspect.

One Saturday there was a wedding in the church. Miss Liza was present on her pew. Her pew was on the groom’s side of the church. Liza was in her pew even though she didn’t know the groom or any of his kin-folk. Liza would not be bothered by matrimonial decorum. The congregation was informed of this during the pre-service music. Liza believed that any Prelude, before a wedding, a funeral or Sunday worship, was simply background music for her conversations.

The wedding proper began on time with the procession of groomsmen and bridesmaids. The wedding party, while small in number was large in girth. They wore tuxedos and gowns, all of which evidenced an abundance of gussets.

There is a moment of silence in the wedding. The minister asks the congregation to be seated and while they are finishing up their ritualistic sitting down rustling, nothing is said. The minister waits for the creaking of the pews to subside .Then the minister will begin the ceremony with “Friends” or “Dearly beloved.”

There was a pre-“Dearly Beloved “moment of silence at this wedding.

Miss Liza could hold out no longer. For some reason she intoned her opinion of the size of wedding party to those sitting around her. The entire congregation, in this moment of pre-matrimonial silence heard Miss Liza say, “Would you look at that. There’s a lot of beef on that stage.”

There are some moments from which you never recover. There are some things which can never be unsaid.

2016 Geek’d Con

By Kevin Shannahan

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Kevin’s Gallery

The Second Annual Geek’d Con was held this weekend, Aug. 19-21 at the Shreveport Convention Center.  Over 10,000 people and 100 vendors, many dressed in costumes from various genres of games, movies and books, came to this increasingly popular event.

Natchitoches was well represented with several local families taking part in the fun. NSU had a recruiting booth and quite possibly the only assistant professor in a Star Wars costume at the convention.

Opera Gala set for Friday

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Northwestern Opera Theater will hold its initial Opera Gala Friday, Aug. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Magale Recital Hall lobby. Tickets are $25 and $10 for students.

Formal attire is preferred but not required.

Attendees can walk the purple carpet and enjoy a cash wine bar as Director of Opera Theater Stefan Gordon will announce the upcoming season. Cast members of upcoming Opera Theatre performances will be on hand to meet and greet those attending and perform a short concert.

For more information, contact Gordon at gordons@nsula.edu.

Save the date for the WRC’s Celebration of Life Gala

WRC Gala

Save the date for the upcoming Celebration of Life Gala, which is a fundraising event for the Women’s Resource Center. The event will be held at the Events Center Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. There will be an after program buffet catered by Lasyone’s Restaurant. Tickets are $25 per person.

NSU Pan-Hellenic Council collects donations for flood victims

Pan-Hellenic Council
Northwestern State University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council collected donation items from NSU’s student body to send to Baton Rouge on Saturday. Making the donation on behalf of NPHC is President, Angel Greer.

Peggy Gardner’s 5th grade religion class at St. Mary’s Catholic School accepted the donation items. A 15-foot U-Haul will arrive Saturday, Aug. 27 and the items will be taken to St. Thomas Moore Church for distribution. Anyone wanting to donate can drop their items off at the school before end of day Friday Aug. 26.