Steve Horton, a returning member to the Natchitoches Rotary Club, was presented with a pin and certificate by President Fred Terasa at Tuesday’s meeting, Sept. 13.
Joseph McClung, a Rotary scholarship recipient, and his father Phillip spoke to the club. A little over a month before Joseph graduated high school his mother passed away. Financial burdens made it difficult for him to afford to go to college. The scholarship he received from the Rotary club put him in a position where he could attend. It’s helped him put himself on a path to attend grad school. He is a junior history major at NSU currently.
“The money you gave us was a worthwhile investment for a very worthwhile young man,” said Phillip. “My family is very grateful to the Rotary Club for all the help you give us.”
Members of the charitable donations committee from the Krewe of Dionysos, which is 202 members strong, presented the Rotary Club with a check for $300.
City Attorney and past Rotary president Ronald Corkern was recognized for his contributions to the City and Club with the presentation of a special coin. Mayor Lee Posey, who said Ronald’s father was a longtime Rotarian, presented him with a Paul Harris Fellowship certificate of recognition.
“I don’t think there’s a more deserving person,” said Lee.
Rotarian Phil Habig introduced the guest speaker, Jesse Taitano. He is the Assistant Chief of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. His current duty assignment is the Commander of the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force (NMJDTF), Assistant Commander of the Natchitoches SWAT Team and Director of Training for the NPSO.
The NMJDTF is comprised of the NPSO and City Police Department. Despite what some may think about Natchitoches being a small, safe town, Taitano said drugs are still a big problem.
“It’s a wonderful community,” he said. “But we still have all the negative things that a big city has.”
Taitano said they’re starting to see are heroin and flakka. He holds drug information classes to show parents what the drugs and paraphernalia look like. Education is the key to combating drugs.