Henderson talks about his transition, recommendations on upcoming leadership


Photo Courtsey of NSU

NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson submitted the following statement to the Natchitoches Parish Journal concerning his upcoming transition to the University of Louisiana System Presidency and some recommendations he’s made to the Board of Supervisors:

Since the announcement that I will move to the University of Louisiana System Presidency in January, I have sought advice and input from a number of faculty, staff, alumni, Leadership Team members, and other stakeholders about how best to ensure our university continues to progress. As I have long maintained, often in the face of healthy skepticism, the occupant of the president’s office receives far more credit than he is due for the university’s advances. The president can articulate a vision, and with a lot of help, implement a structure, establish systems, and foster a culture conducive to realizing that vision. The innovation, creativity, and work that achieve the vision come from you.

Marcia Hardy and Roni Biscoe continue to lead our strategic planning team toward completion of the multi-year framework. This document, together with our refined approach to budgeting, will be a roadmap that guides the university. They are real. They are actionable. In addition, one factor of this transition that will minimize disruption and help with continuity: my move is simply one step up on our reporting structure. I am not leaving our chain of command.

As we move forward, I want to let you know about three recommendations I have made to our Board of Supervisors:

Marcus Jones’ title will change to Executive Vice President as he assumes responsibility for the business and other internal operations of the university. VP of Business Affairs Carl Jones will report to Marcus.

Vickie Gentry, who has done a fabulous job as Chief Academic Officer, will assume the role of Provost. Her appointment to this position on an interim basis for calendar year 2017 will ensure strong leadership while providing our faculty, department heads, and deans continued ownership of our academic mission.

Chris Maggio will maintain his role as Vice President of the Student Experience and serve as Acting President until the ULS board selects a permanent president. Chris has been a valuable member of the Leadership Team. He will work closely with our Advancement and External Affairs teams to keep our external stakeholders energized as the Board of Supervisors finalizes and executes the search process for the new president.

Of course, these recommendations are subject to approval by the board.

I realize change can be stressful, and I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition.



Natchitoches Historic Foundation Christmas Tour of Homes



The Natchitoches Historic Foundation proudly announces the sites for the 2016 Christmas Tour of Homes available to tourists. Focusing on the expressions of the Christmas season, all of the sites for the 2016 tour are located in the Historic District.  Each day, the houses showcased are in walking distance from each other.  Experience the charm of historic Natchitoches during this annual holiday event.  Tickets are $20 per night, cash or check only.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 and 14, 5-8 p.m.

Donahoe House (358 Rue Jefferson)– Resplendent in holiday decorations for the Christmas season, the Home of Mr. and Mrs. Jared Dunahoe is a new structure in the Historic District on the site of the Levy-East Town recently destroyed by fire. Guests will enjoy the seasonal reminders of the traditions of the Dunahoe family as they tour this beautiful home.

Lemee House, circa 1830 (301 rue Jefferson)–Decorated with period Christmas greens and historical memorabilia belonging to members and friends of the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches. Guests will sip hot cider as listen to carolers as they hear about Christmas in the early 19th century.

Soldini House, circa 1847 (240 Rue Jefferson)–An addition to the 2016 Tour, the upside down Christmas tree in the parlor of Soldini and other period Christmas decorations will be highlighted by hoop skirted docents giving guests information about Christmas traditions of the family that has owned the house for more than 100 years.

Jefferson Street Townhouse, circa 1920s (230 Rue Jefferson)– The beautifully appointed Bed and Breakfast includes a wide veranda, eleven foot ceiling, hardwood floors, period antiques, and is lovingly decorated with organic materials for the Christmas season. The gardens surrounding the house are lovely, even during the colder months of the year.


Magnet recognizes Terrific Kids for November


Natchitoches Magnet School recognized its Kiwanis Terrific Kids for November. On front row from left are Gabe Bush, Nathaniel Young, RyAnn Dove, Bryan Chen, Bradin Smith and Malaya Osby. On middle row are Claire Thompson, Ethan Merritt, Kamira Walker, Hailey Walker and Allison Jett. On back row are Journee Parks, Brannon Kaiser, Jayme Day, Brian Young, Victoria Hatten and Principal Stephonie French.

City recognizes employees for years of service


10 Year Employees:
(l-r) David Stevenson, Irving Barfield, Timothy Pulley, Brandon Johnson, James Matthews, and Stephen Wilkerson. Not pictured are Joshua Isbell and William Turner

The City of Natchitoches recognized employees for their years of service at an Employee Appreciation Luncheon Nov. 23.  Mayor Lee Posey thanked each employee for their hard work and dedication to the City of Natchitoches.

Before the recognitions were announced, a moment of silence was acknowledged for those employees and retirees of the City of Natchitoches who passed away in the past year.  Those remembered included Bryan Wimberly (Utility Director), Sonya Conant (City Court) and John Harris (Community Development).

Retirees honored at the luncheon included Tommy Solomon (Utility, 16 years), Dwane Steadman (Utility – Sewer, 20 years), Harry Garsee (Utility – Sewer, 25 years), Connie Guy (Utility Annex, 28 years), and Bob Hayward (Utility – Electrical, 32 years).

Employees recognized for 10 years of service included Irving Barfield (Fire), Joshua Isbell (Fire), Brandon Johnson (Public Works), James Matthews (Utility – Electrical), Timothy Pulley (Fire), David Stevenson (Public Works), William Turner (Fire), and Stephen Wilkerson (Fire).

Employees recognized for 15 years of service were Sherri Edwards (Utility – Electrical), Rodney Jacobs (Purchasing), Larry Lucas (Public Works), Keith McDonald (Police), Kelly Parks (Police), Mark Perkins (Utility – Electrical), and Jessica Williams (Police).

Those celebrating 20 years of service included Renee Bennett (Utility), Lisa Borders (Finance), Nikeo Collins (Police), Ross Desadier (Police), David Dobson (Utility – Electrical), Robert Griffin (Fire), Albert Law (Utility – Sewer), Miranda Mayrand (Police), Billy Meziere (Police), Gayle Pattain (Public Works), Arnold Scott (Fire), Glen Tate (Public Works), and John Wynn, Jr. (Fire).

Recognized for 25 years of service were Rodney Achord (Utility – Electrical), Clinton Carpenter (Utility – Sewer), Lydia Lewis (Utility Annex), Chris Payne (Police), Alan Stanfield (Fire) and Brad Walker (Police).

Tim Crump (City Garage) and Donald Wafer (Utility – Sewer) were recognized for 35 years of service.


35 Year Employees: (l-r) Tim Crump and Donald Wafer


25 Year Employees: (l-r) Rodney Achord, Lydia Lewis and Brad Walker. Not pictured are Clinton Carpenter, Chris Payne, and Alan Stanfield.


20 Year Employees: (l-r) Glen Tate, John Wynn, Jr., Robert Griffin, Nikeo Collins, Ross Desadier, David Dobson, Renee Bennett, Lisa Borders, and Gayle Pattain. Not pictured are Albert Law, Miranda Mayrand, Billy Meziere and Arnold Scott.


15 Year Employees: (l-r) Sherri Edwards, Rodney Jacobs, and Kelly Parks. Not pictured are Larry Lucas, Keith McDonald, Mark Perkins and Jessica Williams



Retirees: Tommy Solomon.  Not pictured Dwane Steadman, Harry Garsee, Connie Guy and Bob Hayward.







Palmated 16-point goes down in Natchitoches Parish

By Patrick Bonin
Article courtesy of Louisiana Sportsman


Until a heavy-horned Natchitoches Parish buck stepped out into a shooting lane on his 1,500-acre lease near Ajax, Chris Ebarb never knew the deer even existed.
The 42-year-old Natchitoches hunter had lots of trail cam pictures of other bucks on the property, but not a single one of this mature 16-pointer with a palmated rack.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Ebarb, who works as an industrial maintenance contractor. “I never had a trail cam picture of it, but I found out my neighbor on the adjoining property has had pictures of it for about five years.

“He told me he’s only ever had pictures of him at night. He felt like the deer lived on our place, and would just come over to feed and then come back home.”

Ebarb got into his box stand overlooking three shooting lanes at 5:30 a.m. Nov. 6, and saw the tail-end of a deer moving from right to left in his right-hand lane as dawn broke over the thicket about 6:15.

“I suspect now it was him. He had made it far enough across to where everything was exposed but his head, but I didn’t take a shot because I didn’t know what it was,” Ebarb said.

He stayed focused on that lane, though, and about 15 minutes later the big buck attempted to cross back again.

“Initially, he had his head down. I saw the deer, and when he picked his head up I could see it was a buck,” he said. “When he turned his head to look toward me, I could see the big masses on each side, so I knew it was something out of the ordinary. It was out passed his ears.”

The deer was broadside in the lane at 150 yards, and Ebarb put the crosshairs of his .30-06 just behind the buck’s right shoulder.

“I actually hit him a little high,” he said. “He fell in his tracks, but he did some kicking and struggling so I went down to finish him off.”

That was when he got a closer look at the buck’s awesome rack: It featured heavy palmation, 16 points and an impressive 16-inch inside spread.

The deer — estimated to be 6 ½ years old — weighed-in at 200 pounds and green-scored 169 ⅝ inches at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop.

Ebarb found out after killing the buck that his neighbor plants 40 acres of sunflowers and peas every spring, and attributed some of the deer’s mass to his efforts.

“We met because of this deer. We had mutual friends, but he and I hadn’t talked. His wife actually contacted me on Facebook when she saw the picture,” he said. “She messaged me and said, ‘Look, we’ve got five sons and they’ve been hunting that deer for years, and we recognized him from the trail cam pictures.’

“She asked if I minded bringing him by to let her boys see him.”

So Ebarb went to his taxidermist, and brought the buck’s horns over for his neighbors to check out.

There was no ill will because he shot the deer — in fact, the neighbor gave him a pair of the buck’s sheds from three years ago, and they’re now making plans to team up to try to grow more big deer on their properties.

“They’re very nice people. They were happy for me,” Ebarb said. “We’re talking now about planting spring plots at the same time together, so he can show me what he’s been doing.”

PHOTO: Chris Ebarb, of Natchitoches, poses with the big 16-point buck he shot near Ajax on Nov. 6.  Ebarb had never even seen trail cam pics of the buck, which green-scored 169 ⅝ inches at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop.

Photo courtesy of Chris Ebarb