Letter to the Editor: Roy O Martin Company Congratulations


Louisiana Forestry Association Media Specialist Jeff Zeringue submitted the following letter to the NPJ from Louisiana Forestry Association Executive Director C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen:

The Roy O Martin Company recently reached its 93rd anniversary of practicing sustainable forestry, employing Central Louisiana workers, and supporting community development. This privately owned, family-oriented, company has successfully grown to one of the most prominent forest products companies in Louisiana. Its success has been recognized on its 93rd birthday by Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which has awarded ROM Manufacturer of the Year from a list of thousands of businesses operating in Louisiana.

ROM is a great company with truly excellent employees and a commitment to managing and utilizing our forest resources for life’s betterment. We hope continuing success for many years to come.

C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen

Louisiana Forestry Association

Key to success: God, love, forgiveness and patience

waddle-weddingBarbara and Doyle Waddle of Campti celebrated their 50th Anniversary surrounded by friends and family at United Baptist Church in Campti Nov. 19. Barbara and Doyle were high school sweethearts at Campti High School. She was a cheerleader and he was an athlete.

They were married Nov. 26, 1966, a year after they graduated. They moved to New Orleans so Doyle could go to college and had two children: Robbie and Keith. They moved back to Campti in 1972.

Barbara said the secret to any successful marriage is putting God first and looking to him for guidance. The couple must also possess the following traits: loving, forgiving and patient.

The couple said their party meant a lot to them and it was heartwarming to celebrate with everyone. While they knew they were having a party, Barbara said their sons and daughters-in-law planned the whole thing.

“It was all very exciting,” she said.


#GivingTuesday Nov. 29


The Northwestern State University Foundation, the university’s nonprofit fund raising arm, and Demons Unlimited Athletic Foundation, the organization that supports the university’s athletic programs, have joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

“#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S., this year Nov. 29, and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support,” said Kimberly Gallow, NSU Development officer. “Join us as we participate in #GivingTuesday and support Northwestern State University by pledging your donation to raise money for our students and our university. Funds from both foundations will help support student scholarships, alumni engagement and outreach, all 14 Division 1 sports at NSU and the overall student experience.”

“Recent news regarding cuts to TOPS is just one of the many reasons why it is so important for us to expand our fundraising initiatives and increase support for NSU,” said Dr. Haley Blount Taitano, NSU’s associate athletic director for external marketing. “Our goal is to raise over $50,000 on this one day. If you’ve ever thought about giving back to Northwestern State University, now is the time.

To donate online, visit nsula.edu/givingtuesday. For more information on #GivingTuesday, visit givingtuesday.org.

“We appreciate your support and generosity during this time of giving,” Gallow said.

Lunch event offers a ‘Slice of Thanks’ to military, veterans, law enforcement and firemen


The Natchitoches Lions Club, along with Psalm Shield 91 Ministry and Louie’s Pizza of Many will sponsor a “Slice of Thanks” Free Pizza Event for Natchitoches law enforcement officers, firefighters active duty military personnel and veterans. The event will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches Monday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Military/veterans identification or badge required as proof of service. Attendees may bring one family member to celebrate with them.

About a year ago Michele and Louis Smith, owners of Louie’s Pizza, wanted to get out into their community and feed people free, quality tasting pizza to show God’s love and to be the hands and feet of Christ. This desire started becoming a reality when Louis was on the lay-off list for his offshore job. Given 30 days to choose between a transfer or a lay-off, they began to pray to God for guidance. “One thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were purchasing a 26-foot food trailer,” said Michele.

The “slice of thanks” event was birthed out of their desire to let veterans/military officers, law enforcement officers, and firefighters know how much they’re appreciated. “We know our veterans have sacrificed so much for our great country and are sometimes forgotten,” said Michele. “We wanted to let them know they are not forgotten! As for the enlisted military officers, law enforcement officers and firefighters, we realize they have a difficult job as they put their lives on the line for us each day, and this is just a small way to say “thank you” and to show them their community is praying for them and supporting them.”

Psalm Shield 91 was started by a young lady in the Smith’s church who wanted to begin a prayer ministry for law enforcement officers. By handing out Psalm 91 bracelets, this young lady and her family share the gift of a prayer of protection from the scriptures of Psalm 91. They will be at the event to offer prayer and give out bracelets.



City Marshal Randy Williams wanted to inform the following people that they have outstanding bench warrants through the Natchitoches City Marshal’s Office. The names on this list did not pay their fines in full nor did they return to court on the court date they were sentenced to by City Court Judge Gahagan. These individuals will need to clear up their fines and bench warrant fees at the City Marshal’s Office located at 373 Second St. to stop any further actions:

Katrice Brimsey, 500 North St Apt. K-4, Natch, La – TBS
Albert Law, 1225 Grace Ave, Natch, La – SPOM, DP
Ronald Reliford, 199 Cedar Grove, Natch, La – TBS
Javolon Robinson, 107 Lewis Loop, Natchez, La – DP
Lekeshia Willis, 316 Duplex St, Natch, La – Simple Assault
Loyd Brown, 500 North St A-3, Natch, La – Exp DL
Chasity Curtis, 200 Lakeview Dr Apt 3102, Natch, La – TBS
Jessica Daniels, 124 Ann, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver, No Vehicle Registration
Jermaine Gagnon, 1101 Grace Ave, Natch, La – TBS
Connie Helaire, 4216 Lakeview, Natch, La – Telephone Harassment
Antonio Hudson, 217 Paula, Natch, La – Exp MVI, NSB
Henry Johnson, 226 Melissa Place, Natch, La – DP
Brittany Jones, 200 Lakeview Dr Apt 2501, Natch, La – TBS
Donald Knox, 112 South Bend Dr, Natch, La – DP
Charles McCray, 100 Maria LN H2, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Nickey McElroy, 220 Fairgrounds Rd Apt F29, Natch, La – DP
Shameal Parker, 209 Henry Ave, Natch, La – DP
Jessica Reeves, 856 Sabine St, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Sharette Sykes, 128 South Bend Dr, Natch, La – Exp MVI, LM
Coranda Thomas, 368 Lebrum, Campti, La – No DL
Antonyo Turner, 240 Hampton St, Natch, La – Resisting an Officer

Trial (T):
Latavia Broomfield, 1500 Gold St, Natch, La – DP
Marzarious Coleman, 227 Rowena St, Natch, La – TBS
Michael W. Moore, 238 Scarborough, Natch, La –Resisting an Officer, SPOM
Dylan Sowell, 117 Hwy 763, Mansfield, La – Underage DUI
Charlene Beaudion, 294 Bennett Loop, Natch, La – Criminal Conspiracy
Miandra Ellis, 2722 Lincoln Dr, Richwood, La – SPOM
Iitiana Hunter, 500 North St Apt F1, Natch, La – TBS, SPOM

Ponderings with Doug – November 25, 2016

DougFUMCRecently, my bride and I were on a Caribbean cruise. Most of what happened on the cruise ship must stay on the cruise ship, except for what I write here.

On the ship, one can order fried eggs and omelets while the breakfast buffet is serving. You stand in line place your order. Your eggs or omelet are prepared while you watch! Then you belly up to the buffet for the rest of the stuff one needs with either an omelet or fried eggs. It is our cruise ship morning ritual.

A fellow stepped up to order his fried eggs.

He said, “I want two eggs sunny side up…on both sides.”

The cook looked at him and asked him to repeat his order.

“Sunny side up on both sides” he said loudly and slowly as though the cook did not understand English.

I am feeling that I am living and ministering in a “sunny side up on both sides” kind of world. I know some people who are not sure if they are coming or going. They do know they are not happy. They also are looking for a convenient target for their unhappiness. I need clarification. Can we all just slow down and be quiet for a minute? But life is not like that. Life doesn’t look at the calendar nor does it consider the holidays. Life can be great. Other times life seems “sunny side up on both sides” stupid.

I want the egg dude to think about how he was ordering. Did he mean over easy? Had his wife or mom been cooking eggs for him and he didn’t know how to order eggs in public? Did he know how dumb he sounded? Or is there a way to have eggs sunny side up on both sides and I don’t know that trick. He might be an eggstravagant egghead. He could be an astronaut; you could have the eggs that way without gravity! I need time to think and figure it all out.

That is how some parts of life come at you. They don’t make sense. You don’t know how to feel or react. Like some may feel going into this Christmas season. You don’t know what to think or feel. We are busy wishing each other a Merry Christmas. But what does that mean? What if you are merry all the time? What if you are not very merry now? What if you are feeling that the Hallmark channel Norman Rockwell Christmas is some kind of cruel unachievable goal? But you are going to die trying to make it happen. Life’s joy can be lost in the “sunny side up on both sides” world. But there is a glimmer of hope for you.

One of the places we stopped on our cruise was Belize.

There were three cruise ships dumping people into the economy of Belize on that Thursday. If you are too old to be a beach stud one spends their shore time shopping. Do you remember Stuckey’s? The cruise terminal shopping areas are like a boundless crowded Stuckey’s. I was in the  back corner deep in the middle of the cruise ship tourist trap shopping mall, hating the moment. I was plotting my escape from the maelstrom, when a familiar sound resonated in my heart. The sound was coming from a distance, by the doors. As we walked toward the light of the doors, the faint familiar sound became stronger. My soul knew that sound. There at the exit to this tourist transactional trap was an elderly lady ringing the bell at the Salvation Army red kettle. I knew the meaning even though my contextual signals were all messed up.

The sight and sound didn’t fit in the middle of the tropical heat and cruise ship shoppers. It didn’t fit and that is the point.

When you think about it, nothing in the Christmas story does fit. The characters are too old or too young to have children. Angels are popping in and out of lives with disruptive news of “great joy.” Shepherds leave their flocks unattended to go see a baby. Magi stir up Herod and he brings great pain to the hamlet of Bethlehem.

Jesus was born in the middle of a “sunny side up on both sides” world.

Maybe that was something you needed to know right now.

Authorities search for possible theft suspect near Legacy Dodge dealership


Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches Police and Louisiana State Police are currently searching for a suspicious man possibly involved in an attempted theft at Legacy Dodge on the north Natchitoches Bypass in Natchitoches according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say today, Nov. 24, at approximately 12:54 p.m., the owner of Legacy Dodge contacted the NPSO 911 Center reporting that he observed a man in one of the dealership’s vehicles apparently attempting to remove items.

The suspect saw the owner and fled the area running towards Weeks Tractor running into some woods behind both dealerships.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, with dark hair, wearing dark pants and a white button-up shirt.

Deputies are focusing the search behind the car and tractor dealerships.

Deputies have also recovered a 2003 BMW passenger car recently reported stolen to Natchitoches Police at the scene.

If you see this subject, please contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 352-6432 or 911.

At this time, the suspect is not believed to armed.




Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin has cancelled the burn ban that was issued on October 25, 2016. The cancellation is being issued as a result of the rainfall received in the past 48 hours and upon the recommendation of numerous parish fire districts.

Mr. Nowlin asks all citizens to exercise extreme caution during any burn that may become necessary, especially in areas that are still dry. Concerns about a planned burn should be directed to the fire chief of the local fire district or to Mr. Nowlin’s office.

NSU alum bring blessings to Natchitoches community


Phillip Jean-Louis Jr. and Carlos Hartwell dig deep into their own pockets to bless others for the Thanksgiving holiday. The two Northwestern State University graduates self-fund the “Come Give Thanks With Us Dinner” as part of The Gloria Project Family Integrated Services, LLC. At NSU they were members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Jean-Louis played baseball and Hartwell was a member of the marching band.

The duo, along with countless volunteers, will serve a Thanksgiving meal and pass out goodie bags Thursday, Nov. 24 at the Sky Box at the MLK Center from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
It took four hours to load a rented U-Haul trailer with all the food the duo spent around 30 days preparing. Various people help them prepare the food. A woman in Lafayette makes stuffed turkey rolls for them to serve. They arrived with their bounty in Natchitoches Wednesday at 2 a.m.

Jean-Louis of Lafayette and Carlos of Alexandria began their mission in 2014. They wanted to reach out, give back and be servants of the Lord. The first year they fed 75-100 people, the second year they fed 150. This year they hope to feed 200-250.
“We didn’t realize how many people we were touching until it happened,” said Jean-Louis.

Hartwell explained how they see families and single mothers come in with 3-4 children. They eat and take home goodie bags. “It’s an amazing feeling to know they won’t have to go to the grocery store for a week after that,” he said.

The meals consist of turkey, ham, yams, green beans, dirty rice and cupcakes. The goodie bags have an assortment of snacks for people to take home. The plan is to continue to grow the endeavor, eventually reaching out to more states in the south.

“The number of volunteers we have speaks volumes in itself,” said Jean-Louis. “Everyone wants to do something. They have it in their hearts. Sometimes they just need the opportunity.”

To volunteer or donate contact Hartnell at 318-609-0766 or Phillip Jean-Louis Jr. at 337-852-4242.

NSU receives donation from SWEPCO

By Larry E. Ross

Northwestern State University has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell visited the campus to announce a very generous donation from SWEPCO. SWEPCO President Venita McCellon-Allen, along with Campbell, presented NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson a check for $200,000. The Valley/SWEPCO commitment will be matched with $80,000 in State Board of Regents funding, bringing the total donation to $280,000.

This donation is what was left after $25 million in capital credits, money put into the Valley Electric Membership Company, were given back to the appropriate sources.

“There was money left over and we did not feel right keeping this money,” McCellon-Allen stated at the presentation. “We wanted the money to go back into the community and be a better service for the community, especially that of this NSU community.”

Upon the acceptance of the donation, Dr. Henderson spoke on how the money will be dispersed to maximize its impact. Approximately $120,000 will go towards the Valley Electric/SWEPCO First Generation Endowed Scholarship and the Valley Electric/SWEPCO Endowed Professorship in the NSU College of Business and Technology. The scholarship will be awarded to those students who are the first in their family to attend college. The professorship will be used to employ and contract faculty whose services will contribute to their departments. Approximately $80,000 will be put into the NSU Columns Fund and used towards scholarships, faculty and staff support, and for other capital improvements.

There were also talks of further uses of the donation to help with a new athletic facility to help athletes with academics. Dr. Henderson concluded, “NSU was founded on serving its students, and with this donation, we will utilize it to the best of our ability to continue serving them.”

Beware the Scammers — Be Very Skeptical That Your Friends are Stranded in the Philippines


Well, my friends, the scammers are still out and about. I suppose that’s something we should expect during these holiday times.

A few months ago we received lots of calls from someone purporting to be from the IRS, leaving a recording that said unless we pay up back taxes we’ll be in bad trouble. I knew right away it was a scam. I usually ignore the calls but one time I called the number they left, got a live person on the line and, using language that would have made my dear old mother blush, I told him I knew he was a fraud and that he would soon rot in jail.

Well, I guess that scam has run its course, because I haven’t heard too much from them lately.

Then, today, I got a supposed email from a guy who is my oldest buddy. We go back to the fifth grade — 1953. In it, the person claiming to be my pal says he and his family were robbed in the Philippines. They can’t get help from the consulate or local authorities and the hotel won’t allow them to leave until they settle the bill. So can I please loan him some money so they can get out of the jam?

Well, lots of warning signals went off right there. My friend said “my family,” but he really would have used his wife’s name. Also, they just got back from Europe and I highly doubt they would have gone off to Asia for Thanksgiving week. He has three kids and oodles of grandkids and would not leave them at this time of the year.

And, as close as we are, I think he would have called upon his daughters to help out financially, not a friend 275 miles from his home.

Also, when was the last time you checked into a hotel and they did not demand your credit card as soon as you walked in. His hotel bill would be settled already.

What was disconcerting to me is that the scammers have his proper email address. They must have hijacked it somehow because if I wrote back saying I wanted to help, they must have some method of intercepting the email to instruct me how to get the money to them.
Also, I called his house and got no answer and his cell phone went straight to voice mail.
But, just in case it was my friend, I responded to the email with certain questions that no scammer could know. I asked him where we went to grammar school, what was my first car, where did he go to school in the ninth grade and who was the guy who got drunk and punched me in the stomach at a school reunion a few years ago (Yes, that really happened).

So, I don’t expect to hear any more from Manila. But I am concerned as to how they got my email address and, as I said, how have they taken over his.

It seems there are countless scamming schemes for the rotten folks who like to live off of others. It leaves me angry and wanting revenge. I really, really hope these guys get caught before much longer.

So, please be extra careful before you respond to any suspicious cries for help. The last thing I want to do is help a scammer.