Cane River Lake reopens 01-25-17

Cane River Lake

Cane River Lake is currently at 98.3 MSL and falling.  The lake is now open to boating traffic.   Spillway landing remains closed for safety and will not reopen until the lake reaches 98.0  MSL.

The Cane River Waterway Commission wants to extend special gratitude to the Natchitoches Sheriffs office  and the City of Natchitoches for their assistance in the lake recovery after the storm.   This amazing team effort is why the lake has reopened so quickly.

Boaters please remember to navigate safely, sober, and always wear your life jackets!

Thanks,
Betty Fuller
Cane River Patrol

City seeks vendors for Bloomin’ on the Bricks

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The City of Natchitoches Main Street Office is seeking vendors for the 2017 Bloomin’ on the Bricks spring festival.  The 17th Annual Bloomin’ on the Bricks, Natchitoches’ spring garden festival, will be held on Saturday, March 18 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., downtown on Front Street.

The event will feature an exhibit area of lawn and garden vendors who will display and sell an assortment of items related to garden and lawn care.  Vendors of lawn and garden merchandise such as landscaping, nurseries, lawn furniture, ironwork, yard art, garden décor, etc. are invited to participate in this year’s show.  Vendor spaces are available for $50 per each 10×10 space.

Bloomin’ on the Bricks, organized by the Natchitoches Main Street Program, is a celebration of spring throughout the City’s Historic District. The event will also feature live entertainment and food booths.  Bloomin’ on the Bricks is free and open to the public.

For those interested in becoming a vendor at Bloomin’ on the Bricks, contact the City of Natchitoches Main Street Office at (318) 352-2746 for more information.

NSU alum part of team to discover shipwreck

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Northwestern State University alumnus Dillon Roy was part of a team of student/staff field archaeologists from the University of West Florida that discovered a shipwreck near Pensacola, Florida, last year.

Roy, a graduate student, was among the divers who discovered the ship, referred to as Emanuel Point III, covered with sand in seven feet of water.  The ship was part of a fleet that in 1559 brought Conquistador Don Tristan de Luna and his army to what is now suburban Pensacola, site of the first European settlement in the United States. Most of that fleet sank during a hurricane that struck the coast shortly after Luna’s arrival.

The Emanuel Point Shipwreck Site, Florida’s oldest, was first discovered in 1992 when the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research conducted an underwater inventory of Pensacola Bay and searchers located the remains of a Spanish galleon. Experts suspected that other vessels from the Luna fleet were submerged in the bay and located EP II in 2006. EP III was discovered about 200 meters from shore, which could indicate it was a small vessel and possibly one of the earliest ships built in the New World.

Roy was one of the divers who returned to the surface with artifacts in their hands. The team from the UWF archaeology program discovered ballast stones, iron concretions, an articulated hull of the ship with frames and hull planking and remnants of ceramics carried on the ship.

“I’m currently working on my master’s degree in historical archaeology focusing on maritime archaeology at UWF,” Roy said.  “I’ve been diving since January 2013. When I got out to the maritime portion of field school as a supervisor last summer I had heard that we had a substantial hit from a previous magnetometer survey and that some of the target dives that followed had yielded a few possible pieces of ballast stone. No excavations had been conducted on the possible new site however though.”

When the team investigated the area, the first dive team installed a 1 x 1-meter square grid for a test unit.  Dive two’s team, consisting of Roy, UWF maritime archaeology professor Dr. Greg Cook and field school student Rick Ramos, went down with a dredge to begin excavating the test unit.

“Shortly into dredging we uncovered ship structure, confirming that we did indeed have a new wreck,” Roy said.  “I think the most thrilling thing about the discovery for me was realizing just how big of a deal this was and that I got to be a part of it. I never imagined that as a grad student that I would be involved with something this incredible.”

Roy, a native of Baton Rouge, graduated from NSU in 2014 with a degree in general studies with a concentration in social sciences and a double minor in anthropology and English.

“I would in no way be where I am today in my studies had it not been for the instruction and mentoring of NSU anthropology and archaeology professors Dr. Pete Gregory and Dr. Tommy Hailey,” he said.

Luna, the conquistador, and about 1,500 soldiers, colonists, slaves and Aztec Indians traveled in 11 ships from Veracruz, Mexico, to Pensacola. Three shipwrecks still remain undiscovered in the bay, but the UWF team possibly found another one, or even all three, based on a few of the magnetic anomalies detected last year. UWF students divided into two groups and excavated the bay for 11 weeks.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit for the UWF team to conduct test excavations through March 2017 to determine the extent of the shipwreck and the type of wood used to build the ship.

A Florida Division of Historical Resources’ special category grant for $290,000 funded part of the excavation. The matching grant awarded to UWF in 2014 provided funding for faculty, staff and students to conduct fieldwork, laboratory analysis, artifact conservation and curation, archival research in Spain and public outreach for two years. UWF will apply for similar grants in the future to fund further excavations.

Beginning ceramics class to begin Jan. 26

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Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a beginning ceramics class starting Thursday, Jan. 26. The class will be held each Thursday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in Room 113 of the Fine Arts Annex until March 30.

The fee for the class is $150 plus a $20 material fee paid directly to the instructor on the first day of the course. Beginning Ceramics is an introduction to working with clay. The student will learn hand-building and sculptural techniques, as well as work on the potter’s wheel. There will also be room for intermediate and advanced students to take the class and use the art facilities during the class time.

For more information on non-credit programs at NSU, go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs. To register for classes, go to checkout.nsula.edu.

RMWS Board will hold meeting

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The next Robeline-Marthaville Water System Board Meeting will be held January 30, 2017 at 6 pm.

The location of the meeting will be at the Hickory Grove Congregational Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, Hwy 6 East, Robeline.

Mazda selects NSU student design for 2017 art car

jessicacross2017Design work by Northwestern State University students Jessica Cross of Natchitoches and Rachael Gaude of Ventress will be featured at the Washington, D.C., Auto Show, one of the nation’s top five auto shows presented by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Jan. 27-Feb. 5. Cross placed first for her “Kisatchie Forest” design and Guade placed second for “Honey Bubbles.”  Their work will be applied, or “wrapped,” on a 2017 Mazda Miata and displayed at the Mazda booth at the show.  Julien Montousse, director of design at Mazda Motor of America, selected the top design choices.

In addition to the wrapped vehicles, Automotive Rhythms Magazine is presenting an accompanying “Art In Motion” exhibit of poster prints showcasing Northwestern State student work that was also submitted for the competition.

The designs were created by students in Visual Communications 3220, taught by Collier Hyams, a professor of art who developed a relationship with Mazda several years ago as an opportunity for students to apply their ideas to a product.

“I like cars and package design projects and I wanted to find something wide-reaching and multi-disciplinary that would mean a great deal on a resume,” Hyams said. He encouraged his students to adopt a design firm mentality to develop their ideas. This year’s them revolved around reflection-based surfacing, in which the car reflects its surroundings, either literally or figuratively.  It was the first time either Cross or Gaude had attempted an industrial design project.

Cross is pursuing a degree in fine and graphic art with a concentration in graphic communication and a minor in photography.  Because she grew up in central Louisiana where pine trees dominate the landscape, she based her design on Kisatchie National Forest.

“Considering this year’s theme was reflection-based surfacing, I thought it would be interesting to reflect the environment surrounding the car,” Cross said. “After coming up with a theme, I decided to go with an abstract-minimalist style. I built a gradient effect from top to bottom, giving a sense of perspective and depth to the design. This combination allows the viewer to grasp the design with only a glance.”

Cross plans to graduate this May and hopes to find an internship at an ad agency and eventually do freelance work or work for a publishing company creating book covers.

Gaude is majoring in fine and graphic art with a concentration in studio art and a minor in communications. When given the assignment, her first inclination was to create something obviously reflective such as mirrors, water or personal introspection, but decided to stretch the theme by incorporating an uncommon reflective surface to make her design stand out. Her point of departure was her experience in beekeeping with her father.

“This car design’s purpose is to raise awareness for the declining honey bee population,” she explained.  “The environment surrounding the car plays a huge role in the design of the car itself. Just as I have gazed at my reflection in a bucket of golden honey after a harvest from one of my own hives, a viewer would be able to see themselves and the outdoor environment reflected within the honey design. It subtly reminds the viewers of the crucial impact bees have on the environment and how the natural world would change for the worse without honey bees’ work as the leading pollinators.”

Gaude plans to continue to expand my art skills, earn a graduate degree in art and eventually teach at a university.

Hyams’ relationship with Mazda began when the company opened a new factory in Mexico and issued a call for design concepts that reflected the theme of Mexican art and culture. One of his former students from Georgetown University won the competition and his students have participated in the competition ever since.

“I enjoy brand identity projects,” he said. “I’m always looking for projects in applied arts.  It’s practical rather than theory.”

The Mazda RX-Vision series concept car will be one feature of the Washington Auto Show, which annually showcases cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  For information on the Washington Auto show, visit http://www.washingtonautoshow.com.

For information on NSU’s Department of Fine + Graphic Art, a department within the School of Creative and Performing Arts, visit capa.nsula.edu/art.

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Front Street Oak Tree gets new home at City Park

An Oak tree on the north end of Front Street was moved to City Park Jan. 24. Front Street was closed temporarily while Bob’s Tree Preservation removed the tree from its location. Certified Arborist Neal Thibadeaux said with the proper after care there’s an 80 percent success rate for this type of transplant.

The tree was moved to make room for the plaza overlook and ADA compliant ramp, which are part of the Rue Beaufort Riverbank Renovation Project.

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NCIF Water Board Chairman Doesn’t Answer Questions About Missing $19,500

By Edwin Crayton

edwincraytonAt the January 10th quarterly meeting of the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF), Leo Walker, chairman, tried to adjourn the meeting before the public had an opportunity to comment or ask questions. In past meetings the public comment segment has been at the end. But when I asked Mr. Walker why the public would not be able to comment, he claimed it was because the facility (Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center) wanted them out in an hour. I asked him if that is the case, why didn’t he just tell the public that upfront and set at least a few minutes aside for public comment since it is supposed to be a public meeting and you can’t really call it a public meeting if the public can’t ask questions or give input. Walker seemed irritated by that suggestion but said he would allow me to ask one question.

I told him that allowing one question wasn’t really adequate as I had come with few questions which I took the effort to send him in advance. But nonetheless I asked the one question. I asked him why he had not responded to my certified letter asking questions about the missing $19,500 in public money that the foundation says it can’t find. Walker refused to answer the question saying he would answer it at another time, but didn’t say when that later time would occur. So really, in fact, he didn’t answer any questions at all. One woman sitting behind me gasped in disbelief at his refusal. She said, “How rude!” Later she made it clear she agreed the public should have been allowed to ask questions at the meeting.

I informed Mr. Walker that Louisiana Public Information law, Statue 44; 31-33 says that NCIF as custodian of public information is required to answer requests for information from the public. In fact the law says the public service organization that is being asked to provide information, should respond in five days after getting the letter. I wrote Mr. Walker a certified letter a solid two months prior to the meeting. The letter is dated October 29, 2015–well beyond five days. I know he received the letter because the Post Office mailed me a confirmation card. Still Walker would not respond and ignored me. Some of the other board members seemed to sheepishly acknowledge that not allowing questions was not the way it should be, but no one challenged Walker and they all went along with ending the meeting. They said they’d do better next meeting and parroted Walker by saying that the reason they could not allow questions had to do with the fact that they had to leave because the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center wanted them to go after an hour. Again, I mentioned that reasoning seemed odd to me, because even if that is so, they could have simply figured public comments into their agenda or at least warned citizens about the time issue upfront and allotted at least 10 minutes for public comments and questions. Seems reasonable. It was after all advertised In the area newspaper as a public meeting. So therefore, the public should always be allowed to have input and ask questions. And besides all that, it also doesn’t excuse Walker not answering the letter.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems or faced roadblocks with NCIF when I’ve asked questions about the missing public money. At one meeting last year, I was actually given bad file numbers by the secretary, Mildred Joseph that turned out not to be real. Walker apologized for that and admitted in a meeting that the file numbers /documents I was referred to were not real.

Re-printed with permission from The Real Views

Nola Womens March attendees share their experiences

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A few Natchitoches residents attended the recent Women’s March in New Orleans on Jan. 21 that was held in opposition to the new Trump administration.

Holly Stave and her husband Richard were among the over 10,000 people who showed up to march.

“My experience was so very positive,” said Holly.  “I’ve been feeling ill and despairing ever since the election.  I’ve woken up each morning feeling as though dirty water has washed all over me.  But being in such a massive crowd of people of all ages, races, genders and sexes, with everyone in such good spirits and having such lively, wonderful, optimistic conversations was so very healing for me.”

Holly says the real work begins now.

“My reasons for attending the march are myriad,” she said. “As a feminist for more almost 50 years, I was of course horrified at Trump’s admitting to sexually assaulting women as well as all the other denigrating comments he has made about women.  I am horrified that he has aligned himself with racist groups like the KKK and their new ‘improved’ moniker, the ‘alt-right.’  But what I am most worried about is his complete lack of experience and his ignorance about global relations.  He will alienate ALL our allies and we will be alone in the world to fend off those who would love to attack us.  The man has no capacity for diplomacy and no willingness to learn.”

Amanda Dollar attended the march because she believes there’s a time when you have to speak your mind; walk with people in the street and feel happy and feel sad, but walk together.

“He didn’t win the popular vote,” she said. “Our country’s president has a deeply divided constituency. You can acknowledge that and have fun in the process.”

Amanda brought 11-year-old Sydney Dollar with her. Sydney went to the protest because, “I am not happy with our president and I wanted him to know that. Because he is disrespectful and rude to women and what’s sad is I don’t think he even realizes it. It’s one thing to be bad to women but when you’re a bad president you bring your country down with you.”

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LA 6 North; Natchitoches By-Pass; Natchitoches Parish

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:52 AM
***UPDATE***

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) advises the public that the lane closure scheduled for Wednesday, January 25, 2017,at LA 6 North; Natchitoches By-Pass, has been re-scheduled for Monday, January 30, 2017 from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

Project Contact
Gretchen B. Ferguson
District 08 – Natchitoches
318-561-5110
Gretchen.Ferguson@la.gov
dotd.la.gov
Statewide 511 Traffic Information

LA 6; Natchitoches By-Pass; Natchitoches Parish
Mile Post 0.820; Control Section 835-17

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) advises the public that LA 6 By-Pass, Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish, will have a lane closure at the Union Pacific Railroad track. The work is being done at milepost 0.820 and is on control section 835-17. The land closure will be Wednesday, January 25, 2017, starting at 8:30AM till 4:00PM. The lane closure is for Union Pacific Railroad to install a cross drain at the edge of the crossing.

Permit/Detour section
The roadway will have a lane open to traffic during this time..

Safety reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Call (318) 561-5100 or (800) 542-3509 or 511 or visit http://www.511LA.org for additional information. Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website @ http://www.dotd.la.gov, by selecting MYDOTD, the Way to Geaux Application for iPhone or Android devices, the DOTD Facebook page or the LA DOTD Twitter page, @Alex_Traffic for further information and details.

Project Contact
Gretchen B. Ferguson
District 08 – Natchitoches
318-561-5110
Gretchen.Ferguson@la.gov
dotd.la.gov
Statewide 511 Traffic Information

Lions Club learns about the Library

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Natchitoches Parish Library Director Jessica McGrath spoke to the Lions Club at its meeting Jan. 23. She said that while there are 125,000 items in their collection, the library is so much more than books. It provides programs for all ages and brings books to its patrons with the Book Mobile and School Mobile.
It also circulates tablets, overhead projectors, Halloween costumes, wifi devices and computers.

With technology evolving, the library has over 50 public access computers and offers computer classes or one-on-one sessions. New features include wireless printing and 3-D printing, which Library staff member Alan Niette demonstrated for the Lions members.

The Library also offers an array of online databases, which include:

La legal forms
Overdrive and Hooplah
Pronunciator: learn a language
Chilton

“We’re experiencing a shift in public libraries,” said McGrath. “They’re being viewed more as a center of life in the community. However, its greatest asset is the staff. We’re just grateful that the Natchitoches community values the library.”

FRONT STREET TEMPORARILY CLOSED – REMOVAL OF OAK TREE

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Front Street will be temporarily closed today, January 24th starting at approximately 10:00 a.m. for the removal of an oak tree as part of the Rue Beauport Riverfront Project.

Southbound traffic from Washington Street will be directed right onto Lafayette Street onto Second Street and northbound traffic from Church Street intersection will be directed to left onto St. Denis Street onto Second Street.

The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience while the oak tree is being removed.

For more information, please contact Dallas Russell at (318) 352-2772 or hwenninger@natchitochesla.gov.

St. Mary’s Powerlifting team placed at competition

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ST. Mary’s powerlifting team was looking strong Jan. 23 as several of its members placed at a competition. Matthew Thibodaux placed first in weight class, and third overall. David Thibodaux placed 2nd in weight class. Kayne Rachal placed 3rd in weight class. Clayton Jackson placed 3rd in weight class. Also lifting were Hannah Deranger, Sean Grappe, and Damon LeGrande.

Pictured from left are Hannah Deranger, Clayton Jackson, Matthew Thibodaux, David Thibodaux, Kayne Rachal and Sean Grappe.

Chamber Announces Annual Awards Luncheon Finalists

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The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce is officially announcing the finalists for the 2017 Business of the Year awards.  The categories for the Business of Year awards are Small, Mid-Size, Large, and New.  Finalists are recognized at the Chamber Annual Awards Luncheon, set to take place Feb. 2 at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Finalists in the Small Business category are 3 J’s Four-Way, AxsomAir, and Rhodes Properties and Development.

Finalists in the Mid-Size Business category are Maggio’s Package Liquors, Magnolia Steel & Supply, and J & J Specialty Lawn & Landscaping LLC.

Finalists in the Large Business category are AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Company, City Bank & Trust Company, and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.

Finalists in the New Business category are All Hours Fitness, Inc., Simply Chic Boutique, and Sweet Fruit Delights.

Chamber President Tony Davis said, “This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase a few of the amazing businesses in our area, and I’m delighted to be able to announce the winners in each category during the Luncheon.”

Incoming Chamber Chair, Award finalist, and CEO at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Kirk Soileau said, “I look forward to serving as the 2017 Chairman of the Natchitoches Area Chamber to assist with advancing the mission of our membership and also want to thank Janice Bolton for her service this past year. Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is honored to be a finalist as the Large Business of the Year.  This recognition validates our goals towards being the healthcare provider of choice for Natchitoches and the communities that we serve.”

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is the titles sponsor for this year’s event.  Other event sponsors include City Bank & Trust Company, CP-TEL, Exchange Bank, Sabine State Bank & Trust Company, and Weyerhaesuer.

The public is invited to attend the Chamber Annual Awards Luncheon to learn more about our local business community.  To register for the event, visit NatchitochesChamber.com/Events.  Tickets are $50 for members, $60 for non-members.  The doors will open at 11 a.m.  Lunch will be catered by Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant.

The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce helps make Natchitoches Parish to live and work.  The mission of the Natchitoches Are Chamber of Commerce is to foster a thriving community through transformative leadership, collaboration, and innovation.  Learn more at NatchitochesChamber.com

NSU to host Louisiana Thespian Festival Friday and Saturday

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Northwestern State University will host the 2017 Louisiana Thespian Festival Jan. 27-28 in the A.A. Fredericks Center for Creative and Performing Arts. Junior high and high school students from throughout Louisiana will participate in classes, workshops and performances, audition for college scholarships and network with students and directors from across the state

Northwestern State Theatre and Dance faculty, staff and students will be involved in the festival, conducting workshops and auditions and overseeing logistics for the event.

Kerry A. Onxley is the festival chair and Shelly Appleby is chapter director.

“This is the largest recruiting event for NSU Theatre and Dance,” said Scott Burrell, coordinator of Theatre and Dance at Northwestern State.  “Students from across the state who have interests in theatre and dance come to our campus to present plays, take workshops and audition for scholarships. Northwestern State Theatre and Dance has hosted the event since the late 90’s and uses the opportunity to introduce these talented to students to all our program and the university have to offer.”

The festival is presented by the Louisiana Thespians Society, an active member of the Educational Theatre Association and the International Thespian Society. The Louisiana Thespian Society exists as a non-profit theatre service organization for junior high and high school theatre programs. Membership includes junior and high school students, theatre teachers and art advocates.

Council clears up misunderstanding over employee pay

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Several City employees came before the Council at its meeting Monday evening, Jan. 23, to question their salary supplemental pay. The employees read inaccurate information in an area newspaper and Mayor Lee Posey was quick to correct the error, saying that he couldn’t control what was written in the publication. The crossing guards are classified as non-seasonal part-time employees and as such, are paid 50 percent of the amount of full-time employees. Posey was quick to clear up the misunderstanding.

Other agenda items included:

Changing zoning classification of Mayeaux’s Seafood and from B-3 to additional B-A to sell beverages of high and low alcoholic content for consumption on premise.

Award the bid for the Water Distribution System Improvements, Cane River Crossing at Pine Street Bridge.

Amend section 16.1-1 of the Code Of Ordinance of the City to provide for an enlarged “Local Natchitoches Historic District”

Lease that area under fence at the Natchitoches Regional Airport for hay operations with James Russell Stacy

Lease 25 acre tract in the Industrial Park for Hay Operations with James R. Stacy

Lease 29.7 acre tract in the Industrial Park for Hay Operations with M & M Farms of Cane River, LLC.

Enter into a contract with Traveler Casualty and Surety Company of America for the Public Official Schedule Bond for the City

Advertise and accept bids for Christmas Lighting Supplies

Execute Change Order No. 2 to the contract between the City and Page Builders for the Chateau Saint Denis Parking Lot

Execute a Certificate of Substantial Completion to the contract between the City and Page Builders for the Chateau Saint Denis Parking Lot

Execute Change Order No. 1 to the contract between the City and Pat Williams Construction for the Rue Beauport Riverfront Project

Van Kyzar thanks supporters at investiture

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Retired Clerk of Court Louie Bernard welcomed attendees to Van H. Kyzar’s investiture as 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Jan. 23 at the Events Center. Pastor Steven Harris gave the invocation and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department Color Guard presented the colors. Taylor Townsend introduced the court and Chief Judge Gene Thibodeaux performed the investiture.  Bernard, Sheriff Victor Jones and DA Billy Joe Harrington gave their remarks. Pastor Conway Jones gave the benediction at the end of the event.

While Kyzar said there were too many people to thank, he recognized his wife, friends, family and support staff. He quoted a life lesson his parents taught him that says, “Success without humility and kindness is not success at all.”

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Lakeview Places in Area FFA Creed Career Development Event

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Lakeview FFA members recently placed well at the Area FFA Leadership Development Events. The events were held at Florien High School in Sabine Parish Jan. 18. Emily Johnson placed 3rd in Gulf of Mexico Speaking, Salem Johnson placed 2nd in Creed Speaking, and Kelsey Shoemaker placed 2nd in Prepared Speaking. Salem and Kelsey earned a chance to compete at the 88th annual Louisiana FFA state convention in June where they will compete against the best speakers in the state.

The FFA Prepared Public and Gulf of Mexico Speaking Leadership Development Events are designed to develop agricultural leadership. Participants are required to write and deliver a speech on an agricultural or Gulf of Mexico related topic (respectively). The participants are judged on content and composition of the manuscript, voice, stage presence, power of expression, general effect and response to questions asked by a panel of judges.

The FFA Creed Leadership Development Event allows students to develop leadership skills by participating in public speaking activities and by stimulating interest in leadership and citizenship. Participants must recite the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions from the judges indicating familiarity with the subject and the ability to think quickly. Participants are judged on voice, stage presence, power of expression, general effect, and response to questions.

FFA is a national organization of over 600,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA is an integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Pictured from left are Emily Johnson (Junior), Salem Johnson (Freshman), and Kelsey Shoemaker (Senior).

Forsyth to present recital with fellow faculty Jan. 27

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Saxophonist Paul J. Forsyth will present a faculty recital at Northwestern State University Friday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Forsyth, an associate professor of saxophone at Northwestern State, will be joined by fellow faculty members Leah Forsyth on oboe, Chialing Hsieh on piano and Oliver Molina on marimba. The program will feature works by Paul Creston, David Maslanka, Alyssa Morris and Takashi Yoshimatsu.

Paul Forsyth joined the Northwestern State faculty in 2007. He has been on the faculties of Albion College, Spring Arbor University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.  He received his doctoral and master’s degrees in saxophone performance from Michigan State University and his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee.

Paul Forsyth is a member of two renowned chamber ensembles, The Three Reeds Duo and the Iridium Quartet.  He has performed recitals and taught master classes at concert halls, universities and conferences around the world. Paul Forsyth has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, World Saxophone Congress, John Donald Robb Composer Symposium and International Saxophone Symposium. He has been instrumental in commissioning several new works for solo saxophone, saxophone quartet and saxophone/oboe duo.

Leah Forsyth has been a member of NSU’s faculty since 2011. She was oboist with the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C., from 2007-2011, where she also performed regularly throughout the United States with the Woodwind Ambassadors Quintet.  She was solo English horn with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2007.

A native of central Ohio, Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Florida State. She has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony, Charleston (S.C.) Symphony, Ohio Light Opera, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. She is principal oboe of the Rapides Symphony and second oboe with the Texarkana Symphony.

Hsieh is in his first year on the Northwestern State faculty. An avid performer of contemporary music, she has premiered approximately 40 compositions and performed on the premiere recordings of 10 works by contemporary composers. Hsieh has been a featured pianist on seven CDs on the Centaur, Innova, Enharmonic and Ballpark labels.

She has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Hsieh earned her bachelor’s degree from the National Taipei University of the Arts and a masters and doctorate in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati Colllege-Conservatory of Music.

Molina is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa.  He is an active percussion performer, educator, arranger, adjudicator and clinician and has performed at several conferences and colleges across the United States.  Molina earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida and a master’s at the University of Arkansas.

He has adjudicated numerous marching contests, and state solo and ensemble festivals. Molina has had articles published in the PAS journal Percussive Notes and has had percussion ensemble and steel band arrangements published by Alfred Publications.

CDA announces Humanitarian Award recipients

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The Citizens for Democratic Action (CDA) announced that Natchitoches natives Paul Morgan and Pearl Payne are this years recipients of its Humanitarian Awards. The 2nd Annual Awards Banquet will be held April 28 at 7 p.m. at the MLK Center. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from Harold Bayonne at 521-6169, Cynthia King at 652-0783, Alvin Moses at 228-4699 or any other CDA member.