Maglieaux’s supports young dancers on their way to National Competition

Mag Donation 1

Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant has supported several community events since it first opened in Natchitoches, but their most recent fundraiser was special for owners John and Kathy Richmond.

Maglieaux’s held a “Give Back” fundraiser for three days in March. All the profits went toward a donation to Renee’s Dance Studio. The Richmonds have known Studio owner Renee Oates through the years and wanted to support the arts at a young age. Three employees at the restaurant teach dance at the Studio.

This inaugural event was a huge success and the proceeds will help offset expenses when the 40-girl team travels to the National Championships in Oklahoma in July. John presented a check to Renee and a few of her dancers and their mothers March 30.

The girls at Renee’s placed first overall at Regionals and waited tables during the fundraiser to help raise funds. A third of the donation check was tips the girls got from their tables. They took some time out of their spring break to serve the community for a good cause.

“It’s all about being a part of your community,” said John.

Mag Donation 2

Maglieaux’s Riverfront Restaurant
805 Washington St
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Open: 11AM–9PM
Phone: (318)354-7767

Ponderings with Doug – March 31, 2017

DougFUMCThe other day I was driving in the country enjoying the scenery. I passed a church cemetery. Seems every country church has one. In Europe, they would bury the dead inside of the church. You could find the saints buried under the altar, out in the nave, even in the choir loft. Since they didn’t have electrical lights, bored parishioners rather than counting ceiling tiles (they didn’t have those either) would count saints buried in the floors. When the church crossed the ocean, our buildings were not as cathedral like so we moved the dead to the side yard. I have served two churches that came complete with cemeteries. One church built a columbarium after I left. Wish I had a nickel for all the Google searches of “columbarium” I just created.

They don’t teach cemetery management in seminary. At one church, they handed me a six foot long piece of rebar. I asked, “What is this for?” They said, “It is your job to make sure a grave is not occupied before you agree to bury someone in our cemetery.” “How will I know?”

They said, “If the rebar only goes down 18 inches and no further you have a grave that is full.” If you “pull something up” on the rebar the grave is full too. They were not specific as to the content of “pull something up.” They described it as flotsam and jetsam. I asked, “Doesn’t that wash up on the sea shore?” They said, “Yes, but it will be on your rebar if the casket has disintegrated.”

I gave the rebar to my associate and made casket probinghis task.

I did bury some guy in the wrong hole. A nice lady called and said she wanted dad buried on the right side of mom. So I looked at the foot of the grave and placed dad on the right side of mom I told her I was uncomfortable doing this over the phone, could she come point to where she wanted dad. She said, “I want dad buried on the right side of mom.” When they placed the headstone, she realized her mistake and wanted me to dig dad up. She meant to say she wanted mom at dad’s right side.

I told her I didn’t unbury. Mom and dad were happy in repose.

This church also had Miss Theo. I could rate the dearly departed by Theo’s ham scale. If you were a saint, the grieving family received a whole ham from Theo’s smoke house. If you were a C and E saint (Christmas and Easter) the grieving family received half a ham. If you were never in the pews but on the church rolls to be buried in the cemetery, Theo took the grieving family ham salad. When I would find out about a death, I always called Theo and asked, “How much ham will the family receive?” No matter the Theo rating, the preacher received copious amounts of her ham salad. Her ham salad was to die for.

I was reminiscing about my church cemetery experiences when I passed the church cemetery mentioned in the second sentence. In the middle of the cemetery I saw a recycling bin. It was not a trash can it was a recycling bin. Who and what is recycled out of the cemetery? There are all sorts of theological reflections on the recycling bin in the cemetery, but I will spare you for this article.

Years ago I saw a mailbox in the middle of a rural cemetery in Bienville Parish. I wondered if that was the dead letter box. Maybe you can tell I’m flexing my foolish muscles for April fool’s day. April fool’s day is not as widely celebrated as it once was. There are some good stories connected to it.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.

April fool’s Day seems a waste of energy because truth has become much stranger than it used to be. Do you feel like every day has become April fool’s Day?

NPD Jailbook March 6 – 12


Cortez Evans B M 22 169 Caspari St., Natchitoches
Violation of Protective Orders

Jamie Desadier W M 43 1463 Washington St., Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Driving Under Suspension)

Debbie Petite B F 23 500 North St., #D-3, Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Unlicensed Driver)

Adrienne Collins B F 24 124 Schoolhouse Rd., #25, Cloutierville, LA
Failure to Appear (Expired Driver’s License)

Demontre Jackson B M 23 309 Airport Rd., Natchitoches
Armed Robbery; Armed Robbery with use of a Firearm

Bernard Miles B M 22 3800 University Pkwy., #414, Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Expired Driver’s License; One or More Headlights)

Jules Sompayrac W M 21 3800 University Pkwy., #621 Natchitoches
Possession Sch II; Parole Violation; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Jacob Hick W M 20 3800 University Pkwy., #621 Natchitoches
Possession Sch I; Possession Sch II; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Miguel Morales H M 39 137 Beverly Rise Plc, Natchitoches
Simple Battery

Alex Zeno B M 35 1415 Hwy 480, Campti, LA
Aggravated Battery

Ivan Small B M 17 309 Watson Dr., Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Disturbing the Peace)

Tina Thrash B F 42 607 Pavie St., Natchitoches Aggravated Battery

Aeolus McGaskey B M 22 111 Morgan Ln, Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Speeding; Driving Under Suspension)

Quijuanisha Johnson B F 35 202 Miranda Lp, Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Simple Possession of Marijuana)

Quinston Ficklin B M 27 519 Rowena St., Natchitoches
Possession Sch II; Possession of Marijuana

Dominique Coutee B M 18 1702 Northern St., Natchitoches
Possession w/Intent Sch II; Illegal Carrying of a Weapon; Weapon in Presence of CDS

Damarion Hunter B M 33 110 Behan St., Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Driving Under Suspension; Expired Registration)

Lorenzo L. Carter B M 22 164 Independence, Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (No Drivers’ License; Improper Backing)

Stephen Hudson, Jr. B M 20 500 North St., Natchitoches
Failure to Appear (Simple Criminal Damage to Property; Simple Possession of Marijuana)

Jonathan Lacaze B M 29 1309 Roy Dr., Natchitoches
Resisting with Force; Resisting; Simple Assault; Misdemeanor Sexual Battery

Quinterrence Morris B M 25 1320 Phillips St., Natchitoches
Unauthorized Use; Negligent Injury

Cary J. Chalk B M 49 614 Genti St., Natchitoches
DWI (1st); Failure to Dim Lights

Quincy Nash B M 24 186 Rex Waterwell Rd., Natchitoches
Simple Possession of Marijuana

Douglas Johnson B M 35 1012 Lake St., Natchitoches
Simple Possession of Marijuana

Ashley Meacham W F 36 784 Old River Rd., Natchitoches
DWI (3rd); Driving Under Suspension from DWI; Open Container

Darrell Garrett B M 49 1430 Hill Ave., Natchitoches
Disturbing the Peace by Public Intoxication

Kiara Esterbrook W F 17 425 Rue DeGabriel, Natchitoches
Disturbing the Peace by Fighting

Galveston Woman Killed in Natchitoches Parish Crash


Natchitoches Parish – Early this morning, March 30, a single vehicle crash killed a woman from Galveston, Texas.

Troopers responded to the crash around 5:30 a.m., which occurred on Hwy. 9, north of Campti. The crash involved a 2003 Chevrolet van, driven by Alberto C. Saligumba, 62 of Galveston. The Chevrolet was southbound on Hwy. 9 when Saligumba lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with a tree.

Saligumba was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries. His only passenger, identified as Maria Imelda E. Saligumba, 51, was wearing her seat belt. However, she was pronounced dead.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and will greatly reduce the extent of injury.

Troop E Troopers have investigated thirteen fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in eighteen fatalities.



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:

Darious Davis, 1603 Bayou, Natch, La – DP
Vanessa Marsh, 500 North St Apt C-2, Natch, La – TBS
Shecola Matthews, 1555 Grace, Natch, La – DP
Dillion Moliere, 515 Fairgrounds Rd Lot 30, Natch, La – Domestic Abuse Battery
Adarian Moore, 124 D Reba, Natch, La – Resisting an Officer
Shafonda Murphy, 1422 Georgia Ann St, Natch, La – Simple Battery
Jerode Nash, 154 Nash Rd, Natch, La – DWI
Dominic Richardson, 1327 Berry Ave, Natch, La – DP
Dominique Richardson, 1151 Grace Ave, Natch, La – DP, TBS, Criminal Abandonment
Devoha Moffitt, 3800 University Pkwy #414, Natch, La – No DL
Anquenetta McNeal, 211 Miranda Loop #2, Natch, La – Exp MVI, NCR
Demarcus Fobb, 119 Amanda, Natch, La – Turning Movements & Required Signals
Kadedra Carpenter, 210 Miranda Loop, Natch, La – NCR
Ladratral Bowers, 191 Hwy 119, Natchez, La – Turning Movements & Required Signals
Lasoraca Blaze, 3800 University Pkwy #1013, Natch, La – No DL
Dominique Cola, 3800 University Pkwy #124, Nat, La – TBS
Antonio Hudson, 217 Paula, Natch, La – Exp MVI, NSB
Linda Lacour, 102 Old River Rd, Natch, La– TBS
John King, 724 Lafayette St, Natch, La – SPOM

Trial (T):
Demika Daniels, 166 Cedar Grove Dr, Natch, La – TBS
Elizabeth Belle, 210 Fairgrounds Rd, Natch, La – (2) TBS, Resisting an Officer
Fitell Bolding, 3900 University Pkwy 431D, Natch, La – Sexual Battery
Christopher Carter Sr., 310 Sanford St, Natch, La –Letting a Disorderly Place
Jaylen Dennis, 217 CL Bradford, Pineville, La – DP
Eric Joe Jr., 407 E 6th St, Natch, La – Simple Battery
Martha Lacour, 1001 Clarence Dr, Natch, La – TBS
Jason Moss, 130 Robeau St, Campti, La – DWI, Unlicensed Driver

TBS – Theft by Shoplifting
SPOM – Simple Possession of Marijuana
SCDP – Simple Criminal Damage to Property
NSB – No Seat Belt
Exp MVI – Expired Inspection Sticker
SPDP – Simple Possession of Drug Paraphilia
No DL – No Driver’s Licenses
DP – Disturbing the Peace
DUS – Driving Under Suspension
NCR – No Child Restraint
DWI – Driving While Intoxicated
LM – Loud Music

Stamps and Coins:  Historic Coins from New Orleans Mint Are Readily Available

By Joe Darby

Darby-One Dollar


(Note to readers:  This is one in an occasional series by Joe Darby about stamps and coins.  Feel free to contact him at

If you think you’d enjoy owning some attractive bits of history made right here in Louisiana you might do well to look into collecting some of the silver coinage made at the New Orleans Mint from 1838 to 1909.

If you’ve visited the Crescent City there’s a good chance you’ve seen the magnificent old Mint building, which still stands at the corner of Decatur Street and Esplanade Avenue.  It’s open to the public as a branch of the Louisiana State Museum System.

The New Orleans Mint was approved by Congress and President Andrew Jackson, who, coincidentally,  had reviewed his troops on the very site of the Mint before the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.  The cornerstone was laid in September 1835 and the building opened on March 8, 1838.

Until that time, the Philadelphia Mint was the only coin making facility of the United States.  But with the growing economy in the South, the government decided to establish the new Mint in New Orleans.

The Mint played an important role in numismatic, or coinage, history during the Civil War.  The Confederates took over the building in March 1861 and used it to produce a few Confederate half dollars, which are extremely rare and valuable today.

The New Orleans Mint building was also the site of another very interesting incident during the Civil War.  After the Northern army took New Orleans in 1862, Gen. Benjamin Butler raised the Union Flag at the Mint.  A New Orleanian and Confederate sympathizer named William Mumford decided to tear down the flag.

Well, Butler had Mumford arrested and hanged him from the same flag staff.  So much for freedom of expression, huh?

Before the Confederates gave up New Orleans they sabotaged the Mint to prevent its use by the Union and it wasn’t until 1879 that repairs were finished and the Mint was able to begin making coins again.

The Mint was closed in 1909, after having contributed to America’s monetary history for 71 years.

The popular Seated Liberty coin types were minted at New Orleans beginning in 1838 and ending in 1891, not counting the years when production was disrupted.  Those coins included the denominations of half-dime, dime, quarter and half-dollar.  All had the same obverse, or heads, showing a figure of Liberty seated on a rock, holding a Union shield and a Liberty cap.  On the reverse of the quarter and half-dollar  is an eagle, the coin’s denomination and a small “O” showing the coin was made in New Orleans.  The half-dime and dime reverses depicted their denominations and the O.

After the US dropped the half-dime and changed the designs of the dime, quarter and half-dollar to the so-called Barber type in 1892, the New Orleans Mint struck that coinage until its closing in 1909.  The coins were named for their designer, Charles E. Barber.

The obverse shows a Liberty head wearing a cap and laurel wreath.  The back of the dime is similar to the Seated Liberty and the quarter and half-dollar show newly designed eagles and the words “In God We Trust.”  They also have the O mintmark.

Quick aside.  My mother was born in New Orleans in 1909 and one of her cherished little gifts from me was a 1909 O Barber dime.  I pointed out to her that both she and the coin were born in New Orleans the same year.

Finally, the New Orleans Mint also made the beautiful Morgan dollar, from 1879 to 1904.  Like the Barber coins, the dollar is named for its designer, George Morgan.

Liberty wearing her Liberty cap is on the obverse and a beautiful eagle within a wreath is on the reverse, along with the O mark.

These coins are readily obtainable.  If you’re interested you can Google coin dealers and check them out.  A worn Seated Liberty dime, for example, can be had for about $15.  A beautiful un-circulated Morgan dollar will go for about $50 (and up).  Some of the Seated Liberties and Barbers are quite expensive, but many are not, as seen from the above prices.

Good luck in your quest for New Orleans coins!

Natchitoches Magnet recognizes its Kiwanis Terrific Kids

NPJ-Magnet_Kiwanis_JAN 2017

Natchitoches Magnet School Recognized its Kiwanis Terrific Kids for the month of January. On front row from left are Trinity Dixon, Skylar McDaniel, Jazmin Martinez, Joshua Lamaze and Danish Young. On middle row are Claire Thompson, Wyatt Laning, Martinique Lacy, Derrick Clark and Diderik Emmels. On third row are Mrs. Anita Dubois, Devin Helaire, Ashlyn Below, Andrea Chen, Steven Meziere, Summer Richardson, and Coordinator Miss Davis. Not pictured is Ay’Layjia Kirts.

NPD 9 finds camp house engulfed in flames on Sandy Point Road

NFP-9 Camp fire 2

Natchitoches Parish Fire District 9 in Campti was dispatched to a reported woods fire on the Sandy Point Road March 29. Units arrived in 9 minutes to find a camp house completely engulfed in fire and about 1.5 acres of woods burned. The person that called it in couldn’t see the house through all of the smoke. Units remained on scene until the state fire marshal arrived.

NFP-9 Camp fire 3NFP-9 Camp fire 1

Fleeing juvenile suspect attempts to run down policeman

Times Auto theft

Natchitoches Police Department Officers responded to a stolen vehicle call at The Natchitoches Times on South Drive March 29 at 4:30 pm. Officers spoke with the complainant who advised her vehicle was parked in the parking lot of the business and when she returned it was gone. Officers received the make and model of the vehicle and an officer patrolling on Second Street located the vehicle.

The officer activated his lights and sirens in an attempt to pull the vehicle over. The driver refused to pull over and began to flee across several areas in west Natchitoches. An additional officer was in the area and stopped his patrol unit in the intersection of Julia Street and Lake Street to stop the suspect’s vehicle.

The officer exited his vehicle as the suspect’s vehicle stopped for other traffic. The suspect then drove around the other traffic and sped towards the officer that was on foot. The vehicle was racing towards the officer and thankfully the officer was able to disable the vehicle and the juvenile suspect was taken into custody without injury.

The 13-year-old juvenile driver was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, reckless operation of a vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, attempted 1st degree murder and numerous traffic violations. He was placed in WARE Juvenile Detention Center. This investigation is ongoing.

Rotary Club recognizes Student of the Month from St. Mary’s

Rotary_SMS Student of the Month

Rylee Elizabeth Wyer, a senior at St. Mary’s Catholic School and a future NSU Demon, was honored as Student of the Month at the March 28 meeting of the Natchitoches Rotary Club. She will attend NSU in the fall and major in Nursing. Pictured from left are Rotary Club President Fred Terasa, NSU Director of Recruiting Jana Lucky, Rylee, Rylee’s father Jack Wyer, and Rotarian with the Program Tommy Melder (Photos by Dr. Ron McBride).

Dan Cook was honored with a Rotary plaque and coin as he is a member of the Many Rotary Club and has attended the Natchitoches Rotary Club for the past 3 years driving 80 miles round trip from his house.


Donate Easter items for foster children by April 7

Little Angels of God is seeking Easter donations for children from birth to age 17 by April 7. Officers are available to pick up any donations, or they can be dropped off at Evolutions Salon, located at 7071 Highway 6.

Examples of donation items for Easter baskets:
· Bibles of any kind

· Easter baskets and buckets

· Hats, bonnets, gloves, scarves

· Easter grass, cellophane bags

· Fingernail polish

· Small toys

· Journals and pens

· Jewelry

· Coloring books, crayons and markers

· Books

· Perfume

· Balls

· Flashlights

· Baby bottles and other infant items

· Hair products

· Individually wrapped candy

· Anything that will fit in an Easter basket, bucket and sometimes hats (the hat is turned upside down and used as a basket)

· Homemade items including crocheted hats, scarves and more are accepted
Little Angels of God is a non-profit charity that began in 2010. It helps foster children at Christmas and Easter through CASA of Natchitoches. In giving to CASA, the organization provides Christmas and Easter gifts to court appointed foster children as well as other foster children in Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine parishes.

For more information contact Kellie Wall at 318-527-3301

Natchitoches man arrested on narcotics and weapons charges

Zantari smith
LA Probation and Parole agents and Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents took Zantari Smith, 29 of Campti, into custody at a residence in the 100 block of Cox Street March 23. Smith was found hiding from agents in a closet inside of the residence.

Probation and Parole agents were seeking Smith in reference to contacting him about violating the conditions of his probation. Agents went to Smith’s listed residence in the 100 block of Burl Pickett Road in Campti and searched it. Agents located and seized drug paraphernalia used in the consumption of illegal narcotics, suspected methamphetamine, suspected synthetic marijuana, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and $4, 257.

LA Probation & Parole requested the assistance of NMJDTF due to Smith’s lengthy narcotics history. Smith was transported to NPDC where he was booked with no bond on the following charges:
1 count possession CDS methamphetamine
Probation & Parole violation
1count possession of drug paraphernalia
1 count possession of CDS I synthetic marijuana
1 count possession of a Firearm in the presence of CDS
1 count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.

Spring Picnic celebrates Briarwood’s addition to National Register of Historic Places

Spring Picnic

Briarwood Nature Preserve, a 200-acre nature conservatory located in the northern sand hills of Natchitoches Parish will celebrate a momentous occasion at its Spring Picnic Saturday, April 1. The preserve, which was developed by noted naturalist, botanist and author Caroline Dormon, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The nomination was drafted by Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. staff in coordination with the members of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve. The National Register nomination of Briarwood was approved by the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Officer and recommended to the National Park Service for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Caroline Dormon made monumental contributions to the conservation of Louisiana’s natural and cultural resources. Her passion for native plants and old-growth forests, coupled with a strong feeling of kinship with Native Americans, shaped Dormon’s life and work. In the 1920s and 1930s, she was instrumental in persuading the US Forest Service to establish a national forest, now known as Kisatchie National Forest.

“Dormon was a passionate advocate for our most precious heritage resources and it is fitting that her home place, Briarwood receive this national distinction,” remarked, Cynthia Sutton, CEO, CRNHA, Inc.


10 am: General Registration, Tour Information and Coffee be sure to check in at the registration table to be eligible for door prizes and get the latest information.

10:30 am: Morning Walking and Golf Cart Tours Depart the Education Building *
Richard Johnson Protégé of Caroline Dormon book signing (limited quantities)

11:30 am – 2 pm: Music by the Back Porch Band in the Pavilion

11:30 am – 1:30 pm: Lunch is served in the Interpretive Center

1 pm: Official unveiling of our National Historic Place plaque by Phil Bogan with Louisiana Tourism Commission

1:30 pm: Door Prizes & Raffle (Raffle grand prize is an overnight stay at the Writers Cabin so be sure to buy your tickets at the registration for this rare opportunity)

2 pm: Afternoon Walking and Golf Cart Tours Depart the Interpretive Center *

Lunch is catered by Shavers of Shreveport and will consist of brisket, fried fish, coleslaw and other sides.

This year’s picnic will also feature a special book signing by Loice Kendrick-Lacy featuring her new Biography “Richard Johnson, Protege of Caroline Dormon”. Loice Kendrick-Lacy and Richard Johnson himself will be available to sign any copies purchased at the picnic.

Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased by calling 318-576-3379, emailing or online at

Globetrotter TV – United Kingdom Celebrate, Discover and Explore Natchitoches


Natchitoches welcomed film crew members from the Globetrotter TV – United Kingdom March 24, to film and photograph sites around the city. Globetrotter TV is a brand new online and TV channel for passionate travel and tourism enthusiasts. Globetrotter TV is a new channel that will launch this month on Sky channel 261 with an estimated audience of 900,000 monthly.

Crew members included John Plaskett and Ellen Coughlan, who are in the midst of filming a travel documentary of the south, are venturing on a 6-day Louisiana Road Trip through New Orleans,Plantation Country, Baton Rouge, St. Martin, Lafayette, Alexandria, Natchitoches and Shreveport.

In Natchitoches, the film crew met CVB staff members Arlene Gould, Executive Director, and Stephanie Rabb, Marketing & Communications Coordinator for lunch at Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen, discovered Fort St. Jean Baptiste, explored the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum and ended their brief stay by touring Beau Jardin and shopping along historic Front Street before heading up to Shreveport. Tomorrow, the crew will head to Texas.

For more information on Globetrotter TV, visit

Pictured from left are Stephanie Rabb, Ellen Coughlan, John Plaskett and Arlene Gould.

Flute, piano recital set for April 4


Flutist Susan Milan and pianist Lillian Buss Pearson will perform at Northwestern State University Tuesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program will feature works by Richard Rodney Bennett, Ph. Gaubert, Bohuslav Martinu, Edward German, Olivier Messiaen and Claude Debussy.

Milan has forged a career as orchestra principal, chamber musician, recitalist, soloist and recording artist and has performed in festivals, music clubs and as soloist and principal flute with all the major orchestras in the United Kingdom She continues to perform in Europe, the U.S., South Africa, Russia, Australia and East Asia. She has given numerous world and UK premieres and has inspired contemporary composers to write for her, among them Richard Rodney Bennett, Antal Dorati, Carl Davis, Jindrich Feld, Edwin Roxburgh, Robert Saxton, Ole Schmidt, Robert Simpson, Keith Gates, Cecilia McDowall, Brian Lock and recently Douglas Weiland. This year, Milan will record concertos by Richard Rodney Bennett, Robert Simpson and Carl Davis with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra to be released on the Divine Art label.
Milan is regularly heard on BBC and Classic FM radio and has recorded most of the mainstream repertoire on the Chandos, Hyperion, Upbeat, Da Capo, Omega, Denon, Cala, Divine Art and Metier labels. In the academic field, she has researched and published 19th century repertoire for Boosey & Hawkes and she is currently researching and revising “6 Sonatinas” by W. Popp for Spartan Press. She is also restoring and processing for CD her collection of historic 78 recordings of flautists 1910-1945.

Milan is a professor and fellow of the Royal College of Music, London, where she was herself a scholar at the age of 16, and she is also professor of flute at Trinitylaban Conservatory, London. She enjoys giving master classes internationally and has been a member of numerous competition juries. As director and founder of the British Isles Music Festival, she masterminds an annual international summer chamber music and master class course for outstanding young musicians exploring works with woodwind, strings, piano, harp and voice.

Pearson has appeared throughout the continental United States and England as a soloist and collaborative artist. She is associate professor of music and coordinator for keyboard studies at Western Carolina University. Pearson holds degrees from Florida State University and the University of Illinois,

Her interest in historically informed performance practice has led her to study harpsichord and fortepiano. In 199,7 she spent seven months in England performing and working intensively with Nelly Ben-Or of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying piano and the Alexander Technique. During this time she also spent considerable time examining and playing historical keyboard instruments, especially nineteenth-century pianos.

Pearson has appeared as soloist, twice with the Asheville Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, the Breckenridge Festival Orchestra, the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra, the National Chamber Players and the Brandenburg Ensemble. This past summer she was a pianist at the International Flute Festival of Costa Rica. For many years she was a regular performer in the Breckenridge Music Festival and also performed in the Cullowhee Summer Music Festival. Pearson has served as an official accompanist for the International Horn Workshop, the International Double-Reed Society, the International Trumpet Guild, the Southeastern Horn Workshop, the Southeastern Composers League Forum, and Wildacres Flute and Chamber Music Symposium, the British Isles Music Festival, as well as performing for the National Flute Association, the Florida Flute Fair, the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Competition and the Bodky Competition.

Preacher Pounds on Potholes

This morning, Doug de Graffenried, met with the Walter P. Ledt Coffee Club as Natchitoches Parish Council District three councilman.  The topic of his talk was a method for funding road improvements in Natchitoches Parish.  de Graffenried proposed to place two questions before the Parish voters. The plan would divide the Parish into four separate road districts. Each district would be presented with a proposed ad valorem tax to fund road repairs for that district.  Below are Doug de Graffenried’s proposal and tax map.

NPG-PreacherPoundsPotholes 03-2017

I once led a church that built a big new sanctuary years before I arrived. The preacher told the church they could build a huge sanctuary and they wouldn’t have to give much money. He convinced them they were all going to be rich because of the Tuscaloosa Trend. That was the name of a shale oil field from late 1970’s that ran across the Florida Parishes. The shale oil leases never showed up. The church did pay for the sanctuary. It was sixteen years later that the debt was paid. The church paid big money for their big sanctuary. Even in church work, nothing is free.

I think about the “Tuscaloosa Trend” money every time I listen to people complain about their roads. I want to ask them a question. “Where do we get the money to fix your road?” Yeah, the Road District 40 tax passed. That generates $1,076,000 a year. It is not enough money to fix your road! Your road is not the only road in this Parish. We need a little clarity of thought. Mathematically we don’t have enough income from all sources to begin to fix the road problem. You are experiencing 40 years of road neglect. Fixing the neglect will take money, time, and patience. It will also take a cogent plan.

To give you an idea of the size of the Parish road system, if you got on Interstate 10 at the Texas state line and drove west all the way across the state of Texas on Interstate 10 that is roughly the same number of miles of roads we have in the Parish Road system. That is over 800 miles, folks. Take your potholes and multiply it by 800 miles and you see the enormity of the problem. 90% of the Parish roads are “failed” roads. A failed road has more hole than road.
How, I wondered could we begin to honestly address the pitiful conditions of the roads in the Parish?

Simply put I propose that the Parish is divided into four new road districts. You would need to vote on this proposal.

I propose a 16 mill ad valorem road tax for each road district. You would need to vote on this proposal too.

If your district passes the 16 mill property tax the revenue raised in your district is spent on the roads in your road district, exclusively. This money is spent on roads only. No equipment. No shenanigans, roads only! You will have access to this information and you can hold government accountable.

If your district fails to pass the 16 mill property tax, you can observe as the districts that passed the tax have their roads fixed. The boundaries of these new districts have nothing to do with the political boundaries of the Parish Council. These road districts are about roads, nothing else. I can explain to you how the size and shape was determined, but you will quit reading.

It would be a 10 year tax. You would see the results of passing this tax, quickly.
There are many steps before this idea is fully formed. There are other things we need to do in conjunction with this tax idea. This is my idea, do you have an idea? Not a theory, but a bona fide, idea.

Talk among yourselves….

Call Doug with your input and ideas:  318-357-8296

Doug’s Proposed Tax Districts Map



Things remain flat, but Parish begins receiving Amazon sales tax collections

Tax Comission 2

As of Jan. 1, Amazon is charging and collecting sales tax for online purchases made in Louisiana. The taxes, both state and local, are distributed according to the recipient’s address.

Natchitoches Tax Commission Administrator Jerry McWherter said his agreement with Amazon is comprised of 15 companies that registered with the online retailer. February, the first recordable month of sales, saw online sales for Natchitoches Parish totaling $51,460. This generated $2,333 in sales tax. Over $8 million in sales were recorded statewide.

Of this, the City district, which includes the school board, City and Sheriff’s Office, had $33,743 in sales. This generated $1,687 in taxes. The City’s tax rate is 50 percent, which means they received $843.50 of the total taxes collected.

Amazon sales in the Parish totaled $16,034, generating $561.19 in taxes. Amazon sales in Clarence totaled $80, generating $3.60.  Amazon sales in Natchez totaled $446, generating $20.07.  Amazon sales in Campti totaled $955, generating $52.53.  Amazon sales in Robeline totaled $201, generating $9.05.

While these numbers may not seem like a lot of money, McWherter said it’s money the Parish has never had. While January and February aren’t always big sales months, McWherter says there will be a push in income tax returns. Sales should pick up in March, however, there’s no historical data to project trends with these tax collections.

See the March Tax Report below, which reports on taxes remitted in February, which are from January sales.

McWherter said everything is flat and it’s not going away, however Natchitoches is holding its own.

NTC-March 2017 Report

Are we ready to face the truth?

Chamber-LABI 2017

Stephen Waguespack, President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), gave Chamber members an update on state level business issues relevant to the businesses of the Natchitoches Area at the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon March 28.  He discussed what issues LABI will be concerned with in the upcoming Legislative Session, asking the question: “Are we ready to face the truth?”

Four Big Issues to be Focused On:
·      Fiscal Reform
·      Criminal Justice
·      Litigation and Legal Reform
·      Infrastructure

Louisiana is a cool place to live. It’s got a certain Joie de Vivre (Joy of Living). But is it still enough? Stephen said that for 90 plus years the culture, history, cuisine and community in Louisiana has been enough. The question we must ask ourselves is, “Is Louisiana wasting its potential?”

Either way Stephen said it’s time for change. We can see a renewed focus on jobs and growth at the federal level, including tax reform, regulatory reduction, legal reform and innovation in schools and workforce. However it’s a different story on the state level, which has a persistent focus on the public sector including tax increases, new employer mandates, state-led litigation and status quo for schools and workforce.

“We have to budget according to what the economy can handle,” said Stephen. Louisiana spends $5,599 per person annually when the SEC average is $4,010. Louisiana spent more than its peer states before $1 billion plus in tax increases in the 2017 fiscal year.

“Where’s the money going,” he questioned. “Why are we always broke?

Retirement costs (around $2 billion) are an ever-growing burden on the budget. State Medicaid spending increases ranks #1, even before expansion, which doubled the spending rate from 2014-15. The Louisiana economy is contracting. Around 25,000 jobs were lost in the last two years.

“The spending isn’t matching the performance,” said Stephen. “We have to turn around the state’s employment numbers, but policies aren’t changing.”

LABI has a multi-pronged approach to the state’s budget challenges:

·      Overhaul tax code and budget
·      Address spending
·      Fix the economy

“It may sound complicated,” he said. “But we’ll always be in this annual fight for budget deficit, economy and workforce. There’s no short cut to the big change we all want. Louisiana is ready. No one rallies like Louisiana. We are surrounded by adversity and we need to rally now.”

Candidates announced for NSU’s Presidential Search

NSU-Presidential Search_Candidates Announced

The candidate materials for Northwestern State University’s Presidential Search were sent to the Search Committee March 27, according to University of Louisiana System President Dr. Jim Henderson. The Committee will meet in Baton Rouge April 3 to review applicant materials and to select semifinalists from the following candidates:
Neal Barlow (Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Arkansas Tech University)

Larry Gracie (former Vice President of Instructional Services/Chief Academic Officer, Pamlico Community College)

Kumara Jayasuriya (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics, West Virginia State University)

Richard Lucas, Jr. (Vice President and Adjunct Instructor, Bowie State University)

Chris Maggio (Acting President and Vice President for the Student Experience, Northwestern State University)

Scott McKay (Dean, College of Science & Engineering and Professor of Chemistry, Southern Arkansas University)

Gautum Pillay (Associate Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs, West Chester University of Pennsylvania)

Timothy Quinnan (Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington)

James Strong (former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California State University, Stanislaus)

William Wainwright (Chancellor, Northshore Technical Community College)

Michael Wiggins (former Executive Vice President of Learning, North Arkansas College)
More information on each candidate can be read online at CLICK HERE