He’s Looking Forward to Seeing Harvey Getting Out of Here

By Joe Darby

I know far more about Harvey than I really want to, but not nearly enough yet.
As to the first part, I’ve been glued to the darned TV set for days. It’s like when you pass a bad wreck on the highway, you don’t really want to stare, but you can’t bring yourself to turn away.

I’ve watched the truly heartbreaking scenes from Houston, which remind me so much of what New Orleans went through with Katrina 12 years ago this week. I saw the rescues of so many people, particularly the frail and the elderly, struggling to make it out of the flood waters.

I’ve admired the rescuers themselves, who go in harm’s way simply to help their fellow man. For those folks who say Americans aren’t like they used to be and that we couldn’t handle a true crisis, I say just look at Houston. We still have what it takes.

Sometimes it’s just hard to deal with the fact, though, that one day you’re living your life in a progressive, modern city, with all the conveniences, and the next everything you have is just gone. Your house, where you raised your kids and hosted friends and family over the years, is no more. Your good old friendly neighborhood is devastated. Your whole community is in shambles and likely will be for years to come.

This is the kind of catastrophe that drove Mary and me to leave New Orleans after Katrina. We suffered only minor roof damage then, but we knew that every year, when hurricane season rolled around, we’d be going through the anxiety of wondering if and when it would happen again.

Which brings me to the second part of my opening sentence. I don’t yet know enough about Harvey because I don’t know how much rain he’s going to dump in Natchitoches. Our house has come fairly close to getting water in through the back door in very heavy rains in the past. We have a concrete slab back porch and water tends to pool there. It’s come within a half-inch of the door sill.

So I got eight sandbags from the city on Tuesday and, with the help of our dear neighbors Andy and Kelly, built a little dam around the back door, hoping it will be sufficient to keep the house dry.

Normally, I’d write this column later in the day to give an updated report, but there’s always the possibility that power could go out and that I’d be unable to send my column to the Natchitoches Parish Journal.

So, here it is, mid-morning on Wednesday, as we sit and wait for Harvey to come to our town. Hope he starts to dry up and just hurry on through. For all of our sakes. God bless and good luck.

Music Together Classes for Young Children


Registration is now open for the Fall session of JoySounds Music Together classes for children ages birth-5 years and the grownups who love them! Parents, caregivers, and grandparents attend the classes with the children. Sign up for a free demo class Sept. 7 or register for the fall session online at http://www.joysoundsmusictogether.com.

Music Together is a wonderful early childhood music program that is research-based, joyful, and lots of fun! The classes will be on Thursdays in the late afternoon/evening at Spark Studio on Keyser Avenue (one class 4-5 pm and another class 5-6 pm). The classes will officially begin on Thursday, Sept. 15.

There is a discount for siblings over 7 months. Siblings who are 7 months and younger on the first day of class can attend the entire session for free. There’s also a discount for registration before Sept. 6.

Fall 2017 Printed Registration Form

To Keep You Informed and Healthy      

By Carl I. Walters II., Chief Executive Officer, Outpatient Medical Center Inc.


I’d like to elevate our community’s awareness and discussion about several matters. Did you know some of the leading chronic diseases and cause of death in Natchitoches Parish are:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Accidents
  • Complications from diabetes

We continue to see community family members being debilitated and/or losing their life to these disease modalities. Staying healthy and whole must be a partnership that includes you staying healthy and staying under the care of your primary care clinician. Things to keep your family healthy and whole include:

  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
  • Engage in some form of physical activity daily
  • Eat a balanced meal to avoid complications from obesity
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Stay current with mammograms, pap smears, and colorectal cancer screenings
  • Ensure children get routine well child checks every 6-12 months
  • Get a complete physical annually
  • Get dental check-ups every 6 months
  • Stay current with immunizations

I’m often asked – what’s the single-most thing we can do as a community or nation to better control rising health care costs? My answer is for people to take good care of themselves and get under the care and stay under the care of their primary care clinician.

Outpatient Medical Center Inc. (OMC) has been on the front lines of keeping your family healthy for 40 years. OMC was recognized as primary care chronic disease treatment experts by the Federal government; as Federally Qualified Health Centers, which have been federally mandated to help reduce chronic disease morbidity and mortality rates for over 50 years now.OMC-Gold medal2017

Federally Qualified Health Centers are also federally-mandated not to allow one’s inability to pay for services to be a barrier to care. This means, we’re more concerned about ensuring you receive the high-quality, medically-appropriate, cost-effective personalized services your family deserves. Our dedicated Board-certified system clinicians and clinical teams stand by with open arms to provide outstanding professional and personal care.

Also know that Outpatient Medical Center Inc. offers the following services:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatric
  • Dental
  • Behavioral Health
  • Urgent Care
  • Gyn
  • Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Outreach
  • Healthcare Enrollment

OMC is JCAHO accredited, one of the highest national seals for providing the highest quality medical services. We also applied to become Patient-Center Medical Home recognized; a distinction we’re committed to adding to our health system quality awards by the end of 2017.

If you haven’t received core medical or dental preventative services in awhile or you’re not under the care of a primary care clinician, pick up the phone and call an OMC office in your area to schedule an appointment.

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Tuesday from 8 am – 6 pm

Wednesday from 8 am – 5 pm

Thursday from 8 am – 8 pm

Friday from 8 am – 1 pm

OMC is now accepting new patients and welcomes active duty, reserve, retired military Veterans and their families. Visit our website at www.outpatientmedical.org.


Natchitoches: 1640 Breazeale Springs St., Natchitoches, LA 71457 1-800-268-5872

Leesville: 1603 B Boone St., Leesville, LA 71446 1-800-308-7569

Tallulah: 804 Beech St., Tallulah, LA 1-800-308-7566 

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Cane River Lake Update – 08-31-17


Public Notice:
August 31, 2017

Cane River Lake is currently at 99.8 MSL. Extreme Flood 100.0 MSL Pool Stage is 98.0 MSL Current Lake Status:

Cane River Lake is now Closed due to high water until further notice.  No boats are permitted on the lake during this time.  The lake has crested and is beginning to drop.  Please monitor your boats closely as boats that have drifted on top of retaining walls and/or onto property could possibly become dry docked as the water level falls.

Lake Levels will be available and posted as often as possible on the Commissions web site at www.caneriverwaterway.com look under Storm-Harvey Posts.  Email Alerts will be sent as lake levels and/or conditions change.  For information contact Betty Fuller @ 318-617-3235.

Individual wanted by the Natchitoches Police Department


The Natchitoches Police Department is asking for your assistance in locating Antoine Mitchell, 31 year old black male. Mitchell is wanted for Aggravated burglary and aggravated second degree battery.

On August 28, 2017 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Antoine Mitchell entered the victim’s residence, produced a handgun and demanded drugs from the victim. After the victim advised he didn’t have any drugs Mitchell hit him with the handgun several times causing lacerations to his head and cheek area. Mitchell then took the victim’s prescription pills and cell phone and left the scene.

A warrant for his arrest has been signed by a Natchitoches Parish Judge.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Antoine Mitchell please contact Det. Pinkney at (318)357-3817or The Natchitoches Police Department at (318)352-8101.

Notice of Death – August 31, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

Karl Edwards
December 29, 1951 – August 28, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 1 from 6-9 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will begin at 7 pm in the funeral home chapel.

Yvonne Sawyer
August 24, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Sept. 2 from 9-10 am
Service: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 10 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum.

Frank Westmoreland
August 30, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Bertha Gay
August 30, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Stafford Whitaker, Jr.
Service: Friday, Sept. 1 at 11 am at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Shreveport
Interment: Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville

Privatavil “Sack” Hewitt
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 12 pm at St Elizabeth Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Interment: Community Cemetery

Calvin Hobley III
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 1 from 12-1 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 pm at Restoration Apostolic in Shreveport
Interment: Springville Cemetery

Eura Dell Williams
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 1 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home in Mansfield
Service: Saturday, Sept. 2 at 2 pm at St Luke Baptist Church in Mansfield
Interment: Union Cemetery in Mansfield

Dr. Karen Townsend Gordy
April 13, 1946 – August 31, 2017
Visitation: Tuesday, Sept. 5 from 12-2 pm
Service: Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 2 pm in the Chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Interment: Springville Cemetery in Coushatta