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 http://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

Area Closures – August 31, 2017



Natchitoches Parish Government – Open

All NSU campuses will be closed Wednesday and Thursday

LSMSA will reopen the residence halls Monday, Sept. 4 at 3 pm

Natchitoches Parish Registrar of Voters Office – Closed Wednesday
UPDATE:  Registrar of Voters Office WILL be open today at 10:30a

Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office – Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court Office – Closed Wednesday
UPDATE:  Clerk of Court WILL be open today at 10:30a for any Last-Day-Of-The-Month filings.

Tenth Judicial District Courts – Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Natchitoches Parish Tax Assessor – Closed Wednesday
UPDATE:  Parish Tax Assessor  WILL be open today at 10:30a

Natchitoches Parish Head Start Centers – Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Natchitoches Parish Schools and Central Office – Closed Until Tuesday

Natchitoches Parish Child Care Centers – Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Natchitoches Area Convention and Vistors Bureau – Closed Wednesday & Thursday

A series of lectures and masterclasses at Northwestern State University by pianist Anthony van den Broek scheduled for Sept. 4-9 have been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Due to tropical storm Harvey and the potential for heavy flooding on Cane River, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 30-31. This includes Oakland and Magnolia Plantations.

Northwestern State University’s Office of Job Location and Development has rescheduled its Part-Time Job Fair for Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom. The event had been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31.

St. Mary’s – Due to the extreme flooding in our surrounding areas, there will be a few changes to our Friday night schedule.  Our game against Lakeview will be moved to 6:00 at Turpin Stadium.  Many High school will take the field against Peabody immediately following our game.  St. Mary’s will provide the concession stand for the Many game and we are thankful that we are able to help out another school in a neighboring parish!!
Everyone stay safe and we will see you on Friday!

Sibley Lake Boat Ramps closed until further notice.

All are reporting OPEN as of 6AM

Some centers will  be closed over the next few days and for the Labor Day holiday. Please contact your child’s Child Care facility concerning upcoming closing and re-opening possibilities. Some centers’ decision to reopen will be on a day to day basis. The following have reported they will be closed on Thursday; however, may re-open on Friday. If a center does not answer please feel free to contact Amy Metoyer at 318-471-5240

A To Z 1  2  3 Preschool And Learning
Closed: TBD

Bright Beginnings  Inc.

Cobblestones Child Development Center

Fays Daycare And Learning Center

Funtime Palace Day Care

Juz Us Childcare of Natchitoches

Lil Rascals Learning Center

NSU Child Development Center

Tiny Tots Day Care Pre-School

Vaughn Early Learning Center

Road Closures as of Thursday morning

state and parish road closed


Effective immediately, the following road closures are in place due to heavy rains. The roads will be reopened as soon as conditions improve. Be sure to check http://www.511la.org for the latest travel information, as road conditions change quickly.

Natchitoches Parish – STATE
LA 485 South: 0.5 miles West of I-49 is closed due to high water

LA 485: 2.0 miles North of LA 6 Intersection is closed due to high water

LA 1222: 1.5 miles East of LA 485 is closed due to high water

LA 117: 2.0 miles South of LA 120 is closed due to slope failure

**NOW OPEN** LA 9: at the Junction of US 71 to the Bienville Parish line

LA 478: At the intersection of LA 120 is closed due to high water

**NOW OPEN** LA 156: from LA 9 to LA 479

LA 480: East of US 71 is closed due to high water

LA 153: LA 9 to the Bienville Parish line is closed due to high water

LA 155: Red River Parish Line to LA 153 is closed due to high water

LA 487: LA 120 to LA 174 is closed due to high water

LA 120: from I-49 to LA 478 is closed due to high water

LA 479: from LA 9 to LA 156 is closed due to high water

Vernon Parish – STATE:
**NOW OPEN** LA 111: from northern intersection of Beech Grove Loop to LA 392

LA 111: from southern intersection of Beech Grove Loop to LA 8 is closed due to high water

LA 464: between Peevy Road and J. M. Q Loop is closed due to high water

Winn Parish – STATE:
**NOW OPEN**LA 501: from US 167 to LA 156

LA 156: from LA 1232 to LA 501 is closed due to high water

LA 1232: from LA 156 to LA 501 is closed due to high water

Sabine Parish – STATE:
LA 1217: North of the LA 6 Intersection is closed due to high water

US 171 Business: US 171 in Zwolle near LA 1216 and the post office is closed due to high water

LA 1216: .2 miles East of US 171 is closed due to high water

LA 174: 1 mile west of Pleasant Hill is closed due to a downed tree on power line.

LA 1215: west of LA 191 is closed due to trees on power lines

LA 174: from Converse to Ryles Road is closed due to high water

Natchitoches Parish – Parish Roads

The following roads have been reported closed to the NPSO 911 Center due to high water or wash outs in Natchitoches Parish:

Nelson Road near Marthaville
Eight Mile Loop in Oak Grove
Collins Road near Provencal
Stiles Road off of Collier Hill Road north of Campi
Longlois Hill Road near Flora
Jim Bell Road north of Campti
Rocks Creek Road near Marthaville
Central Loop nea Center Point Energy near Robeline
Mammy Trail near McDonald’s Camp
BJ Smith Road
Bright Star Church Road
Chiquanpin Drive off of La. Hwy 3191
Allen-Marthaville Road near Crossroads Church

Don’t attempt to travel on flooded roadways; you never know what is below the surface such as washouts, cave-ins, etc.

Free capital outlay nonstate entity training – deadline to register Sept. 1st

capital outlay.jpg

The Office of Facility Planning & Control will conduct free capital outlay training for nonstate entities this year. This training may be helpful for any nonstate entity in your district interested in learning more about applying for capital outlay funding and the capital outlay request process.

This year, there are two training dates available as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 9:30 a.m to 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Interested nonstate entities can register for this training via email at capitaloutlay@la.gov or call 225-342-0823. If registering by email, the message should include the name of the entity, the name of the person or persons attending the training, and your preference for the Tuesday or Thursday training session. The deadline to register is Friday, Sept. 1.

Good vision leads to a better education

ADV-Back to School Eyey Care

The school years are a very important time in every child’s life, according to the American Optometric Association. Parents want to see their children do well in school. All too often one important learning tool may be overlooked – a child’s vision.

When certain visual skills have not developed, or are poorly developed, learning is difficult and stressful, and children may typically:

• Avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible
• Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency
• Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span

Louisiana Eye and Laser of Natchitoches is here to help. Students in grades K-12 are eligible to receive a Back-To-School Eye Care Special through Sept. 30. A routine eye exam is $45 with Standard Eye Wear starting at only $45.99 (includes frame and lenses).

For more information on this special call 318-352-0444. Louisiana Eye and Laser Center is located at 1055 Parkway Drive in Natchitoches. Promotion cannot be combined with any vision plan and applies at the Natchitoches location only.


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Destination Louisiana: Natchitoches chosen as feature City for December

Natty Fireworks

Natchitoches Parish was chosen to be the featured destination for the new Louisiana Office of Tourism in-state program, Destination Louisiana, for the month of December. According to the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Natchitoches Christmas Festival is a huge draw for the state and the area, and hopefully the additional advertising and promotion will increase attendance and visitation.

“The Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau is honored that Natchitoches Parish has been selected as the featured destination for the month of December 2017 by the Louisiana Office of Tourism,” said Director Arlene Gould. “It was announced by the Lt. Governor at the recent Lt. Gov’s Tourism Summit and we couldn’t be happier or more proud to have the LOT promote our community during our 91st Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights to encourage our state residents to visit Natchitoches during the holiday season.”

One destination in Louisiana was chosen for each month to receive multi-platform coverage from the Louisiana Office of Tourism to encourage in-state travel by citizens of Louisiana.

Coverage includes:

A digital billboard in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Monroe, Lafayette and Lake Charles

A :30 spot recorded by LG Nungesser for each destination

Full page ads in state magazines

Coverage in the Louisiana Life Newsletter

Promotion in the monthly Louisiana Travel E-News, on the Louisiana Travel website, and across all Louisiana Travel social media platforms

New nursing certificate program approved for NSU

nursing program.jpg

A Post Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) at Northwestern State University has been approved by the State Board of Regents.

The certificate program is for registered nurses holding a Master of Science in Nursing to obtain additional certification and licensure to provide mental health services to prevent or treat psychiatric disorders. The structure of the program will vary depending upon coursework completed during the student’s previous graduate work.

“We are offering the certificate to MSN prepared nurses, using a hybrid delivery. Much of the course will be online, but there will be some class meetings,” said Director of Graduate Studies and Research in Nursing and Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Connie Hale. “MSN nurses who are actively practicing APRNs (advance practice register nurses) can earn this certificate in as little as four semesters, while non APRN prepared nurses with an MSN can earn it in as little as five semesters.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness, and one in 25 lives with a serious mental illness. NAMI found that 26% of homeless adults in shelters, 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system, and 24% of state prisoners have mental health disorders that need treatment. NAMI also estimates that 18-22 veterans die every day from suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death for those aged 10-24.

Hale said a PMHNP is an advanced practice registered nurse who possesses specialized knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive mental health care to individuals, families and populations across the lifespan who are at risk of developing and/or have a diagnosed psychiatric disorder or mental health problem. Community partners and stakeholders responded overwhelmingly in support of the proposed expansion of the program during a formal meeting, hosted by NSU, to share their needs for psychiatric mental healthcare providers and the use of PMHNPs, according to Hale.

Student interest in the proposed post-graduate certificate will be from registered nurses who hold a graduate nursing degree. According to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, of the 3,179 licensed NPs in Louisiana in 2015, only 157 worked in psychiatric mental health/substance abuse, leaving a large number of nurse practitioners that would need post-graduate certificate options if they ever choose to enter that field of practice.

“The program is open to nurses throughout the state, but focuses on central and northern Louisiana,” said Hale. “Interest in this program has been great, and applications continue to come in.”

For more information, go to nsula.edu/academics/nursing-allied-health/nursing-program.

Historic markdowns continue



Historic markdowns continue at Lee’s Furniture Depot at its 1500 Texas Street location. All the inventory must go immediately, regardless of price, to vacate the premises and turn the building over to its new owners.

The Lee’s will continue to discount all in-stock items each week until EVERYTHING is gone!

The sales floor will be restocked with warehouse inventory including recliners, dining and living room sets, mattresses and so much more. This gives customers the best possible selection at store closing prices.

Business will continue as usual at the store’s 1216 Texas Street location, where Kevin Lee says they will continue to give customers the same great service they’ve had for the last 61 years.

All purchases must be picked up as soon as possible (delivery can be arranged for an extra fee). Sale prices do not apply to previous purchases and all sales are final. Cash or easy credit terms. Come see! You can’t afford to pass up these great savings!

Lee's August Display Ad

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