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 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
LA 9: at the Junction of US 71 to the Bienville Parish line is closed due to high water
LA 478: At the intersection of LA 120 is closed due to high water
LA 156: from LA 9 to LA 479 is closed due to high water
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
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
Winn Parish – STATE LA 501: from US 167 to LA 156 is closed due to high water
Don’t attempt to travel on flooded roadways; you never know what is below the surface such as washouts, cave-ins, etc.
Early on the morning Deputy Moran was to prepare his prisoners for a trip before Judge Robert Porter in Natchitoches, he summoned Doctor Scruggs for one last visit to check on Captain Winston’s condition.
While the good Doctor was treating Winston’s wound Deputy Moran summoned their local lawyer Ronnie Smith. He wanted Smith to present their proposal to Captain John to sign over all of his properties to the original owners, along with his money, in exchange for escaping the hangman’s noose back in Mississippi.
When Ronnie Smith arrived at the office with all the necessary paperwork for Winston’s approval, Doctor Scruggs had completed his examination and treatment. He told Deputy Moran that Winston was fit for travel to Natchitoches, but first their business needed to be conducted.
Winston was the only prisoner in the office when the Attorney arrived and sat quietly as Ronnie Smith outlined what he needed to do to spare his life in Mississippi. Did he want to spend the rest of his miserable life in prison or death by the hangman’s noose.
It didn’t take long for Winston to make his decision. He eagerly signed all the paperwork that would guarantee each of the families he forced out of their homes the opportunity to return and to each share a portion of his wealth for the hell that he had put them through.
As soon as all the paperwork was signed Winston and the other four prisoners were shackled and put in a wagon for the trip to Natchitoches. Moran and the two Mississippi Deputies then road out of Cloutierville headed to Natchitoches to meet Sheriff Jones and Judge Porter. Traveling with them to Natchitoches was Abslom, Levy, Pete, Aiden, Dylan, and their Mother. They’d been summoned that morning to make the trip so that the boys could speak before Judge Robert Porter in the proceedings. Attorney Ronnie Smith would be coming along with the party as were Harold LaCaze and Andrew Hernandez. They had discovered valuable information to present Judge Porter regarding events at Monett’s Ferry.
All parties entered Judge Porters courtroom in Natchitoches for what would be judgement day for the five murderers. Sheriff Jones met them in the hallway and ushered them inside.
Once everyone was settled Judge Porter called Captain John Winston and his two thugs from Mississippi to come forward. Winston was ushered up in a wheel chair. Sheriff Jones was then called forward to relate events that had taken place in Mississippi, ending with Winston murdering the jailer during his escape. He and his two associates were to be hung upon their return.
Judge Porter then asked Sheriff Jones if events had changed concerning those plans. Jones said that a deal had been made with Winston that their lives would be spared if he returned all property to the rightful owners along with the wealth that he had amassed to be shared equally between the property owners. Ronnie Smith confirmed that the necessary papers were in order to accomplish this agreement.
Judge Porter called for a short recess to look over the murder charges and death penalty that went along with them, as well as the documents that Captain John had signed surrendering his property and money. He also had documents that Sheriff Jones had signed freeing the criminals from a hangman’s noose and allowing them to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
When he returned to the bench Judge Porter announced his decision. The papers were in order. All property and cash would go to the land owners. Sheriff Jones had received the authority from the Judge in his jurisdiction to drop the death penalty. That was in order and he accepted this decision and rapped his gavel and began to finalize the proceedings thus far.
Captain John Winston and his two thugs breathed a sigh of relief. Then Judge Robert Porter cleared his throat and rapped his gavel again.
The matter in Mississippi was satisfied; however, there was the case for Pete’s kidnapping and the murder of the old Doctor at Monett’s Ferry. Both cases brought the death penalty. Pete’s testimony along with information Harold LaCaze and Andrew Hernandez had gathered which proved the old Doctor was killed even after he saved Captain John’s life, was all Judge Porter needed to make another decision.
Since the kidnapping and murder charges took place in Louisiana and the perpetrators were captured in Louisiana, the law clearly stated that justice would be served here first. This was Judge Porter’s interpretation and it was final.
The Judge then ordered the two old Union Army thugs to stand with Winston and his two men. The courtroom was quiet when Judge Porter cleared his throat and made his next ruling.
The five murderers before him would stand on the gallows which would be constructed and placed in front of the Court House and be hung by the neck until dead. Sheriff Jones could bring the bodies of Winston and his two thugs back to Mississippi with him, but he did not think a jail cell would be necessary. Judge Porter hammered his gavel and smiled as he said that court was adjourned.
Everyone’s eyes were on the five men before the bench. Captain John Winston began to cry like a baby again, and so did the men standing next to him.
Everyone else in the courtroom was smiling as the prisoners were lead away to the Natchitoches jail to await execution.
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.
August 30, 2017
Cane River Lake is currently at 99.0 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. Heavy rain still in the forecast. It is extremely important that you monitor your property closely, check boats in boathouses frequently as you do not want them trapped causing property damage. The lake will continue to rise, so monitor your property until the storm is over.
Harvey has been a challenging storm to predict and tract. As the storm moves North East it is vital that property owners remain diligent in observing water levels and weather conditions for personal safety and property protection. Making decisions should be based on information from the National Weather Service, Governmental Agencies, and your knowledge. 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.
Natchitoches Parish Head Start Centers – Closed Wednesday
Natchitoches Parish Schools and Central Office – Closed Wednesday
Natchitoches Parish Child Care Centers – Closed Wednesday
Natchitoches Area Convention and Vistors Bureau – Closed Wednesday & Thursday
NSU Demon Quarterback Club Luncheon (set for Wednesday) cancelled
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.
Natchitoches Parish Government – Open
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.
Cane River Lake is currently at 98.2 MSL. Pool Stage is 98.0 MSL Current Lake Status:
The Spillway Landing remains closed. The lake and all other landings are open. Heavy rain in the forecast. Harvey has been a challenging storm to predict and tract. As the storm moves North East it is vital that property owners remain diligent in observing water levels and weather conditions for personal safety and property protection. Making decisions should be based on information from the National Weather Service, Governmental Agencies, and your knowledge. Cane River Lake can rise very quickly, so monitor your property until the storm is over.
Lake Levels will be available and posted as often as possible on the Commissions web site at www.caneriverwaterway.com look under Storm-Harvey Post. Email Alerts will be sent as lake levels and/or conditions change.
For information contact Betty Fuller @ 318-617-3235.
Whether buying your first family home or purchasing rental property, real estate is a good investment option. However, there is much to consider when budgeting to maintain property. A common assumption is that a fixed rate mortgage will guarantee an exact monthly payment for the entire loan term. Unfortunately, this is not the case when property taxes and insurance are included in your monthly mortgage payment. Both are fees that will fluctuate throughout the course of your loan term.
Owning a home could be the largest purchase you make in your lifetime. Of course, you would want an asset that valuable insured. But insurance is a business that analyzes risk to assure they are taking in more than they give out. It is likely that during the course of your loan term, there will be periodic increases in your premium.
There are several factors that can contribute to premium increases. Locally, we have seen record breaking floods that have raised premiums and with the expansion of the flood zones, many homeowners may be forced to acquire flood insurance, as an additional policy.
Other factors that can affect your premiums may include, decreasing credit score, adding a home business, aging of the property, adding additions or putting in a swimming pool. It is always a good idea to contact your insurance agent annually to see if any changes have been made to your policy.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We all want good roads to drive on, good schools for our children, parks, libraries, boat launches, policeman, firemen, and teachers. So how do we pay for these amenities and the wages for the community professionals?
Property taxes are the main source of income for all of these necessities and the backbone for city and parish funding. However, property tax is an ad valorem tax, which means according to value. The amount of property tax you pay is based on the current market value of your land and everything attached thereto. As the real estate market is constantly changing, so can your assessed value, and likewise, your taxes. It may seem unfair that an addition to your home or building a new barn may increase your tax payment, but that’s how the ad valorem tax system has worked for over 200 years.
So, when it comes time to close on that new dream home, you will be quoted an estimate of monthly mortgage payments. This could be done by the lender, real estate agent, closing attorney, title company, etc. Potential homeowners need to ensure that the value used to calculate the property taxes is based on the home’s sale price and not the prior years assessed value. Also, buyers need to ensure homeowners insurance is not based on the previous owner’s premium.
For many real estate transactions, taxes and insurance are miscalculated or overlooked. This could mean $300-500 in monthly payments that a buyer didn’t include in their budget. The importance of using accurate and honest figures when budgeting for a new home just may prevent your home from being foreclosed on or auctioned at tax sale.
For more than 20 years, Harris Ray Wilson Jr. has been more widely known throughout the community and indeed the NCAA as “Coach Black.” He is the quintessential NSU Demon sports fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of NSU sports records. He is a fixture at practices and games. You are not really considered a coach at NSU until you have been “fired!” by Coach Black.
Coach Black was honored by The Modern Woodman of America and his beloved NSU Athletic family Aug. 29 at the NSU Fieldhouse for a different reason. He was named a Natchitoches Hometown Hero for his actions during a fire at his grandmother’s home on July 15. When the house fire started, he made it outside and then realized his grandmother and sister were still inside. He went back into the burning house and brought them to safety. The house was a total loss, but thanks to Harris Ray Wilson Jr., no lives were lost.
In addition to his title, the Modern Woodmen of America will donate $100 to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in his name. Local attorney and fellow Demon fan Jack Brittain Jr. chose Coach Black to “represent the NSU family” in returning the football that Chris Moore kicked through the goal posts to bring the victory to the Demons in the 2014 football upset against LA Tech.
Harris Ray Wilson Jr. is a true Demon fan and member of the NSU family. On that night in July, he proved himself to be much more. He showed himself to be a man of courage upon whom his family could depend on in the face of danger. Well done, sir!
Tropical Storm Harvey has made landfall again, this time in Louisiana. The storm hit just west of Cameron, La. at 4 a.m. local time.
The center issued a storm surge warning for a large section of the state’s coastline, stretching from Holly Beach to Morgan City.
Harvey is expected to cause 3 to 6 inches of rain between the area near the Texas/Louisiana border into western Kentucky, the center says, and warns of “isolated amounts up to 10 inches.”
Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches to the north and east of Houston from far east Texas into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals will reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area. These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding over large portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL IN THE AFFECTED AREA IF YOU ARE IN A SAFE PLACE. DO NOT DRIVE INTO FLOODED ROADWAYS.
Please see warnings and products issued by your local National Weather Service office for additional information on this life-threatening situation.
Elsewhere, Harvey is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches across portions of southern Louisiana into coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Rainfall associated with Harvey will spread north by mid to late week, with rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches spreading into portions of Arkansas and the Tennessee Valley.
Due to the potential for severe weather associated with Hurricane Harvey, all Natchitoches Parish Head Start centers will be closed Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The centers will remain closed until further notice. The Head Start center in DeSoto Parish is currently scheduled to open tomorrow for normal operations.
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Community Services at 318.357.2220.