2018 Calendar features community’s first responders

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The Natchitoches Parish Journal is proud to present a 2018 Calendar featuring the community’s finest: the first responders that serve the citizens of Natchitoches Parish. Departments featured include the Natchitoches Police Department, Natchitoches Fire Department, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, SWAT Team, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and NSU Police.

“These men and women put their lives on the line for us every day,” said NPJ Editor Corey Poole. “They’re the first person on the scene when an emergency strikes. When we started planning our calendar project, we knew we wanted to show them our gratitude and show the community the faces of the people who protect and serve.”

Calendars available at the following locations:

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office
Natchitoches Police Department
Natchitoches SWAT Team
NSU Police Office
Natchitoches Fire Department
David Stamey – Clerk of Court
Sabine State Bank
Jackson Automotive
Premium Pawn
City of Natchitoches Main Street Office
Lee’s Furniture
M&M Pharmacy
Natchitoches Woman’s Care
City Bank & Trust
Chateau St. Denis
La Capital Federal Credit Union
Natchitoches Wood Preserving
949 The River Radio
My923 Radio
Natchitoches Parish Journal

LaCap Senior Spotlight: Haley Garrison

AD-LaCap lakeview 12-2017


LaCap Senior Spotlight recognizes Haley Garrison, a senior at Lakeview High School, as an outstanding high school senior.

Haley is the daughter of Danny and Kathy Griffith. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and currently ranks No. 1 on her class of 87 students. In addition to academics, she was a member of the Lakeview Gator Band for 3 years, a Swamp Club member for 2 years, a member of the Year Book Club for 1 year, and a class representative for 1 year.

She has also been an active member of JROTC for 3.5 years, a member of the National Honor Society for 3 years, and Beta Club for 2 years. During her 3 years of JROTC, she achieved the highest rank a cadet can earn, Cadet Major. She was then appointed to be the Cadet Group Commander of the Lakeview Air Force JROTC Cadet Corps.

Haley is currently taking Dual Enrollment classes at Northwestern State University to work toward her high school diploma and her future career. After high school, she plans on attending NSU in Shreveport to work toward a master’s degree in nursing. Her career goals are to become a neonatal nurse and eventually become a nurse practitioner.

LaCap believes it takes good grades, community involvement, and hard work to make a successful leader. Haley Garrison is being recognized for these qualities.

LaCap is committed to improving our community’s well-being by offering financial and volunteer support to organizations that enhance the quality of life through programs for youth, education, and financial literacy.

La Capital Federal Credit Union has two locations in Natchitoches: 311 Keyser Avenue and 926 University Pkwy. Call 318-357-3200 or go online to lacapfcu.org for more information.


Fire at The Landing causes minimal damage

Landing Fire 12-2017 (1)

The Natchitoches Fire Department received a call of flames showing on the roof area on the back side of The Landing Restaurant building on Front Street Dec. 29 before 5 am. The flames were confined to the back side of the building, but there was smoke damage throughout. There was damage to the back wall and attic area over the freezers. A fire marshal was called in to investigate.


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NPSO seeks public assistance identifying suspect and vehicle in recent hit and run

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A joint investigation by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives and Natchitoches Police is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a vehicle and person involved in a recent hit and run crash in the city of Natchitoches.

Detectives say the suspect vehicle appears to be a silver Chevrolet extended-cab pickup truck with chrome wheels operated by a white male with a goatee.

If you know this vehicle or suspect please contact Chief Investigaor Greg Dunn at 357-7832 or NPD Officer Marshal Guin at 352-8101.

Detectives say there were no injuries involved in the Hit & Run crash.


Here comes the cold weather

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department shared this Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service’s Shreveport office.

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An arctic cold front moving into the region Saturday, has the coldest air so far this winter season expected to spill south Saturday night and Sunday. High temperatures Sunday will likely occur during the morning, with temperatures expected to gradually fall during the day. In addition, there is the potential for light rain or drizzle to transition to light freezing rain, light freezing drizzle, or light snow late Saturday night across

Southeast Oklahoma and Southwest Arkansas, before it possibly spreads south into extreme Northeast Texas and extreme Northern Louisiana north of Interstate 20 Sunday morning. Little if any snow or ice accumulation is expected.

Temperatures will fall below freezing across Southeast Oklahoma, extreme Northeast Texas, and Southwest Arkansas Sunday afternoon, and across the remainder of the region Sunday evening.

Temperatures are expected to remain near or below freezing across Northeast Texas, Southeast Oklahoma, Southwest Arkansas, and portions of Northern Louisiana through Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday, with nighttime temperatures falling well into the upper teens to near 20 degrees areawide New Years morning, and well into the teens Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. In addition, winds Monday and Tuesday mornings will result in dangerously cold wind chill values falling into the single digits to lower teens over much of the region.

Precautions should be taken now to wrap any exposed pipes, and ensure that the elderly and those that may not have adequate indoor heating are kept warm. Consider bringing your pets inside.

If you have to be outside in these very cold temperatures, be sure to dress in layers, wear gloves, and a hat. Extended exposure to these very cold temperatures will lead to frost bite and hypothermia.

Be sure to stay abreast to the latest weather information from the National Weather Service, or your favorite media outlets, concerning these very cold temperatures.


NSU Writers: Pay Our Athletes

By Ranard Thomas Jr., NSU Student


When it comes to collegiate sports, whether or not athletes should be paid has been argued over the past few years. Many have claimed that college athletes receive enough compensation through scholarships and other financial assistance. However, others believe universities are making a substantial amount of money due to players bringing in revenue. College athletes should be paid because of the profit they bring to schools.

According to Flory, Will Ofenheusle, a former offensive lineman for the University of Tennessee, college athletes should be paid in some form. He said, “I think college athletes should be compensated in some way, even though its amateur athletics, just due to how much money the school is making off of the players.” For example, in 2014, the NCAA generated $989 million in revenue. More than 80% of this revenue is related to ‘March Madness,’ a popular men’s collegiate basketball tournament. This is evidence of how much profit universities make from the players.

In addition, financial advisor David Moon said, “They should either get a share of the revenues generated, or they should be represented by counsel when they sign a letter of intent or a scholarship agreement to play for a certain school.” He basically argued the idea that players are discussing a negotiation where they are not represented. Meaning that the players are sitting down to negotiate a topic in which a task is requested in hopes of bringing in more revenue. Hence, college scouts searching for prospects to bring to their program. He compared this to a divorce when he said, “We would never let someone go through a divorce with those odds stacked against them.”

A nationwide debate has grown in recent years as to whether college athletes should be paid for their athletic performance. Those who oppose paying college athletes for sports often argue that doing so would damage dilute the meaning of college sports. Many may include that they are already compensated suggesting that most earn scholarships that covers their tuition, housing, and textbooks. However, athletes have said that although those things are covered, they still have out-of-pocket things to pay for that they don’t always have. For example, Hamza Abdullah, a football player at Washington State, once participated in a hashtag on twitter that said: “Broke College Athlete Anything Helps.” In one of his tweets, he explained how he had to clean the carpets of fraternity and sorority houses to pay for food and gas. Also, he said, “I needed government assistance to pay my light bill.” This proves that even though athletes receive scholarships, they still need money.

On the other hand, it has been stated that professional athletes already make a ridiculous amount of money and the idea that we are hearing arguments that college athletes deserve to be compensated is insane. According to Nick Menegas, a college scholarship is a sweet, sweet deal. He argues that their tuition, room and board, fees, and books is being covered all because they can run, jump, throw, shoot, pitch, or catch. He also stated that professional football is currently on his disgust list because of millionaires battling millionaires for more millions. He believes paying college athletes would dilute the sensation behind college sports. Menegas also argues that not paying college athletes would prevent athletes from blowing their money once they actually do start getting paid. He said, “My point is, if it is easily given, it is as easily spent or blown. If earned by your own sweat, the dollars are spent much more wisely.”

College athletes should be compensated for their athletic performance. Universities bring to too much money because of players and those same players struggle with the same financial problems as others. To say that they put so much work in on the fields and courts, and they make so much money for their schools, it’s a shame that those same players can’t even get some of the money that they help generate.


Notice of Death – December 29, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

Jimmie L Dunlap
December 18, 1950 – December 28, 2017
Service: Thursday, Jan. 4 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial funeral Home Chapel in Winnfield
Internment: Winn City Cemetery

Heather Elaine Guin
February 23, 1956 – December 28, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 10 am – 2 pm
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 pm at Family Worship Center on Black Lake
Interment: Black Lake Full Gospel Cemetery

Elsie Pearl Meshell
June 28, 1926 – December 28, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Ann Catholic Cemetery

Rev. Frank (Butch) Dale Johnson
January 11, 1940 – December 28, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Sunday, Dec. 31 at 2 pm at Martin United Pentecostal Church
Interment: Thomas Wren Cemetery in Martin

Johnnie Elaine Weems
July 23, 1933 – December 27, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Dec. 29 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home of Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Pine Grove Cemetery near Hagewood

Barbara Jean Gresham
January 14, 1955 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 5-7 pm at Southern Funeral Home and Sunday, Dec. 31 from 1-2:30 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, Dec. 31 at 2:30 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Atlanta Cemetery in Atlanta

Zettie M. Johnson
March 13, 1935 – December 23, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at the Neal’s Temple C.O.G.I.C. in Winnfield
Interment: Winnfield City Cemetery

Kenneth Hugh Peavy
July 22, 1951 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 10 am – 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Interment: Pleasant Hill cemetery (Masonic Funeral Rites will be conducted by Calvin Lodge No. 431 F&AM)

Stephanie Kay Stipek
February 26, 1987 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 9-11 am at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Shaneika Sibley
December 20, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 1:30 pm at the Ben Johnson Auditorium, 400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Natchitoches
Interment: Shady Grove Community Cemetery

Patsy Gay
December 18, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Mary McCall
December 17, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches



Don’t let the flu bug bite



The Louisiana Department of Health reminds all residents of the importance of getting an annual flu vaccine. The flu causes approximately 500 deaths and nearly 3,000 hospitalizations each year in Louisiana, and tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S.

Flu cases are surging in the state and Dr. Bill Luster says it’s going to be the worst flu season in several years.

“It’s nothing to be panicked over,” he said. “Be aware and be prepared. Get your flu shots now.”

The flu comes through Natchitoches every year in the winter months and it mutates all the time. This year’s flu is H3N2 is a more serious subtype of influenza A. This means it’s tougher for peoples’ immune systems to fight, which makes it easier to catch and easier to spread.

While flu vaccines are usually 40-60 percent effective, Dr. Luster said this year’s batch isn’t as effective.

“We’ll see a lot more people getting sick, but it’s still worth getting a flu vaccine,” he said. “I haven’t seen anything like it in years.”

Dr. Luster said his practice, Cane River Family Medicine, ran out of flu vaccines, but has more coming in.

“If you get the flu, see your doctor immediately,” he said. “Also, get on Tamiflu within 48 hours of flu symptom onset. Stay home until you haven’t had a fever for 48 hours.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Heath recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot.

The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately, but takes about two weeks to offer full protection. Flu shots are now available at local pharmacies, clinics, doctor’s offices and federally qualified (community) health centers. Check flushot.healthmap.org for a flu shot provider near you.

flu 1flu 2


5th Annual Law Enforcement Ball set for New Year’s Eve

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The members of Ladies for Law Enforcement would like to extend an invitation to join us for the 5th annual Law Enforcement Ball on Sunday, Dec. 31. Help us show our support and appreciation for local law enforcement while enjoying an evening out to ring in the New Year.

The Law Enforcement Ball was started to help defer the cost of sending the Natchitoches Parish Honor Guard to the annual Fallen Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C. in honor of Deputy Ricky Issac, Jr. End of Watch: December 8, 2012. The Natchitoches Parish Honor Guard is comprised of volunteer officers that serve Natchitoches by attending funerals of fallen officers, marching in parades, and serving as needed in various other capacities.

Ladies for Law Enforcement is an official 501c3 non-profit organization, established to assist with the planning of the annual ball, as well as to promote positive community relationships between law enforcement and the general public. In addition to assisting the Honor Guard, proceeds from the Law Enforcement Ball will be made available to officers/families in need.

The Law Enforcement Ball is being held at the Natchitoches Events Center. Doors open at 8 p.m. with guests being asked to arrive by 9 p.m. for a brief program. Tickets are $50 each, or $25 for active members of Ladies for Law Enforcement. Formal attire is required. There will be music, food and drinks with a breakfast buffet served at 11 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight. A cash bar will also be available.

Tickets and membership information can be found at ladiesforlawenforcement.com or by liking our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ladiesforlawenforcement.






Ponderings with Doug – December 29, 2017

How did you do with your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions? My resolutions are shipwrecked by the time I ask the philosophical question. “Do resolutions begin on January 1 or January 2? Could I delay my resolutions until after football season?” I am like many of you; resolutions are made and not kept. My unofficial preacher survey reveals that only ¼ of us even think about resolutions. So this year, I’m introducing a new word into my spiritual vocabulary, repent. Repentance will replace resolutions.

The first time Jesus appears, in the first gospel, the first instruction He gives is “Repent.”

From then on, it’s His most consistent message. In all times and every situation, His advice is to repent. Not just the scribes and Pharisees, not just the powerful — he tells even the poor and oppressed that repentance is the key to eternal life. …

Talk of repentance makes modern-day Christians nervous. We are embarrassed by the stereotype of old-fashioned preachers hammering on sin and making people feel guilty. We rush to assert that Jesus isn’t really like that, He came out of love, He wants to help us. He knows us deep inside and feels our every pain, and His healing love sets us free.

This is one of those truths that run out of gas halfway home. The question is, what do we need to be healed of? Subjectively, we think we need sympathy and comfort, because our felt experience is of loneliness and unease. Objectively, our hearts are eaten through with rottenness. A hug and a smile aren’t enough. …

Repentance is the doorway to the spiritual life, the only way to begin. It is also the path itself, the only way to continue. Anything else is foolishness and self-delusion. Only repentance is both brute-honest enough, and joyous enough, to bring us all the way home.

This is what I’m pondering for 2018. And you?




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:

Genesha Franklin, 127 Amanda Dr, Natch, La – SPOM, No Insurance, Exp Registration
Shaquita Coleman, 409 A MLK Drive, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver, Exp MVI, Simple Battery
Sonya Martin, 103 Pleasant Rd, Robeline, La – DWI, Lights when Required, Open Container
Amanda Culbert, 409 MLK Drive, Natch, La – (2) Simple Battery
Quinston Ficklin, 519 Rowena St, Natch, La – SPOM
Kamorta Frazier, 208 Paula Lane, Natch, La – TBS
Keith Hampton, 200 Settles Ridge Lane, Hiram, GA – Criminal Mischief
Terrel Helaire, 918 4th St, Natch, La – Remaining on Premises
Danielle Holden, 835 Sixth St, Natch, La – TBS
Stormie Williams, 245 Carver Ave, Natch, La – TBS
David Williamson, 1812 Bermuda Rd, Natch, La – DWI 2nd
Rachel Thompson, 125 Carver Dr, Leesville, La – Contributing to the Delinquency
Balinda Rushing, 436 Howell St, Natch, La – SCDP
Shafonda Murphy, 1422 Georgia Ann St, Natch, La – Simple Battery
Jerrell Aaron, 845 Posey St, Natch, La – SCDP
Kashka Eldridge, 3800 University Pkwy, Natch, La – TBS, Resisting, Poss of CDS
Tareanesha Johnson, 1505 Gold St, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver
Petula Lacour, 515 Fairgrounds Rd Lot 46, Natch, La – TBS
Vanitria Stewart, 815 Woodyard Dr #30, Natch, La – Right of Way

Trial (T):
Trayvontrell Akins, 247 Lake Dr, Natch, La – TBS
Fitell Bolding, 3900 University Pkwy 431D, Natch, La – Sexual Battery
Michael Daniels, 4275 University Pkwy, Natch, La– SPOM, SCDP
Matthew Darr, 940 Second St, Natch, La – Public Possession of Alcohol Under 21
Kyle Monk, 429 Hwy 3278 Lot 13, Natch, La – TBS, Remaining on Premises
Kizzy Sylve, 815 Woodyard Dr Apt 26, Natch, La – TBS


Miss Natchitoches City of Lights Outstanding Teen raises awareness for Congenital Heart Disease

DAVIS - red hats

Regan Davis was crowned as Miss Natchitoches City of Lights Outstanding Teen and will be competing in the Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen in April 2018.

Unsurprisingly, Regan’s heart is as big and bright as her smile. She is currently working with the American Heart Association to bring awareness to Congenital Heart Disease. For her part, Regan is making and collecting caps for babies born in the month of February 2018. She has set a goal of making 250 hats for babies born in Northwest Louisiana.

For more information on how you can help Regan meet her goal and spread the word about Congenital Heart Disease, please go to her Facebook page at www.facebook/queens4acause.

Regan is a 14-year-old student at Caddo Middle Magnet in Shreveport. She is the daughter of Reimann and Jamie Davis.


Suspects wanted in shooting incident

Update: Natchitoches Police Department has arrested Jaterion Rainey, Derrick Rainey and a juvenile in connection with yesterday’s shooting. Jaterrion Rainey and Derrick Rainey were charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property; both were placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. The juvenile was also charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property and was placed in WARE Youth Detention Center. This investigation is ongoing at this time.


At approximately 2:00 p.m. on December 28, 2017 the Natchitoches Police Department received a report of shots fired in the 1500 block of Stella Street.

NPD officers responded to the area and began an investigation. As a result of the investigation the following subjects are wanted: Derrick Rainey, 22 year old black male and Jaterrion Rainey, 17 year old black male. Also wanted is a 16 year old black male juvenile.

These subjects are wanted for attempted first degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property and discharging a firearm in the city limits.

The Natchitoches Police Department is asking for your assistance in locating these suspects. Warrants for their arrest have been signed by a Natchitoches Parish Judge. No injuries were reported in this incident.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these individuals is urged to contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318)352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.



Notice of Death – December 28, 2017

Notice of Death 2017


Johnnie Elaine Weems
July 23, 1933 – December 27, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Dec. 29 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home of Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Pine Grove Cemetery near Hagewood

Barbara Jean Gresham
January 14, 1955 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 5-7 pm at Southern Funeral Home and Sunday, Dec. 31 from 1-2:30 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, Dec. 31 at 2:30 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Atlanta Cemetery in Atlanta

Betty Sue Southerland
December 26, 2017 – December 26, 2017
Private service held

Zettie M. Johnson
March 13, 1935 – December 23, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Dec. 29 from 6-8 pm in the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel in Winnfield
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at the Neal’s Temple C.O.G.I.C. in Winnfield
Interment: Winnfield City Cemetery

Kenneth Hugh Peavy
July 22, 1951 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 10 am – 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Interment: Pleasant Hill cemetery (Masonic Funeral Rites will be conducted by Calvin Lodge No. 431 F&AM)

Stephanie Kay Stipek
February 26, 1987 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Saturday, Dec. 30 from 9-11 am at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Whitney J. Lambert
January 21, 1935 – December 25, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Dec. 29 from 11 am – 2 pm at Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home
Service: Friday, Dec. 29 at 2 pm in Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home
Interment: Pine Grove Cemetery in Rhinehart

Exie Faye Derr
July 10, 1940 – December 24, 2017
Service: Friday, Dec. 29 at 1 pm at Shady Grove Independent Church of God
Interment: Pine Knott Cemetery

Shaneika Sibley
December 20, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 1:30 pm at the Ben Johnson Auditorium, 400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Natchitoches
Interment: Shady Grove Community Cemetery

Patsy Gay
December 18, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Mary McCall
December 17, 2017
Service: Saturday, Dec. 30 at 11 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches


Laird taking over program is part of a continuing surge around NSU football

Head Coach Brad Laird


Getting the Northwestern State football program back to championship status isn’t far fetched, new head coach Brad Laird insists.

It’s a task requiring more than good coaching, says veteran athletics director Greg Burke. But dominoes appear to be falling in place quickly since Laird’s hiring on Nov. 20.

The challenge might be daunting, if Laird, Burke, and not-new-to-NSU first-year president Dr. Chris Maggio didn’t know better.

The Demons haven’t been over .500 in a season since a 7-5 mark in 2008. If NSU was an FBS program, it would have been bowl-eligible in 2013 and 2014 with 6-6 marks, including a 2014 win at bowl-bound Louisiana Tech, but in the Football Championship Subdivision, it’s all about earning one of 24 playoff berths among the 123 contenders.

Not since 2004 have the Demons been involved in postseason. That playoff game, after NSU’s last Southland Conference championship, punctuated a run of five FCS playoff appearances in eight seasons between 1997-2004. NSU was 60-30 in that span, producing seven winning seasons, with Laird on Demon staffs just as it was starting and for three years at the end.

Laird was also on board last season, joining Jay Thomas’ last NSU staff as associate head coach and defensive coordinator. His influence restored a stingy tone to the Demons’ Purple Swarm defense, which allowed only 17 points per game in NSU’s three wins in the last four games of 2017.

Most importantly, in 11 months back on board, Laird got first-hand insight into not only the talent returning but all aspects of the program. Unlike nearly any other new coach, he isn’t learning as he goes, and he and the university and athletic leadership have a strong, doubt-free, pre-existing working relationship.

“The momentum at Northwestern State University, with the energy that comes from record enrollment and the reasons for it, is through the roof,” says Laird. “Combining the pieces of the puzzle that are in place now with the vision that Dr. Maggio and Mr. Burke have, the future is looking bright. From a football perspective, the completion of building a great staff combined with the positive feedback in recruiting, the opportunity for success is here.”

What’s unfolding demonstrates plenty of progress. Burke and Laird can fire off a steadily-growing list of promising developments, some at least partially sparked by the ascension of Maggio, a former high school football quarterback and offensive coordinator who ran, and then coached, track at NSU.

Addressing core needs of NSU’s student-athletes:

funding a third academic coordinator whose primary duties will involve extensive involvement with football the soon-to-be announced hiring of an assistant athletic director for Student-Athlete Development new nutrition center for competitors
football coaching salary pool back on par with the competition in state among Southland peers, which is beneficial for Laird as he rounds out his new staff, with former Trinity Valley Community College head coach Brad Smiley

rapid-fire push for architectural renderings of a new strength and conditioning center annex to the NSU Athletic Fieldhouse. Soon to follow will be upgrades to the Christmas Sports Medicine Center and the football equipment facilities, says Burke.

Now that the interior of Turpin Stadium is at least as impressive as any FCS facility in state or in the Southland Conference, Maggio and Burke are taking aim at enhancing the entrance for patrons on the press box side of the field.

Those initiatives, and more to come, are coalescing to energize insiders and supporters, and recruits.

The response among prospects has been obvious and immediate, confirms Laird, as the Demons have been collecting commitments while tapping into Louisiana high schools, especially in the 318 area code, with renewed fervor.


A Modern Guide to Building a Better Business



As business technology trends change, so must your ideas on how you run your business.

Jesse Poole, President/CEO of Boost Circuit Inc., wrote “The Boost Circuit: A Modern Guide to Building a Better Business.”

“I’ve experienced this evolution first hand,” said Poole. “I’ve kept up with social media, the state of the Internet, leaps and bounds in technology, and how businesses have utilized the Internet and are taking their digital presence to the next level.”

If you’ve been lost on how to modernize your business through better branding, proper marketing, and gaining an insight on understanding what the next generation of consumers will expect out of you and your business, this guide is for you. This guide can help entrepreneurs and business owners take advantage of the digital age of marketing, branding, and design that has hindered businesses in the past that didn’t have the luxury of the internet, social media, and access to a plethora of knowledge, insight, guidance, and tools that when utilized; can lead to success.

“Anyone can build a website and create a social media page,” said Jesse. “Not everyone can build a digital presence that delivers results. That takes time, patience, and practice.”

Boost Circuit is a full service media, entertainment, and digital marketing solutions company that owns and operates digital, mobile, video, and social media properties focused on small to mid-sized markets. The company specializes in the now; creating and distributing original and motivating media experiences that connect communities with the content they love, people they trust, products and services they want, and things that matter.

To learn more visit: www.boostcircuitinc.com

Or Call Toll Free: (844) 51-BOOST (844-512-6678)

To buy a copy of the book now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981736050/ref=sr_1_1ie=UTF8&qid=1514132858&sr=8-1&keywords=the+boost+circuit+a+modern+guide+to+building+a+better+business

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He Has a New Year’s Resolution for Telephone Solicitors — Don’t Call Him!

By Joe Darby


I’d like to provide a New Year’s resolution for all telephone solicitors: Stop calling me. I don’t want what you have and I’ll pick my own charities, thank you.

TS’s, as I will abbreviate them for the rest of this column, are certainly among the most persist folks you can encounter. For example, I can’t imagine why Heather keeps calling me, after all of the times I’ve hung up on her.

Well, I haven’t actually hung up on Heather. I wouldn’t be that rude. But Heather has made a recording, which I’ve heard repeatedly after I answer my cell phone.

In a very friendly, bouncy voice, she says something like this. “Hello! This is Heather. I’m calling you about your credit card account. There is nothing wrong with your account, but…”

In my first call from Heather, when she got to the point where she told me nothing was wrong, that’s when I hung up on her. For the very many times afterward, I would end the conversation as soon as I heard, “Hello! This is Heather!…”

As Mary can tell you, I’m a true “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of guy, so if my credit card account is all right, there’s nothing I want to talk to Heather about. Hmmm. I wonder if the young lady’s name is really even Heather.

As persistent as Heather is, the people who want to sell us extended repair warranties on our cars may even be worse.. They’ve been particularly avid in going after Mary, even filling our mailbox with their written solicitations to her, warning that her old warranty “may have expired.”

Well, yes, her old warranty has expired and she’s not in the market for a new one. She has repeatedly told them on the phone that she’s not interested and to quit calling. All to no avail. One woman even rudely told my better half that she would continue to call until Mary let her deliver her whole spiel. I hope that call was being “recorded for training purposes,” as they say, so her bosses could see how nasty she was.

We even got rid of our land line phone because the only calls we were getting on it were from TS’s. So those companies succeeded in making us change our lifestyle. One victory for them, I suppose.

I’d actually much rather have a recording solicit me than a real person, particularly when the cause is worthy, such as aid for police or firefighters. Those callers can really put a guilt trip on you, making you feel like a heel if you don’t contribute money to the folks who put themselves in danger for us. But my charity budget is limited, and I have to choose on my own which institutions or people I will help.

Sometimes we will hang up if we encounter a momentary silence on the phone after we answer. We’ve learned that this often happens when a TS calls, apparently because they start the calling mechanism just as they’re ending the previous conversation.

So, we use any defense we can not to be bothered by TS’s. Sometimes we win and sometimes we don’t.

I won’t even mention a whole other category, telephone scams. Except to cite this one instance. A couple of years ago I pick up the land line and a young man says, “Hi, this is your grandson.” I simply said no, you’re not, and hung up, because I don’t have such a person in my family.

But looking back, I wish I’d engaged the young scammer, who certainly was going to tell me he needed money, in a long, convoluted conversation. The nonsense and BS I would have fed him would have made my day, while wasting as much of his time as I could.

There are so many directions I could have taken the conversation. “Hey, you little scamp, you stole my classic car. I’ve got the police on you and I want it back.”

Or: “Son, I’m so glad you called. Your grandmother fell and broke her hip and we need you to send us as much money as you can.”

Or: “I’d love to help you boy, but I just split from your grandmother and I’m running off to Hawaii with a clerk from Walmart. We need traveling money.”

Well, you get the idea.

I hope the lad who claimed to be my grandson never succeeded in getting cash from some unsuspecting old timer and that somehow the cops caught up with him.

But, hey, that’s not a nice thought for the New Year, is it? Maybe he made a resolution to change his ways. Now if only those TS’s would do the same.

Hello! This is Joe! Happy New Year!


New Natchitoches Campus among CLTCC’s top 10 achievements in 2017

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“CLTCC is very grateful to our supporters across Central Louisiana for an outstanding year in training our workforce. We know this would not be possible without our partners, so we say ‘thank you’ to them. This year’s list expands on the investments made over the past three years, and as you can see, our students are achieving more for Cenla’s business and industry.”

#10: Brian Caubarreaux awarded an unprecedented number of “Do It Right” scholarships to CLTCC students in 2017. To date, “Do It Right” scholars have graduated with marketable skills or are pursuing education in high-demand, high-wage careers.

#9: CLTCC Natchitoches Campus hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house in November celebrating the re-grand opening of its newly renovated campus, which flooded in March 2016 due to record rainfall.

#8: Articulations Agreements with Cenla Colleges: CLTCC signed three new articulation agreements with Louisiana State University (LSUA) at Alexandria and Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches. The LSUA partnership allows students to transfer up to 60 credit hours in several majors and enables concurrent enrollment, which allows students to be enrolled at both colleges at the same time. The NSU partnership allows students to earn an associate’s degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technician from NSU with additional coursework offered through CLTCC’s Natchitoches Campus. Under the program, students take classes and work part-time in sponsoring manufacturing facilities. The five sponsoring manufacturers are Alliance Compressors, RoyOMartin, Pilgrims, Boise Cascade and Stella-Jones.

#7: CLTCC revealed the layout for its new downtown campus to be designed by architects Barron Heinberg & Brocato and Ashe Broussard Weinzettle. CLTCC also announced the purchase of the McCormick Graphics building, which will enable the college to bring all of its programs downtown as part of the City of Alexandria Revitalization Project.

#6: Fort Polk, Cheniere Energy, Inc., Bechtel, Oil, Gas and Chemicals (Bechtel), CB&I, KBR, Inc., and CLTCC celebrated graduating over 100 army soldiers under Fort Polk’s Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program. This military-private-college partnership gives graduates an opportunity to earn a starting salary of $60,000 plus per year after 17 weeks of training.

#5: CLTCC added two new campuses to its college bringing the number of locations to nine. The move of the two new campuses – Natchitoches and Sabine Valley (Many, La.) –
is designed to strategically serve manufacturing and mutual businesses and industries along Interstate 49.

#4: CLTCC celebrated 434 graduates during commencement exercises in May and December 2017. In addition, CLTCC provided short-term trainings, industry-based certifications, and marketable skills training to an additional 350 students.

#3: CLTCC Students won 12 medals during Louisiana’s state SkillsUSA competition and two medals at the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Ky. Jessica Solis, a Practical Nursing student, won a gold medal in the medical math category and Ashley Augustine, a Business student, won a silver medal in customer service. The college’s SkillsUSA Chapter Advisor and Welding instructor Ashley Boyd also won SkillsUSA State Advisor of the Year for Louisiana.

#2: CLTCC was awarded $580,000 to increase enrollment and graduates at six rural campuses. As a result, new programs were started at multiple campuses. Computer Technology is now offered at the Ferriday Campus; Forest Technology is offered at the Huey P. Long Campus in Winnfield; Patient Care Technician is offered at the Rod Brady Campus in Jena; and Electrician Technology is offered at the Sabine Valley Campus in Many. The grant funds also are being used to purchase new equipment and make upgrades at the Oakdale Campus and Ward H. Nash Campus in Cottonport.

#1: CLTCC was awarded a $2 million grant from The Rapides Foundation to develop and expand manufacturing training and programs. The $2 million grant was matched by the State of Louisiana totaling $4 million. The impact of the $4 million investment will support students at all CLTCC campuses and benefit Cenla’s economy for years to come. CLTCC extends deep gratitude to the Foundation, the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System for their support.

Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is a two-year technical and community college offering associate degrees, technical diplomas, industry certificates, and customized training in more than 20 disciplines to support local workforce development and prepare students for good-paying jobs. CLTCC serves 11 parishes in Central Louisiana through its nine campuses and provides instruction in three state prisons and two federal correctional institutions. For more information, visit http://www.cltcc.edu.


NSU Writers: Adaptability Will Further You

By Amanda Mings, NSU Student

White clock with words Time to Adapt on its face

The ability to adapt to change will help a person succeed and will take them much further in life. Being the child of a military parent, one is introduced to this very soon. Growing up all around has taught me the importance of adapting to change. Having this skill is important for everyday life. When someone is adaptable, they are able to change in order to adjust to new conditions. This skill does not come naturally. I have faced many situations where I have had to adapt.

Having to move was hard, but little did I know the impact it would have on my life. The move to Japan changed my life forever. We were stationed at Yokota Air Force Base, where we would live for four years. I was so excited to be moving to a new country, but leaving was difficult. After what felt like the longest plane ride, we arrived. Moving to such an unfamiliar place was not going to be easy. Japan was a complete culture shock; my life had just gotten a lot harder. But, because I was able to adapt, I made friends easily and really enjoyed my time there. Everything was perfect, my family was happy and healthy, I had made new friends, and I had adapted.

That was until one day, on Friday, the eleventh of March in 2011. I was on the school bus heading home when all of a sudden, the bus starting to shake. It was normal to get earthquakes in Japan, but as I looked around I noticed that this was an earthquake unlike the rest. Buildings were swaying, apartment windows were busted because mattresses had come flying out, and when I got home, it was to furniture on its back or side and pictures that had fallen and shattered. I knew that this was the start of something disastrous. What started as an undersea megathrust earthquake off of the coast of Japan had turned into a massive tsunami that would take the lives of many. This also caused a serious problem with the leakage of radiation that soon affected our area. These events led to my family evacuating the country. We had to leave another place that we once called home.

I never had a real “hometown,” but what I do know is that my home is wherever my family is. Adaptability does not come naturally, I faced many situations where I have had to become adaptable. Moving a lot has taught me the importance this. Being able to adapt to change is being able to adjust so you can cope best to new conditions. I was forced to do this, being pulled from my “home.” It was difficult, but I feel it really benefitted me. Because of what I have been through in my past, I am able to adapt better in situations where it is necessary. I apply this skill to my everyday life and in real world scenarios.