Notice of Death – December 27, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

 

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

Sheryl Ann Smith
December 27, 1945 – December 26, 2017
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 from 10-11 am at Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home in Jena
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 11 am in the chapel of Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home
Interment: Belah Cemetery

Mary Louise Peacock Birdwell
October 8, 1934 – December 26, 2017
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 from 9-10 am at Jennings Chapel in Marthaville
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 10 am at Jennings Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cemetery

Sarah Virginia (Lee) Price
November 19, 1929 – December 26, 2017
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 from 12-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Chadrick Heath Parker
March 19, 1976 – December 24, 2017
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 2 pm at Abundant Life Worship Center
Interment: Clear Springs 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
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
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

 

 

Natchitoches Chamber-Did you know?

Chamber things

Here are five things about the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce you probably didn’t know:

1. The Initiatives List- Interested in getting involved with Advocacy at the Capitol, Military Affairs, or the Chamber Ambassadors? Check out the Initiatives Page.

2. Business Resources- Looking for a comprehensive listing o f business resources in the area? View a packet of suggestions for the “Basics for Starting a Business,” find City ordinances, info on doing business in the Natchitoches Historic District, and more.

3. Info Request- Curious to learn more about the best place to live and work? Submit requests for information and publications.

4. Job Postings- Chamber members post positions that they are looking to fill. Interested in a position? The contact will be provided for that position on the webpage

5. The Education Webpage- Progress is in our hands. This page has a list of education resources for parents, students, and community members.

Chamber_logo_800x538

 

New Year, New You, New Challenge!

Cenla-RapidesFoundation 2017
Join The Rapides Foundation Get Healthy Cenla Challenge, a daily challenge designed to encourage people to improve their nutrition and physical activity. Our goal is for everyone to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, five days a week.

As we kick off 2018, make New Year’s GOALS instead of resolutions, but keep them realistic and attainable. Changes can be overwhelming and hard to maintain. Take baby steps toward your goals and add on only as you get used to and comfortable with changes. It’s okay to use a whole year to achieve your goals. Use these monthly challenge calendars for inspiration and motivation for your healthy lifestyle goals. Click here to download the January Challenge Calendar.

In addition to our calendar, we have even more resources to help you meet your health goals. You can click here to see videos about how to eat healthier, simple exercises you can add to your workout, and tips for proper walking techniques on our YouTube channel. Links to all of these resources are also in the “More Links” section below this article.

The challenges on our calendar are prepared by trained staff in our CMAP Healthy Lifestyle Program. They are designed to be simple and realistic. If you find the challenges too easy, try doubling the amounts. If they are too hard, don’t worry. Do what you can, and have fun!

Would you like some quick and easy vegetable prep tips to help you with the nutrition challenges on the calendar? Check out our vegtogether.org website for lots of tasty and quick ways to prepare veggies.

The Get Healthy Cenla Challenge is a component of the Healthy Lifestyle Program. This is a program aimed at fighting obesity in Central Louisiana by providing Cenla residents with resources to lead healthy lifestyles. Talk to your doctor for a referral to the Healthy Lifestyle Program, or call 318-767-3019 for more information. The Healthy Lifestyle Program is funded by The Rapides Foundation and administered by CMAP. Click here to learn more about the Healthy Lifestyle Program.

 

 

Troopers Urge Safe Travel and Personal Responsibility This New Years

Drive Safe

 

Family traditions are what make the New Year’s holiday season the most wonderful time of the year! Celebrations with friends and family create memories that last a lifetime.

However, there is one tradition that our Louisiana State Police family would like to break—the increase in serious injury and fatal crashes during the holidays. To combat this trend, troopers are joining forces with other law enforcement agencies to conduct proactive enforcement.

By understanding and following the safety guidelines below, motorists can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious injury or fatality crash.

Designate a sober driver
· Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed due to impaired driving each year. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired or get in a vehicle with a driver who is impaired.
· Alcohol has many effects on the body. Alcohol can impair visual ability, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and increase reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects.
· Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had nothing alcoholic to drink.
· Call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or a trusted person for a ride or just stay put.

Buckle-up
· Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled. Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to understand that failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.
Child passenger restraints
· Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained. To review the current law, visit http://www.legis.la.gov and search RS 32:295. If your travel plans take you out of our state, please visit http://www.saferide4kids.com for a list of current child passenger restraint laws by state.

Distractions
· Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year. You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Pedestrians or bicyclists
· If you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing and remain aware of traffic on the roadway. Use proper lighting at night.

Motorcyclists
· Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmet when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways. Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing greatly decrease your risk of serious injury or death.

For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. A 511 Louisiana phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook and Twitter pages.

Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police troop location.

 

Louisiana farmers see good yields despite tough conditions in 2017

By Kenneth Gautreaux, LSU AgCenter

LSU Ag Farming.jpg

 

An early spring got many row crops in Louisiana off to a fast start. Unfortunately, a wet summer kept many crops from reaching their potential and caused quality issues once farmers began to harvest.

Tropical storms Cindy and Harvey contributed to a reduction in the state’s rice crop and were responsible for reducing the quality of some soybeans in the state.

Despite unfavorable weather during the latter part of the growing season, several crops had above- average yields.

Preliminary corn yield figures had the statewide average at 183 bushels per acre, which is near the state record of 186 bushels per acre.

The statewide average this year for soybeans increased by five bushels to 54 bushels per acre compared with 2016. However, the quality of this year’s crop was affected by the weather, and producers suffered a price reduction.

Cotton acreage increased by 50 percent from last year, but it also was a victim of the weather and saw yield and quality projections decrease from earlier in the season. Yields are expected to be from 850 to 900 pounds per acre this year, which is 50 to 100 pounds per acre less than last year.

With a little less than a month left in the sugarcane grinding season, LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois is expecting Louisiana to produce a record amount of sugar per acre.

“This year we have good sugar recovery,” Gravois said. “In addition, we have good tons of cane per acre. So we have sugar and tonnage, and that’s a great combination,” he said.

The record for sugar per acre was set in 2012 at 8,415 pounds per acre.

The timing of Tropical Storm Cindy had a major effect on the state’s rice crop. Rice was at the pollination stage, and the windy and overcast conditions following the storm caused grains to go unfilled. Tropical Storm Harvey also damaged rice in southwest Louisiana, causing some acres to go unharvested.

AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry said that producers came away disappointed at the end because crops were in good to excellent condition before the rains.

“I think we had significant crops out there for most of our commodities,” Guidry said. “And then the heavy rains, the late-season rains, really kind of limited our ability to reach those potential yields that were out there.”

Lower or stagnant commodity prices also are pressuring farmers. To make up for lower prices, it is essential to have good yields.

“Our producers can handle lower commodity prices as long as we’re getting some of our above-average or near-record yields,” Guidry said. “So weather is obviously a big component in terms of them being able to do that.”

According to Guidry, U.S. production for many commodities has been good, leading to surplus and pressuring prices downward.

Rice prices did increase this year, and Guidry indicated the rise was based on a national reduction in production acreage. Arkansas, the nation’s largest rice producer, saw a significant reduction in acres this year. Forecasts for next year see an increase in Arkansas acreage, which could lower prices.

Guidry said a new farm bill is on the horizon, and producers will have to keep an eye on changes that might occur.

“There’s always a chance we can see some pretty significant changes to these farm bills,” he said. “That’s something we’re going to have to monitor and make sure the levels of support, the safety net that is in the farm bill, really does provide some support and comfort for our agriculture producers.”

 

NSU Writers: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

By Pryce Curry, NSU Student

chainstrong

 

For 15 years of my life, I have lived with a split family. I often wonder what happened, and question who is to blame. I was only three when my parents decided to split and I have never understood why it had to happen to my family. I just want to know what it is like to be a part of a real family. Though this has been a huge set back in my life, I feel that I am stronger now because of it. I believe the effects of divorce have not only changed me as a person, but have made me stronger.

Growing up there was always constant arguing between my parents even though they were split. They did it over the phone a lot, but sometimes they would do it in public and it would be very embarrassing. Whether it be who was picking up me and my sister from school, or when was the child support check coming in. It was always an argument. Seeing my parents argue made me very uncomfortable and sad. As a young boy, I just wanted to see them happy and love each other. But I was too young to understand the situations. I would ask my Mom and dad why they argued all the time and they wouldn’t even acknowledge the question. On the weekend’s I would always go to my Grandparents. My Grandpa has been and always will be my rock. He would always put up old home videos of us as babies and in diapers. While watching those videos felt as if I were in them. Then reality hits and its back to the seeing what actually goes on now. As a child, I just wanted to know why mommy and daddy hated each other.

Overcoming the whole divorce has never been easy. It has been a challenge in my everyday life, but it also has made me realize what not to do with a family. A family always sticks together through thick and thin. And I have promised myself that I will never put my children through what I experienced in my childhood. All I wanted in my life was a happy family, and I get the chance to have one of those one day. Even though I never got what I wanted with my family, I kept my head held high and pushed through the bad times. The only way I could keep negativity out of my life was to always think positive, and think in my head things no matter what happens, they will get better. Although this valley in life has been very rough and rugged at times I had to push through. Not just for myself, but for my family. My family is my everything and they always will be. I believe the effects of divorce have not changed me as a person but have made me stronger.

 

 

 

Notice of Death – December 26, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

 

Mary Louise Peacock Birdwell
October 8, 1934 – December 26, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home and Thursday, Dec. 28 from 9-10 am at Jennings Chapel in Marthaville
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 10 am at Jennings Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cemetery

Sarah Virginia (Lee) Price
November 19, 1929 – December 26, 2017
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 from 12-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Chadrick Heath Parker
March 19, 1976 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 6-9 pm at Abundant Life Worship Center
Service: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 2 pm at Abundant Life Worship Center
Interment: Clear Springs 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)

Jeri McGee
May 8, 1951 – December 23, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 10 am – 12 pm at Kramer of Colfax
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 12 pm in the chapel of Kramer of Colfax
Interment: Bethel Cemetery

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
Visitation: Thursday, Dec. 28 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Friday, Dec. 29 at 1 pm at Shady Grove Independent Church of God
Interment: Pine Knott Cemetery

Nancy R. Struck
January 30, 1936 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 11 am – 2 pm at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 2 pm in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home

Louis Virgil Shipp
January 2, 1933 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 8:30-10 am
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 10 am in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Interment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

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
Arrangements TBA

 

House burns in Christmas Day fire

Xmas Fire 3

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, and Natchitoches Parish Fire District #9 along with mutual aid assistance from Red River Fire Units are on the scene of a structure fire in the 1300 block of US-71 near Fairview Dec. 25 at 4:42 pm, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The NPSO 911 Center received the call at 3:24pm.

The residence owned by Travis Guin and rented by James & Cindy Wablington has received heavy fire damage.

There are no reported injuries.

 

 

NPD seeking applicants for upcoming Reserve Officer Training Academy

Apply-Now

The Natchitoches Police Department is currently accepting applications for its upcoming Reserve Officer Training Academy. We will accept applications through January 15, 2018. The upcoming Reserve Officer Training Academy will start on February 5, 2018 and will last approximately 8 weeks. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Natchitoches Police Department Training Center.

Cadets in the Academy will undergo training in search and seizure, building clearing, traffic stops, firearms and defensive tactics for example.

If you are interested in applying you can pick up an application at The Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division located at 416 Shady Lane or contact Reserve Commander Sergeant Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3852. Applicants must have a high school degree, be at least 18 years of age and pass a background check. This is a great opportunity for citizens to serve their community in a positive manner.

 

 

NSU Writers: The power of a smile and a memory

By Carrie Woodley, NSU Student

Carrie Woodley NSU dentist.jpg

 

Can you image growing up as a young child without your mom? It may sound strange, but that’s my cousin’s life and she’s managed to remain focused despite having so many obstacles. My cousin, Chelsea Kere’ Hooper is one smart, determined, and focused young lady. Not only did she watch her mom suffer with breast cancer for many years, but after her passing, Chelsea had to navigate through her childhood, preteen, teenage and now the young adult years.

Even though Chelsea lives in Dallas, Texas, she has always been my favorite cousin because she listens and really tries to help others. Since our mothers were sisters we were able to see each other all the time while growing up. Chelsea’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 2-years-old and passed away 6 years later. This was a stressful and depressing time for Chelsea, mainly because she didn’t really understand what was taking place.

She did have her two older brothers and her dad to lean on, but that wasn’t enough and she closed up inside. Her dad seemed to move on with a female companion and her brothers didn’t understand her and what she needed as a little girl. She felt mostly betrayed by her dad because he started to give all of his attention to someone other than her.

In her eyes, the only way to escape the absence of a mom was to ignore the hurt on the inside and harm herself on the outside. So, Chelsea starting cutting herself with knives and other sharp objects. Eventually, she realized that she was only hurting herself in the process so she stopped and tried to refocus her attention on her goals.

On a routine visit to the dentist Chelsea became interested in what the dentist was doing and how people would leave the dentist’s office smiling instead of leaving with a droopy face. This simple act from other patients left a growing desire in her to become a dentist and that set her plans in motion. My mom and aunt were always there for her and she leaned on them for everything. They helped her secure several academic scholarships so she was able to attend Baylor University and graduate with honors and now she is in her third year of dental school at Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry.

When asked what kept her motivated and focused she was quick to say that she thought of her mom every single day. She also values the support and guidance from my mom and my aunt as well as many of her elementary, middle and high school teachers. Her friends were there to make sure she never felt left out so my aunt would pay for her to go on trips with them to other parts of the world. As Chelsea gets closer to her dream of becoming a dentist I know her mom, my Aunt Caroline is looking down smiling at her baby girl.

 

Notice of Death – December 25, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

 

Linda Carter
January 14, 1941 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 10-11 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church
Service: Tuesday, Dec. 26 at 11 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Interment: Liberty Chapel Cemetery

Jeri McGee
May 8, 1951 – December 23, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 10 am – 12 pm at Kramer of Colfax
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 12 pm in the chapel of Kramer of Colfax
Interment: Bethel Cemetery

Nancy R. Struck
January 30, 1936 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 11 am – 2 pm at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 2 pm in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home

Louis Virgil Shipp
January 2, 1933 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 4-8 pm and Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 8:30-10 am
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 10 am in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Interment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Byron Todd Landon
November 15, 1960 – December 17, 2017
Graveside Service: Held Saturday, Dec. 23 at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Frances Wall
February 5, 1921 – December 19, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Shaneika Sibley
December 20, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Patsy Gay
December 18, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Mary McCall
December 17, 2017
Arrangements TBA

 

How unique is your Christmas tree?

Jan's Tree

Jan’s Tree

The Christmas tree tradition as we know it started in Germany. Christians brought the decorated trees indoors in the 16th century. However, it all started with Scandinavian Vikings, who believed the evergreen trees that grew around them were special plants from the sun god.

Speaking of the Christmas tree’s German heritage, have you heard of the Christmas pickle? They were first imported from Germany to the US in the 1800s by Woolworth stores. Tradition says the pickle is hung on the tree last and the first child that finds it on Christmas morning gets an extra present. Others of German descent say the pickle is simply a good luck symbol.

There’s plenty of Christmas traditions, just like there’s a variety of unique Christmas trees that decorate the homes of Natchitoches residents. The NPJ found the following photos and short stories about these unique trees:

Charlene White: Charlene resurrected her mother’s old aluminum pom pom tree. Every year, Charlene decorates a sharing tree with ornaments she’s handmade, mostly wire and clay. Visitors are encouraged to pick out ornaments to keep for themselves or to share. She keeps this art tree, made by her metal-art friend Ken Patin from Breaux Bridge, up all year long.

Dr. Cheryl Stoker: Cheryl has a small egg Christmas tree featuring Joan Rivers eggs that she bought off of QVC years ago

Jan Harrington: Jan decorated her massive flocked tree with 3,000 lights, which took her over 4 hours. Then she added the ribbon and ornaments.

David Stamey: The Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court went NSU purple for its tree this year. It’s a real tree from Saline Creek Christmas Tree Farm in Goldonna that they painted purple. Clerk of Court, David, said his office had purple pride this Christmas season!

Cathy Seymour: While Cathy and her husband Dan decorate their home with 30 trees, Dan’s Mardi Gras tree may be the most interesting. The ornaments are medallions from Mardi Gras beads they’ve caught over the years.

Corey Poole: I always thought of myself as a one tree kind of person. This year I added tree #2 to my collection. My aunt, who worked in a hospital nursery, gifted me with her collection of Snowbabies ornaments. I felt they needed their own display, hence the second tree in my house. It has however, made me consider getting a few more to separate my ornaments into individual collections.

 

 

FUMC Christmas Eve Services-Families Coming Together

By Kevin Shannahan

FUMC-XmasEve 2017 TOP
Kevin’s Gallery

A standing room only gathering of worshipers came to First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches’ two traditional candlelight Christmas Eve Services, a beloved and longstanding community tradition. The church was lit by handmade candelabras made by expert woodworker Tommy Covington. FUMC Choir Director Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, soloists Daniela Salas, Orlando Gonzales and Lisa Benner performed several carols while Linda Higginbotham played the organ, FUMC Pastor Rev. Doug de Graffenried led the service assisted by Rev. Clair Carter and Rev. Doug Cain. The service concluded with the congregation singing “Silent Night” as they left the sanctuary with lighted candles.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the night’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any they wish.

 

 

Blue Bell the Christmas Miracle: Dog survives fiery crash and 32 days in the wild, will reunite with family

Blubell 4

WATCH THE RESCUE VIDEO BELOW

On the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, 2017, a truck had a tire blow out on I-49 near Natchitoches. The truck veered off the road, striking a tree and catching on fire. The driver was ejected and left with emergency personnel claiming moderate injuries. The passenger was killed along with one of two Great Danes.

The surviving great dane, Blue Bell, attempted to protect her owner by growling at first responders. She spooked and ran away from the scene of the accident.

The driver succumbed to her injuries two days after the accident. People began to search for Blue Bell…and searched…and searched. Multiple possible sitings turned up dead ends. The family was heartbroken each time.

Nothing was seen or heard of for a while…until Dec. 23. Over 1 month since the horrific accident, someone posted on social media that they saw Blue Bell. Then someone posted a video!

Save Rocky the Great Dane Rescue and Rehab (SRGDRR), a 501c3 Non Profit Organization out of Bullard, Texas, was notified and immediately jumped into action. Blue Bell was spotted less than 1/2 mile from the accident scene. She was seen going under an old abandoned house with junk piled up all around it, a very dangerous area.

A SRGDRR volunteer was called into the area. After a 2-hour drive, the volunteer met with a resident who’d spotted her along with a Natchitoches Parish Deputy for safety reasons. It was now dark outside. Another resident brought fried chicken strips: Blue Bell’s favorite treat.

Blue Bell was under an abandoned and overgrown house, trying to stay warm in 30 degree weather. She’d already survived an ice storm for two days and multiple heavy rain storms.

She was so hungry, within 15 minutes they were able to get a leash clipped on her collar, which had about 8 inches between it and her neck she’d lost so much weight.

A full escort to the emergency vet was provided. Her back leg was mauled, crushed and broken. She was skin and bones, dehydrated and very weak. Blue Bell, a 2-year-old large great dane weighed in at only 73 lbs.

“We were crying for her,” said one rescuer. “She was confused because even though she’d been through all of this, she wasn’t broken. She approached for pets and for treats. She was happy to be warm and with people.”

Blue Bell is a FIGHTER! She has a very long road ahead of her before she goes home to her family, who has lost three family members. The vet says she will need major surgery once she gains weight and energy and they clear the infection.

A group of concerned citizens banded together to help this family. SRGDRR is running a fundraiser because Blue Bell will need lots and lots of care and it will cost a lot of money. We don’t want this family that has lost so much during these holidays to have the stress of a financial burden. If you would like to give by Paypal, our paypal is srgdrr.inc@gmail.com and please please notate for BlueBelle. Your donations are tax deductible and very much appreciated (Tax ID 47-0980038). Donation link at bottom of story.

The following folks jumped into action:

SRGDRR Founder and President, Amy Rainoshek
SRGDRR Admin Volunteer, Dawn Hussey located in Michigan
Volunteer Erin Richard from Kinder
Karen Ford
Paul Cormane Jr.
NPSO Deputies Mary Gallien
Damion Spillman
Carey Carruth Hamblin

This is a true Christmas Miracle and those who volunteered said they are just thankful to have been a part of this amazing story!

 

 

https://www.youcaring.com/bluebellesfamily-1051523

 

 

“NUTS!”

General_McAuliffe_Bastogne
Seventy-Three years ago, a dying Nazi Germany made a last gasp offensive to retake the port city of Antwerp, Belgium from the Allies by attacking through the Ardennes forest. The attack was initially successful, catching the Allies almost completely off guard forming a bulge in the Allied lines that was to give the battle its name-the Battle of the Bulge. The city of Bastogne with its network of roads meeting in the city was crucial to keeping the German armor units moving on to Antwerp. The 101st Airborne Division was defending Bastogne and was soon surrounded by a large force of German tanks and artillery. The Screaming Eagles were low on food, medical supplies and ammunition and were fighting in miserably cold conditions, but they held on. The Nazis would never go on the offensive again. By May of 1945, Hitler would be dead by his own hand and his regime a smoking ruin. Below is the text of a letter the commander of the 101st Airborne, General Anthony McAuliffe, sent to his men.

MERRY CHRISTMAS
HEADQUARTERS 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION
Office of the Division Commander
24 December 1944

What’s Merry about all this, you ask? We’re fighting — it’s cold, we aren’t home. All true but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest? Just this: We have stopped cold everything that has been thrown at us from the North, East, South and West. We have identifications from four German Panzer Divisions, two German Infantry Divisions and one German Parachute Division. These units, spearheading the last desperate German lunge, were headed straight west for key points when the Eagle Division was hurriedly ordered to stem the advance. How effectively this was done will be written in history; not alone in our Division’s glorious history but in World history. The Germans actually did surround us, their radios blared our doom. Their Commander demanded our surrender in the following imprudent arrogance:

December 22nd 1944
“To the U. S. A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne. The fortune of war is changing. This time the U. S. A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Ourthe near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompres-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.There is only one possibility to save the encircled U. S. A. Troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note. If this proposal should be rejected the German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U. S. A. Troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hour’s term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this Artillery fire would not correspond with the well known American humanity. The German Commander”

The German Commander received the following reply:
22 December 1944

“To the German Commander:  N U T S ! The American Commander”

Allied Troops are counterattacking in force. We continue to hold Bastogne. By holding Bastogne we assure the success of the Allied Armies. We know that our Division Commander, General Taylor, will say: “Well Done!”

We are giving our country and our loved ones at home a worthy Christmas present and being privileged to take part in this gallant feat of arms are truly making for ourselves a
Merry Christmas.

/s/ A. C. McAULIFFE
/t/ McAULIFFE
Commanding.

McAuliffeChristmasLetter

Notice of Death – December 24, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

 

Linda Carter
January 14, 1941 – December 24, 2017
Visitation: Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 10-11 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church
Service: Tuesday, Dec. 26 at 11 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Interment: Liberty Chapel Cemetery

Jeri McGee
May 8, 1951 – December 23, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 10 am – 12 pm at Kramer of Colfax
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 12 pm in the chapel of Kramer of Colfax
Interment: Bethel Cemetery

Nancy R. Struck
January 30, 1936 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 11 am – 2 pm at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 2 pm in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home

Louis Virgil Shipp
January 2, 1933 – December 22, 2017
Visitation: Tuesday, Dec. 26 from 4-8 pm and Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 8:30-10 am
Service: Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 10 am in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Interment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Byron Todd Landon
November 15, 1960 – December 17, 2017
Graveside Service: Held Saturday, Dec. 23 at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Frances Wall
February 5, 1921 – December 19, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Shaneika Sibley
December 20, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Patsy Gay
December 18, 2017
Arrangements TBA

Mary McCall
December 17, 2017
Arrangements TBA

A Rockin’ Louisiana Christmas Concert Brings Together Old Favorites for a Good Cause

By Kevin Shannahan

Rockin Xmas Concert_2017 (4)
Kevin’s Gallery

The Natchitoches Events Center was the place to be Dec. 21 for great music and holiday fun. Local musical favorites Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs hosted the second annual “A Rockin’ Louisiana Christmas.” Several hundred music fans clapped and danced in the aisles as they enjoyed the concert. The Moondogs were joined by special guests Wayne Toups, James Burton, Jo-El Sonnier and the legendary Estelle Brown. James Burton’s granddaughter joined her grandfather on guitar for several songs.

Local entertainer and 94.9 The River Morning Show host Trini Triggs brought the crowd to its feet with a high energy set of songs.

The “A Rockin’ Louisiana Christmas Concert” is rapidly becoming an area tradition. The concert also serves as a fundraiser for the upcoming Natchitoches Jazz Festival.