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

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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)

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

By Joe Darby

joedarby

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

CLTCC 1.png
“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.

 

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.