NPD seeking applicants for upcoming Reserve Officer Training Academy

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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.

 

Beta Omicron Chapter member selected to NSU’s Order of Omega

beta-omicron-2017of-omega

 

Dedrick Lewis, a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity was inducted last month into NSU’s Greek honor society, the Order of Omega.

Order of Omega is a national organization recognizing those fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities. Order of Omega encourages them to continue along this line, and to inspire others to strive for similar conspicuous attainment.

“By bringing together outstanding fraternity men and women to create an organization which will help to mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate fraternity affairs,” NSU’s website stated. “Order of Omega brings together members of the faculty, alumni, and student members of the institution’s fraternities and sororities on a basis of mutual interest, understanding and helpfulness. Through the creation of an atmosphere where ideas and issues can be discussed openly across Greek lines and to help work out solutions.”

Members of the Mu Phi Chapter of Order Omega, which was founded at NSU in 1992, must apply for membership after meeting certain requirements, including achieving a GPA higher than the All-Greek average.

Lewis, a senior business administration major, just completed a term as warden of the Beta Omicron Chapter. This year he was named to NSU Homecoming Honor Court and to the Ad Astra Society, which recognizes the top one percent of Pi Kappa Phi members. He is also a member of the Interfraternity Council Executive Board, the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, the Student Government Association, Student Activities Board, and is an assistant with the Presidential Leadership Program.

 

DA announces probation revocation for D’Mario Moran

D'Mario Moran.jpg

Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced Dec. 22 that the 10th Judicial Court revoked the probation and the suspension of prison sentence for D’Mario Moran of Natchitoches.

Moran pleaded guilty to simple burglary on July 11, 2017 and subsequently sentenced to five years of supervised probation and ten years in prison, which was suspended if he successfully met the conditions of his probation requirements.

However, Moran was arrested on October 3, 2017 for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Evidence was presented at the probation revocation hearing that showed Moran had violated his conditions of probation.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Lala Sylvester ordered that Moran be remanded to the Louisiana Department of Corrections to serve his original ten year prison sentence.

“The defendant violated the conditions of his probation, which had afforded him a second chance to stay out of prison and remain crime-free. We take these violations seriously and he will now have to serve his prison sentence for his criminal activity,” said Harrington.