NCHS Leo Club accepts check for winning Christmas Cheer Food Drive

NCHS Food Drive

Natchitoches Central High School’s newly chartered Leo Club collected 2,157 pounds of food in a one-week time period as part of the KALB-TV Christmas Cheer Food Drive. The winners were announced in December and Darrian Pierite, public relations coordinator for the Paragon Casino Resort, presented a check to the club Jan. 24.

The Leo Club was chartered at Natchitoches Central in October. Club President Caremn Waskom and Vice President Raegan Washington were the students who originally asked to charter the club at their school. The club now has 57 members.

Through the Leo Club Program, young people serve as positive agents of change within their communities. These young leaders develop valuable leadership skills, make new friends and have fun. Natchitoches Lion’s Club member Michele Waskom is the Leo Club Sponsor. Paula Callender and Wendy Worsham are the Leo Club’s faculty advisors at NCHS.

The food drive was the club’s second major service project. The first project they did was to collect books for First Lady Jennifer Maggio’s literacy initiative at Northwestern State University.

Five parishes representing 67 local schools participated in the Christmas Cheer Food Drive, which benefitted the Food Bank of Central Louisiana. The schools receive prize money, totaling $8,000, sponsored by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and KALB-TV.

Natchitoches Parish collected a total amount of 9,746 as follows by school:
East Natchitoches Elementary- 1,048 pounds
Cloutierville Elementary and Jr. High- 1,346 pounds
Natchitoches Central High School- 2,157 pounds

Pictured above, from left are Pierite, Callender, NCHS Assistant Principal David Elkins, Michele Waskom, Carmen Waskom, and Washington.


Painting class to be offered in February

paint class


Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer Pick Up Your Paint Brush classes throughout February. Thursday sessions will be on Feb. 1, 15 and 22 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday sessions are on Feb. 10 and 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. The class will be held on the second floor of South Hall. The fee is $45.

Participants will learn the art of painting using step-by-step instructions to create a masterpiece of their own. No special or prior skill is required. Students will take home a completed painting at the end of every class. Children ages 7 – 12 years old are allowed to enroll, but a parent must accompany the child the entire class. Parents do not have to enroll unless they participate. All supplies are included.

For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to


Three suspects involved in early morning shooting incident

Shooting suspects 012018

Natchitoches Police Department patrol officers were dispatched Jan. 27 at 2:45 am to the intersection of Highland Park Drive and Rowena Street in reference to a call of shots being fired.

Upon their arrival, officers made contact with Gregory Tyler, who stated that two black male subjects, identified as Johnathan Robinson and D’Angelo Brimsey, had approached him in a vehicle as he was walking down Rowena Street, and then shot at him from the roadway. Tyler advised he shot back at the vehicle and the vehicle left the area.

NPD officers also made contact with a citizen in the 500 block of Rowena Street, who stated that during the gunfire, his residence had been struck by a stray bullet.

Detectives with the NPD Criminal Investigations Division assisted patrol officers with the investigation. Gregory Tyler, 25, was charged with discharging a firearm in the city limits and released. Arrest warrants were issued for Johnathan Robinson and D’Angelo Brimsey for attempted first degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property.

NPD patrol officers located both Robinson and BrimseyJan. 28 at 8:30 am at a residence in the 1300 block of Lake Street. Both individuals were taken into custody without incident. Johnathan Robinson, 22, and D’Angelo Brimsey, 19, were charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated criminal damage to property. Both were placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.


St. Mary’s Virtue of the Month Winners

St Mary 01-2018.jpg

The Virtue of the Month of December was JOY!! These precious students were chosen because they can always be counted on to represent that virtue. Pictured from left are Hudson Herrington, Kennedi Starks, Elise Armstrong, Father Brian Seiler, Jaxon Townsend, Jake Thibodaux, Carter Hogg, Justin Vienne, Rees Williams, Gabby Godfrey, Mason Melder, Kenzie Lippa, Madeline Godfrey, Mary Anna Scruggs, Luke Gallien and Lauren Vienne.

Public speaking class to be offered Feb. 2

public speaking

Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will present an online public speaking course Friday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The course will be offered through WebEx. The fee is $75. A video introduction is available at

The class will teach students how to create a persuasive message using tone and pacing, voice projection, pitch and resonance. Participants will learn how to lose their fear of public speaking and become a memorable speaker who can grasp and keep their listeners’ attention.

For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to


Notice of Death – January 29, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Ernie “Lou” Metoyer
September 16, 1935 – January 26, 2018
Visitation: Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 9-10:30 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches
Service: Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
Interment: St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Cloutierville


Steve DeWeese
October 29, 1961 – January 25, 2018

Rev. Winston Perry Lowe
August 25, 1923 – January 28, 2018
Visitation: Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 11 am at Many Church of The Nazarene
Interment: Friendship Nazarene Cemetery

Jennie Oxley Feazel
March 6, 1931 – January 28, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, Jan. 31 from 12-2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Springville Cemetery

Eleanor Rodgers Wyatt
February 10, 1958 – January 28, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, Feb. 3 from 9:30-11 am at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, Feb. 3 at 11 am at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
Interment: Montgomery Community Cemetery

Dorothy Horton
Visitation: Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 6-7 pm at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Mansfield
Service: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 11 am at the Wesley United Methodist Church
Interment: Benevolent Cemetery in Mansfield

Eula “Sherry” Francis Dennis
April 7, 1935 – January 26, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10-11 am at Aimwell Baptist Church in Zwolle
Service: Saturday, Feb. 3 at 11 am at Aimwell Baptist Church
Interment: Aimwell Cemetery



City works to clear up sludge in Chaplin’s Lake

Chaplin CON Dredge 1 (1)


The City Council voted to award the bid for dredging of Chaplin’s Lake to Merrell Bros., Inc. of Kokomo, IN for $316,400 at its meeting Dec. 12.

The out-of-state company outbid a company from Mandeville ($399,300). When asked, the company said northern lakes are frozen over and taking out-of-state jobs keeps their crew working.

Chaplin’s Lake will be dredged to 6 feet, as opposed to its current 6 inch depth at the north end that sits adjacent to the railroad tracks on University Parkway on the NSU Campus.

Sludge built up in the lake over the years, making the north end unsightly and unusable. The construction of a new clarification system at the water plant will stop the sludge from entering the water in the lake.

Work began around Jan. 19 and is estimated to last 3-4 weeks. There are three massive presses running along the banks of the lake. Pipes from the dredge pump the sediment to the presses where the water is removed. This turns the sediment into a dry, cake-like substance that’s easier to transport. One truck carries 23 yards.


Krewe of Dionysos celebrates ’20 Years of Peace, Love and Mardi Gras’

Krewe of Dionysos 2018 (13)


The Krewe of Dionysos partied the night away at its Mardi Gras Ball Jan. 27. The theme was “20 Years of Peace, Love and Mardi Gras,” and there was plenty of all three to go around. Peace signs, flowers and cardboard cutouts of the Royal Court decorated the Natchitoches Events Center as beads flew through the air after the official Royal Court presentation and performance.

The 2018 Royal Court is:
Captain Dionysos XX Pete Johnson
King Dionysos XX Dennis Bryant
Queen Dionysos XX Darlene McElwee
Duke and Duchess of Dance Jim Davis and Jamie LaCour
Duke and Duchess of Desire Brandon Hillman and Kelli Todd
Duke and Duchess of Destiny Justin McKnight and Melissa Slaughter
Duke and Duchess of Decadence Randy Williams and Linda Rachal

Jr. Court is:
Clayton Jackson Jr.
Aston Behrendson
Karlie Mouton
Sierra Pesnell



2018 Battle for the Paddle NSU Chili Cookoff

Battle for the Paddle_1590


Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum was the place to be Jan. 27 as the NSU men’s and women’s basketball teams faced off against the University of Central Arkansas. The “Pack Prather” day featured a day of basketball action, performing spirit groups, a chili cookoff and an epic dance battle between Vic the Demon and Monty, the Bank of Montgomery mascot.

The Battle for the Paddle has become an eagerly awaited annual tradition in Natchitoches. The popular chili cookoff featured 13 teams this year, including several local businesses, the Natchitoches Fire Department and NSU sports teams. Hungry Demon fans thronged the hallways of Prather where they sampled the various teams’ chili and voted for their favorites. The event is a popular fundraiser for the Demons Unlimited Foundation. This year’s competition was won by the ladies of NSU Volleyball with Rutledge Plumbing and the Natchitoches Fire Department also placing in the competition.


NSU Volleyball- People’s Choice Award
Rutledge- People’s Choice Award (Runner Up)
City Bank- Judge’s Choice
Fire Department- Judge’s Choice (Runner Up)



NSU career officially ends for Jalan West

West's NSU career ends


The Northwestern State basketball career of standout Jalan West has officially ended, after the Demons’ seventh-year senior did not enroll before Friday’s noon deadline to register for spring semester classes.

West left the team during the Christmas break due to personal reasons and has not played in NSU’s last eight games. He competed in eight non-conference games this season, averaging 12.3 points and 4.8 assists, after successfully overcoming two knee surgeries following his outstanding junior season in 2014-15.

The Bossier High School product was in the top 10 of all active NCAA basketball players in five career statistical categories when he departed. His 652 assists, an NSU school record, was the nation’s best total.

His 231 career steals, third all-time at NSU, was second among active players nationally. His 6.27 assists per game and his 2.23 steals average both ranked third, while his plus 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio was fourth. West scored 1,690 career points, 10th nationally when he left the team.

Along with holding NSU’s career assists record, the 5-foot-11 point guard also holds the Demons’ single-season mark (246), along with school records for season (86) and career (230) 3-point baskets. His career .865 free throw percentage is the best all-time by any Southland Conference competitor.

Before his injury in the first game of his initial senior season in 2015-16, West had won two All-Southland Conference honors along with the 2013 Southland Freshman of the Year award. NSU won 59 games, reaching the 2013 NCAA Tournament and 2015 College Insider Tournament, in his injury-free first three seasons.

“Jalan was a tremendous player for us who helped our program to a lot of success on the court, and was a special ambassador for Demon basketball and NSU off the court,” said head coach Mike McConathy. “We want all the best for him and his family going forward. He will always be a beloved member of our basketball family at Northwestern State University.”

Another accomplished senior, Bossier native Devonte Hall, left the team earlier in December for personal reasons and will not play again, said McConathy. Hall averaged 10.3 points and 5.4 assists in the last two seasons, and 5.8 points and 2.3 assists in eight games this season. He finished eighth all-time on NSU’s career assists rankings with 379.

Hall is completing work on his undergraduate degree this spring. West earned his undergraduate degree in 2016.

“Devonte was a leader in our community service endeavors and in the classroom, and he gave us great effort and production stepping into the point guard position beginning in his sophomore season, when Jalan got hurt,” said McConathy. “Basketball just wasn’t fun for him any longer and that’s fine. He’s focused on his academics, he’s going to graduate, and he will be successful in life.”

The Demons have graduated almost 90 percent of their student-athletes during McConathy’s 19 years as head coach. Ten players posted grade point averages of 3.0 or better during the fall 2017 semester.

NSU, which began the season with the fifth-youngest roster in college basketball, plays host to Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon at 3 in Prather Coliseum.


NSU’s Demons Unlimited Foundation receives six-figure gift from loyal alumni

Bryant, Heloise Lewis Fork Em


Former Northwestern State football player Bryant Lewis and his wife Heloise have made another six-figure gift to support NSU Athletics through the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

They donated property to the DUF, which then realized a net gain of $118,000 from a sale.

The proceeds are being directed toward NSU Athletics’ annual scholarship fund, to support football recruiting, and to fund a long-planned renovation of the N-Club Hall of Fame display in Prather Coliseum, said NSU director of athletics Greg Burke.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis made a $500,000 gift in 2015 which supported extensive renovations at Turpin Stadium, including replacing original chairback seating with all purple chairs featuring fan-friendly amenities.

“The Bryant Lewis family is appreciated for its continued, generous support that will better position our athletic program for success,” said Burke. “There is a tremendous amount of momentum for our university right now and that, in turn, provides an opportunity to better solidify the athletic foundation. The key to doing so will be continuing to secure contributions from alumni and friends.”

The gift will help underwrite annual fund expenses which support the athletic department budget that includes scholarships and other essential operating costs.

Some of the gift has been designated to support recruiting efforts for Demon football under the leadership of new head coach Brad Laird.

Another portion of the funds will help NSU Athletics modernize the N-Club Hall of Fame display, honoring the greatest competitors in school history while commemorating significant achievements through more than a century of competition.

A link ( provides conceptual images of the renovations and other NSU Athletics facilities projects in development.

Burke expressed gratitude to NSU Foundation executive director Drake Owens for helping facilitate the legal aspects of the latest Lewis gift.

Donations of all sizes provide vital, continuing support to NSU Athletics.

The goal is to grow the DUF endowment, through outright donations or deferred gifts, over the next five years from the current $1.8 million level to over $5 million. So far, gifts have come from former athletes and their families, supporters of the university and most notably, iconic retired president Dr. Randy Webb and his wife, Brenda.

The program is separate from the efforts to supplement the annual budget for the athletics program with donations, corporate partnerships and special fund-raising events.


Student group planning Mardi Paws Ball Feb. 7

Mardi Paws Ball


Northwestern State University’s Students for Animal Protection organization will host a Mardi Paws Ball benefiting the Natchitoches Humane Society from 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7 in the Student Union Ballroom. Dress is semiformal.

Tickets are $10 for NSU and LSMSA students and $20 for non-students. The event will include raffles, door prizes, music, food and a guest speaker. There will also be donation boxes for pet supplies. Sponsorships are available and donations are welcome.

The Mardi Paws Ball precedes the Krewe of Wag-uns Mardi Gras children and pet parade that will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 in downtown Natchitoches. Information on that event is available on the Natchitoches Humane Society Facebook page.

For ticket and sponsorship information on the Mardi Paws Ball, contact Haley Tucker at (337) )353-9725 or e-mail

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McCutcheon Honors Recital to be held Jan. 30

Honors Recital


The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will present the annual McCutcheon Honors Recital on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the recital.

Each year student winners are chosen from each musical area for the most outstanding fall jury performance. These students represent the areas of woodwinds, brass, strings, piano, percussion and voice.

Those chosen to perform are Oniluz Melendez Carrillo of Natchitoches on flute, Ronald Rodriguez of Cartegena, Colombia, on piano, Addison Pellegrino of Fort Worth, Texas, on marimba, Cesia Corrales of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on viola, Sebastian Alfaro Fontalvo of Cartegena, Colombia, on trumpet and tenor Jenson Wall of Denham Springs.

This recital was established to honor Jim McCutcheon, a retired band teacher, who was active in instrument repair at NSU. McCutcheon wanted to do something to recognize outstanding student performance at Northwestern State and began offering a financial prize to those students selected to perform in the recital. After his death, his wife, Jo Lapeyrouse, chose to continue this tradition and has funded a scholarship in his name.


Catholic Schools Week Spotlight: Aaron Howell


St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches is joining the celebration for National Catholic Schools Week by showcasing what makes education at St. Mary’s outstanding.

Monday’s Spotlight features Aaron Howell, a 17-year old student who’s attended St. Mary’s for 13 years. He is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, FCA and Beta Club. He plays quarterback on the football team, which he’s been on since the fourth grade. He plays forward on the basketball team, which he joined in seventh grade.

Howell plans to attend Northwestern State University on a football scholarship and major in nursing. He’s always wanted to help people, so he plans on becoming a nurse anesthetist.

“I enjoy going to St. Mary’s because of the family atmosphere,” said Howell. “It’s a close-knit group and the teachers are nice and help the students as much as possible. St. Mary’s has taught me character and leadership skills through the sports I play. It’s taught me responsibility.”

Celebrated annually at the end of January, St. Mary’s has organized a whole week of activities to show what its students are accomplishing and to celebrate the community it’s built, educating tomorrow’s citizens and church leaders.

This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” The theme encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country.

“Not only are we teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities, educators are growing with them,” said St. Mary’s Principal Andrea Harrell. “In Catholic schools, we are all learners, servants and leaders. These shared qualities are what make Catholic schools work. They are what make Catholic schools succeed.”

The theme also focuses on key elements of Catholic education: faith development, academic excellence and dedication to service. These elements set Catholic schools apart from other educational options. They are why families make sacrifices to provide their children with Catholic education.

“I hope the community will join us for our All School Mass Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 9 am in the school gym and again Friday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 am in the St. Mary’s chapel for Mass, Adoration and Benediction,” said Harrell. “Please bring your friends and neighbors, particularly those who may be considering Catholic education for their service.”

Howell said participating in prayer at St. Mary’s is a really cool experience. “With 400 kids it feels like a big family meeting,” he said. “It’s cool to see that number of people devoted to one thing.”

Baby Shower for Jesus

Schedule of Events