LaCap Senior Spotlight recognizes Jay Parker, a senior at St. Mary’s Catholic School, as an outstanding high school senior. He is the son of Jason and Mandy Parker.
Jay has a 4.0 GPA and has received many awards throughout his high school career including SMH Offensive Football Athlete of the Week, SMH Football Team Outstanding Receiver Award, SMH Varsity Football Advisory Council (Junior Rep), Louisiana Boys State Delegate, Virtue Student of the Month, and many more. He was the first recipient of the Grant Ingram Memorial Scholarship. Jay has also played Varsity Football and Baseball, receiving recognition for LHSAA 1A State All Academic Composite Football Team, District 3-1A All District Football Wide Receiver and District 3-1A All District Baseball Outfielder.
Jay has served as Student Council Vice President and Class Rep, and is a member of Beta Club, FCA, Bishop Martin National Honor Society, and serves as an altar server. He also participates in FBLA where he’s served as President 2017-2018, Current Events Team Chair and more.
In the community, Jay has volunteered with the Natchitoches Lions Leo Club where he served as Treasurer and Vice President, Special Olympics, Food Pantry, Local Cemetery Clean Up Project, Louisiana Lions Camp, Hope for Paws, Toys for Tots Drive, and more.
LaCap believes it takes good grades, community involvement, and hard work to make a successful leader. Jay Parker is being recognized for these qualities.
LaCap is committed to improving our community’s well-being by offering financial and volunteer support to organizations that enhance the quality of life through programs for youth, education, and financial literacy.
La Capital Federal Credit Union has two locations in Natchitoches: 311 Keyser Avenue and 926 University Pkwy. Call 318-357-3200 or go online to lacapfcu.org for more information.
Being on this earth for 42 Easters thus far I’ve learned a thing or two about Easter fashion and finding the perfect Easter dress for myself and my two daughters. Having been a mother for the past 19 years I’m also well aware of the Easter candy shuffle. There’s a lot of man hours dedicated to compiling a legendary Easter basket that contains the perfect consistency of sugary confections and trendy items, most of which will likely be lost or broken before the following Monday.
When I was a child we didn’t have a lot of extra money, but my mother always made sure we had an Easter dress. It may have been purchased from a clearance rack, a hand me down from a cousin or neighbor, or even from a garage sale, but we always had a dress. It was deemed one of the only Sundays where you had to be presentable. It didn’t matter if we looked like ragamuffins the other 51 Sundays of the year.
Being a preacher’s daughter and a preacher’s daughter-in-law (for 22 years) I’m well versed in the different styles of Easter Sermons that come along with the fanfare of Easter Sunday morning. It’s that obligatory church attendance that will have you wondering who all of the new faces are in church. More times than not, you may not see these people until next year unless you run into them at the local Walmart.
Easter Sundays are different for a preacher’s family. There are weeks of preparations that go into the sermon, crowd control, and special music. They’ll arrive at church earlier than normal and typically stay longer as well. Meaning, the family doesn’t eat until much later, which has them running a high risk of having “hangry” kids and inpatient Preacher’s wives.
My favorite Easter Sunday growing up was when my dad invited a lot of extra people over for lunch and my mother was very much unprepared. But, her four-letter vocabulary was very prepared for the occasion. We still chuckle at the thought of my soft spoken mother articulating her displeasure with her entire bank of swear words.
There is no stress like Holy Week stress.
The Easter stress finally caught up with me this year as I told my youngest daughter to text me a few things she may want in her basket this year. I was met with dead silence, then she weakly uttered the words, “the Easter Bunny isn’t real.” Oops. Sorry kiddo. Life is full of little white parental lies.
This year has been different for so many reasons. When I stopped long enough to do the math on the amount of time, energy and money that was dedicated to purchasing 42 Easter dresses for myself, 18 for my oldest and 10 for my youngest it was completely overwhelming and a little disheartening. So disheartening I’m thinking of wearing jeans Sunday morning.
Easter isn’t about the dress or a fashion show. It’s not about the perfectly filled basket. It’s not about the perfect family meal. It’s not about the perfect guest list for lunch. It’s not about perfectly well behaved children and a dozen pictures posted to prove how perfect our life is.
I’m a Christian who is ashamed to admit that her prior 42 Easters were all about the perfection. All about the dress and stress.
I am walking into my 43rd Easter as a divorced and flawed Christian believer who’s faith has been tested tremendously for the last 10 months dealing with the loss of a family unit. But, due to this it’s the first year I’ve spent time reflecting on the events that led up to the Crucifixion of Christ. My eyes have been opened and my heart filled with the true meaning of Easter Sunday for the first time in my life and I am grateful for this tragedy that has brought me closer to him.
“Then Jesus came forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man!”
The Bulletproof the Blue Rotary committee would also like to thank Kirk Soileau, Tom Matuschka and the entire staff of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center for their support for Law Enforcement as a Gold Sponsor!
These are the final days of our sponsorship drive to get you and/or your business on our signs and event t-shirt. Support your local Law Enforcement through this event! Call me at 318-652-2225 ASAP for more details!!”
BOM is a sponsor of the Goldonna Junior High Baseball Team. Sarah Giannone, BOM Head Teller & CSR, presented a check to Goldonna Principal Mona Bamburg. Pictured from left are Christian Coker (Sarah’s son), Zachary Hines, Sarah, Mona, and Randall Slaughter.
Local author Brad Dison has just released a new book entitled “Natchitoches Historic District Walking Tour,” the only self-guided walking tour book of Natchitoches. The walking tour book covers 58 sites in the Historic District. Getting from site to site is easy when using the included maps and pictures. Visit the sites in the order laid out in the book or plan your own route. The book also includes sections on where to eat, sleep, shop, and what to see and do in the Historic District. Sites include the histories of Cane River Lake, Front Street, the oldest general store in Louisiana, a reconstructed fort from the early 1700s, a sports hall of fame, sites of deadly shootouts, the site of a dual, the site believed to hold the tomb of the founder of Natchitoches, historic eateries, parks, historic churches, the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase, and many historic homes dating from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.
Brad said he wrote the book because “there is so much history in Natchitoches but accessing that history was difficult. There wasn’t an easy way to learn about the Historic District without reading dozens of books.” He started this project for his own enjoyment and, after sharing some of the stories with his family and friends, it turned into a book.” Brad graduated with a bachelor’s B.A. in history from NSU and earned his M.A. in history from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Brad has published several scholarly articles and books on topics of North Louisiana History including Bienville Parish: Images of America, and Whiskey and Blood, the Story of Four Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Killed by Bootleggers During Prohibition.
The “Natchitoches Historic District Walking Tour” book is currently available at Georgia’s Gift Shop at 626 Front Street in Natchitoches and on Amazon.com.
A fantastic turnout made for a competitive and entertaining morning on the links at Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s 12th annual golf tournament, held at Northwestern Hills Golf Course in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
On Saturday, March 24, 2018, teams of golfers, made up of alumni of the Beta Omicron Chapter at Northwestern State University, family and friends of the fraternity, and community members teed-off in cool, comfortable weather at Northwestern Hills Golf Course.
Teams of golfers, both competitive and casual, were treated to spectacular weather as they hit the links for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s 12th annual Golf Tournament in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Two-player amateur teams competed for cash prizes, handed out in an awards ceremony in the clubhouse. First place went to the duo of Kyle and Derek Sandoval. Foster Adams landed the “closest to the pin” contest, while the longest drive went to Jesse Baker.
The tournament’s ‘fun’ format, a scramble featuring gimmick holes such as speed putt, girls putt, and pick-a-club, remains popular among players, according to tournament coordinator Jordan Mitchell.
The tournament is expected to return next Spring for its 13th year. Information on dates and registration will be announced in January 2019.
Support Relay for Life by purchasing a lunch from the City of Natchitoches as it raises funds for the American Cancer Society. Burgers will be cooked Thursday, April 5 from 11 am – 1 pm at City Hall, located at 700 Second Street in Natchitoches. Lunches come with burger, chips and a cookie. Delivery is available for orders of 5 or more. For more information call 318-352-2772.
The Natchitoches Parish Library Main Branch (NPL) and Northeast Branch (NEB) both played host to the Easter Bunny this week. The NPL had a family Easter party with crafts and snacks and the NEB had an Easter cookie day for its patrons.
If it seems corruption is everywhere you look when you read the local papers or news blogs, it’s not your imagination. Website Cheatsheet.com ranked the 15 most corrupt states in America for 2017 and Louisiana made the list.
Not surprised? Well, that may be one of the reasons we made the list. Acceptance of corruption makes it spread like a cancer. In Louisiana, perhaps we joke a bit too much about the crooked politicians who populate our political swamps. In fact, popular former Governor Edwin Edwards once ran a campaign slogan that said, “Vote for the crook, not the Klansman.” That’s not so funny when you realize the true cost of corruption. It’s why Louisiana makes other lists too. Those lists put us at the top for poverty, hunger, weak education and low pay. Corruption makes it hard to get resources to those in need because those who are mishandling funds are actually withholding money from those who truly need it. But even if you don’t care about needy people you’re still affected. That’s because when a state’s bad reputation goes national, it discourages big companies from investing heavily and seriously in it.
Locally, corruption is an issue too. Theft of money, mismanagement of large sums and officials being convicted while in office are part of the landscape in Natchitoches too. What can we do? First, it may help to swallow any pride involved and listen with an open mind to why others across America keep putting us on lists of the most corrupt. In the article, the writers point out two of the top issues with Louisiana. They gave the state a big fat F and wrote, “The Bayou State has been known as one of America’s most corrupt.” The writers do add that reforms have helped, but not for long. They conclude, “As of 2017, Louisiana sank back into its own swamps with a grade F. Access to information (46th) and judicial accountability (49th) remain its worst areas.” They nailed it. So, we need to make it easier for the public to access information on what’s happening in government and in communities. And we need more judicial accountability. Agree. I think we need a bit more and actually the situation is fixable. Here goes:
We need more involvement from the public generally. In a recent local election, only about 15% of people voted.
There needs to be more attendance at council meetings and other community meetings.
We the people need to let politicians know how we feel. They act in our interests when they know we care enough to email or call them about concerns. On the other hand, when we don’t pay attention to what politicians and community organizations are doing, they begin to believe they’re above the law and don’t have to respond to citizens. Apathy is comfortable, but expensive. An influential local politician told me that public outcry is what politicians respond to. He’s right. They need our votes to stay employed. So outcry and outcry often. It works.
There needs to be stronger enforcement of laws that require organizations to keep written records and publish and file information.
Consistent punishment from the justice system and/or fines for any group or person violating court-orders and/or mishandling public funds.
Let’s not forget America was founded by the people for the people. We are really the bosses. Trite but true. Maybe one day when they put together a list of most corrupt states, we won’t be on it. We’ll be on the one listing the best run states. And hey, why not?
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.”—Proverbs 14:34
“He who accepts evil without protesting against it, is actually cooperating with it.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
John Below, Sr.
March 25, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, April 1 from 6-10 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel and Monday, April 2 fro, 11 am – 1 pm at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, located at 911 5th Street in Natchitoches
Service: Monday, April 2 at 1 pm at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum
Hattie Mae Dziekan
September 3, 1925 – March 28, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, April 1 at 5 pm at Many Church of The Nazarene
Service: Monday, April 2 at 2 pm at Many Church of The Nazarene
Interment: Prospect Cemetery
Service: Saturday, March 31 at 11 am at Summerhill Baptist Church in Pelican
Interment: Summerhill Cemetery in Pelican
Clara Evelyn Cloud
May 5, 1934 – March 29, 2018
Visitation: Monday, April 2 from 9-11 am at Creston Baptist Church
Service: Monday, April 2 at 11 am at Creston Baptist Church
Interment: Evergreen Cemetery in Goldonna
Dennis Willard “Buddy” Taylor
August 2, 1925 – March 28, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, March 31 from 9-10 am at the Sardis Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, March 31 at 10 am at the Sardis Baptist Church
Interment: Iatt Cemetery near Verda
Over 350 4-H members, families, community leaders and supporters attended the 4-H Foundation Auction and Dinner held Thursday, March 29th at Westside Baptist Church. The event started with a dinner followed by a silent and live auction of everything from hunting prints to guns to vacation getaways. The event’s fund raising goal for the night was $15,000.00, all of which will stay in the parish and be used for supplies, programming and camp scholarships.
Natchitoches Parish boasts 660 young people in 20 4-H clubs in various schools in every corner of our parish. Ms. Pam Pearce, the 4-H Agent for our parish, described the popular program as “co-curricular, not extra-curricular.” In addition to the traditional livestock and agricultural activities one usually associates with 4-H, the program features science, engineering and technology. Most importantly, it teaches leadership and exposes its young men and women to new experiences and opportunities to learn and grow. There is something in 4-H for every child’s interest.
4-H was founded in 1908 and may be found in every state in our nation as well as 50 countries around the world. Louisiana’s 4-H programs boast approximately 180,000 members, making it the state’s largest youth development program. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes our 4-H members the best in their future endeavors and commends the young people of Natchitoches Parish 4-H for their hard work and dedication. The NPJ is donating tonight’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do see a photo you like, please consider a donation to Natchitoches Parish 4-H in lieu of payment. Every summer, about 120 children from our parish attend a 4-H camp. Let’s help them get there!
Students at MR Weaver Elementary received certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance.
Pictured on first row from left are Cade Bruce, Emily Lumas, Marciana Williams, Gabrielle Lee, Rhett Manuel, Lauren McDowell, and Mariah Evans. On second row are Angel Dedon, SaRiyah Sykes, Jamual Sykes Jr., Larry Conday, Katlyn Davis, Trevor Collinsworth, and Jaliya Sykes. On third row are Makenzy Woods, Chase Snow, Shedarien Horton, Angel Lopez, Ellagance Moses-Nicholas, Tiffani DuBois, and Malashia Garner. On fourth row are Magan Chelette, Jesse Batiste, Cole Christophe, Gregory Jones, Lykeydria Moss, and Madison Harris. On fifth row are Kiwanian Annette Roque and Weaver Principal Sandy Irchirl. Not pictured are Mitchell Bayonne and Jaylen Hymes.