Ponderings with Doug – March 30, 2018


I have attached a photograph to this article and entitled it “Sleeping Dude.”

Sleeping dude could be a part of the Easter story. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane he asked the disciples to watch and pray. They fell asleep. The same thing happened again; Jesus asked them to stay awake while He prayed. They slept. When the Romans showed up to arrest Jesus the disciples were once again rubbing sleep from their eyes. The disciples had the gift of falling asleep at the most inopportune times.

They were sleeping on the Mount of Transfiguration according the Gospel of Luke. They were awakened by the bright light and the visitation of Moses and Elijah. So as Jesus is transfigured the sleeping dudes were there. Luke writes about them becoming “fully awake” after all the good stuff had happened.

Sleeping dude was at the resurrection. Sleeping dude was the first witness of Easter. Matthew wrote, “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it….For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.” The punishment for a Roman soldier falling asleep on duty was death. So the soldiers had a problem explaining to their superiors who rolled the stone back from the tomb’s entrance. Can you hear these soldiers making the angel report? It was likely easier for them to face death and confess to being “sleeping dudes.”

The book of Acts records the story of another “sleeping dude.” “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.” The story has a happy ending, he was not dead, just had the wind knocked out of him. It reminds me of a funny long winded preacher story.

A preacher was on program at a district convention to preach for twenty minutes. The other preachers from the district were sitting behind him in the choir section, giving him moral support and throwing in an occasional “Amen” to help the preacher along. The preacher preached his twenty minutes and continued on despite allotted time. He preached for 30 minutes, then forty minutes and then for an hour. He even continued for an hour and ten minutes. Finally, a brother sitting on the front row took a song book and threw it at the preacher that was still going strong in his message. The preacher saw the song book as it was hurled his way and he ducked. The song book hit one of the preachers sitting in the choir section. As the man in the choir section was going down, you could hear him say, “Hit me again, I can still hear him preaching!”

“Sleeping dude” was at the last Natchitoches Parish Council meeting.

Was he sleeping or praying? The meeting needed prayer. I think it might have been too noisy to sleep.

“Sleeping dude” was actually texting a request for information about a coming agenda item. I know him because I am he.

This article could go several directions at this point, but you might be bored and become sleeping dude or dudette.

I’ll simply say, “He is risen.”

And you respond…..

Doug-Sleeping dude



City Marshal Randy Williams wanted to inform the following people that they have outstanding bench warrants through the Natchitoches City Marshal’s Office. The names on this list did not pay their fines in full nor did they return to court on the court date they were sentenced to by City Court Judge Gahagan. These individuals will need to clear up their fines and bench warrant fees at the City Marshal’s Office located at 373 Second St. to stop any further actions:

Isabella Kerby, 608 David Circle, Natch, La – TBS
Andre Murphy, 135 Dogwood Court, Natch, La – DP, NSB
Lawrence Phillips, 1236 Holmes St, Natch, La – Impeding Flow of Traffic, Reckless Operation, DUS
Georgette Litton, 119 Sylvan, Natch, La – DWI, Improper Lane Usage
Shaterrica Demars, 201 Pierson St, Natch, La – Expired Inspection Sticker
Quijanisha Johnson, 1122 Grace Ave, Natch, La – SPOM, Unlicensed Driver
Tommy Hayes, 1219 Virginia Ave, Natch, La – TBS
Sherewood Hamilton, 427 Prather St, Natch, La – DWI, Careless Operation
Terry Byone, 204 Marie St, Natch, La – Possession of CDS Schedule 1
Joan Coleman, 854 July St, Natch, La – NSB
Roderick Hatchet, 197 Independence St, Natch, La – DP
William Woodworth, 91137 Rene Dr, Hammond, La – Exp MVI
Alvin Thrash, 1101 Grace Ave, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Otis Smith Jr., 1101 Clarence Dr, Natch, La – NSB, No DL
Jarvis Ocon, 525 Myrtle Dr, Natch, La – NSB
Oliver Miles, 515 Virginia, Natch, La – Signaling
Ricardio Khowja, 9396 Hwy 1 South, Natchez, La – Exp MVI
Gertie Johnson, 109 Teerwood Rd, Coushatta, La – Exp MVI
Jessica Daniels, 124 Ann, Natch, La – No Vehicle Registration, Unlicensed Driver
Kornia Calliham, 1910 Jones St, Coushatta, La – Exp MVI

Trial (T):
Tamira Ledet, 1513 Welch St, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver, Careless Operation
Leola Moore, 1310 Virginia Ave, Natch, La – Unlawful Ownership of Dog, Required License Registration, Animals Running at Large, Rabies Vaccination
Michael Daniels, 4275 University Parkway, Natch, La– SCDP, SPOM
Amber Cortez, 1438 Washington St, Natch, La – Simple Battery, No DL
James Smith III, 440 Fairgrounds Rd, Natch, La – SPOM, Theft
Travis Braden, 227 Rowena St, Natch, La – (2) Theft

NSU to close for Good Friday, observe Spring Break next week

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Northwestern State University will be closed on Friday, March 30 for Good Friday. The university’s spring break will be March 30 – April 8. Administrative offices will reopen on Monday, April 2. Classes will resume on Monday, April 9.

Watson Library will close Thursday, March 29 at 5 p.m. and remain closed through Sunday, March 31. The library will be open April 2-5 from 7:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, April 6 from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Watson Library will be closed April 7-8 and reopen for regular hours on Monday, April 9.

The Randall J. Webb Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center will be closed Friday, March 30 – Sunday, April 1. The WRAC will be open April 2-6 from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. Regular hours will resume on Sunday, April 8.

Krewe of Excellence will hold All White Affair this Saturday

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The Krewe of Excellence will hold its annual All White Affair this Saturday, March 31 from 9 pm – 2 am at the Ben Johnson Auditorium. Sounds will be provided by GoDj Rob Real. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For table reservations ($15) contact Renee at 318-652-1600. Tickets can be purchased from any Krewe member or contact Lorie at 318-471-3373.

Notice of Death – March 29, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Mary Margaret Oehlert Allen
March 15, 1941 – March 27, 2018
Service: Friday, March 30 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Interment: Sanders Chapel in Calvin
Visitation: Friday, march 30 from 12-2 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Janice Lynn Potter
Service: Friday, March 30 at 3 pm at The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints
Interment: Prospect Cemetery

Wilson Anderson
March 27, 2018
Arrangements TBA

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


Fred Taylor
Visitation: Friday, March 30 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, March 31 at 11 am at Summerhill Baptist Church in Pelican
Interment: Summerhill Cemetery in Pelican

Dennis Willard “Buddy” Taylor
August 2, 1925 – March 28, 2018
Visitation: Friday, March 30 from 5-8 pm at Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield and 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

Hoyt Donovan Tettleton
August 6, 1931 – March 28, 2018
Visitation: Friday, March 30 from 10 am – 2 pm at the First Baptist Church of Farmerville Service: Friday, March 30 at 2 pm in the First Baptist Church of Farmerville
Interment: Farmerville City Cemetery

Mary Margaret Oehlert Allen
March 15, 1941 – March 27, 2018
Visitation: Friday, March 30 from 12-2 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Friday, March 30 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Interment: Sanders Chapel in Calvin

Demon Color Guard wins championship


The Northwestern State University Demon Heat Color Guard was named champion of the Independent World Division at the Louisiana-Mississippi Color Guard and Percussion Circuit Championships held this past weekend in Thibodaux. The Demon Heat Color Guard placed first at each competition of the season in its classification which is the highest level.

“They were a crowd favorite all season and did a fantastic job,” said Demon Heat Director Estelle Murr.

The 37-member team performed a show titled “STRUCK,” which included violin and cello versions of the AC/DC song “Thunderstruck.”

Murr said the colorguard had a staging camp in December and a choreography camp before school started in January. Demon Heat competed in four preliminary competitions throughout the season. Students practiced three days a week along with several weekend camps in preparation for the LMCGPC competition.

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center ranks among Top 100 SafeCare Hospitals

SafeCare 2

The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center announced that it ranked 49th nationally on the 2018 Top 100 SafeCare Hospitals list. NRMC received this distinction for its efforts centered around, Outcome, Quality, Safety and Resource Utilization based on its publicly reported data.

Only about 2% of all US hospitals earn 100 SafeCare Hospitals distinction. The top 50 hospitals represent the top 1% performance in the evidence-based metrics of HVBP, HACRP, and HRRP.

“We are pleased to have received this recognition that affirms our efforts towards zero patient harm,” said NRMC CEO Kirk Soileau. “I am extremely proud of our team here at NRMC! From processes, to protocols, to new services, communication, infection control and more, our associates are focused on our patients’ needs. They are consistently raising the bar, and in doing so, they are exemplifying what great healthcare is all about.”


Law Enforcement Officer speaks to students about decisions and consequences

Carnline talk at Magnet_0918

Captain Tommy Carnline, public information officer with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department, spoke to eighth grade students at Natchitoches Magnet March 22. His brother Robert Carnline, a teacher at Magnet, invites his brother to speak to the eighth graders every year before they move on to high school.

Magnet’s theme for the 2017-2018 school year is Super Heroes, and Carnline proudly told the students that not all super heroes wear capes. “My brother is my hero,” he said.

Tommy said that much like law enforcement, teaching is a special calling. “It’s humbling for Robert to call me his hero because he’s mine,” said Tommy.

Tommy began speaking to the students by telling them how when he was in the eighth grade he told his father that he wanted to be a police officer. His father said no because police officers don’t make any money. So, Tommy geared his studies toward being a vet.

In the spring of 1978, during Tommy’s tenth grade year, he was carrying his uncle’s six-shooter .22 cal on his family farm in Robeline. Tommy liked guns and practiced shooting often. He had a BB gun that he’d learned a few tricks with such as twirling it and fast draw.

His father saw him wearing his uncle’s gun and told him to take it off. A while later they were heading down to the creek and his uncle asked Tommy to bring the gun in case they ran into any snakes.

Tommy knew but failed to follow the second rule of gun safety. His eyes had been off the gun since his father told him to take it off, but he didn’t recheck it to make sure it was still unloaded when he headed down to the creek with it.

He went to show his aunt a trick that he knew, pulled the gun, cocked it and twirled it, and that second changed all their lives forever. Tommy accidentally shot himself near his collar bone. The bullet severed his carotid artery, ricocheting through his body before lodging in his spine.

His family rushed Tommy to the Natchitoches Hospital as he passed out and began to turn purplish gray. His father prayed as they rode in the ambulance that God might spare Tommy’s life and he immediately turned pink. Arteries aren’t known to clot, but Tommy’s had, which he considers an absolute miracle.

“The choice I made to not recheck my uncle’s gun created consequences I’ve had to live with every day,” he said. “A lot of decisions we make as young people aren’t as profound as this, but the choices we make can shape the rest of our lives, whether it’s gun safety, learning to drive, saying no to drugs, etc…Don’t do anything that could derail your future by making a poor choice that could turn out to have catastrophic consequences.”

Tommy has rolled in his wheelchair for 40 years now, but he’s gotten to do a lot of things in his life including serving on the Rapides Parish SWAT Team for communications and logistics, being appointed by the governor to the LA Rehab Council, serving on details to protect three presidents and two former first ladies, scuba diving, repelling off a tower, being among the first graduating class from Northwestern State University in its vet tech program, and so much more.

“With the amount of things I’ve gotten to do, the limits for all of you are unbelievable,” he told the Magnet students. “Ya’ll can do anything.”

Alleged Child rapist behind bars


Natchitoches Police Department received a report of indecent behavior with a juvenile March 16. The parents of the complainant reported they only just learned that their daughter had been the victim of ongoing assaults from 2008-12 at the hands of William Bryant Brickhouse, w/m, 34.

Natchitoches Police Department Criminal Investigators interviewed the victim, who was under the age of 13 at the time of the incidents, and her parents to obtain further details. The investigation concluded with a signed warrant for Brickhouse’s arrest.

Brickhouse was arrested by NPD on March 26 and charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile and first-degree rape. He was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he remains incarcerated.

Louisiana law provides the potential for prosecution for up to 30 years past the victim’s 18th birthday.

Because of the nature of the case and the age of the victim, no further information will be released.

NSU Head Football Coach speaks to Rotary Club

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The Natchitoches Rotary Club heard as it’s Tuesday, March 27 speaker, Brad Laird, the Head Football Coach at Northwestern State University. This is Coach Laird’s first season as head coach. He invited the community to a scrimmage Thursday at 7 p.m in Turpin Stadium.

Pictured from left are Rotarian Phil Habig, Brad Laird, and Club President David Zolzer (Photo by Ron McBride).

In what should be ideal conditions, NSU will stage the first of three major scrimmages of spring practice Thursday, March 29 at 7 pm in Turpin Stadium, just before the university shuts down next week for spring break.

“We’re going to set it down and go with it,” said Laird. “We’ll do a little Circle of Champions right off the bat, get the juices flowing, do 10 minutes of indo (individual drills), and then see as much live work as we can get.”

The scrimmage will be the seventh practice of 15 in spring ball, essentially serving as a mid-term exam for the Demons during a stretch when new schemes are being installed in each of the three phases. It is the second full-contact practice so far, following one last Saturday morning.

“We’ll get in somewhere around 80 reps, mixing everybody in, hitting different situations,” said Laird. “We’ve been doing down-and-distance and we’ll hit middle of the field, red zone, coming out, two-minute, just trying to cover everything and get those live reps on tape.

“Our quarterbacks will be live (eligible to be hit and tackled), and that will be the first time in spring that’s been the case, so we’ll see what they can do in game situations. It will be a great evaluation piece as we go into spring break,” he said.

As he mapped plans for spring practice early last month, Laird initially tried to pack all 15 workouts into March to wrap up with the 29th Annual Joe Delaney Bowl spring game on Thursday night. But conflicts with classes and the ability to provide more meeting time between practices, to aid in the installation process, resulted in the decision to use spring break as a mid-point.

“I wanted to have it all done before spring break, but things happen for a reason,” said Laird. “This break comes at a great time with some bumps and bruises we have, and also, the mental fatigue not just from the X’s and O’s, but from starting January 15 with offseason and accountability of being here each day at a certain time.

“We’ll be able to rest a bit, coaches and players, and come back out of spring break ready to go for the remaining eight practices in April,” he said.

NSU will return to practice on April 10. The second major scrimmage is April 14 with the Delaney Bowl set for noon on Saturday, April 21 to conclude spring practice.

Parish Government closed for Good Friday


President Rick Nowlin has announced that all Parish Government offices will close March 30, 2018, in observance of Good Friday. The Parish landfill and limb pit will also be closed Friday, and will reopen for normal hours on Saturday, March 31. Parish bin-sites will be open for normal operating hours Friday and Saturday, but will we be closed on Sunday in observance of Easter. For questions about the closures, please call the Parish Government offices at 318-352-2714.

Remembering Some of His Dogs From the Past

By Joe Darby


The loss of our rat terrier Mosby a couple of weeks ago has gotten me to thinking about the dogs that I’ve had throughout my life. It’s been a pleasant, but bitter-sweet journey in rememberance. I’d like to share some of my recollections with you, if you please.

My first dog was a black cocker spaniel. My two older sisters had taken me to a movie. It was a Van Johnson flick that had a couple of retrievers in it and one of them was named Fetchit. Well, wouldn’t you know Mother and Daddy had taken the occasion of their kids’ absence to go to the pound and adopt the spaniel, as a surprise.. My sisters and I promptly named her Fetchit, of course.

She was supposed to be the family dog, but she quickly decided that I was her special guy. I was about 5 or so at the time. She became my constant companion, going out to play with me, sleeping in my room at night and generally being my full time shadow. I even have an old black and white photo somewhere of Fetchit and me on my large tricycle, with her looking as if the trike was hers and she was giving me a ride.

Fetchit lived until I was in my mid teens. By that time her facial hair had turned almost all white and she had lost weight, but she was still going fairly strong. We took her to get a hair cut and grooming and while carrying her to the car, she wiggled and I dropped her. She seemed okay at the time, but a few days later we found her dead. I fear she may have suffered internal injuries from the fall, but perhaps it was just her time. I don’t know. But she was my first great dog.

The next notable pup I had was a Dachsund who was supposed to be named Fang, but a little nephew started calling him Honky for some reason and that’s the name that stuck. The little wiener had more personality than any other two or three dogs put together. He could sit that long little body up perfectly straight to beg for a scrap of food. And, oh, he loved to drink out of a Coke bottle, hardly spilling a drop.

He’d often bolt out the front door when it was opened and run down the street. With my long legs against his little short ones, I could catch up with him fairly easily. When he heard my running steps right behind him, he stop, give up, roll over on his back in the middle of the street and look at me as if to say, “Well, fancy meeting you here.”

He slept with me at night and another great photo I have is one Mother took of me and
Honky fast asleep, with my arm wrapped around his little wiener body.

He too lived to a ripe old age and passed away peacefully.

Then there was Nelson, named after Nelson Stokely, the LSU quarterback of the mid 1960s. I lived in an apartment complex in the New Orleans area and this little medium sized yellow mutt hung around the complex. We just sort of adopted each other and when I’d get home from work, I’d whistle for him and he’d coming running out from behind some apartment building or other, wagging his tail and grinning (I know they say dogs can’t grin, but…) from ear to ear. Then he’d follow me into my apartment, I’d feed him and we’d settle in for the night.

There was a young family in the complex who had also taken a shine to him and they were about to move into a house of their own. They asked if they could take Nelson with them, who would have kids to play with and a nice fenced in yard. I knew Nelson would have a better life with them, so I said they could have him. And they promised to keep his name as Nelson.

I have a few more dogs that I’d like to tell you about, but I think I’ll save those stories for next week. And don’t forget to give your dog an extra hug today, okay?

Cane River Lake – March 29, 2018


Cane River Lake is now closed due to high water levels. Heavy rain is in the forecast, and the lake water levels will continue to rise. Please monitor your property closely, as the lake historically can rise fast.

Lake level (March 29, 2018 @ 3 am) was 99.1 MSL
Extreme Flood Stage level 100.0 MSL
Flood Stage (lake closing) level is 99.0 MSL.
Normal pool stage level is 98.0 MSL

Making decisions should be based on information from the National Weather Service, Governmental Agencies, and your knowledge.  During this process lake level readings will be posted on the Commission’s web site http://www.caneriverwaterway.com
For more information contact Betty Fuller at 318-617-3235.