Notice of Death – May 27, 2018

Notice of Death 2017



Elder Nathaniel “Tobe” McGaskey, Sr.
May 23, 2018
Arrangements TBA


Jimmy Gene Rivers
October 9, 1940 – May 23, 2018
Visitation: Monday, May 28 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle
Service: Tuesday, May 29 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Joseph Cemetery


Audry J. Dauzat
August 29, 1937 – May 24, 2018
Service held May 26

Nolan Joseph Gremillion
October 19, 1930 – May 25, 2018
Visitation: Monday, May 28 from 4-9 pm and Tuesday, May 29 from 10 am – 12:30 pm at Kramer of Fifth Ward
Service: Tuesday, May 29 at 1 pm at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
Interment: St. Alphonsus Mausoleum in Hessmer

Entries are still being sought for the Natchitoches Christmas T-shirt Contest

The Historic District Business Association is hosting its annual design contest for the 2018 Natchitoches Christmas T-shirt.  The contest is open to all residents in Natchitoches Parish.

Entries must be received by May 31st, 2018. Complete guidelines can be downloaded at the link below.   For additional information, please contact Jill Leo at 318.652.7078 or Suzanne Bolton at 318.352.5833

Download Document -> HERE

Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation Answers Questions About Its Giving Very Little Money To Public

By Edwin Crayton



Maybe you know by now that The Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF) has 1.8 million dollars to give away—by court order. But last year, 2017, according to their own grant brochure, it budgeted to give a total of only a mere $27,000 total to the public for the whole year—and it’s even unclear how much of that it actually did give away.  Apparently this year it will be about the same.  It helps to remember, that the foundation was originally court-ordered to give away all the money–which resulted from a settlement with Tennessee Gas involving the spill of dangerous PCB’s in Sibley Lake.  The money is meant for citizens in the Natchitoches Community. But honestly, at the rate that NCIF is giving money away through grants and scholarships, a person 40 something years old will possibly never live to see the funds given away entirely. So, this made me curious.

At the May 15, quarterly meeting at First Baptist Amulet Street, I asked the foundation why, in the first place, did it put a cap on the amounts of money given to the public and why the amounts of money given are so incredibly small. I pointed out that with a fund that is almost $2 million, giving away less than $28,000 total a year is about 2% of the fund.  A drop in the bucket—a really big bucket and a really, really tiny drop.

The board members’ responses revealed a lot. Board member Shaniqua Hoover said, “You don’t want to give all of your money away at one time”. But isn’t that kind of the point? Wasn’t the money NCIF manages supposed to basically be completely distributed to the Natchitoches public? Board Member Dianne Blake Jones gave as a reason that they were trained by the Rapides Foundation, seeming to make the point that this process was part of their training. Alright, but instead of the Rapides Foundation, weren’t they supposed to be taking their marching orders from the district judge who ruled in the settlement case what should happen to the money? I mentioned to the board that there are local groups. businesses or individuals who genuinely need and deserve $50,000 or $100,000. I then added that there was a time a few years back when NCIF seemed to agree– before they began capping funds. At that time, NCIF granted $30,000 to one group—LNC Foundation, an alumni organization which board member Ed Ward has ties to. That $30,000 is more than they gave the entirety of last year. Attempting to illustrate how caps can backfire, I asked them a question. Realizing they award $1,000 scholarships I asked if they had 50 A plus students to consider, would they only fund 25 when all of them were equally deserving? They said yes they’d only fund their budget—which would not even be half the students because they decided to split their annual funding into two categories a year and education only gets $12,000 of the $27,000 annual total mentioned.

To be clear: NCIF is supposed to fund four areas: education, housing, economic development and recreation. But unfortunately, it has decided to only fund two of those per year and that is yet another way its funding policies severely restrict what the public can get. With 1.8 million in the bank, does that seem somewhat stingy? By the way, they may not spend $50,000 on students but documents show in 2014 NCIF spent over $55,000 on legal. So do lawyers have a better shot at getting 50K from NCIF than students do? However, Board Member James Below Jr. offered a positive response. He said, “You have to have a number to work with to put on a brochure”. Referring to the “cap”, he said, “This was part of a 3-year plan which ends in 2018. After the third year, we agreed that in 2019 we will discuss increasing it”. If the board does that it would be good and wise, but only if they significantly increase these tiny yearly grants. Ironically, towards meeting’s end, most of the group lobbied to budget $1,000 for a ceremony to hand out scholarships. Chairman Leo Walker, who lately is more often a voice of reason, objected to this and reminded the group that other organizations handing out scholarships don’t usually give treats with them. Board Member Gwen Hardison also advised keeping it simple. Yet, the prevailing mood was to do the ceremony and spend the money, so they voted to budget $1,000 for the ceremony. Keep in mind, the scholarships themselves are $1,000 each student. That’s the exact amount they budgeted to spend on a ceremony to make handing them out a celebration. I communicated to them that this $1,000 could’ve funded another scholarship for a student.

NCIF board members are: Leo Walker, Oswald Taylor, Ed Ward Jr., Billye Sue Johnson, Brenda Milner, Shaniqua Hoover, Mildred Joseph, Estelle Braxtox, James Below Jr., Catherine Hoover, Kelvin Porter, Gwendolyn Williams, Diane Blake Jones and Gwen Hardison

“Of whom much is given, much is required.”

-Jesus, Luke 12:48

Eight LSMSA seniors complete associate’s degree requirements

Associate 2
Eight students from LSMSA were recognized during the Senior Recognition Ceremony held on Friday, May 18, for not only completing the degree requirements for their high school diploma, but also for completing the degree requirements for an associate’s degree from Northwestern State University. They were Jacob Burton of Houma, Chelsea Franklin of Crowley, Samantha Hernandez of Slidell, Clara Kolterman of Sterlington, Caitlyn Morrison of Gloster, Tomas Parker of Natchitoches and Samantha Wright of Crowley. According to Dr. Kristi Key, director of academic services at LSMSA, an Associate of General Studies diploma will be conferred to each student in August, and they stand ready to begin college in the fall with the attending credit of that accomplishment.

NSU has three on Southland All-Academic Team, Mutel is Student-Athlete of Year

Mutel - Academic grafic
Half of Northwestern State’s six-player Lady Demon tennis squad earned Academic All-Southland Conference honors announced Tuesday, with junior Polina Mutel receiving Student-Athlete of the Year honors and making the 13-woman team along with senior doubles partner Polina Ivanova and sophomore Judit Castillo.

Mutel, voted as the Southland’s Player of the Year last month, posted overall records of 17-6 in singles and 17-2 in doubles. The junior from Yaroslavl, Russia, owns a 3.76 grade point average in business administration. She was 10-1 in regular-season Southland competition in the No. 1 position, and combined with Ivanova for a perfect 10-0 conference record in the regular season at No. 1 doubles.

Mutel, Ivanova and Castillo all earned All-Southland Conference honors last month after leading the Lady Demons to a close third-place finish in the regular season. They were key to NSU’s charge to the Southland Tournament championship match, where McNeese prevailed. It was the seventh time in nine years the Lady Demons reached the Southland final.
NSU finished 16-9. Only three Lady Demons teams have won more matches than the 2018 team.

“I am very proud of Polina Mutel, Polina Ivanova, and Judit Castillo for these outstanding academic awards. I am very proud of our whole team who does an outstanding job year in and year out academically,” said Lady Demons head coach Patric DuBois. “All of our student-athletes know they are here to do well academically and athletically and be productive citizens. I think the results our Lady Demons have shown on and off the court during their time here at NSU and beyond speak for themselves.

“To have three of 13 players in this selective group is a tribute to these student-athletes, our academic staff, our department, and our university as a whole,” said DuBois.

Ivanova, a Moscow, Russia native who was first-team All-Southland in doubles play teaming with Mutel in the No. 1 position, graduated cum laude May 11 with a 3.67 GPA with a double major of business administration and accounting.

Ivanova was 16-7 overall in singles play, 16-5 at No. 2, where she went 9-2 in conference regular-season competition, earning honorable mention All-Southland honors last month. She wrapped her career ranking seventh all-time in career dual match singles victories with a final 57-26 record. Ivanova also was 17-2 in doubles with Mutel this spring.

She and Mutel were among the eight players automatically qualifying for the Academic All-Southland first team by virtue of their academic performance and being chosen first-team all-conference.

Castillo, one of four second-team All-Academic selections, has a 3.94 GPA in health and exercise science. The Teruel, Spain product went 15-5 overall in singles, including a 12-4 mark at No. 5, earning second-team All-Southland singles honors last month.

McNeese and UCA also had three players chosen for the Southland All-Academic Team.

Class to teach how to use Wacom

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Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will present a class on drawing with Wacom tablets on June 4-8.

The class will be held daily from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 207A of the new wing of the A.A. Fredericks Center for Creative and Performing Arts. The fee for the class is $225. Those taking the class must be at least 10 years old.

This course will teach how to draw directly on a large format, high definition-display with Wacom’s pressure sensitive pen. This is an introductory course that will introduce the interface, basic concepts and workspace in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Participants will learn how to create unique illustrations using the Wacom pen. At the end of the course participants will have a digital illustration as an example of your creative skills. Those taking the class are required to bring a jump drive.

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

Lakeview Honor Society tours LSUS

Lakeview Junior Senior High School’s National Honors Society took a tour of LSUS. A college tour is an integral part in students’ decisions on which college to attend. While on their tour of LSUS, students asked questions of not just the admissions office, but also of students who attend the school. They saw the campus library, gymnasium, science department, fine arts building and the student union. In addition to learning about the different academic fields and scholarships offered at LSUS, the students learned about the student life as well as their brand new student success center.

Pictured on front row from left are Airamaya Williams, Jada Aldredge, Ke’Aira Thomas, Mekaila Braxton, and Jasmine Williams. On second row are Ka’Brian Bonier, Salem Johnson, Ashanti Garner, Julie Baldwin, Hunter Thompson, and Kaycee Smith. On third row are Dillion Longino, Matthew Vaughn, Shermarcus Page, Jaquan Bobb, Joshua Graham, Nicholas Wiggins, Za’Chary Jackson, Ladarrion Winslow, and Quintarious Coleman.

NPD Investigators arrest two for attempted murder

Shooting Suspects

The Natchitoches Police Department responded to a call of shots being fired in the 400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive May 15 at 11:45 pm. Upon arrival officers spoke with the complainant who advised she and two friends were outside her residence when a vehicle, driven by Lewis Demars,17, passed by at a slow speed. She stated a few minutes later the vehicle passed by again. This time Lewis Demars and a passenger, identified as Corteze King, 17, began shooting at them. No one was hit by gunfire and no one was injured.

Warrants were signed by a Natchitoches Parish Judge for the arrest of Demars and King for their involvement in this incident on May 23.

On May 24, at approximately 10:00 a.m.

Demars was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder. King turned himself in to NPD Investigators a few hours later. He was charged with three counts of attempted first degree murder. Both were placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center were their bonds are set at $500,000 each.

Notice of Death – May 25, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Margaret Theresa McCary
June 2, 1938 – May 23, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, May 27 from 11:30 am – 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, May 27 at 1 pm in the Chapel at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Addie Fisher
May 18, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, May 26 from 9-11 am at the at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, May 26 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Campti Community Cemetery

Elder Nathaniel “Tobe” McGaskey, Sr.
May 23, 2018
Arrangements TBA

Jimmy Gene Rivers
October 9, 1940 – May 23, 2018
Visitation: Monday, May 28 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle
Service: Tuesday, May 29 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Joseph Cemetery

Peggy Brand Bozeman
December 11, 1931 – May 23, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, May 26 from 5-8 pm and Sunday, May 27 from 1-2 pm at the Southern Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, May 27 at 2 pm in the Southern Funeral Home chapel
Internment: Garden of Memories of Winnfield

Mickey Stewart
Service: Saturday, May 26 at 11 am at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Interment: Zion Hill Cemetery

Rebecca Paul
Service: Saturday, May 26 at 1 pm at Eastside COGIC in Mansfield
Interment: Shiloh Cemetery

Jefferson Highway Association looks to bring annual conference to Natchitoches

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The Jefferson Highway Association, originally founded in 1915 promotes the preservation of the Jefferson Highway in the United States of America and Canada. The National Highway, described as ‘ from the pines of Winnipeg to the palms of New Orleans connects existing roads in one super highway and was to travel from one nation to another ( from Canada to Louisiana).

The association is interested in holding their 2019 conference in Natchitoches (target date- last weekend in April). Several members gave a presentation May 24 to local community members, organizations and state DOTD representatives.

Known as the “Pine to Palm” Highway, it was promoted as a vacation pipeline.It was replaced in the 1920s with a numbered U.S. Highway system.

Association President Glenn Smith and members Mike Curtis and Roger Bell spoke on the history and historical significance of the highway, and the association’s preservation efforts since 2011 when a group of roadies reformed it.

“The really cool thing about your community (Natchitoches) is that the Jefferson Highway runs right through your downtown area (Front Street and Jefferson Street),” said Bell.

Smith said what’s even more interesting is the fact that there’s more miles of road in Louisiana still called “Jefferson Highway” than anywhere else he’s traveled.

“I wasn’t aware until two years ago when two documentary makers produced a film on the Jefferson Highway that Jefferson Street was part of the original Jefferson Highway,” said Tourism Office Executive Director Arlene Gould.

The group discussed ways to market the Jefferson Highway as another tourism draw for Natchitoches, getting more people in the area to join the JH Association, and creating signage to mark the route through the Parish.

“I’d love to see signage from New Orleans to the Texas border,” said Smith.

Henry “Buddy” Maggio and his wife Nita joined on the spot and members of the Natchitoches Historic Foundation expressed interest in becoming members.

For more information go online to

Two academic programs each ranked as 10th best in the country

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Northwestern State University’s bachelor’s program in computer information systems and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program have each been ranked as the 10th best program in the country by a pair of higher education websites.

The computer information systems program was named as one the best web development programs by The site said “The cutting-edge, comprehensive online web development degree curriculum introduces concepts in cyber forensics, cloud computing, programming, and internet web design and development.” uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics. The rankings are based on academic quality, affordability and online programming.

“We are so proud of this honor,” said Curtis Penrod, coordinator of CIS at Northwestern State. “Our faculty and staff work hard to ensure our students come out of the program with the web development skills they need. This external validation shows we are succeeding at that task.”

For more information on NSU’s computer information systems degree, go to

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program was ranked by for its affordability.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Northwestern provides a clinical doctorate for master’s prepared registered nurses who desire to practice at the highest level and significantly impact health care outcomes for vulnerable populations. Graduates of this DNP program have the potential to transform health care by utilizing advanced clinical skills, translating evidence into practice, implementing systems changes, establishing standards and policies, and acting as organizational leaders.

“Affordability is a real factor when looking at higher education. Our DNP program offers a quality, experiential education students can afford,” said Dr. Connie Hale, Director of Graduate Studies and Research in NSU’s College of Nursing and College of Allied Health. “Our DNP graduates are business owners, hospital administrators and advanced practice nurses who are making a real difference in healthcare at all levels.”

For more information on the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, go to

College of Nursing hosting informational for All of Us Research initiative


Northwestern State University’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, in conjunction with the AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health) invites the public to join them in the national launch of the All of Us Research Program.

The All of Us Research Program is a nationwide program promoted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the NIH investigating how the type of medical treatment individuals receive could be impacted by biological differences.

The goal of the AACN is to utilize the nursing profession, and thus Northwestern State College of Nursing, to spread information about this research program to communities in northwest and central Louisiana. The NIH aspires to build a research cohort of over 1 million people.

The NSU College of Nursing will host a meeting from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 at NSU’s Shreveport Nursing Campus, 1800 Line Avenue, to introduce ideas of biological research and precision medicine and share information about this nation-wide study. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact, Dr. Donald Johnston, assistant professor of nursing, at about the event.

Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey Mathews earns promotion to colonel

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Northwestern State University Director of Bands Dr. Jeffrey C. Mathews has been promoted to the rank of colonel in the Air National Guard.

Mathews serves as Chief, Air National Guard Bands for the National Guard Bureau. He is the chief policy maker and advisor to all Air National Guard bands. The Chief of ANG Bands determines the readiness of ANG bands through technical inspections and staff assistance visits; recommends actions for improving the ANG band program to Director of the ANG, SAF/PA and NGB; develops policy guidance for the ANG band program; coordinates band policy issues; establishes qualifications and procedures for hiring and training new band officers and enlisted members and conducts band officer auditions to fill vacancies.

“It is an honor and I am humbled to have received this promotion,” said Mathews. “My current position is extremely satisfying because I am the advocate for funding and manpower for the ANG bands at the National Guard Bureau and the Pentagon. I am also tasked with ensuring the musical quality of all the ANG bands through advisory visits and inspections.”

Mathews has served in the National Guard for 32 years. He was the commander and conductor of the Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast from 1997 to 2011. He received his commission on July 2, 1998, from the Academy of Military Science in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to joining the Texas Air National Guard he served ten years with the 156th Army Band of the Louisiana National Guard and two years with the 132nd Army Band of the Wisconsin National Guard. In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa with members of the Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast.

“Initially, I planned to do one six-year enlistment for the college benefits,” said Mathews. “Thirty-two years later I’m still at it. The comradery, great friendships, patriotism and great music making kept me in over the years.”

At Northwestern State, Mathews teaches music education, conducting, music theory and African-American music. He enjoys playing trombone in several rhythm and blues bands when not teaching or conducting. His professional memberships include Louisiana Music Educators Association, Texas Music Educators Association and the College Band Directors National Association.

Explore three newly renovated homes during Rhodes Realty’s Memorial Day Weekend Open House Extravaganza

Memorial Day Weekend Open House
The Rhodes Realty team is happy to present a Memorial Day Weekend Open House Extravaganza: Renovated Homes Edition. Rhodes Realty is opening the doors on three completely renovated homes Sunday, May 27 from 1-3 pm.

Each home will be open to the public for tours. BBQ, drinks and popsicles will be served at each location to help home buyers beat the heat.

You MUST attend all three Open Houses to be entered into the drawing for the following:

55” TV
Gift Cards

The winners will be announced on Facebook Live on the Rhodes Realty Facebook page at the conclusion of the event. Tag a friend to come with you to see these amazing homes!

212 Paula Lane: $135,000

3 bed – 1.5 bath – 1,256 SQFT

Michael Deville will host this Open House 318-332-6569 or

Completely renovated 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom brick home in East Natchitoches! You won’t find another home on the market like this one! All furniture and furnishings remain with a full price offer! All new flooring including wood laminate in living room and hallway, ceramic tile in kitchen and both bathrooms, and new carpet in both bedrooms. Brand new roof! Fresh interior and exterior paint on this home. All new Amana Stainless Steel Appliances which include refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Hall bathroom has new ceramic tile shower that looks spectacular! All new fixtures, lights, electrical cover plates, and ceiling fans throughout home. Yard has been landscaped. This one won’t last long. Jump on it today before it’s sold!!!

625 Royal Street: $165,000

3 bed – 2 bath – 1,370 SQFT

Mario Fox will host this Open House 318-581-6516 or

Homes like this rarely come on the market! Completely Renovated East Natchitoches Home! This Plantation Park Subdivision home features 3 bedroom and 2 bathrooms with all new counter tops with custom backsplash, all new interior and exterior paint, new stainless steel appliances, refinished cabinets with new cabinet faces and hardware, ceramic flooring throughout that looks like wood laminate(except in bedrooms), new carpet in bedrooms, new architectural shingle roof, all new fixtures and hardware, refinished vanities with new counter tops, new hall tub/shower combo, newly renovated master bedroom shower with custom travertine, and much more! This home has a living room with fireplace and custom mantle and also a separate den! There is a breakfast area and a formal dining area! This home has everything you could ask for with a superb location! This hot commodity won’t last long!

426 Sarah Street: $259,999
3 bed – 2.5 bath – 2,084 SQFT

Kathy Richmond will host this Open House 318-332-8357 or

Looking for a remodeled home in an established neighborhood on outskirts of town but still has all city utilities? Well look no further this 2010 built home is on a corner lot on almost a half an acre with new interior and exterior paint, new wood laminate flooring in living room and hall area, new carpet in bedrooms, and new fixtures throughout! This yard is completely fenced in yard with a nice extended concrete patio. The living room has recess lighting and tray ceilings with a fireplace. The master bedroom is very large and has a sitting area off of it. Each bedroom is spacious with nice size closets. You won’t find another home like this available with this kind of land, square footage, and updates.