Natchitoches recognized as an ideal place to retire

Retire - Natchitoches LA
Natchitoches is among eight communities from across Louisiana chosen as an official Louisiana Retirement Certified Areas by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

Natchitoches embodies the spirit of southern hospitality beginning with its brick-lined main street along the Cane River.

In the bed and breakfast capital of Louisiana, you can rest assured that time will seem to stand still as you rock on a front porch, cool drink in hand. History whispers its gentle call through the branches of majestic oaks and noble pecan orchards. Like our younger cousin, New Orleans, we often greet you from wrought iron balconies.

The stories are significant and told through 32 historical sites, ranging from plantation tours and byway drives to a leisurely carriage ride and fort visits.

Adventure is also sure to be found in Natchitoches. You can cast a line, hike a trail in the Kisatchie Forest or paddle your way through Cane River, and as the sun dips behind our pine-covered hills, you’ll feel this is a Louisiana experience like no other. You would also be hard pressed to find a more picturesque college campus, and the students of NSU are quick to greet a visitor with a smile and maybe a tip or two on how to experience Natchitoches like a local.

For many our name brings to mind meat pies and Christmas lights but we are so much more. We are building and thriving, engaging with our citizens to create new experiences for them and those who come to visit (and want to stay).

“With nearly 76 million baby boomers nearing retirement in the coming years, many states are working to draw them to their areas, and we thought we should take advantage to not only grow tourism but help spur economic development,” said Nungesser.

Criteria included: climate; demographics; tax structure; local housing availability; public safety and crime index; employment and volunteer opportunities; healthcare and medical services; public transportation; recreational areas; and festival and fairs, just to name a few.
Cane River View - Downtown Natchitoches

Riverbank DedicationNPJ

New Rotary Club President receives gavel

Rotary - Richard White

Past President of Rotary Club of Natchitoches David Zolzer handed over the gavel to New President of Rotary Richard White at the June 26 meeting. Past and future Presidents of Rotary Club of Natchitoches are from left Past President David Zolzer, President Richard White, Presidential Nominee David Guillet, and President-elect Josh Axsom (Photos by Dr. Ron McBride).

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NSU holds trumpet workshop for high school students

Trumpet students

Northwestern State University Associate Professor of Trumpet Galindo Rodriguez worked with a group of high school trumpet players during NSU’s annual Honors Wind Ensemble Music Camp. Those taking part were, front from left, Allison Jenkins of Jacksonville, Florida, Keaton McGill of Garland, Texas, Zeshan Farooq of Little Elm, Texas, middle row, Adam Bowen and Cody Clark of Queen City, Texas, Noah Rampmaier of Bossier City, back row, Rodriguez, Isaac Kent of Bossier City and NSU student Lane Clevenger of Natchitoches, who was assistant to Rodriguez and as one of the camp counselors. Rodriguez served as applied trumpet clinician and ensemble coach.

Throughout the week, he provided private instruction, daily master classes and ensemble preparation for a Thursday evening concert. Subjects covered during the master classes included: four basic fundamentals of trumpet playing, respiration as applied to trumpet playing, stylistic considerations for standard trumpet literature, intonation and psychology of performance.

School Board: Special Called Meeting

The Natchitoches Parish School Board will hold a Special Called Meeting on Monday, July 2 at 5 pm at the NPSB Office on Royal Street. Items on the agenda are listed below:

1. Consider allowing the Cloutierville students (Pre K-6th grade) to attend Provencal Elementary/Junior High and 7th-8th grade to attend NJH @FRJ. (Superintendent Skinner)

2. Consider approving the Cloutierville Health Based Center to relocate to Provencal Elementary/Junior High. (Superintendent Skinner)

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame activities filled to capacity for Induction weekend



Saturday’s Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame activities, the morning Championship Saturday Junior Training Camp and the evening’s Induction Dinner and Ceremony, are filled to capacity.

The Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony is sold out and will have a capacity crowd of over 700. Cox Sports Television will provide live coverage beginning at 6 p.m.

The Junior Training Camp, run by the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, will have a record group of 200 boys and girls ages 6-16 getting football and basketball instruction from 10-noon Saturday at the NSU Randall Webb Wellness and Recreation Center and at adjacent Turpin Stadium. The event is presented by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A tennis component for Championship Saturday has been relocated and made available to adults as well, because the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex courts at NSU are being resurfaced and work was not completed in time to host the clinic.

2018 Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Simmons and some of his former players, including 1988 NCAA singles champion Donni Leaycraft, along with the Louisiana Tennis Association, will instead stage a tennis clinic for youth and adults Saturday at the NSU Recreation Complex on the La. 1 Bypass.

The clinic will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. at the tennis courts at the Demon Hills Golf Course, free of charge. Registration begins at 12:15. Participants will receive additional benefits.

Woman arrested for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle

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Natchitoches Police Department Patrol Shift C and Additional Street Patrol Team officers were dispatched to 127 South Drive (Taco Bell) on June 29 at 12:47 am, in reference to an ongoing disturbance taking place in the drive-through lane.

Upon arrival, NPD officers observed Savannah Weeks (WF, 26) in operation of a black 2018 Hyundai Elantra. This Alantra was had been reported stolen to NPD on 6/22/2018.

Weeks and a male passenger were placed into custody. After further investigation, the male passenger was released without charges and Weeks was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She was placed in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center with a return 10th Judicial District Court date of 8/2/2018.

The vehicle was impounded by a local wrecker service.

Approved for release by Chief Dove Date:  6/29/18


Dry weather can lead to accidental fires

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Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 worked a grass fire June 29 across from the power substation on Fish Hatchery. The fire was caused by a cigarette. There was no damage but there were seven light poles involved. According to NFD 6, it could have been bad.

Hot temperatures and high humidity levels can result in heat index values rising to between 105 and 100 degrees. Very hot, humid, and dry conditions will continue across the region this weekend through early next week, as temperatures climb into the mid and upper 90s each day, with resultant heat indices nearing or exceeding 105 degrees.

The Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry labeled Natchitoches Parish in a Medium Fire Danger area according to its Daily Fire Weather Map ( Fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of starts is generally low. Fires burn at moderate intensities, heavy fuel concentrations will burn hot.

Notice of Death – June 29, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

Bobby Fay Lee
July 26, 1935 – June 27, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, June 30 from 10 am – 12 pm at Ashland Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 12 pm at Ashland Baptist Church
Interment: Hathorn Cemetery

Mary Louise (Roe) Norman
November 8, 1943 – June 28, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, July 1 from 10 am – 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Sunday, July 1 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Lambertown Cemetery in Robeline

Barry “Peetie Wee” Sias
November 10, 1959 – May 31, 2018
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 2 pm at the First Baptist Church in Natchitoches
Interment: Jackson Square Cemetery

Jesse R. Howel
February 2, 1948 – June 10, 2018
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 2 pm at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Vowells Mill

Rev. Welkin Smith
June 24, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, June 30 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Greenville Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 12 pm at the Greenville Baptist Church in Clarence
Interment: Old Morning Star Baptist Church Cemetery in St. Maurice

Gracie Williams
June 25, 2018
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum


Nelwyn Rhodes Harris
September 19, 1917 – June 24, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, June 30 from 9-11 am at the First United Methodist Church of Alexandria
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church of Alexandria
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park


Lynnquithis January
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 11 am at Florien Auditorium
Interment: Pilgrim Star Cemetery

Bertha Lee Perry Jones
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 2 pm at Northwest Auditorium
Interment: St. Mark Cemetery in Wemple

Levert Duncan
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 11 am at Northwest Auditorium
Interment: Shady Grove Cemetery in Mansfield

Leon Kelly
Service: Saturday, June 30 at 11 am at New Bethlehem Baptist Church in Gloster
Interment: New Bethlehem Cemetery

2018 La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception for the LSHOF

La Cap - LSHOF 2018 (2)

Several hundred sports enthusiasts and area residents attended the LA Capitol Federal Credit Union welcome reception for the 2018 inductees into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 28th at the Hall of Fame and Museum. The event was free and open to the public and was an excellent opportunity to meet some of our state’s sports legends. In addition to meeting the inductees, the event goers were able to see items from their sports careers in a special display at the museum. There was also a silent auction of sports memorabilia to raise funds for the Hall of Fame.

The festivities are far from finished, however. Friday will feature a free concert with Zydeco legend, Wayne Toups, culminating with a signature Natchitoches fireworks show. Saturday morning will feature the Saints’ & Pelican’s Junior Training Camp at NSU’s WRAC facility in which a capacity crowd of over 200 young people will be able to test their abilities, win prizes and learn what it takes to succeed on-and off-the playing field. The weekend will conclude at the induction dinner Saturday evening at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Parish renews search for Public Works Director

Parish Council- Bobby Hughes

Parish President Rick Nowlin was informed on Wednesday that Mr. Bobby Hughes, who was confirmed as the Parish’s new Director of Public Works at the June 18, 2018, Parish Council meeting, has decided not to accept the position. Mr. Hughes cited personal reasons for his decision and expressed regret to the Parish for not being able to accept the job.

The Parish will renew the search for a new permanent Director. Mr. Earl Townsend will continue in his role as the Interim Public Works Director. President Nowlin requests cooperation and patience from residents as the administration seeks the candidate most qualified to serve the Parish’s needs.

Residents may contact the Parish Government offices at 352-2714 with any questions about the ongoing search for a Public Works Director.

SAHS re-enacts historical event at pageant

Ethel Marie Goudeau Guidry (1)

8 year old, Ethel Marie Goudeau Guidry

The St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) presented a captivating historical re-enactment called “Cane River Creoles: A Legacy Of Faith” at the Cane River Creole Heritage Pageant, June 23.

Narrated by 8-year-old Ethel Marie Guidry, the re-enactment tells the story of the faith-based Creole community on Isle Brevelle founded by “Grandpere” Augustin Metoyer. Grandpere had a plantation chapel of 1803 which would eventually, by donation, become the Catholic Church that still exists today. Grandpere is the son a Frenchman and a formerly enslaved person, Marie Thereze Coincoin.

SAHS President Dr. Mark Guidry said, “We were thrilled to educate the public, especially young girls at the pageant, and even more delighted to have a young person tell the story. The legacy lives on!” SAHS is a non-profit, tax-exemp organization that preserves the history and heritage of the St. Augustine parish community on Isle Brevelle.

SAHS re-enacts

From left are, Minnie Metoyer (Tante Perine”); Bessie LaCour (“Meme Agnes,” wife of Augustin); Thomas Roque Sr. (“Grandpere Thomas,” the Frenchman); Ethel Marie Guidry (Narrator); Dr. Mark Guidry (Bishop); Betty Metoyer Roque (Marie Thereze Coincoin); and Dorretta O’Brien (Mademoiselle Metoyer).

NSU hosting leaders of tomorrow at Louisiana Boys, Louisiana Girls State

Boys State Flag Raising 2

Louisiana Girls State citizens are pictured marching across the Northwestern State University campus chanting and singing prior to a state party convention assembly. NSU is currently is hosting more than 1,000 of Louisiana’s best and brightest rising high school seniors as they attend Louisiana Boys State and Louisiana Girls State this week. Presented by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, the Boys and Girls State programs foster leadership skills as participants learn how government functions and run for mock state and local offices.

Louisiana Boys State citizens begin each day with a flag-raising ceremony, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem. NSU has hosted the program since 2007. Gov. John Bel Edwards is scheduled to speak at the Boys State and Girls State joint convocation at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. The event will be lived-streamed on @laboysstate YouTube channel.

Girls State Singing

Daily Scholarship will benefit business, finance majors

Shawn Daily


Shawn Daily is investing in Louisiana’s future by creating a scholarship for Northwestern State University students. Daily, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Natchitoches, created a scholarship through a donation to the NSU Foundation with preference for students majoring in business, finance, accounting, marketing or related fields.

Daily, who has taught classes in NSU’s School of Business over the years and supported many university events, said it’s his way of giving back. In addition to meeting promising future business leaders through the School of Business, many of his clients have been associated with the university. He and his wife are long-time platinum underwriters of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Society and supported NSU’s two main spring fund raisers, Flavor of Louisiana and the Dragon Boat Races. He has also served as chapter advisor and financial advisor to NSU’s Beta Omicron chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

“We are blessed to have Mr. Daily who is nationally known in the world of finance,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Of all the philanthropic organizations, we are grateful that he chose to support NSU.”

Daily came to Natchitoches 43 years ago to open the first Edward Jones office in the area. Interested in getting to know the community, he taught a continuing education class at NSU on the basics of investing and later taught finance classes for the School of Business, at times, recruiting promising students to work in the firm.

Daily earned his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, served in the U.S. Navy and returned to SFA to earn a master’s degree in social psychology. As he was completing his graduate degree, he met an Edward Jones broker who drew him into that profession. He opened the Edwards Jones office in Louisiana and in the following years recruited, hired and expanded the company by opening offices in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“There is a psychology to investing,” he said. “When recruiting, I looked for people who would be a good fit, who were smart, intuitive and honest.”

Daily is engaged in other community endeavors in Natchitoches. An avid hunter, he is involved with Ducks Unlimited, has served as president of the American Cemetery Association for the past 30 years and is a former candidate guidance officer for the U.S. Naval Academy.

He said the unrestricted nature of his donation could relieve the burden of an NSU student with rent to pay, bills and other expenses.

According to Maggio, about 400 of NSU’s 1,600 incoming students this fall are first generation college students, the first in their families to attend college. For many, just a few hundred dollars in scholarship assistance can make a significant impact in meeting their academic goals.

“Through private donations, we are able to fill in the gaps and offer a scholarship package to students whether they get TOPS or not,” Maggio said. “These awards truly made a difference and we can’t do it without private donors.”

Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE, said she sees the impact of private donations every day.

“We have one-on-one conversations with students about their goals and their challenges in staying enrolled due to financial constraints,” Bankston said. “We don’t want these students to give up. Many are balancing work and family with academics, so the scholarship awards are truly valuable in helping them obtain their degrees and pursue a better quality of life.”

For more information on supporting NSU scholarships, call (318) 357-4414 or visit

Natchitoches Parish schools receive upgrades

By Samantha Maiette

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Schools around the parish are receiving necessary upgrades before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. These upgrades are expected to cost the district almost $3 million.

The school board bid out roughly $1.5 million to repair HVAC and electrical systems at Lakeview, Fairview and Goldonna. Lakeview and Goldonna are also receiving other upgrades.

Lakeview is improving its football field with an irrigation system as well as a new field itself. Head Coach Brandon Helms mentioned that the field “was getting to the point that it was almost unplayable.” The field upgrades will cost the school board $124,795.

Lakeview is not the only school receiving other upgrades, Goldonna will upgrade their buildings, install new carpet, roofs, walk-in coolers and install a parking lot drainage and a covered play area. These upgrades will cost the district a little over $1.2 million.

“Better climate control and better control of cost [will help] control the amount of repair, because you can take that money and spend it elsewhere,” said Richard Foshee, supervisor of business affairs.

Other upgrades will bid out within the next month. These pending items include a digital marquee sign at Fairview and Lakeview, a camera system expansion at all three schools, a intercom/bell system update at Goldonna and Lakeview and new playgrounds at Goldonna and Fairview.

Upgrades are expected to be completed before the start of school.