NCHS to conduct enrollment for 2018-2019 school year

NCHS Welcome.png

Natchitoches Central High School will conduct enrollment for the 2018-1019 school year on Aug. 2-7. Enrollment forms may be found on the NPSB and NCHS web pages. All parents are encouraged to ask questions about the requirements for graduation in Louisiana.

Natchitoches Central High School administration, faculty and staff would like to welcome back students for this school year. A very special invitation is extended to the new freshman class with enrollment on Aug. 7 from 8 am – 12 pm. Seniors will register on Aug. 2 from 9 am – 12 pm. Juniors will register on Aug. 3 from 9 am – 12 pm. Sophomores will register on Aug. 6 from 9 am – 12 pm.

NCHS has a School Based Health Center located on the campus. Registration is available on Aug. 2-7 from 9 am – 12 pm. Services are provided at no cost to the student. The staff at NCHS Health Center are able to provide a multitudes of services to students.

The high school experience at NCHS includes student participation in extra-curricular activities that enrich student’s growth toward graduation. There will be a fall athletics meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 6 pm in the atrium. All student/athletes and parents are encouraged to come. The new NCHS Athletics Handbook will be available. Topics discussed will be procedures involving eligibility, schedules and sportsmanship.

The first day of school for all NCHS students will be Monday, Aug. 13. There will be an open house on Tuesday, Aug. 21 beginning at 6 pm.

Fountain memorializes LSMSA alumni

LSMSA Alumni Memorial Fountain (1).jpg
A key part of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’ landscaping plan is now in place. A new fountain now adorns the school’s Quad and memorializes LSMSA alumni who have passed away.

“As our LSMSA family grows, we also inevitably lose members as well,” said Nolan Huguet, one of the donors for the fountain. “For the past eight years, I have been trying to make sure we have a meaningful and acceptable way to memorialize those that we have lost. The new memorial fountain is a beautiful and serene way for us to reflect on those past friendships that have ended way too soon.”

The fountain was paid for by the school’s Foundation.

“The Alumni Memorial Fountain is a beautiful place for quiet reflection. Our students, faculty and staff spend a lot of time in the Quad, and the sound of cascading water provides a sense of calmness for all of us who are so busy with day-to-day work and classes,” said Angela Robinson, executive director of the Foundation and an alumni of the school. “And for alumni who return to campus for reunions and other events, it will be a peaceful place to gather with classmates to remember friends who are no longer with us.”

Thorn LaCaze, now LSMSA’s senior external affairs director, was head of the school’s Foundation when the fountain idea was first floated.

“The memorial fountain is a place for alumni classes to reminisce about their LSMSA experiences and share stories about their beloved classmates, but it’s also a place that supports future alumni by providing a tranquil study space and outdoor meeting area,” LaCaze said. “It has been several years in the making, but I feel it is a very meaningful addition to an already beautiful and historic campus.”

It is situated on the side of the Music and Arts Building, which was originally built as the Natchitoches Trade School and is familiar to some LSMSA alumni as the Annex. That building is on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the school’s High School Building and Gymnasium, and the fountain’s design had to take that into account.

Sharon Gahagan, a member of the LSMSA School Board since the school’s inception, called the fountain “an exceptional addition to the quad” and hopes it will be enjoyed for years to come. She also noted that the building, completed in 1938, was designed by the same architects that built the State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, and that the fountain and renovations to the building have been sensitive to its history and to the building’s place on the National Register.

“The fountain was installed the week of graduation, so many of our students were already gone,” said LSMSA Executive Director Steve Horton. “So I believe it will be pleasant surprise for everyone when we return in August. It was nice to see those who were here for Reunion Weekend in May naturally gravitate around the fountain for photographs.

The school will continue working on the landscaping plan over the next several years.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is a public, residential high school for high-performing, highly motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors. Located on the campus of Northwestern State University, the school offers a unique living-learning environment for more than 300 students. It is regularly recognized as one of the top high schools in the country.

LSMSA Alumni Memorial Fountain (2)

Notice of Death – July 27, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

M. E. “Reb” Allen
September 21, 1944 – July 27, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Coldwater Baptist Church in Hagewood
Interment: Coldwater Baptist Cemetery
Visitation: Saturday, July 28 from 9-11 am at Coldwater Baptist Church

James Alexander Metcalf
June 15, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 from 4-5 pm at the Natchitoches Historic Foundation (Old Cunningham Law Office), located at 550 Second Street in Natchitoches

Prentice Austin
May 25, 1931 – July 17, 2018
Arrangements TBA

WINN PARISH:

Tommy Ray Crouse
September 16, 1964 – July 27, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, July 29 from 5-8 pm and Monday, July 30 from 8-11 am
Service: Monday, July 30 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Old Union Cemetery in Joyce

Gladys L. Starnes Fluitt Herrod
September 4, 1930 – July 25, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, July 28 from 8:30-10 am at the Southern Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am in the Southern Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Garden of Memories Cemetery in Winnfield

Judy K. Graham
November 13, 1961 – July 24, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am at Christ Temple Pentecostal Church in Jena
Interment: Graham Cemetery

Evelyn Estelle Mitchell
September 12, 1937 – July 24, 2018
Service held July 27

Helen M. Brown
April 3, 1947 – July 23, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Morning Star Baptist Church in Winnfield

SABINE PARISH:

Connie S. White
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Bethel Baptist Church in Many
Interment: Negreet Cemetery

RAPIDES PARISH:

Col. (Ret.) Lucian Joseph Grass
November 22, 1927 – July 25, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, July 28 at 10-11 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Catholic Church
Interment: Alexandria Memorial Gardens

RED RIVER PARISH:

Gavin Reggie Rawls
June 13, 2018 – July 26, 2018
Visitation: Sunday, July 29 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Graveside Service: Sunday, July 29 at 2 pm in Holly Springs Cemetery in Martin

Willie Mae Thomas
August 25, 1942 – July 23, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 3 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cumberland Cemetery

Alberta Dortlon
June 11, 1927 – July 25, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am in Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel in Coushatta
Interment: Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery in Black Lake

Huey Grant Jr.
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Red River Church of God in Christ in Coushatta
Interment: St. Mark Cemetery in Allen

DESOTO PARISH:

Mayo Youngblood
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Mary Evergreen in Grand Cane
Interment: Mary Evergreen Cemetery
Shirley Sykes
Graveside Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am at Mt. Mariah Cemetery in Kingston

JE Whitaker
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm at St. Mark Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Interment: St. Mark Cemetery

Arthur Williams
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Mansfield
Interment: Mt. Olive Cemetery in Mansfield

Father, Grandmother Arrested for Negligent Homicide in Campti Fatal Fire

Adams and Vanzant

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, with assistance from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, has made two arrests in connection with a fatal fire in Campti that claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy.

Billy D. Adams Sr. (DOB 7/3/82), of Natchitoches, was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center Friday, July 27 on one count of Negligent Homicide in the fire-related death of his son Billy D. Adams Jr.

Adams Sr.’s mother, Regina Vanzant (DOB 6/12/64) has a warrant issued for her arrest on the same charge. She will be booked into the Natchitoches Parish Jail pending her current incarceration on unrelated charges in Jackson Parish.

Adams Jr. was located in a bedroom in the remains of a structure fire on Carter Street in Campti in the early morning hours of Friday, July 20. Adams Sr. and Vanzant admitted to investigators that they left the child unsupervised while they were under the influence of drugs. The Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office has determined Adams Jr.’s preliminary cause of death as smoke inhalation.

Adams Sr., who evaded authorities from the time of the fire through Monday, July 23, also admitted to investigators that, within the past month, he had connected exposed wiring from the structure he and the child were living in to his mother’s trailer next door without following safety codes or legal requirements for installing a power source.

As a result, investigators have deemed the cause of the fire Undetermined with the Inability to Rule Out Electrical Malfunction.

Adams Sr. and Vanzant have bond set at $750,000 each.

The LAOSFM wants to express its appreciation to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in investigating and locating these two suspects.

 

NRMC CEO receives award at LA Hospital Association Summer Conference

NRMC Mentor and Servitude Award 2018

At the Louisiana Hospital Association Summer Conference, Kirk Soileau, Chief Executive Officer of Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, received the LA ACHE Rick Hensult’s Mentor and Spirit of Servitude Award for career community service, mentorship of emerging leaders and visionary leadership.

“I am humbled to receive this award and am blessed to be part of a great organization,” said Soileau. “I could not have accomplished this work without a visionary Board of Commissioners, a supportive CHRISTUS System Leadership Network, an outstanding NRMC Leadership group, and an amazing team of associates inspiring excellence everyday.”

Pictured above are Colletta Barrett, FACHE LA Chapter President 2016-1018; Soileau 2018-2020 LA Chapter President Elect; and Diane Yates, FACHE, LA Regent.

Students receive NCIF scholarships

NCIF Scholarships-2018 (1)

Six eminently deserving young people from our community received a boost for their college careers Thursday, July 26 as the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation, Inc, awarded each of them a $1,000 scholarship at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center.

Ms. Laura Porter, a rising sophomore at Dillard University, and a past recipient of a scholarship from the foundation, spoke to this year’s scholars and their families. Ms. Porter is majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry and is planning on a career in research.

Earning scholarships were: Antonio Aaron, Joshua Below, De’Jon Blake, Taylor A. Johnson, Tomas Parker, and Brian White. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend them for their hard work and perseverance. We look forward to seeing good things from them as they go on to the next step in their lives. Well done ladies and gentlemen!

Sprout program feeds kids lunch and creativity

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The Natchitoches Parish Library, the Natchitoches Lions Club, the Natchitoches Mobile Market, and special guests teamed up over the summer to present a weekly kids program at the library called “Sprout.”

The last Sprout programs for the summer will be held TODAY, July 27 and Friday, Aug. 3 at 11:30 am inside the Natchitoches Parish Library.

The program features fresh produce from the Natchitoches Mobile Market and a free lunch with the Natchitoches Lions Club. In addition to the weekly program, the library features children’s book and “Literary Bites” – a recipe or sample inspired by the book!

Ponderings with Doug – July 27, 2018

DougFUMC

Words are dangerous.

We have become a visual culture. Moving pictures transport truth. The written word is falling behind. Publishers, both print and digital worry that your attention span doesn’t last much past the headlines.

Headlines, especially on the Internet, have become clickbait. Headlines that promise secrets or salacious details turn out to be ads for Amway or some other dubious product. Then who cares about what the Kardashians are doing? Who died and left those yahoos as important people? Come on culture you can do better. Get some new role models to use your words on.

But I want you to ponder the printed word. These precious articles that many of us slave over for your entertainment and enlightenment. They are dangerous because words can be misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Consider the word “run.”

I have given up running, but I ran for office. My refrigerator runs and even though I don’t. I enjoy running to the refrigerator for the running water it supplies. The other day I ran to the sporting goods store to look for running shoes that provide comfort as I walk. I have only tipped the top of the ski run when it comes to the word run. The only run I know little about is the run in my hose. Actually, my hose is a garden hose, my wife wears the kind of hose that have runs. I know I’m just running on at the mouth and likely giving you a case of the runs.

As I write or speak the word, I encode the message. Through hearing or reading, you receive the message then you decode it. What if your decoding is different from the message I encoded? There is a whole lot of space to foul up. What happens to the written or spoken word when we add in double speak. Let me run this by you.

In 1950 Claude Pepper ran against George A. Smathers. Smathers was known for his twisted oratory, especially in front of crowds he considered bumkins. I was reminded of this campaign, last night in a Board meeting at the Methodist Church. We have very serious and studious meetings.

Campaigning against Pepper, Smathers said:
”Are you aware that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert? Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law and he has a sister who was once a thespian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, habitually practiced celibacy.”

It would be like me accusing some members of the Parish Council of being gross masticators.

We twist words for our own advantage.

We need fixing!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

With a word God created, with the Word he saved us.

It just takes a word…

LSMSA smashes donation records

LSMSA smashes donation records

It’s been another record year of giving at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. Preliminary totals show that more than half a million dollars was raised by the school’s Foundation for the fiscal year ending June 30.

“I think we all understand the difficult financial situation our state has faced in recent years,” LSMSA Foundation Executive Director Angela Robinson said. “Support from our donors has helped bridge that gap between what the school receives from the state and what it actually costs to provide a 24/7 living-learning experience for our students.”

Of the $547,039 dollars raised, $365,572 came from alumni of the school. The class of 1998, which held its 20-year reunion this year, lead the way in giving, raising $53,090. For the seventh year in a row, the class of 1992 had the highest participation rate.

“More than 75 percent of the Foundation’s funding comes from donations, and alumni dollars make up more than half of that. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our alumni, parents, employees and friends of LSMSA. The overwhelming generosity they show each year is evidence of the life-changing impact that LSMSA has on its students,” Robinson said.

It was also a record year for giving from the Foundation’s annual Phonathon, which raised $109,951. And for Giving Tuesday, 116 donors gave $42,159.

“The school would be seriously impeded by having to operate with just the funds awarded by the state,” LSMSA Executive Director Steve Horton said. “Without assistance from theFoundation, several students would not be afforded the opportunity to have the LSMSA experience, our student body would not have the student life program it currently enjoys, ourfaculty would not be able to compete nationally as scholars or be able to maintain currency in their professional development.”

Donor dollars help LSMSA fund projects big and small. Donations pay for college application fees, dorm supplies, textbooks, new desks, computer equipment and much more. Donations to the LSMSA Foundation are tax-deductible.

“Without the Foundation’s support, LSMSA’s mission would never be met,” Horton said.

The LSMSA Foundation develops and manages resources to enhance the work of LSMSA.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is a public, residential high school for high-performing, highly motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors. Located on the campus of Northwestern State University, the school offers a unique living-learning environment for more than 300 students. It is regularly recognized as one of the top high schools in the country.

Bolin Family Scholarship targets Singer High School students

Dr. John Bolin
A student from Singer High School who plans to study at Northwestern State University will benefit from a scholarship established by a Singer High School alumnus and his nephew. Dr. John Bolin of Lafayette and his nephew Laurent Charles “Chip” Lutz created the Bolin Family Scholarship for a freshman entering NSU with a 3.2 or better grade point average. Applications are open to any major.

Bolin graduated from Singer High School in Beauregard Parish in 1959 and was honored by the school recently with induction into the Singer High School Hall of Fame, at which time the school also retired his basketball jersey. Bolin was an All-State basketball player who held the school record and the state Class C scoring record in his senior year when his team won 40 games. The school also invited him to be grand marshal of the Homecoming parade.

The Bolin Family Scholarship honors Dr. Bolin’s parents Otto and Dorothy Susan Cooley Bolin, and his sister, Doris Elaine Bolin Lutz. The mother and daughter earned bachelor’s degrees at NSU at the same time in 1954 after Dorothy Bolin, who held a two-year teaching certificate from NSU, returned to complete her four-year degree. Both had careers as teachers.

Dr. Bolin graduated from Northwestern State in 1963 with a degree in biology education, but “never taught a minute in the classroom” other than his student teaching at Natchitoches High School. His wife, Jeanne Johnson Bolin, is the daughter of J.W. Johnson, who was an esteemed professor at Northwestern State. Dr. Bolin is also the nephew of H. Alvin “Cracker” Brown, for whom NSU’s Brown-Stroud baseball field is named.

As a student at Northwestern, Dr. Bolin was state president of the Baptist Student Union and was a member of Blue Key. He and Mrs. Bolin married just before he went to medical school when they were 18 and 21. Mrs. Bolin had taken classes at NSU as a high school student and completed her degree at the University of New Orleans when she was 20. Dr. Bolin’s peers in residency voted him top resident his first and third year. The Bolins have two children and five grandchildren, one of which is also a graduate of Northwestern State. Most of Dr. Bolin’s career as a surgeon was spent in Lafayette, where he worked from 1972-2013.

“Dr. Bolin has long been a supporter of Northwestern State and he is one of my favorite people,” said NSU Development Officer Kimberly Gallow, a Lafayette native. “It is especially meaningful that he and Mr. Lutz chose to honor the teachers in their family by supporting a Singer High School student.”

For information on creating or contributing to a scholarship, visit northwestenralumni.com or contact Gallow at (318) 357-4414 or gallowk@nsula.edu.

Pictured above are Dr. John Bolin, his wife Jeanne Johnson Bolin and NSU Development Officer Kimberly Gallow.

NSU students get discount for Saturday’s LYP Conference

NSU STudents.png

It’s not too late to register for the Louisiana Young Professional Conference, held by the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce and the Natchitoches Young professionals. Best of all, there’s a special conference registration discount for Northwestern State University students! You can attend the first Louisiana Young Professionals Conference this Saturday, July 28 for only $20! If you want to attend, email admin@natchitocheschamber.com from your official NSU student email account to sign up!

Notice of Death – July 26, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Marjorie Ann Norsworthy Harmon
December 17, 1932 – July 23, 2018
Service: Friday, July 27 at 1 pm at Bellwood Cemetery in Bellwood
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 10 am – 12:30 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Lloyd David Rachal
October 1, 1927 – July 24, 2018
Visitation: Friday, July 27 at St. Augustine Catholic Church.
Service: Friday, July 27 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle
Interment: St. Augustine Mausoleum

James Alexander Metcalf
June 15, 2018
Service: Saturday, July 28 from 4-5 pm at the Natchitoches Historic Foundation (Old Cunningham Law Office), located at 550 Second Street in Natchitoches

Prentice Austin
May 25, 1931 – July 17, 2018
Arrangements TBA

WINN PARISH:

Gladys L. Starnes Fluitt Herrod
September 4, 1930 – July 25, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, July 28 from 8:30-10 am at the Southern Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am in the Southern Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Garden of Memories Cemetery in Winnfield

Judy K. Graham
November 13, 1961 – July 24, 2018
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 5-9 pm at Kinner and Stevens Funeral Home in Jena
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am at Christ Temple Pentecostal Church in Jena
Interment: Graham Cemetery

Lottie Lorene Cockerham
April 26, 1933 – July 25, 2018
Service: Friday, July 27 at 10 am at Pritchard Baptist Church in Jena
Interment: Hawthorne Cemetery in Little Creek

Evelyn Estelle Mitchell
September 12, 1937 – July 24, 2018
Arrangements TBA through Southern Funeral Homes

Helen M. Brown
April 3, 1947 – July 23, 2018
Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Morning Star Baptist Church in Winnfield

SABINE PARISH:

Herman Green
Service: Friday, July 27 at 2 pm at Tabernacle of Love in Zwolle
Interment: Garden of Memories in Zwolle

Connie S. White
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 2-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Bethel Baptist Church in Many
Interment: Negreet Cemetery

RAPIDES PARISH:

Col. (Ret.) Lucian Joseph Grass
November 22, 1927 – July 25, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, July 28 at 10-11 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Catholic Church
Interment: Alexandria Memorial Gardens

John Cleveland Hoyt
March 4, 1948 – July 13, 2018
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 9:30-10:40 am at Smith’s Landing in Lecompte|
Service: Friday, July 27 at 11 am at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Lecompte
Private Interment: Wilmer Memorial Cemetery in Lecompte

RED RIVER PARISH:

Willie Mae Thomas
August 25, 1942 – July 23, 2018
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 6-9 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 3 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Bethany Cumberland Cemetery

Alberta Dortlon
June 11, 1927 – July 25, 2018
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 5-9 pm in Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home in Coushatta
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am in Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel in Coushatta
Interment: Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery in Black Lake

Huey Grant Jr.
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 6-7 pm at Red River Church of God in Christ in Coushatta
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Red River Church of God in Christ in Coushatta
Interment: St. Mark Cemetery in Allen

DESOTO PARISH:

Mayo Youngblood
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 6-7 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 11 am at Mary Evergreen in Grand Cane
Interment: Mary Evergreen Cemetery

Shirley Sykes
Graveside Service: Saturday, July 28 at 10 am at Mt. Mariah Cemetery in Kingston

JE Whitaker
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm at St. Mark Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Interment: St. Mark Cemetery

Arthur Williams
Visitation: Friday, July 27 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Mansfield
Interment: Mt. Olive Cemetery in Mansfield

Natchitoches resident races toward the finish line

Connor Balthazar (3)

Racing horses has been in Connor Balthazar’s family for as long as he can remember. His great grandfather JB Balthazar and his grandfather Andrew Balthazar bred, trained, and raced quarter horses and some of his uncles were jockeys.

Connor first started riding about 8 years ago when his father Darryl Balthazar bought their first horse. After turning 18 Connor worked toward earning his jockey license, which he received in January 2018.

To earn his license, Connor had to prove himself. He had to work different horses in front of the officials (stewards) of the race track, who approved and signed off on his license. Other jockeys had to vouch for Connor that they’d seen his experience grow and that he was ready to be a jockey himself.

“It’s an adrenaline rush,” he said. It’s really hard to describe the feeling you get from it, but there’s nothing to compare it to.”

His very first race was scary and Connor admitted he was really nervous. His confidence grew by his second race and he ran third, which he felt was a big accomplishment. He’s raced in 26 races since then, running in the circuit around Louisiana.

January-March: Louisiana Downs in Shreveport

April-June: Delta Downs in Vinton

August-September: Fair Grounds in New Orleans

October-December: Evangeline Downs in Opelousas

While it’s a competitive and dangerous sport, Connor said several jockeys have helped mentor him along the way. Fellow jockeys Donell Blake and Antonio Alberto have taught him a lot. He said the jockeys all want to do good, but they want to see everyone else do good as well. Connor is still young and there’s a lot for him to learn before he can make it big in the industry.

Some of the best advice he’s received was from his family, who told him to relax, not be nervous, and just let things fall into place. So far it’s worked out well for him. Conor’s been in the money (1st-4th places) in about half of his races.

He works part time in the mornings galloping and breeding horses for Natchitoches resident Ocie Charles. He also races some of Ocie’s horses at the tracks. In the afternoon he works with his family’s 23 horses.

Besides all this and the time he spends jockeying, Connor is a full-time student at Northwestern State University majoring in business. He is on the dean’s list and is a member of Kappa Sig. His dream is to one day open his own store selling tack, feed and other supplies and equipment for jockeys.

Have you heard BluVudoo?

BluVudoo

You may not have heard the smooth stylings of BluVudoo yet, but you will. The band began playing around Natchitoches, Shreveport and Alexandria two months ago. They play Jazz, Funk, R&B and Blues.

Group leader, lead male vocals, and sax player Alexander Guillory got started playing music with the Hardrick Rivers Revue and Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs. He is lead alto for the NSU Jazz orchestra and is majoring in music education.

Alexander initially brought the group of college friends together to jam and perform in the community.

You may know they by their previous name: Sleepy Tea Quintet, but the group members felt it no longer matched their sound. BluVudoo is a branch off of the main party band Alexander started: Purple Staircase.

Every member of the group has their own personality, which makes for a diverse group of musicians. It’s definitely a good representation of NSU’s College of Creative and Performing Arts at work.

Eric Neely started playing music in band in sixth grade. He chose to attend NSU because he felt it had more diverse opportunities. Eric said he picked up the string bass about a year ago and “boom here we are.” He plays at the First United Methodist Church on Second Street.

Lead female vocalist Sussette Housel has over 90 hours in music performance. She can sing in six languages including Celtic and used to live and perform with groups in Los Angeles. She’s also a NSU alum.

Austin Pierre was introduced to the drums by his dad at age 5. He’s currently majoring in music education at Northwestern State University. He played in jazz band in high school and also plays for Purple Staircase.

AndrewBoyd plays vibraphone in the NSU jazz orchestra. He plays drums and keyboard for Purple Staircase and BluVudoo. Andrew’s grandfather has a music room where he fell in love with music and instruments.

Upcoming gigs and performances include:
Every Saturday on Front Street from 7-10 pm
Sept. 28: Natchitoches Parish Fair from 6-8 pm
Oct. 27: Smoking on the Red in Campti from 2-4 pm

Construction to begin on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish

road_work_ahead
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that on Friday, July, 27 construction will begin on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish. This work will be located in the northbound and south bound lanes of I-49 between ½ mile south of its interchange with LA 120 and 1 mile south of its interchange with LA 485.

The intent of this project is to replace all existing pavement striping and reflectorized raised pavement markers within the described project limits.

The contractor will be required to maintain thru traffic at all times, but periodic lane closures and delays can be expected. This work requires a mobile construction zone, so the public is advised to remain alert to construction signs and changing roadway conditions.

The project was awarded to the low bidder, Highway Graphics LLC, in the amount of $623,950. The work associated with this project should take approximately 45 working days to complete.

Permit/Detour section
Thru traffic will be maintained and there will be no detour routes for this project.

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

UPSA program ranked best in nation; two other programs in top 10

NSU Top 10.png
Northwestern State University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Unified Public Safety Administration was named the best overall law enforcement program in the nation and the second most affordable by collegechoice.net.

The Masters of Arts in Art was ranked fourth by thebestschools.org and fifth by bestcolleges.com. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems was ranked eighth in the country by the bestschools.org.

The degree program in Unified Public Safety Administration prepares students for professional careers in fire and emergency medical service administration, law enforcement administration, emergency management administration and related public safety careers.

“We are proud and honored by this ranking,” said Unified Public Safety Administration Coordinator Jack Atherton. “Graduates of this program make significant contributions to the field of public safety in Louisiana and beyond.”

The Master of Arts in Art degree is an on-campus or a low residency online program. The on-campus version allows the student to interact with faculty and facilities. The online version allows the student to work from home. Most classes are available online, however the student is required to attend two three-week summer sessions or one semester at the beginning of their degree. The student will get to know the faculty and facilities which will foster a more personal online learning experience. At the end of the degree, the student will return to campus to set up an art exhibit.

“These honors are a recognition of our wonderful art faculty and graduate school staff,” said Department of Fine and Graphic Arts Department Chair Matt DeFord. “They are dedicated to these students that come to us from around the country seeking to further their art practices and careers.”

The degree program in Computer Information Systems is a combination of business and technology. Students can enter careers such as software developer, systems analyst, network analyst, security analyst and many other information technology fields. Students take required class in software development, network design & hardware, database systems, web development, systems analysis & design, and advanced systems development. They also choose one of five concentrations: application development, networking and systems management, web development, core programming and cyber security. NSU offers the CIS degree program online, on-campus and through a competency-based program.

“These rankings provide external validation that our program provides an excellent value to our students,” said Coordinator of CIS Curtis Penrod. “We work hard to make sure our curriculum meets the needs of industry through conversations with alumni, industry partners, and other groups. By ensuring a relevant curriculum related to workforce needs, we ensure students are prepared for their post-graduate life. These rankings show we are doing a good job in that area.”

Each college or university in the rankings is an accredited public or private institutions. The rankings are based on an institution’s quality, reputation, affordability, value and student satisfaction.

The websites used sources including the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System, College Navigator, U.S. News and World Report’s reputation score and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Northwestern State cheerleaders win eight awards at competition

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Northwestern State University’s cheerleaders were big winners capturing eight awards at the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s recent regional competition at the University of Texas at Austin.

NSU won first place awards in fight song competition, game day competition and timeout competition and second in sideline competition. Northwestern State won the Traditions Award, Leadership Award and Program Improvement Award. NSU’s mascot, Vic The Demon, was named mascot camp champion.

Members of the cheerleading squad are Gavin Acor and Austin Averitt of Bossier City, Annalise Austin of Winnfield, Courtney Bergeron of Houma, Albert Hewitt, Joe Bradley and Alicia King of Shreveport, Jasmine Ealy of Little Elm, Texas, Selena Ferguson and Morgan VanBuren of Pineville, Terrence Green and Chloe Lambert of Prairieville, Tobias Jones and Colt Shankle of Haughton, Tre Jackson of Lafayette, Gabe Vargas of New Llano, Char’Tarian Wilson of Greenwood, Rylee Wyer of Natchitoches, Elise Vidrine of Napoleonville. The cheerleaders are coached by Amy Stepp, Chase Stepp, Christian Broussard and Kiley Bell.

Garden Series: Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles are very common in this area, and will damage almost any plant that is grown in the garden. As their name suggests, they damage cucumbers, however, squash, melons, tomatoes, corn, beans, and other cucurbits also get attention from these beetles. There are three different types of cucumber beetles: spotted cucumber beetle, striped cucumber beetle, and banded cucumber beetle.

Cucumber beetles feed on foliage, flowers and the rinds or pods of many vegetables and fruits. The worm-like larvae live in the ground and can damage roots of vegetables or tubers such as sweet potatoes. They can also enter the rinds of melons that contact the ground. The damage often appears as holes chewed in leaves or chunks bitten out of fruit/vegetables rinds and pods. However, the most significant damage caused by cucumber beetles are the diseases they can transmit, specifically by the striped cucumber beetle.

The striped cucumber beetle is a yellow beetle about ¼ inch long with three straight black stripes on its back. These beetles, like the other types of cucumber, chew holes in leaves and fruits/vegetables. However, when they feed, they can transmit bacterial wilt. The bacterium that causes this disease overwinters in the gut of striped cucumber beetles, and infected bugs can transmit it to plants via saliva when it feeds. There is nothing that can be done to save a plant that has bacterial wilt. If wilt is suspected, a simple at home test can confirm it. Cut the stem of the infected plant and mash the ends with your fingers. Next, press the ends together then slowly pull them apart. If the juices have a “roping” effect, that is a positive result for wilt. The bacteria in the plant’s sap cause the roping effect.

The spotted cucumber beetle (also known as the southern corn rootworm) and the banded cucumber beetle closely resemble each other. Both are about the same size as the striped cucumber beetle. The spotted cucumber beetle is yellow and has twelve black spots on its back while the banded cucumber beetle is green with yellow horizontal bands across its back. Both of these beetles are found throughout the garden on most plants, and chew holes in leaves, pods, and fruits. The damage from these tends to be a more of a nuisance than a problem, however in large numbers they can be problematic.

There are a number of chemicals available to control cucumber beetles. Products containing carbaryl, bifenthrin, permethrin, malathion, or imidacloprid are recommended by LSU. As with all pesticides, pay close attention to the label, especially the pre-harvest interval (the amount of time you must wait after spraying before harvesting). Also, keep pollinators in mind when you spray. For summer crops, pay special attention to any instructions about temperature requirements.

For more information contact Randall Mallette, County Agent, at the local LSU AgCenter Extension Office 318-357-2224.