Marching units, bands, dance teams, cheer groups, specialty units, and float participants are invited to be a part of the 92nd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights Parade which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1. Interested groups must submit an application for inclusion in the parade. Parade applications are available online and must be submitted by August 31. A limited number of units in each category will be accepted this year.
The Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights Parade is the preeminent holiday parade recognized for its tradition of excellence. The parade embodies a unique blend of young and old parade units who annually delight Natchitoches Christmas Festival of Lights audiences.
Defined by the Festival of Lights Parade’s Standards of Excellence, each parade partner must embrace and exhibit Christmas Spirit by decorating, dressing, marching, acting, selecting music and performing in a manner consistent with the Christmas holidays keeping in mind that the targeted audience for the parade are children and families.
The physician-led team at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, Megan Lee, PA-C, and Phyllis L. Mason, MD, obtained Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification Aug. 29 as part of Louisiana Hospital Association’s Physician Leadership Academy – 300 Series in Baton Rouge.
The healthcare industry is rapidly identifying the need to transform processes and culture by implementing principles of high reliability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified that 20-50% of all antibiotics prescribed in the US acute care hospitals are wither unnecessary or inappropriate. The 300 series course offered physicians a practical tool to champion key clinical initiatives focused on reducing antibiotic resistance in their organizations. Physician leaders are ideal to champion these initiatives, which are rooted in the scientific method.
When the 2019 Northwestern State baseball and softball seasons arrive, they will do so with head coaches who have longer contracts.
Northwestern State Director of Athletics Greg Burke announced contract extensions for head baseball coach Bobby Barbier and head softball coach Donald Pickett on Friday. The extensions were approved by the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors during their Aug. 22 meeting.
Barbier’s extension puts him under contract through the 2022 season and comes after the former Demons first baseman led his alma mater to its first Southland Conference Tournament championship in May.
The Demons engineered an 18-win improvement in Barbier’s second season, the largest single-season turnaround in school history. Barbier was named Southland Conference, All-Louisiana and ABCA All-Central Region Coach of the Year as the Demons advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in 13 years and posted their first NCAA postseason win in the same time frame, a 9-0 defeat of San Diego State on June 2 at the Corvallis Regional.
“It is very pleasing to grant this well-deserved contract extension to Bobby,” NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke said. “What the program accomplished this past season – on and off the field – is a result of his hard work and coaching ability as well as the passion he exudes every day for his alma mater.
“As a young, second-year coach, Bobby did an outstanding job of representing NSU, especially at the NCAA Regional where several individuals, from members of the media to fans to NCAA representatives, commented on how well he carried himself. Bobby has very quickly put in place a championship culture that I am very confident can be sustained. The future of Demon baseball is in good hands under his leadership.”
Barbier took a team predicted to finish 11th in the Southland Conference race and steered it to a third-place, regular-season finish and the first SLC Tournament title in the program’s 30 years of conference membership.
Doubling as the team’s pitching coach, Barbier helped guide the NSU staff to a 3.41 ERA, which ranked 18th nationally. Additionally, NSU finished second in the nation in double plays per game (1.13) and third in double plays turned (70).
“Our staff is very fortunate to work for an administration who can see the long-term vision of where we want the Demon baseball program to go,” said Barbier, an All-SLC first baseman and third-team Academic All-American during his Demons playing career from 2003-06. “I want to thank Greg Burke, (vice president for external affairs) Jerry Pierce and (university president) Dr. Chris Maggio for their confidence in us.”
Pickett became Northwestern State’s leader in career softball coaching wins on Feb. 16 and enters the 2019 season 269-266-1 in 10 seasons with the Lady Demons. He is the longest-tenured softball coach in NSU program history.
Pickett has guided Northwestern State to a pair of Southland Conference Tournament titles (2013, 2014), two NCAA Regional berths and the 2015 SLC regular-season championships. In addition to adding one year to Pickett’s contract, which runs through the 2021 season, there is an option for the 2022 season.
Since posting a 5-45 record in his first season at the helm of the Lady Demons program in need of rebuilding, Pickett has led Northwestern State to a 264-221-1 mark, a .544 winning percentage.
“It’s a good feeling to further solidify the foundation of Donald’s steady influence and dedication on the NSU softball program with this contract extension,” Burke said. “He works tirelessly and often beneath the radar to find ways to better the program for his student-athletes. He also has done a remarkable job of immersing himself in the Natchitoches community and connecting with the NSU softball alumni base.
“He genuinely cares about his student-athletes, is well-respected in the college softball community, and represents NSU with class. NSU has been fortunate to have him as its softball coach for the past 10 years, and it is reassuring to know that the program will continue to benefit from his leadership.”
Pickett steered a young Lady Demons squad to a 28-25 record in 2018 and a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament for the fifth time in the past six seasons. In his 10 seasons, Pickett has led the Lady Demons to six conference tournament appearances.
He is a two-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year (2013, 2015) and has instructed 22 players who have been named to either the first- or second-team All-Southland Conference squads. Additionally, Pickett has coached four All-South Region selections, including Cayla Jones, a first-team selection at second base in 2018. Jones, the All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year, joined Kellye Kincannon, Tara McKenney and Mikayla Brown as Pickett-coached all-region selections.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to continue to move our program forward,” Pickett said. “We love Natchitoches and the people here. This is a great place to be.”
Northwestern State University and Louisiana Delta Community College will sign a memorandum of understanding articulating a 2 + 2 agreement allowing students in LCDD’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program to complete the first two years of study at LSCC and transfer all credit hours to Northwestern State to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
Louisiana Delta Community College will host a formal signing of the articulation at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Conference Center B, located on the first floor of the Louisiana Purchase Building.
Students, administrators, regional stakeholders and the media are invited to attend the program signing. For more information, contact Leah Jackson, NSU’s director of Public Information and Media Relations at (318) 357-4553 or email@example.com or Darian Atkins, director of LDCC’s Community and Public Relations, at datkins@LaDelta.edu or (318) 345-9265.
Information on Northwestern State University is available at nsula.edu. Information on Louisiana Delta Community College is available at ladelta.edu.
Are you tired of Louisiana’s hot and humid weather damaging your most prized possessions that are packed away in an outdoor storage unit?
DDT Moving and Storage has a deal for you! From now through October 1 DDT Storage will match the price anyone is currently paying for an outdoor storage unit in the City of Natchitoches. But wait! To make this offer even better, DDT Moving will move the contents of the storage unit to their climate controlled warehouse FREE OF CHARGE.
Come see what DDT Moving and Storage has to offer at its Ribbon Cutting event Thursday, Sept. 6 at 10:30 am at its convenient location near downtown Natchitoches, across from Sudden Link.
Dane and Kayla Terrell converted a 30,000 square foot warehouse into 136 climate controlled storage units. You may know the store from its previous uses as an antique store, then an Ivan Smith store, and more recently the Terrell Brothers Furniture Store. There’s been a lot of changes over the last 50 years, so it took Dane and Kayla a year to bring the building up to code.
Unit sizes are 10×10, 10×15 and 10×20. All three of these sizes are currently available. There’s no long term contracts. Go online to https://www.ddtmoving.com to view available units, reserve, and make payments.
Dane and Kayla have 20 plus years experience with their moving business, but they’re now offering moving services full-time, seven days a week. They’ll move you anywhere you need to go in the Parish, state or further away. They own their own trucks, blankets and dollies and they have multiple crews to get the job done right.
Don’t deal with the hassle. DDT Moving and Storage is your one-stop-shop to do all the heavy lifting, from moving out of a home, storing items, to moving into your new home. For more details, a free quote or to schedule an appointment call 318-357-2350.
SMSGT Howard Olney Hickman, Sr., (USAF Ret.)
December 14, 1929 – August 27, 2018
Service: Thursday, August 30 at 2 pm at New Salem Baptist Church
August 27, 2018
Delmer William “Dick” Mitchell
March 31, 1931 – August 28, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, August 30 at 5 pm at Friendship Baptist Church
Service: Friday, August 31 at 2 pm at Friendship Baptist Church
Interment: Friendship Baptist Cemetery
RED RIVER PARISH:
Jeanette Lucille Melanie Pardue
December 31, 1935 – August 23, 2018
Service: Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 10 am at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Meyersville, TX
Interment: St. John Lutheran Cemetery
Three Natchitoches Central High School graduates, all majoring in music education at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, auditioned for their orchestra seating last week. Each one of them received first chair and section leader.
According to one parent, these students chose their majors because of the influence NCHS Orchestra Director Mrs. Syll-Young Olson had on them during their high school years.
Olson said she is very proud of her former students. “I, as their former teacher believe that they are engaged in music through many extraordinary experiences they’ve had in the NCHS orchestra and the trips they’ve been on to perform in world known venues.”
Here’s what her students had to say about their orchestra director:
Madison Lemoine, Freshman, Viola
When most people think orchestra and classical music, they think, “How boring?” What do those people have in common? They have not met Mrs. Syll-Young Olson. She taught me for seven years. In this time, she not only taught me how to amazingly play the viola, but also how to be an amazing person. Her pure passion and love of music shaped me into the person I am today. Currently, I’m studying music education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette due to the passion Mrs. Olson inspired within me. I hope that, one day, I will be at least a fraction of the teacher she is and will be able to spread the love and joy music she has brought me to many other kids.
Emily Boyt, Junior, Violin
Mrs. Olson has taught me so may life lessons and skills throughout high school and through her teaching. She’s taken us to so many places and has given me great opportunities to perform at countless events. She’s such a great person and role model. Even today, she will help me out with anything.
Derrix Jones, Junior, Double Bass
Mrs. Olson was my music instructor for seven years and in that time, she kept me determined and pushed me past my limits. I was able to learn the value of teamwork while also improving my craft. If she hadn’t come to me and asked me if I wanted to play the bass when I was in sixth grade, I honestly don’t know what I would be pursuing right now or if I would’ve been able to travel around the world and experience the cultures that I have. I just thank her for all her hard work and the constant support she has given me in music.
“This is a very remarkable thing to have all three of our small town kids as the top player of their section,” said Madison’s mother Tara Smith. “Mrs. Olson and the orchestra program are hidden gems within the Natchitoches Parish School System.”
The Magnolia State Peace Officer’s Association- Cane River Branch will hold the 19th Annual Cane River Zydeco Festival and Poker Run this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1 on Natchitoches downtown riverbank. The event will feature food and beverage vendors, a free bounce house for the kids, and plenty of live music by Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators and Marcus Ardoin and Da Zydeco Legendz!
Friday kicks off at 6 pm with Go DJ Rob Real. Poker Run registration will begin at 9:30 pm along with a zydeco dance contest. Saturday festivities kick off at 9 am with the continuation of the Poker Run registration. The ride begins at 11:30 am. Gates open at 1 pm and the On Point Band plays at 1:30 pm. Gerard Delafose. Marcus Ardoin takes the stage at 8:30 pm.
For more information call 318-332-7455. Admission Friday is free and Saturday is $8.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit of Natchitoches prides itself on selecting premium meats, like brisket, turkey, ribs, pulled pork and chicken. The meats are seasoned with Dickey’s own special blend of rubs, and then cooked low and slow. The brisket and pulled pork are smoked Texas style overnight until they’re perfectly tender and flavorful. The St. Louis cut ribs, turkey and spicy cheddar sausage are smoked fresh daily and are ready by lunchtime.
“We want to showcase how we do our smoking fresh, on-site everyday,” said Owner Lee Waskom.
Once taken out of the warmer, the meats are triple wrapped to seal in their signature smokey flavor. They’re then kept in a warmer until they’re ready to be sliced up and served on any of Dickey’s delicious plates or sandwiches.
Spice up your next lunch hour with Dickey’s “Westerner” sub sandwich, or grab a combo plate with your choice of sides and a big yellow cup.
Got more mouths to feed? Grab an XL Family Pack, which comes with 3 lbs of your choice of meat, 4 sides and rolls.
Want to learn some tips and tricks for your next cookout? Lee said he’d be happy to help anyone make their barbecue tasty. Or come by and grab a can of Dickey’s rib rub.
If you don’t feel like cooking, let Dickey’s do the work for you. They customize their catering to fit your event or party. They offer full service catering, delivery drop off, party platters, or lunch boxes for your next get together. Dickey’s also sells full sheet pans of their delicious sides.
Dickey’s barbecue Pit is located at 936 University Parkway in Natchitoches. For more information call 318-238-4227. And don’t forget, kids eat free on Sundays!
Growing up about two hours outside of College Station, Texas, Brandon Brumbelow dreamed of performing in Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.
Brumbelow’s dream will come true Thursday when he’ll lead Northwestern State’s 320-piece marching band (Spirit of Northwestern) as one of three drum majors.
The Demons football team will open their season at Texas A&M in a stadium that can hold more than 102,000 cheering, screaming Aggies.
“It’s going to be nerve-racking,” said Brumbelow, a Kerens, Texas, native who will be stepping onto the drum major podium for the first time in a game setting Thursday. “Texas A&M has been my favorite team since I was five years old, and it’s always been my dream to march in or conduct a band in Kyle Field.
“But it’s going to be exciting. A&M is one of the best bands at what they do (military style), and we want to show that we’re one of the best in our style (corps style).”
Brumbelow will have plenty of help from second-year NSU drum majors Hope Spaw and Michael King.
Spaw, the head drum major from Bossier City, said she feels a lot more prepared in her second season.
“I have a year under my belt, so I know how the band works at this level and am familiar with the members,” Spaw said. “I play the flute and march with a mellophone, but it’s a different experience being in front of the band because you hear all of the parts, not just your part.
“It takes a lot of focus, but it’s also a really neat experience at the same time. It’s an adrenaline rush to be in front of the band — you feed off their energy and they feed off yours.”
King, a Deville native who plays the trombone when he’s not on a drum major podium, said the band has been hard at work since members started arriving for camp on Aug. 6.
“The section leaders came in, and we made sure we’re all on the same page in terms of what we’re teaching and the message we’re portraying,” said King, an assistant drum major. “We explain our traditions to the new members, practice marching and playing fundamentals and then do our rehearsals.”
The band has full rehearsals three days per week with the drumline practicing as many as five to six times per week.
As assistant director of bands Dan McDonald puts it, “If someone is rehearsing, the drum majors are part of it.”
“Students selected as Sprit of Northwestern drum majors are chosen because they are among the top students in our band, are talented musicians and demonstrate strong leadership abilities,” McDonald said. “They have some sort of rehearsal six days per week, and they also play a major role in preparing the band behind the scenes.
“The SON relies heavily on student leadership to operate, from drum majors to graduate assistants, brass and woodwind captains, section leaders and our service organizations Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.”
Part of the band’s tradition includes singing the alma mater and pointing toward Turpin Stadium to play the fight song at the end every practice or event.
The SON hopes to be playing the fight song a lot on Thursday at Texas A&M, signifying Northwestern State touchdowns.
Drum majors need sharp focus and knowledge of football to understand when to play songs and how to get the band in motion quickly.
A “call-it-up” system complete with hand signals is in place to signal which song to play and when, and then it’s band members responsibilities to “talk it up” the line to make sure everybody hears the command in a raucous atmosphere.
“It takes a lot of thinking on your toes,” Spaw said. “You have to prepared for anything to happen and know how to handle that situation.
“If there’s a touchdown, you’re supposed to wait to play if there’s a (penalty flag), but sometimes you don’t see it.”
Rules such as bands not sounding off during a football play could draw penalty flags for the Demons if broken.
NSU’s football opponents will try to prepare for the Demons’ new up-tempo offense, but King said the band has been practicing for the quick pace as well.
“We basically have to be counting off the next song as the whistle blows to get it in, because we know the ball will be snapped quickly after that,” King said.
King added that the SON does enjoy “friendly competition” between bands as they push to produce the best sound, but “we’re not trying to over play or show anybody up. We do want to make the best sounds possible, and we want to show the we’re just as good as Texas A&M.”
Spaw said she’s excited about gleaning a tip or two from watching and listening to Texas A&M.
NSU will see a different style of band Sept. 8 when Grambling State’s “World Famed Tiger Marching Band” enters Turpin Stadium for the home opener.
“Most college bands don’t have competitions, but the (Southwestern Athletic Conference) bands are definitely different with the ‘Battle of the Bands,’” McDonald said. “It’s cool because they are such a different style, and we’ll get to benefit seeing and hearing that.
“Just like Texas A&M is probably the best band in their style (military), Grambling is one of the best in their style (show style).”
Spaw, King and Brumbelow are all music education majors, the most common major for NSU drum majors. Brumbelow, a French horn player, wants to teach musicology at the college level.
Spaw aims to start teaching in middle school band. King and Brumbelow hope to pursue a master’s degree after graduating from NSU.
McDonald said NSU structures its drum majors’ responsibilities to best prepare them to be their own band directors.
“We train them to be able to run the band if we weren’t there,” McDonald said. “They decide which songs to play and run the game with some help from our graduate assistants.”
Students at Northwestern State University who are looking for part-time employment have a valuable campus asset they can use in the Office of Job Location and Development.
The office’s director Karen Loach said it supports students in their efforts to find part-time work by offering workshops along with the Career Center through the “Don’t Cancel Class Program,” which include information on LinkedIn and professionalism in the workplace and offering resume reviews and mock interviews in conjunction with the Career Center. JLD hosts a Part-Time Job Fair each fall in conjunction with Demon Days. This year’s Part-Time Job Fair is on Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
The office works one on one with students who come in the office seeking job advice and teams with Quality Enhancement Program staff to increase internship opportunities for students.
“My role in Job Location and Development allows me to focus on building relationships with students and with employers to increase all types of part-time job opportunities,” said Loach. “Making sure students are well-prepared increases the likelihood of employers continuing to recruit our students for all types of employment.”
Sophomore nursing major Elizabeth Parker of Winnfield used JLD to get a receptionist’s position at Exchange Bank and Trust in Natchitoches in February.
“The Office of Job Location and Development was nothing but helpful. They helped me make an appropriate job resume, and shortly after, I started to receive job offers,” said Parker. “I wouldn’t have found this job without the help of the Office of Job Location and Development and for that I am very grateful.”
Parker said JLD staff helped her find a job in a good work atmosphere that assisted her in paying for college.
“This job has helped me tremendously throughout my college career,” said Parker. “I love my job at the Exchange Bank. They work around my schedule and they put my schooling first. I am very fortunate to hold a position for such a caring company.”
The Office of Job Location & Development is funded in part through the Federal Work Study Program and is housed in the Career Center on the third floor of the Student Union.
A major recent change in JLD was the addition of Handshake, a new career services platform, which Loach says has made accessing job postings, appointments and career events much easier for students and employers.
“Previously, students had to come to the JLD office, fill out an application, maintain a minimum GPA, submit a resume and attend a mock interview to be enrolled in JLD,” said Loach. “Once enrolled, they would receive frequent e-mails with current job openings and instructions on how to apply. Now, students can just login to Handshake with their student e-mail and password and search for jobs, which is a much more user-friendly process for students.”
Through Handshake, students can also make appointments with Career Center staff for resume reviews, mock interviews or career counseling and register career events.
This past summer, in addition to Handshake training and set up, Loach developed an employer guide that encompasses all aspects of recruiting NSU students. She also worked with Academic Technology Support Specialist Joe Parrie and Randi Washington of the Career Center to coordinate the website redesign for the Career Center. This semester, Loach said she is focusing on increasing the number of local employers posting their part-time jobs on Handshake and working to help students prepare to compete well for part-time jobs and internship opportunities.
For more information on the Office of Job Location and Development, go to careercenter.nsula.edu.
While Cane River Lake is at 96.4 MSL use caution in the low water conditions while navigating and/or performing water sport activities. Underwater debris is now being exposed and/or just under the water line that could cause damage to boat props or hulls and/or personal injury.
During the reconvened session Aug. 21, the Cane River Waterway Commission evaluated the lake. After discussion, the Commission has decided to leave the entire lake open, making the north end a no-wake zone from the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery outflow box north to the dam should the water levels reach 96.0 MSL.
There will be Fireworks- downtown riverbank, on the south side as follows:
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10 pm for the Meat Pie Festival
Thursday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 pm for the Louisiana Realtor Association Banquet
Have your boats behind the yellow safety buoys 1 hour prior to display(s) and follow enforcement request.
The Cane River Waterway Commission has hired Air Data Solutions to perform Bathymetry, Aerial Mapping, and Riverbank Video Assessment services for Cane River Lake. It is expected to take about 3-4 months to complete. The lake video scan will take place on Sept. 10, weather permitting. The Commission encourages riparian owners to clean up their property in an effort to showcase Cane River. Please remember a free permit is required for all types of construction to the bed and/or banks of the lake.
On Oct. 6 there will be a regatta called the St. Denis Head Race, held on the north end of the lake. The lake will be closed from Keyser Bridge to the north dam for the race.
Lake Pool Stage: 98.0 MSL
Low Water Lake Closing: 96.0 MSL (Ordinance 2 of 2011)
High Water Lake Closing: 99.0 MSL (Ordinance 2 of 2011)
If you need a permit and/or have any questions please contact Betty Fuller 318-357-3007 office, 318-617-3235 cell
Rotarian with the Program Benjamin Stevens introduced Briarwood Curator Richard “Rick” Johnson who shared information with the Rotarians on the Briarwood Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve: A National Historic Place. Briarwood is open every weekend in March, April, May, October, and November. Pictured from left are Rotary Club of Natchitoches President Richard White and Johnson (Photo by Dr. Ron McBride).
Save the date and get ready to tour historic properties over three exciting days in Natchitoches Parish Oct. 12-14 with the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) Fall Tour of Homes!
Friday evening is the crowd favorite Candlelight Tour, featuring a special look around Northwestern State University’s campus. Buildings on tour include the President’s Home, Russell Hall, Varnado Hall, and Nelson Hall (NCPTT). Two performances will be held of “Cane River Ladies” play by Dr. Vicki Parrish in the Varnado Hall Ballroom at 7:30 and 8:30 pm.
The Natchitoches Historic Foundation will hold its annual American Cemetery and Mourning Tour on Friday Oct. 12 from 5:30-8 pm (last tour begins at 7:30 pm). Tour one of the oldest cemeteries in the vast Louisiana Purchase. Traditions and customs of mourning will be shared by docents through memorabilia and displays. Learn about burial practices and headstone design. Completing the comprehensive tour, visitors will partake of a “funeral repast” including wine and food historically offered to mourners after a funeral. NHF members will portray persons of local, state, and national interest interred here including: Louis Juchereau de St. Denis and his wife Manuela, Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, Susan Harling, John Gideon Lewis, Dr. John Sibley, and Cammie Henry. Tickets are $20 for adults (children 13 and under are free). For more information go online to natchitocheshf.com or call 318-471-7489.
Saturday, tour several lovely Natchitoches landmarks including Lemee House, Prudhomme-Rouquier House, Hill Haven, and more. Saturday also boasts a full schedule of expert guest speakers at Lemee House and the Barn at Melrose Plantation.
Both Saturday and Sunday offer visitors the option to tour the Cane River area’s most impressive plantations, including Melrose, Cherokee, Oakland, and more.