Candidate and Voting Forum Held at First Baptist Church on Amulet

Amulet Forum 2018-1 (3)

Natchitoches’ First Baptist Church on Amulet hosted a candidate and voters’ forum at the church Thursday, September 27th. Over 30 community members had an opportunity to meet with Natchitoches Parish School Board candidates as well as Ryan Trundle, the Democrat running for the Congressional seat currently held by Republican Mike Johnson. Each candidate gave a 5 minute talk on their plans for the office should they win and fielded questions from the audience.

The following school board candidates attended the program: Rhonda Guidroz, Dist 1, Carla Rachal, Dist 1, Tan’Keia Palmer, Dist 2, Thurman Baptiste, Dist 2, Katrina Demars, Dist 3, Dorothy McCaskey, Dist 3, Phil Brown, Dist 4, Elvin Shields, Dist 6, Steven Harris, Dist 8, Emile Metoyer Dist 11. Congressional candidate Ryan Trundle also spoke. City council members Sylvia Morrow and Lawrence Batiste were also present as was Dist 3 school board member Ralph Wilson who did not speak as he is not running for reelection.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend Rev Thomas Carter and the congregation of the First Baptist Church on Amulet for hosting the forum. The upcoming school board election is critical to the future of our parish and it is a good thing for the public to hear from those who would lead the system.

Farm Bureau Insurance: Natchitoches Athletes of the Week

Athlete of the Week-FB

Farm Bureau Insurance selected two area athletes to spotlight as Players of the Week. This week’s featured athletes include:

FB Athlete 1
Natchitoches Central High School :
Trey Solitaire, #2, had 10 carries for 127 yards and one touchdown. He also had two receptions for 22 yards. He said this is a good award and he is very thankful. Trey’s parents are Shandarike Solitaire and Anthony Washington.

FB Athlete 2
St. Mary’s High School:
Graeme Fidelak, #7, is a wide receiver with 91 offensive yards with a reception touch down. Graeme also plays baseball for St. Mary’s. His coach said he’s an amazing athlete.

Kiwanis holds annual banquet, installs 2018-2019 Officers

_Kiwnais Banquet 2018 (1)

The Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches held its annual Awards Banquet and Installation of 2018-2019 Officers Sept. 27.

A Walter Zeller Fellowship Award was presented to Kiwanian Ron Brown. This award recognizes a club member who donated $1,250 over the course of a year. The $1,250 donated saves around 900 lives in the world through he Eliminate Project.

This projects prevents neonatal tetanus by inoculating both mother and infant. Many countries stand today neonatal tetanus free because of the work Kiwanis has done over the years. It costs $1.85 to inoculate a mother and her child.

Jill Bankston received a certificate on behalf of NSU student Joshua Below for a scholarship he received through he NSU Foundation that was funded by the Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches.

Kiwanis Awards were presented to the following:
Firefighter of the Year- Ryan Palmer
Lawman of the Year for the City of Natchitoches- Sgt. Steve Rachal
Lawman of the Year for the Sheriff’s Office- Dep. Kim Green
Lawman of the Year for the State Police- Master Trooper Steve Pezant
Teacher of the Year- Alyson Erikson

Distinguished Club Awards included:
Presidents Award- Chili’s
Kiwanian of the Year- Craig Caskey
Volunteer of the Year- Heather Martin
Distinguished Service Award- Emily Settle
New Member of the Year- Danielle Antoon Cobb

Richard Rose introduced the new Lieutenant Governor for the Red River District:

Immediate Past President Dion Boyett. Boyett then installed the 2018-2019 Officers, which include:

Preisdent- Rodney Boswell
President Elect- Carey Etheredge
Vice President- Craig Caskey
Vice President- Danielle Antoon Cobb
Treasurer- Lee Waskom
Secretary- Richard Rose

2018-2019 Club Directors include:

Lauren Anderson- 1 year term
Annette Sterling Roque- 1 year term
Heather Martin- 1 year term
Jill Leo- 2 year term
Jared Kilaptrick- 2 year term
Emily Settle- 3 year term
Gina Banks- 3 year term

First and Second graders at LP Vaughn recognized as Terrific Kids

Kiwanis-TK September LP Vaughn

Students in first and second at LP Vaughn received certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance. Pictured on front row from left are Azarvan Phillip,Tirziah Walker, Damien Haskett, Gracelyn Reed, Bryson Middleton, Kendell Shepeard, Isabel Christor, Azilie Lewis, Mitchell Bayonne, Duke Walker, and Johnny Sykes. On back row are Kiwanian Heather Martin, Juliana Gay, Boss LaCaze, Zoey Carter, Alasia Skinner, Miracle Mitchell, Aliyah McHenry, Trinity Hackson, Aniya Antwine, Ragan Ratliff, Avion Robinson, and Treshun Jefferson. Not pictured are Ja’Keryah Braxton and Armyonie Craig.

Candidacy Announcement: Rhonda Guidroz, School Board District 4, #48

Rhonda Guidroz

There are great challenges and responsibilities in shaping our schools to meet the ever-changing demands of our increasingly global society. School board members must work cooperatively and in partnership with students, parents, educators, administrators and the community to embrace innovative ideas, views and approaches to educational reform in an effort to:

  • Provide equitable opportunities for diverse learning needs and interests
  • Attract, support and retain quality teachers
  • Prudently and equitably utilize tax dollars to provide schools with the best possible resources
  • Improve attendance, decrease drop-out and increase graduation percentages
  • Provide a safe learning environment that fosters knowledge, respect and confidence
  • Set high standards for achievement, accountability and transparency at all levels
  • Establish policies and procedures in the best interest of all students

Education and Qualifications:

  • B.S. in secondary education/M.S. in early childhood education-NSU
  • Experience in teaching
  • Experience in family and children’s services (including child protection and juvenile services)
  • Administrative and business experience in a family owned and operated physical therapy clinic
  • Retired
  • School Board Member for 2+ years

Personal and Community:

  • Natchitoches resident for 46 years
  • Married to Richard Guidroz; two sons who are both graduates of NCHS and NSU and are residents of Natchitoches; four grandchildren
  • Member of Westside Baptist Church
  • Sustaining member of Natchitoches Service League
  • Member of Beta Sigma Phi International

Quality public education is an investment in the future of our children, our community, and our society. Please vote #48, Rhonda Guidroz: Natchitoches parish School Board District 1.


Public invited to attend Installation Service for Pastor Kenneth Babers Sr.

Pastor Installation.png

We, the Pastor Elect, 1st Lady, Officers, and Members of Living Waters Ministries would like to cordially invite you to our Installation Service on Sept. 30 at 2 PM. We will install Pastor Kenneth Babers Sr. as our new Pastor! We pray you will be able to attend and help support us, as well as our New Pastor on a new journey in our Kingdom Building! Bishop Joseph Hall Jr., Union Spring & 1st Baptist Cedar Grove will conduct this blessed event. We are excited and expecting a mighty move of God as we set in place our NEW PASTOR! We “Thank God” for our Pastor Elect and we look forward to having an awesome time in the Lord as we continue to do God’s will!

Coreil, NSU faculty, students to present program of Mozart horn compositions

Mozart Horn
Northwestern State University Professor of Horn Dr. Kristine Coreil will give a recital of Mozart compositions for the horn on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. The performance will be live streamed at

The recital will feature Mozart’s solo and chamber pieces composed for horn virtuoso Ignaz Leutgeb. Joining Dr. Coreil on the performance will be pianist Dr. Charles Jones of LSMSA, NSU faculty members Dr. Andrej Kurti on violin, Sofiko Tchetchelashvili on violin and viola, Leah Forsyth on oboe, Dr. Douglas Bakenhus on bassoon, Dr. Malena McLaren on clarinet and tenor Michael Rorex. NSU students Alonso Restrepo and Cesia Corrales will perform on cello and viola.

Coreil said Mozart had a long and endearing friendship with Letugeb, whom he treated like a familiar uncle. He often included humorous notes in the margins and above the music, in which he teased Leutgeb and poked fun at his horn playing. These will be shared during the recital. Leutgeb later purchased a cheese and sausage shop and became a cheesemonger. Cheese will be served at the performance.

Ponderings with Doug – September 28, 2018

DougFUMCI was forced to call the Bienville Parish Police Jury for information. I wanted to know who owned the trees. The trees are located between the ditch and the sidewalk. My property line begins on the other side of the sidewalk. I knew the trees were not “mine.” But who “owns” the trees? I pretend they are part of my front yard, but they are not.

The Police Jury gave me the measurement from the centerline of the Louisiana highway in front of the house. Within a certain number of feet DOTD owned the trees. I hoped the trees belonged to DOTD. They did not! The trees belong to the thriving metropolis of Gibsland. The metropolis of Gibsland has as much money for tree removal as the Parish of Natchitoches has for pothole repair. In both cases the financial coffers are running on empty.

Dougs Tree 092818I know that if the one tree is going to come down, I will need to pay for it to come down. You will note from the picture attached to this opus, that it is one ugly tree. The picture was taken in January of this year. But even this time of year it is one ugly tree. It is mostly dead.

The tree was hit by lightning several years ago. There are a few branches high in the tree that are still alive. The bark of the tree is “alive” although the tree does a prolific job of shedding both limbs and big chunks of bark. If you hear that I have passed on from this earth, you will likely hear it was a freak accident involving mowing in the ditch under an oak tree. I know that tree is loading up to drop a huge limb on my preacher head while I mow the ditch. I don’t own the ditch either, but I need to mow to keep my yard looking appealing.

The two oaks by the ditch have been in the world long before I was. One of the oaks will likely out live me. The other one, will end up in my fireplace here in Natchitoches. That poor ugly tree is coming down, before it falls. I know I will be under that silly tree when it falls. It will take me a half the phone lines in Gibsland out at the same time.

I planted two Maple trees in the front yard this spring. I planted just in case those oaks are cut by some rogue tree cutter who was called by a Methodist preacher afraid the former Baptist oak tree would land on his head as he was mowing the ditch on a Sunday afternoon. And if any of you tell the town of Gibsland what I am up to, I will deny it. Remember, I am also in politics!

My friend Tommy, the former math professor philosopher, reminds me that everything purchased at my age comes with a lifetime warranty. The Maple trees have a lifetime warranty. I planted them with the prayer that they will grow and flourish. I pray that my grandsons will play in the shade of those trees. I pray that they remember when they were small Maple trees and will marvel at how large they have become. I will never see the trees fully grown, yet I have planted with the hope they will fully grow.

Jesus said His followers were seed planters. We are all planting seeds. God’s power and spirit gives growth to the seeds. We are planting seeds we may never see mature.

What are you planting? What a blessing to know that something we plant has the potential to outlive us.

Five NSU programs ranked for quality, affordability

Five online academic programs at Northwestern State University have been ranked in the top 10 in the nation for quality and affordability by websites focusing on higher education.

NSU’s master’s level nurse practitioner program was named the third best program in the nation by The master’s in adult learning and development was ranked as third most affordable program in the country by and and the 10th best overall program by Two concentrations in Master of Arts in English were ranked for affordability. The writing and linguistics concentration was ranked as the fourth most affordable by The Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages concentration was ranked eighth by ranked the masters in homeland security as the sixth most affordable in the U.S.

The master’s nurse practitioner program rankings are based on academic quality, student success and affordability. The program was noted for being the oldest MSN program in the survey.

The nurse practitioner program offers additional concentrations in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner across the lifespan and women’s health nurse practitioner.

“NSU’s MSN faculty are doing exactly what we want them to be doing: creating some of the best, most academically advanced Nurse Practitioners in the U.S.,” said Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health. “What makes this ranking even better is the affordability evaluation. It is wonderful to be able to say that our graduates are immediately employable, recruited for lucrative jobs at graduation, and because of our low tuition/fees are incurring little to no debt.”

The Graduate Program in Writing & Linguistics is designed to prepare students for writing professional texts in the workplace—in a job, career, or vocation. Professional writing is intended for publication – either public or private use – in print/electronic text or in the audio/visual modes of communication. Students in this area can study and practice a wide variety of written and spoken text genres.

The Graduate Program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is intended to equip the student with the knowledge and training necessary to teach, both in the U.S. and overseas, the English language to children and adults whose first (native) language is not English. The program is designed for students who wish to teach English in an educational organization other than the U.S. public school system.

“We are pleased to have two of our programs recognized—the graduate program in TESOL and the graduate program in writing & linguistics,” said Dr. Jim Mischler, head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. “These programs continue to serve the educational needs of our region for highly-trained ESL teachers and professional writers, skills needed in a wide variety of public and private organizations around the world. We thank Grad School Hub for their work to identify and celebrate the accomplishments of professional preparation programs like ours.”

The master’s in adult learning and development is designed for persons providing or managing adult learning activities in diverse settings such as workforce development, business, higher education, secondary education, e-learning and government.

According to Dr. Bill Morrison, coordinator of adult learning and development programs, the adult learning and development concentration in e-learning and adult and workforce development was recently redesigned to reflect a reorientation of course content to meet the needs of today’s workforce and dynamically changing workplace with its rapidly evolving technology and shifting of learning preferences to the online environment.

“The redesign was driven by market and needs assessment meetings with local, regional and state foundations, economic development groups, community colleges, university staff, chamber of commerce groups, and grant funding agencies,” said Morrison. “The redesign is a response to shifts in the adult learning space over the past few years. Adult learning has moved from the traditional adult education focus of developing educators for the adult literacy and high-school equivalency fields, with only a secondary emphasis on workplace learning and professional development to an equal emphasis on human development in the workplace and lifelong learning in all contexts.”

The Northwestern State Master of Science in Homeland Security degree is designed to provide graduates with the capabilities to analyze and understand the emerging challenges of evolving security conditions on the domestic and international stage. From the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to the current National Security Strategy, students will gain a distinct appreciation for the complexities of homeland security organizations, leadership, policies, ethics and challenges, through the review of pertinent literature, critical thinking, research and reflective analysis and evaluation. The degree is unique in that it pushes students to develop plausible solutions to the inexorable national, international, and transnational, threats currently challenging global security through the innovative delivery of transformative student learning experiences which prepare our graduates for life and career success in this ever growing occupational field.

“Being included in these rankings reflects the hard work by many involved in making our degree a success,” said Dr. Mark Osborn Melder, head of the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences. “Providing our students with an affordable path to a high-quality, advanced degree is at the core of our program here at NSU. We fulfill the needs of our civilian, military, police and homeland security communities by addressing all facets of the challenges inherent in this field, utilizing faculty with real-world expertise and the experience to provide the knowledge and skills that are most in demand.”

For more information on online programs at Northwestern State, go to

Creole Heritage Center celebrates 20 years

Creole Heritage Center Honorees
About 350 individuals participated in the Creole Heritage Center’s 20th anniversary celebration at Northwestern State University, a three-day event titled “Struggles & Persistence – But Still We Rise.” The celebration included the Creole People’s Awards and Banquet with Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré keynote speaker and appearances by Miss Louisiana Holli´ Conway and Melissa Anderson, USA Ambassador Mrs.

“We chose the theme ‘Struggles and Persistence: But Still We Rise,’ which defines the landmark of our accomplishments,” said Loletta Wynder, director of the CHC. “It is evident that no one person can be credited with the center’s success. It has been a group effort: the academic advisor, administrative staff, student workers, volunteers, board members and community supporters. Despite everything, the Creole Heritage Center is alive and well.”

The mission of the Creole Heritage Center is to document, present, promote, foster and engage in activities and endeavors that relate to Creole culture. The Center serves as an office of support to Creole communities and organizations, offering advice and assistance in matters that affect Creoles. The Center also serves as a central clearinghouse/information bank for these communities and for those seeking knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Creoles and their culture.

Creole People’s Award recipients were Darrell Bourque, Patricia Cravins, Dustin Fuqua, Vera Severin and Honoré. Dr. Pete Gregory received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Gregory Reed and Curtis P. Deselles Jr. earned special recognition.

Scott Brame GuitarWinner2As part of the celebration, the Center raffled a custom-made walnut guitar made by Deselles that raised more than $1,000. Scott Brame of Alexandria was the winner.

The 20th anniversary celebration was dedicated to Terrel A. Delphin Jr. and Janet Colson. Delphin is credited with initiating the “Creole Renaissance” to make the public aware of Creole culture and traditions and advocated for the Center’s affiliation with Northwestern State University. Colson was a long-time director of the Creole Heritage Center and instrumental in developing the Creole Heritage Center from a local community to a global creolité.

The conference began Thursday, Sept. 13 with a meet and greet, registration, entertainment and bingo. Friday’s events included an opening describing how the Center was started, followed by break-out sessions on Creole organizations, music and projects. The awards ceremony and banquet took place that evening.

Saturday’s schedule included panels on the Creole language, Creole books and films, a cooking demonstration and mass at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. The evening closed with a zydeco blues dance.

The Creole Heritage Center was part of a five-year plan initiated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, a group in the Natchitoches and Cane River areas, that was formed to promote and preserve the Carole Culture. In 1994, the National Park Service purchased Oakland Plantation and the outbuildings of Magnolia Plantation to establish the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. Delphin was president of the SAHS and roused local citizens with an upsurge of pride and Creole culture and heritage. Gregory and Joseph Moran, community resident, put together a report entitled “We Know Who We Are,” an ethnographic background study. The NPS began to formulate its interpretation plan.

The Center became a reality mainly through the efforts of Delphin, NSU personnel and SAHS members. The approval of the university’s governing boards was obtained in 1997. Grant monies received from the Governor’s Office on Urban Affairs and Development allowed for support of a start-up staff whose initial mission was to assist in the achievement of permanent funding for the Center. Initially an advisory council was formed and members were appointed in accordance to the established by-laws. Due to the increased national outreach, additional members were added to represent regions across America.

Within the first five years, many endeavors were first-time achievements by a “unit that has no model.” The Center presented the first Creole Heritage Conference, the first Creole Family History Conventions (Louisiana and California), and the first Creole Studies Conference. The Center initiated the first national Creole family history database. Another first was the recording of individual Creole communities and related themes through the Creole Chronicles project. Several entities provide funding over the years, including Cane River National Heritage Area, Cane River Creole National Historical Park, NSU, Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Rapides Foundation and the Governor’s Office of Urban Affairs.

A major component of the Creole Heritage Center has been making resources information available. The Resource Library of the Creole Heritage Center has amassed a large collection of materials relating to Creole culture and its links nationwide. The information includes research papers, submitted family histories, photographs, reference books, copies of historical documents and record listings, oral histories and memorabilia. The information contained within the library represents the only national clearinghouse of Creole-related data. The information also serves as a major connector for many families and/or organizations and researchers.

The Center is one-of-a-kind and the first unit to have as its main mission to document and present Creole culture. Although the initial focus was the community of Cane River, it has broadened its range to include the entire state of Louisiana, as well as Creole colonies around the world.

Magnolia Minute: Lance Lopez

Watch today’s Magnolia Minute to learn more about the Farm Bureau “Player of the Week” with Lance Lopez.


If you, your business or a member of your non-profit organization would like to appear on The Magnolia Minute, then contact us at the email or number below!

The Magnolia Minute
Natchitoches Parish Journal
318-354-4000 #6

Notice of Death – September 27, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Octavia Walker Bryant
September 23, 2018
Arrangements TBA


Pearl McGee Miller
November 12, 1916 – September 25, 2018
Visitation: Friday, September 28 from 4-8 pm and Saturday, September 29 from 8:30-9:30 am at the Kramer Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, September 29 at 10 am at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
Interment: Alexandria Memorial Gardens


Marc Ian Pierce
October 8, 1971 – September 22, 2018
Arrangements TBA


David Lee Pullig
June 22, 1967 – September 24, 2018
Service: Friday, September 28 at 2 pm at David and Mechell’s home

Nominations requested for 2018 Natchitoches Treasures

The City of Natchitoches is seeking nominations for 2018 Natchitoches Treasures. The Natchitoches Treasures are an elite group of Natchitoches residents of retirement age who have made a lasting contribution to the community through their generosity, service, volunteerism and spirit.

Natchitoches Treasures have been selected each year since 2008. Natchitoches Treasures for the year 2017 included Lusetta Rogers Anthony, Dr. Ron McBride, Wayne McCullen, L.J. Melder, Sr., and Virginia Webb.

Potential Natchitoches Treasures may be nominated by members of the Natchitoches community. Nomination forms are available at the Natchitoches Main Street Office located at 781 Front Street or online CLICK HERE . Nominations must be submitted to the Main Street Office no later than Friday, October 11, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

A ceremony honoring the 2018 Natchitoches Treasures will be held on Thursday, October 25, 2017 at the Natchitoches Events Center.

For more information about Natchitoches Treasures, please contact the Natchitoches Main Street Office at 318-352-2746.

New feline facility planned for City Shelter, donations needed

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The Natchitoches Humane Society wants to provide a space for cats at the City shelter where they will be totally separate from the dog area. It will be an indoor space with AC in the summer and heat in the winter. It will also provide larger crates. Cats will be able to get out of their cages during the day to walk around, play, climb, lounge, and just be cats. The space also needs to offer cats a screened in area for safe access to the outdoors.

Fortunately, Natchitoches has a big community of cat lovers. When word spread about providing a cat house for the felines at the City Shelter waiting for their new forever homes, people got excited and some said that they wanted to make a financial contribution towards the project. To date $2,250 of the $3,500 needed has already been pledged for the purchase of a 10’x16′ portable building. Additionally, the City will build a “catio” so that the cats can venture outside in a safe environment.

Donations to the Natchitoches Animal Control Shelter will help this project move forward. They can be sent to 450 Fairgrounds Road, Natchitoches, LA 71457 with a note that the money goes to the new feline facility. E-mail for more information.