Thirteen students from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) participated in an Evening of Voice Thursday, Nov 29th at the school’s center for performance and technology recital hall. The students performed a variety of vocal pieces accompanied by LSMSA Senior Lecturer of Piano Dr. Charles Jones.
This superb evening of music was the capstone of a semester of hard work under the tutelage of LSMSA Senior Lecturer of Voice and Chorale Lisa Benner. Each student had to perform several songs from memory in front of an audience.
In any area of endeavor, from academics to theater, voice and dance, the young people attending The Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts are proof positive that our state’s children are the equal of those in any other state. Give them a challenge. They will rise to it. Well done ladies and gentlemen!
1.) Walking into David O. Stamey’s office for a reason other than printing yet another birth certificate replacing the many ones I have lost, proved to be the scariest day of my adult life.
2.) Deciding which one of my Government names to put on an official ballot was just as confusing as the day I graduated high school. When they announced the name, “Jennifer Rebecca Reba Procell,” everyone looked around, including me. This does not include the many nicknames accumulated over the years.
3.) People instantly question your sanity once you announce wanting to serve in a public office.
4.) Being a self professed talk-a-holic I found myself absolutely speechless when it came to asking someone for their support.
5.) It is the most humbling experience to ask for someone’s vote and have them say “no” right to your smiling innocent face. This only happened twice, every other person I met said they were voting for me and I completely believed them.
6.) My predecessor told me to be prepared because I would probably lose 25 pounds or more walking all of the neighborhoods. This was not the case. People fed me. People fed me a lot.
7.) Running for office opens you up to a whole new set of automated calls, junk mail and live telemarketers wanting to sell you anything from a political sign to logo underwear with your face proudly printed on them.
8.) Three months of campaigning seemed to last forever. Not to be too dramatic but this is clearly 21 months in dog months.
9.) There were days when I questioned my own sanity for running for office.
10.) There were some days when I needed a pep talk and a glass of wine. Or three.
11.) I thoroughly enjoyed watching my friends argue over who was going to be in my cabinet. This never got old. According to them, I have a Marketing Director, Surgeon General, FBI Director and still looking for an Attorney General.
12.) While campaigning, I made a promise to myself to always tell the truth and not just what people wanted to hear.
13.) To the sweet person who pledged their support if I promised to fix the roads in our parish…. I just couldn’t lie about it. School Board doesn’t have asphalt. I am so sorry.
14.) People can be so incredibly kind. There are so many good people in our parish.
15.) I met hundreds of people that I have never in my life seen or met before. It was the lottery jack pot of a “people persons” dream.
16.) I have always been a praying person but campaign prayers doubled my prayer life.
17.) If you run for office and need a sounding board or people reader. Come get my 12 year old. When we left houses she would tell me if they liked me or not. She took great joy in telling me, “I am pretty sure you interrupted their dinner and they hate you!”
18.) When I purchased my voter list for my district it truly hurt my heart to see that so many people have never voted or haven’t in many years.
19.) God put so many wonderful friends in my path to help me every step of the way. I was never short of God’s blessings during this whole process.
20.) I learned that you can still put God first in campaigning.
21.) People say once you get elected you have enemies for no apparent reason. This is not the case. I have had more random support and excitement over the school board changes than you could ever imagine.
22.) Once elected, the first piece of mail received that says, “Honorable Reba Phelps,” totally felt like a typo. “Servant” would be a far more humble title.
23.) I learned that you can stay true to your spiritual roots and true to yourself while running a campaign, being a single mother and working full time.
Campaigning was truly a life altering experience for me and my family. There were so many spiritual lessons learned along the way that helped me grow as a person and I feel like God put people in my path that possibly learned something from me. I truly look forward to serving the community in a deeper capacity.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, Rather, in humility value others above yourself.”
National VFW Auxiliary President, Sandi Kriebel, will make her Official Trip to Louisiana Nov. 28-30, which includes a stop in Natchitoches on Friday Nov. 30. The public, especially any veterans, is invited to attend the reception.
The schedule for Sandi’s visit to Natchitoches is as follows:
3 pm Laying of Wreath at Veterans Memorial Park
3-6 pm Welcome to Louisiana Reception at VFW Post 1962 400 Saint Denis St.
Kriebel, of Ellicott City, Md., was elected National President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States Auxiliary at its 105th National Convention in Kansas City, Mo. on July 25.
A Life Member of Yingling-Ridgely Auxiliary 7472 in Ellicott City, she joined on the eligibility of her father, A World War II and Korean War US Army Veteran. She served the organization in several capacities, including Auxiliary and District President, and as Department (state) President, for which she earned Outstanding President of the Year in her membership group in 1996-1997.
On the national level, she served as National District Council Member, Eastern Conference Chairman for the Americanism and Membership Programs, and National Director for the Cancer Aid and Research, Hospital and “Buddy” Poppy Programs. She was also a National Patriotic Instructor. Sandi is also a Life Member of the VFW National Home for Children and a member of the Military Order of the Cooties Auxiliary (MOCA).
In her spare time she enjoys collecting thimbles and cameo broaches, watching old movies and spending time with her family: husband Paul, three grown children (including a son who is a 100-percent disabled veteran who served in Desert Storm), seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Two Northwestern State University students recently presented research at the Southcentral branch meeting of the American Society of Microbiology held at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. The meeting was attended by students and faculty from throughout Louisiana, Arkansas. and Mississippi.
Jordan Bringedahl of St. Francisville, a senior double majoring in biology and applied microbiology and chemistry minor, presented her work “Identifying Leptospira interrogens in ferral hog populations using MALDI-TOF.” Noah Baudoin of Shreveport, a senior majoring in applied microbiology with an environmental sciences concentration, presented his work on the degradation of acetaminophen under aerobic conditions. Bringedahl and Baudoin are members of NSU’s chapter of the American Society of Microbiology.
Both students work with Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Christopher N. Lyles, who also presented research on the plausibility of pathogen proliferation within elevated storage facilities. Alumnus Thomas Phillips, a current graduate student at Nicholls State University, presented his work on the biodegradation of the pesticide metribuzin.
I spent Thanksgiving at the Gibsland camp. My in-laws are moving into the Gibsland camp in May. I’m squeezing an extra room into the house. It will be a beautiful room. It is a man cave that is turning into a she shed which will make it a manshe cave.
We had no kids for Thanksgiving. That means we had no grandkids. In our twenty-nine years of marital bliss this was only the second Thanksgiving we have spent without family present. It was a relaxing, thankful day. The perfect day was clouded by an unfinished assignment.
My construction assignment was to hang sheet rock, float it and tape it so the painter (my bride) could paint it. Have I mentioned that I am terrible with sheet rock? Floating and taping sheet rock takes artistic skill. It is the highest of artforms. The walls were going to look terrible. I would be embarrassed by my efforts. There was not enough mud to fix my mess.
None of my skilled friends were available to bail me out. I looked for all manner of wall options. I even considered vinyl siding on the inside. I opted for tongue and groove pine boards. Sixty twelve-foot pine boards hanging out of my short bed pick up truck. The boards were in Ruston. Even with the hypotenuse of a right triangle working for me, I still had five feet of boards hanging out the back of the truck.
I could see the accident going viral. “Interstate closed by preacher who lost his load. Splinters everywhere.” However, I made it back to Gibsland without board incident. It was a Black Friday miracle.
I was all snuggled back in my house ready to complete my project.
The nail gun died. I am no good at hammer and nail either. A nail gun was vital for my construction success.
On Black Friday, I made three trips between Gibsland and Ruston. The manshe cave is taking form. I’m much better at sawdust than sheetrock!
The project distracted me from my usual Black Friday news watching. I like to judge the mood of the season by the stories coming from the media about the Black Friday shoppers. Were we waiting in line all night to be the first in the store? We were pushing and shoving each other at the door? Were crowds big and loud or small and disappointing? What is the hot item this shopping season? News this week says crowds were smaller than previous years. Are we seeing the end of Black Friday? One could only hope.
What caught my ear came from one of the Shreveport stations. The news girl was talking about the small crowds outside of Best Buy. She noted that maybe people were not shopping “the old-fashioned way” any longer.
When did it become “old fashioned” to walk into a store and purchase an item? Have we become so Amazon-ed that we don’t know how to “browse,” “window shop,” or “just look?” I like walking down Front Street and going in all the stores and being old-fashioned in my Christmas shopping. There are some great deals downtown. Maybe it bugged me because I am a pre-Amazon shopping dinosaur and I’m unapologetically old-fashioned in many ways.
I threw up my hands and went back to work on my manshe cave. I resolved that at church we are going to have an “old fashioned” Christmas. I nailed that last board with resolve to hang on to “old-fashioned” for as long as I could.
BOM was a table sponsor for the Annual FCA Banquet at NSU on Nov. 29. The guest speaker was Mo Isom, a former LSU soccer player and the first female to try out for a SEC football team. Pictured are Dustin Dauzat, Christie and Randy Price.
During a press conference at the Main Branch of Rapides Parish Library downtown, Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) announced on Nov. 29 that the college’s use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for transferable general education classes and other first-year classes has saved students $106,000 in textbook costs. The savings was calculated based on the number of students enrolled in these particular classes in the spring, summer and fall of 2018.
The adoption of OER is a college affordability initiative designed to support the selection of no-cost textbooks for various classes and degree programs. These openly licensed learning resources include textbooks, media, videos, articles, and more students can access for free.
Textbooks and supplies can cost students between $450 and $600 each year. In some situations, when expensive textbooks are required, some students never buy them.
“We have been piloting OER since spring 2017, and we are happy to announce the cost savings to-date,” said Jimmy Sawtelle, Chancellor of CLTCC. “Because we’re utilizing OER, students enrolled in our transferable general education classes and other first-year classes such as Freshmen Seminar don’t have to purchase textbooks. These students can access free textbooks from a mobile device, tablet or computer. They can also use the general use computers at their local library.”
CLTCC’s general education classes such as biology, history, and psychology can be transferred to any public college or university in Louisiana. Scholarships in the amount of $250 also are available for general education courses on a first-come, first-served basis.
Interim Manager of the Main Branch of Rapides Parish Library, Jonathan D. Westbrook, also announced a free tutoring service available to anyone with a valid library card. “Live one-on-one help is available from kindergarten to college at homeworkla.org. You can get help with homework, prepare for a test or get helping finding a job,” said Westbrook.
Natchitoches SWAT took Jadarrius Deon Wilson into custody. Wilson is being transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center for processing. There are no injuries.
No weapons were found during a search of the residence.
Sheriff Victor Jones thanked the SWAT Unit, and all deputies involved in the stand-off for their professionalism and patience in the 5 hour ordeal. UPDATE: Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches SWAT and SWAT Negotiators are engaged in a 3-hour stand-off in Payne Sub-Division just off of La. Hwy 6 East near Natchitoches involving a suspect wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office on several felony charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The stand-off began this afternoon at approximately 2:59pm when Sheriff’s Detectives and Natchitoches Drug Task Force Agents went to a residence in the 200 block of Michelle Drive in Payne Sub-Division in an effort to serve felony warrants on 24-year-old Jaddarious Deon Wilson signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge for Simple Kidnapping, Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a Person convicted of a Felony, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Violation of Protective Orders, Domestic Abuse Battery, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and Simple Criminal Damage to Property.
Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Natchitoches SWAT and SWAT Negotiators are engaged in a 3-hour stand-off in Payne Sub-Division just off of La. Hwy 6 East near Natchitoches involving a suspect wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office on several felony charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The stand-off began this afternoon at approximately 2:59pm when Sheriff’s Detectives and Natchitoches Drug Task Force Agents went to a residence in the 200 block of Michelle Drive in Payne Sub-Division in an effort to serve
felony warrants on 24-year-old Jaddarious Deon Wilson signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge for Simple Kidnapping, Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a Person convicted of a Felony, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Violation of Protective Orders, Domestic Abuse Battery, Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and Simple Criminal Damage to Property.
The charges stem from a November 1, 2018 alleged kidnapping incident involving a female acquaintance that led to a pursuit, then Wilson abandoning and fleeing from the vehicle.
Deputies searched the area that night and were unable to locate Wilson, however, they continued the search and discovered him at the residence this afternoon.
Deputies say when they arrived at the residence, Wilson called 911 reporting that he would harm himself or law enforcement if they attempted to enter the residence.
Wilson is currently barricaded in the residence alone.
There are no hostages.
Local residents in the area have been evacuated for their safety while the scene is active.
SWAT Negotiators have been on the telephone with Wilson for the past 3-hours attempting to get him to surrender to law enforcement.
There is a heavy law enforcement presence in the area; and we ask that citizens stay out of the area for safety reasons until the scene is safe.
ORIGINAL POST (5:36PM):
A standoff between law enforcement officers and JaDarrius Wilson is in progress in Payne Subdivision. The suspect barricaded himself inside a residence. There are no hostages. No further information is available at this time. The NPJ will post as more details are released.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office originally posted on social media about Wilson on Nov. 9. The Natchitoches man is wanted on several criminal charges in connection with a disturbance that led to the kidnapping of a Natchitoches woman on Nov. 1. Deputies recovered the kidnapping victim unharmed, but were unable to locate Wilson.
Ellen Lucille Thompson
April 28, 1918 – November 27, 2018
Service: Friday, November 30 at 11 am at Colfax Baptist Church
Interment: Colfax Cemetery in Colfax
James P. Hollier Sr.
February 15, 1937 – November 26, 2018
Visitation: Friday, November 30 from 4-8 pm at the Kramer Funeral Home and Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10-11 am at St. Rita Catholic Church
Service: Saturday, December 1 at 11 am at St. Rita Catholic Church
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park
December 18, 1947 – November 27, 2018
Service: Friday, November 30 at 10 am at Old Union Baptist Church
Interment: Old Union Cemetery
Barbara Richardson Peterson
August 9, 1935 – November 29, 2018
RED RIVER PARISH:
Opal Woodard Loftin
November 18, 1922 – November 28, 2018
Visitation: Friday, November 30 starting at 5 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel in Coushatta
Service: Saturday, December 1 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Social Springs Cemetery in Ringgold
Lionell “Jaws” Demery
October 11, 1981 – November 25, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 1 at 11 am at the New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Coushatta
Interment: Springville Cemetery of Coushatta
District attorneys from throughout Louisiana convened in Natchitoches Nov. 28 for the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association monthly meeting.
Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington hosted the meeting to “show my fellow DA’s our beautiful city during this special time of the year.”
Echoing the sentiments in welcoming the district attorneys included remarks from Sheriff Victor Jones, Parish President Rick Nowlin, Senator Gerald Long, and Reps. Kenny Cox and Terry Brown.
LDAA Executive Director Pete Adams and incoming Executive Director Loren Lampert conducted the business meeting to discuss issues relating the administration of criminal justice and law enforcement in Louisiana.
“We had numerous district attorneys drive in from across Louisiana to be here today to see this beautiful community and to attend our meeting. We discussed upcoming legislative topics and how they will affect our offices’ programs and other criminal justice agencies,” said Adams.
Lampert, who will replace Adams as executive director in 2019, said “members were delighted to come to Natchitoches to see the Christmas lights and enjoy the warm hospitality provided.”
“I wish to thank Northwestern State University for hosting us today. We had a great opportunity to showcase our university and our parish to the district attorneys,” said District Attorney Harrington.
The Louisiana District Attorneys Association is organized by the 42 district attorneys in Louisiana whose mission is “to improve Louisiana’s justice system enhancing the effectiveness and professionalism of Louisiana’s district attorneys and their staffs through education, legislative involvement, liaison, and information sharing.”
In addition to their main role of prosecuting criminal cases, district attorneys also focus on victim services, children’s advocacy, highway safety, juvenile justice, and child support enforcement.
The Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office is located at the parish courthouse on 2nd floor. Citizens are encouraged to contact the office at 318-357-2214 if they are in need of services. Pictured above, LDAA Executive Director Pete Adams addresses district attorneys at the LDAA meeting held at the NSU Fieldhouse.
Born and raised in Natchitoches, Mario Fox is a former Sergeant of the United States Army and Paratrooper of the 82ND Airborne Division. Mario believes in the core values of Integrity, Discipline, and Competence. Following his distinguished career in the military, Mario decided to pursue his lifelong interest in real estate.
As an associate broker Mario will focus on expanding the Rhodes Realty’s brand. With offices in Alexandria, Lafayette, Monroe, and a secondary Natchitoches office on South Drive, Mario will focus on increasing their presence in the other markets they serve, and adding more structure to the company.
“This will help us better serve our clients,” he said. “With multiple offices and agents we can divide and conquer as we help our team learn and grow.”
Mario also recruits and trains new agents. Anyone interested in joining the Rhodes team as a realtor can contact Mario directly.
Office: (318) 238-3733
Cell: (318) 581-6516
Mario earned his broker’s license after 4 years as a realtor, which is also a requirement toward earning a broker’s license. He took a 150 hour course, followed by a state and national broker exam.
“It’s always something I wanted to do,” said Mario. “I never commit to anything unless I’m prepared to give it my all. My goal when becoming a real estate agent four years ago was to get my broker’s license. To do it in four years has been surreal to me.”
Rhodes Realty Owner Justin Rhodes said, “We can’t be more excited to announce the promotion of Mario from agent to broker. He has been an extremely valuable asset to our team since he came aboard and we can’t wait to see where he is headed!”
Mario is appreciated by his clients for always taking time to learn and understand their real estate needs and he makes the achievement of their goals his top priority. He feels that communication is essential to a successful relationship and prides himself on always being available and accessible to his clients.
“I’m excited to now be on the operating side of a multi-million dollar company,” said Mario. “I saw this opportunity with Rhodes Realty, which was one of the big factors for me to leave Washington DC.”
As a passionate member of the Rhodes Realty brand, Mario takes full advantage of the company’s tremendous resources to best serve his clients. The firm’s world-class marketing platform gives the homes he markets unrivalled exposure and the company’s research based approach to buyer representation ensures his home buyer clients find the ideal home and obtain it for the best price possible.
When the work day comes to an end Mario most values family time with his wife and four beautiful children and he enjoys a mix of excitement and relaxation from snowboarding, skydiving, traveling, golf, and an occasional great cigar.
Dr. Mark O. Melder has been named head of the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences at Northwestern State University. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has approved the appointment.
A graduate of Northwestern State in with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Melder earned a Master of Arts and Doctorate in Sociology at Louisiana State University. Melder has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty from 2007-10 and since 2014. He was coordinator of the master’s program in homeland security since June 2017 and acting department head since April. Melder has also been on the faculty of LSU and Louisiana Tech.
“I am honored to have been selected by my departmental colleagues and the university and system to lead the Department of Criminal Justice, and Social Sciences,” said Melder. “We offer a number of diverse degrees and serve over 500 majors in our 5 undergraduate programs and our masters program, and I look forward a bright future with our department and our university.”
Melder’s research interests are domestic and international militia groups and intimate partner homicide. His master’s thesis examined the motivations of militia members to join and remain active in a militia group and led to an article published in the Journal of Deviant Behavior “The Moral Careers of Militia Group Participants: A Case Study (2014).”
Melder’s doctoral dissertation, “The Anomaly of Racial Variance in Female Perpetrated Spousal Killing,” examined the phenomenon of intimate partner homicide, specifically women who kill, attempting to explain the racial differences in domestic homicide rates.
He is working on research in post-traditional students learning styles and continuing to research domestic and international terrorism.
The Department of Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences offers bachelor’s programs in resource management, criminal justice, history and unified public safety administration, a master’s in homeland security and a Pre-Law and Paralegal Studies Certificate of Completion Program and a Public Policy and Administration Program Certification. A post-master’s Global Security and Intelligence Certification is available along with an Adult Learning and Development concentration in Homeland Security offered in conjunction with the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development.
For more information on the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences, go to cjhss.nsula.edu.