Student chorus groups to perform at LSMSA Fall Concert

Senior Lecturer of Voice and Chorale Lisa Benner conducts the school chorus at the 2017 concert.

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) will be holding its annual Fall Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3:00 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Both performances will take place at the school’s Center of Performance and Technology Recital Hall. The two showings are free and open to the public.

The event, hosted by the school’s Music Department, will feature a mix of secular, sacred, jazz, and holiday tunes. Both the LSMSA Mixed Ensemble and Chorale will be performing at this event. Both groups will be accompanied by Michael Young of Natchitoches.

LSMSA’s Music Department regularly hosts musical events like the Fall Concert. For a more in-depth look, visit

Early Voting – as of November 28, 2018



Natchitoches Pairsh Early Voting

Wednesday 11-28-18 (Only)
1 70 27 3 100 81.30%
2 5 0 0 5 4.06%
3 3  3  0 6 4.87%
4 6 5  1 12 9.77%
84 35 4 123 100%
Totals 10-01-18 through 11-28-18
343 155 14 512
  • As reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State.  Shows In-Person and Absentee.


Election Day is December  8, 2018

Ballots – Natchitoches Parish

Special Election – Secretary of State
Kyle Ardoin – R
“Gwen” Collins-Greenup – D

PRECINTS 1-01, 1-05A, 1-08 and Part of 1-05
Member of School Board – District 2
Thurman J. Baptiste, Sr. – D
Tan’Keia Palmer – D

PRECINTS 1-10B, 3-01, 03-02, 03-03, 03-04 and 03-08
Member of School Board – District 9
Beverly J. Broadway – R
Carroll E. Daniels – D

PRECINTS 2-01 and Part of 02-05
Fire Protection District #8 Proposition – Millage Renewal

Natchitoches Celebrates 92nd Annual Christmas Festival this Saturday

Christmas Festival_Wayne Toups

The 92nd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 1 in downtown Natchitoches. The Natchitoches Historic District Business Association and the City of Natchitoches will usher in the holiday season with children’s activities, entertainment, parade, food vendors, and fireworks. Louisiana musical artist, Wayne Toups will serve as the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Parade Grand Marshal and he will headline entertainment for the day as well.

The Christmas Festival parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the corner of Jefferson Street and University Parkway. The parade featuring approximately 80 entries including floats of reigning Queens including Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles and marching bands, dance lines, parade Grand Wayne Toups and Santa Claus. The parade will also feature two new floats this year. The parade will travel along Jefferson Street to Front Street, turning left onto Lafayette Street and Second Street, and ending at University Parkway.

Musical entertainment begins at 2:45 p.m. with a performance by Louisiana Sidemen, followed by headliner Wayne Toups. High-energy showman, Toups has long been dubbed “The Cajun Springsteen.” He has recorded more than a dozen albums and toured to more than 20 countries. His songs have been heard on such film soundtracks as Steel Magnolias and Dirty Rice.

At 6 p.m., the festivities will be capped off by a spectacular fireworks display over beautiful Cane River Lake and the lighting of thousands of lights.

Admission to the festival is $8 for adults (12 years of age and older) in advance and $10 for adults (12 years of age and older) at the festival gates. Children under age 12 are admitted free to the festival. Armbands may be purchased day of the festival from ticket booths located throughout the Downtown Historic District beginning at 6:30 a.m. Discount armbands may be purchased in advance at the following area businesses: Bank of Montgomery, City Bank & Trust Company, Exchange Bank,  La Capitol Federal Credit Union and Hampton Inn & Suites.

All festival vendors inside the gated area will require tickets to purchase food and/or merchandise. Tickets may be purchased from all ticket booth locations as well as at automated ticket machines on festival day. Tickets may be purchased in advance at any pre-sale armband locations.

For more information on the 92nd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival, please visit

How He Spent His Thanksgiving

By Joe Darby


Well, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Yes, I realize that greeting is exactly one week too late.

But I wanted to write about Conna Cloutier’s memorial service last week, so I’m talking about Turkey Day this week, if you’ll beg my pardon. I’d like to tell you about our Thanksgiving, which was probably somewhat like a lot of yours, but perhaps still worth sharing.

We drove down to Jackson, La., about 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, to be with family. My niece Bonnie runs the Old Centenary Inn there and it was the center of our activities. However, she had a full-up guest list so we had to find other accommodations. There was literally no room at the inn.

Our part in the Thursday celebration was to bring a nice desert. I bought a very nice tray of cheese cake, of all different types. Looked quite yummy. But about two thirds on the way there, we realized we forgot it. The tray was still in our fridge back home!

But we were lucky to come upon a Piggly Wiggly store in one of the little towns hugging the Mississippi River north of New Roads. So we went in and bought a nice chocolate cake and a lemon pie. We were Thankful for little super markets in small towns.

When we got to the Jackson area we checked into our alternate accommodations, quite a nice place really. We went on to the inn and had a lovely pre-Thanksgiving supper with part of the family. More would show up the next day, of course.

When we got back to our rooms we discovered a fine white powder covering a small table in the suite’s living room. I’m not really paranoid (I promise) but my first crazy thought was, could this be anthrax, laid out by a lone mad terrorist? Well of course it wasn’t. We later learned the suite had just been renovated and the powder was doubtless sheetrock dust blown out of the heating vent. We were Thankful for the absence of lone mad terrorists at our temporary home.

The next day’s meal, the traditional one of turkey and dressing, was simply delicious, as it always is. Bonnie, her sister Debbie and husband Chuck deserve A+ in preparing that meal. The company was great too, with the presence of many third generation youngsters, mostly young ladies, descended from my late sister Patsy and her husband Charley. Charley, by the way, is 91 and still pretty darned spry. We were Thankful for sweet relatives and spry old men.

My daughter Becky is a supervisory nurse in the New Orleans area and was not in Jackson but she called, of course, and informed me she had gotten the results of a DNA genealogy test. She’s mostly English, then Scots and Irish with a fair touch of French. Just about as I’d thought. We were Thankful for all of our ancestors who were responsible for us being here.

Bonnie and Chuck drove Mary and me back to our suite because I can’t drive after dark on twisty, country roads. We were Thankful, again, for sweet relatives but Chuck did seem to enjoy driving my Dodge Challenger coupe. We talked about fast cars all the way back to our suite.

So, we returned home safely the next day, Friday. It was a fine three days. I truly hope yours was as nice. We are Thankful for good, patient readers.

Car named Aurora celebrates 30th annual Gala

Aurora the Art Car.jpg
A car named Aurora will greet guests attending Northwestern State University’s 30th annual Christmas Gala this week. The Mazda RX-8 art car parked in front of A.A. Fredericks Auditorium was completed specifically for the Gala celebration to commemorate the Christmas Gala and the thousands of spectators who have been entertained by it over the years.

“Scott Burrell [assistant director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts] and I began talking about the possibility of creating a design to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Gala earlier this semester,” said Collier Hyams, professor of art. “I designed it loosely based around the Gala theme.”

The design theme is centered around the Aurora Borealis Northern Lights presented in Pop Art Ben-Day dot style made famous by Roy Lichtenstein with Dr. Seuss influenced Christmas trees, Hyams explained.

“I borrowed the cut paper snowflake idea from one of our design class projects and the Zipper is unzipping like a sweater to reveal a darker layer showing the Gala Logo. This is a nod to Clark Kent transforming into Superman showing the big S logo. The purple mouth section is a nod to the Jaguar and Ferarri LeMans racecars of the 1950s and 1960s. The purple lips are also for my daughter Juliet and purple for NSU. If I had to name her she would be ‘Aurora.’

The car will be featured in the Natchitoches Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 1 with participants in Gala, including actors, dancers, musicians and artists. The parade rolls at 1 p.m. in downtown Natchitoches.

Contributing to its completion were Professor of Art Leslie Gruesbeck, who headed up interior decorations; NSU Graphic Designer Beth Mann, who created the Gala 30th anniversary logo, and Larrie King, graphic designer and NSU alum, who designed the 30th anniversary logo for NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts.

The project was made possible by CAPA, NSU Christmas Gala, NSU Facilities and Mazda North American Operations. Pixus Printers of Lafayette printed the design.

The car will remain in front of A.A. Fredericks through the end of the semester.

The NSU Christmas Gala will be performed through Nov. 30 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Performance times are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Nov. 30. Tickets are still available through Tickets are $15. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. For more information, call (318) 357-4522.

Northwestern State athletics pleased with generous response on Giving Tuesday

Gameday (2)

Northwestern State athletics supporters were in a generous mood on Tuesday, donating more than $15,000 on the nationally celebrated Giving Tuesday.

More than 100 donors gave either to NSU’s Demons Unlimited Foundation or to a specific sports program.

“We want to thank all the Demon family, friends, and fans who stepped up on Giving Tuesday to donate,” said Mike Jaworski, the director of development and engagement. “We are so appreciative of all the support we get throughout the year, and to see this much generosity in one day is truly amazing.

“The best part about Giving Tuesday was we had a lot of new fans become first-time donors. The more people that can see the importance of events like this, the more we can continue to grow the NSU Athletic Department.”

The DUF supports athletic scholarships, the purchase of textbooks, facility enhancements and recruiting efforts among other areas to help NSU operate a Division I athletics department with 14 sports.

The NSU softball team won the fundraising challenge by raising more than $1,250 from 26 donors.

Three other programs topped the $500 mark Tuesday, including volleyball, soccer and baseball.

“I would also like to thank all of our athletes who helped out and spread the word of Giving Tuesday through text, social media, and word of mouth,” Jaworski said. “Our athletes are our biggest advocates, and to see their enthusiasm and effort behind Giving Tuesday is very exciting.”

Fans can continue to make donations throughout the year by visiting and clicking on the “Donate” tab for different giving options.

Dr. Sara Burroughs Scholarship

Sara Burroughs copy.jpg

Northwestern State University’s Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies has established a scholarship fund in honor of the late Dr. Sara Burroughs. Donations will be used to fund three student scholarships for English majors. The target fundraising goal is $60,000.

“These scholarships in honor of Dr. Burroughs, a popular professor and distinguished department faculty member, are the first of their kind for the English major at NSU,” said Department Chair Dr. Jim Mischler. “We have many gifted students who are in great need of funds to begin or continue their education, but we have not had the resources to help them to secure the educational financing needed. Our students should have the freedom to focus on their studies and not how they will pay for school next semester. Your generous donation will help English majors to succeed in school, in the workplace, and in life.”

Burroughs, who passed away in spring 2018, attended Centenary College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She advanced her education with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

“She was the consummate scholar and English professor, beloved by her colleagues and the students she taught for twenty-seven years at NSU,” Mischler said.

During her tenure, she was chair of the department from 1987-1992 and received the Excellence in Teaching Award; she was named Professor Emerita in 2008. She retired in 1999 and moved to Shreveport. In retirement, she remained active in church and community activities. She lived life to the fullest, traveling to all parts of the world.

Donors can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting and specify that the gift should go to the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies, Dr. Sara Burroughs English Scholarship Fund.

To make a tax-deductible donation, there are two ways to give. Donors can visit and specify that the gift go to the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies, Dr. Sara Burroughs English Scholarship Fund or mail a check to the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies, 318 Kyser Hall, 165 Sam Sibley drive, NSU, Natchitoches, LA. 71497. Checks should indicate Dr. Sara Burroughs Scholarship in the memo line. For more information, call the department office at (318) 357-6272.


Flora 478 Wreck 11-28-18 (3).jpeg

A Natchitoches woman was seriously injured and five children received moderate injuries in a single-vehicle crash on Hwy. 120 near Flora on Wednesday morning according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection Districts#4, #5, NPSO Rescue, three Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS Units, Pafford Air-1 and Acadian Air Med responded to 911 reports of a single-vehicle crash on Nov. 28 at 7:19 pm involving a tree with multiple injuries which included children on Hwy. 120 just west of Flora.

All victims were extricated from the wreckage by fire and law enforcement personnel which also included cutting tree limbs that fell on the passenger side of the vehicle during the crash impact.

Due to the severity of the injuries and juvenile victims, names are not being released at this time, however, based on a number of inquiries into the crash the NPSO is releasing limited information.

Trooopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria are investigating the crash.

The 35-year-old female operator of the 2013 Ford Expedition suffering from serious injuries and one child suffering from moderate injuries were airlifted by Pafford Air 1 and Acadian Air Med to Rapides Regional Medical Center Trauma Center,

Four other children suffering from minor-moderate injuries were transported by Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS to Rapides Regional Medical Center.

The crash investigation is continuing. All additional information will be released by Louisiana State Police.

NPSO Release

Notice of Death – November 28, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Mable Gistarb
November 28, 2018
Arrangements TBA

Alberta Byone
November 25, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, November 28 from 6-10 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, November 29 at 11 am at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cloutierville
Interment: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery

Dr. John “Jay” Hix
April 25, 1937 – November 24, 2018
Service: Thursday, November 29 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home


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

Wade Hampton Jones III
August 14, 1937 – November 25, 2018
Service: Thursday, November 29 at 10:30 am at First United Methodist Church of Lecompte
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park


Jerry Johns
December 18, 1947 – November 27, 2018
Service: Friday, November 30 at 10 am at Old Union Baptist Church
Interment: Old Union Cemetery

Betty J. Rowell
January 21, 1940 – November 25, 2018
Service: Thursday, November 29 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield
Interment: Couley Double Churches Cemetery in Winnfield


Patsy Hodges Rayburn
November 29, 1944 – November 26, 2018
Service: Thursday, November 29 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Zion Hill Cemetery


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



The Natchitoches Christmas Festival Committee and City of Natchitoches would like to remind festival goers of the following street closures and safety precautions for the 92nd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival taking place on Saturday, Dec. 1.

On festival day, the following streets will be open to one-way traffic only:

· Third Street from Texas Street southbound to Church Street

· Church Street from Third Street westbound to Fifth Street

· Fourth Street from Amulet Street northbound to Texas Street

· Fairgrounds Road from Rapides Drive westbound to Hwy 1 Bypass

At 5:30 a.m., the Church Street Bridge will close to all vehicular traffic and barricades will be placed throughout the Natchitoches Historic District to define the gated festival area.

At 5:30 a.m., the gate entrances at Church Street and Williams Avenue will be open and armbands can be purchased at this location. All other entrances will open at 6:30 a.m. Armbands are required to enter the gated festival area.

At 6:00 a.m., the following streets will close to vehicular traffic:

· Jefferson Street from Amulet Street to Touline Street

· Washington Street from Texas Street to Lafayette Street

At 10:00 a.m., no public parking will be allowed in the first block of Williams Avenue to East Second Street. This area includes the following streets between Williams Avenue and East Second Street: St. Maurice Lane, Adelaide Street, Sirod Street, Whitfield Drive, St. Clair Avenue, Stephens Avenue, and Henry Avenue.

At 11:00 a.m., Second Street from Touline Street to University Parkway will close to vehicular traffic.

At 12:00 p.m. (noon), University Parkway from Jefferson Street to Second Street will close for parade line up. All eastbound traffic on University Parkway will be stopped at Boyd Street, and all westbound traffic on Mill Street will be stopped at Airport Road. In addition, the Pine Street/Keyser Avenue Bridge will close at 12:00 p.m. (noon) to all vehicular traffic, and all parade route barricades from University Parkway north to Lafayette Street will go up in preparation for the parade.

The parade will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the corner of University Parkway and Jefferson Street. The parade will move along Jefferson Street to Front Street turning on Lafayette Street and continuing down Second Street to University Parkway. At the conclusion of the parade and when foot traffic allows, Jefferson Street and Second Street from Amulet Street south to University Parkway will reopen for vehicular traffic. The Pine Street/Keyser Avenue Bridge and University Parkway between Boyd and Mill Street will reopen as well.

At 4:30 p.m., the Church Street Bridge will close to all foot traffic and Cane River Lake will close 250 feet south of the last Christmas display (near the Santa Claus House) and 250 feet north of the flag set piece for all boat traffic in preparation of the fireworks show.

At 5:00 p.m., barricades will be placed on Williams Avenue north of Henry Avenue to St. Maurice Lane and at the intersections of East Second Street with Stephens Avenue, St. Clair Avenue, Whitfield Drive, Sirod Street, and Adelaide Street.

The fireworks show will begin at 6:00 p.m. over Cane River Lake. At the conclusion of the fireworks show and once the all clear has been given by the Fire Department, the Church Street Bridge will reopen to pedestrians and all streets outside of the gated festival area will reopen to vehicular traffic.

For more information or the latest updates on the Natchitoches Christmas Festival, please visit


Early Voting – as of November 27, 2018



Natchitoches Pairsh Early Voting

Tuesday 11-27-18 (Only)
1 116 46 4 166 77.57%
2 12 5 0 17 7.94%
3 14  3  1 18 8.41%
4 7 5  1 13 6.08%
149 59 6 214 100%
Totals 09-01-18 through 11-26-18
263 120 10 393
  • As reported by the Louisiana Secretary of State.  Shows In-Person and Absentee.


Election Day is December  8, 2018

Ballots – Natchitoches Parish

Special Election – Secretary of State
Kyle Ardoin – R
“Gwen” Collins-Greenup – D

PRECINTS 1-01, 1-05A, 1-08 and Part of 1-05
Member of School Board – District 2
Thurman J. Baptiste, Sr. – D
Tan’Keia Palmer – D

PRECINTS 1-10B, 3-01, 03-02, 03-03, 03-04 and 03-08
Member of School Board – District 9
Beverly J. Broadway – R
Carroll E. Daniels – D

PRECINTS 2-01 and Part of 02-05
Fire Protection District #8 Proposition – Millage Renewal

Give yourself the gift of joy this Holiday Season

Womens Night Out

Take a break from the stress of the holidays, bring your friends, and party at this WOMEN’S ONLY all night mini retreat at the Natchitoches Skating Rink from Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 pm until Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7 am.

There will be skating, painting, movies, games, food, drinks, and door prizes!

There will be a collection box at the door for diapers and other baby items to benefit the Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches. If you bring an item, your name will be entered in a drawing for a spa package from Magnolia Spa.

This event is women ONLY! Please be mindful that no men are allowed under any under circumstances. Thank you.

7:00pm Doors Open, come and skate!

Skating will be available all evening for your enjoyment. You do not have to skate to have a good time, but is a super fun option that is available throughout the entire event.

7:30pm Dinner is Served

Pizza will be served at 7:30, but there will be other finger foods available throughout the night. Also the concession stand will be open and available for purchasing snacks through the Skating Rink.

At this time, there will also be a sign up sheet posted for Painting with S.M.I.L.E.S. Spaces are limited, but there will be several classes available throughout the night, so that there are many opportunities available.

9:00pm Welcoming Speech by Life Coach Kelly Airhart

I want to warmly welcome you to this amazing event, tell you about all the different events, and remind each and every one of you that you deserve fun in your life, because you are amazing beautiful women.

9:30pm Free Skate and the First Painting with S.M.I.L.E.S. Class will begin.

Painting with S.M.I.L.E.S. is very similar to painting with a twist. We will all be painting the same picture and I will walk you through the steps. No need to be an artist, this is purely for fun!

10:30pm Line Dancing with Zumba Queen Kimberly Davis Smith!

Let’s dance and have some fun together. Dancing in our socks and smiles…not skates lol.

11:30pm Free Skate and the Second Painting with S.M.I.L.E.S. Class will begin.

12:30 Purse or Pocket Scavenger Hunt

Get ready to find the wild and wacky thing that you have somewhere in your purse or pocket. The first one to find it and bring it to me wins a prize!

1:00am Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Make your own Sundaes with all the toppings!

2:00am Free Skate Last Painting with S.M.I.L.E.S. Class Begins

3:00am-5:00am Karaoke

Sing your heart out at Karaoke in our very own little karaoke room set up to make you feel like a star.

6:00am Breakfast is served

7:00am Time to Go home.

*All night activities- Selfie Photo Booth. Arts and Crafts table. Board Game Table. Skating. Movie Room.

Get your tickets now by visiting

Tickets are $75 in advance. $100 at the door.