Parish Treasurer resigns, Interim Treasurer appointed

Parish President Rick Nowlin announced the resignation of Parish Treasurer Debbie Miley effective March 22. President Nowlin thanked Miley for her 13 years of outstanding service to the Parish and credits her for playing a significant role in balancing the Parish budget and implementing sound financial management in her office.

In view of the critical nature of the work of the treasurer’s office, it is imperative that the Parish have a leader of the department while the search for a new treasurer takes place. Nowlin appointed Lynda Vance to serve as the interim treasurer following Miley’s departure until the new treasurer is employed. Vance has held various positions in the treasurer’s office for over 5 years and has worked with the other employees in the department on a daily basis. Her experience and dedication to the Parish should allow her to fulfill this temporary assignment. We know that the team of employees in the department will work together to provide the financial services required by the Parish during this period.

While serving as the interim treasurer, Mrs. Vance will continue to serve as the Parish purchasing agent and perform other accounting duties.

The Parish Human Resources office will be posting the open treasurer position to solicit qualified applicants.

If there are any questions, please contact the Parish at 318-352-2714.


Krewe of Dionysos Promo Parades

Krewe of Dionysos Promo Parades are in full swing this week! With four promo visits down and eight to go, Krewe of Dionysos members are busy promoting their upcoming March 2nd Mardi Gras Parade. Mini parades, complete with music and throws, are held at local nursing homes, day care centers and elementary schools every day of the week leading up to the Krewe’s big parade.

If groups or organizations would like to enter the March 2 Krewe of Dionysos parade, participation forms can be requested at KreweOfDionysos@gmail.com; or call 318.228.1129.

The parade will roll Saturday, March 2nd at 6 p.m. This family friendly nighttime parade consists of a dozen or more super floats and much more. Catch throws including beads, cups and specialty items. The parade will roll from the stage parking lot down South Drive to Keyser Avenue; to Keyser Avenue; Left onto Keyser Avenue to Keyser Avenue Bridge; Right onto Jefferson to Front Street to Washington Street; Left onto Texas Street to Second Street; Left onto Second Street to Church Street where the parade ends.


BOM announces employee promotion

BOM congratulates Misty Milstead on her promotion to Head Teller. Misty was raised in Saline. She is married to Timothy Milstead and is the proud mom of three little boys: Christian, Kaiden, and Hudson. She enjoys singing and leading worship at The Family Church of Winnfield. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, and playing piano. She is very excited about her new role as head teller, and looks forward to furthering her career with BOM Bank.


Folklife Center accepting entries for High School Essay Contest

NSU– The 11th annual Northwestern State University Louisiana High School Essay Contest is now open for submissions until May 31. The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9-12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments, as well as home schooled students.

The 2019 Contest theme is “I am Louisiana.” Entrants are invited to address one or both of the following questions: “How has growing up in Louisiana shaped you into the person that you are today? What makes you Louisianan?” Personal reflections and experiences are valid as part of the essay content. Essays may be in narrative form if the student chooses.

Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins). Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school affiliation, entrant’s mailing address, phone number, e-mail address and the title of their entry. Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497. “2019 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails. The deadline for contest submissions is May 31. Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15.

The prizes for the contest winners are: 1st place – $150; 2nd place – $100; and 3rd place – $50. In addition, essay contest winners will receive a $200/per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 if they attend NSU for four years. This award is in addition to other scholarship awards that the student may receive from Northwestern State. Winners must have at least a 20 ACT composite or 950 on the SAT, as well as at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible. Essay winners need to submit proof of the award.

Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 11th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference held at Northwestern State on Saturday, September 21. The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Submission of an entry to the Contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: louisianafolklife.nsula.edu.

The NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is sponsored by Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Writing Project, the College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Recruiting at Northwestern State.


NPD partners with Natchitoches Waterworks District #1 Board of Commissioners

The Natchitoches Police Department partnered with the Natchitoches Waterworks District #1 Board of Commissioners and shall be strictly enforcing Sibley Lake Recreational Use Permits. Natchitoches City Ordinance states that no person between the ages of 16-60 shall fish, hunt, swim, boat, water ski, camp, picnic, or otherwise trespass below the 116-foot contour on Sibley Lake unless he has purchased a Recreational Use Permit. The permit expires June 30 of each year and costs approximately $10. Permits may be purchased at “The One Stop” on Hwy. 6, “Sibley Lake One Stop” on Hwy. 504, and Walmart.

“Any person over 60 years of age is not required to purchase a recreational use permit, however, proof of age is required.”


Robeline Teenager Killed in High Speed Crash

A single vehicle crash killed a teenager from Robeline on Feb. 26. The teenager was wearing a seat belt, but excessive speed is considered a factor.

Troopers responded to the crash around 2 p.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 485, north of Robeline. The crash involved a 2007 GMC pickup, driven by John Hunter Owens (W/M 17 yrs). Initially the GMC was on LA Hwy 6 when a Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office (NPSO) deputy observed Owens commit a traffic violation. The deputy turned around, with the intent to stop the vehicle, but Owens turned northbound on LA Hwy 485 and sped off. The deputy lost sight of the vehicle and stopped pursuing. A short time later, the deputy located the crashed vehicle.

Evidence at the scene indicated that Owens lost control, at a high rate of speed, and exited the left side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with several trees.

Owens was transported to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in serious condition, but was later pronounced dead.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a situation. Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors are among the leading causes of highway crashes and fatalities.

Troop E Troopers have investigated eight fatal crashes in 2019, resulting in nine fatalities.


St. Mary’s registration open for 2019-2020 school year

Registration is now open for the 2019-2020 school year at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

St. Mary’s has served the community for 130 years and continues to be an integral part of catholic education in Natchitoches Parish. St. Mary’s is Accredited by AdvancED and provides an education for students in Pre-3 through grade 12.

Founded on Catholic values and committed to excellence, St. Mary’s Catholic School is dedicated to forming the whole child to know, love and live the faith.

Families are encouraged to visit our website for more information and registration details: www.smstigers.org.


Orleans Parish men arrested on drug, weapon charges during I-49 traffic stop

NPSO- Three Orleans Parish men were arrested on drug, fugitive and weapon charges that also resulted in the seizure of a ski mask during a traffic stop on I-49 in Natchitoches Parish on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:45 pm, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies conducting patrols on Interstate-49 just south of Natchitoches clocked a white 2013 Chevrolet Malibu traveling 90 miles per hour in a posted 75mph speed zone.

Deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as Terrell Massey, 30 of New Orleans.

During the traffic stop, deputies learned through a NLETS computer check that Massey did not have a driver’s license.

Deputies also smelled a strong marijuana odor coming from within the vehicle.

Two passengers in the vehicle were identified as Myron Soublet, 40 of New Orleans, who initially identified himself as Dwayne Massey, and Brian Combs, 19 of New Orleans.

Due to suspected criminal activity, deputies obtained permission to search the vehicle and occupants.

Additional deputies along with a Drug Task Force K-9 responded to the scene. The K-9 alerted to the vehicle for the presence of a narcotics odor.

All three subjects had prior criminal histories.

During the criminal background check, deputies learned Soublet was wanted by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office for Aggravated Assault and Evading Arrest.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered a loaded 9mm clip concealed in the dashboard area of the vehicle, a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number concealed under the hood of the vehicle, a black ski mask, two small bags of suspected marijuana and suspected tramadol used to relieve pain.

Deputies arrested:

*Terrell Massey, 30, of the 4700 block of Viola Street, New Orleans transported and booked into the Natchitoches Detention Center charged with Speeding 90/75, No Drivers License, Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number and Parole Violation.

*Myron Soublet, 40, of the 4500 block of McAuthor Blvd, New Orleans transported and booked into the Natchitoches Detention Center charged with Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number, Criminal Obstruction of Justice after he allegedly attempted to destroy and hide evidence, Possession of CDS IV Tramadol, Possession of Marijuana, Resisting an Officer by Giving a False Name, Texas Fugitive for Aggravated Assault and Evading Arrest.

*Brian Combs, 19, of the 7 block of Pinewood Court, New Orleans transported and booked into the Natchitoches Detention Center charged with Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number, Criminal Obstruction of Justice, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of CDS IV Tramadol.

All three remain in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond.

The rental vehicle was stored by a local towing service pending release to the rental agency.

The seized narcotics evidence will be submitted to the crime lab for narcotics analysis for criminal proceedings.

Deputies say the suspects were traveling from New Orleans to the Dallas area.

Lt. S. LaCaze was assisted by Deputy M. Smith, J. Axsom and his K-9.


Notice of Death – February 26, 2019

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Rue Shelton
February 23, 1952 – February 23, 2019
Visitation: Wednesday, February 27 from 3-6 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, February 27 at 6 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Robert E. Comeaux
October 23, 1956 – February 18, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Donald Ray Coleman, Sr.
May 24, 1940 – February 24, 2019
Service: Wednesday, February 27 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Davis Springs Cemetery

Regis Metoyer Jr.
October 28, 1924 – February 22, 2019
Visitation: Thursday, February 28 from 8-10:30 am at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Fifth Street in Natchitoches
Service: Thursday, February 28 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Church
Interment: St. Augustine Catholic Church Mausoleum

Yolonda N. Morrow
February 22, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, March 2 from 9-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, March 2 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Breda Town Cemetery

Mary Jane Bonier
February 19, 2019
Wake Service: Friday, March 1 from 6-8 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Visitation: Saturday, March 2 from 9-11 am at the Lakeview High School Auditorium-Gymnasium, located at 7305 LA Highway 9 in Campti with a Celebration Service at 11 am
Interment: Campti Community Cemetery

Doris Washington
February 15, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, March 2 from 9-10:30 am at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, located at 911 5th Street in NatchitochesService: Saturday, March 2 at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Beulah Helaire Jackson
February 15, 2019
Service: Saturday, March 2 at 11 am at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Bermuda
Visitation: Saturday, March 2 from 9-10:15 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home

SABINE PARISH:

Belinda L. Gauthier
February 7, 1954 – February 24, 2019
Service: Friday, March 1 at 1 pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Many

RAPIDES PARISH:

Nancy Netherland
October 10, 1953 – February 25, 2019
Service: Thursday, February 28 at 2 pm at Twin Bridges Baptist Church
Philip H. Smith Jr.
January 1, 1944 – February 25, 2019
Service: Wednesday, February 27 at 10 am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church

WINN PARISH:

Gregory Shawver
April 18, 1950 – February 22, 2019
Visitation: Wednesday, February 27 from 9-10:30 am at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, February 27 at 11 am at Zion Cemetery

John Wade Nix
December 09, 1924 – February 25, 2019
Visitation: Wednesday February 27 from 5-9 pm and Thursday, February 28 from 9-11 am at Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home of Jena
Service: Thursday, February 28 at 11:30 am in the chapel of Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home
Interment: Jena Cemetery

Mary Ruth Gorham
August 23, 1959 – February 25, 2019
Service: Thursday, February 28 at 2 pm at Old Union Baptist Church
Interment: Old Union Cemetery

RED RIVER PARISH:

Gene Russell Franks
May 7, 1948 – February 22, 2019
Service: Wednesday, February 27 at 2 pm at Boxwood Church of Christ
Interment: Bivens Cemetery in Merryville


City Council supports ridesharing legislation, CEA fills Main Street Director vacancy 

State Senator Jay Luneau spoke to the Natchitoches City Council at its Feb. 25 meeting about ridesharing legislation.

Uber and Lyft could be operating in Natchitoches right now if they chose to. There’s nothing preventing them from doing so. Luneau said they chose not to, in this city and many others, because in his opinion they’re trying to hold the state of Louisiana hostage to come up with legislation that’s more favorable for them across the state. 

“It’s a business and of course they want to have the best package for them,” he said. “And I agree with that. I met with the vice president of Uber and I told him what I want.” 

  1. Be fair with people and don’t demand things that are unreasonable. These risdesharing companies want to operate like a taxi cab system but they want none of the regulations that taxi cabs have. People don’t like regulation but there are some safety concerns. Fingerprint background checks are important. There were about 10 cases of rape in Uber and Lyft this past year across the United States. It happens and there needs to be protection for the public. 
  2. There doesn’t need to be an arbitration clause when people sign up for Uber. Luneau said they’ll put it in the law that Louisiana law applies and you can go to court in Louisiana. If something were to happen in an Uber car and you wanted to sue Uber, you don’t want to have to go to California to do so.

The City council passed a resolution supporting the Louisiana Legislature to enact ridesharing legislation for transportation network companies setting forth a comprehensive, uniform, statewide set of regulations to ensure access to reidesharing is equally available to all residents of the state seeking to participate.

The City is dedicated to finding innovative and cost effective ways to expand available services for residents and visitors of Natchitoches. Increased transportation options and ridesharing, including services provided by Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), helps connect residents to opportunities for employment, education, commerce, art, and culture. Ridesharing also offers licensed drivers in good standing the opportunity to earn additional income on a flexible schedule.

In other business an introduced ordinance will authorize Mayor Lee Posey to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Historic District Business Association to fill the Main Street Director vacancy by having the HDBA undertake and fulfill the responsibilities of the position. 

 
The HDBA will continue to manage and coordinate the following events that are currently handled through Main Street: Bloomin’ on the Bricks, Celebration on the Cane, and Witch Way to Main Street. The HDBA will also undertake the following responsibilities: Provide Main Street quarterly reporting, attend Main Street quarterly meetings, monitor and oversee Union Pacific Grant, manage and coordinate riverbank/Beau Jardin rentals and promotion, coordinate with the Community Development Department and Public Works Department on all downtown events, participate in and manage Good Day Cenla and other radio promotions, seek and apply for grants for additional funding and take necessary steps to retain Main Street certification. 
 
The HDBA will provide these services through its Director of Festivals and Events Jill Leo. In exchange for these services, the City agreed to provide the following: annual payment of $9,000 as a salary supplement to the Director of Festivals and Events, furnished office space in the old Chamber building, continue to provide current office staff for Main Street offices, and reimburse expenses related to promotion of riverbank/Beau Jardin and maintaining Main Street certification.

PLANNING & ZONING – FINAL:

  • Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing Zoning Classification Of Property Described As Follows: Lot 17-A Of A Resubdivision Of Lots 16, 17, 18 And A Portion Of Lot 15, Block C Of East Natchitoches Addition As Shown On Map Slide 413-A and for variances of the side and front yard setbacks. (433A East Third St.)

ORDINANCES – FINAL:

  • Extend The City Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches Annexing A .256 Acre Tract, A .25 Acre Tract, And A 1 Acre Tract, All Of Said Tracts Being Owned By The City Of Natchitoches And Lying Adjacent To The Southeasterly Right Of Way Of Louisiana Highway 6, And Adjacent To The Existing Municipal Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches

ORDINANCES –  INTRODUCTION:

  • Amend The Geographical Boundaries Of Natchitoches Economic Development District C, State Of Louisiana; Extending The Levy And Collection Of An Existing 2% Hotel Occupancy Tax Into The Expanded Geographical Boundaries Of The District. No Registered Voters Reside In The Property Being Added To The District.
  • Enter Into A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement With Waterworks District Number 1 And Sheriff Victor Jones Regarding The Office Facility, Boat House And Related Piers And Docks

RESOLUTIONS:

  • Advertise And Accept Bids For The Electric Distribution Rehabilitation For Quida And Jackson Street.
  • Execute Change Order No. To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Progressive Construction Co., For The St. Denis Water Line Replacement And Street Rehabilitation Project.
  • Execute A Certificate Of Substantial Completion To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Progressive Construction For St. Denis Waterline Replacement And Street Rehabilitation Project.
  • Authorize The Aviation Fuels Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Titan Aviation Fuels, For The Purchase Of Aviation Fuels For Use Or Resale At The Natchitoches Regional Airport

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, March 11.


Bloomin’ on the Bricks set for March 23

The City of Natchitoches Main Street Office invites the public to experience the beauty of springtime in downtown Natchitoches at the 19th Annual Bloomin’ on the Bricks, Natchitoches’ spring and garden festival, on Saturday, March 23 from 9 am – 2 pm. A variety of plants, flowers, shrubs and garden décor will be available for purchase. Children’s activities will be available as well. This event is free and open to the public.

Interested vendors may call 318-352-2746 for more information.