Natchitoches Magnet School accepting applications for 2019-2020 school year

Natchitoches Magnet School is currently accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Natchitoches Magnet School serves children from 1st – 8th grade. Our progressive school provides an enriching educational experience by developing 21st century learners through innovative curriculum, hands-on exploration in and beyond the classroom, research-based instructional strategies, and partnerships with families and the community. The goal of Natchitoches Magnet School is to facilitate learning among all stakeholders, with a focus on a digitized classroom where students are writing, creating, and producing products of learning using the most up to date technologies. We are excited to announce that we will be a 1 to 1 school by the end of the 2019-2020 school year, with each student having access to their own device in every class. Natchitoches Magnet School values hard work, diversity, and cultural growth. Teachers are highly qualified and continually trained in new educational ideas and practices to help each student reach their fullest potential. While academic excellence is the primary focus of Natchitoches Magnet School, students receive a well-rounded experience with opportunities to participate in clubs, athletics, special events, art, and music. To find out more about what this amazing school has to offer, please make plans to attend our Open House on Sunday, April 7th from 2-3:30 pm.

Applications can be obtained from Natchitoches Magnet School at 800 Koonce Street, Natchitoches, LA or by emailing alyssa.wright@nat.k12.la.us. All applications are due by May 11, 2019. Applications may be submitted in person or faxed to the school at 318-354-1122. Admission testing will take place on Thursday, May 23, 2019. You will be contacted for a testing appointment.

Stephonie French
Principal


Funeral procession raises termite threat awareness and funds for Relay for Life

J&J Exterminating raised over $500 during its Sentricon® System Deader Than Dead Tour March 20. Employees in their work vehicles followed a hearse with a 7-foot dead termite on top through Natchitoches to the downtown riverbank. Once there families, residents and visitors posed in front of the unique ride. They also enjoyed a free burger lunch. A donation jar on the table filled up quickly.

While a 7-foot termite strapped to the roof of a hearse may seem fearsome, those who have dealt with the dangers of actual termites up close know the real threat is much larger. Millions of homeowners risk losing billions of dollars in property damage this year. Some will lose their homes altogether. Against this unseen termite threat, the best defense is awareness.

The Sentricon® System Deader Than Dead Tour travels across the country during National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA) Termite Awareness Week, crossing 22 states to alert homeowners on how they can stop termites dead in their tracks. NPMA estimates termite damage costs U.S. homeowners $5 billion each year, so the Deader Than Dead Tour team is hitting the road to show homeowners how to best protect themselves from harm.


Natchitoches needs an indoor pool: March meeting

The next meeting of the newly chartered Natchitoches Community Health and Exercise Education Association (NCH&EEA) will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at a new time, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Natchitoches Arts Center, 716 Second Street. Introduction of potential Board candidates, discussion of committee assignments, and the seeking of ideas and opinions from members of the public will take place. The new organization also will seek volunteers who will want to participate in setting up fun community health and exercise events for children and adults throughout the year.


Ferguson, fellow Demons impress at NSU’s Pro Day

For all but one Northwestern State football alumnus taking part in Pro Day Wednesday morning at Turpin Stadium, it was the last and best chance to make a good impression on 18 NFL teams.

For All-America receiver Jazz Ferguson, it was a big day, but the 6-5, 227-pounder will enjoy additional scrutiny in the coming weeks with visits to, and from, NFL teams as the NFL Draft approaches April 25-27 in Nashville.

For each one of the eight Demons working out Wednesday, it was a good day.

“I was pleased with how our guys performed,” said head coach Brad Laird. “They all rose to the occasion. I won’t be surprised if we have 3-4 of them in (NFL) camps in a couple of months.”

Laird watched and listened at Pro Day. NFL personnel conducted the testing and drills. He spent plenty of time visiting with the pro scouts.

“It’s fun to hear their perspective. Today I heard lot of positives about our guys, how they came out and competed,” he said. “This is something we look forward to every year.

“We want the scouts to know not only are they getting a good football player, a guy who will compete between the white lines, but they’re getting a guy who is going to do the right things away from the field. We’re going to teach that here, more so than just the X’s and O’s, and we want these scouts to understand our priorities so our guys are going to be able to take care of business in every aspect.”

Defensive end/linebacker Obinna Iheoma led the parade with 27 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press, an 11.65 time on the 60-yard shuffle drill and was second with a 34.5 inch vertical leap.

Receiver Jaylen Watson was tops in three categories: 40-yard dash (4.63, tied with cornerback Rashaun Croney), short shuttle (5-10-5 yards) in 7.06 (Iheoma was right behind in 7.07); and the three-cone drill (4.25).

Receiver Marquisian Chapman had the best vertical jump at 35 inches.

Ferguson, whose 4.45 40-yard time Feb. 26 at the NFL Draft Combine was the best by a player his size since 2007, didn’t run that distance. He also skipped the bench press and vertical jump tests Wednesday.

After a 10-3 broad jump at the combine, he tried to improve it, and still had an impressive 10-1 that led the pack at NSU. His times (4.34 in the short shuttle, 11.84 in the long shuttle) were strong for a player his size, as was his 7.09 in the three-cone drill.

But his biggest impression came while going through pass routes and catching throws from former teammate Clay Holgorsen.

Ferguson caught every ball close to him. Watson and Chapman also sparkled.

“I impressed myself. I was able to run and perfect some of the routes I’m working with. I had a pretty good day. I heard it from the scouts and from some of my former coaches, so I feel good about it,” he said.

His physical attributes were apparent, but not the attribute that he and Laird cited first.

“When he walks between the white lines, he’s going to compete,” said Laird. “You can’t find a better practice player. Everybody sees the Lamar catch, the McNeese catches, because you can see video. What they don’t see is what he does from 3-5 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon – and that’s compete. Doesn’t matter if it’s a 1-on-1 drill, a red zone drill, or first-and-10. Blocking or catching a football, he’s going to compete.

“He’s a team player with a lot of attributes and a skill set for the NFL, but it’s the intangibles teams will see that will set him apart.”

Asked by media what he would bring to an NFL team, Ferguson didn’t start with his skill set.

“They get a locker room guy. You can ask any of my teammates out here. I love to have fun. When it comes to football, obviously I’m a deep threat, and I can go up and get the ball. I can outrun a guy, not just jump over him. In general, I’m a great teammate.”

With his parents, his siblings and friends comprising a group of well over a dozen who were among the spectators Wednesday morning, Ferguson expressed his gratitude for his two years at NSU. A five-star recruit out of St. Francisville, he signed with LSU and played two seasons with the Tigers, starting against Auburn as a sophomore before being dropped from the squad for off-field immaturity.

He put it together in 2017 and 2018 at Northwestern.

“It made me stronger. It made me better. I had some people who looked after me when I got here, especially Miss Ashley (Leggett), the (assistant) trainer,” said Ferguson. “She saw the guy who came in here and was still devastated about leaving LSU, not being on that stage any more, but she watched the same guy mature, become a guy who goes to class, knows he’s got to get his grades, be that leader on the team, be that fun guy at the same time. That guy, he came a long way, that’s for sure.”

He’s not done yet, and some of his NSU teammates may not be either, based on Wednesday’s showcase.

TOP PERFORMANCES – 2019 PRO DAY at NORTHWESTERN STATE

BENCH PRESS (x225): Obinna Iheoma (27)

VERTICAL JUMP: Marquisian Chapma, (35); Obinna Iheoma (34.5); Isaac Warren (36)

BROAD JUMP: Jazz Ferguson (10-1) — (10-3 at the Combine)

40: Jaylen Watson & Rashaun Croney (4.63)

SHORT SHUTTLE (5-10-5): Jaylen Watson (4.25), Obinna Iheoma (4.31), Jazz Ferguson (4.34)

L-DRILL (3-Cone): Jaylen Watson (7.06), Obinna Iheoma (7.06), Jazz Ferguson (7.09)

LONG SHUTTLE (60); Obinna Iheoma (11.65), Jazz Ferguson (11.84), Jaylen Watson (11.84)


NCHS PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCE

Natchitoches Central High School will have parent/teacher conference Friday, March 22, from 3:30-6:30 pm. The school year is going by quickly. NCHS is already finishing mid-term grades. Teachers will be available to meet with parents to address concerns.

Graduation for this school year will be held at Prather Coliseum on May 17, at 7 pm. Tickets are required for attendance.

NCHS Junior/Senior Prom will be Saturday, April 6 beginning at 8 pm. This year’s dance will be held at school in the main gym.

The Annual Natchitoches Central 8th Grade Elective Fair will take place on March 22 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity for 8th grade students to receive information about the various elective courses offered at Natchitoches Central and have questions answered before they submit their course requests for next school year. Also, this will be a great opportunity for our clubs, groups, organizations and programs to showcase the diverse opportunities that are available at our school. The Elective Fair will be set up in the Girls’ Gym. During this time, students will browse tables and get information on the many wonderful elective opportunities that are offered at Natchitoches Central High School. All 8th grade students that will be attending NCHS next school year are invited.

The administration, staff and faculty would like to thank all parents and members of the community for their support in the many activities at NCHS. These activities build good character and lifelong learning experiences.


Vocal Students Present Spring Recital

Twenty talented young singers performed a selection of vocal solos to a large audience of parents and community members on March 19. All students are enrolled in the Talented Music Program, a statewide service under the umbrella of the Natchitoches Parish Schools special education department. To gain entrance into the program, students had to undergo a preliminary screening and formal evaluation to assess their musical ability. Students’ years of experience in the program range from one to over five years.

The recital was held at the First United Methodist Church, with approximately 60 people in attendance. Students performed a variety of vocal solos, ranging from traditional art song to contemporary musical theatre, accompanied on piano by Dr. Samuel Stokes, instrumental music instructor for Natchitoches Parish Schools. All students take private voice lessons once a week from Mrs. Whitney Cummins, vocal and drama instructor for Natchitoches Parish Schools. The students hail from six schools in the district: Northwestern State University Elementary and Middle Lab Schools, Natchitoches Magnet School, Natchitoches Junior High School- Frankie Ray Jackson, Natchitoches Central High School, and Marthaville Junior High School. Students range in age from 4th – 11th grade.

Students were required to perform their songs from memory, and have spent several months preparing for their performance. Several students also participate in other performance opportunities, such as school-wide programs and the Louisiana Federation of Music Clubs’ annual junior festival, held on the Northwestern State University campus. The primary goals of Mrs. Cummins’ instruction is to provide students with quality vocal technique, healthy vocal habits, confident stage presence, and a variety of performance opportunities.

Pictured above on front row from left are Madeline Nicholson, Ellie Wilson, Naomi Vercher, Amia Brown, Annaliece Romero, and Lilyasta Laning. On back row are Whitney Cummins, Johanna Smith, Victoria Wiggins, Katherine Callender, Destanee Stewart, and Saria Calhoun. On back row are Elan Monette, Huntar Goings, Tanner Holden, Bella Frederick, Thomas Miller, Briana Barnum, LaDasha Bradley, Linda Ransfer, and Dr. Samuel Stokes. Not pictured are Tinley Durr and Ayla Payne.


Three NSU works to be performed at regional dance conference

Three works from Northwestern State University will be performed at the American College Dance Association Southeast Regional Conference at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia on March 28-31.

“Commitment” by senior Asher Van Meter of Edmond, Oklahoma, and “Flirting with Light” by Assistant Professor of Dance Crystal Lewis will be presented for judging on March 29. Choreography by Mary Strickland of New Orleans is being performed at the informal concert.

“Comm/itment” is a trio with Maci Burt of Mandeville, Alphonse Engram of DeRidder and Sarah Talbot of Baton Rouge.

“It’s a piece that deals with the struggles of relationships and abuse, whether it be physical or emotional, and the effect it has on the two women in the piece,” said Van Meter, a theatre major with a concentration in dance. “The man in the piece moves in and out of their lives and you watch how it affects them when he’s with them, when they’re alone and when they deal with this jealousy and longing for him to come back. It deals with a lot of isolation for them and how they trap themselves within their own anxiety and let him control them.”

Lewis work is a light sensitive piece with two distinct sections and a cast of 11.

“The first section is lit entirely by tap lights controlled by the dancers,” said Lewis. “This creates not only a spectacle of light, but has a deeper meaning of being drawn to this light. The second section has a more ethereal and otherworldly feel as the dancers are lit by the tap lights, while simultaneously being bathed in a soft golden hue. The second section has more of a ritual feel as the dancers move in and out of partnering as they are circled around each other and the tap lights.”

Lewis originally choreographed this work as part of her graduate thesis concert.

“Initially when creating this work, I was playing with the notion of lighting dance through non-traditional lighting methods,” said Lewis. “I have set this particular work on several students and colleges over the years, each time it has morphed and changed to embody the dancers dancing the work. The piece is mostly abstract but does have an overarching theme of humanity and hope as the light bathes the dancers.

Other students from Northwestern State attending the conference are Taylor Young, Katherine Langlois, Jayzen Boger, Anna Birbiglia, Kennedy Butler, Brandi Corkern, Cathleen Oviedo, Brittany Davis, Kelsy Elkins, Vilma Castro Lopez, Tara Lane, Emily Ricalde, Luther Brooks IV and Alphonse Engram. Also attending are Ashley Henry, Vincent Spinks, Dustin Huffman, Erin Fallis, Mary Scott Pourciau, Leyla Fettweis, Haleigh Giorlando-Wall, Abigail Miller and Hannah Knoff.

While at the conference, students can take master classes and attend dance performances, research presentations, panel discussions and lectures. They can also meet students and faculty from a number of institutions. Faculty can present research and participate in professional development opportunities.


A Louisiana Sheriff Played a Key Role in the Demise of Bonnie and Clyde

By Joe Darby

In two months it will be exactly 85 years since the notorious robber-killer duo of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker met their end on a lonely north Louisiana road, about 45 or 50 miles north of Natchitoches..

Many books, as well as the popular 1967 movie about the bandits, have detailed their criminal exploits, as well as their demise in an ambush on the morning of May 23, 1934. But most accounts give almost all of the credit for their end to former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. Hamer did play a role in the plan to end the killers’ careers.

But now, one article in a package of stories about Bonnie and Clyde in the current issue of True West magazine, shows that the ambush would almost certainly not have happened without the efforts of Bienville Parish Sheriff Henderson Jordan.

As author Robert M. Utley phrases it, “Sheriff Henderson Jordan…was the true architect of the scheme…(Hamer) did not track down Bonnie and Clyde,” Utley wrote.

The series of articles in the April True West also debunks some of the myths about Bonnie and Clyde. They were not deserving of the hero worship that some have given to them. They were cold blooded killers, who murdered nine people, including six police officers. And, contrary to many accounts that say Bonnie never fired a gun, she was indeed an active shooter and probably a killer herself.

Following is a summary of Utley’s article:

Just weeks before the ambush, Barrow, Parker and Henry Methvin had fatally shot in cold blood two Texas motorcycle officers who stopped to check on them when their car had broken down on a Texas road. Those murders happened on Easter Sunday.

Methvin was a key in the plan to get Bonnie and Clyde. A member of the gang, he, along with others, was broken out of a Texas state prison by Bonnie and Clyde in January of 1934. Henry Methvin’s father, Ivy Methvin, lived in Bienville Parish and had a hideout for his son south of Gibsland, La.

Through an emissary, Methvin informed Sheriff Jordan that if he could get a Texas pardon for his son, he would arrange to put Bonnie and Clyde in the law’s hands. Frank Hamer, who had been in contact with Jordan, succeeded in getting the pardon, which was turned over to Ivy Methvin.

Henry Methvin had been in Shreveport with Bonnie and Clyde, but managed to give them the slip. The trio had agreed that if they became separated, they would rendezvous at the Methvin hideout south of Gibsland.

Hamer and Jordan, plus Jordan’s deputy Prentiss Oakley, Hamer’s sidekick Maney Gault and two other Texas lawmen, set up an ambush on the route to the hideout. Bonnie and Clyde approached the scene on the morning of May 23, seeing Ivy Methvin faking a breakdown on the side of the road.

What happened next is well known. The officers poured dozens of rounds of high caliber bullets, including armor-piercing projectiles from Browning Automatic Rifles, into the gangster’s V-8 Ford, riddling its body as well as those of Bonnie and Clyde.

Utley says it couldn’t have happened without the Louisiana sheriff. Jordan located the hideout, received the offer from the Methvins and organized the ambush. Hamer is due credit for getting the pardon and taking part in the ambush, but Jordan is the guy who put it all together, the author concludes.

Hamer had had a very successful career as a Texas Ranger but had resigned from that force because of Texas politics. At the time of the ambush, he was operating under a special commission from the Texas prison system.

A new Netflix movie, “The Highwaymen,” will begin streaming late this month and will focus on the activities of Hamer and Gault in the incident. I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t know how much credit the movie will give Jordan. However, it’s time the Louisiana lawman gets his due recognition.

True West editor Bob Boze Bell and Utley have given me permission to use the information from their article. I’ve been a subscriber to the publication for a number of years and consider it the best source going for Western history and travel articles.


NCHS students donate supplies to Happy Tails

Lesa Thompson’s 11th and 12th grade gifted dual enrollment students at Natchitoches Central High School donated paper towels, cleaning products, dog food, kitty litter, towels and a ton of other items for the furry residents at Happy Tails. Pictured from left are Tucker Henderson, John Martinez, Paul Sheffield, Lesa Thompson, Heather Day, Eli Durr, Tyler Nichols, Zane Harper, James Burrell, Abi Thompson, Gabi Edwards, Carlee Scott, William Fralia, and Jazz Burrell.


CLEMENTINE HUNTER DAY: Sunday, March 24

NATCHITOCHES – Mayor Posey would like to notify the public the City of Natchitoches will declare Sunday, March 24 as “Clementine Hunter Day” per the request of the Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

On Sunday, March 24 a locally produced filmed documentary, Clementine Hunter’s World will be screed in the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the National Museum of History and Culture in Washington, D.C. where the museum’s current exhibition is Clementine Hunter: Life on Melrose Plantation. Following the screening, there will be a Panel Discussion featuring the filmmaker Art Shiver, along with local resident, Tom Whitehead.

The film combines vintage photographs with Clementine Hunter’s images to bring her story to life through a cinematic tour of the African House murals. The film has won first place for short documentaries at film festivals in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Kilgore, Texas.

Clementine Hunter is known on a local, state, and national level. Picking up her first brush in the late 1940s, Hunter painted thousands of images recalling her life on a 20th century plantation. Hunter quietly painted depictions of plantation life in Melrose, Louisiana by the light of a kerosene lamp. Hunter painted life as she knew it and in doing so left a visual diary of colorful tales of plantation life in the Cane River Country.

For more information, contact the Mayor’s Office at (318) 352-2772.


APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR OF VOTERS

PRESS RELEASE: March 19, 2019

Parish Council has announced the Parish of Natchitoches is seeking applicants for the position of Registrar of Voters for the Parish.
A copy of the full job requirements and employment application can be obtained from Natchitoches Parish Government Room 210 or 213. Please send application, resume, and three references to Natchitoches Parish Government Attn: Sheryl Frederick, PO Box 799 Natchitoches, LA 71458 or email sfrederick@npgov.org with the subject line Registrar of Voters.

Natchitoches Parish Government is an equal opportunity employer and the Parish of Natchitoches is a drug-free workplace.

Deadline for applicants is 4:30 p.m. April 8, 2018.

PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES
NATCHITOCHES PARISH COUNCIL
200 CHURCH STREET
P. O. BOX 799
NATCHITOCHES, LOUISIANA 71457


Notice of Death – March 20, 2019

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Doris Rachal Metoyer
March 25, 1914 – March 15, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 22 from 5-7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, March 23 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle
Interment: St. Augustine Catholic Mausoleum

George Douglas Birdwell, Sr.
January 23, 1950 – March 19, 2019
Visitation: Thursday, March 21 from 6-9 pm at Robeline First Baptist Church, located at 7739 Oak Street in Robeline
Service: Friday, March 22 at 10 am at Robeline First Baptist Church
Interment: Bethany Cemetery in Marthaville

Dennis L. Raybon
March 08, 1955 – March 19, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Margie Ruth Clarkston
February 11, 1933 – March 17, 2019
Visitation: Thursday, March 21 from 11 am – 12 pm at Oak Grove Methodist Church in Natchitoches
Service: Thursday, March 21 at 1 pm at Oak Grove Methodist Church
Interment: Oak Grove Methodist Cemetery

Kentrae Marquis Jones
January 2, 2003 – March 19, 2019
Service: Saturday, March 23 at 11 am at Lakeview High School
Visitation: Saturday, March 23 from 10-11 am at Lakeview High School
Interment: Gilgal Baptist Church Cemetery on La Hwy 71

Maria Sanchez
February 27, 1929 – March 5, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Ruby Johnson
May 26, 1933 – March 12, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, March 23 from 10-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, March 23 at 11 am at the St. Davis Baptist Church in Cloutierville
Interment: St. Davis Baptist Church Cemetery.

Bertha Mae Bloodworth
Service: Saturday, March 23 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Visitation: Saturday, March 23 from 9-11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Interment: Fern Park Cemetery on Texas Street