Love lives through a friend

By Brandy Walker

Never have I witnessed the most selfless acts of love in a few weeks. John Hunter Owens lost his life last month in a tragic accident. As an only child of Rusty and Becky Owens, Hunter is a loving boisterous 17 year old. He loved life, people, his family and friends. In February his precious life ended. Hunter wasn’t afraid. His motto in life was “ Trust God’s Plan” and indeed he did. Days get harder and longer. I’ve never witnessed two parents willing to take his best friend, all grieving, and put all their effort into showing their love to Hunter’s go to, Mason Pitts.

From the moment they learned of Hunter’s passing Rusty and Becky picked up with Mason to honor Hunter. Seven days after, Rusty took Mason fishing in the next High School fishing tournament to honor and not leave off his son’s wishes. A month later these families have an inseparable bond and now Rusty and Becky have gained another son! Never to replace Hunter, but to keep Hunter alive and going. Hunter trusted God’s plan…. as we all should!

Citizen’s Tip Leads to Apprehension Wanted Suspect

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the Natchitoches Police Department received information from a Concerned Citizen which led authorities to the Bingo Paradise located next the Exxon Station on Hwy. 6. The caller was able to accurately describe the subject in-question and provide authorities with his name, Michael Potts. Grant Parish Sheriffs Office was then contacted and confirmed that an active warrant for Potts existed for a Simple Burglary of Church in Grant Parish. Officers from Shift B of the Natchitoches Police Department responded to Bingo Paradise and confirmed the identity of Potts who was then taken into custody without incident and later transported to Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he awaits extradition.

The Natchitoches Police Department wants to thank the Concerned Citizen and all Citizens who provide the police department with information regarding any incident. Anyone who has information about an incident may contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or you may contact the Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, Detective Commander Jeff Townson at (318) 357-3878. All calls shall be kept confidential.

NPD Press Release

Weekend series against Southeastern Louisiana altered due to weather

Due to impending weather forecasted throughout the day on Saturday, the Northwestern State softball team will play its double header against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday beginning at 4 p.m.

The series will conclude with a single game on Saturday at noon.

The original weekend schedule was for a single contest Friday at 5:00, with Saturday games slated for noon and 2:00.

Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids at L.P. Vaughn

Students in grades PreK-K at L.P. Vaughn received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of March recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance.

Rose Rock, Terri Leone, Lita LeMelle, Judy Ashcraft, Jan McCain, Donna Penrod, Janna Maggio, Cynthia Harmon, Michelle Hall, Lorinda Harper, Julia Hall, Debra Wamber, Patricia Alexander, Linda Howard, Alicia Carr, Gilda Johnson, Keyonna Moran, Victoria Cheramie, Kaitlyn Jackson, Kristina Ballard, Stephanie McKinney, Cameron Graham, Zy’Asia Coleman, Zayden Payne, Maliyah Bayonne, Giselle Martinez, Devianna Lewis, Camden Washington, Jae’dyn Brown, Camden Anderson, Alease Smith, Mariah Skinner, JaNiyah Weatherall, Danlie Owecki, Charley Bush-Hilliard, Austin Rachal, Nia Hall, Semaij Evans, Khloe Bynog, Brittani Pearrie, Christopher Smith, and Tony Payton.

NPD Investigates Home Invasion on Jackson Street

During the morning of Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the Natchitoches Police Department’s Traffic and Patrol Division responded to Jackson St. in reference to a home invasion. Upon arrival officers immediately spoke with the homeowner, who stated that her ex-boyfriend, Jaylaun Brown, forcibly gained entry into her residence through the front door which was barricaded by furniture. The homeowner then told officers that once inside of the residence Brown began striking her in the face causing injury. The homeowner then explained to officers that Brown then held a knife to her neck and forced her to have sex with him.

The Criminal Investigations of the Natchitoches Police Department responded and spoke directly with the homeowner. During this time information was gained as to the whereabouts of Brown which led to his apprehension. Jaylaun Brown, 2430 J Benjamin Rd, Natchitoches, LA, was arrested on one count of R.S. 14:62 Home Invasion, R.S. 14:42 Second Degree Rape, and R.S. 14:35.3 Domestic Abuse Battery. Brown was later transported Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he awaits bond.

If you have any additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Bobby Beard at (318) 238-3914. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

NPD Press Release

Notice of Death – March 28, 2019


Bobby Crowley
May 15, 1947 – March 27, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 29 from 5-9 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Provencal Cemetery

Dr. Donald Edwin Ryan
July 01, 1935 – March 15, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Susan Thompson Taylor
April 25, 1944 – March 24, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 29 from 11 am – 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, March 29 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery

Willie Marie Wallace
March 24, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, March 30 from 9-11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in NatchitochesService: Saturday, March 30 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum on Breazeale Springs Street

Mildrage Mallory`
March 23, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Willie Williams
March 16, 2019
Arrangements TBA

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

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


Puckett Willis
August 17, 1924 – March 27, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 20 from 5-7 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 3 pm at First Baptist Church of Winnfield
Interment: Sikes Cemetery

Andrew Wiley Warren Sr.
March 02, 1938 – March 25, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 29 from 5-8 pm at Southern Funeral Home and Saturday, March 30 from 10-11 am at Calvin Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 11 am at Calvin Baptist Church
Interment: Sanders Chapel Cemetery

Billie Waters
March 22, 1955 – March 23, 2019
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 11 am at New Jerusalem Baptist Church


IB Hayes
December 02, 1926 – March 27, 2019
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 12 pm at the Hayes family plot behind the Zion Baptist Church in Fairview Alpha

Magnolia Minute: Mimi Stoker – Lions Club Fish Fry


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

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

NPSO K9 Bessie receives “Healthcare for K9 Heroes” Grant

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) nationwide charity located in East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit is pleased continue their “Healthcare for K9 Heroes” medical insurance program for 2019 which covers annual policy premiums. Since 2016, the charity has donated over $50,000 towards medical reimbursement programs for self-funded K9 units.

Selected as 2019 recipients to date are: Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA, K9 Bessi, King and Queens Sheriff’s Office, VA, K9 Tyson, Montville Police Department, CT, K9’s Barrett and Molly, Carroll County Department of Corrections, NH, K9 Chloe, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, KY, K9 Luma, Ecorse Police Department, MI, K9 Vader, Delta County Sheriff’s Office, MI, K9 Jet, Dearborn Heights Police Department, MI, K9 Bain, Harper Woods Police Department, MI, K9 Kaiser, Northern Kentucky University Police Department, KY, K9 Arrit, City of Allen Park Police Department, MI, K9 Phantom, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, ME, K9 Finn, Pittsfield Police Department, MA, K9s Niko and Jango, Rolling Meadows Police Department, IL, K9 Scar, Maywood Police Department, NJ, K9’s Remington and Vader, German Township Police Department, OH, K9 Idus, Vinton Police Department, IA, K9 Gino, Bannockburn Police Department, IL, K9 Odin, West Union Police Department, IA, K9 Xena, Forest City Police Department, IA, K9 Kona, Ludlow Police Department, KY, K9 Oakley and Broadway Police Department, IL, K9 Jax.

The “Healthcare for K9 Heroes” grant is awarded to departments who have the financial burden of raising funds to support their K9 unit, who have no more than three K9s, and who have previously been awarded a vest through Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. Law enforcement dogs ages two through seven are eligible. The annual medical reimbursement insurance policy, administered by Trupanion, will cover illnesses, injuries—including those sustained in the line of duty—diagnostic testing and therapies. The plan allows the freedom to use any licensed veterinarian, specialty center, or emergency hospital in the United States, and Puerto Rico.

Trupanion, a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs, offers injury and illnesses coverage for working and service dogs— both on and off duty. For nearly two decades, Trupanion has given pet owners and working dog owners peace of mind so they can focus on their dog’s recovery, not financial stress. Trupanion is honored to support these brave K9 heroes and is committed to providing the highest value in medical insurance to help them receive the best veterinary care.

In addition to the healthcare reimbursement program, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3300 law enforcement dogs with bullet and stab protective vests in 50 states, at a value of $5.7 million dollars. For more information, please call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations accepted via mail to: Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

K9 Bessi is a Dual Purpose German Shepherd handled by Deputy Josh Axsom. K9 Bessi says thank you for helping me stay healthy!

NSU’s Lane is first-team Southland All-Academic pick

While Ishmael Lane was performing at extraordinary levels for Northwestern State during the 2018-19 basketball season, the Demons’ senior star was also doing excellent work academically.

Wednesday, Lane added another honor to his collection, being tabbed as a first-team Academic All-Southland Conference selection. The senior communications major from Port Allen owns a 3.07 cumulative grade point average and is on pace to graduate in May.

At the season’s end, he was chosen first-team All-Southland and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for his on-court exploits, and last week added acclaim from the National Association of Basketball Coaches as the leading vote-getter on its All-District 23 team.

Joining Lane on the Academic All-Southland first team announced Wednesday were Jaren Lewis of Abilene Christian, Jeremiah Jefferson from Nicholls, Central Arkansas’ Hayden Koval and Oliver Lynch-Daniels of Houston Baptist. Second team members were Ezekiel Charles and Scott Plaisance of New Orleans, HBU’s Ian DuBose, ACU’s Hayden Farquar, and Kareem South from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Nominees must own cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.0. Academic All-District/All-American selections and first team all-conference athletes who meet all-academic nomination criteria are automatically named first team All-Academic. Voting was done by head coaches, academic advisors and sports information directors at the league’s 13 member institutions.

Lane, a 6-8 senior forward/center from Port Allen, averaged 15 points and a conference-leading 11.3 rebounds per game in the 18-game Southland schedule. He posted seven double-doubles in a row from Jan. 19-Feb. 9, a string that topped NCAA Division I at that time, and had 11 overall in 2018-19, 26 in his career.

He led the league in blocked shots (69), including a conference-best eight stops against New Orleans on Feb. 6 when he nearly had the fifth triple-double in school history, posting 19 points and 15 rebounds, including a 16-foot jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.

Lane’s overall season averages were 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He sank 50 percent of his shots, including 17 of 65 3-pointers, and made 61 percent at the free throw line. Lane averaged 1.4 assists and nearly one steal.

Lane finished ranked in NSU’s top 10 of three career statistics. His 1,467 points (12.5 career average) stand ninth all-time in Demon history, while his 842 rebounds are eighth and his 169 blocked shots are third.

In each of his four seasons, Lane led NSU in rebounding, blocks and shooting percentage while starting 114 of 117 games, all 31 as a senior. He finished with a career 52.6 percent shooting rate, including 36 3-pointers for a career 32 percent average. He was a 62.5 percent shooter on free throws.

The Orchard Foundation partners with NSU to offer Master of Arts in Teaching with CLIP Program

Applications are being accepted for the Central Louisiana Instructional Partnership program. CLIP is a teacher residency program focusing on developing middle school Math and Science teachers in high-need schools in Central Louisiana. The deadline to apply is Monday, April 30, with the program slated to begin in summer 2019.

To qualify, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree, must not have a teacher certification, and must meet Northwestern State University’s Master of Teaching graduate school requirements.

To apply for CLIP, interested persons should complete and submit the CLIP application; compose and submit a required essay; sign and submit an Authorization Release form; and submit a current resume.  Completed documents should be submitted by email to CLIP Field Coordinator Jennifer Cowley at, or by USPS mail to The Orchard Foundation, Attn: CLIP Field Coordinator, 1101 4th Street, Suite 101C, Alexandria, LA 71301. Incomplete applications will be withheld from consideration.

Applicants must also apply to the Northwestern State University’s College of Education graduate school. To see the complete list of graduate school requirements and to apply online, visit

The CLIP application may be submitted prior to applying to NSU’s graduate school. Complete CLIP program requirements will be reviewed during the applicant interview process.

CLIP residents will participate in accelerated graduate program

Applicants selected for the CLIP program will complete a 15-month accelerated graduate program of study culminating in a Master of Arts in teaching degree from Northwestern State University and a professional teaching certification. CLIP residents will receive a stipend to cover the expense of tuition, as well as an annual stipend of $36,000 during their residency. While completing their graduate coursework, CLIP residents will be immersed in an academic year school-based residency in a high-need school identified by the nine partner public school districts.

During their residency, CLIP residents will experience a variety of learning opportunities alongside a trained and experienced mentor teacher. NSU’s College of Education will lead the mentoring program as an extension of their supervision of the clinical residency component of the program. CLIP residents will also receive content expertise in STEM teaching techniques by NSU’s Computer Information Systems Department ensuring they will possess the content knowledge to implement STEM lessons using the latest technology in their classrooms. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be placed in CLIP-participating schools and will receive two years of induction support with sustained coaching and professional development delivered by CLIP partner Urban Learning and Leadership Center. CLIP graduates are required to teach in Central Louisiana high-need schools for at least three years following graduation as part of the CLIP agreement.

The Orchard Foundation, a nonprofit local education fund and the education arm of The Rapides Foundation, will serve as the lead organization for CLIP. Project Partners include: the nine Central Louisiana School Districts of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn; NSU’s Gallaspy College of Education & Human Development and College of Business & Technology-Computer Information Systems; Urban Learning & Leadership Center; EvalWorks; and The Rapides Foundation.

CLIP is funded through a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Quality Partnership grant program. CLIP has received funding to train five teacher residency cohorts. Through this cohort model, CLIP expects to recruit, retain, and support 44 new highly qualified middle school math and science teachers for high-need schools in Central Louisiana. Additionally, 44 teachers within the school districts will be trained as mentors for the field-based residency, and 44 school district educators will also learn coaching techniques to implement a regional induction program.

The goal of the Central Louisiana Instructional Partnership project is to improve student achievement in nine rural, high-need school districts in up to 70 schools in Central Louisiana by preparing highly qualified educators to teach in critical shortage areas – middle school math and science. CLIP will address the high teacher turnover and shortages facing rural schools by developing and implementing this innovative teacher residency program with integrated professional development and induction support. In turn, CLIP is expected to produce measurable positive impacts on the academic achievement of low-performing rural Central Louisiana students in grades 6-8.

For more information, contact CLIP Field Coordinator Jennifer Cowley at 318-767-3017.

Here’s What Was Going On 70 Years Ago

By Joe Darby

Some time back I bought a set of 10 books, explaining life in the Good Ole USA, as it was originally reported in the Saturday Evening Post magazine.

The books, called “Live It Again,” feature lifestyles, sports, cartoons and the great photos and artist-drawn illustrations that the Post was so noted for. I received the books in the mail, about once every month or so, read them, enjoyed them and then put them on a top shelf of a closet.

But never one to let a good book sit idle too long, I got the set down a few days ago and my eye first settled on the :”Live It Again,” for 1949. Realizing that was exactly 70 years ago, I perused through it and thought I’d share some of its highlights with you. Some of you will remember 1949 (I do, but I was a seven and eight-year-old lad during that calendar year) and what you read below will be familiar to you. For you youngins’ you might get a taste of what life was like for grandma and grandpa.

The books are beautifully illustrated by the Post’s team of artists, including the incomparable Norman Rockwell. The paintings usually depict an ideal life, with scenes of happy families on vacation, going to church, enjoying outdoor recreation, men and women’s fashions (everybody wore hats), men and women at their jobs (with no women in executive positions, of course), some slightly sexy illustrations of loving couples, to illustrate fiction stories, etc. The artwork is a true joy to look at. One thing does stand out, however.

Depictions of African-Americans are almost totally absent. One would think that almost every American in 1949 was white. There was one black truck driver illustrated in a painting, trying to coax a mother bulldog out from under the truck so he could proceed. But that was about it. Even all the “extras” pedestrians shown walking along streets, were white.

But the book does have much to offer. It has news photos of activities of the President — Harry Truman, who had won a stunning upset victory in 1948, defeating Republican Thomas Dewey. It also covers the creation of NATO, which was formed in 1949 to counter the Soviet threat to Europe, as well as other national and international events..

The cars of 1949 are beautifully shown. Many of them have been long absent from American new car showrooms. Remember the Studebaker, the Hudson, the Nash, the DeSoto, Packard, Plymouth or the Kaiser and Frazier? They’re in museums or car shows, now.

Not so much in the South yet, but television was well on its way to becoming a center of family activities. Some of the favorite shows from that year were The Lone Ranger, The Life of Riley, Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, Martin Kane, Private Eye and the kids’ show, Howdy Doody.

Most TV sets were still pretty small and of course they had no remotes yet. When you wanted to turn it on or change a channel, you actually had to get up from the couch, walk across the room and move a dial. Also, the picture screens had been fairly weak, making TV viewing pretty much a night-time activity. So when GE came out with a set that could be watched in the daytime, they bragged about it in an ad!

Other “modern” conveniences such as Mixmasters, refrigerators with built-in freezers, fancy toasters, dishwashers, clothes dryers and gas ranges were advertised in the magazine.

What were folks going to see at the movies in 1949? Well, Samson and Delilah, Battleground, Sands of Iwo Jima, I Was a Male War Bride, Twelve O’clock High, Pinky and All the King’s Men were among popular flicks. Top songs included Ghost Riders in the Sky, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Some Enchanted Evening, Cruising Down the River and All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth. You could hear all of these on the new 33 1/3 rpm records, which you would play on your very own record player.

The year’s sports are covered and we learn that baseball was more popular than ever, with the New York Yankees besting the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series. Jackie Robinson was the National League’s best batter with a .343 average. Notre Dame went undefeated to win the national college football championship and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams 14-0 to win the NFL.

The Post’s cartoons were lots of fun. One, which reflected the times, shows two eagles high up in a mountain nest, watching two airplanes fly by. One eagle says to the other, “They must breed like flies. Twenty years ago you seldom saw one.” Other cartoons were classic but timeless. A guy goes up to the information booth in a department store and asks, “Why am I here? What does all this mean in the infinite scheme of things?” Another one I like shows a little boy sitting in class, saying to a friend, “Listen to this: ‘The brown dog walked down the big street.’ Is that important enough to be printed in a book?”

People born in 1949, who will turn 70 this year, include Jessica Lange, Billy Joel, Meryl Streep, Bill O’Reilly, Bruce Springsteen, Sigourney Weaver and Bonnie Raitt,

The book is the kind of thing that you would have to see to truly enjoy, of course, but I thought some of the above might jog some memories among us geezers and geezerettes as well as enlightening some of the younger set on what was happening 70 years ago.

Dream Run is set for this weekend

This weekend, March 29-30, is the 4th Annual Brothers Keepers MC Shriners Dream Run at the Natchitoches Parish Fair Grounds. A crawfish boil Friday night kicks things off with music and mudbugs. Crawfish will be served from 4 pm until they run out. Five pounds of crawfish is $25. This includes corn, potatoes and a drink.

Registration for the MAIN EVENT on Saturday, the Dream Run Rally, starts at 8 am with KSU at 10:30 am. Other features include vendors, food, the famous Wheel of Fortune, the loudest bike pipes contest, a corn hole tournament ($10 per team), and auctions. Don’t miss your chance to bid on the RARE Drew Brees & Blue Dog Print by the late artist George Rodrigue!

Music Lineup:
Friday- Bryan Martin
Saturday from 4-6 pm: Josh Walters, Lucy Martin, Chris Keith, Jason Todd
Saturday from 6-8 pm: Ashley Rachall

The Dream Run benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information call Whit “Slider” Maxey at 318-663-8468.

NSU athletic trainer Ashley Leggett spotlighted

By Samantha Clark, NSU Sports Information student intern

While athletic training has been traditionally a male-dominated field, more women are making their mark. Northwestern State employs six women out of the nine-member athletic training staff.

March is National Athletic Training Month and International Women’s Month. NSU Athletics salutes its women in athletic training. Featured today in a question and answer interview: Ashley Leggett, associate director of sports medicine, who works primarily with Demon football.

Q: How long have you worked at Northwestern? How long have you been an athletic trainer?

A: I’m in my third year here at NSU. I’ve been certified for six years.

Q: Since you’re from Alabama, what made you decide to come to Northwestern?

A: Esi Atinkah came here as a graduate assistant. Esi and I went to undergrad together (at Alabama). I was an intern at Samford University in Birmingham looking for a full-time job, and there was one available here. Esi called me and was like, “How do you feel about moving to Louisiana?” I said, “I wouldn’t mind it one bit.” The rest is history. Esi got me here.

Q: How did you get involved with athletic training? What was your moment when you realized this is was your calling?

A: I don’t know if I really had an “a-ha” moment. Growing up as a kid I wanted to be a firefighter. Then I wanted to be a doctor. I still have inklings of sometimes I want to be a doctor, but my whole life I loved sports. I grew up watching Braves baseball with my dad. I remember watching the Braves since I was two or three years old. I saw the guy who ran on the field when people got hurt, and I really thought that was cool. I didn’t think too much of it. I got to college and went into chemical engineering because I wanted to be a doctor, and they look for random degrees. After a year in chemical engineering, I got this itch that athletic training is where I was supposed to be. It merged the two loves I had of being around sports all day while also getting to work in a medical field, and I don’t regret the decision one bit. I love what I do every day.

Q: Since it’s Women’s History Month, who are some of your women inspirations and role models? Are any of them in the athletic training profession?

A: My biggest mentor in the profession would have to be Erin Weaver (Cohn). Erin was the softball athletic trainer at Alabama while I was there and took me under her wing. She’s taught me a lot, mentored me a lot. We’re still really good friends. We’re still close. She’s not the softball athletic trainer at Alabama anymore. She’s actually more of the director of rehab. She moved into a different position but still in the profession. I’ve always looked up to Erin. Other female role models… This is a tough question because my biggest role model in my life is my dad. Sue Falsone was the athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. As somebody to look up to and aspire to be, I think Sue is that because she made it to the pinnacle of a man’s world in Major League Baseball as a female in athletic training. She made strides for women to break into professional sports, and I think that’s really awesome.

Q: How has this profession changed for women since you entered?

A: To be honest, it’s gone a lot from a guy’s world to a woman’s world. I feel like the profession now is almost more female-dominated than men. There are more female athletic trainers now than men, and we’re getting more opportunities to work with male sports and bigger-time male sports. We continue to make strides in the right direction by doing things the right way, professionally. I think the sky’s the limit now for women in athletic training. I mean I’m a 29-year-old female working collegiate football, and 10 to 15 years ago that was unheard of.

Q: In 1996, the NATA membership was 44 percent female. The most recent stats have come out, and it’s now 44 percent male. Why do you think that is?

A: I really don’t know. It’s hard to say, but I feel like a lot of the medical professions are going that way. I think if you look at physician’s assistants and PA school it’s more female-dominated than guys. I don’t know that med school is there yet, but I feel like more women are going after these historically male-dominated fields because the opportunities are there now. There’s been people who have paved the way for us to have these opportunities, and we need to go out there and grasp them and make way for the next generation.

Q: Do you have any advice for females just starting in the profession or are considering becoming an athletic trainer?

A: Chase your dreams and never give up. There are plenty of opportunities out there now. Find a mentor and latch on to them. Learn and grow as much as you can. The sky’s the limit. There are really no limitations to what women can do in this field any more, and it’s pretty awesome.

Q: Northwestern’s athletic training department is 2:1 in gender. Even though it’s a noticeable ratio, do you think there’s any barriers you’ve had to break through or work with on this campus as a woman?

A: I don’t feel like I have. I work a male-dominated sport. I work with all male coaches, and I’ve had nothing but respect from them. They all listen to me and take what I say to heart. They trust me. Since I got here three years ago, I haven’t had any issues being a female in a male-dominated world.

Q: Do you have any additional comments you’d like to make?

A: I love what I do. I love coming to work every day. I take care of 115 guys, and they’re all a joy and a pleasure to work with. They’re all nice, respectful, yes ma’am and no ma’am. Sometimes football guys get a bad rap, but I’ve never been anything but respected around here. I think that says a lot about our coaching staff, and that starts at the top. I think Coach (Brad) Laird is doing a great job with the guys and the program. I think we’re going in the right direction. I really appreciate the opportunity to work here.

LSMSA senior awarded President’s Alumni Scholarship to LSU

On Tuesday, March 19, Oluwatobi “Tobi” Ojemakinde, a senior at the Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts (LSMSA), received notice that she was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.

“It feels amazing,” said Ojemakinde. “It’s a relief off my parents and myself.”

The President’s Alumni Scholars Award is granted to ten entering freshman who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement during their high school career. Louisiana residents are awarded up to $33,000 a year, with an additional $2,000 study-abroad stipend and the chance to receive an extension of $1,550 a year if they choose to participate in the President’s Future Leaders in Research Program.

To be considered, students were invited to write an essay on how they would like to change the world using the skills they currently have and skills they plan to gain while attending college. Ojemakinde chose to discuss the HIV/AIDs epidemic.

“I talked about doing research in order to better communities,” expressed Ojemakinde. “I’m Nigerian-American, so I talked about how health-care isn’t readily available in Nigeria. I also discussed how rural areas of the south have little availability to accessible health-care. Doing research and getting more education about the subject of HIV and AIDs will allow for me to educate more people, raise awareness, clear the stigma around it and make them aware that there are ways to prevent it.”

Ojemakinde stated that she was heavily influenced by the HIV/AIDs Epidemic Special Project class offered this past January by Senior Lecturer of Mathematics Jennifer Mangum and Lecturer of Biology Dr. Jason Anderson. She aspires to major in biology and minor in Spanish in college, with an overall goal of going into pre-med with a focus on infectious diseases.

“The AIDs epidemic sort of gets swept under the rug,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that it is still a huge problem that effects a lot of people all over the world. I’m from Shreveport, and just thinking about some of the conversations I had at my old school made me realize that a lot of people are un-informed about it. I would like to raise awareness to change that.”

Currently, Ojemakinde is president of LSMSA’s Red Cross group, treasurer of Eagles Wings, a member of the volleyball team, a member of the Future Scientists Program and a school ambassador. Her favorite class is Human Anatomy with Principal Lecturer of Biology Dr. Allison Landry.

LSMSA’s College Counseling Center has a staff dedicated to helping students find scholarship opportunities all across the nation. To take advantage of this opportunity, apply now for the 2019-2020 school year. The application is free and available at

Larkins voted Southland Track Athlete of the Week

Standout sprinter Micah Larkins was voted Southland Outdoor Male Track Athlete of the Week Wednesday after claiming two top finishes at the Prairie View A&M Relays this past weekend in the 100 meter dash and as part of the 4×100 relay team.

The senior won the 100 dash with a mark of 10.26 breaking the venue’s record and raising his standing on a global level. His time now ranks 12th in the world, second in the country and first in the NCAA among wind-legal times this season.

Head track and field coach Mike Heimerman says he hopes its only the beginning for award recognition this season.

“It’s awesome to see Micah get that honor,” said Heimerman. “Hopefully there will be more to come in the future weeks.”

Larkins was also on the men’s 4×100 relay team, claiming first (40.14) alongside his fellow All-Americans Tre’Darius Carr and Kie’Ave Harry, and Florida State transfer Eddie Clark.

The Princeton native won the same award during the 2019 indoor season after running a season-best 6.66 in the 60 dash at the LSU Twilight meet.

Larkins is scheduled to run in the 100, 200, 4×100 relay and 4×200 this weekend at the prestigious Texas Relays.

Rotary Club Sponsors 7th Annual Scholarship Essay Competition

The Natchitoches Rotary Club is once again sponsoring an essay writing contest with the winner receiving one of three scholarships. They include: $1,500 first place; $1,000 second place; and $500 third place. The essay topic is Rotary International’s Four Way Test. The winner can use the scholarship toward expenses incurred at a technical school, college or university. The money must be used to support the winner’s academic needs including tuition, room and board, books and supplies. It can be used in addition to other scholarships and financial aid. Rules for submission are available at your school’s counseling office. The deadline for submission is April 12, 2019. Finalists will be selected to read their essay to the Natchitoches Rotary Club on April 30. The club will vote on the winning essays and presentations on that day.

The topic for the essay is the Four Way Test which is the defining influence on what Rotarians think, say, and how they serve and live as citizens of the world. Rotary International is the largest service organization in the world with 1.3 million members and 34,000 clubs. The essay contest is open to all seniors at area schools including Lakeview, Louisiana School For Math, Science and the Arts, Natchitoches Central and St. Mary’s. Contact your school counselor for information on the essay writing contest scholarship and for an application. All essays must be submitted to the counselor’s office by April 12. For additional information contact the chair of the Scholarship Essay Competition, Dr. Ron McBride at


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 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.

P. O. BOX 799

Notice of Death – March 27, 2019


Chris Rachal
September 16, 1959 – March 25, 2019
Service: Thursday, March 28 at 11 am at Holy Family Chapel at Monet Ferry near Lena
Interment: Rachal Cemetery in Marco

Dr. Donald Edwin Ryan
July 01, 1935 – March 15, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Susan Thompson Taylor
April 25, 1944 – March 24, 2019
Visitation: Friday, March 29 from 11 am – 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, March 29 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery

Willie Marie Wallace
March 24, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, March 30 from 9-11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in NatchitochesService: Saturday, March 30 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum on Breazeale Springs Street

Mildrage Mallory`
March 23, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Willie Williams
March 16, 2019
Arrangements TBA

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

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


Bobbie Dean Ferguson
June 1, 1936 – March 24, 2019
Visitation: Thursday, March 28 at 11:00 AM at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Service: Thursday, March 28 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Little Flock Cemetery


Billie Waters
March 22, 1955 – March 23, 2019
Service: Saturday, March 30 at 11 am at New Jerusalem Baptist Church

New engines at Fire Department show support for NSU

The Natchitoches Fire Department is happy to announce the arrival of two new engines to replace its aging fleet. Engine 1 will replace the existing Engine 1 located at the Central Fire Station. Engine 2 will be located at Station 2 on East Fifth Street.

According to Fire Chief John Wynn, plans are in the works to replace Engine 3, located at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in the near future.

“We have placed a flaming ’N’ on the new engines to signify our continued support of Northwestern State University,” he said. “We would like to thank the City of Natchitoches and its citizens for the continued support of our Fire Department.” 

Chief Wynn encourages residents to stop by and visit their local station and get to know the First Responders that serve the area.

“We appreciate our first responders,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “Our logo on the trucks shows collaboration and closeness and makes us feel like we’re part of the community.”

Magnolia Minute: J Pond – Triple B Invitational


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Natchitoches Parish Journal
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