Natchitoches Parish 4-H Foundation holds 3rd Annual Fundraising Dinner and Auction

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Over 350 4-H members, families, community leaders and supporters attended the 4-H Foundation Auction and Dinner held Thursday, March 28 at Westside Baptist Church. The event started with a dinner followed by a silent and live auction of everything from bicycles to guns and crafts. The event’s fund raising goal for the night was $20,000, every penny of which will stay in the parish and be used for supplies, programming and camp scholarships.

Natchitoches Parish boasts 943 young people in 4-H clubs hosted by every school in our parish. Pam Pearce, the 4-H Agent for Natchitoches Parish, described the popular program as “co-curricular, not extra-curricular.” In addition to the traditional livestock and agricultural activities one usually associates with 4-H, the program features science, engineering and technology. Most importantly, it teaches leadership and exposes its young men and women to new experiences and opportunities to learn and grow. There is something in 4-H for every child’s interest.

4-H was founded in 1908 and may be found in every state in our nation as well as 50 countries around the world. Louisiana’s 4-H programs boast approximately 180,000 members, making it the state’s largest youth development program. Two local 4-H members have risen to statewide prominence. NCHS’ Katie Anderson is a member of the state Food and Fitness Board while fellow Chief Bill Lacaze is a State Shooting Sports Ambassador. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes our 4-H members the best in their future endeavors and commends the young people of Natchitoches Parish 4-H for their hard work and dedication.

The NPJ is donating tonight’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do see a photo you like, please consider a donation to the Natchitoches Parish 4-H Foundation in lieu of payment. Every summer, over 120 children from our parish attend a 4-H camp. Let’s help them get there!


Please Don’t ‘Block the Box’

A NPJ reader expressed their frustration over the increasing number of drivers that “Block the Box.” It may not seem like there’s a lot of traffic in little ole’ Natchitoches when it’s compared to bigger cities like Baton Rouge, Houston or Los Angeles. But there’s a serious issue at select intersections in town including the four way stop at the intersection of Second and Church Street, both intersections at either end of the Church Street Bridge, and the intersection at the Jefferson Street side of the Keyser Bridge.

As an attempt to shed a little light on this frustrating situation, the NPJ decided to post some information on this common driving error. The following information comes from the City website for Austin, Texas. Maybe they’re on to something…?

What does it mean when to “Block the Box”?

When you block the box, you have entered an intersection when cars on the other side prevent you from making it all the way through. If cross traffic begins to move before you can get out of the intersection, you’re blocking that cross traffic from moving forward.

What should I do to avoid blocking the box?

To avoid blocking the box, you should wait to enter an intersection until you are sure you can make it all the way through. Wait behind the stop bar, not in the crosswalk, and look to see if the vehicles in front of you on the other side of the intersection have left enough room for you to make it through without stopping in the crosswalk on the other side. If you can’t clear an intersection, don’t enter it, period. Entering the intersection may stop those drivers from honking, but if cross traffic can’t get through because of you – those drivers will probably honk too.

What about if drivers behind me are honking and want me to go?

If you can’t clear an intersection, don’t enter it, period. Entering the intersection may stop those drivers from honking, but if cross traffic can’t get through because of you – those drivers will probably honk too.

Are there any dangers associated with blocking the box?

Yes! When cross traffic cannot get through, neither can emergency vehicles. Additionally, blocking the box can cause pedestrians to weave between cars if the crosswalk is impacted, decreasing their visibility to other travelers.

Well, I just don’t want to wait for another light cycle!

Everyone is trying to get somewhere, whether it’s home, work, school, or simply to meet up with friends and family. Be courteous to everyone’s trip, don’t block the box and we will all get to our destinations safely.


NPSO Patrol Division deputies and Natchitoches Parish Fire District #5 responded to a vehicle fire March 28 at 6:20 am on Interstate-49 near milepost #125 south of Cypress according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say the operator of the 2002 Chevrolet Impala stated that he was traveling southbound to work when he observed smoke exiting the hood area of the vehicle.

He pulled onto the southbound shoulder and shortly thereafter the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

Fire District #5 attempted to extinguish the fire, however, the vehicle was a total loss.

There were no injuries.

A local wrecker service removed the vehicle from the Interstate.

NPSO Press Release

Ponderings with Doug – March 29, 2019

Hazel is our puppy. She is named for a street in Arcadia. Her mom and five puppies were walking across Hazel street when a dog rescuer spotted them. The five puppies were rescued and have found good homes.

As you age and as your dogs age, a puppy is not necessarily a cute addition to a home. Hazel is begrudgingly accepted by our two OLD dogs. There is much conversation in the canine world as the puppy tries to play with the older dogs. We decided to split the dogs up. My bride has Hazel in Gibsland at the camp. I have the other two dogs here in Natchitoches. It seems to be working well.

Hazel is a mutt. There is rat terrier some place in her background. She acts like a terrier. No bird or squirrel is safe with Hazel on guard. Before she left for Gibsland she joined the dog tradition of digging trenches in the backyard. There are subterranean creatures in the parsonage backyard. I have tried to send them to the Baptists down the street, but they refuse to go. The dogs are trying to capture them, and the creatures are taunting them from below. Meanwhile, I have trenches in the yard. That is another story.

The other day I was sitting in the house in Gibsland doing nothing. That is what one does at their camp, right? Hazel was in the room at my feet, gnawing on something.

Her tail caught her attention. She swatted at it a couple of times with her front paws, to no avail. Then she decided to chase her tail. She has a great tail for chasing!

I have watched my dogs chase their tails for years. Hazel did something I have never seen before. She caught her tail. I don’t know if a dog knows cognitively that the tail is connected to them. She bit down on her tail and it frightened her.

What does a dog do when they catch their tail? This dog chewed on hers a while. It was funny to watch. I wondered while watching her, will this dog ever chase her tail again? Will she forget the lessons learned from catching the tail? What are her new life goals now that she can check off “catching my tail” on her list of canine accomplishments? Did she have existential angst once she caught her tail, wondering, “Is that all there is?”

In business and in the church world, it is variously known as the vision curve or an organizational lifecycle. It is a sine curve for the math people. We work best when we are setting goals and accomplishing them. We are ascending to the top of the vision curve. The challenge arises when you catch your tail and you have no further goals in mind. That begins a slide down the other side. That is called, the “right side of the vision curve” or the death side of a life cycle. It makes fascinating reading. It is never a good thing to be on the right side of the vision curve! It means to stay healthy, you are not done until you are dead! Hope is stronger than memory, so set another goal as you accomplish one set another! Keep hoping and working toward a better future.

Here is the shortened version. Do you set goals for your life? Have your accomplished those goals? Have you set additional goals for your life? It is in the Bible you know.

“Without a vision the people perish.” Goal and vision, I declare to be synonymous. Or if you want New Testament, how about the words of Paul:

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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

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

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!