Driver bonds out of DC, family plans vigil

Charges were upgraded on May 21 to negligent homicide for Brandy Wiley, 38 of Natchitoches. Wiley was released on a $100,000 bond from the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on May 23. She was charged with negligent homicide, reckless operation, improper lane use and disobeying a red light.

Wiley was driving a truck that caused an 8-car accident at the Keyser Avenue and East Fifth intersection on May 20. A 3-year-old succumbed to injuries sustained during the crash after being airlifted to a medical facility.

According to an article published by KSLA News 12 on May 23 the child’s family will hold a vigil on Monday, May 27 at 7:30 pm at the empty field across from the hospital parking lot on the corner of Keyser Avenue and East Fifth Street.

Exchange bank announces promotion of Felicia White

Exchange Bank recently promoted Felicia White to Assistant Vice President and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer. In her role, she is responsible for maintaining compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and the Office of Foreign Assets Control and ensuring timely and accurate submission of required regulatory reports.

She began her banking career in 2004 and has worked in numerous positions including Teller, Personal Banker, BSA Officer, Loan Processor and Administrative Assistant to the Bank President. She also coordinates and conducts training for bank employees, as well as the Board of Directors.

Mike Newton, President and CEO of Exchange Bank stated “Promoting Felicia is a compliment to her strong work ethic and ability to help the bank with its growth, while also maintaining procedures and ensuring the bank stays compliant with all regulations.”

Ms. White is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a major in Psychology and also a graduate of Coushatta High School. Her son, Christian White, is currently enrolled at Northwestern State University with a focus on accounting. Felicia and Christian are members of First Baptist Church North Street. Her office is located at Exchange Bank’s Main Office located at 700 Front Street, Natchitoches, LA.

According to J.M. “Joe” Henry, III, Exchange Bank Board Chairman, “The regulatory environment can be complex. Felicia’s experience, adaptability to change and commitment to continued learning, has made her an asset to the bank and our customers.”

Established in 1892, Exchange Bank is the oldest bank in Louisiana, with locations in Natchitoches and Pineville, LA. Board of Directors include J.M. Henry, III, John W. Luster, Harold Boutte, Sidney B. Evans III, Kirk Soileau and Mike Newton.

NJH JAG Program and Boys to Men Club volunteer at Food Bank of Central Louisiana

The Natchitoches Junior High JAG Program and Boys to Men Club completed a community service project at the Food Bank of Central Louisiana in Alexandria for the month of May. Participants were: Tyler Lucas, Jacquelyn Rainwater, Caiden Baines, Kort Rutledge, Lyfe Daniel, Arnold Scott, Ronald Smith, Ms. Gracie, Mr. Thomas, Chase Sarpy, Christian Daniels, Jaylon Toussaint, Rytaveon Thomas, Fred Jackson, and Kamryn Garner.

New Ivan Smith location offers access to more furniture lines

Ivan Smith Furniture opened its largest store by far at over 50,000 SQ feet in Shreveport at Bert Kouns where Academy used to be.

What does this mean for customers at the Natchitoches location? It’s opening up some new lines that the Natchitoches store hasn’t had in the past. The larger showroom accommodates items the store hasn’t stocked in the past, according to Store Manager Dane Terrell.

“Anything found at the new location can be purchased through us and delivered directly to the customer’s home,” said Dane.

Do you have a favorite Natchitoches salesperson? No problem! Sales members will meet customers at the Shreveport location by appointment to assist them through the process.

New furniture lines include:






Alan White




“These are brands we haven’t shown before,” said Dane. “We’ve never even been able to order them before. Now we have access to their entire line and stock pieces in the warehouse.”

If you see something you like call or email:

Ivan Smith Furniture – Natchitoches
936 Keyser Avenue
(318) 352-5889

Home town faces with big store buying power!

Discounted Jazz Fest T-shirts on Sale Now

Jazz Fest Committee members Rodney and Jan Harrington will sell discounted 2019 Jazz Fest T-shirts at Saturday’s Natchitoches Farmers Market, May 25. The Farmers Market is held on the downtown riverbank on Saturdays from 8 am – 12 pm. The T-shirts will be on sale for $15 (cash or check). Vintage shirts from previous festivals will also be on sale for only $10.

LSMSA seniors awarded at annual Recognition Ceremony

On Friday, May 17, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) held its annual Senior Recognition Ceremony to honor the Class of 2019. The ceremony celebrated personal character, academic excellence and development of skills in each academic disciplines.

Senior Lecturer of Mathematics and Computer Science Dave Andersen served as Master of Ceremonies, Senior Class President Rachel Judson of Lake Charles led the Pledge of Allegiance and Student Government Organization (SGO) President William Heitman of Baton Rouge delivered the welcoming address to his fellow classmates.

“Tonight is a celebration of those who have never stopped asking and never stopped doing,” said Heitman. “Tonight is a celebration of the spirit of our school.”

At the end of his speech, Heitman was given an honorary gavel plaque for his leadership and service to SGO.

Six seniors were inducted into the Robert Alost Hall of Fame. This award, named after the school’s founding director, is considered the highest honor bestowed upon LSMSA seniors, with students being hand-picked by a committee of faculty and residential life staff members.

The six seniors were Marlies Carter of Madisonville, Colt Crain of Zachary, Jayaditya “Jojo” Deep of Natchitoches, Daniel Metzger of Slidell, Casey Tonnies of Bossier City and Benjamin Walker of Mandeville.

Two students, Juan Cecchini of Denham Springs and Esther Seo of Bossier City, received the Spirit of LSMSA award. This award recognizes students whp best exemplifying the pillars of LSMSA school spirit, demonstrating hand-work, perseverance, service, involvement and camaraderie.

Judson, along with Hadley Hines of Baton Rouge, received the Sharon Sturdivant Williams Praecellemus Award. Named after one of the founding members of LSMSA’s administration, these two seniors were selected as best representing the school’s motto, “We Shall Excel.”

The Marvin Lockhart Work Service Award, which was developed in memory of one of LSMSA’s charismatic former employees, was presented to Manjistha Lakhotia of Lafayette and Ishika Patel of Many. Students who receive this are seen as illustrating selflessness, dedication, dependability and an unrelenting desire to help out their peers and those in their community.

Lakhotia was also the winner of the Eric Candell Excellence in Physics Award. The award, created in memory of a 1987 graduate, is granted to a student who has developed considerable mastery in the subject of Physics. In addition to a plaque, she received a $100 check gifted by the Candell family.

Collin Serigne of Cut Off received the Caroline Dorman Scholar Award, which is gifted to a student who demonstrated excellence in biology and related disciplines. The award was named after a local iconic conservationist and journalist who helped establish the Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana.

A new award, the Executive Director’s Above and Beyond Award, was presented to Caroline Adkins, who, among other accomplishments, was responsible for applying for a grant to bring an indoor observation hive to campus. It is one of only a few hives located on a high school campus throughout the state.

Each major discipline—Creative and Performing Arts, Math and Computer Science, Humanities, Languages and Science—granted Excellence Awards to seniors who best epitomized those individual departments. Each department also introduced a chosen Gonfaloniere, or “flag bearer,” who was deemed to embody excellence in that discipline. These students were privileged to carry the Gonfalon for their respective department at the Commencement Ceremony procession.

Christopher Comeaux of Covington received the honor of being the Gonfaloniere for the Creative and Performing Arts Department. Lily Orgeron of Lockport was chosen to represent the Humanities Department. Judson was selected to hold the Languages Gonfalon. Jordan Byrd of Denham Springs was chosen to represent the Math and Computer Science Department. Lastly, Crain was chosen as the Sciences Department’s Gonfaloniere.

Following all of the awards, each senior presented their college choice on stage. Altogether, 56 percent of the Class of 2019 will attend universities in-state, 44 percent will attend schools across the country, two students will study abroad and one student, Ryleigh Scott of the Shreveport, elected to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

The ceremony concluded with a hilarious and heartfelt closing speech by Amaya Young titled “The Start of Something New,” in which she compared her experiences at LSMSA to the popular TV movie “High School Musical.”

“Yes, it’s the end, but it’s also the beginning. In High School Musical 3, their time at East High is over, but now they can look forward to college—new people, new experiences. That’s what I want for you all. Sure, I’ve never met a Troy Bolton that’s a basketball player, singer, actor, dancer, popular, rich and able to get into the best colleges without even trying, but I met some of my closest friends, made some pretty fantastic memories and we all got into some pretty good colleges. Thank you all for contributing to some of my best years, and remember, we’re all in this together.”

LSMSA is still accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. To apply, visit

NSU launches Call Me MISTER program

Northwestern State University’s School of Education is launching a program to recruit minority males to become leaders in education. The Call Me MISTER program is intended to increase the pool of teachers from more diverse backgrounds to work as teachers, administrators, role models and mentors, particularly at low-performing schools. The first cohort of students will begin the program in the Fall 2020 semester.

“Only two percent of America’s public school teachers are African American men, according to the U.S. Department of Education, but there is a place for African American male teachers in our schools and classrooms,” said Ramona Wynder, interim director of clinical experiences. “African American men need to be viewed in positive contexts and what better place for that to happen than in our schools. This program has the potential to change lives.”

Founded and headquartered at Clemson University in 2000 and led by Executive Director Dr. Roy Jones, the mission of Call Me MISTER is to recruit and support African American males in becoming highly effective elementary school teachers. MISTER is an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. As a Call Me MISTER campus, NSU will be part of a highly acclaimed recruitment and support program that includes a national network of universities.

Jones acknowledged NSU’s partnership by stating, “Clemson University is proud to add Northwestern State University to its expanding national network of impressive institutions committed to this mission and shared vision toward diversifying the teacher force in support of all children.”

Wynder applied for and was awarded the Freeport McMoRan Endowed Professorship to fund the process for NSU to become a CMM partner institution. The professorship is dedicated to the recruitment and retention of minority teacher candidates.

“I think it shows our commitment to diversifying the teaching force and responding to the needs of the communities we serve,” she said.

Five Misters will be selected each academic year who receive the academic, social and financial support and training needed to become effective classroom teachers and leaders, Wynder said. Scholarships will cover the cost of tuition and fees, books and housing expenses not covered by other financial aid the Misters would qualify for.

Wynder will attend the annual Call Me MiSTER Leadership Institute at Clemson University in June where she will network with CMM program directors from other institutions. She is also collaborating with Ashlee Hewitt, director of University Recruiting, on the project.

“Recruiting is essential to the success of this program,” Wynder said.

“Research shows that teachers of color boost the academic performance of students of color,” Wynder said. “Increasing teacher diversity is important for closing achievement gaps.”

“We are thrilled to take part in this program to increase the number of African American male teachers and role models for our children,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “We welcome the opportunity to support these future teachers and look forward to their contributions to their communities.”

For more information, contact Wynder at or (318) 357-4549.

Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana Honors Outstanding Individuals during Goodwill Week

Shreveport– It takes many individuals to make Goodwill Industries’ mission succeed: employees, board members, donors, shoppers, clients, students, and community partners. Each one is necessary and vital to help Goodwill run smooth and effectively.

As part of Goodwill Week, Goodwill Industries honored employees who went above and beyond at the Annual “Power of Work” Luncheon. Employees recognized work throughout the 26 parish region of North Louisiana, including Shreveport, Bossier City, Monroe, Alexandria, Pineville, Natchitoches and Minden.

This year’s honorees includes (Honorees Kitty Vik and Sydney Hicks are Natchitoches Parish residents):

Employee of the Year – Patricia Williams, Angela Randle, Francis Brantley, Gina Voght, Terrence Hunter, Eugene Taylor.

Rising Star Award – Fre-Drecia Payne, Henry Broadway, Kitty Vik.

Goodwilly Award – Lindsay Lyles, Tamra Bright.

Manager of the Year – Sydney Hicks, Darlene Robinson, Michael Hall, Karen Peters.

Store of the Year – Pineville, Louisiana

Board Member of the Year – Alywin Holomon

Graduate of the Year – Latousha Stroughter

Achiever of the Year – Robert Walker

Good Friends Award – Stellar Construction, Ouachita Correctional Center, Louisiana Department of Transportation

Good Champion Award – Paige Hoffpauir

Good Sam Partner of the Year – Care Pregnancy Center

Donor of the Year – Community Renewal Southern Trace We Care Team

In 2018, more than 2,300 people visited a Goodwill Job Center seeking assistance in one of our 15 different programs. Goodwill’s Board and Staff all believe that the work they do each and every day makes a real impact on the community, and lives are changed forever because of it.

Northwestern State’s Verma, Iwaniuk earn All-Louisiana honors

by Jonathon Zenk, NSU Sports Information Graduate Assistant

NSU—Following impressive campaigns that earned them All-Southland Cpmferemce selections, Rhea Verma and Ela Iwaniuk added another accolade, as both were named to the All-Louisiana second team and Verma was named All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association announced Friday.

Verma is the first Lady Demon to be named All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year since Tatiana Larina in 2012.

The Lady Demons were one of three teams to have multiple players honored, joining LSU and Xavier (La.). The Tigers led the way with four athletes chosen, including three on the first team.

Verma, a redshirt freshman from Toronto, dominated at the No. 3 position for NSU, going 11-0 in Southland action and 16-6 overall. She became the first Lady Demon to finish unbeaten in conference play at singles since Natalya Krutova in 2015.

Iwaniuk, a junior from Konarskie, Poland, became the only NSU player to earn All-Southland, Academic All-Southland and All-Louisiana accolades. It is the second consecutive year she has been honored by the LSWA, after being named Newcomer of the Year last season.

She was lethal at the No. 5 spot in the rotation for NSU. Her 17-4 record overall and 10-1 record in Southland contests earned her a second team All-Southland honor, which is her second consecutive all-conference selection. That record also put in her in a tie for 12th place on NSU’s single-season winning percentage list (81 percent).

With her 10-1 conference record this season, she is now an impressive 19-3 in league play in her two years with the Lady Demons.

LSU’s Eden Richardson was once again named All-Louisiana Player of the Year. She has earned the honor both years with the Tigers. LSU’s Paris Corley earned Newcomer of the Year and LSU’s Julie and Michael Sell and Loyola’s Kyle Russell tied for Coach of the Year.

Of the 13 players on the two teams, two were on other Southland teams, led by McNeese’s Charoline Erlandsson, who was the only one to be named to the first team. New Orleans’ Trang Dao was named to the second team.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Eden Richardson, LSU

Others receiving votes: Sonia Chen, Louisiana Tech

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Rhea Verma, Northwestern State

Others receiving votes: Dalia Ahmed, McNeese; Maria Alfaro, ULM; Putri Insani, Southeastern; Antonia Ruessli, Nicholls


Others receiving votes: Angelica De Vincenzis, Xavier

COACH OF THE YEAR – TIE – Julie and Michael Sell, LSU; Kyle Russell, Loyola

Others receiving votes: Alan Green – Xavier

2019 LSWA All-Louisiana College Women’s Tennis Team


Eden Richardson, LSU

Charoline Erlandsson, McNeese

Sonia Chen, Louisiana Tech

Charlene Goreau, Xavier

Paris Corley, LSU

Jessica Golovin, LSU


Trang Dao, UNO

Taylor Bridges, LSU

Ivone Alvaro, Tulane

Rhea Verma, Northwestern State

Ela Iwaniuk, Northwestern State

*Maria Alfaro, ULM

*Mariia Borodii, Xavier

* = Tie for final position

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

Notice of Death – May 24, 2019


Little Miss Zoey Za-Niyah Newton
June 30, 2015 – May 21, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Deshawn Shavanta Beaudion
April 30, 1999 – May 18, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, May 25 from 9-11 am at the Restoration Apostolic Ministries (RAMS) Church, located at 175 Fairgrounds Road in Natchitoches Service: Saturday, May 25 at 11 am at the Restoration Apostolic Ministries
Interment: St. Simon Baptist Church Cemetery in Chopin

Master Willie Sarpy, III
January 13, 2017 – May 14, 2019
Service: Saturday, May 25 at 12 pm at the United Missionary Baptist Church of Natchez

Edna Pearl Claiborne
May 11, 2019
Service: Saturday, may 25 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Sunday, May 26 at 10 am at the Iron Springs Cemetery

Daisy Lee Jackson
May 5, 2019
Service: Saturday, May 25 from 9-10 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum


Jack Ceronio
February 22, 1988 – May 18, 2019
Service: Saturday, May 25 at 10 am in the chapel of Kramer Funeral Home in Colfax


James “Jimbo” Allen Morse
February 11, 1959 – May 20, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, May 25 from 4-6 pm at Rockett Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, May 25 at 6 pm at Rockett Nettles Funeral Home


Dontay Ezekiel Lane, Jr.
February 1, 2002 – May 11, 2019
Visitation Service: Saturday, May 25 from 10 am – 12 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield
Interment: New Morning Star Baptist Church Cemetery in St. Maurice

John William Ryals, III
September 28, 1955 – May 22, 2019
Service: Monday, May 27 at 2 pm at Lapine Assembly of God Church

Memorial Day in Natchitoches

The Flag Garden on the Downtown Riverbank was recently initiated by the Veterans of Forgein Wars (VFW), The American Legion (AL), and the auxiliaries. This week, Mayor Lee Posey encourages everyone to take this special opportunity to add a flag in remembrance of our fallen soldiers.

Flags 12-18″ may be placed behind or beside the flags already there, and may stay until Fri., May 31.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 at 3 pm all are invited to the Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park (2nd & Church St.) with a reception to follow at the VFW/AL Hall. While we are enjoying our holiday, let’s pause to remember those service men and women who sacrificed everything for the benefit of all Americans.

When we place a flag in the Flag Garden, or at a Memorial Day service, stand together with families, friends and Veterans, who suffer the loss of a loved one or comrade in service to our country, or fly a flag at our home or business, we show that at least today, we remember “Freedom isn’t Free.”

Maggio named chair-elect of Southland Conference Board of Directors

FRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio’s already-decorated, athletic-based resume grew by another line after the Southland Conference’s Spring Meeting.

Maggio, a former Demons track and field athlete and assistant track and field coach, was named the chair-elect of the Southland Conference’s Board of Directors following three days of meetings at the Weston Stonebriar Hotel.

Maggio will serve a two-year term as the chair-elect, succeeding Central Arkansas President Dr. Houston Davis, who follows Sam Houston State President Dr. Dana Hoyt, whose two-year term concluded at the end of the meetings.

“It is certainly an honor to be selected by my peers in this important role,” Maggio said. “The Southland Conference plays such a vital role in the lives of thousands of student-athletes, and it is a privilege to be selected for a leadership role in this policy and decision-making board.”

Northwestern State Director of Athletics Greg Burke facilitated the meetings as the President of the Southland Conference Advisory Council. Burke and Sam Houston State Senior Woman Administrator Chris Thompson were honored for their service on the NCAA Division I Academics Committee and the NCAA Division I Advisory Council. Both terms conclude in August.

The annual meetings saw five conference championship sites awarded for the 2020-21 academic year. Abilene Christian will host the 2020 women’s soccer tournament, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will host the volleyball championship, Houston Baptist was chosen as the host for the beach volleyball tournament, Lamar will host both men’s and women’s tennis championships, and Southeastern Louisiana will host the 2021 softball tournament.

Additionally, the conference announced the expansion of the league’s volleyball tournament, which will become a four-day event in 2020, utilizing a similar format as the league’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

The conference also approved the addition of a center judge in football, effective in the 2021 season. The center judge has been common in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, including the Big 12 Conference and the Mountain West Conference with which the Southland shares an officiating consortium.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Cane River lake opens

Public Notice:

Cane River Lake is now open to boating traffic. Use caution while boating as there could be floating debris that could cause damage to boat hulls and/or props. Please remember to boat safe, sober, and always wear your life jackets!

Betty Fuller
Commission Administrator