BOM Sponsors NCHS Track & Field

BOM is proud to make a donation to the Natchitoches Central High School Track & Field Program. Pictured from left are Blaise LaCour, Leslie Hathorn (Assistant NCHS Track & Field Coach), Madison Brown (Member of NCHS Track & Field), Carrie Hough, and Brooke Latham.

BKMC donates big check to Shriners Hospital for Children

The Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club 17 of Natchitoches rode to the Shreveport Shriners Hospital for Children on May 24 to deliver a check from the club’s April 2018-March 2019 fundraising efforts.

Members of the Shreveport Club met helped present the big check with a grand total of $13,600!

Some of the children being treated came out to see the bikes and get up close and personal with club members and the bikes. But mostly the bikes!

The club’s 2019-2020 fundraising campaign has already started, with Give Back nights at the Natchitoches Chili’s every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 4-10pm.

To help with the 2019-2020 efforts supporting the ONLY Shriners Hospital for Children in Louisiana email


Louisiana Healthcare Connections announced today the opening of its 2019 Community Health Grants cycle, which will make available six awards of up to $15,000 each to eligible Louisiana entities for programs that address food insecurity at the community level.

Healthcare providers, schools, and non-profit community organizations across the state are encouraged to apply. Applications must be received no later than June 21, 2019. Grant awards will be announced by July 15, 2019.

Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life, food insecurity is an issue that affects every parish in Louisiana. According to Hunger Free America’s 2017 National Report on Hunger, approximately 20 percent of the state’s population is classified as food insecure. The report also found that Louisiana has the second highest rate of food insecure children, and the highest rate of food insecure seniors, in the nation.

Since 2012, Louisiana Healthcare Connections has been dedicated to transforming health in Louisiana with a priority focus on healthy communities. Through continuous outreach and research, the health plan has identified food insecurity as an issue that affects a significant percentage of its more than 450,000 members. The Community Health Grants program was launched in 2018 as part of Louisiana Healthcare Connections’ efforts to address food insecurity in the communities where its members live and work.

For 2019, the number of grant awards has been increased from three to up to six, with eligible awardees to receive up to $15,000 to fund food insecurity-focused projects. The grants are targeted toward projects that contribute to strengthening individuals, families, and communities by providing food resources coupled with nutrition, health, and wellness education.

“People who are food insecure are more likely to develop chronic illnesses, have higher hospitalization and emergency room usage, and are less productive than their peers,” says Chelsea Graves, Community Relations Principal for Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “This grant program gives us an opportunity to partner with community-level organizations, schools and providers that share our commitment to improving access to healthy foods for Louisiana families so those families can lead healthier, more productive lives.”

The Community Health Grants program is a key element in Louisiana Healthcare Connections’ multi-tiered strategy to address food insecurity at the community level. This innovative approach also includes SNAP matching programs at fresh produce markets in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to increase access to fresh produce for families receiving SNAP benefits, and education and toolkits to assist healthcare providers in identifying and addressing food insecurity at the point of care. The Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plan has also implemented partnership programs with food banks across the state, and provided volunteer and financial support for community gardens, feeding programs and nutritional education for all ages.

“The impact of hunger on health outcomes is non-sustainable for our state,” says Jamie Schlottman, CEO and Plan President. “Partnerships with community and healthcare organizations are key to helping us combat food insecurity. By working together, we can increase access to healthy foods, reduce hunger and improve health for Louisiana families.”

Questions may be directed to

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame: Junior Training Camp

Are your children interested in meeting athletes and coaches from the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame 2019 Induction class including Peyton Manning and Les Miles? Well here is their chance! There will be Junior Training Camp on Saturday, June 8 from 9-11 am at the NSU WRAC facility. The camp is limited to the first 300 boys and girls that sign up. Children will get to meet with former and current Hall of Fame inductees while learning new skills in basketball and football. This event is free and is open to all youth from ages 6-16.

If there are any questions about the event, please email You can register for the event at this link:

Notice of Death – May 27, 2019


Thomas John Guess
February 19, 1932 – May 24, 2019
Service: Tuesday, May 28 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

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


Pamala Gail Trichel
March 08, 1961 – May 24, 2019
Visitation: Wednesday, May 29 from 6-9 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, May 30 at 11 am at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
Interment: Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery


Loyd Cockerham
December 06, 1934 – May 26, 2019
Service: Thursday, May 30 at 1 pm at Bethlehem Cemetery

Memorial Day Program

The public is invited to a Memorial Day Program today, May 27 at 3 pm at 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.

The Burden of Our Freedoms

By Kevin Shannahan

Memorial Day remains one of our more misunderstood holidays. There is the dichotomy between a solemn day meant to commemorate our nation’s war dead and a three day weekend that kicks off the summer season. Aside from the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, there is no ceremonial event to mark the day on a national level. The wreath laying is, for most, a brief mention on the nightly news, a glance and nothing more. That is a shame. The wreath laying is a beautiful and dignified ceremony.

For much of the country, Memorial Day is a three day weekend, a start to the summer, a weekend getaway, a trip to the beach and cookouts. Some television networks play nothing but war movies all day, something I’ve never understood. The day alternates between beach, BBQ, sales and mawkish “look at me” displays of cheap and easy patriotism from the popular culture. I don’t understand why anyone would wish to spend the day bingeing war movies, or why a network would consider this the best use of the day’s programming. I could easily go the rest of my life without seeing another singer swaggering about the stage, his tough guy persona a poor imitation of the real thing. Jingoism wears thin rather quickly.

There is a group of Americans for whom Memorial Day very much retains its original purpose as a day of remembrance. They are the spouses, family and friends left behind after a knock on the door from an officer in dress blues. They are the veterans. They are the men and women still serving. They are the families with a child in the military for whom the evening news now takes on a new dimension.

I have participated in the Bataan Memorial March in White Sands Missile Range several times over the past few years. It is a humbling experience. One year, I was walking behind several women on the course. They looked like a group one would see in any city in the country, with one difference, each wore a shirt with a photograph of a young man in uniform with a date and a place. Between them, they had lost five sons in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of them had other children still in the military. By the 23rd mile, I was pretty tired. “C’mon sir! You’re almost done!” A young soldier carrying a loaded rucksack motioned me forward as he kept running. His left sleeve bore the patch of the 82nd Airborne. There was no arm in the sleeve. I picked up my pace.

Memorial Day is a manifestation of what Sir Winston Churchill called “the long continuity of our institutions” that bind us together as a nation. Each generation picks up the burdens of freedom from the one before, carries it forward, and hands it to the next. That young soldier who saw me faltering and got me going again is part of a legacy of a unit that jumped into Normandy, fought across Nazi occupied Europe and continues to serve our nation in battle to the present day.

At cookouts and gatherings of friends and family all across America those present will at some point raise a glass or otherwise remember a loved one who did not make it home. In cemeteries across the nation, families and friends will pause by a gravestone and remember. In these small remembrances, some formal, most not, lies the meaning of Memorial Day.

Be worthy of them.

Natchitoches Native Serves Aboard Advanced U.S. Navy Warship Half A World Away

By Lt. Jake Joy, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SASEBO, Japan – Petty Officer 3rd Class Samuel Welch, a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, wanted to do something that would better him as a man. He chose to follow that pursuit in the U.S. Navy.

Photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Gary Ward
“It has instilled core values that will go with me the rest of my life,” he said.

Now, four years after enlisting and half a world away, Welch serves aboard one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious ships at Fleet Activities Sasebo, patrolling one of the world’s busiest maritime regions as part of U.S. 7th Fleet.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “The ship is a friendly atmosphere. I’ve got a place to sleep and food to eat. I’ve got nothing to complain about.”

Welch, a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School, is an air traffic controller aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in Sasebo, Japan.

“I’m responsible for the safe and expeditious launch and recovery of all aircraft aboard the ship,” said Welch.

He credits some success in the Navy to lessons learned since moving on from Natchitoches.

“You learn how to live by the core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Welch said. “Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, take pride in what you do and have integrity.”

U.S. 7th Fleet spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of operations encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors.

“Serving here is awesome,” said Welch. “When you’re forward deployed, I don’t know how to explain it, but you feel like there’s a lot more importance to the mission here, of maintaining strategic locations and waterways.”

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment.

“The Navy is forward-deployed to provide security and strengthen relationships in a free and open Indo-Pacific. It’s not just the ships and aircraft that have shown up to prevent conflict and promote peace,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “It is, and will continue to be our people who define the role our Navy plays around the world. People who’ve made a choice, and have the will and strength of character to make a difference.”

Wasp, one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Wasp. More than 1,000 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weapons to maintaining the engines. An additional 1,200 Marines can be embarked. USS Wasp is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed using helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and other water-to-shore landing craft.

These ships support missions from sea to shore, special operations and other warfare missions. They also serve as secondary aviation platforms. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice, according to Navy officials.

Serving in the Navy means Welch is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

There are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career. Welch is most proud of recently getting his authorization as amphibious air traffic control center supervisor.

“Now, I can basically supervise everyone in the control center, all the positions,” he said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for someone of my rank to earn that qualification.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Welch and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“I’ve gotten to explore the world and I’m making a difference,” Welch said. “I’m part of something bigger than myself.”

Notice of Death – May 26, 2019


Thomas John Guess
February 19, 1932 – May 24, 2019
Visitation: Monday, May 27 at 5 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Tuesday, May 28 at 10 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

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


Pamala Gail Trichel
March 08, 1961 – May 24, 2019
Visitation: Wednesday, May 29 from 6-9 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, May 30 at 11 am at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
Interment: Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery


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

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.

City Council Meeting Rescheduled

Notice is hereby given that the regular meeting of the Natchitoches City Council scheduled for Monday, May 27, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. has been rescheduled to Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in observation of Memorial Day.

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