Parish President Rick Nowlin announced that a special meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council will be held Tuesday, July 30 at 5:30 pm in the Parish Council Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, room 211. For any questions about the special called meeting, please contact the Parish Government offices at 318.352.2714.

Weaver Elementary Registration Open House

Weaver Elementary School will host its Registration Open House for parents and students on Monday, August 5 at 6 pm. Parents will register their child for school, learn important information about the campus, meet their child’s teachers, and tour the campus.

Weaver Elementary serves all 3rd/4th grade students in the City of Natchitoches. For students who have not attended a Natchitoches Parish public school, bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate, social security card, and immunization record.

Meet the Demons Scholarship Auction set for Aug. 24

A rousing success after being rebranded two years ago, Northwestern State’s biennial “Meet The Demons” scholarship auction is set for Aug. 24 at the Natchitoches Event Center.

Tickets for the event are available at www.NSUDemons.com/mtd2019.

The schedule for the event begins at 5 p.m. and includes a social hour, dinner, live and silent auctions as well as the “Final Five Drawing.” Proceeds from the event go towards scholarships for more than 350 Northwestern State student-athletes, many of whom will be in attendance to mix and mingle with Demons and Lady Demons supporters.

“The Scholarship Auction event has been a staple of the NSU athletic tradition since 1989 and has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our student-athletes,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke, who was the department’s chief fund raiser when the auction originated. ““Like any successful special event, it is important to continually tweak it. While student-athletes have always been involved with the scholarship event, expanding their role during the event has given our loyal supporters the chance to learn what all of us inside of the NSU Athletic Department already know — that our student-athletes are outstanding ambassadors and represent NSU in a positive manner on several levels.”

The social hour tips off the event and runs from 5-6 p.m. before dinner is served at 6. The program and live auction begins at 6:45 p.m. before the “Final Five Drawing” is held at 7:45 p.m.

Tickets for the “Final Five Drawing” can be purchased online, and those who do so do not need to be present to win. The winners of the “Final Five” will gather on stage and decide whether to split the pot or to battle through a draw down until a winner is determined.

There will be a separate raffle for prizes with tickets on sale for $10 each or three for $25.

The silent auction ends at 8 p.m. with winners announced before the closing of the event. Silent auction items will be made available for bid on www.NSUDemons.com on Aug. 6.

Tickets are available for $75 per person or $125 per couple. Reserved tables for eight are available for $500 and there are $1,000 VIP sponsorships open as well. 

For more information, contact Director of Development and Engagement Mike Jaworski at 318-357-4295 or by email at jaworskim@nsula.edu.


The Rapides Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report is now available. The theme of the report is “Making An Impact On Health” and highlights work done in support of the Foundation’s Healthy People, Education and Healthy Communities priority areas.

“It is through the hard work and dedication of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, staff, and the many organizations and communities who share our mission of improving health status that we are able to make an impact in Central Louisiana,” said Foundation President and CEO Joe Rosier.

The Annual Report can be read online by visiting the Foundation’s website at www.rapidesfoundation.org, clicking on Newsroom/Annual Reports and then choosing “2018 Annual Report.”

Print versions can be picked up at The Rapides Foundation during normal business hours. To request that a report be mailed, please contact The Rapides Foundation at 318-443-3394 or 800-994-3394.

GeauxFAME to Host ‘Commitment Signing’ Ceremony

The Louisiana Chapter of FAME, the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, known as GeauxFAME, will present a “Commitment Signing” ceremony for students enrolled in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) program. The program is an innovative partnership between GeauxFAME, Northwestern State University, and Central Louisiana Technical Community College. The ceremony is hosted by and will take place at the CLTCC Natchitoches Campus at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2019.

This signing event will be a celebration of the commitment of the student to the FAME employer, much like signing events that celebrate seniors when they sign letters of intent to play a sport for a college or university. Students will be signing letters of intent to work for one of the manufacturing companies while enrolled in the AMT program; the companies that comprise FAME include RoyOMartin, Stella-Jones, AFCO, Alliance, Pilgrims, Boise, and Weyerhaeuser.

These companies have agreed to sponsor students, which includes paid employment, on-the-job training, and senior technician mentorship and coaching. During the six-semester program, students attend class two days a week and work for their sponsoring manufacturer three days a week.

“Our signing day activities will honor students accepted into the AMT program, recognize the company sponsors, and celebrate the support we have received from the community,” said Laurie Morrow, CLTCC Natchitoches Campus Dean. “This is a unique opportunity to publicize the benefits of the AMT program and demonstrate the value of higher education and work experience.”

The AMT program was developed through a partnership between CLTCC, NSU and the Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc., to train students for today’s manufacturing processes,increase enrollment in this field of study, and close the skills gap by partnering with local manufacturing companies.

Students who successfully complete the two-year AMT program will receive an associate degree in Industrial Engineering Technology (IET) from NSU with an emphasis in Advanced Manufacturing and a technical certificate from CLTCC. They will also earn the coveted FAME certificate. Studentscan continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree from NSU or seeking full-time employment with a sponsoring company or both.

Students are not guaranteed positions with the sponsoring manufacturer after completion of the AMT program, but graduates have an opportunity to be hired with a good salary and benefits.

The signing is open to media and the public.

Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) is a two-year technical and community college offering associate degrees, technical diplomas, industry certificates, and customized training in more than 20 disciplines to support local workforce development and prepare students for good- paying jobs. CLTCC serves 11 parishes in Central Louisiana through its nine campuses and provides instruction in three state prisons and two federal correctional institutions.

Northwestern State University is a responsive, student-oriented institution that is committed to the creation, dissemination and acquisition of knowledge through teaching, research and service. The university was founded in 1884 and is located on the oldest continually occupied site for higher education in Louisiana. Northwestern State has an enrollment of 11,081 students with campuses in Natchitoches, Shreveport, Leesville/Fort Polk, Alexandria and Marksville along with an extensive distance learning network that stretches around the world. The university’s offers 40 online degree programs. Northwestern State’s online programs have been recognized as being among the best values in the U.S. The university has been ranked as a Top Military Friendly University and as one of the best online schools for veterans. 

NSU student completes fellowship at LSU Health Shreveport

Northwestern State University senior Abigail Poe of Natchitoches was one of 10 participants from across the nation taking part in the LSU Health Shreveport Department of Microbiology and Immunology’s Undergraduate Biomedical Research Fellowship Program.

Poe worked in Associate Professor Rona Scott’s lab to research HPV’s influence on retinoblastoma protein and EBV’s influence on host cell differentiation.

“This program fully immersed us in grad school life,” said Poe, a biology major with a biomedical concentration. “Having participated in research at NSU gave me a good foundation in basic techniques that I was able to build on. Some new skills I learned included cell culturing, organotypic rafting, Western and Southern blots and immunofluorescence.”

During the fellowship, the students attended weekly seminars, workshops, journal clubs and social events. The fellowship ended with a poster presentation and a party. Poe was invited to continue her work in Scott’s lab over the coming year.

Northwestern State’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences offers several comprehensive programs that prepare students to enter into the job market competitively at the bachelor level or to further their education in either graduate or professional school. 

Notice of Death – July 29, 2019


Edith Sharp Lucky
February 9, 1937
Visitation: Tuesday, July 30 from 5-7 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Wednesday, July 31 at 11 am at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Doris Jean Eason
March 01, 1938 – July 26, 2019
Service: Wednesday, July 31 at 10 am at Marthaville Cemetery

Mary Eli Monette
July 25, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Amazona Waldrup McDuel
January 08, 1944 – July 19, 2019
Service: Tuesday, July 30 at 11 am Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: St. Titus Baptist Church Cemetery near Campti

Johnnie M. McGlothurn
July 24, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Billie Sue Lonadier Trissler
February 16, 1935 – July 21, 2019
Arrangements TBA


Sadie Lee Veillon
July 19, 1938 – July 26, 2019
Service: Tuesday, July 30 at 2 pm at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church


Leonard “Billy” Miller
February 28, 1943 – July 27, 2019
Visitation: Tuesday, July 30 at 5 pm at the Union Baptist Church in Belmont
Service: Wednesday, July 31 at 11 am at the Union Baptist Church
Internment: Belmont Cemetery


Sam Houston Melton, Jr.
April 29, 1940 – July 26, 2019
Visitation: Tuesday, July 30 from 5-9 pm and Wednesday, July 31 from 9-11 am at Southern Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, July 31 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Melton Cemetery near Winnfield

Dr. Marvin Morgan Allen
April 18, 1930 – July 20, 2019
Service: Saturday, August 3 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home
Interment: Allen Cemetery in Winnfield

Vive la Louisiane: 40th NSU Folklife Festival is Resounding Success

By Kevin Sannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

NSU’s Prather Coliseum was once again transformed into the finest musical venue in Louisiana for the 2019 Folk Life Festival, July 26-27. Several thousand festivalgoers were entertained by a diverse group of over 20 musical acts performing on three stages. Zydeco, Rockabilly, Blues and the World Music sound of the 50 Man Machine, complete with bagpipes, were just some of the styles available to listeners. Lessons in Cajun and line dancing were also held throughout the festival. In addition to the music, an eclectic group of craft booths were joined by the National Park Service, Louisiana Office of State Parks, Creole Heritage Center, National Park Service, NSU’s Cammie Henry Research Center and Cane River National Heritage Area on the main floor. The vendors displayed and sold homemade crafts and educated festival goers on various Louisiana and Native American folk ways. Blacksmiths and Dutch oven chefs held demonstrations outside of the festival.

One of the highlights of the festival was the induction of five deserving artists into the Hall of Master Folk Artists. Blues singer Tab Benoit, Cajun Musicians Jamie Berzas and Bruce Daigrepont, singer Vanessa Nieman, aka the “Punk Rock Patsy Cline” and Natchitoches’ own master file maker and cultural historian, John Oswald Colson, were presented with proclamations from the Louisiana House of Representatives. The U.S. Forest Service’s iconic Smokey the Bear was on hand and was wished a happy 75th birthday on stage. Vernon Parish’s Mr. Ron Yule, a past champion and long time fixture in our state’s musical scene, was named the 2019 Louisiana State Fiddle Champion.

The festival is a long standing favorite as evidenced by its loyal following. Many of the attendees and performers have been coming for years. Natchitoches resident, business woman, and indefatigable dancer, Shirley Dunagan, has come to the festival with a group of friends for over 25 years.

The Folklife Festival, now in its 40th year, is designed to showcase, preserve and perpetuate Louisiana’s unique culture. This year’s theme was “Vive la Louisiane!” For a modest admission fee, the Festival featured two solid days of superb music, arts and crafts, and education.

Foster Mom: Stop Saying…..

By Melanie Wilson

I’m writing this just to make people aware, not to call anyone out. There’s just a few things we can all be more aware of. Before I was a foster mom I thought the same things and said the same stuff.

There are several things that people say to me or my family that aren’t helpful. I know most people don’t mean it offensively and they can’t wrap their heads around the process of foster care and adoption.

“I just couldn’t give them back.”

Well, if you don’t it’s called kidnapping. When you go through the process of becoming a foster parent you know what’s coming. It isn’t easy by any means when a child leaves and if it is easy you might need to rethink what you’re doing.

“I would get too attached.”

I am too attached I can promise you that. One baby was the first to call me momma and the other I have seen grow from 6 weeks to 9 months.

“You don’t want him?”

It isn’t that I don’t want the baby. I am the baby’s mom and I have to make tough decisions like every other parent does. My decisions are just a little different.

“Well you get paid for this.”

Yes I do get money each month so that I can meet their needs. I honestly don’t know how anyone makes money off of being a foster parent because I spend more money on these babies than I get each month. This is probably the most offensive statement.

Like I said earlier I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad. I just want to make everyone aware. Maybe instead of saying these things you could use the following statements.

“You must be strong.”

I can tell you I didn’t know I was strong. But I can also tell you my strength comes from God.

“You must have a big heart.” or “you must care a lot.”

I could not do any of this without knowing God asked me to do this and He will help me through all of it.

“It must be difficult.”

It is difficult! Every day is different and at any moment you can get a call saying there is another baby, the baby is leaving in a few days, or there is a new meeting set up you have to be at.

I know that foster care isn’t for everyone. I never knew it was for me. Adoption isn’t for everyone. But caring is for everyone! I get not understanding how someone does it but think about being encouraging or figuring out how you can help that family.

DID YOU KNOW: The recent bill passed and signed in the state of Louisiana extends foster care to the age of 21. It takes an average of 3 -4 years for a child to be adopted so sadly many children age out of the system at 18. Some have amazing homes that keep them and help them but unfortunately that is not always the case and they are thrown out the day they turn 18 when the payments stop. This bill helps 18-21 year old foster children if they become full-time employees, participate in job training programs or education, or if for medical reasons they can’t work or get training/education. This bill will help so many foster young adults and in my opinion is an amazing step.

Over 50 vehicles featured at Cruisin’ With The King Car Show

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Natchitoches’ Christ the King Lutheran Church was the host of the “Cruisin’ With The King” car show, Saturday, July 27. The show, now in its second year, featured over 50 cars, trucks and motorcycles. The younger set had a train to take them on rides around the field and a bouncy house to play in. The church supplied burgers for lunch. Natchitoches’ musical favorite The Kelli Roberts Band performed for the steady stream of visitors who dropped by throughout the day. The car show was planned by Pastor Eric Klemme as an innovative way to “meet our neighbors and get out in the community.” It was an enjoyable day of family fun for one and all.

NPJ Teacher Feature: Liz Miller

By Holy Penta

Liz Miller has been working at St. Mary’s Catholic School for 11 years. For two years she was the Student Council Advisor, but she began teaching nine years ago. This year, she will teach 6th through 8th grade English Language Arts.

She graduated from Northwestern State University and Louisiana College and is married to Pat Miller. Together they have two sons. Zac graduated from St. Mary’s School in 2018, and Jordan is a senior there this year.

Miller has always known that she wanted to be a teacher. As a child, she would “torture” her brother and sister by making them play school with her. She was the teacher, and they were the students learning in her classroom.

To future teachers she says, “Don’t do it for the money. Teachers need to love the job and be willing to put their whole heart into it.” Without the love of the job, many teachers come to resent it, and neither the teacher nor the student wins in that type of situation.

Clearly, Miller truly does have this love for the job. She loves teaching middle school and knows it’s where she’s supposed to be. Her excitement about teaching translates into student’s excitement about learning. This helps them reach and go beyond their full potential. She says her young students typically come to class in the beginning of the year with an awkward “too cool” attitude, but by the end of the school year, they’ve matured socially and academically and made connections that show where really deep, skillful learning has taken place.

She also loves being the Student Counsel Sponsor, which allows her to work with some really great high school students. They are all compassionate, driven, and are always looking for ways to help others. Miller likes to watch them grow into leaders in the school and in the community. “Sometimes they teach me more than I teach them,” she said.

The working atmosphere at St. Mary’s is incredibly positive and Miller says that she gets to work with some of the best teachers around. The teachers all make sure to have positive relationships with the students, parents, and each other. Miller and all her colleagues make sure the kids are reaching their academic potential as well as learning Christian values.

As an ELA teacher she has the opportunity to share her passion for reading with her students. She makes sure her lessons are effective and engaging to hold her students’ attention and convince them to love the subject just as much as she does. One of her favorite parts of teaching is hearing students say that her class has made them love to read, or when parents say that they cannot get their children to put their books down.

“These comments leave me smiling for days,” she said.

Ladies’ Bass Angler Association Holds Fishing Tournament on Cane River

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

The Tri-State Federation of the Ladies’ Bass Angler Association held a tournament on the Cane River Saturday, July 27. Five boats took to the waters of the Cane for a day of fishing competition before returning to Shell Beach for the weigh-in.

This event is the first tournament held in our parish by the LBAA. The Tri-State Federation comprises female bass fishers from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. The LBAA offers the only all female professional bass fishing tour in the country. The Cane offered a challenging fishing environment as well as opportunities to visit our well known attractions and restaurants when not on the water.

The winning team was Tiffany Hart of Magnolia, TX and Ashley Manuel from Lake Charles. The winning Co-Angler was Rebecca Briley from Lake Charles and the winning Boater was Tiffany Hart from Magnolia, TX,

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to extend a warm welcome and best wishes to the women of the LBAA. We trust they enjoyed their visit to our city and parish and are looking forward to future tournaments on the parish’s waters.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. The anglers and their families are welcome to download any they wish.