“Music for Two Pianos” program to be performed Sept. 5

Pianists Chialing Hsieh and Michael Young will present a recital at Northwestern State University on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The program, “Music for Two Pianos,” includes “Las Niñas from Tres Romances Argentinos” by Carlos Guastavino, “Symphonic Dances” from “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein/John Musto, “Metamorphose” on M. C. Escher’s “Metamorphose III” by Young and

“Paraphrase” on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca,” Op. 129 by Nilolai Kapustin.

An avid performer of contemporary music, Hsieh is devoted to promoting new piano solo and chamber works. Hsieh has been a featured pianist on seven CDs for the Centaur, Innova, Enharmonic and Ballpark labels. She joined NSU’s faculty in 2016 as an assistant professor of collaborative piano. In the summer, she is the piano instructor at the Lutheran Summer Music Festival and Academy and the Sounds of Summer Institute. Hsieh earned her bachelor’s degree from the National Taipei University of the Arts and a master’s and doctorate in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

Young’s compositions have been performed in Korea, Taiwan and throughout the United States, including at several of the College Music Society’s regional conferences and its 2011 international conference, the 2010 Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, the 2010–2018 Southeastern Composers League Forums and the 2008 Ball State University Festival of New Music. As the 2016 pedagogical composer for the Kentucky Music Teachers Association, he composed and performed “Six Inventions” for solo piano at the KMTA state conference. His “Capriccio” for clarinet, bassoon, and piano was performed at the 2014 international conference and Mid-America Festival of the International Clarinet Association and recorded by Trifecta! on the CD Cumulus Accumulation.

His modernized arrangement of Saint-Saens “Carnival of the Animals” for saxophone quartet, piano, and percussion was performed at the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance and the 2011 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference in Taiwan. Young is the immediate past president of the Southeastern Composers League. He is an accompanist for music majors at Northwestern State and the choir accompanist for the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at Northwestern University and his Master of Music in piano at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Free Classes for ESL at the NPL

In partnership with Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) Education Department, the Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) will be offering a free English as a second language (ESL) class. The classes are completely free and open to the public. The classes will meet every Monday from 2 PM to 6 PM, beginning September 9. This will be the first class and registration day. Anyone considering attending is encouraged to come to the first meeting of the class to talk with the teacher and have them assist with the registration.

For those with children, there will also be free tutoring available during the same period from 2 PM to 6 PM. Tutors will assist children, from pre-k to elementary, with reading and math. Three to four tutors will be present each day. Multiple spots may be booked if there are extra tutors available. To reserve a spot, call the NPL Children’s Desk at 318-238-9222.

“Many of you may know someone who has traveled quite a way to make Natchitoches their home, and many are looking to better their English skills,” says Alan Niette, NPL Community Outreach Coordinator. “This partnership with BPCC will be a great, and totally free to attend, resource for our community.”

If you have any questions, about this or any other NPL activities, you may call the NPL 318-357-3280.

LSMSA graduate to speak at matriculation ceremony Friday, August 30

A member of the Class of 1987 at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) will deliver the address for the matriculation ceremony set for 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Damian Duke Domingue came to LSMSA from Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette in 1985.

With a math/science and arts focus, he participated in the first incarnations of Theater Rep and Encore, as well as student life and the Eagle cheerleading squad.

In the fall of 1987, Domingue segued into the inaugural class of the Louisiana Scholars’ College where he completed his degree in ethnomusicology.

Afterward, on a whim, he accepted a year-long internship at Jackson, Miss.’s, New Stage Theatre, performing a Shakespeare tour through the rural south. It was an unexpected, life changing adventure, which ultimately landed this accidental actor at Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theater of North Carolina. During his tenure there, he served in various capacities: actor, director, designer and composer; and he penned and premiered four musicals. “Rootabaga! a musiCarl,” an adaptation of Carl Sandburg’s “Rootabaga Stories,” ran for 17 years at Connemara, the Sandburg National Historic Site and part of the U.S. National Park Service.

After more than 20 years, 100 productions and 3,865 performances, Domingue decided it was time to reinvent himself and move from the acting boards to the auction block.

In 2012, he attended World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, and Denver, Colo., and is currently licensed in 38 states, territories and beyond.

His company, Duke Says Sold, is based near Asheville, N.C., and works exclusively in the non-profit sector, fundraising through the auction process.

Domingue believes he has finally discovered his métier with a job he describes as a fusion of cheerleader and evangelist – raising millions each year for education, hospital foundations, health and human services and the arts. National clients include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish and others.

Since 2000, he has played his upright bass (named Myrna) with the Americana/Rockabilly outfit the Carburetors in the southeastern United States, as well as Germany, Belgium and Holland.

Recent independent film credits include “Shadows on the Wall” and “Possession.”

Kappa Pi supports 2020 “Hotter ‘N Hell” exhibition

Northwestern State University’s chapter of Kappa Pi International Art Honor Society donated more than $1,000 to Friends of Hanchey to support promotion of “Hotter ‘N Hell,” a national juried collegiate art exhibition that will feature art created with the use of heat and fire.

Kappa Pi raised funds by raffling a quilt pieced together from vintage NSU t-shirts.

“’Hotter ‘N Hell’ will feature a national juried exhibition of pyrotechnical art and include a one-day event we are calling the, Hotter ‘N Hell Happening, that will be the week of July 4, 2020,” said Phyllis Lear, professor art and coordinator of the show. “The’ Hotter ‘N Hell’ Art Exhibition will showcase a juried collegiate art exhibition from across the United States that features fire and/or heat during production or as an element of each work of art.” Creations by artists who work with glass, ceramics, bronze, metal sculpture and other mediums will be featured.

“NSU’s Department of Fine and Graphic Art will host the exhibition in Orville Hanchey Gallery April 20 through August 20, 2020, the hottest months in Demonland,” Lear said.

NSU Artist James Borders will be juror for the exhibition.

For more information about “Hotter ‘N Hell,” contact Lear at (318) 357-4056.

Notice of Death – August 28, 2019


Charles L. Helaire

August 28, 2019
Arrangements TBA

SanCedrick DeAngello Green
August 21, 1978 – August 27, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Billy Ray “Goat” Milam
October 11, 1930 – August 27, 2019
Service: Friday, September 6 at 10:30 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

James William Johnson
April 8, 1938 – August 22, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 9 -10:30 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 11 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum in Natchitoches

James D. Barnes
August 23, 2019
Arrangements TBA


Betty Mary Hippler Laurent
November 30, 1929 – August 26, 2019
Service: Friday, August 29 at 10 am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church

Jerry Judson Phillips
December 18, 1935 – August 24, 2019
Interment: Friday, August 29 at 1 pm at Alexandria Memorial Gardens


Ronnie Lynn Walters, Sr.
June 29, 1944 – August 27, 2019
Service: Thursday, August 29 at 1 pm at First Baptist Church of Coushatta


Bobbie Pittman
August 25, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Cane River Tigers Annual Pre-Season Event

Rodney Harrington, Larry Paige, Jack Duty and Lee & Ginny Waskom

The Annual Pre-Season LSU Cane River Tigers group met on Tuesday August 27th at the local brewery.  The football season is fast approaching. Special guests were Lynn Rollins and Bart Schmolke, who host a weekly radio show primarily focused on LSU football in Alexandria.

Greg Burke, NSU Athletic Director and NSU Head Football Coach Brad Laird were also invited guests to preview the upcoming football season for Northwestern. 2019 takes on special significance as NSU travels to Baton Rouge to take on LSU in Tiger Stadium on September 14th. The last time NSU faced LSU in Tiger Stadium was 2011.

Rollins and Schmolke provided detailed information and inside information regarding the outlook for the LSU Tigers this year.

A highlight of the evening was a live auction of a George Rodrigue “Blue Dog” LSU print autographed by LSU’s Head football Coach Ed Orgeron. The auction was designed to benefit CASA of Natchitoches Parish. CASA’s mission statement is to provide quality advocacy and a strong voice to abused and neglected children. CASA was represented by Jack Duty and Larry Paige. Lee Waskom, pictured below won the auction, after spirited and boisterous bidding, all for a good cause.

The next meeting of The Cane River Tigers Booster group will be held on Monday,September 9 in Natchitoches, at a time and place to be determined. This meeting will coincide with game week for the LSU-NSU game and LSU Athletics Director Scott Woodward and Assistant Athletics Director Verge Ausberry are expected to attend. Valencia Sarpy-Jones, a resident of Natchitoches Parish and a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors will also be in attendance.

NSU Athletic Director, Greg Burke and Head Football Coach Brad Laird have been invited to attend to add to the excitement of game week.

The public is invited to attend this event which will surely add to the build-up and anticipation of this rare match-up between the Tigers and Demons.

Details of the event location and time will be published upon confirmation.

According to Kris: Labor Day Whites

By Kris James

With labor day approaching, I think this is the perfect time to address the elephant in the room. Why one can’t wear white after Labor Day and where this rule comes from. We all grow up hearing that white is not acceptable after the first Monday of September. For me, it wasn’t until I saw the 1994 Serial Mom, a punctilious psycho mom who murdered another character who white shoes to court. But I always wondered how this rule came to be. So why can’t we wear white after Labor Day?

For centuries wearing white was a simple way to stay cool in the summer. We have to remember that times were different. There was no air-conditioning and people didn’t wear t-shirts and halter tops. They wore what we would consider causal formal clothes. Society flocked from city townhouses to seaside cottages to flee from the heat. Leaving city clothes behind and trading them in for a much lighter and whiter choice. Beating the heat became fashionable in the early 20th century. In those hot summer months, fashion editors and tastemakers wore white clothing to keep cool. That sensibility was reflected in the pages of magazines like Vogue.

Labor Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday of September, which marks the traditional end of summer. Of course, for those living in the south, fall doesn’t start until mid-October. But for the vacationers located in northern climates that actually have seasons, they pack away their summer looks and bring out their heavier darker colored fall clothing. This would make logical sense, but when has fashion ever been logical.

While no one is completely sure where this rule originated from some suggest it was created to separate the old money elitists from the new money group. Some etiquette authorities like Judith Martin said, “There are always people who want to attribute everything in etiquette to snobbery. There were many little rules that people did dream up in order to annoy those from whom they wished to disassociate themselves. But I do not believe this to be one of them.”

Regardless to where the rule came from, it’s safe to say no one in 2019 should feel the need to follow it. So of course you can wear white after labor day. Especially in Louisiana where our September temperatures are hardly fall-like. It’s more about the fabric choices and not the color. I personally love a full white look in December.

Fashion is the only game you can win by breaking the rules.” -Sissy Gavrilaki

Army Extreme Truck will visit NSU Sept. 5

Northwestern State University ROTC, the United States Army and the Louisiana Army National Guard will host a recruiting event on the Kyser Brickway at NSU from noon-5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

The U.S. Army’s Extreme Truck will be on site with two gaming stations, 60-inch flat screen, push-up mats and leadership tasks. Chick-fil-A snacks will be available for students while supplies last starting at 3:30 p.m.

The Activation Ceremony for the 70th Demon Battalion will begin at 4 p.m.

For information about the ROTC program, please contact Raymond McDowell at (31) 357-6501 or (318) 357-5157. For United States Army, contact Staff Sergeant Morgan Fuller at (601) 456-3204. For National Guard information, contact Sergeant First Class Woodrow Rachal at (318) 210-6900.

OP ED PART III: North Louisiana’s Resistance To Gentrify Our Traditional Foods

By Terrance Porter

Chef Hardette Harris, most famous for creating the state official meal of North Louisiana in 2015, believes that cooking without beef or pork as much as we used to will change tradition. The founder of the UsUpNorth Restaurant and Food Tours offered vegetarian dishes on her pop-up Sunday dinner menus separate from her main menu. I can’t help but wonder what consisted of that vegetarian dish. Chef Tootie Morrison, of Earnestly Tootie’s Chef Services, formerly of Abby Singer’s Bistro, uses turkey meat instead of pork in her traditional Southern dishes, some are vegetarian altogether. I asked Chris Jay, Social Media & Public Relations Manager of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, what he thought about a different take on North Louisiana food: “I do believe that healthy takes on traditional Louisiana food will become more common in the future. Louisiana does have some culinary traditions that are already optimized for healthy eaters. I think about the late, great Chef Leah Chase’s gumbo z’gerbes, for example. Many of the indigenous fruits and vegetables that grow best in our soil are extremely healthy, from collard greens and sweet potatoes to figs and blueberries.” Chef Tootie presents an idea of a missing element from this fantasy being a fruitful reality; we are missing education to know beef and pork are not permanent staples. “Most people cook that way because of their parent’s or parents’ cooking style. I do cooking demonstrations and tell people, trying something new won’t hurt you, it may just heal you…” Those are wise words from a culinary expert unafraid to experiment and adapt.

Pork and beef shouldn’t be abolished from all restaurants, but choices should be available for dietary reasons. I want to keep tradition and myself alive. Jay agrees; “Your inquiry gets at the heart of a matter that challenges all of Louisiana, not just North Louisiana: As popular tastes shift towards more health-conscious dining, will Louisiana follow suit? Visitors, after all, are often lured here by the state’s decadent, “forget the consequences” approach to food and drink (think beignets, boudin balls, frozen daiquiris, etc) Eating and drinking to excess has, historically, been apart of the draw of Louisiana, But I think there’s a middle ground that we will see more and more of. I don’t believe that healthy options will ever replace the kinds of decadent, deep-fried, butter-smothered Southern goodness that we specialize in, but I do believe you’ll increasingly see healthy takes on those dishes sharing menu pages with their less-healthy counterparts.” I can remember ten years ago when grilled options became rampant at several fast-food places. Food culture made a shift a decade ago and North Louisiana needs to move closer to the future instead of staying ten toes down in the past.

Lee Waskom: Position Paper No. 2

Position Paper No. 2

As a Candidate for Parish President, I feel it is important to advise the public and ultimately take positions on Revenues, Expenses, Terms and Mandates. I am sharing my thoughts and positions as to how we attack the numerous fiscal challenges which are apparent and have not been addressed by the current leadership.

I look forward to discussing through this medium and others, my ideas to begin the slow process, necessary to identify, prioritize and ultimately begin to solve our road and infrastructure challenges.

I will share my specific Ideas, plans and positions as we go through this process over the next several days.

A day or so ago I documented the revenue sources of Natchitoches Parish Government General Fund. Today I would like to outline some of the mandated required expenditures from the General Fund that must be funded by State Law. Hopefully, this discussion will answer some of the many questions I have been asked on the campaign trail. Everyone recognizes that the current administration has failed to provide effective management of parish funds to the point that the parish road system and infrastructure is in disrepair and crumbling right before our eyes.

Again, the following is a list of mandatory expenses the Parish President and Parish Council must budget and provide for:


The Parish of Natchitoches General Fund supports Parish’s administrative operations as well as the operations of the offices of the Tax Assessor, the Registrar of Voters, the Clerk of Court, the Parish District Attorney, the 10th Judicial District Court, the Parish Coroner, the LSU AgCenter, and for Public Safety expenses,.

Tax Assessor
La R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide and bear the expense of offices for the Assessor including necessary heat and illumination.

Registrar of Voters
La. R.S. 18:132 requires the Parish to furnish the office space required by law for the registrar and pay for all necessary equipment, supplies and other expenses. State law also mandated that the Parish pay a portion of the salaries of employees of the Registrar of Voters.

Clerk of Court
La R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide and pay expense of offices, furniture and equipment needed by the Clerk and recorders of the Parish for the proper conduct of the Clerk of Court’s offices. The Parish must also pay to the Clerk of Court’s office a fee for attending sessions of the District Court (La. R.S. 13:846). NOTE:   In our Parish, the Clerk of Court has been self-funding and not made requests to the Parish Government.

La. R.S. 18:1400.3 requires the Parish to pay a pro-rated share of all election expenses incurred by clerks of court and registrars of voters for gubernatorial and congressional elections, when a local or municipal candidate or a local bond, debt, tax, proposition, or question also appears on the ballot.

Public Safety
Under La. R.S. 15:705, the Parish Government is required to provide for the keeping and feeding of inmates in the Parish jail, except for those in the custody of the Department of Corrections. The Parish is also obligated to pay the costs of prisoners that are transferred to be housed in another parish (La. R.S. 15:706).

The Parish is also responsible for providing a portion of the salaries for the Constables and the Justices of the Peace throughout the Parish. The payment of these expenses is mandated by La. R.S. 13:2589.

Coroner’s Office
Under La. R.S. 13:5706, the Parish Government is required to compensate the Coroner for the performance of his duties. The Parish must also compensate the Coroner for any physical or mental examination or investigation when such examination is requested by the district attorney, sheriff, chief of police, any judge or citizen. The Statute also mandates that the Parish pay for any autopsies and related investigative costs incurred by the Coroner’s office. Additionally, the Parish must provide the Coroner with all necessary or unavoidable expenses including supplies and equipment; fees for mental or physical examinations or investigations, commitments, interdictions; court attendance or testimony; and for attending Parish prisoners.

La. R.S. 13:5710 requires the Parish to pay for any expert employed by the Coroner that assists in investigations or autopsies.

District Attorney’s Office
La. R.S. 16:6 requires the Parish to provide an expense allowance for salaries of stenographers, clerks and secretaries, and salaries or charges for special officers, investigators and other employees and an expense allowance for stationery forms, telephone, transportation, travel, postage, hotel and other expenses incurred in the discharge of the official duties of the District Attorney.

10th Judicial District
La. R.S. 33:4713 requires the Parish to provide a suitable building and necessary furniture for the District Court.

La. R.S. 13:961 requires the Parish to provide a court reporter for each District Judge in the judicial district. The salaries of the court reporters are set by the appointing judges and shall be paid by the Parish. The Parish must also provide the court reporters with an office, furniture and equipment.

City Court
La. R.S. 13:1874 and 13:1883 require the Parish to pay a portion of the salaries of the City Court Judge and its Marshals.

Department of Veteran’s Affairs
La. R.S. 29:262 requires the Parish to provide office space to the Veteran’s Affairs Commission. In accordance with La. R.S. 29:260, the Parish also provides additional funding to the Veteran’s Affairs Commission for the maintenance and operation of its service office located in Natchitoches Parish.

Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service (LSU AgCenter)
In accordance with La. R.S. 3:301, the Parish provides office space and $7,500.00 annually to the LSU AgCenter in support of its programs which benefit the residents of the Parish.

Parish Government Administrative Offices

The General Fund also supports the operations of the office of the Parish President, the Parish Council, and the Parish Finance Department. Approximately 31% of the expenses incurred by the Parish’s General Fund is dedicated to the actual operations of the Parish Government.

It is my intention as your Parish President to work with the District Attorney, local Judges, Registrar’s office and our Clerk of Court to stream line and prioritize where monies can be saved or reallocated to provide much needed funds for repairs of our parish roads and infrastructure. We are all in this together, and with better communication and effective, conservative business techniques, I, Lee Waskom am confident that I can earn your trust and confidence and we can begin, through concerted efforts, to solve our road problem.


LaRon Winslow Mayoral Candidacy Announcement

I am LaRon Winslow and I am pleased to introduce my candidacy for Mayor of the town of Campti. I am the father of two children, Jalen Winslow who is currently a student at Northwestern State University and Melanie Winslow who is a graduate of Northwestern University. Melanie is also currently a LSUS student in graduate studies. I am married to Michelle Demery Winslow. We have been married for 28 amazing years.

I was fortunate enough to have the privilege to grow up with two brothers. This gave me the opportunity to learn some valuable lessons about life. In my home my Mother taught us that sharing and giving was an important part of building relationships. Just as my mother taught my brother and me the importance of sharing and giving, my grandmother passed these important characteristics for success on to her. So I grew up with a strong sense of the importance of sharing and giving and this character trait has carried over into my adult life.

I am certain that most constituents can agree with me that Campti Louisiana is a place which can surly benefit from our citizens sharing and giving. We have community members which come from strong families. We also have very loving community members who have a strong sense of pride in their community. But what I am most proud of is that we have community members who appreciate the value of loving our neighbor as ourselves. My candidacy is not about me but about the kind neighbors, families, relatives and friends of the town of Campti. In my opinion they deserve an opportunity to choose leadership which is genuinely concerned about the prosperity and well-being of all citizens in the town of Campti. I feel that I am that candidate.

I announce my candidacy for mayor of the town of Campti in the spirit of sharing and giving. I would like to share the positive vision that I have with constituents of our community. And I would like to give of myself and my family to make the town of Campti a better place to live. We all make sacrifices at different times for different reasons in order to achieve a greater good. I am willing to offer my time, efforts and energy to ensure a brighter future for all people of the town of Campti. I am interested in improving the infrastructure of our town. I would like to see an updated sewer system. I also pledge to work in conjunction with other elected officials to see improvement in our roads and streets. We will be able to access professional public service forums to offer new construction and credit repair information to first-time homebuyers. Last but not least I am interested in making the “Smoking On The Red” festival one of the most successful festivals in central Louisiana. Therefore, if you know someone who can vote for me, please tell them why I am the correct choice for mayor of Campti. I humbly ask for your vote on October 12th. Please vote LaRon Winslow #104 for Mayor of the Town of Campti. Thank you so much for your prayers. And may God bless you and your family.

Library Hosting Free Fall Tutoring Sessions

In partnership with Northwestern State University’s (NSU) Education Department, the Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) will be offering a free tutoring program at the library again this semester. The tutors are completely free and open to the public and are available every weekday from 2 PM to close, beginning Tuesday, August 27. Appointments are recommended and are scheduled in 30-minute blocks. Tutors are available to work on reading and math skills with students from pre-k to elementary. Three to four tutors will be present each day, so multiple patrons can schedule the same time slots. Multiple spots may be booked if there are extra tutors available. To reserve a spot, call the NPL Children’s Desk at 318-238-9222.

“With the new school year starting, we wanted to help our young patrons get off on the right foot,” says Jessica McGrath, NPL Director. “This partnership with NSU gives access to something that would normally cost parents money, but like all library services, it’s free here for everyone!”

If you have any questions, about this or any other NPL activities, you may call the NPL 318-357-3280.

Dr. Karen Stirrett joins LSMSA Faculty

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is proud to welcome the newest member of our faculty, Dr. Karen Stirrett. She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge to pass on to our students.

Dr. Stirrett has spent the last five years as a collegiate travelling biology professor in the Europe and Asia dicisions of University of Maryland University College (UMUC). In her tenure there, she taught active duty and retired service members and their families in Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, and Japan.

She traveled to every continent except Antarctica. She has her bachelor’s in Biology from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and her doctorate in Genetics from the University of Georgia.

“I enjoy being able to engineer microorganisms to study a process and figure out how to make that process useful for human society,” said Dr. Stirrett of her love for microbiology.

In her free time, Dr. Stirrett enjoys kayaking, biking, hiking and going to the gym. She says her favorite parts of Natchitoches are the numerous historic homes and the friendly people.

Dr. Stirrett will be offering biology, microbiology, and cell and genetics lab this fall. She says that she is excited to work with wonderful colleagues and motivated students.

“We’re very excited to have Dr. Stirrett join us here at LSMSA,” said Executive Director Steve Horton. “We can’t wait to see the amazing things our students accomplish under her guidance.”

For more information about LSMSA please call 1-800-259-3173.

Northwestern State hires former standout Jones as head coach

One of Northwestern State’s most accomplished track athletes is a Demon again.

De’Shalyn Jones has been hired as NSU’s cross country and distance coach, announced NSU head track and field coach Mike Heimerman.

Jones is a distinguished sprinter, winning nine Southland Conference gold medals and setting school records in the 100, 200, and 400 meters as well as the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.

Heimerman believes Jones’ competitive nature as a student-athlete will translate well to coaching distance runners.

“De’Shalyn is a heckuva competitor, and she gave 100 percent any time that she stepped on the track,” Heimerman said. “She was out of track for a bit, and this is a way for her to get involved in coaching and get back into track.

“When I hired (NSU sprints coach Adam) Pennington, he was a jumps coach. He had never coached sprinters other than high school, but right now, he might be the best sprints coach that’s ever coached at NSU.”

Jones excelled on the track and in the classroom, twice being named the Southland Conference Runner of the Year and the league’s female track student-athlete of the year.

The Tyler, Texas, native was a USTFCCCA honorable mention All-American as part of NSU’s 4X100 relay that finished 22nd in 2018.

Jones competed as a professional sprinter after graduating before her career was cut short because of injuries.

Heimerman is excited to see Jones’ eagerness to learn more about distance running, reading old programs and asking a ton of questions.

“As an athlete that didn’t compete in that sport, she’s very competitive in that she doesn’t want to look bad,” Heimerman said. “She is a student of the sport and is doing an exceptional job of deepening her knowledge.

“That’s why I have all the confidence that she’ll do her homework and put her best foot forward. No doubt (Jones) will do that.”

Jones, a four-time All-Louisiana honoree, enters a program that’s well stocked.

Heimerman credited former coach Chris Sauer, who recently departed for a job in Long Island, New York, for doing a great job recruiting.

“When Chris got here, we had 10-12 runners. Now we’re at 21, and we’re growing day by day,” Heimerman said.

Jones has a psychology degree received in 2018 and will pursue her master’s in sports administration while coaching.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Notice of Death – August 27, 2019


SanCedrick DeAngello Green
August 21, 1978 – August 27, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Billy Ray “Goat” Milam
October 11, 1930 – August 27, 2019
Service: Friday, September 6 at 10:30 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

James William Johnson
April 8, 1938 – August 22, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, August 31, 2019 from 9 -10:30 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 11 am at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum in Natchitoches

James D. Barnes
August 23, 2019
Arrangements TBA


Ronnie Lynn Walters, Sr.
June 29, 1944 – August 27, 2019
Service: Thursday, August 29 at 1 pm at First Baptist Church of Coushatta


Bobbie Pittman
August 25, 2019
Arrangements TBA

City Council says ‘Not in our town’

The City Council took action on two planning and zoning ordinances to uphold the integrity of the historic district at its meeting Monday night, Aug. 26. The first ordinance declared certain buildings unsafe and recommended that they be demolished or put into repair to comply with the building code. These properties included 1457 Washington Street, 1429 Washington Street, 717 Pavie Street and 312 Second Street.

The property that came under fire at the meeting was 312 Second Street, which is better known as the Summertree Apartments. No work has been done on the renovation project on the apartments building in about 2 years. A representative from Hopeville Partners LP in Georgia was present to inform the council that a new contractor after the original developer for the project defaulted on the loan. The over $3 million in tax credits attained to fund this project will be lost by Dec. 31, 2020.

The Council voted to pass the ordinance, which means the apartments will be demolished. Council woman Sylvia Morrow voted against the ordinance because she said she was in favor of the project moving forward. While the representative asked the Council to give them more time, Mayor Lee Posey said the community has been very tolerant to try and let this project happen, but it hasn’t.

Council member Eddie Harrington said the big issue for him was the possible negative impact allowing a vacant building in disrepair like this apartment complex would have on the City’s historic district designation. Council member Dale Nielsen said all the Council has gotten regarding this project is lip service.

City Attorney Ron Corkern said part of the package to attain tax credits for renovation projects like this one requires a certification of need from the City. While Natchitoches has signed off on a number of these in the past, the project in question was a done deal by the time the City learned about it because the certifications are no longer a requirement. He also said that while the City may have had a waiting list for low income housing 20 years ago, the wait is almost non existent as of today.

The other ordinance in the hot seat was one to rezone the house located at 219 Williams Avenue from R-1 Residential to R-1 Residential-Special Exception for Ted Methvin to operate a dental office. Residents came out to oppose this rezoning at previous City Council meetings and they were back at Monday night’s meeting. Methvin said he saw putting his dental practice on Williams as an opportunity to do something positive for the community, but neighbors didn’t feel the same way. The Council unanimously voted against the rezoning.

Other agenda items included:


#030 Nielsen Ordinance Extending The City Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches Annexing Six Tracts Situated In Section 83, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, And Sections 25 And 40, Township 9 North, Range 8 West, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, One Of Said Tracts Lying East Of Limekiln Road And South Of Rue De Gabriel, As Extended, And Five Of Said Tracts Situated Between Louisiana Highway 6 And Louisiana Highway 3278, And Adjacent To The Existing Municipal Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches, Being A Total Of 87.3 Acres, More Or Less, And Further Providing For The Fixing Of A Public Hearing, Advertisement, Fixing Council District For Same, Fixing Zoning Classification And Providing For An Effective Date Of The Ordinance.


#033 Morrow Ordinance Authorizing The City To Convey Lot 4 Of Block AE Of Roy Addition To The City Of Natchitoches To Joe Raggio And Janie Raggio, Setting The Terms And Conditions Of Same, And Authorizing The Execution Of The Deed Or Deeds By The Mayor After Due Compliance With The Law.


#062 Batiste Resolution Approving A Lease And Agreement Between Northwestern State University And The City Of Natchitoches For Test Water Well To Be Located In Section 137, Township 9 North, Range 7 West, And Authorizing The Mayor To Execute The Lease And Agreement On Behalf Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana

#063 Mims Resolution Approving The Granting Of A Right Of Way And Easement In Favor Of Atmos Energy Corporation Over And Across Property Owned By The City Of Natchitoches, And Located On The Easterly Right Of Way Of Boyd Street At Its Intersection With Bossier Street, City And Parish Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Approving The Form Of The Right Of Way And Easement And Further Authorizing The Mayor To Execute The Right Of Way And Easement And Any Other Related Documents

#064 Harrington Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Advertise For Bids For Liquid Chlorine For The Water Treatment Plant (Bid No. 0621)

#065 Nielsen Resolution Appointing Members To The Mayor’s Health And Fitness Council For The City Of Natchitoches


The next scheduled City Council meeting will be September 9, 2019
The City of Natchitoches offices will be closed on Friday, August 30, 2019 for Employee Appreciation Day and Monday, September 2, 2019 in honor of Labor Day.

City Council introduces ordinance for new NPS headquarters at train depot

The City Council added an exciting ordinance to the agenda at Monday night’s meeting, Aug. 26. While just an introduction, the ordinance will authorize the City to lease all or a portion of the property located at 607 Trudeau Street/Depot Street and 720 Sixth Street to the United States of America through the Designated Representative of the General Services Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Service.

The plan is for the National Park Service to move its offices from their location on Rapides Drive to the train depot near MLK Jr. Drive. There will be about 1,300-1,500 square feet of office space for the NPS. The middle space within the building will be converted into an interpretive center to tell the story of the African American history in the Natchitoches area. The other side of the building will become a media room.

The City will remodel the inside of the building and lease it to the NPS, which the City sees as a good return on its investment. While it will need new plumbing, electrical and HVAC the rest of the building’s interior will be left natural, which fits within the NPS guidelines.

On top of this, the NPS has around 1 million artifacts that they need to move along with their offices. Part of their requirements is a climate controlled space. The warehouse is climate controlled to 62 degrees and has a 20×20 walk in freezer area.

About the time the City started discussions over the depot with the NPS, it was approached by Eagle Distributing to see if it would be interested in purchasing Eagle’s warehouse. Eagle Distributing’s territory has changed and they’re looking to rebuild out toward the interstate. The City would purchase the 9,471 square foot warehouse on Sixth Street for $400,000. This building would also be leased to the NPS.

“This is exciting for our community,” said Mayor Lee Posey. The NPS also thinks it would be a good idea to be located within the historic district.

The NPS fiscal year ends Oct. 1 and they have some money in their current budget to put toward this project. This has all come together at an opportune time, which is why the City Council rushed to add the ordinance to Monday night’s agenda. A special called meeting will be held regarding this project on Sept. 13. More details will be announced on this meeting.

Senior-driven leadership has Demons ready to ‘win the trip’

There is little more second-year coach Brad Laird wants than to start the 2019 season with a victory Thursday at UT Martin.

For Laird, however, picking up a season-opening win begins before the Demons hit the road for Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff, which airs on ESPN+.

“We have to win the trip,” Laird said. “What do I mean by win the trip? It starts at 6:30 Wednesday morning when we get them together for breakfast before we leave at 7:30. It’s making sure they are ready and have everything ready to go.”

Northwestern State grabbed a victory in its road finale a season ago, defeating Stephen F. Austin, 35-23, on Nov. 15. That victory bookended the Demons’ Southland Conference road schedule, which began with a thrilling 49-48 win at Lamar on Sept. 15.

“Winning the trip” begins with the 21-player senior class, a group Laird said actively made its case to be leaders on the field and inside the locker room.

“Two weeks ago, they came to me and said, as seniors, we want to step out and be the leaders of this team, and not just because we’re seniors,” Laird said. “They did it first by position groups, then offense and defense, then the whole team. This was senior led, not coaching led. They took it upon themselves to have a once-a-week meeting to say, ‘Here’s where we are. Here’s where we have to be better.’

“That’s important because they are our voice in the locker room. They’ve done a great job with their leadership over the last two weeks.”

While Laird’s “win the trip” mantra focuses on taking care of the little things – a longtime coaching adage – the genesis of the senior-driven leadership was much more recent.

Laird brought in speakers throughout fall camp to give the Demons “the same message from a different voice.” What they said hit home for the Demons’ seniors.

“(One of the speakers) said you need to figure out who you are as a team,” center Dustin Burns said. “He pointed to the seniors and said, ‘This is your last ride. You need to know what this team is and what it’s going to be.’ We decided to get up the next morning and figure out what that is.”

In addition to Thursday’s game airing on ESPN+, the game can be heard on 94.9 FM The River, the new flagship of the Demon Sports Network. 

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana members learn about their culture at first NTL Women’s Meeting

The Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana held its first NTL Women’s Meeting on Aug. 25. The event was hosted at Browne Lake in Coushatta Louisiana. Thirty people attended in person, and 10 attended online. Audricka Young from the NTL Tribe and Jurae Letherman-Hunter from the Seminole Nation educated the women on the history of the ribbon skirt, tribe and how to make Fry bread. The women will make a ribbon skirt at home and share their projects later as part of the women’s tribal education. The women had a great time spending time with each other and learning.

Photos by Michelle Hernandez Cascio Spillers and Jurae Leatherman-Hunter