Notice of Death – September 29, 2019


Paralee Bilberry
September 29, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Mary Dee Williamson Green
June 06, 1914 – September 22, 2019
Visitation: Monday, September 30 from 1-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Monday, September 30 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Curtis Huntley
September 21, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Robert W. Neuman
September 14, 1930 – September 09, 2019
Service: Saturday, October 5 from 4-6 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Reception: Saturday, October from 6-9 pm at 202 Bird Avenue


Oscar Wayne Alford
July 23, 1932 – September 27, 2019
Service: Monday, September 30 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Many

John Earl “Sid” Rivers
May 16, 1938 – September 28, 2019
Service: Tuesday, October 1 at 10 am at St. Ann Catholic Church


Norma Lee Guthrie
November 13, 1928 – September 29, 2019
Service held September 29

NSU reminds public of its new Bag Policy

ANSU Bag graphic

NSU– Fans attending Northwestern State home football, basketball, baseball and softball games are reminded that NSU Athletics has a new bag check policy that includes restrictions on the types of purses and bags that will be allowed inside the venues.

No bag larger than 12 inches by 12 inches is permitted. Any purse or bag brought to the venue gates will be searched at gates by trained personnel, said Mike Jacklich, assistant athletics director for ticketing and special events.

The search is aimed at preventing weapons from entering the stadium, along with outside food and beverage, alcohol, drugs, umbrellas, and other items deemed inappropriate by gameday staff or NSU police, said Jacklich. Umbrellas have been banned from NSU home football games for many years.

Fans who don’t bring bags and want to avoid any possible wait time may more quickly enter Turpin Stadium at the southwest gate on the press box side, and at the east gate on the opposite side of the stadium, where the NSU student section is located.

Fans are allowed to bring factory-sealed water bottles up to 20 ounces into the stadium.

For complete information on the policy, visit online. NSU staff members attended an intense risk-management training session this spring, leading to the decision to institute the new bag policy, Jacklich said.

For more information on NSU football gameday policies and procedures call 318-357-5251.

NSU Football: Demons look for redemption in return home vs. Southeastern Louisiana – TODAY

The Northwestern State football team has a chance to make amends Saturday night in its Southland Conference home opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

When the Demons and Lions kick off at 6:07 p.m. on Cox Sports Television (CST), it will mark the first time in 21 days for Northwestern State to enjoy playing at home. The last time the Demons took the field at Turpin Stadium, they left with a bitter taste in their collective mouths.

In addition to airing on CST, Saturday’s game can be heard on the Demon Sports Network, flagshipped by 94.9 FM The River in Natchitoches and including 710 AM KEEL in Shreveport and 105.5 KBKK in Alexandria. 

“The last time we played here, there was some disappointment for the fans and the community,” second-year head coach Brad Laird said. “There’s nothing like playing here, so we’re looking for redemption on our part after playing three of the first four on the road and not having the best game the one time we played here.”

The Demons (0-4, 0-1) fell to Midwestern State, 33-7, in their home opener on Sept. 7.

They welcome a nationally ranked Southeastern Louisiana (2-1, 1-0) squad that scored an impressive season-opening win against preseason No. 6 Jacksonville State on Aug. 29 and started Southland Conference play with a 45-34 win against Lamar this past Saturday.

Those collective victories, sandwiched around a very competitive 40-29 loss at Ole Miss, shone through to Laird.

“You see a team that has consistently improved,” Laird said of the Lions, who are ranked No. 19 in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 22 in the FCS coaches poll. “The way they finished last year, you knew that really was not what you were going to get this year. They’re playing with a lot of confidence. That all starts with coach (Frank) Scelfo and the quarterback (Chason Virgil). He’s the ringleader for them.”

Virgil leads a Southeastern Louisiana offense that ranks third in the Southland Conference in scoring (36.3 points per game) and has tallied at least 29 points in all three outings this season. Virgil (145.7, 6th) and fellow quarterback Cole Kelley (204.2, 1st) give the Lions two of the top six passers in the conference in terms of quarterback rating.

While Virgil has manned the helm of the Lions offense for the better part of the past two seasons, the Lions’ defense got a boost on the sideline in the offseason when former McNeese head coach Lance Guidry joined Scelfo’s staff as the defensive coordinator.

Guidry’s presence has paid off as the Lions lead the Southland Conference and rank second nationally, averaging 4.67 tackles for loss per game.

“We’ve seen their scheme before, just at a different place,” Laird said. “He’s brought that same mentality to the defensive side of the ball. You see that in they play.”

As the Demons seek their first victory of the season, Laird said the team can draw off aspects of last week’s 48-21 loss at Houston Baptist.

Laird also drew on a historical perspective as he addressed his team earlier in the week.

“Two springs ago, we had our spring meeting heading into the spring semester on Martin Luther King Day,” Laird said. “I was thinking about that, and a lot of what he said hits home. It’s a great moment to reflect on it, because we’re going through some adversity right now. That won’t tell the tale of who we are.

“One thing Dr. King said was, ‘If you can’t fly then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but keep moving forward.’ That’s that this team is going to do. He also said the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in time of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. I saw some guys in that room Sunday really take that to heart.”

Laird said following the loss to Houston Baptist he needed to look in the mirror. His team took his message and applied it to itself as well.

“Coming off a loss like that is not always easy,” said junior outside linebacker Kyle Moore, who became the first Demon in three seasons to record a full sack and an interception in the same game.

“One thing I saw was energy. We have some fight in us. At no point were we down on ourselves or gave up. We’re 0-4, and we’re tired of losing. I think a win against Southeastern would give us some confidence and get the ball rolling, start a snowball effect. If we get on a roll, we’ll be hard to stop.”

Save the Date: Beatles & Brews event set for October 10

Johnny Earthquake and Friends are pleased to announce a “Beatles & Brews” fundraiser bash to be held at the Cane River Brewery on Thursday, Oct. 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The event will feature performances of the Beatles classics by “Johnny Earthquake and Friends”. Performers will include many members of Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, along with several special guests, all performing their renditions of the “Fab Four” classics. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging.

“We are super excited about this fundraiser,” said Laura Rogers, Council on Aging Board President, “Everyone loves Beatles’ music and most musicians who perform regularly in this area, including member of the Moondogs, Billy O’Con’s band, Hardrick Rivers, and many other special surprise guests will be performing and they will all be doing Beatles’songs. Its going to be a special night!”

General Admission armbands are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Armbands may be purchased in advance at the Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging, The Cakery, The Landing Restaurant, The Harrington Law Firm, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, City Bank & Trust, and Cane River Brewery.

2019 WRC Gala

Kevin’s Gallery

Several hundred supporters of the Natchitoches Women’s Resource Center gathered at the Natchitoches Events Center for the Center’s annual Celebration of Life. The popular fundraiser, now in its 13th year, featured an enjoyable dinner, fellowship and a speech by pro-life figure Sean Carey.

The Women’s Resource Center, an integral part of our community since 1989, serves 400 to 500 women each year. The center assists women from the moment they realize they are pregnant through their child’s first year. The expecting mothers receive pre-natal vitamins, baby supplies such as car seats, diapers, baby clothes and other items. The center does more than help with baby supplies, however. The mothers to be are offered classes in parenting, healthy relationships,car seat installation, budgeting and much more. The WRC is there to assist with every aspect of a new mother’s life. Above all, the women know that they are not facing the situation alone. The volunteers of the Women’s Resource Center are there to help and support them.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating tonight’s photography. Anyone may download any they wish. If you do see a photo you like, please consider a donation to the Women’s Resource Center in lieu of payment. The Center is a force for good in our community. Let’s help them out!

Natchitoches Parish President and Council Candidates Square Off at Chamber of Commerce Forum

A group of about 50 concerned citizens were joined by an internet audience in watching tonight’s Parish President and Parish Council candidate forum Thursday, September 26 at NSU’s Magale Auditorium. The forum was sponsored by the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce and NSU’s Student Government Association. Members of NSU’s Student Government Association also assisted with the event set up, ushering and timekeeping. Chamber president Laura Lyles emceed the evening’s program. Each candidate was allowed a 3 minute introduction, after which they each answered questions from the chamber and from audience members. The candidates answered questions on the condition of the parish’s roads, Head Start, fostering economic growth and how they planned to address these and other issues should they be the one elected.

These forums are an excellent opportunity to meet and evaluate the men and women hoping to earn your vote. Take advantage and come out to meet them and hear what they have to say in response to your questions. Make your voice heard and your vote count!

NSU Football: All-American tight end Justin Aldredge to be Saturday’s Demon Great of the Game

Justin Aldredge’s family ties led him to Turpin Stadium for his college football career. His on- and off-field performances made him one of the best tight ends in school history.

A 2011 All-American, Aldredge has been named the Exchange Bank and Trust Demon Great of the Game for Saturday’s 6:05 p.m. game against Southeastern Louisiana. He will be recognized during the first quarter of the game against the Lions, which will air on CST. For those outside CST’s footprint, the game can be seen on ESPN3.

The grandson of NSU All-American Corwyn Aldredge Sr., Justin Aldredge made a name for himself, earning second-team FCS All-American honors as a senior from the Beyond Sports Network after catching 39 passes for 514 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Those numbers produced first-team All-Southland Conference and second-team All-Louisiana honors for Aldredge, whose receptions and yardage totals ranked him in the top 10 in the Southland Conference that season.

A two-time All-Southland Conference performer on the field, Justin Aldredge’s All-American season made him and his grandfather the first pair of family members to earn All-American honors as NSU football players. After playing linebacker as a freshman, Aldredge shifted to tight end and caught a pass in 32 of his 33 starts on offense, including a string of 15 straight to finish his career.

Justin Aldredge excelled away from the field as well, graduating magna cum laude in business administration and accounting with a 3.9 grade point average. He earned first-team Capital One Academic All-America honors as a senior and was a first-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District VI selection as a junior.

A Demon Great of the Game is spotlighted at each home football game. In its first six seasons, the Great of the Game presented by Exchange Bank and Trust has honored 30 outstanding figures in the 111-year history of NSU athletics. Aldredge joins former NSU track and field All-American javelin thrower Latrell Frederick as this season’s Demon Great of the Game honorees.

Exchange Bank and Trust has been a key supporter of NSU Athletics throughout its long history as the oldest financial institution in Louisiana.

Natchitoches Fire Department Investigations Division Makes Arrest in Arson Case

The Natchitoches Fire Department Investigation Division was called to investigate a suspicious fire in the 1500 block of Mandell Street.

On September 14, 2019 around 7:00 a.m., firefighters with the Natchitoches Fire Department responded to the 1500 block of Mandell Street in reference to a house fire. Upon firefighter’s arrival they located multiple areas of the house where an apparent accelerant was used to set the fire.

The Natchitoches Fire Department Investigation Division arrived on scene and determined that the fire was intentionally set. Investigators spoke with several witnesses that stated a male set the fire and fled the scene in a vehicle.

Natchitoches Fire Department Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Carl Johnson Jr. ( 21 y.o.a, B/M of Natchitoches) for 7 counts of Aggravated Arson.

Carl Johnson Jr. was arrested without incident and placed in Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

If you have additional information in regards to this investigation, please contact Investigator Kory Leo at (318) 357-3860. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Ponderings with Doug – September 27, 2019

James Mitchell is a hero at First Methodist Church. He was the youth director here way back in the 1980’s. James is now the pastor of our largest Methodist church in Mandeville, Louisiana. I was the Executive Pastor at the church with James before I came to Natchitoches. I have known James and his wife Delaine forever! We all started this journey about the same time.

Delaine and I are both comics and James is the straight man. On Thursday nights we all went to dinner. It was a ritual. Always at 6:30. Always Italian food. It was such an important ritual that I convinced their son Patrick that he ought to attend the University of Alabama. Patrick graduated with his Master’s degree from that institution last year! Roll Tide!

On the Thursday nights before I was to preach on the following Sunday,
Delaine would bet me a dollar that I couldn’t work a certain word into the sermon that Sunday. It had to flow naturally. It could not disrupt the sermon. It could not disrupt the people listening to the sermon. Once she bet me ten dollars, I could not work the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” into the sermon. I was preaching on Nebuchadnezzar, so “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was no problem. James Mitchell just shook his head.

There are words that preachers don’t get to use in our public discourse.

I have used this word once in a funeral meditation and I am about to use the word again in this article. The word is bra. If you are squeamish stop reading here.

I used the word once at a funeral. The guy I was burying was a character of renown. He rode a Harley to church every Sunday. His tattoos had ink of their own. He lived life rough. He had a rough-hewn faith too. He believed Jesus consumed wine abundantly and could have won any bar brawl. He offended those of a more delicate faith with his Sunday School pronouncements.

He died suddenly. His family asked me to do the funeral. They wanted me to talk about his Mardi Gras Krewe and costume. The most important part of his Mardi Gras costume was the sequined bra. Previously, I had never uttered the word “bra” in public. Three sentences into his funeral meditation, the word bra was uttered from that pulpit and the stained-glass windows did not shatter.

The other day I ordered a couple of books. They were typical of the books I order. The books were so small that Amazon put them in one of their large envelopes. I opened the envelope and dumped the contents out on the sofa in front of God and my in-laws! Out tumbled my two books and one bra.

Guys fear this. Some of my friends have had unexplained bras pop up in glove compartments, under front seats of cars or between sofa cushions. An unidentified bra will get a male in knee-deep kimchee every time.

What in the world? Who ordered this bra? Did Amazon make a mistake? Was there a special, order two books and get one bra? I was flummoxed.

My wife walked in and laughed. She said, “You were using my Amazon account for your books again. You didn’t check the shopping cart before you placed the order, did you?” I was doubly caught.

NO. I did not check the shopping cart. I was ordering books and don’t know a thing about Amazon shopping carts! I do know that being sneaky never seems to pay off.

An unexamined shopping cart led to an incriminating bra.

Honesty is the best policy.

According to Kris: Fall into Fashion Part 3

By Kris James

TGIF Stylers! Congrats you have made it through the week and almost made it through my four-day Fall segment. Now it’s time to let your hair down. We’ve established that Fall style is the most fun style. Somehow, the idea of treating yourself is especially alluring in the Fall. As I said weeks ago for kids, it’s all about back-to-school excitement, and for Stylers, it’s game time. So, instead of pulling out the same pile of reliable heavily pilled sweaters from your storage, why not resolve to test drive something new?

I recently saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is a Quentin Tarantino film. Set in the late 60s and early 70s, the film serves is an homage to Western cinema in New Hollywood and the fashion in the movie was amazing. I already had a love for the 70s era but it wasn’t until I saw this movie that it gave me the confidence to try to push my style. For a long time, 70s style was rudely mocked for its bad taste, its many shades of brown and its large amount of body hair. But after seeing Brad Pit and Leonardo DiCaprio in this film I automatically knew this was a perfect fit for me. I’m down with the flares, cowboy boots, double denim, silk shirts, animal print, and leather jackets.

To get your imagination going, I decided to ask a few stylers about the style moves they’re most excited to pull off this fall.

“I’ve never paired a print blazer or jacket with a different print scarf. That seems to be a hard style for me to consider because I was raised to never mix prints. I was also always told that black and brown doesn’t match but I’ve overcome that fashion No No through the years.”  – Tammy Metoyer

“You pair a quality wool overcoat with a nice sweater and tailored trousers and you’re killing the game. I do think that it’s such a different look that it will take people around here a while to adjust to it, however it’s a very common look in the bigger cities. That’s the great thing about fashion. You always have the opportunity to be that trendsetter.”  -Mario Fox

“I’m ready for hats! I love the wool Panama style hat which is perfect for fall. Meghan Markle wore one recently and I’m obsessed with her! Every girl needs a good fall hat to go with her favorite pair of booties!”  – Micah Foshee

Pi Kappa Phi member named ‘Mr. Northwestern State University’

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity member Char’Tarian has been named 2019 ‘Mr. NSU,’ the highest honor a Northwestern State University student can receive. Wilson, along with ‘Ms. NSU,’ Shelby Sullivan, were selected by the student body as part of a continuing tradition dating back to 1956.

The Student Government Association holds elections for the honor each fall semester, with Mr. and Ms. NSU being presented at a home football game. These two outstanding students can be seen at other campus events and activities throughout the year.

“Words can not express the emotions that are running through my head at this moment,” Wilson said. “Northwestern State University has given me so much: opportunity, friendship, challenges, confidence, memories to cherish for a lifetime and so much more. This place holds a special place in my heart and my love for those three columns shall ‘ever reign.’”

Wilson, a senior biology major, plans to obtain a Masters in Physician’s Assistant and enter the medical field.

Char is very involved on campus, having served as Secretary of Pi Kappa Phi, Event Coordinator of the Student Activities Board, Vice President of the NSU Interfraternity Council, President’s Leadership Program, Demon Days Committee, Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, NSU concert band, NASA JOVE research program, Alpha Lambda Delta First Year Honor Society, Freshman Connection, and NSU Cheer.

He was elected to the NSU Homecoming honor court and was 2018 NSU Homecoming King. In 2018, he was inducted into the NSU chapter of Order of Omega and in 2019 was selected for Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Wilson, who was named to Pi Kappa Phi’s 2019 Ad Astra Society recognizing the top one percent of students nationwide, has attended both Pi Kapp College for Chapter Officers and Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders. He is also a recipient of both the David D. Morgan ‘Extra Mile’ Scholarship and the Morgan First Generation Scholarship.

Wilson joins three other Pi Kapps as recipients of the ‘Mr. NSU’ honor: Jake Bryan in 2012, L.C. Cathey in 1960 and Roland McKneely, Jr. in 1961.

NSU Football: Davis brings end to touchdown drought in style

It took Akile Davis one game in a Northwestern State football uniform to surpass his reception total in four years at BYU.

The road to his first collegiate touchdown catch was three weeks longer, and it marked an odyssey that spanned more than 1,000 days between in-game visits to the end zone.

Davis put an end to his scoreless drought at Houston Baptist this past Saturday, hauling in a pair of scores from quarterback Shelton Eppler.

“I was really excited,” said Davis, who finished with three catches for a team-leading 68 yards. “There was a lot of emotion. At my previous school, I was there four years and never caught a touchdown, so it felt really good. I wish we had come out with the win. I would rather have no touchdowns and a win.”

Davis, who came to Northwestern State as a graduate transfer in the summer, ranks second on the team in receiving yards (187) and touchdown catches (2) and third in receptions (14).

He credited the culture around the Demons program with helping him assimilate quickly after his July arrival, which brought him much closer to his hometown of DeSoto, Texas than he was in Provo, Utah.

The decision to play roughly a four-hour drive from home paid off this past Saturday.

“It felt good coming back close to home,” Davis said. “My parents and everybody came to the Houston Baptist game. Being in Utah, they were able to make about one game a year. It’s great knowing if I need anything, they’re there.”

FATHER VS. SON: Second-year Northwestern State head coach Brad Laird knows about coaching alongside his father.

Laird coached under his late father, former NSU assistant coach Billy, at Nashville (Arkansas) High School, so he has an appreciation for what Demons quarterback coach Anthony Scelfo faces Saturday when Northwestern State faces Southeastern Louisiana, coached by Frank Scelfo, Anthony’s father.

The Scelfos, who coached together at UTSA for two seasons before Anthony came to Northwestern State and Frank took the Southeastern Louisiana head coaching position prior to the 2018 season, meet for the second time at 6:07 p.m. at Turpin Stadium. Southeastern Louisiana held off Northwestern State, 24-17, a season ago in Hammond in the first meeting between the Scelfos.

“To have the opportunity to coach with your dad or coach against him, he’s had the opportunity to do both,” Laird said. “You have the opportunity as a son to develop under your father in more ways than one – one how you were brought up and, two, in your professional career. Professional is the best way to describe both of them. What Anthony gets is very honest from Frank.”

Although the Scelfos are on opposing sidelines, their relationship reminds Laird of the one he shared with his father.

“The time that Anthony and Frank had, you can’t get that back,” Laird said. “There’s always a lot of things you share during your childhood, but from a professional standpoint, it brings a whole new perspective.”