Partnership with CLC leads to record revenues for NSU Athletics

Northwestern State’s licensing agreement with CLC has delivered record-breaking revenues to the athletic department in each of the first two quarters of 2019.

Official Northwestern State logos are trademarked, and as such, persons/vendors wishing to sell branded NSU items must be licensed through licensing and brand management partner CLC (formerly Learfield). Licenses start at $250, and a percentage of every NSU item sold is returned to the university. The partnership also allows NSU representatives to review and approve all designs that bear its name and/or likeness.

“A business associate from a large corporation recently referenced the value of ‘riding your brand’ and the ever-growing licensing program for NSU Athletics does just that on a daily basis,” said Northwestern State Director of Athletics Greg Burke.

“We are grateful for the vendors who are official licensees of Demon athletics and do such a wonderful job of promoting the NSU brand on many levels. With that said, we are just touching the tip of the iceberg as it relates to the potential for expanding NSU’s licensing platform and, in turn, generating additional revenue that will better position our athletic program for success.”

The Northwestern State Athletic Department constantly is looking for new vendors willing to invest in its brand, as well as working with current vendors to offer a wider variety of NSU branded items to consumers.

“It’s important for friends and fans of Northwestern State to know and understand how NSU manages its brand and how vital licensing revenues are to the athletic program’s operation,” said Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Dr. Haley Taitano. “It’s encouraging to see licensing revenues higher than ever before thanks to NSU’s amazing fans and licensing partners! The potential for growth, both by way of expanding the NSU brand and reach, and enhancing revenue streams, is exponential.”

After forging new partnerships with alumni-owned businesses Cane River Brewing Company of Natchitoches and Cayenne Marketing of Shreveport (a vendor for the NSU alumni-owned business Simply Chic Boutique), the athletic department expects revenues to continue to rise.

“Every time NSU fans purchase NSU branded items from a licensed vendor, it benefits the university,” said Taitano, who oversees NSU’s athletic branding efforts. “Fans who have concerns regarding the availability or selection of items in their areas, particularly in the Northwest Louisiana region, are encouraged to ask store managers/owners why they don’t carry NSU items. It’s simply the supply and demand rule. Our fans can help by continuing to ask for more NSU items in neighboring stores.”

Persons or businesses who are interested in learning more about becoming a licensed vendor may contact Taitano at 318-357-4278.

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St. Mary’s students receive awards for poetry, art contest

An art and poetry contest was held last school year as a part of the Natchitoches Parish Library’s 80th Anniversary celebration. Entries from eight St. Mary’s Catholic School students were chosen and will be showcased on the Reading Trail at Pierson Mallett Park (behind the firestation on East 5th Street). The Library hopes to have the poetry and art work formatted and ready by early November.

Students from the entire parish were asked to submit entries based on Louisiana’s most recognized symbols such as the magnolia, our state flowers, the bald cypress, our state tree, the brown pelican, our state bird and many, many more. Students were asked to choose one Louisiana State symbol and then write a poem focusing on the symbol. Then the students were asked to create a visual art piece representing the symbol. The art pieces could have been a drawing, painting or photography entry.

Natchitoches Parish Library Director Jessica McGrath presented the students with awards. Pictured from left are Liz Miller, Mason McCart, Anna Marie McClung, Anna Thibodaux, Hannah Gahagan, Mixon Bankston, Andrew Kautz, Adam Parker, Mason Melder, and Jessica McGrath.

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NSU Football: Bevy of promotions set for Saturday’s game vs. Southeastern Louisiana

Education takes center stage on the promotional side of the Northwestern State football team’s return home against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday.

When the Demons host the Lions in a 6 p.m. kickoff at Turpin Stadium, they will continue what they began earlier in the week.

As part of the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Week, various Northwestern State student-athletes will be out in the community, delivering game tickets to their favorite teachers. Throughout the game, local teachers will be recognized and honored.

Fans also have the opportunity to show their respect for local teachers by making a donation to support the Demons Unlimited Foundation’s partnership with the A+ Coalition to advance education in Natchitoches Parish. Text EXTRAYARD to 41444 to make a donation. 

Saturday also will be Northwestern State’s annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day where NSU teachers and staff members will be honored during the game.

It will be fun for all ages when the Demons host Southeastern Louisiana as the game also will serve as the annual Super 1 Foods Kids Day game.

There will be $5 tickets available for children to attend Saturday’s game against Southeastern Louisiana. Kids also are encouraged to attend Friday night’s 7 o’clock soccer match against Lamar and Saturday’s 11 a.m. volleyball match against Houston Baptist. Admission to the soccer and volleyball matches are free.

The $5 tickets can be purchased online by using the code KIDSDAY2019.

Kids Day events include tailgate food, drinks, games and giveaways sponsored by Super 1 Foods. All Kids Day participants will be invited on the field to make the runout tunnel for the Demons football team.

Saturday also is Family Day hosted by the First Year Experience, and there is a tailgate associated with that event as well.

Check-in for the Family Day tailgate is set for 2:30 p.m. with live band Extreme Caution playing at 3 p.m. A tailgate dinner will be served at 4 p.m. for $10 before the 5:15 p.m. pep rally featuring NSU’s cheerleaders and pom line as well as the Spirit of Northwestern band.

For more information on the Family Day tailgate, log onto

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Old Bethel Baptist Church will celebrate 172 years

Old Bethel Baptist Church will celebrate its 172nd Homecoming on Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. with a service preached by Bro. Jack “Bubba Jack” Mills III. Bubba Jack grew up at Old Bethel. His dad Bro. Jack Mill Jr. was the pastor at Old Bethel for 15 years (from 1986-2001). They lived in Shreveport and drove down to Natchitoches every Friday for the weekend. Bubba Jack was raised with five sisters, Monique, Sarah, Becky, Rachal and Debbie. They all shared chores around the church property from cleaning the church to mowing the grass. Bubba Jack has lots of fond memories of Old Bethel. Bubba Jack is the manager of Clara Springs Baptist Camp in Pelican, along with his wife, Mandi Reames Mills, who manages the Food Service at the camp. They have four girls, Makayla, Jenna, Julia, and Hope, also have a foster son, Bret Blair. Bret started out as one of their staffers, now he lives with them. We are proud to have Bubba Jack bringing the message to us on our 172nd Homecoming. If you are former member of Old Bethel or just to want to visit, please come join us on Oct. 6. We will have a meal immediately following the worship service in the Fellowship Hall.

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City Bank donates to American Cancer Society

City Bank employees made a donation to the American Cancer Society. The Belles & Beaus on the Cane presents the Blush and Bashful Gala Event, which is scheduled for Oct. 24 honoring Steel Magnolias. The American Cancer Society is making progress to help save lives from cancer every day. In addition, the ACS provided over 2,200 services to patients and families from the Cenla area last year alone. Pictured from left are Kenny Thomas, Melissa Buford-Staff Partner, Kim Howell and Shanna Baker.

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UPDATE: Pearl Street homicide investigation


September 23, 2019 Detectives with Natchitoches Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division arrested Devon Johnson, 25, of Natchitoches. Johnson was charged with first degree murder and placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

This investigation is ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.

Original story:

Natchitoches Police investigate homicide on Pearl Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a homicide that took place Sunday afternoon on Pearl Street.

On September 15, 2019 around 4:00 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 300 block of Pearl Street in reference to someone being shot in the area. Upon officers arrival they located Daniel James Beaudion (B/M, 33 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) suffering from a gunshot wound.

The Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective John Wynn at (318) 357-3811. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

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LSMSA Student donates supplies to local elementary school

A student at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) Andrew Luse, a third-year senior from Monroe, and Dr. Pamela Francis collected school supplies throughout the summer to distribute to area schools. Today, they delivered some very welcomed supplies to Principal Ducote and Principal Irchirl at L.P. Vaughn Elementary School in Natchitoches.

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NSU Volleyball: Complete performance lifts NSU past Brown

Saturday’s match was much more like what we’ve come to expect from Northwestern State volleyball this season, in perhaps their best all around performance.

The Lady Demons displayed its most balance offensive attack along with a stout defensive effort in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-20) sweep of Brown in the Georgia State Invitational.

“It was a very complete game and a perfect time to have it as we go into conference next week,” coach Sean Kiracofe said. “It was a slow start in the first but everyone stayed patient as we figured out some changes we wanted to make. After each time out everyone did a nice job of implementing things we talked about, and it paid off with a spread offense and quality defense.”

NSU had five players record six or more kills in the match, led by Hannah Brister (14) and Alexis Warren (11). Birthday girl, Skylar Besch had her most productive match of the season with seven kills, adding 14 assists along the way. Kourtney Seaton turned in seven kills as well with three block assist defensively.

Brown had early control in the first set, holding a lead up until the 17-13 mark. A 4-0 run by the Lady Demons, with a kill and block assist from Seaton, tied the set at 17. The initial push turned into a 7-1 swing that put NSU up and all the momentum on its side. Kills from Besh, Brister, and Reagan Lee gave NSU the first with a 25-22 final.

The late comeback and confidence that came with it carried over the rest of the way for the Lady Demons.

Another 4-0 run with a pair of kills from Brister, an ace from Cayman Sutton, and another kill from Lee put the Lady Demons up 13-6 in the second. Brown got only as close as four the rest of the set and Seaton sealed things with a 25-19 winner.

NSU took control of the third set with a 10-3 run that put the Lady Demons ahead 18-13 on another kill from Seaton. The lead was enough to hold off a late 4-1 push by the Bears, with back-to-back kills from Warren and Darria Williams to secure the sweep.

“Skylar stepped up today and had a great match on her birthday,” Kiracofe said. “Cayman also ran a great offense with some very good decisions in difficult situations. Darria was both smart when she needed to be and aggressive when it was available. We had a lot of good performances today.”

The Lady Demons carry their performance into next Thursday’s Southland Conference opener with Sam Houston State at Prather Coliseum.

Stay connected to NSU volleyball by following @NSUDemonsVB on Twitter and Instagram or by liking Northwestern State volleyball on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

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Farm Bureau recognizes Lakeview Player of the Week

Farm Bureau Insurance recognized Tevin Hickman #2 as Player of the Week for Lakeview Gators! Hickman is a junior who plays Free Safety and Wide Receiver.


2-Rushes for 75 yards with 1 touchdown….
1-receiving touchdown
65- yard kickoff return
1 – interception
6- tackles

Tevin plays basketball for the Gators as well. His favorite class is Culinary Arts and he loves to cook Lasagna. Coach Helms says Tevin has become an amazing student.

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Notice of Death – September 23, 2019


Richard Johnson
April 13, 1982 – September 21, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Donnie Hall
August 11, 1969 – September 16, 2019
Service: Tuesday, September 24 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Dr. Nelda Self Wellman
April 17, 1950 – September 21, 2019
Service: Wednesday, September 25 at 10 am at New Life Evangelism Center in Natchitoches

Donald Harris
September 20, 2019
Service: Saturday, September 28 at 2 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Curtis Huntley
September 21, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Effola Zeno Ivey
September 18, 2019
Service: Saturday, September 28 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church near Clarence

Elijajuan Walker
February 28, 1986 – September 15, 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


Gerald “Jerry” David Redner
November 11, 1935 – September 19, 2019
Service: Saturday, September 28 at 10 am at St. Rita Catholic Church

Charles Michael Parent
August 8, 1929 – September 19, 2019
Service: Thursday, September 26 at 2 pm in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home


William Rand Almond
May 08, 1952 – September 22, 2019
Service: Thursday, September 26 at 2 pm at First Baptist Church in Coushatta


Mary Bartley Mercer
September 13, 1934 – September 21, 2019
Service: Tuesday, September 24 at 10 am at Southern Funeral Home

Small Town, Big Heart: Marthaville Good Ole’ Days Festival Turns 27

By Kevin Shannahan

Several thousand festival goers enjoyed themselves at the Annual Marthaville Good Ole’ Days Festival, held this past weekend, Sept. 20-21. This year’s Festival marks the 27th anniversary of what has become one of our parish’s most beloved traditions. This year’s event showcased the current and former festival presidents who served as Grand Marshals.

While the parade was the highlight of the festival, it was far from the only activity going on. Both Friday and Saturday evenings featured concerts. There was an antique car judging, performances by school dance and cheer groups and a performance by the NSU cheerleaders. The festival also served as a reunion for the Marthaville High School’s classes of 1949, 1959 and 1969. The parade featured numerous entries ranging from the NCHS’ Junior ROTC unit and Color Guard to Smokey the Bear and the young men and women of Cub Scout Pack 20. The hometown Marthaville Hawk cheerleaders and spirit group were joined by their counterparts from Red River Parish and Magnet. The fire department, antique cars, library bookmobile, area political candidates and a full complement of area pageant queens rounded out the parade roster.

The Marthaville Good Ole’ Days Festival is a superb weekend of family fun and togetherness. It is small town America at its best! The NPJ is looking forward to next year.

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NSU Football: NSU running game awakens in loss at HBU

Losing two starting offensive linemen in the first half of a game usually is not a recipe for building a strong rushing attack.

That is what happened, however, for Northwestern State in Saturday’s 48-21 loss at Houston Baptist. The Demons overcame the loss of both starting tackles to produce a season-best 146 rushing yards against the Huskies, nearly equaling what the NSU rushing game totaled in its first three games of the season.

“The O-line played well,” second-year head coach Brad Laird said. “They played physical, played relentless with some guys banged up. (Jonathan) Hubbard, our left tackle, goes down probably in the third series, and Brody Griffin has to come in. Jake Gore, our right tackle, goes down in the first half, and Parker Fink comes in. Those guys didn’t miss a beat. That’s one thing I told them in the team meeting (Sunday) is when your opportunity gets called, make sure you’re ready. Those two guys were ready.”

NSU entered Saturday’s game with 200 rushing yards and with just two 10-yard rushes by its running backs in the first three games.

Both Jared West and Stadford Anderson contributed two runs each of at least 10 yards Saturday night with both running backs establishing season highs in yardage. West carried 17 times for 80 yards and a touchdown while Anderson gained 56 yards on 11 carries.

Despite running behind a different alignment up front for most of the game, West’s yardage total surpassed the 62 yards he gained in Weeks 1-3 while Anderson’s 56 yards equaled his output in that same time.

“Coach (J) Pond does a great job with those guys, making sure those guys get good reps in practice, so when a guy goes down, it’s a next-man-up situation,” West said. “Those guys, when they get to come in, their hair’s on fire. They’re always ready go to. They have a lot of experience and know exactly what to do.”

Laird credited Pond as well for his role with the offensive line.

“Sometimes as an 18-to-22-year-old, it’s hard to stay on track, because every guy wants to start, wants to play,” Laird said. “You have to take advantage of the opportunities you have in practice to prepare yourself. When it’s a next-man-up mentality, you’ve got to be ready to go. Credit coach Pond for getting those guys ready to play. It was good to see that from that group from a physical standpoint.”

That mentality extended to the Demons receivers as well.

“I don’t know how many catches Quan Shorts has, but it doesn’t matter,” Laird said. “You turn on the tape and watch him block. Good night. There are some things we can take from that Houston Baptist game and build on, but you look at two things. One is red-zone opportunities. We were 1-for-3 and turned it over on downs at the plus-22, so we’re basically 1-for-4. Then you have the turnovers. We had three turnovers.

“Defensively, yards after contact. We gave up 271 yards after contact and had 23 missed tackles. You’re not going to win games doing that. As frustrating as it is, there is a lot to build on.”

And West fits into that category.

“A little bit of comes from (being healthy),” Laird said. “A little of it is the O-line. He missed basically all of spring practice, and Stadford did a great job then. He was in and out of fall camp, so he was trying to get into that rhythm. Confidence is huge, and that’s one thing you can see. He is running with a lot more confidence.”

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

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By Jason Methvin/Opinion

I can remember in 1981 when the cotton was particularly high, that Momma and Daddy loaded the lot of us up in the Lincoln and took us to the State Fair. There in a bright yellow tent, I saw her. Zambora the Jungle Girl. Captured in deepest darkest Africa, Zambora could turn into a gorilla! I had to see that. So, daddy bought me a ticket and sent me in. There she was. Diminutive in stature, sedated and restrained for our safety. The lights dimmed and she started to change. Gradually but unmistakably into a huge gorilla. We were told to stay quiet so as not to awaken her but Bang! Something went wrong and Zambora broke her bonds and rushed the crowd! If I wasn’t the first person out of the tent, I was the second. No gorilla was going to catch me! It was over El Chico’s chips and chimichangas that Daddy, with a smile, asked “Did you really believe that the girl turned into a gorilla you? No? This is why you were never in danger.” “So, we got ripped off! We should get our money back” I declared. “No,” he said, “A carney is a carney and he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. The only thing you can trust with a carney is the money you give to them.”

And so, it goes with “Economic Development” in Natchitoches. The Mayor acts like cut rate carnival barker hawking Natchitoches as a nice place to visit for a weekend. He has given up on pitching it as a place to live, work, start a business and prosper. He sells us bright shiny things we didn’t even know we needed. Alliance Compressor was the last employer to hire more than 50 people, but hey we have a convention center! Fred’s, Radio Shack and Steeles shut down? That’s ok we have a downtown hotel! Dickey’s, Orange Leaf, Cane River Bar and Grill, Hardee’s and Cane break Café close? I got two words for you “Pocket Parks!” Vacant commercial lots and buildings spread across Natchitoches like a pox with no prospects. Half a million-dollar renovation of the Arts Center! The tax base of this city is contracting severely. What is the Council’s answer to this? A massive “sugar high” public works campaign masquerading as economic development? A ball park will answer all of your prayers. How are we to pay for all of this magnificence? “You’re not!” the Mayor declares “It is free to you as long as you don’t shop or do business out at the Interstate”

The Mayor is unabashedly selling this as a tourist trap. The plan is to soak our visitors with an additional 1 cent sales tax in return for their patronage. This won’t harm locals in the slightest, he says. He doesn’t care if it increases the costs of doing business here for the merchants affected. What he fails to tell you is that they can amend the TIFF districts to include non connected individual areas drawn around specific businesses to impose their tax without elections. The implication being that you had better be in the good graces of City government or they’ll do it to you for a good cause.

We have touted Natchitoches as a tourist destination for as long as I can remember. The problem is that there are always other places to go. There are brick streets all over East Texas. Christmas lights are strung all over the Ark La Tex. Alexandria now has its own Christmas Festival on Christmas Festival weekend. Someone remade Steel Magnolias and it wasn’t even done in Natchitoches! At some point we have to change our story. We have to start making this place a good place to live and make money. But as long as we treat the hotel manager, the cashier, or the short order cook as less important than the comptroller at NSU, the department head or the City finance director, we won’t change. Business owners shouldn’t have to postpone or abandon their plans to reinvest in their businesses because the city wants to get grabby with any potential profits to erect BS plaques and statues of former mayors. The City needs to quit treating its citizens as revenue bell cows to be milked in return for the priviledge to being located in the City. If we are in it together, shouldn’t the size of City government shrink with the City economy?

I hope that Parc Natchitoches works out. I wish that it is the elixir that invigorates the local economy and that its revenues flow like milk and honey. I pray that people all over the State will pass the four or five sports complexes along the way to make Natchitoches the travel ball mecca of the South. I would like to trust that revenues will exceed Mayor Posey’s projections, but to date they don’t exist. But I would sooner believe that the bikini clad little blonde white girl I saw so long ago really turned into that 400-pound gorilla named Zambora.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to

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Foster Mom: TWINS

By Melanie Wilson

In the foster care system you just never know. You never know when a phone call will come. You never know the kids that will need your help, the situation they come from, or how long you will get to love on them.

I recently got a phone call and the worker explained there was a sibling set of 6. SIX! I immediately thought this woman is CRAZY. There was no way I could handle six kids. My car wouldn’t hold six kids. I took a deep breath in and was ready to say no, there was no way I could help with six kids. She immediately said her call wasn’t for all six.

She explained that the foster home these children were in before, because this was their second time in the system, couldn’t take them because they were already full with other children. The four older siblings went to a home that had kept two of them before. They were looking for a home for 1-year-old TWIN BOYS.


It took me a second but of course I said yes.

The case worker brought these two beautiful active twin boys just a few hours later and like always I was in love at first sight.

I had a fear that I couldn’t tell them apart and they would be the wrong one for the rest of their lives. Thank goodness they aren’t identical and they are so different there’s no switching them up except when I’m trying to get their names out and they get called the other two kids’ names and each others’ names until I get the right one out. That is normal right?

The older twin is thin and has a grown up face. His tongue sticks out when he is trying something or concentrating. He is way more independent. He is also the ladies’ man. He wants everyone’s attention at one time.

The younger twin is baby faced and chunky. He is the baby for sure and needs lots more hugs and kisses. He wants one person to pay attention to him and he’s not into crowds.

Twins are interesting. They go from being each others’ best friend to their WWE match up for the night. They have their own language and I’m sure they are talking about me wondering what I am thinking most days or plotting against me.

Something that is different this time around is the looks and comments we get. These babies actually look like they could be mine. We have the same hair color and ethnicity. Most comments so far are just “are they twins” or “what blessings, two of them.”

One thing for sure is all kids deserve the world. No child asks to be here but they are here. I know it’s going to be hard with twins because there are two of them and only one of me but they deserve someone who is going to fight for them.

DID YOU KNOW? The last three years the state of Louisiana has set a record number of adoptions. In 2018, 912 children were adopted by 631 families. Let’s keep those numbers going up because foster kids are our kids as First Lady Donna Edwards says all the time and they deserve amazing forever homes!

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Old Bethel WMU selling Raffle tickets for full sized quilt

Old Bethel Baptist Church WMU is selling Raffle tickets for a full sized quilt. It is fall colors, all the leaves are stitched around each one. The backing is green. The quilt was quilted in the by Nell Settle, the top was made by Dorothy Gibson. The ticket cost is $1 a ticket or 12 tickets for $10.

To purchase tickets contact Nell Settle at 318-332-1369 or Dorothy Gibson at 318-663-0619 or Judy Fair at 318-652-4336 or Liz Durr at 318-542-6839.

The drawing is October 16, 2019. Do not have to be present to win.

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Barnes commissioned as Second Lieutenant

Adam F. Barnes of Bossier City was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during a commissioning ceremony hosted by Northwestern State University’s ROTC program.

Barnes is a 2015 graduate of Airline High School where he was a member of JROTC, served on the JROTC Drill Team and earned an Army ROTC 3-year Advanced Designee Scholarship. He joined the Demon Battalion in August 2015 and served as the S-4, logistics officer; S-6, communications officer, and platoon leader. He regularly served on the color guard team and was awarded shoulder cords for his volunteer service.

Barnes received accolades for academics throughout his college career through the President’s and Dean’s Lists. He served as a mentor in NSU’s first robotics competition where he taught high school students how to design and build robots for competition.

This past May, Barnes was awarded NSU’s Bachelor of Science degree in electronics engineering technology with a concentration in electronics and a minor in military science. He will attend the Basic Officer Leader course at Fort Lee, Virginia, and will serve on active duty in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps.

Pictured above: Lt. Col. Wendell Bender administered the U.S. Army Oath of Office to Adam F. Barnes, who commissioned as a second lieutenant through NSU’s ROTC program. Barnes will serve on actie duty in the U.S. Army Ordance Corps.

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Letter to the Voters

Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer:

A magician makes you look right when the illusion is to left. Then the big reveal happens and you are sitting there “how did he pull this off.” Its called sleight of hand, skillful deception, chicanery, trickery, it has many names.

On Thursday an amended city council agenda was posted. On it, Ordinance Number 23 will be reintroduced for City Council vote today. To recap, Ordinance 23 raises sales tax on those business in Natchitoches Economic District C (I-49). This ordinance also includes a use tax on those business as well. From my understanding , No changes were made in the language, and quoting Councilman Dale Nielsen from a Natchtioches Times article dated July 12, 2019, “the train ran off the track.” He acknowledged that there were valid concerns and questions. “We need to regroup on the sale and use tax…take a deep breath. We’re all family and somehow we’ll make this work for everyone.”

Very insightful words by Councilman Nielson, but, what is different now than when the council voted 5 to 0 to table the mayor’s proposal? There is one thing…

Just as when Toto pulled the curtain back on the Great Oz. I will attempt to explain the dupe the Mayor is attempting on the Natchitoches citizens.

Ordinance #40- Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, To Enter Into A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement With Northwestern State University, Providing For The Sharing Of A One Percent Sales Tax In The Natchitoches Economic Development District C, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.

You may ask, what is Ordinance 40? This is the mayors attempt to divert attention away from the additional TIF tax and at the same time build human shield using Northwestern State University. A couple of very important points that must be noted.

1. NSU did not and I repeat, did not go to the mayor and ask for this tax money

From the June 14, 2019 Natchitoches TIMES article, Sales tax controversy: Lets get the facts straight, Mayor Posey is quoted in question/answer # 3. The funds generated from the tax will be split 50/50 between Natchitoches and NSU. “They will get half and we will get half. That will generate about $250,000 annually to split between the two entities,” he said. None of the tax revenue can be put into the City’s general fund. Posey said the money from the sales tax can only be used to fund economic development for the area, which would include maintenance and operations at the complex. “We’re all on the same page. They benefit, we benefit and we help each other. We will enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement.”

2. According to a Public Records Request provided by the City of Natchitoches, nowhere was it written had TIF collection money going to NSU. It was never intended for NSU to get any money the first time Ordinance 23 was proposed on June 11, 2019. For the next four days, there was radio silence from the Mayors office. (Remember the KTBS report, “the mayor isn’t talking”?) Only during on June 14, Natchitoches Times interview, does NSU come up. But once again, according to Public Records Request, the ordinance stayed exactly the same (no NSU money) when brought back to city council and tabled in July.

I don’t blame NSU for accepting this generous donation from the mayor. I know first hand the challenges and realize how difficult could be to say no. Remember they did not ask for this.

What Mayor Posey is hoping for is that an argument against the proposed sales tax is an argument against NSU. And that my friends is not the case here. Those tempted to go into the Council meeting and attack NSU is exactly what City Govt wants. The Mayor’s clever diversion using NSU takes all eyes off of the unfairness of the proposed TIF tax, the unfairness of the exposed use tax, what the current 2% TIF tax is being spent on, and most important to me, Mayor Posey continuing to ignore the back taxes owed to our city, but asking for a new tax. Voting for statewide office is coming in a few short days, but I think its safe to say the vote of the council tonight will be the start of citywide election season in March.

We demand the truth and transparency from our local government, please leave the trickery to David Copperfield.

Jay Sharplin
Natchitoches, Louisiana

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A Department Head Pay Raise without a Public Vote?

The Journal was surprised to find itself, along with other local media sources, carbon copied on an email from Parish Councilman Doug de Graffenried to the HR Coordinator for the Parish. The email responded to a letter that was issued to the Council from Parish President Rick Nowlin regarding a request for a pay raise for a Department Head. Section 4-01.B. of the Home Rule Charter states that salaries for department heads are subject to the Council’s approval. Per the Sunshine Laws of our State, all public bodies must vote viva voce (by voice) and the Home Rule Charter (Section 2-06.H) requires that all votes be made by roll call with the ayes and nayes of the members voting recorded in the Council’s minutes by individual Council member.

When contacted, Councilman de Graffenried said that he wanted the voters of the Parish to be aware of the improper actions he believed Mr. Nowlin was attempting to take with regards to this matter. The Journal is publishing the correspondence with his permission and at his request.

See Red Circle at the very bottom


This response does not constitute a vote. This matter must be handled in a duly called open meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council. The Executive branch has no authority to authorize a salary increase without Parish Council approval. The salary increase proposed is ludicrous on its face. The reasons given for the proposed increase are farcical. We are going to give an employee a huge raise for doing her job? What about the other people in administration? What about the folks working on the roads? The voters of our Parish deserve better from the Parish President.

No wonder the folks on Bermuda Road can’t get their road fixed, we are attempting to give huge salary increases to Department Heads! Actually it appears we are trying to slide a huge salary increase around the Parish Council while trying to hide behind you as the sender of the original email.

I am incredulous that this matter would be brought up in this manner. I object to this proposed action strenuously.

With due regard,


Doug de Graffenried
District 3

This response does not constitute a vote.


Crowds wowed by music, food, and fireworks at 2019 Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival

The Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival, held Sept. 20-21, filled the downtown riverbank with energetic music, and the spicy aroma of meat pies. Hot air balloons floated next to Cane River Lake, casting their reflections in its dark waters as the sun set. Vendors sold their wares from jewelry to metal wall hangings and more. A kids area offered a rock climbing wall, jumpers and other fun activities. Friday night’s Brew Fest was “hoppin,” offering samples of specialty beers while American Petty and the If They Ask Band kept the crowd rockin’. Saturday’s entertainment lineup did not disappoint, providing the crowd with tunes to tap their feet too. They danced into the night before Bad Moon Rising finished off the evening with Creedence Clearwater Revival Covers before fireworks flashed through the night sky.

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE