Governor John Bel Edwards to visit with Natchitoches residents tonight at Legacy Cafe

The Legacy café extends a special public invitation to the public to come and meet with Governor John Bel Edwards at the restaurant (400 MLK Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457) Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 4:15 p. m. Call (318) 460-7460 or email to RSVP so additional seating can be put out. Hear the Governor on this final lap before one of the most critical elections in the State of Louisiana. The Legacy Café will have light and quickly prepared menu items on sale at this time to provide an opportunity to experience its food offerings and support this non-profit community effort.

Troopers Urge Safety this Halloween Night

Halloween is now upon us and Troopers want everyone to make sure safety is a top priority. As our children in costumes walk and ride through neighborhoods across Louisiana, parents and guardians should be mindful of possible hazards and dangerous situations. To ensure that trick-or-treating is a safe and memorable event for everyone, we recommend following these common safety tips:

· Ensure that your child carries a flashlight or glow stick, and/or wears reflective clothing or costumes to alert drivers of the child’s location.

· Masks can restrict vision and breathing, restricting sight of oncoming vehicles. Face painting is a safe option.

· Costumes should fit children correctly and not drag the ground, as this could create a tripping hazard.

· Children should be accompanied by adults/parents and should not be allowed to enter homes or vehicles without their supervision.

· Plan your trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.

· Always walk on sidewalks when available. If walking on the street is necessary, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

· Children should also know their address, phone number, and how to dial 911 for emergencies. Young children should have this information attached somewhere on their costume in the event they get separated or lost.

· Parents are urged to inspect all candy for safety after returning home.

Motorists should also use caution and drive slowly through residential areas and intersections leading to neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters may run across the street without looking for vehicles or their vision could be obscured by masks. Also, Troopers ask that you drive with your headlights on, even during daylight and dusk hours, so that other vehicles and pedestrians are able to see you from farther distances.

Under current State Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween trick-or-treat activities. Parents can find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods by visiting the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry online at: If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties or giving out candy where children are present, notify your local law enforcement immediately.

Halloween has also been a deadly night due to impaired drivers. Adults that take part in Halloween parties and trick-or-treating while consuming alcoholic beverages are strongly encouraged to have a plan for a safe ride home. Your plan can include calling a taxi or having a designated driver. Troopers ask that sober party goers also help out by keeping impaired friends from getting behind the wheel.

Regional Construction, LLC: Accounting & Contract Assistant


Regional Construction, LLC is currently seeking applicants for a full time (40 hour per week) accounting and contract assistant position to handle accounts receivable and submittals for various contract requirements in the civil construction industry.

– Must have a good work ethic; be able to work individually but understand value of communication to work with other office personnel or the outside public in a team environment;

– Will work closely with accounts payable and human resources to document various contract requirements;

– Must have general accounting knowledge and be capable of working with Microsoft Excel, Word, Quickbooks;

– Will prepare invoices and pay requests and document verification of billable charges;

– Submit invoices to customers, track, receive and document payments;

– Reconcile accounts receivable billings and payments with invoices, noting and communicating any discrepancies;

– Secure and maintain records for 1099 compliance and insurance reviews;

– Assist with projects as needed and perform other duties as assigned;

– Must maintain confidentiality of information and data at all times;

– Must possess strong organizational and time management skills, be detail oriented, and exhibit successful experience in meeting multiple deadlines.

– High School diploma required; Preference will be given to applicants holding associate or bachelors degree in business accounting and those with a minimum of 2 years experience.

Applicants should email resume to no later than Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

NSU will screen Native American made films

Northwestern State University will celebrate Native American Heritage Month by screening a series of indigenous made films on Thursdays in November. Screenings will begin at 5 p.m. in the Cane River Room of the Student Union. The screenings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided and discussion will follow each film.

“Smoke Signals,” the first native-written and -directed film to reach mainstream distribution, will be screened at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7. Two Couer d’Alene, Idaho, frenemies Thomas Builds the Fire and Victor Joseph take a road trip to recover Victor’s father’s ashes, reflecting on families, truth and modern indigeneity along the way.

“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” will be screened at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Do you think of American Indian influences when you think of rock music? This documentary looks at Native artists and the influences of Native music traditions from Link Wray to Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis to Buffy Ste. Marie.

“Skins” will be screened at 5 p.m. Nov. 21. A Lakota tribal police officer takes the law into his own hands in this darkly humorous look at colonization, justice and communities.

Dr. Rebecca Riall, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences, initiated the Native American Film Series, which was a tradition at her alma mater that she wanted to carry to NSU.

“It is something that is fun for Native students, faculty and staff, but also a way to challenge stereotypes without putting people on guard and without adding to the constant pressure on Native people to perform culture in ways that outsiders recognize,” Riall said. “Often, when people who do not know or realize they know American Indian people in their daily lives think about Native portrayals in film, all they are familiar with is stereotypes that draw on a really limited image of Native people as all being Plains Nations and all living in the past and behaving in very limited ways. Films that are made by Native people really challenge it.”

Films selected for the series were all directed and written by Native people, Riall said. She worked with Dr. Pete Gregory, anthropologist, to select films and with Brittany Broussard, director of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, in organizing the series.

“For the first year, we selected two well-loved older feature films and one that is a more recent documentary. In future years, if the attendance is good, we will show films around an annual theme,” she said.

“’Smoke Signals’ seemed like a good place to start because it really launched American Indian filmmaking with major distributors. Over the two decades since its release, American Indian filmmaking has moved into every genre and become a major way for us to tell our stories in our own voices. One thing I love about “Smoke Signals” is that, although you don’t have to be American Indian to relate to its themes, there are also a lot of references that feel like ‘home,’ particularly in the humor.”

The film series is sponsored by NSU’s Center for Inclusion and Diversity, the NSU anthropology program, the Department of Criminal Justice, History, and the Social Sciences and the pre-law and paralegal studies program. More information is available by contacting Riall at (318) 357-6963.

Rotary Club recognizes Student of the Month, learns about new programs offered at NSU

St. Mary’s Senior William Broadway was Rotary Student of the Month at the October 29th meeting. He will be attending Northwestern State University majoring in Business. Pictured from left are his mother, Yvette Broadway, Broadway, and St. Mary’s Athletic Director and Football Coach Aaron York (Photo by Dr. Ron McBride).

Northwestern State University College of Education and Human Development Dean Dr. Kim McAlister shared with Rotary several new programs offered at NSU. The Social Work Department has a Title 4E initiative, and the School of Education has two initiatives Louisiana Gear Up for high school students, and an accelerated alternate certification program for professionals interested in becoming a certified teacher with a new flat rate pricing. For more information, contact Academic Coordinator Jodi Shirley at 318-357-4058. Pictured from left are Rotary President David Guillet, Rotarian with the Program Ashlee Hewitt, and McAlister (Photo by Dr. Ron McBride).

LSMSA Foundation Celebrates Donors, Honors Longtime Contributors

More than 50 donors, volunteers and representatives from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) attended the LSMSA Foundation’s ninth annual 1983 Society Celebration held in Lafayette on Saturday, Oct. 26.

The evening also included the sixth presentation of the Wingspan Awards for Dedication to celebrate those who demonstrate meaningful and extraordinary support for LSMSA, a state residential high school in Natchitoches.

This year’s recipients were Kirby and Jennifer Hopkins of The Woodlands, TX; James Fortenberry of Spearsville, LA; and John Normand of London, England.

1994 LSMSA graduate Kirby Hopkins is a former trustee of the LSMSA Foundation and president-elect of the Alumni Association. Both he and his wife, 1995 LSMSA graduate Dr. Jennifer Chen Hopkins, have been active participants at school events for more than a decade, longtime donors to the 1983 Society, and active school advocates both on campus and in The Woodlands, where they live. Their award was presented by LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton and LSMSA alumnus and supporter Matthew Couvillion.

Class of 1991 LSMSA alumnus James Fortenberry is responsible for building a strong regional group of alumni in Northeast Louisiana that gathers bi-annually and directly helps younger alumni get plugged in with school events. Involved with LSMSA athletics, James has served as a referee at school homecoming games. An active volleyball tournament attendee both on campus and in West Monroe, James Fortenberry was honored by LSMSA Coach Dale Clingerman.

Longtime supporter John Normand graduated from LSMSA in 1989 and has served the Foundation in many capacities, including as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Even after relocating to London, England, John remained an active contributor and has hosted two international events for the school. Known among his peers for helping the Foundation’s financial planning, investment strategy and financial stability grow and succeed, John Normand was honored in absentia by Foundation Executive Director Angela Couvillion.

Previous recipients of the Wingspan Award include Barbara Bourgoyne (’88); Tesia Campbell (’97); Ryan Farr (’90); Mary Green; Nolan Huguet (’91); Michael Robertson (’91); Dewey Scandurro (’86); Gueydon Thurber; Christie Weeks; Pat and Betsy Widhalm; and Art and Sharon Williams.

“Our alumni, parents, and other donors continue to amaze and inspire us,” said Foundation Executive Director and LSMSA alumnus Angela Robinson Couvillion. “All of these award recipients have not only been instrumental in the Foundation’s growth, but also remind us how far and wide the LSMSA Eagles’ impact can reach when we focus and persevere. It is a privilege to congratulate Kirby and Jennifer Hopkins, James Fortenberry, and John Normand as Wingspan Award for Dedication honorees.”

The 1983 Society celebrates and recognizes the school’s most loyal and committed supporters. Annual contributions of $1,983 or more honor the year the school was established and qualify individuals or organizations for membership in the 1983 Society. The LSMSA Foundation raises money to support the school’s mission of providing a world-class education for the state’s high-achieving, highly motivated students.

Pictured above: LSMSA alumni and 2019 Wingspan Award for Dedication recipients (L to R): Kirby Hopkins (’94), Dr. Jennifer Chen Hopkins (’95) and James Fortenberry (’91). Not pictured: John Normand (’89).

He’s Glad That the Grass is Starting to Slow Down

By Joe Darby

Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year and there are several reasons for that.

First, of course, is the relief from the stifling heat of summer, of which I complained several columns ago. I love the cool, crisp days and the bright blue skies of autumn.

Then, fall means the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series, as well as the heart of college and pro football seasons.

And fall means another year is approaching its end and that we have made it through that year without great catastrophe.

Finally, the fall means that the end of grass cutting is just about here. At this point in my life, cutting grass is definitely not one of my favorite tasks. We have a fairly large backyard, so I do have a riding mower, meaning the job is not really too strenuous. It’s just boring.

I try to vary each cut by taking different routes around our many trees and bushes. Invariably I end up with a small patch in the middle of the yard that is so irregularly shaped that I have to ride over it several times to get all of the grass. And sometimes I think of the old country and western song about a guy spending hours “on a John Deere tractor and thinking about you all day.” I’m sure you know the one I’m referring to Hearing that song in my head helps the time pass as I mow down the blades.

I didn’t use to mind cutting grass, and I’ve been doing it for a very long time. Cutting the grass at my parents’ house became my chore when I was in my early teens. At first, we had one of the old non-powered push mowers, with the rotating blades that made a rather pleasant clatter as they worked. Then we got a power mower, which made the task a little easier.

But sometimes power mowers were reluctant to start and there I’d be, puling the starter rope over and over until the little engine finally sputtered to life. What I remember most about cutting grass in those days was the blistering heat and being covered with sweat.

There were interludes in my life after that when I lived in apartments and didn’t have to worry about yard work. My most salient memory of apartment-living, however, is the thin walls of most such structures, forcing me to listen to my neighbors’ conversations and hearing the flushing of their toilets. And I know they heard me too, so I would swap cutting the grass for the lack of privacy any day.

But for the great part of my time on earth, I’ve lived in a single family home and as the old cliché goes, if I had a dollar for every time I cut grass I’d be rich. But it doesn’t work that way, does it?

Both Mary and I have bad backs so I hire a yard man to do the trimming around the house, driveway and the many trees and bushes. So if I cut the grass right after he has done his job, the lawn does like pretty nice, I’ll admit.

A neat lawn goes along with my need for order and structure, so it all works out, I suppose. But anyway, I am truly glad that, with few exceptions, I won’t have to crank up my little red tractor in the coming months. I hope you enjoy your respits from cutting grass yourself.

Addiction studies degree ranked 6th for affordability

The Addiction Studies degree program at Northwestern State University was ranked sixth most affordable bachelor’s degree recently by for 2019. According to Jody Biscoe, associate professor and director for the LAATTC@NSU, much of the program’s success can be attributed to funding, educational trainings, resources, and networking provided by the Additional Technology Transfer Centers.

The affordability of this program allows students to complete the educational requirements for certification or licensure as an addictions professional. The program has attracted entry-level individuals who are beginning their career, those who have chosen a second career, and professionals who want to gain additional knowledge and understanding of the addiction process.

In ranking the online programs for quality and tuition cost, examined degrees from accredited colleges and universities and those recognized by either the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), an agency that accredits doctoral and master’s degrees. The top online colleges for bachelor’s degrees in addictions and recovery offer a combination of affordability and academic strength to prospective undergraduates.

Graduates of this program have the opportunity to join one of the fastest growing professions. Addiction studies graduates typically work as addiction counselors, drug courts, Human Resources, school settings, non-profit organizations, correctional facilities, and any other community-setting, including religious organizations. The focus for these professionals includes prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.

A complete list of rankings is available at

Information regarding the Addiction Studies and Psychology degree programs at Northwestern State Univeristy is available at

Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids at Fairview Alpha

Students at Fairview Alpha received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of October recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance. It was also Red Ribbon Week, so students had crazy hair and clothes to celebrate.

Pictured on first row from left are Tatum Guin, Aubree Jackson, Jaden Stewart, Case Crow, Noah Alford, and Gabrille Turner. On second row are Mason Long, L.D Davenpart, Breone Anderson, Jazmye Clark, Lauryn Lindsey, and LaDarran Evans. On third row are Makenzie Allen, Zantarious McKinney, Abraham Mozeb, Kiwanian Jessica Parker and Principal Brooke Williams.

Purple Pizzazz Pom Line Clinic Nov. 9

Northwestern State University’s Purple Pizzazz Pom Line will host a clinic for Pre-K through 12th graders on Saturday, Nov. 9. Participants will perform and cheer pregame and throughout the first half of NSU’s football vs. Lamar University, ending with a half time performance. Participants will be divided into age groups.

Participants will gather at NSU’s Health and Human Performance Building at 1 p.m. where they will rehearse for the performances. They will walk to Turpin Stadium at 5 p.m. with the pre-game show beginning at 5:30 p.m. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. They will be dismissed after the half-time performance. The cost is $30 and will include snacks and NSU gear.

To register by email, contact Ashlee Crooks at Checks should be made payable to NSU Pom Line. A medical release form must also be included. Parents can register beforehand or the day of the clinic.

A related flyer and medical release form are attached.

Notice of Death – October 30, 2019


Deacon Floyd Crittle
October 28, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Florene “Flo” Brouillette
March 25, 1926 – October 27, 2019
Visitation: Friday, November 1 from 5-8 pm at the Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, November 2 at 10 am at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Helen Kay Mitcham Taylor
October 17, 1940 – October 27, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, November 2 from 12-2 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home Service: Saturday, November 2 at 2 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Junior Wright
October 28, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Carlton Alexander
October 20, 2019
Arrangements TBA


Eva Marie Fowler
November 3, 1959 – October 26, 2019
Calvin Keith Johnson
May 9, 1957 – October 23, 2019
Service:Saturday, November 2 at 11 am at Emmanuel Baptist Church


Weldon Joseph Blanco
August 2, 1926 – October 26, 2019
Service: Friday, November 1 at 12 pm at Beulah Baptist Church

The HDBA’s Pumpkin Glow Starts The Halloween Season on a Musical Note

Kevin’s Gallery

The Natchitoches downtown riverbank was packed with families celebrating the 2019 Pumpkin Glow sponsored by the Historic District Business Association (HDBA) Tuesday, Oct 29. The popular family friendly event is in its 7th year and has become an integral part of the local fall scene. The stage area featured decorated pumpkins from local contestants vying for top honors. The fun will not stop tonight however. Be sure to stop by Front St. this Halloween for “Witch Way to Main Street”. A record number of booths will be on hand to pass out candy and prizes to trick or treaters. It is quality family fun and free to the public.

Performers from Renee’s Dance Studio, Natchitoches Flippin’ Athletics and Elite Cheernastics started the evening’s program, showing off their moves to the crowd in a variety of routines. They were followed by some of the finest musicians to be found in the parish. The NSU Middle Lab, Middle Magnet and NCHS orchestras each played several pieces for the appreciative audience. The NCHS orchestra will be traveling to Italy to play in Rome, Florence, Venice and Cremona. This will mark the orchestra’s second trip to Europe. They have also made several journeys to New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The Middle Lab Orchestra will be making a repeat trip to a competition at Disney World. The orchestras have built a remarkable legacy of excellence over the years and are a group of young people of whom we can all be proud.

We at the Natchitoches Parish Journal have long believed that our parish’s children are the equal of any in the country. Give them opportunities and good leadership and they will rise to any challenge set before them. The young men and women of the Natchitoches Parish School System are superb ambassadors for our area! The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. The album is open and anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do see a photograph you like, please donate to the Middle Lab and NCHS orchestras’ trip in lieu of payment.