City Council hears residents concern over annexation of land on and around Monroe Road

Residents in the areas on and around Monroe Road (roughly 360 acres) came before the City Council at its Monday night meeting, Oct. 14. They were concerned after learning last minute that one of the agenda items being introduced was an ordinance to annex a section of property on and around Monroe Road into the City limits (SEE MAP BELOW). The residents at the meeting were not in favor of this annexation and because of the lack of direct notification to individual home owners, they felt it was being “slid in behind their backs.”

When Mayor Lee Posey explained that information regarding the introduction of the ordinance was disseminated to the local media, one woman waved it off, saying she doesn’t read them and would have preferred a letter to inform her of the City’s intent. But, according to a petition, the majority of residents are recorded as being in favor of the annexation.

Some residents said they didn’t understand what benefit there was to being included in the City limits. They were told they would get a new road and the waterworks board agreed to pay to hookup homes to new sewer system in the future. City Attorney Ron Corkern said the annexation would increase the City’s tax base and because Sibley lake is the City’s water source it would be beneficial to take in as much property as it can surrounding the body of water.

Other agenda items included:

PROCLAMATIONS:

Declare Monday, October 14, 2019 As “Paint the Town Purple Day” And October 14 – 19, 2019 As “Homecoming Week” At Northwestern State University.

PLANNING & ZONING – INTRODUCTION:

Declare the Property at 312 Second Street to be Dilapidated, Dangerous and Unsafe and Order its Demolition and Removal

ORDINANCES – FINAL:

Lease A Tract Of Land to SCUS Head Start Programs, Inc., D/B/A Save The Children Head Start for $500 per month for the 1st year, $440 per month for the 2nd year, $600 per month for the 3rd year, $650 per month for the 4th year, and $700 per month for the 5th year. In the event options to extend are exercised, rental will increase $50 per month for each annual term.

Convey Certain Property Located At The Corner Of Ash Street And Breda Avenue To SCUS Head Start Programs, Inc., D/B/A Save The Children Head Start

Award The Bid For The Purchase Of A 3,000 Gallon Rear Module Jet Refueler to Westmor Fluid Solutions of Columbus, MN in the amount of $177,000.

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

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:

Approve The Acquisition Of A Tract Of Land Situated On The Western Right Of Way Of Sixth Street In The City Of Natchitoches, From Eagle Distributing Of Shreveport, Inc., For $400,000.

Award The Bid For Liquid Chlorine For The Water Treatment Plant to DPC of Reserve, LA in the amount of $796 per ton.

Award The Bid For Construction At The Natchitoches Regional Airport To Install A New Perimeter Fence And Repair Existing Fence to Delta Specialty Contractors LLC of Monroe, LA in the amount of $180,180.

Amend The Geographical Boundaries Of Natchitoches Economic Development District C, State Of Louisiana; Extending The Levy And Collection Of An Existing 1% Sales And Use Tax And A 2% Hotel Occupancy Tax Into The Expanded Geographical Boundaries Of The District.

Levy An Additional Sales Tax Of One Percent (1.00%) In Natchitoches Economic Development District A, State Of Louisiana (The “District”); Designating The Full Amount Of Such Additional Sales Tax As The Sales Tax Increment In The District From Which The Local Sales Tax Increments Will Be Determined And Used To Finance Economic Development Projects In Accordance With And As Authorized By Part Ii, Chapter 27, Title 33 Of The Louisiana Revised Statutes Of 1950, As Amended, Designating The Initial Annual Baseline Collection Rate And Establishing A Monthly Baseline Collection Rate For The District; Pledging And Dedicating Such Tax Increments To Reimburse Economic Development Costs And Providing For Other Matters In Connection With The Foregoing.

Enter Into A Memorandum Of Understanding With The Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc., Which Said Memorandum Provides For Services To Be Provided By The Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc., Providing For A Three Year Term. Services include maintaining updated, professional and useful economic development website for one-stop information, being the lead contact for economic development request for proposals and information, leading the evaluation and development of business and industrial sites, serving as local liaison for business retention and expansion visits in conjunction with LED and NLEP, and providing expertise, experience, and leadership for special projects and initiatives of the administration. In exchange for these services the City agrees to the following pay schedule: $50,000 for FY 2019 by Dec. 31, 2018; $55,000 for FY 2020 by Oct. 15, 2019; and $55,000 for FY 20201 by July 15, 2020.

Acquire A Tract Of Land Situated On The South Side Of Lafayette Street, From Mildred Dean Joseph, For $4,000.

RESOLUTIONS:

Execute Change Order No. 3 To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Ratcliff Construction Company, LLC For The Natchitoches Sports & Recreation Park in the amount of $3,624.69, bringing the revised contract total to $12,957,112.47.

Resolution Of Support For A Grant Application Submitted To The Louisiana Office Of Community Development, For The 2019 – 2020 Community Water Enrichment Fund Grant.

Resolution Of Support For A Grant Application Submitted To the Louisiana office of community development, for the 2019 – 2020 local government assistance program.

Publish A Notice Of Intention To Levy And Collect A New One Percent (1%) Sales And Use Tax In Natchitoches Economic Development District A with a public forum set for Nov. 12 at 5:30 pm.

Authorize The Publication Of A Notice Of Intention To Further Amend The Geographical Boundaries Of Natchitoches Economic Development District C, State Of Louisiana, And To Extend The Levy And Collection Of An Existing 1% Sales And Use Tax And A 2% Hotel Occupancy Tax Into The Expanded Geographical Boundaries with a public forum to be held Nov. 12 at 5:30 pm.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be October 28, 2019.


Tickets on sale for NCHS Orchestra Concert October 16

The NCHS orchestra will present a benefit concert at Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 pm in Magale Recital Hall on the NSU campus. The orchestra members are selling tickets for $10 each in order to generate orchestra funds for classes and for their upcoming trip to Italy in March 2020. If you are not able to get tickets from the students, please contact Syll-Young Olson at 318-715-1318 or Emily Owens at 318-678-3497. Any donations and support will be greatly appreciated!


City proclaims October 14 as ‘Paint the Town Purple Day’

A proclamation was presented to Alumni Association Executive Director Drake Owens, Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Haley Taitano, and Director of Athletics Greg Burke, Mr. and Miss NSU, and the 2019 Homecoming King and Queen. The proclamation declared Monday, October 14, 2019 As “Paint the Town Purple Day” And October 14 Through 19, 2019 As “Homecoming Week” At Northwestern State University.

The Magic Kingdom Homecoming parade on Friday, Oct. 18 will feature the NSU Honor Court, spirit groups, the Spirit of Northwestern marching band and Registered Student Organizations riding colorful floats with music and throws in a family-friendly event. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. and make its way from the NSU campus’s main gate down Second Street to Rue Touline, making its way to the Natchitoches downtown riverbank where the Magic Kingdom Homecoming Pep Rally will begin at about 6 p.m. on the Fleur de Lis stage. The Natchitoches community and all visiting alumni are invited to the parade and pep rally.

Following the Pep Rally, the popular Rockin’ on the Riverbank Homecoming Festival will take place on the downtown riverbank featuring Dallas-based Live 5 Band (www.live5band.com), a party band that covers a variety of genres and artists like Bruno Mars, Earth Wind and Fire, Run DMC, Beyoncé, Outkast, Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, and Ariana Grande, dance, pop, funk and rock.

The NSU Black Alumni Association will host a mixer with music and refreshments beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at 530 Front St.


SMS Coach Wren named Assistant Coach of the Year

Coach Stephen Wren, assistant to the principal and director of maintenance at St. Mary’s Catholic School, has been named the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Dairy Max Assistant Coach of the Month. Wren also serves as an assistant coach of the football team, a position he has held for the past two years.

Every month between September and May, Dairy Max selects an assistant coach of the month, based on nominations sent in by the school administration. By receiving this, he is automatically placed in the running for Assistant Coach of the Year, which will be announced in May.

“Coach Wren is one who supports the mission of our school, which is to develop the whole child – academically, spiritually, and athletically,” said Andrea Harrell, principal. “He emphasizes the importance of academics and character each and every day and works hard at forming relationships with our student athletes so the he can reach them on and off the field.”


NSU Comm students join KTBS Friday Football coverage crew

Several students from Northwestern State University’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts received their official KTBS-3 press badges and caps and were recognized for their contributions to Friday night football coverage. KTBS is the Shreveport ABC affiliate that covers high school gridiron matchups across the Ark-La-Tex. The student journalists put into practice what they learn in the classroom as they prepared to cover the Natchitoches Central High School homecoming game against Southwood Friday and were congratulated by faculty and administrators.

From left are Dr. Nick Taylor, professor; Nyasha Brown of New Orleans, Christian Boudreaux of Pineville, Madelyn Dupont of Washington, Tamarraw Powell of Cloutierville (in front), Albert Hewitt of Shreveport (in back), Sharissa Tanner of Lebeau, Dr. Brian Gabrial, interim department head; Dr. Fran Lemoine, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. Information on NSU’s.


Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today

The Louisiana Department of Insurance urges consumers to recognize the beginning of Medicare Open Enrollment by reviewing their coverage or selecting new coverage. If you are over 65 or otherwise eligible for Medicare, now is the time to review your coverage and benefits and make decisions about your plan for the coming year. Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15, 2019 and ends December 7, 2019 for enrollment in 2020 plans.

The Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program staff and volunteers can help Medicare beneficiaries find out if they are getting the best coverage for their needs and if they are eligible for any extra help with premiums,” said Commissioner Donelon. “We have a dedicated staff and volunteer force that can help you in person or over the phone to find the right coverage for you.”

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) staff is available to help Louisiana residents over the phone, at the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) and at events throughout the state. SHIIP also has partner organizations all over Louisiana that can help seniors to navigate Medicare. The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has created a step-by-step guide and video series to help Medicare beneficiaries better understand their Medicare coverage options and benefits.

The following changes will be made for Medicare Plans in 2020:

Medigap plans that cover the Part B deductible will no longer be available for purchase by newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries. People who already have Medigap Plans C and F will be able to keep them and people who are already eligible for Medicare prior to 2020 will still be able to buy those plans. However for newly-eligible enrollees, Plan C and Plan F will be discontinued after the end of 2019.

The donut hole is being eliminated in 2020 for generic drugs. The gap in prescription drug coverage, also called the donut hole, starts when someone reaches the initial coverage limit, and ends when they have spent $5,100. Prior to 2011, Medicare Part D enrollees paid the full cost of their medications while in the donut hole. Bu the donut hole has been steadily closing, and it will be fully closed by 2020, when enrollees in standard Part D plans will pay just 25 percent of the cost of their drugs all the way up to the catastrophic coverage threshold (insurers have the option to offer plans with lower cost-sharing, and many do).

Consumers can contact SHIIP by calling the LDI at 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov/SHIIP.


BOM announces promotion of Anetra Davis to Head Teller at University Parkway location

Congratulations to Anetra Davis on her promotion to Head Teller at our University Parkway location. She is a native of Natchitoches Parish where she grew up in Clarence. Anetra attended Lakeview High school and graduated in 2000. Anetra graduated from Northwestern State University in 2003 with her Associate’s Degree. She has been in banking for over 13 years. Anetra has two sons: Dalyn (15), Camryn (13), and a new baby boy coming soon.


Phoenix Lodge #38 presents Honesty and Integrity Awards to area students

Ten area High School student recently were presented the Masonic Honesty and Integrity Award through Phoenix Lodge No. 38 Free & Accepted Masons of Louisiana on September 30, 2019. From the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, the recipients were Maddie Lorio, Mary Grace Long, Parker McLemore, and Stephen Wheat II. From Natchitoches Central High School, the recipients were Jackson Stewart, London Wright, and Madison Simms. From St. Mary’s Catholic School, the recipients were Andrew Godfrey, Jensen Parker, and Madeline Godfrey.

The honesty and integrity award is a part of the Masonic Fraternity’s program to recognize and encourage Honesty and Integrity in the lives of our youth. It is presented through a local Masonic Lodge which may select one or more local students. The selections are made, after an investigation by the lodge, based on recommendations by school, church or lodge representatives.

The presentations were made at an open meeting of the lodge attended by friends and relatives of the recipients as well as members of the fraternity. The awards were presented by the event’s guest speaker, Steve Pence, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Louisiana F&AM assisted by Craig Caskey, Worshipful Master of Phoenix Lodge.

Phoenix Lodge #38 F&AM was founded on October 6, 1837. The current principal officers are Craig Caskey, Master; Mace Morris, Senior Warden; Jeff Orr, Junior Warden; Scott Dugas, Treasurer and Dr. Mark Melder, Secretary. If you are interested in learning more about Phoenix Lodge #38 or the Grand Lodge of Louisiana F&AM, please contact our secretary at phoenixlodge38@gmail.com or visit the Grand Lodge’s website, http://www.la-mason.com.

Pictured above on front row from left are Stephen Wheat II, Jackson Stewart, Madison Simms, London Wright, Jensen Parker, Mary Grace Long, Madeline Godfrey, Maddie Lorio, and Andrew Godfrey. On back row are Sam Friday, District Grand Lecturer; Doyle Waddle, District Deputy Grand Master; Steve Pence, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of State of Louisiana F&AM; and Craig Caskey, Worshipful Master of Phoenix #38.


NATCHITOCHES MAN ARRESTED FOR DRUG CHARGES

According to a Natchitoches Multi Jurisdictional Task Force official, on 10/03/2019, Agents of the NMJDTF executed a search warrant at a residence on Barnum Street in Campt, LA in reference to a ongoing narcotics investigation. This property was home to John D. Coleman b/m age 69.

This narcotics search warrant was the result of a long term narcotics investigation that was launched on Coleman after NMJDTF Agents received multiple complaints from concerned citizens in the Campti area in reference to Coleman selling illegal drugs from his residence. During the search of Coleman’s residence, Agents located approximately 14.46 ounces (410.2 grams) of suspected high grade marijuana which was packaged for sale. In addition to the suspected marijuana located inside of the residence, Agents also located multiple firearms, and equipment used for the purposes of packaging and distributing illegal drugs.

Coleman was charged with the following charges and was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center:

1 count Possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute
1 count Possession of drug paraphernalia
1 counts Possession of a firearm with a controlled dangerous substance

The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.


HMT students participate in Lt. Gov.’s Travel Summit

By Anne Cummins, Amy Lee and Mikalyn Russell

Hospitality Management and Tourism students from Northwestern State University traveled to Baton Rouge for the Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit. Amanda (Amy) Lee, Mikalyn Russell and Anne Cummins are currently conducting their internships for their degree programs.

Lee is interning with Cane River National Heritage Area as a social media and communications assistant and plans to continue working in the field after graduation.

“Through my internship I have been challenged creatively and academically along with being afforded the opportunity to attend Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser’s Travel Summit,” Lee said. “At the summit I was able to continue learning about the hospitality industry and network with people I hope to work with in the future.”

Russell is interning with Natchitoches Main Street as the programs and promotions assistant.

“During my time at Main Street, I have contributed the knowledge and skills that I learned through the Hospitality Management and Tourism coursework and volunteer experiences to the industry work that I am doing now,” Russell said. “Many of my educational and career goals have been met through this internship.”

When asked about her experience at the Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit, Russell said, “I was inspired to know that the hospitality industry is filled with professionals who are willing to polish and assist me as I grow within the industry. I look forward to the continued opportunities to grow my network.”

Cummins is currently interning at the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau in group and tourism sales. She has been with the CVB for 2-1/2 years as a travel counselor and plans to continue working in tourism sales for the CVB upon graduation.

“I am so thankful for this internship providing me with endless opportunities like being able to attend the Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit. I was able to network and begin meaningful work relationships that will be helpful for years to come,” she said.

Pictured above: Three students in Northwestern State University’s Hospitality Management and Tourism program attended Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s Travel Summit. From left are Anne Cummins, Mikalyn Russell, Nungesser and Amy Lee.


Two arrested for drug and weapons charges

According to a Natchitoches Multi Jurisdictional Task Force official, on 9/27/19 Agents of the Natchitoches Multi Jurisdictional Drug Task Force arrested Marcus Shaun Petite (38 y/o b/m), and passenger Miranda Gallien (33 y/o w/f). Agents made contact with Petite having an active parole warrant through Louisiana Probation and Parole near I-49 and University Parkway. Petite was subsequently arrested for the active warrant, to which a narcotic search warrant was conducted for Petite’s vehicle and his residence located in the 1000 block of Berry Avenue.

As a result of the search warrants agents located a SKS rifle, .44 Magnum revolver, 36 grams of suspected Methamphetamine, 51 suspected Ecstasy pills, 4 grams of suspected high grade Marijuana, 15 suspected Oxycodone pills, .3 grams of suspected Crack Cocaine, and $535.00 U.S. Currency.

Petite was charged with the following offenses and was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention center:

2 cts. Possession w/ Intent CDS II (Meth/Oxycodone)
1ct. Possession w/ Intent CDS II (Meth)
Simple Possession of CDS I (Marijuana)
Possession w/ Intent CDS I (Ecstasy)
Possession of CDS II (Crack Cocaine)
2 cts. Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon
2 cts. Possession of Firearm in Presence of CDS
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Gallien was charged with the following offenses and was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center:

Possession of Firearm in the Presence of CDS
Possession w/ Intent CDS I (Ecstasy)
Simple Possession of CDS I (Marijuana)
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
2 cts. Possession of CDS II (Oxycodone/Meth)

The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.


Orthodontist presents school with donation for winning “Get Up and Grin” competition

Romine Orthodontics held a “Get Up and Grin” competition. They challenged their patients who were also students at area schools to post videos, earn likes (points), and win money for their school. The school with the most points at the end of the contest received a donation. The winning school was Natchitoches Central thanks to Sydney Dollar and Hayden Jackson.


Notice of Death – October 14, 2019

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

John Levy Lodrigue, Jr.
May 04, 1947 – October 12, 2019
Visitation: Thursday, October 17 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Friday, October 18 at 3 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Emmanuel Cemetery near Chopin

RAPIDES PARISH:

Constance Gifford Dyer
January 2, 1935 – October 12, 2019
Service: Thursday, October 17 at 2 pm at St. Timothy Episcopal Church

Thomas Lee Petrus
April 2, 1954 – October 11, 2019
Service: Wednesday, October 16 at 10 am at St. Rita Catholic Church

WINN PARISH:

Glenda King Griffin

January 14, 1945 – October 13, 2019
Service: Tuesday, October 15 at 2 pm at Big Creek Baptist Church

RED RIVER:

Lowell Lavele Coleman

July 16, 1941 – October 13, 2019
Service: Wednesday, October 16 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel