Demons eye season-ending three-game win streak in Battle for Chief Caddo – TONIGHT

NATCHITOCHES – Appropriately enough, Northwestern State head football coach Brad Laird used the word “huge” to discuss the possibility of a season-ending three-game win streak.

Given what’s at stake when the Demons (3-8, 3-5) face Southland Conference rival Stephen F. Austin (2-9, 2-6) in Thursday’s 6 p.m. season finale at Turpin Stadium, there may not be a better adjective.

The annual Battle for Chief Caddo, the 7-foot-6, 320-plus pound largest trophy in college sports, arrives with Northwestern State aiming to keep its November momentum intact. The 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 FM KBKK in Alexandria. 

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“It’s huge, because you want to finish strong,” Laird said of possibly ending the season on a three-game win streak. “You want to send this 2019 football team out with a win. You want these 22 seniors, in their last game, to remember it as a win. There is a lot you look at and can take into next year as far as momentum, but to me, it’s more important for what this 2019 team will be known for. The things we’ve shown in the past few weeks, we look to continue to do Thursday night to get the win.”

The matchup with the Lumberjacks marks the final game for 22 Demons seniors, a group that includes record-setting quarterback Shelton Eppler, who needs 145 yards to supplant Laird as Northwestern State’s all-time leader in passing yardage. It is composed of a bevy of fifth-year seniors who entered Northwestern State under coach Jay Thomas before Laird took the helm of his alma mater for the 2018 season.

“I love coach Laird,” said safety Nick Forde, one of 12 fifth-year seniors on the 2019 NSU roster. “He’s done so much for me and a bunch of guys on this team. He was my defensive coordinator and position coach when we came here, so I built a relationship with him early. I appreciate the trust he put in me and the responsibility of being a leader on this team. He treats everybody with respect. He’s going to tell you the same thing he tells anybody else. He treats everyone the same way. The standard’s the standard.”

Forde and the Purple Swarm defense have hit their stride in the Demons’ past three games.

After slowing McNeese’s and Lamar’s powerful rushing games, Northwestern State’s defense recovered from a slow start Saturday at Sam Houston State to allow just seven points in the final 51 minutes of NSU’s 31-28 victory.

Similar to the Demons, the Lumberjacks have improved as the season has progressed. As Northwestern State did, Stephen F. Austin defeated Lamar and Incarnate Word.

Unlike the Demons five days ago, the Lumberjacks were unable to upend one of the four teams that entered the week tied for the conference lead, falling to Central Arkansas, 30-7, on the road.

“You look at their games, and a great example is last week at UCA,” Laird said. “There were a lot of turnovers on both sides, and it’s 3-0 UCA with about five minutes left before the half. It ends up being 13-7 (UCA) at the half, but go back to the other games and you’ll see tight games at halftime and into the third quarter. They’ve been very similar to our games. Some we’ve won, some we’ve lost. That’s what this conference is about this year – the opportunity to win week in and week out.”

For the 22 Demons seniors, it marks a chance to keep Chief Caddo in his residence inside the Northwestern State athletic fieldhouse. NSU has won two straight and three of four in the series as it looks for its first three-game win streak in the series since 1996-98.

“Chief Caddo and I go way back,” said fifth-year offensive lineman Chris Zirkle, whose unit is tasked with carrying and protecting the chief after an NSU victory. “We had him my freshman year, lost him and then maintained him. Our main goal is to win, and it would be nice to send us out on that note and have the guys carry it into next season having won four of the last five.”

Emotions will be nearer the surface on Senior Night, but for the Demons, the mindset remains the same.

“I’ve been able to say it every week,” Laird said. “It’s about us. It’s about our preparation. It’s about our 60 minutes and the opportunity to play for Chief Caddo, the largest trophy in college football. We understand the importance of keeping Chief Caddo here, which makes Thursday night intriguing.”

Photo: Quarterback Shelton Eppler (5) is one of 22 Northwestern State seniors who will play his final game as a Demon on Thursday night against Stephen F. Austin. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

OMV Locations to Remain Closed Thursday Morning

Due to continued efforts to restore network and online services, statewide OMV locations will remain closed Thursday morning, November 21, 2019. Officials with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles and the Office of Technology Services have worked continuously since the beginning of the incident making progress to ensure all public systems are operational and ready for full service. Individual office openings will be evaluated as electronic services are restored throughout the morning.

Natchitoches-NSU Multicultural Christmas Concert to feature Bollywood Babes

The Louisiana Folklife Center is pleased to announce the 11th Annual Natchitoches-NSU Multicultural Christmas Concert! The concert will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4 at the Treen Auditorium, 715 University Parkway, on the campus of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are invited to bring donations to support Cane River Children’s Services.

The Bollywood Babes are a group of Indian girls with a passion for sharing their cultural heritage through dance. Since forming 5 years ago, they have performed at many cultural events, and look forward to sharing the Indian culture as a way of celebrating the Christmas season.

For more information, please contact (318) 357-4332.

The concert is sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Center for Inclusion and Diversity, and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

Natchitoches Junior High School JAG students visit Natchitoches Nursing and Rehab Center

Natchitoches Junior High JAG members conducted community service at the Natchitoches Nursing and Rehab Center on Oct. 31. We attended their annual Halloween party whereas the members assisted the set up and playing of games with the residents.

Those in attendance were: Caiden Baines, Sean Moran, Joseph McDowell, Shakela Pier, Samantha Bradley, Mariah Largent, India Tousaint, Zamarion Washington, Tiffany Davis, ForTrevious Viree, Callie Encalade, and Jabarran Brown.

He’s Really Glad the Election is Over

By Joe Darby

I am truly grateful that the gubernatorial election is over.

I was very tired of the attack ads, which got rather nasty on both sides. One that I found particularly obnoxious was the one in which a senior citizen wearing a ball cap disparaged John Bel Edwards and said the governor’s polices “Make me sick!” That ad made me sick.

I never liked negative campaigning but that’s something we have to live with in America now. I’m not sure how much good they do, but they’re certainly here to stay.

What else can we say about the race, in which Edwards beat Eddie Rispone by 40,000 votes, 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent? First, you may remember that in the first primary the Natchitoches Parish vote closely mirrored the statewide percentage in the governor’s race. Well, in the runoff, the percentage was exactly the same. In our parish the vote was Edwards, 51.3 percent, Rispone, 48.7 percent. So I suppose you could say, as Natchitoches Parish goes, so goes Louisiana.

The race really was wide open and too close to call. I thought President Trump’s visits to Lake Charles, Monroe and Bossier City may have been enough to push Rispone over the top, but although Trump drew large crowds, his coat tails were not long enough to get Rispone elected. The President had made the race personal, asking Louisiana voters to elect Rispone for him, but it didn’t work.

What it boiled down to, was the Democrats did a good job of getting their base voters to the polls. Also, Rispone was overly vague on details of what he wanted to do for the state. I would have liked to know what his plans were, but he just never told us.

And finally, Edwards is not nearly the left wing liberal that Rispone tried to paint him. He’s pro life, pro guns and takes other positions that many conservative or moderate Louisianians can be comfortable with.

As we did after the first primary, let’s take detailed looks at how the race went in some key parishes. Rispone won all three parishes visited by Trump. In Calcasieu, he won 51.8 to 48.2, in Ouchita he won 54.5 to 45.5 and in Bossier, his margin was 66.2 to 33.8 .

But Edwards cleaned up in the four largest parishes, winning 89.8 to 10.2 percent in Orleans, 66.1 to 33.9 in East Baton Rouge, 58.3 to 51.7 in Caddo and 57 to 43 in Jefferson. I thought the Jefferson results were a little surprising because that parish usually goes for the more conservative candidate.

Just for you info, here’s how the race came out for our neighbors in Sabine and Winn parishes. Rispone won both easily, 65.6 to 34.4 in Winn and 78.9 to 21.1 in Sabine.

In Natchitoches Parish, John Richmond won the parish presidency by a fairly good margin, 58.1 to 41.8 percent, with the vote count being 6.952 to 5,009. I think many believed that race would be a little closer, particularly with the controversy over Richmond, as public works director, supposedly ordering materials without proper authorization. But the voters spoke and Richmond is our new parish executive. Here’s hoping he and the council can get along and get some things done.

Finally, if you don’t think every vote counts, take a look at the District 4 race for Parish Council. Out of 2,497 votes cast, Marty Cheatwood beat Justin Lester by nine votes! If five voters had changed their minds, Lester could have won by one vote. So, it is important that you get to the polls and make your voice heard!

High schoolers learn about career opportunities at Engineering Technology Symposium

“Technology touches every aspect of our lives,” said Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, head of Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology, as 285 high school students from Lincoln, Ouachita, Sabine and Calcasieu parishes convened for the Engineering Technology Symposium at NSU.

The agenda included an exhibition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines offered at NSU with current students and faculty visiting with the high schoolers.

Exhibitors representing regional industries spoke with students about career opportunities and workforce needs. The event also included presentations on manufacturing technology, workforce development and the AMT program, a partnership between NSU and Central Louisiana Technical Community College in which students work part-time at a manufacturing facility while earning credit towards an associate degree in engineering technology. Speakers were Dr. Fran Lemoine, dean of NSU’s College of Arts and Sciences; Mike Skiles, director of the American Welding Society District 9; Connie Baker of RoyOMartin, Dr. M.A. Wabb, a professor in Louisiana State University’s College of Engineering, and Wayne Denley, vice president of Knowledge Platforms.

NSU’s chapter of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, presented on First Robotics and CubeSat.

“The demonstrations focus on hands-on experiences, solving real-world problems for industry, and exposes students to basic engineering concepts,” Sharab said. “We are attracting students to the STEM field.

Northwestern State has the only engineering technology program in Louisiana. Engineering Technology prepares electronics engineering technologists and industrial engineering technologists for entry into the high technology job market of tomorrow where technologists work closely with engineers to design install and maintain the complex systems today.

The Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology, EET, and B.S. in Industrial Engineering Technology, IET, are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. 

The symposium was the second in a series of events planned by NSU and Louisiana GEAR-Up. Upcoming events include an art expo in February 2020, ACT Boot Camp in March 2020 and a nursing and allied health fair in April 2020.

A federally funded national initiative, Louisiana GEAR Up (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, which gives grants to states or institutions of higher learning to create partnerships with high-poverty middle or high schools. In partnership with 16 school districts and the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), Louisiana GEAR Up aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

August 13, 1928 – November 19, 2019

Joseph Marion “Pat” Henry, Jr. passed away on November 19, 2019, peacefully at the Courtyard of Natchitoches after suffering a stroke in April 2016.

Pat was born on August 13, 1928, to Joseph M. Henry, Sr. and Eugenia Cherry Henry. He is a descendant of the Henry family who owned and operated Melrose Plantation where he went to live with his grandmother Cammie Henry, at the age of 12. It was home until he married and moved to Natchitoches.

He graduated from high school, Columbia Military Academy, Columbia, TN in 1945. After graduation, he enrolled at LSU and earned a BS degree and an LLB from the LSU School of Law in 1951. While at LSU he was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, as was his father, four of his uncles and his son Joe.

Upon completion of law school, he served two years in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from the Office of Special Investigations School in Washington, DC and then served as a First Lieutenant at the American Embassy in London, U.K.

He returned to Natchitoches in 1953 where he was active in real estate, finance, banking, and the stock market. He also served briefly as an Assistant District Attorney. He soon learned that finance and business were his passions and founded May Company and Friendly Finance which later became Henry Companies. He was elected to the Board of Directors of Exchange Bank in 1970 and remained active with management serving as Senior Chairman until April 2016.

Mr. Henry was preceded in death by his parents. He leaves his loving wife of 62 years, Juanita Barberousse Henry, and his two children Taine Henry Carrozza (Bob) of Dallas, Texas. J. M. “Joe” Henry, III (Chrissey) of Natchitoches. He also leaves his four grandchildren, Lauren Anne Carrozza Huffines (Sam), Bailey Elizabeth Henry, Vincent Henry Carrozza, and Joseph M. Henry, IV.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks any memorial gift be sent to the First Presbyterian Church in Natchitoches, LA. or a charity of your choice. He donated his body to the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, LA. A visitation will be held Tuesday, November 26th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Private family services will follow at a later time. Mr. Henry and his family are very appreciative of the staff at the Courtyard and his personal aides Hattie, Classie, Shirley, Anne and Lynda as well as the gracious and courteous staff of Hospice of Natchitoches, especially Marie McDaniel, who gave such great care during a difficult time.

OMC will host Change Your Life 2 Open House

Outpatient Medical Center Inc. would like to invite the community to attend the Change Your Life 2 (CYL2) Open House! CYL2 is a program offered through Outpatient Medical Center Inc. that helps participants who are pre-diabetic learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. The open house will be located at 103 Broadmoor Shopping Center, Natchitoches, La 71457 on November 23rd from 10am-12pm. CYL2 will have A1C checks, door prizes and education about preventing pre-diabetes available for the public.

Sullivan, Willson honored receive one of Northwestern State’s top student honors

Shelby Sullivan of Sulphur has been named Miss Northwestern State University and Char’Tarian Wilson of Shreveport has been named Mr. Northwestern State University. Sullivan and Wilson were selected by fellow students for one of the university’s highest honor.

“I am honored, humbled, and ecstatic to belong to one of Northwestern’s highest honors and traditions,” said Sullivan. “Northwestern State University has given me so many opportunities and experiences, and I’ll forever be indebted to this amazing university.”

Wilson was also honored by the recognition from his peers.

“Being selected as someone that represents Northwestern is such an amazing honor and i still can’t believe this blessing happened to me,” said Wilson. To know that people love me for who I am and have been impacted by me in a positive way is such a phenomenal feeling and I want to thank every single person on this campus that has helped mold me into the person that I am today. NSU is such a wonderful place filled with a rich history, diverse cultures to help others understand each other and values that will last a lifetime and to know that people see those qualities in me is so heartwarming.”

Sullivan is the daughter of Karen and Patrick Sullivan. She is a senior business administration major. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and serves as a Student Government Association justice. Sullivan is a member of Purple Jackets, Order of Omega, Blue Key and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. She is a member of the Student Alumni Association and the President’s Leadership Program and was a freshman orientation leader and a University N-Sider. Sullivan served as Demon Days Family Day chair and was on the 2018 and 2019 Homecoming Honor Court. She is a Dean’s List student.

“It is important to be involved on campus because you meet so many fellow Demons to connect and engage with,” said Sullivan. “When you get involved on campus, you gain a true passion for Northwestern. “I knew I wanted my collegiate experience to be something that would help me grow and gain opportunities. Getting involved on campus has not only allowed me to meet so many people, but I’ve been challenged to push myself.”

Wilson is the son of Charles Wilson Sr. and Sylvia Wilson. He is a senior biology major. Wilson is a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band and the Presidential Leadership Program. Wilson was king of the 2018 Homecoming Honor Court. He has been active in Alpha Lambda Delta, the University Programming Council, Tri Beta Honor Society, the JOVE Program, Order of Omega, Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi, the Demon Cheerleading squad and the American Society for Microbiology.

“I feel as if it is important to be involved in campus organizations due to the fact that that is the time where you truly start developing yourself as a person,” said Wilson. “This is when you’re going to meet people different from you, serve others, and give back to the Northwestern and Natchitoches community.”

Wilson said he was involved in organizations as a student at C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport and carried that over to NSU.

“I was able to break the ice by joining organizations such as the President’s Leadership Program and the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band,” he said. “After that, I continued to want to meet more people on campus and before I knew it, I was in so many organizations meeting so many people and making a difference in many ways.”

Community Advisory Committee Seeks Responses for Superintendent Survey

The Community Advisory Committee, formed of a diverse group of stakeholders from throughout the community, met on Friday, November 15 to discuss the search for a new superintendent of Natchitoches Parish Schools. The committee has compiled a survey with the intent of gathering honest, anonymous feedback from community members regarding the professional and personal qualities that they would like to see in the next superintendent of Natchitoches Parish Schools. The committee hopes to receive at least one thousand completed surveys, to have an aggregate of responses reflective of our diverse community. The feedback received will be shared with the Natchitoches Parish School Board as the board progresses with the search. The survey takes approximately five to ten minutes to take.

To take the survey, visit

The deadline to submit your feedback is Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Notice of Death – November 20, 2019


Joseph Marion “Pat” Henry, Jr.
August 13, 1928 – November 19, 2019
Visitation: Tuesday, November 26 from 5-7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Private family services will follow at a later time

Edwin Kirkendoll
November 20, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Rhonda Sue Holycross
June 15, 1952 – November 15, 2019
Service: Wednesday, November 20 at 2 pm at St John The Baptist Cemetery

Ira Wayne Noland
July 6, 1936 – October 19, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, December 7 from 10-11 am at Kramer Funeral Home