NSU Football: National Signing Day luncheon set for Feb. 5

Northwestern State football coach Brad Laird will introduce his 2020 signing class at the annual Demon Quarterback Club National Signing Day luncheon next week.

Doors will open for the Feb. 5 luncheon inside the Friedman Student Union Ballroom at 11:30 a.m. A buffet-style lunch presented by the Demons Unlimited Foundation will be served at that time with the program beginning at noon. Admission is $20 and the event is open to the public.

Attendees will see video highlights of each NSU signee and will receive a packet of biographic information on the signing class. Laird and members of his coaching staff will provide insight on the newest Demons as well as look ahead to spring football practice and additional upcoming NSU football events.

Season tickets for the five-game 2020 home schedule will be on sale as well as Northwestern State apparel. Season posters also will be available for pickup at the event.

For more information, contact Mike Jacklich at 318-357-4268.

Photo Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

BOM congratulates Krystin Bynog on promotion to Loan Specialist

BOM would like to congratulate Krystin Bynog on her new position as a Loan Specialist. Krystin is from Houma, but has lived in Natchitoches for the past nine years. She grew up and went to school overseas in Dubai, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. She graduated from Northwestern State University in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree. She has been happily married to Joseph Bynog since 2017, and has one son Justin Bynog who is five years old. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend as much time with her family as possible. She has been apart of the BOM family since February 2015 and now has almost 5 years of banking experience. Krystin is excited to start her new role in the Loan Administration department.

Some Random Thoughts on American Society, 2020

By Joe Darby

For the last couple of days I’ve just been lying around, trying to rid myself of a little bug (nothing serious), and just taking it easy in general.

Taking it easy gives a person more time to think and here’s a couple of thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head lately. You might agree with them. And you might not.

Firstly, the tragedies of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter, as well as the plane crash that took the life of LSU offensive coach Steve Ensminger’s daughter-in-law, illustrate how much of a celebrity society we have become.

I understand how the media had to play these sad events. When a celebrity dies unexpectedly, along with others, the media will naturally tend to focus on the crash victim who is known to the public. particularly when they are well liked and respected. One of the greatest basketball players of all time, a man who by all accounts was also a good man and a good father, has died violently, along with his young teenage daughter, taken before their time. Likewise, a vibrant and well-liked young sports reporter, with connections to another well known athletic figure, is taken suddenly from her family and friends.

The public wants, and needs, to know about these tragic deaths. And yet. And yet when I read of these events and the story informs us that the celebrity — and others — have been killed, it gives me pause.

I know there is no intention to belittle the loss of “the others,” but I still get the feeling that their lives are not given the proper respect as those of the well-known figures. We see images of hundreds of wreaths being placed to honor Bryant and his daughter. But there is no coverage, as far as I have seen, of the grief that is being felt by the loved ones of “the others.” And in many news accounts “the others” remain nameless. They are just, well, just “the others.”

If I had a loved one who died in an incident along with a celebrity, I would want to holler out, “Hey, what about the person that I knew and loved? Her life mattered too.”

The other thought that occurred to me this week is this. When the United States won its independence in 1776, the new nation’s population was, I believe, something like 2.5 million. Out of that number, which is smaller than many cities of today, the little country produced George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and many others who were instrumental in winning America’s independence, creating a new government and then governing the new nation.

What an amazing group of leaders, world-class statesmen, was formed by that little baby country. What talent, what virtue, what wisdom, they had. And all from 2.5 million people!

Today, we have a population of some 330 million. So if 244 years ago we could produce the brilliant Founding Fathers from such a relatively small number of people, one would think that with about a third of a billion people today, we could find some truly great leaders.

But we don’t have any of those. The man in the White House, even if you agree with some of his policies and accomplishments, is an obnoxious bully, a crude embarrassment whose behavior would have doubtless appalled Washington, Adams, Jefferson and company. And the slate of people the Democratic Party has come up with to run against Donald Trump is just as sad. A cranky old socialist, a woman who is so far left she would never have been considered for office just a few years ago, a small-town mayor who has never managed anything larger than a small city hall, and a bumbling, aged former vice-president. This is the best the opposition can offer?

It’s truly sad, folks. I hope I feel better soon, so I’ll have less time to think.

Energetic start not enough to carry Lady Demons to victory

Northwestern State could not sustain a high-energy start against New Orleans, dropping a second straight home game 77-63 on Wednesday night.

The Lady Demons (5-14, 2-8 SLC) jumped out to an 11-point lead six minutes into the game but a 2-for-12 shooting effort in the second allowed New Orleans (11-8, 7-3 SLC) to build an insurmountable lead.

“I was very pleased with that first quarter,” interim head coach Aaron Swinson said. “I told them from the beginning it was going to be emotionally high but that we had to keep our composure.

“I think we went from that high to emotionally low in the second quarter though because we weren’t making the baskets. Other than that I was pleased with the effort but we’ve still got to finish around the basket, wide open shots, free throws that sort of thing.”

A pair of free throws and ensuing 3-ball from Kira Bonner had the Lady Demons out to an early 5-0 lead. But unlike the past two games, a player not named Bonner would score in the first quarter for NSU.

Jasmyn Johnson found her stroke from deep with a pair of long balls from the left wing on consecutive trips down the floor. The senior converted three from behind the arc in the quarter. Three free throws from Tristen Washington gave NSU its largest lead of the game with 3:53 remaining in the opening frame.

UNO finished the quarter on a 12-4 run however, creating plenty of momentum to carry them into a big second only trailing 23-20.

Even though the Privateers had their lowest shooting effort of the game in that second period, going 5-for-19, the Lady Demons could not keep the early energy going. The 18-6 second quarter created enough cushion for the visitors to keep NSU at arms length the rest of the game.

New Orleans stretched its lead to 20 midway through the third quarter and led 60-45 entering the final 10 minutes.

Trailing 67-49 with just over seven minutes left in the game, the Lady Demons made a huge push to get back within striking distance. A pair of newcomers, Washington and transfer Leilani Moncrease combined to score nine straight points for the Lady Demons, making it a nine-point game with 3:33 remaining.

UNO ended the NSU scoring run with a dagger of a 3-pointer from Dionjhae Thomas to push the lead back into double figures. Four straight empty possessions for the purple and white kept the lead where it was until time ran short and five late free throws secured the win for the Privateers.

Lacee Savage pulled in a career-high 10 rebounds in the game, the first player this season to reach double figures on the glass in a game. Bonner extended her consecutive double-digit scoring games to seven with 13 points. Washington and Johnson each put in 14, a new career high for Washington.

The Lady Demons wrap up their three-game home stand on Saturday afternoon in doubleheader action with the NSU men beginning at 1 p.m. against Central Arkansas.

Candidacy Announcement: Betty Smith for City Councilman at Large

On April 4, 2020, residents residing in the City of Natchitoches will have an opportunity to go to the polls and vote for City Councilman at Large. I am Betty Sawyer Smith and I am pleased to announce that I am a candidate for Councilman at Large for Natchitoches.

I am a graduate of Northwestern State University. I was employed for 34 years as Administrative Assistant for the 10th Judicial District Court, retiring in 2015. I currently work as a substitute teacher for the Natchitoches Parish School Board. I am the mother of two children and the proud grandmother of 4 wonderful grandchildren. I am a member of the Asbury United Methodist Church serving as lay leader. I hold membership in various civic and professional organizations and have always been actively involved in community issues which focuses on empowering and growing our city and community.

I appreciate the beauty of this quaint city and have benefited from its unique qualities and characteristics. If elected as Councilman at Large I will continue the effort to help make our city a thriving and growing community. I will collaboratively work with the council members and Mayor to work on improving infrastructure to the city, in particular, drainage and streets. We need sustainable jobs. I will work with and support local small businesses while advocating for new businesses and industry to Natchitoches, which would provide better paying jobs, allowing people to be self reliant and better able to provide for their families. I will work with law enforcement to study ways to decrease crime making our city, streets and neighborhoods a safer place for all residents. I pledge to be visible in the community, listen to your concerns, be YOUR voice and accountable to you the voters. Working together, we can make Natchitoches a thriving city and we can all feel safe and proud to call Natchitoches home.

Over the next few weeks, as I campaign door to door, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. If I miss you, I humbly ask for your support and the opportunity to serve as YOUR Councilman at Large. PLEASE CONSIDER VOTING FOR ME FOR COUNCILMAN AT LARGE, BALLOT # 175 ON APRIL 4, 2020.

You may contact the candidate at bsmith108@hotmail.com.


Natchitoches Junior High JAG members learn about banking, financial literacy

Natchitoches Junior High JAG would like to extend it’s appreciation to Josh Pierson of City Bank and Trust for educating our JAG members on banking/financial literacy. Pictured: Sean Moran, Caiden Baines, ZaMarions Payton, Joseph McDowell, Mariah Largent, Jasmine Holmes, Callie Encalade, Josh Pierson, Ronald Smith, Jessie Vazquez, Shona Moses, Jabarran Brown, India Tousaint, Lydia LaCaze, Zamarion Washington, Shakela Pier, Jaquez Perrow

Public invited to attend artist talk, walk through of ‘The Final Curtain’ exhibition

New Orleans based Art Duo, Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S.), Matt Vis and Tony Campbell will give an artist’s talk and walk through of the current exhibition “The Final Curtain” located at Northwestern State University’s Hanchey Gallery, 140 Central Avenue in Natchitoches. The event is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 3 pm in the Hanchey Gallery. A closing reception will follow from 5-7pm.

Krewe of Dionysos Junior Court Sends Mardi Gras Boxes to Deployed Troops

Natchitoches Krewe of Dionysos junior court members packed boxes for the Louisiana Heroes Project, Mission Mardi Gras. Mission Mardi Gras sends Louisiana deployed heroes Mardi Gras themed Care Packages. The court members packed 10 boxes with Mardi Gras and LSU items and included a note in each box. If you would like to participate in Mission Mardi Gras, please visit their FaceBook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LouisianaHeroesProject/

Pictured in photos are Madison Lester, Austin Withers, Dustin Withers, Josh Stewart, Gracie Borders, Madalyn Peddy, Chandler Milligan, Shauna Withers, Josh Stewart, Misty Lester, and Pat Horton.

Kiwanis recognizes kids at LP Vaughn

Students in grades PreK-K at L.P. Vaughn received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of January recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance. Students recognized include Journee Anderson, Virginia Andrews, Jayceon Lewis, Maxim Martin, Carlos Mejjia, Aidan Perot, Ryan Lovemeore, Eden Arms, Remi Poole, Andrew Green, Lamya Lewis, Jaliyah Brown, Kylie Barre’, Charley Bush-Hilliard, Nia Hall, Ahzianae JJohnson, Ayden Lewis, Caidence Barriere, Dylan Willis, Terry Powell, Brielle Reliford and Colin Warren. Pictured with them are Kiwanian Heather Martin, Principal Mrs. Ducote and teacher Clarissa Davis.

Notary public class to begin Feb. 18

The Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Notary Public Exam Prep Course starting Tuesday, Feb. 18. Class time is 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and a final class from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on May 16. The early bird fee is $430 and $450 after Feb. 12.

In partnership with Louisiana State University-Shreveport, this 52-hour course is an introduction to notary public fundamentals, and the instructor, attorney/notary Robin Jones, has a pass rate higher than the state average. The instructor additionally distributes significate course study guides and materials to assist in your preparation for the exam. This course will be delivered via online video conferencing. The instructor will provide you with a conferencing link to join the class once enrolled. Requirements for the course are that participants must have broadband access, a camera and sound. In order to take the Louisiana State Notary Exam, students must be Louisiana residents and registered to vote in Louisiana.

The test is based on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s newest edition of “The Fundamentals of Louisiana Notarial Law and Practice”, only available at www.sos.louisiana.gov or call (225) 922-0507 for further information or to learn qualifications. You must have this book on the first day of class.

To register for classes, go to https://checkout.nsula.edu/.

For more information on our Non-Credit programs call (800)376-2422 or (318)357-6355.

Notice of Death – January 29, 2020

Laurence John Bonnett
February 8, 1956 – December 23, 2019
Services to be held at a later date

Gregory Randle Singletary
July 03, 1992 – January 18, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 1 from 10 am – 2 pm at Provencal First Baptist Church
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 2 pm at Provencal First Baptist Church
Interment: Hickory Grove Cemetery in Vowells Mills

Sherry Booty Bynog
January 26, 1945 – January 25, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, January 30 from 10 am – 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, January 30 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Emmanuel Cemetery in Chopin

Hiram Phillips, Jr.
November 7, 1984 – January 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Carol Adkins Williams
November 07, 1950 – January 26, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 1 from 11 am – 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St Denis Funeral Home

Larry “Thigh-Thigh” Batiste
September 3, 1978 – January 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

John Gill “Bud” Rachal
October 10, 1949 – January 17, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, located at 911 5th St. in Natchitoches

Jessie Mae Thomas Manning
March 5, 1942 – January 24, 2020
Visitation: Friday, January 31 from 5-8 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 11 am at the Friendship Baptist Church

James Pickett
January 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

John L. Brooks
January 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Billy Gibson
December 25, 1950 – January 19, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 12 pm at The Camp, located at 1026 Hampton Road in Natchitoches

James Moody
January 17, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Jerry Don “JD” McCollister
January 1, 1945 – January 24, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, January 30 at 4 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle
Service: Friday, January 31 at 3 pm at Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Interment: Mt. Olive Cemetery

Mary Kirkendoll
May 6, 1949 – January 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 1 pm at the New Zion Baptist Church in Winnfield

Grace Eleanor Adams
August 8, 1927 – January 27, 2020
Service: Thursday, January 30 at 11 am at Fairview Baptist Church
Interment: Fairview Cemetery

Parish Council Meeting Heats Up Over Grant for Payne Sewer System

By Rickey Lacour

The Parish Council argued over Ordinance #019-2019 at its meeting Monday night, Jan. 27. The debate was about whether the Council should adopt said ordinance authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System. An identical ordinance died for lack of a second at the Council’s Nov. 19 meeting.

The approval of this ordinance would be the first step in accepting a grant of approximately $750,000 that would allow the parish to set up a committee to oversee the Payne Sewer System.

Residents in the Payne Subdivision area have experienced blockages and sewage backup into their homes.

Newly appointed Council Chairman John Salter said he felt the amount for the grant is clearly not enough to fix the problem. “I’d like to go out there and assess the issue myself and see what we’re looking at, then we can vote on this,” he added.

Council Member Chris Paige disagreed. “We’ve been putting this off for months now,” he argued. “All we’re trying to do is get approval for the grant so we can set up a committee. These people have been waiting too long.”

Council Member Patsy Ward-Hoover chimed in about the insufficiency of the amount by saying, “That’s just enough to put a band aid on the issue.”

Several subdivision residents echoed the same message. They need this ordinance to be approved sooner rather than later as the Parish is at risk of losing the grant if it doesn’t act fast enough.

Hoover moved to table the vote until after the assessment had been done and the Council decided to hold a Special Called Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 pm to make a decision. The meeting will be held in the Parish Council Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, room 211. For any questions about the special called meeting, contact the Parish Government offices at 318.352.2714.

Special Called Meeting has been set – Read More Here https://wp.me/p5VQCS-jx3

Agenda item:
Council to consider adoption of Ordinance 019-2019 authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System to the parish and authorizing the Parish President to execute all documents in connection therewith, upon the advice of the District Attorney.

Other items on Monday night’s agenda:

Adopt Ordinance 20-2019 to introduce adopting and enacting a new code for the Natchitoches Parish Code of Ordinances; providing for the repeal of certain Ordinances not included therein; providing a penalty for the violation thereof; providing for the manner of amending such code; and providing when such code and this Ordinance shall become effective.

Adopt Ordinance 21-2019 to remove approximately 0.59 miles in length of the Mink-Hutton Rd., up to the Parish line from the Natchitoches Parish Road System.

Appoint Mr. Johnny Salard as the Interim Director of the Department of Public Works until the search for a permanent Director is conducted. – Passed

Council named Paige and Kilcoyne to be on the search committee for a new Director and Assistant Director of Public Works. – Passed

Authorize the Parish President to sign and execute an agreement with Hope for Paws and Natchitoches Humane Society for the reimbursement of expenses incurred through their spay and neuter programs. – Passed

Approve a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Parish of Natchitoches and the Department of Veterans Affairs for the joint funding of the of the local VA office during the period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The Parish’s share of the cost would be $3,558, or $296 per month. – Passed

Add Cyber Security Insurance to the Parish’s Insurance. Awarded to Travelers. – Passed

Award bids for certain highway materials and the reject bids for other highway materials. – Passed

Change the February meeting from the 17th to the 24th. – Passed

Have a Legislative Audit done on the financial records for the Parish of Natchitoches. – Failed 3 to 2