Immunization: Should We Be Scared of Vaccines?

Dr. Zeljko Radulovic, assistant professor of biology at Northwestern State University’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences, gave an interesting and educational presentation titled “Immunization: Should We Be Scared of Vaccines?” in a partnership between the school and the Natchitoches Parish Library, Tuesday, January 28 at the main library branch. The talk, first in a planned series of presentations on scientific areas intended for the general public, started with a brief introduction into how the immune system works and then explained about the various types of vaccines and how they function. Along the way, the attendees learned some interesting historical tidbits such as immunization pioneer Edward Jenner’s experiments with smallpox, a dangerous killer up unto the last century, now eradicated from the planet. They also learned of the origin of the word vaccination from the Latin word for cow, vaccus. Dr. Jenner made a breakthrough in medicine when he noticed that people who worked around cows often contracted cowpox, a virus related to smallpox, but much less virulent, but did not come down with smallpox. He inoculated people with material from cowpox pustules and thus kept them from contracting smallpox.

Dr. Radulovic also answered questions from the audience. In the final part of the presentation, he debunked unfortunately persistent myths about immunizations causing autism and containing poisons. He also explained the concept of “herd immunity” in which a high immunization rate is not only beneficial for the individual immunized, but beneficial to society as a whole by protecting people such as newborns, pregnant women and immunocompromised persons who cannot receive immunizations. The answer to the question posed in the title of Dr. Zeljko’s talk is an emphatic no!

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend the NSU School of Biological and Physical Sciences for their outreach efforts. In everything from their lighthearted social media page and videos to talks such as this one, the school is exploring new ways to promote the study and appreciation of science to people of every age. One can easily see that they love their fields and their enthusiasm is contagious. The Journal also wishes to commend the parish library for making their facilities available to the school of Biological and Physical Sciences. The library has an eclectic range of community programs for every interest and every age.


According to Kris: Valentines Gifts for Everyone

It’s Wednesday Stylers! While Valentine’s Day is still a few weeks away but I just couldn’t wait to share my gift guide with you. This year Valentine’s Day is not for just couples. It’s for yourself and your friends. It’s for the person who gave you love all 365 days of the year. Everyone may not speak the language of love the same, but when it comes to showing a little love come February 14, a physical token of affection is the perfect accompaniment to a romantic love letter, cheesy greeting card, or just some quality time together. And this Valentine’s Day, there’s something special at every price point. You can get a gift for your lover that starts below $20, but doesn’t lack in charm. There’s something for everyone in my ultimate guide, from simple, classic gifts like a bouquet of roses or Kate Spade Heart Stud Earrings to more out-there options like a “Reasons Why I Love You” coffee mug set or custom wine bottle label.

A thoughtful alternative to a night at an overly crowded restaurant is spending the night cozying up at home. Create a romantic mood of your liking because let’s face it, restaurants don’t go all out for Valentine’s Day. You could get cozy under a newly unwrapped dusty pink blanket or slip into a luxurious silky robe. Not only is this romantic for two, but it’s also perfect for one. Fix a picnic basket and sip on some wine while reading from a classic romance novel, or you can go for it and buy those Apple AirPods you’re been itching for.

Perhaps you’re also hoping to treat your friends with something small to show you care this Valentine’s Day. Honestly, a relationship is nothing but a really good friendship. A friendship bracelet is fun and classic. Besides, thin beaded bands are in right now. A pink satin pajama set will do just the trick. A “Make Your Own HOT Sauce Kit” or even a crystal hair barrette can help say “I love you.”


Capitol Briefing with Gabe Firment

Taking the oath of office as District 22 state representative on the morning of January 13th in the presence of my wife, children, and parents was a truly special experience that I will never forget, but the solemnity of that momentous occasion was soon shattered when the House began proceedings to elect the next Speaker of the House. Ultimately the House members voted 60 – 45 to elect Rep. Clay Schexnayder(R-Gonzales) as Speaker, with 23 Republican representatives joining 35 Democrats and 2 Independents to provide Rep. Schexnayder the winning margin.

The citizens of District 22 should know that I voted with 44 other conservative Republican representatives to elect Rep. Sherman Mack(R-Albany) as Speaker of the House, but the coalition of moderate Republicans, Democrats, and Independents that supported Schexnayder assured that my first vote as representative ended in defeat. However, I have no regrets for my support of Rep. Mack, who won the endorsement of the Republican delegation with a super-majority of the votes during a delegation meeting I attended in Baton Rouge on December 13th.

The days leading up to the inauguration and election of the Speaker were quite tumultuous, culminating with an emergency meeting of the Republican delegation on the morning of the inauguration. In that meeting Rep. Mack offered to step down as the delegation-endorsed candidate in hopes that Rep. Schexnayder and his supporters would join the majority of the Republican delegation and come together to support one Republican candidate, but Rep. Schexnayder rejected the offer and the meeting was concluded with a fractured Republican party heading to the House floor for the inauguration.

I must admit that this was a somewhat disappointing start for the new legislature since the people of Louisiana overwhelmingly voted for conservative representation in the 2019 elections, with Republicans gaining a super-majority of seats in the state Senate and a near super-majority in the House. However, I am cautiously optimistic that the new legislature will come together and successfully implement a conservative agenda of lower taxes, tort reform, and smaller government demanded by the people of District 22 and Louisiana. Rep. Schexnayder has a conservative voting record, and since his election as Speaker he has consistently stated that tort reform and lowering insurance costs are his number one priority this session. I am looking forward to working with Speaker Schexnayder in the coming months to implement real reforms that produce tangible results for the hard-working people of District 22.

I am pleased to announce the opening of my District Office at 181 Barron Road in Pollock, and the hiring of my legislative assistant Mrs. Myrtle Lasyone. Myrtle is a native of Georgetown, LA and comes to District 22 with 24 years of legislative experience, having worked with Sen. Gerald Long for 12 years and Sen. Mike Smith for 12 years. Her experience and heart for helping others will prove to be invaluable for this freshmen representative and the people of District 22. Please contact our office at (318)765-9606 or via email at hse022@legis.la.gov or gfirment@legis.la.gov. Thank you.


NPSO: TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO TWO ARRESTS IN PROVENCAL

A traffic stop in Provencal on Monday afternoon has led to the arrests of a man and a woman on various criminal charges including the seizure of suspected methamphetamine according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were patrolling on La. Hwy 117 in Provencal on Monday afternoon, January 27, at approximately 1:00pm, when they stopped a 2001 Ford Mustang for traffic violations.

Deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 29-year-old Lucinda Orsborn of Provencal.

Deputies say while speaking with Orsborn she stated “she didn’t have a drivers license”.

During a NLETS computer check, deputies learned Orsborn’s drivers license was suspended and there was no compulsory insurance on the vehicle she was operating.

A passenger in vehicle acting uneasy identified himself as Caleb Bass, however, an image provided by NPSO Dispatch to the deputies on the stop did not match the passenger.

Deputies placed the passenger under arrest at which time he identified himself as 28-year-old Joshua K. Bass of Coushatta, La.

A surrounding parish warrants check revealed Bass was wanted by the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office on an outstanding Failure to Appear Warrant.

A wrecker was contacted to impound the vehicle because of no compulsory insurance.

During an inventory of the vehicle, deputies discovered and seized a small container containing suspected methamphetamine, syringes loaded with suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies arrested:

Lucinda Orsborn, 29, of the 100 block of Lee Street, Provencal transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine-2nd Offense, Driving under Suspension, and traffic charges.

Joshua K. Bass, 28, of the 100 block of Lakeway Road, Coushatta transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Resisting an Officer by Giving a False Name and Failure to Appear in Red River Parish on prior criminal charges.

Both Orsborn and Bass remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center awaiting bond, in addition to Bass pending transfer to Red River Parish.

Deputy A. Llorence was assisted by Deputies M. Robinson and Sgt. J. McDonald.


NSU earns high marks from NCTQ

Northwestern State University’s School of Education earned an A in early reading standards in a study completed by the National Council on Teacher Quality. NCTQ released scores Jan. 27 for the 2020 Teacher Prep Review after researching teacher preparation programs that provide elementary teacher candidates with skills in teaching children to read.

NSU’s Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with 1-5 Certification was part of a small group of programs nationwide to earn an A grade, according to Dr. Katrina Jordan, director of the School of Education. Only about a quarter of programs nationwide qualified for the grade A.

Northwestern State’s School of Education was also the only program in Louisiana to earn a B for its Practitioner Teacher Program (PREP), an alternate certification program that allows individuals who already have an undergraduate degree to earn certification on a fast track program. NSU’s PREP program was ranked fourth in the nation.

“Northwestern State University’s School of Education continues to demonstrate excellence in all of our programs,” Jordan said. “I am delighted that we are, once again, recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality as a program of excellence. For both our undergraduate and alternative certification programs to be identified as exemplary programs in the area of early reading instruction is thrilling. We at NSU are proud to continue our tradition of preparing high-quality educators to meet the needs of PK-12 students.”

According to NCTQ findings, NSU provided teacher candidates with repeated instruction each of the five components of reading instruction, supported instruction with textbooks that detail established principles of scientific reading practices and create opportunities for teacher candidates to demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests and fieldwork.

Information on the early reading standard study and its methodology can be found at https://www.nctq.org/pages/TPREarlyReadingMethodology.


SPECIAL CALLED PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: JANUARY 30

A special meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council will be held Thursday, January 30 at 5:30 pm 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.

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


NSU Living Library will present ‘Ben Johnson – a Natchitoches Legacy’

Northwestern State University’s second Living Library event will examine the life and legacy of the late Ben D. Johnson (1910-2005), who was for several decades, a business leader, mentor and advocate in Natchitoches’s African American community. The panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Ora G. Williams Digital Media Center (NSU TV Studio), Kyser Hall Room 142. Admission is free and open to the public.

Johnson was born in Campti, one of 10 children, and in the 1930s launched a successful funeral home business that became one of the most prominent minority business systems in Louisiana. He was involved in government, civic affairs, youth development and many philanthropic endeavors.

Johnson received many honors throughout a lifetime of service. He was named an honorary Louisiana state senator and awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Northwestern State University, where he established the Ben D. Johnson Endowed Professorship in Business. He received the NAACP humanitarian services award was lauded by U.S. President Bill Clinton and South African President Nelson Mandela.

Today, his work lives on through initiatives coordinated by the Ben D. Johnson Education Center, the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program and the Legacy Café.

Joining the panel to discuss Johnson’s legacy will be his niece Claire Prymus, State Rep. Kenny Cox, Coushatta Mayor Johnny Cox, Edward Ward Jr. and Dr. Marcus Jones. Each will speak and answer questions about Johnson, his impact on their lives and the large footprint Johnson left in the community.

“Ben Johnson: A Natchitoches Legacy” will last about 90 minutes and is being presented by NSU’s Eugene P. Watson Library. The concept of a living library encourages individuals to share their experiences on a specific topic so that listeners get a first-hand account of what the person saw or lived through. The panels are recorded and become part of the collection that researchers can use to supplement books, journals and other traditional resources. The living library concept encourages cross-curriculum study and experiential learning.

“Ben Johnson’s lasting impact and achievements on the Natchitoches community deserves to be recognized,” said Deborah Huntington, head of Collection Development and Cataloging. “Black History Month is an ideal time to honor the legacy of Ben Johnson.”

For more information, about the Watson’s Living Library Collection, contact Huntington, at huntingtond@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6947.


MUSIC CLASSES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN TO BEGIN JANUARY 30

Joysounds Music Together is now accepting registrations for its winter semester of music classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents and/or caregivers. These Music Together® classes will be offered on Thursdays 4:15-5:00 PM at CAPA at NSU and taught by NSU Music Education Faculty member Dr. Sharon Joy. Interested families may participate in the first class as a demonstration class on Thursday, January 30.

The Music Together philosophy is based on the belief that all children are musical. Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and the adults who love them. These classes involve both children and parents or other caregivers in informal singing, chanting, moving, listening, and instrument playing activities that are developmentally appropriate for very young children. “Children and their parents love these classes,” says Joy, “They get the opportunity to have quality musical family time, when they can leave their daily stresses and simply enjoy making music with their little ones.” Continuing the activities at home is made easier by the CD, children’s book, and parent education materials included in the cost of tuition. Access to online resources is also included.

Joy is passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making and helping families discover the joy—and educational value—of early music experiences. For more information about JoySounds Music Together and or to register for the demo classes or winter session visit joysoundsmusictogether.com or call 832 978-6145.

Lakeview band member performs with LMEA District II Cavalier Senior High Honor Band

Lakeview Jr.-Sr. High band member Myla Porter performed with the LMEA District II Cavalier Senior High Honor Band on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Myla, a senior band member, was first chair in the euphonium section. She also qualified for the second round of the All-State honor band tryouts in October, and is only the second student from Lakeview ever to achieve this honor. She is the music student of band director Denise Roper and talented music instructor Kelsey Wright McDonald.

The Cavalier Honor Band performed Overture for Winds by Charles Carter, Dusk by Steven Bryant, Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik, and The Thunderer by John Philip Sousa. Dr. Joshua Davis of Louisiana College was the Cavalier Honor Band’s conductor.


Notice of Death – January 28, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Larry “Thigh-Thigh” Batiste
September 3, 1978 – 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

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

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

RED RIVER:
Grace Eleanor Adams
August 08, 1927 – January 27, 2020
Visitation: Wednesday, January 29 from 6-9 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, January 30 at 11 am at Fairview Baptist Church
Interment: Fairview Cemetery


BOIL ADVISORY FOR PAYNE SUBDIVISION LIFTED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches’ Distribution System would like to notify the public the Boil Advisory issued for Payne Subdivision on Friday, January 24, 2020 has been lifted. The Louisiana Department of Health collected a sample from Payne Subdivision on Monday, January 27, 2020 and notified the City of Natchitoches on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 the water was safe for human consumption and use.

The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience during this time.


UPDATE: Natchitoches Police identify suspect in double homicide on Short Seventh Street

Update: Natchitoches Police identify suspect in double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is asking the public for assistance in locating the suspect, Jessie James Petite Jr. (B/M, 21 y.o.a, weighing 135 pounds, around 5’7” of Natchitoches).

An arrest warrant has been issued for Jessie James Petite Jr. who is charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder.

If you have seen Jessie James Petite Jr. please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Do not attempt to apprehend or detain this individual by yourself. Jessie James Petite Jr. is considered to be armed and dangerous. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Original Story: Natchitoches Police investigate double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a double homicide that took place Monday night on Short Seventh Street.

On January 27, 2020 around 10:17 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 900 block of Short Seventh Street in reference to a disturbance. Upon officers arrival they located Larry Batiste (B/M, 41 y.o.a. of Natchitoches), Hiram Phillips Jr. (B/M, 35 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and a female suffering from gunshot wounds. Larry Batiste and Hiram Phillips Jr. were pronounced deceased as a result of their injuries. The female was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and later to a hospital in Shreveport where she is listed in severe condition.

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 William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Officer John Greely
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: January 28, 2020


Rhodes’ attorney release statement regarding St. Maurice Place Subdivision

My clients are disappointed in the City Council’s decision to deny their application to build the St. Maurice Place Subdivision. This development is an exciting opportunity for our City. The project would potentially result in 27 new homes in our community valued between $300,000 to $400,000. In addition to attracting people to move to our community, the development would result in significant property taxes that could be used to improve our City (like improving our drainage system).

It has been more than 10 years since our City had a residential development. This lack of expansion has hurt every sector of our local economy. My clients have always made an effort to employ local subcontractors when possible. When we are not constructing new homes, there is less work for our local electricians, plumbers, carpenters, relators, bankers, etc.

The City has acknowledged that the subdivision complied with all of the City’s Planning and Zoning Regulations. It is difficult to develop subdivisions when the Council continues to move the goal post. If the Council wants to require larger lots, it should pass new planning regulations that increase the minimum square foot requirements for residential lots and apply the same rules to everyone. It defeats the purpose of having planning and zoning regulations if the Council is just going to make the rules up as they go.

My clients will be appealing the Council’s decision to the District Court. We are confident the Council’s decision will be reversed and my clients look forward to breaking ground on this wonderful project.

Sincerely,

Jared Dunahoe
Attorney for Rhodes Properties and Development

Natchitoches Police investigate double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a double homicide that took place Monday night on Short Seventh Street.

On January 27, 2020 around 10:17 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 900 block of Short Seventh Street in reference to a disturbance. Upon officers arrival they located Larry Batiste (B/M, 41 y.o.a. of Natchitoches), Hiram Phillips Jr. (B/M, 35 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and a female suffering from gunshot wounds. Larry Batiste and Hiram Phillips Jr. were pronounced deceased as a result of their injuries. The female was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and later to a hospital in Shreveport where she is listed in severe conditi

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 William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Anonymous Tips by Smartphone:

You may also provide tips that will be anonymous via our Tipsoft Product. Simply send the tip by using your smartphones (download the free application) or by texting (Text-A-Tip) to CRIMES (274637). Use NPDTIPS before typing your message. You can also submit a Web Tip from our Police Protection page.

Check it out: http://www.smscrimetips.com/


Officer John Greely
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: January 27, 2020