Louisiana Department of Health Updates for 3/30/2020

March 30, 2020

The Louisiana Department of Health has updated its website to reflect the latest number of positives and will continue to update its website at noon each day.

As of noon on March 30, the Department reported 485 additional cases since yesterday, bringing the total to 4,025 positive cases.

A total of 1,158 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized; of those, 385 patients require ventilation.

Long-term care facilities
The Department of Health has identified COVID-19 clusters in 28 long-term care facilities in the state. For context, there are a total of 436 nursing homes and adult residential care facilities in Louisiana.

Below is the current list of confirmed clusters, meaning the facilities the Department has had time to properly notify:

Bayside Health
Chateau De Notre Dame
Chateau D’Ville
Chateau St. James
Colonial Nursing Home
Good Samaritan, New Orleans
Guesthouse of Slidell Nursing Home
Inspired Living Kenner
Jo Ellen Smith Living Center
Lakeview Manor Nursing Home
Lambeth House
Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Port Allen
Luling Living Center
Marrero Health Care Center
Montclair Park Assisted Living Shreveport
Nouveau Marc
Ollie Steele Burden Manor Nursing Home
Poydras Home
River Palms Nursing and Rehab
Riverbend Nursing and Rehab
Saint Anthony’s Nursing Home
Saint James Place
Saint Joseph of Harahan
Saint Jude’s Nursing Home
Saint Martin’s Manor
South East Louisiana Veterans Home
The Suites at Algiers Point
Vista Shores
A cluster is identified as two or more cases that appear to be connected.

Because of the sheer volume of cases, we will be sharing the updated number of clusters every day at noon. We will rely on facilities for reporting on the most up-to-date information. The Department continues to work with facilities to minimize the spread of the illness and protect residents and staff.

The Department reports an additional 34 deaths since yesterday, bringing the total to 185 deaths. Deaths are listed on the LDH dashboard by parish under the by parish tab and information by age can be found on the by age group tab. A list of the ages of the reported deaths can be found here.

Below is what we know about the underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths to date, as of March 29:

Pulmonary (12%)
Cardiac (21%)
Diabetes (40%)
Chronic Kidney Disease (23%)
Chronic Liver Disease (2%)
Immunocompromised (4%)
Neurological (6%)
Obesity (25%)
No Underlying Conditions (3%)

Medical volunteers interested in volunteering should register with Louisiana Volunteers in Action at http://www.lava.dhh.louisiana.gov. Medical and non-medical volunteers 18 years of age and older are welcome.

Letter to the Editor: Coronavirus has side effects even for those that aren’t ill

By Gary McCollum/Opinion

The Pandemic that is the Corona Virus Disease 19 is affecting our local communities as well as our nation. Quarantine to stop the spread of the disease is a challenge that not all are sure they can meet.

Thousands of people in our community are out of work. Hundreds of businesses are closed. This affects many downstream. Hotels, restaurants, grocers, automakers, home builders, tourist attractions and the banking industry.

Many employees are working reduced hours or not working at all. Layoffs are prevalent. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is forecast to set a record for the second straight week following 3.28 million last week. It is believed that these numbers are underrepresented due to the difficulty navigating overloaded websites and phone lines.

We’ve all heard about the Covid-19 relief fund that was passed by Congress and stimulus payments are on the way. Unfortunately, April’s bills are coming and the funds, albeit generous, probably won’t make it before the due dates. What can you do?

Communication is the key here to protect your credit rating and your bank account. Many lending institutions are extending payment deferments. Some may only grant you 1 month while others are granting up to 4 months deferment. If you have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, (loss of income) you may be able get some relief while the country takes a pause and quarantines to prevent any further spread of infection.

Contact your mortgage lender, credit card companies, automobile finance companies and explain your situation. We may not be able to cure a disease with a telephone call or an email, but with communication we can possibly save our credit and protect our bank accounts during this trying time.

Remember to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. Stay at home. Don’t panic buy, don’t touch your face, wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

A day in the Life of Isolation

How are you making it through this ‘forced new way of living?’ I would love to document it and bring our community a little bit closer together – from a safe distance.

Hi, I’m a Freelance Graphic Designer here in Natchitoches and would love to invite you to be a part of my journaling process of this unique time in our lives. I believe it will allow us to truly see we are ALL in this together and we can ALL get through it together, even if we are forced to be apart.

If you are interested in joining in on the fun, here is the 411:

THIS IS A PROJECT OF LOVE. There is no charge for this photoshoot.

Scroll to the top of the page and ‘Book Now’. Sign up for a date and time.

Be creative. Feel free to be serious, be silly, be emotional. Promote a cause, support a hero.

Prepare an area OUTSIDE of your home.

I will shoot from 6-8 feet AWAY from your family.
This is not a social event.
I will NOT enter your home.
I will NOT enter any closed areas.
I will not handle props.
I will make suggestions on lighting, expressions and artistic ideas.
All photos must be outside and include ONLY the loved ones living with you during quarantine.
Booking an appointment with Summer Designs provides us with the rights to use your image on social media and various media outlets. All rights reserved by Summer Designs.

I look forward to meeting you and your family.

Summer Designs Visual Communications

Natchitoches Parish Law Enforcement issue joint statement regarding ‘Stay at Home’ order

We are beginning our second week of the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards (Proclamation JBE-33-2020). The order limits the operations of most businesses and the movement of citizens in Louisiana.

These measures have been implemented to mitigate spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Louisiana. In Natchitoches Parish, we are pleased to see so many people doing their part to help this effort. However, we have noticed some limited instances in which people are not following the guidelines.

We urge all citizens to adhere to the order and be reminded of the limitations in effect:

–Social Distance from others. Stay 6 feet away from all persons.

–Do not gather in any location, public or private, in groups of 10 or more. This includes indoor and outdoor locations.

–Only leave your home for legitimate purposes listed as acceptable exceptions in the order:

*To obtain groceries, supplies, medications, or take-out food. We encourage only one person from a household to visit the stores or restaurants to pick up food. Do not bring your entire family to the store, except if they are too young to stay at home.
*To care for a family member at their home.
*To take a walk, bike ride, or exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.

These measure are necessary to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and lives of all citizens in Natchitoches Parish, and to help avoid any potential overwhelming of our local healthcare capacity.

For businesses not considered essential critical infrastructure by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency must temporarily close their operations. For businesses that are allowed to remain open during the order, we encourage them to implement strict practices to ensure social distancing for customers.

In the city of Natchitoches, all juveniles under the age of 17 are under a curfew provision in the Code of Ordinances (Sec. 20-39). Juveniles are prohibited from being on any public roadway or public property from 12:00 am – 5:00 am unless accompanied by a parent or authorized adult.

As law enforcement agencies, our primary duty is to protect citizens from harm; this includes utilizing our resources and training to help mitigate the coronavirus in Natchitoches Parish. As such, we must enforce these lawful rules listed in the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order.

Violations of the order constitute an imminent threat to public health and are a violation of the criminal statutes, subject to prosecution.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and helping all of us defeat COVID-19.

Sheriff Victor Jones, NPSO
Sheriff-elect Stuart Wright,
NPSO Chief Micky Dove,
NPD District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington, NPDA

Obit: Dr. Archie F. Breazeale, MD

October 03, 1925 – March 26, 2020

Dr. Breazeale is survived by his wife, Mrs. Fay Breazeale; son, Mr. David Breazeale of Natchitoches; and daughters, Mrs. Lisa Breazeale Wells and husband Jim, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Mrs. Julie Breazeale Weikel and husband Mik, of Arlington, TX; grandchildren, Lauren Wells Strickland and husband William, Melissa Wells, Drew Wells, Rebekah Webb; great-grandchildren, Grace Strickland, and twins, Archie James Strickland and William Joseph Strickland; and sister, Jayne Breazeale Latiolais.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Archie F. Breazeale, Sr. and Cynthia Walker Breazeale; and daughters Kathlyn Anne Breazeale and Alison Breazeale Webb.

Due to recent health restrictions, funeral services for Dr. Breazeale will be scheduled and announced at a later time.

Northwestern State’s sprinters, jumpers could benefit from Olympics postponement

The next time Jasmyn Steels was supposed to set foot in her native College Station, Texas, would have been for the Texas A&M Invitational on May 1, just a week before the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships.

Instead, Steels is a full-time resident of College Station now, continuing her second semester of graduate school in sports administration in online classes.

Steels, like countless other winter and spring sport student-athletes, had their competitive seasons ended in the second week of March as the country started its methodical quarantine to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But a silver lining exists for Steels and a handful of current and former Northwestern State athletes.

The 2020 Olympics were postponed this past week, which includes various Olympic Trials.

At least three NSU athletes were expected to qualify for their countries’ respective Olympic Trials – Steels in the long jump, senior Natashia Jackson (in the 200 and 400 meters) and Grenada native Junior Charles, who had all but solidified a spot on Grenada’s 4X400 relay team.

Former NSU sprinters Amir James (200 meters) and Micah Larkins (100 meters) were possible Olympic Trials candidates in their respective events.

Larkins, a Haughton native with Korean heritage from his maternal grandmother, could possibly compete for South Korea in the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in 2021 in Japan.

“The delay in the Olympics and Olympic Trials could benefit our athletes,” said NSU associate head coach Adam Pennington, who directly coaches sprinters. “For Junior Charles, he was overcoming a hamstring injury that affected him all indoor season. Junior also gets more face time with Grenada sprinter Kirani James (won gold in the 400 in 2012 Olympics and silver in 2016 Olympics)

“With Micah and Amir training on their own, they get more time to adjust to the different coaching styles and programs. They get an extra year to compete and reach their peak at the next trials. For Jasmyn and Speedy, they were in great rhythm in their competitive seasons, and I would have loved to see what they would have done at the Olympic Trials this year. But they are young and eager, and I think they’ll keep training and be ready for the trials next year, too.”

Steels had already traveled to New Mexico to defend her NCAA Indoor national championship when sports were canceled.

Steels, who soared past the 22-foot mark (22-0.25) to win silver at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships and had already cleared 21 feet multiple times in the 2020 indoor season, was firing on all cylinders.

“I felt like I was in a really, really good place,” Steels said. “I figured out my run and had gotten everything mostly perfect.

“I was ready to peak. I actually had a few practice jumps at (NCAA Indoors) and cleared 21 feet, so I felt really good. I don’t know if the postponement for the Olympics was good or bad right now, but I’m a positive person, so this gives me an extra year to prepare and an extra year to compete at NSU (should the NCAA pass a measure to award student-athletes an extra season).”

Another question ricocheting in the mind of Steels, who’s accustomed to professional-level conditioning and training while achieving in the classroom?

“After a week or so of the season being canceled, it’s hit me that it’s over – what am I supposed to do, just be a student?” asked Steels, who won the Southland Conference Field Events Performer of the Year for the indoor season. “But it’s given me more time to work on the little things.

“With the gyms and tracks closed, I’m doing what I can to stay in shape like running outside in parks, doing some body weight exercises. I’m running wherever I can, doing sprints on the road. I’ve also learned to play the piano – I’ve always wanted to do that. I’m watching more TV shows in my spare time and playing basketball. I recommend ‘Locke and Key’ and ‘Private Practice.’”

NSU teammate Jackson was near her peak as well, taking home the SLC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year after capturing her third high-point scorer distinction and setting the conference’s indoor record in the 400 meters (53.25).

“Speedy was in a good rhythm, too, and getting better with each meet,” Pennington said. “With what she was running, she was probably making it to the Olympic Trials in the 200 and 400 meters.

“But the more competitions she can participate in, the better. She believes in herself more than ever, and she gets an extra year of maturity. Her and Jasmyn can carry that momentum from indoor into next season.”

Larkins is training in Biloxi, Miss., under former Ole Miss head coach Brian O’Neal.

With tracks closed, he’s doing what he can with abdominal work, dumbbells and lunges.

“With a new program, sometimes it takes a year to get adjusted, and that’s what was happening for me,” said Larkins, who competed for the Demons from 2016-2019, including competing on two All-American 4X100 relays and earning two All-American honorable mentions as an individual sprinter. “I would like to think the Olympics postponement does help me.

“I’m sticking with my program, and I can start to feel the changes. I won’t know for sure until competition come back, but I get one more year to buy into this system.”

Larkins’ career-best wind-legal time of 10.12 would be the top mark of any current South Korean sprinter.

James is in similar circumstances after a career (2015-18) in which he was part of those two All-American 4X100 relays and was an honorable mention All-American in the 100 meters as an individual sprinter.

For Junior Charles, chasing his Olympics dreams will be delayed one year.

But after struggling through a hamstring injury in the indoor season, Charles will get more than a year to return to a form which placed him in the mix on Grenada’s 4X400 Olympic relay team.

“Junior will definitely benefit, and he’s had the best training year he’s ever had,” Pennington said. “The hamstring injury lingered the whole season, and he ran an open race, but he felt it.

“His career best in the 400 is 46.57 (at South Plains Junior College, which included bronze medals at the NJCAA national championships in the 400 and 4X400 relay). We think he could have been in the 44s by the end of this outdoor season. He might have won NCAA national championships in the 200 and 400 meters had this season continued.”

Photo Credit:
Larkins photo is Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services
Steels photo is Mike Wade Photography

Three’s A Crowd

By Brad Dison

In 1958, Joseph Yule, Jr. married his fifth wife, Barbara Ann Thomason, in Mexico. Unsure of the legality of their Mexican marriage, they renewed their vows in Los Angeles two years later. By 1966, Joseph and Barbara had four children, but their marriage was falling apart. Barbara began having an affair with a soon-to-be-divorced Yugoslavian actor, stunt double, and bodyguard named Milos Milosevic. Joseph also worked in movies and was away from home for long periods of time. When he returned home from the Philippines in December, 1965, he was shocked to learn that Milos had been living in their home for a significant period of time. Milos even went so far as to claim that Joseph’s and Barbara’s home was his legal residence on official documents. On January 28, 1966, Joseph filed for divorce and petitioned the Superior Court of California for custody of their four minor children.

Since his return to the United States, Joseph had been a patient at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and was receiving treatment for a gastrointestinal tract infection. Joseph really did not want to divorce Barbara and tried to convince her to give their marriage another chance. On Sunday night, January 30, 1966, two days after Joseph filed for divorce, Barbara visited him in the hospital. Joseph and Barbara discussed their marriage, and Joseph told friends that they were close to reconciliation. Joseph was unaware that Barbara had hired a private detective to help her record their conversation. Barbara succumbed to his persuasive reasoning and agreed to stop seeing Milos.

Barbara and the private detective returned home and were met by Milos, Wilma Catania, who was staying at Barbara’s house, another female friend, and her attorney. Barbara explained to Milos that their friendship could not continue and played the tape recording of her conversation with Joseph. Milos sat quietly as he listened to the recording. Once the recording ended, Milos asked to speak with her privately. At about 8:30 p.m., Barbara and Milos entered the master bedroom and locked the door. Wilma decided to go to dinner an hour later. She knocked on the bedroom door, got no answer, and left for dinner. The other guests left as well. Wilma returned at about 2:30 a.m. to find the home exactly as she had left it. The lights were still on, the master bedroom door was still locked. Not wanting to disturb what she suspected was a touchy conversation, Wilma turned the lights off in the rest of the house and went to bed.

Wilma awoke around noon and found that the master bedroom door was still locked. The maid had not seen Barbara all morning. They unlocked the master bedroom and found that the bed was still made. Wilma then opened the bathroom door. Barbara’s lifeless body lay face up on the bathroom floor. She was still wearing the same tan capris and flowered blouse from the day before. A single .38 caliber bullet had entered her jaw. Milos’s lifeless body was sprawled over Barbara. He was still wearing the same black pants and white shirt that he wore the day before. A single .38 caliber bullet had entered his temple. The pistol, which belonged to Joseph, lay on the floor next to the bodies.

Police theorized that Milos, distraught that their affair was ending, murdered Barbara then committed suicide shortly after they left their guests and entered the master bedroom. None of Barbara’s guests heard the gunshots because the thick walls and doors muffled the sound.

You may not recognize the names Milos Milosevic, Barbara Ann Thomason, and Joseph Yule, Jr. The three of them adopted stage names? Milos Milosevic went by a shortened version of his name, Milos Milos, and appeared in just two films. Barbara Ann Thomason, better known as Carolyn Mitchell, was a beauty queen who was crowned “Miss Venus,” “Queen of the Championships of Southern California,” “Miss Muscle Beach,” “Miss Surf Festival,” and many, many more. She became a model where she met Joseph. She appeared in just three films. Joseph’s movie career, however, spanned nine decades. He appeared in just over 340 productions including notable movies such as “Babes in Arms” (1939), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), and more recently in “Night at the Museum” (2006), and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (2014). Joseph Yule, Jr. is better known by his stage name, Mickey Rooney.

Long Beach Independent, January 29, 1966, p. 6.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, February 1, 1966, P. 13.
Long Beach Independent, January 29, 1966, p. 6.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, February 1, 1966, P. 13.
San Bernardino County Sun, September 11, 1966. P. 3.
San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, December 24, 1966, P. 7.


In an era when large multi-national banks are pulling out of small towns across America, Engage Federal Credit Union (“Engage”) has its roots firmly planted here in Natchitoches. As a small community lender, we design our products to fill market gaps to fit the needs of the small businesses here in our community.

At Engage, you are more than a member; you are an owner of the credit union. We offer affordable rates, and free appointments for a thorough credit analysis of your credit report. We can recommend ways to consolidate your debt to save you money. And if we can refinance your loan to save you money, we will provide a dollars and cents analysis so you can see EXACTLY how much you will be saving. If you are someone who appreciates the value of a good deal, you need to come see us at Engage.

Whether your small business needs equipment, inventory, working capital, or you want to refinance a more expensive business loan, Engage wants to earn your business.

At Engage, we try very hard to find ways to say “YES” when others say “NO”. No business loan is too small for us. We want your business, whether you need to purchase a $500 piece of equipment or an entire commercial trucking fleet. Let US help YOU expand and grow your small business. After all, we are in the business of providing opportunity.

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), things like job creation and small business growth – and keeping jobs in America – are very important to us. Our CDFI mission also means that we are dedicated to financial inclusion and affordable access to ethical products and services. Engage is the only local CDFI credit union in the region and is nationally recognized for providing innovations in lending and for going above and beyond to connect our members with the loans they need.

If you live, attend church or school, or work in Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, or Winn Parishes, Louisiana, YOU CAN JOIN TOO and experience all of the benefits of membership. From online and mobile banking to holiday loans and alternatives to predatory payday lending and micro business loans, we are here for whatever you need.

Visit us at www.engagefcu.org or call us at (318) 238-7762.

Five LSMSA students compete in virtual state science fair

LSMSA had five students, with three projects, compete in the state science fair. Due to COVID-19, the competition was conducted in a virtual capacity this year.

Joshua Henry (’21), pictured left, and Travis Elmore (’22), both of Slidell, placed third in the senior division in Biochemistry with their project titled “Absorbance and Denaturation.”

Other LSMSA students to compete at the state level were all Natchitoches residents. They were Gloria Church (’21), Tum-Tum Adeleye (’22), and Maggie Wheat (’21).

As a result of the virtual setting, the competition could not include the 1:1 interviews as previously planned – a major component of the competition and one in which LSMSA students do very well.

“Not having the 1:1 interviews with judges really through a kink into things,” said Dr. Michele Stover, Chemistry Instructor at LSMSA.

Originally planned to be hosted in Baton Rouge at LSU, all participants will be mailed a certificate of participation and t-shirt after LSU reopens. Winners will also receive their awards by mail.

BOM welcomes Kristen Carpenter

BOM would like to welcome Kristen Carpenter to our Washington Street location. Kristen brings ten years of customer service experience to BOM. Kristen is a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School. She has been married to her husband Brock Carpenter for eight years, and they have two children: Matthew (10) and Dawson (1). In her spare time Kristen enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Notice of Death – March 30, 2020

Dr. Archie F. Breazeale, MD
October 3, 1925 – March 26, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Clida Cora Martinez Ellison
March 26, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Lula B. Scott
March 26, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Florida Mae Brown
September 2, 1944 – March 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sam Braden
December 20, 1941 – March 02, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Louise Gladys Owens
August 4, 1933 – March 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Ora Christine Green
October 5, 1931 – March 29, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Cleo Marie Walker
November 2, 1928 – March 28, 2020
Service: Tuesday, March 31 at 2 pm at Campti Baptist Cemetery

Drive Through COVID-19 Community Screening and Testing Opens in Natchitoches

Fever, cough, shortness of breath? If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 also known as the Coronavirus, beginning March 31, drive through community testing and screenings will be available in Natchitoches. This community health service will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the parking lot of Central Louisiana Technical College (CLTCC) at 6587 Highway 1 in Natchitoches.

Professionals from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center will be conducting the screenings and testing. Community members who have been exposed to the virus or who believe they may have symptoms will be asked to remain in their cars as they receive screening. If after the screening, the professionals recommend testing, the NRMC Associates will do so at a testing station as part of the drive through process and test results will be available in approximately 4 days. All participants must bring a valid photo ID and their insurance card. All insurances including Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance are accepted.

“Our goal is to make screening and testing safely and conveniently located in our parish,” explained Kirk Soileau. “As a community, we need to diagnose cases of this virus, so that people can get the care they need and also protect those who would otherwise be in close contact with them. In most cases, individuals can overcome this illness at home, but they need to self-isolate, so they do not expose others. For those with more serious cases, additional medical care may be necessary.”

Special thanks to City of Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey, Parish President John Richmond, Senator Louie Bernard, Natchitoches Chief of Police Mickey Dove and Captain Brad Walker, Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones, Northwestern State University Police Chief Craig Vercher, Homeland Security Officer Mary Jones, Natchitoches Fire Department Chief John Wynn, Campus Dean of CLTCC Laurie Morrow, and many volunteers.

Texas institutes roadway screenings, 14 day quarantine for travelers from Louisiana

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a new Executive Order mandating roadway screenings for anyone traveling from Louisiana into Texas, with a 14-day quarantine (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW).

Every person who enters the State of Texas through roadways from Louisiana, or from any other state as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions, as may be determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Each person covered by this order to self-quarantine shall be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) shall enforce this executive order along the Texas-Louisiana border. Using a form to be prescribed by DPS, each covered person shall designate a quarantine location in Texas, such as a residence or a hotel, and provide a full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, and driver license or passport information. DPS Troopers, or other approved peace officers, will collect a completed form from a covered person and verify it against the person’s driver license or passport. Providing false information on this form is a criminal offense under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code. Questions about this form should be directed to DPS by calling (800) 525-5555.

A covered person shall proceed directly to the designated quarantine location entered on the DPS form. Any covered person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall be escorted to the designated quarantine location by a DPS Trooper.

A covered person shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter, leaving only to seek medical care or to depart from Texas. During that period, a covered person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a health department employee, physician, or health care provider, and shall not visit any public spaces.

DPS Special Agents will conduct unannounced visits to designated quarantine locations to verify compliance by confirming the physical presence of covered persons. Any failure to comply with this order to self-quarantine shall be a criminal offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both.

The Prayer Vigil at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center-America at its Best

by Kevin Shannahan

Our community came together Sunday, March 29, in a moving prayer service held in the packed parking lot of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. The service was held to lift up in prayer, love and support the men and women working in every area of the hospital as well as our first responders. In order to maintain social distancing, people stayed in their cars and listened to the service with the windows rolled down.

The service was put together over the course of a few days by a group of local men and women who saw the need and quickly put the service together. Bro. Mike McGrath of First Baptist Church gave an inspired opening prayer after which DJ Leonard Sarpy played a variety of Christian music for the service. Ms. Christie Price gave the closing prayer. As the crowd drove away, the air was filled with horns as the congregation let the people of NRMC, law enforcement and fire service that they were loved and appreciated.

As America faces this time of trial, people all over the country are rising to the challenge. Masks are being sewn by thousands of individuals who saw a need and got to work. Face shields are being produced in factories all over the country. One design being used came from an engineer in Wisconsin whose wife, an anesthesiologist, tried on prototypes and helped with advice on infection control and other medical aspects. The University of Wisconsin Hospital now has the face shields they needed and the design is openly available for use by others. I have no doubt that a vaccine will be invented for this disease soon. There are a lot of hard working, smart people working tirelessly on it.

The nation’s character is also revealed in the many acts of kindness and regard for community we see every day. From bear hunts to entertain children to people buying meals for tired truck drivers making deliveries, all of these thousands of acts of unsolicited volunteerism show a side of America that is still very much present in our land.

As I looked at the people in their cars at the service, I saw people of every race and circumstance. They were from every denomination, and probably a few from none. Rich and poor, Black and White, from different faiths-none of that mattered, They had gathered together to pray for the men and women who come to work every day to keep our community safe. This night was America at its finest. President Eisenhower put it best “There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.”

Natchitoches resident asks community to participate in Trash Tuesday and help clean up city

Natchitoches resident Danie Habig is starting an initiative to get the community involved in beautifying the City and surrounding areas during the coronavirus outbreak.

Activities like walking, biking, running, and boating are considered safe as long as residents practice social distancing. It’s Danie’s hope that everyone can come together for Trash Tuesdays and pick up litter along the route they take. If everyone participates, each bit of effort will go toward a sense of community while they’re all locked away in their homes.

Danie came up with this idea while boating on Cane River. She saw the amount of trash on the water and on the banks. Her plan is to get people to rally together to do something about it while they have the time.

“Let’s make Natchitoches pretty,” she said.

During this time the trash will be collected more frequently at the Washington Street and Shell Beach Boat Launches if you’d rather not bring the trash you collect back home with you. Please set the bag of trash you’ve picked up near a bin on site. This setup is only for people who are participating in the Trash Tuesday initiative. Please do not leave any personal trash at these locations.

Also, with the donation of trash bags by Red’s Ribs, Danie has them on hand when needed. Call her at 318-228-3910 to schedule a pick up at Cane River Kitchenware. The store is closed during the outbreak, but Danie will be there daily from 11 am – 4 pm renovating floors.

Post a picture as you collect trash and use the following hashtags:

#alonetogether, #trashtuesday, #natchitochesstrong, #gonatchitoches. #golocal

Trump extends voluntary shutdown through April 30

According to an Associated Press article, President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown, which expires today (March 30) through April 30.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said the U.S. could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the pandemic. The U.S. had more than 137,000 COVID-19 cases reported by late Sunday afternoon, with more than 2,400 deaths.

Rhodes Properties & Development, Rhodes Realty keep moving forward during Covid-19 outbreak

Rhodes Properties & Development and Rhodes Realty is doing everything they can to make sure deals are closing during the Coronavirus outbreak. All office locations are closed in accordance with the Governor’s order.

“They will remain closed until the Governor advises us differently,” said Justin Rhodes. “We are finding different ways to work through this while making sure our clients aren’t left in the dark. At the end of the day our utmost priority is our clients and the safety of our entire team.”

Rhodes is dedicated to its clients and will make every effort to fulfill commitments, while keeping in close contact with its lenders, title companies, and all parties involved.

“We have outfitted all of our team members, agents, associates, and brokers with remote capabilities and they are working as they can to progress construction activities, and serve clients looking to buy or sell a home,” he said.

Rhodes is also working with professionals and officials locally, regionally, and state-wide to develop plans for the immediate needs of the property development and real estate industries, as well as looking toward the future.

“We are committed to this industry,” said Justin. “We are committed to this economy. We are committed to keeping it alive. We are committed to making it thrive. We are making progress everyday and will see it through.”

Rhodes urges all members of the community to take this time to care for their families and ensure their safety.

“I can assure you we will recover from this,” said Justin. “This community, this state, and this country will prevail. Together we will emerge stronger on the other end.”

Campbell Says More Internet Service Coming to North Louisiana

More federal dollars have been set aside to pay for expansion of high-speed internet service in North Louisiana, and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is urging broadband providers to apply for the funding.

The “Rural Digital Opportunity Fund” of the Federal Communications Commission helps bring broadband service to rural, unserved, or underserved areas of the United States. The FCC has allocated $20.4 billion to be spent over the next 10 years, with the first phase beginning in 2020.

Phase 1 calls for 627,000 new internet access points in 45 states including 182,458 across Louisiana. Of the state’s allotment, more than 79,000 new spots will be in the 24 parishes of North Louisiana that comprise Campbell’s LPSC District 5.

“The addition of 79,000 new broadband access points will be welcome news for the residents and business owners in North Louisiana,” Campbell said. “Much of our education, health care, and commerce is conducted on-line, so reliable, fast and affordable internet service is needed in every household and every community.”

These new internet locations are in addition to the nearly 55,000 homes and businesses in North Louisiana made internet-accessible by the FCC in 2016-2020 as part of its “Connect America” program. That previous FCC effort, coming to an end this year, helped fiber, wireless and satellite internet providers meet the need for broadband service in unserved or underserved areas of America.

By the end of this year the Connect America expansion was to have made 54,580 homes and businesses in PSC District 5 eligible to receive high-speed internet service. Three providers — AT&T, CenturyLink and ViaSat – received FCC funding.

“I’m pleased that the FCC is continuing to reach out to places like North Louisiana, where we have more territory unserved by broadband than other parts of the nation,” Campbell said. “All of the 24 parishes in my district are seeing growth in broadband.

“This development should continue until every household, business and institution in North Louisiana can get affordable and reliable broadband.”

Connect America supported broadband service delivered by fiber, wireless and satellite technologies. The FCC requires that customers receive minimum download speeds of 10 megabytes per second and upload speeds of 1 mbps.

The FCC also mandates that rates are “reasonably comparable” to rates in urban areas. AT&T proposed a monthly charge as low as $60 for locations made possible with Connect America FCC support.


It has been two weeks since we had our last day of school. I am sure many have questions. There are answers to some but not all. We will have a graduation ceremony. The date is dependent on the current state of the coronavirus and how long it will take for the curve to flatten. That is when the number of new cases does not exceed the days previously recorded.

From the Guidance Department: Please check your Student Progress Center frequently. The NCHS Guidance department is still on the job. Just doing it from home. They can be reached thru email tharris@nat.k12.la.us, sschaub@nat.k12.la.us and wbyles@nat.k12.la.us. “Remember you are still their students and they are still your counselors.

Mrs. Spears has posted information regarding Yearbook orders. She asked me about this years Prom. I am hoping we are back in school before May 15. I have talked to Graduate Sales about items you have ordered. Donnie Johnson assured me that as soon as the Shelter in Place order is lifted he will be distributing your orders. The Senior ring ceremony that was scheduled after the class of 2020 leaves will be scheduled at some time before school starts if necessary.

Please remember to practice social distancing. There are many that this virus has attacked. I pray daily for this to come to a quick end and we are able to return to normal.


Bill Gordy

School Board issues COVID-19 Update regarding suspension of feeding program

Natchitoches Parish School Board, in compliance with Governor John Bel Edwards’ Statewide Stay-At-Home Order to further fight the spread of COVID-19 has temporarily suspended the current feeding sites until further notice. We are already in the process of providing meals in a more efficient way. Our goal is to safely offer food in more easily accessible locations and in smaller groups. Thank you for your patience during this time.