Louisiana Department of Health Updates for 3/25/2020

Baton Rouge, La. (March 25, 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.

Case count
As of noon on March 25, the Department reported 407 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,795.

Hospitalization
Yesterday, 271 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized. Of those, 94 patients required ventilation.

Currently, 491 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized. Of those, 163 patients require ventilation.

Nursing homes
The Department of Health has identified COVID-19 clusters in six nursing homes in the state. A cluster is identified as two or more cases that appear to be connected. With the involvement of hospitals and multiple providers and the growth in cases of nursing home residents, the Department of Health will no longer be reporting where positive cases have been identified. The Department continues to work with nursing homes to minimize the spread of the illness and protect residents and staff.

Deaths
The Department now reports a total of 65 deaths. 

Reporting
Following the model of the CDC and many other states, the Department has moved to once daily reporting on the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths. The Department is now reporting positive cases and completed tests from the state lab and commercial labs. The Department’s dashboard was updated today at 12 p.m. The next update will be tomorrow at noon and will daily updates will follow at noon seven days a week.

Guidance for providers
All guidance memos issued can be found on the Department of Health website: http://www.ldh.la.gov/coronavirus.
About the Louisiana Department of Health

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn more, visit www.ldh.la.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or our blog.

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Red River Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19

The wife of the founder of Abbie Lane Retreat in South Red River Parish is hospitalized following her testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Wayne Spears is asking for prayers for his wife Nancy.

Wayne Spears is now self-quarantined at his home. He talked with The Journal this evening and gave permission to use their names. Spears said Nancy Spears has been ill for some time. She was seen by a doctor in the Shreveport area who had the test performed. Following the positive result, Nancy Spears was admitted to the hospital.

Spears said, “We are asking that everyone pray for Nancy’s recovery. I have contacted my friends to spread the word that we need their prayers.”

The Journal asked Wayne Spears how he was doing. “The doctor thinks it is likely that I may have it also,” said Spears. Spears coughed several times during our conversation. He said, “The doctor said if I developed symptoms in addition to a cough that I would be tested also.”

Several years ago Wayne and Nancy Spears retired from the ministry. They moved to Red River Parish and established Abbie Lane Retreat. It is a place for members of the clergy to find a place of rest away from the stress of their pastorates. Abbie Lane is built on 80 acres and is a relaxing place with trails leading to over a dozen prayer gardens. Easter Sunrise Service has been held there for the past several years.

Speaking with Wayne Spears he said, “We knew it would probably come to this area. I never thought it would be Nancy.”

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NPSO DEPUTIES DEMONSTRATED PROPER USE AND FIT OF PPE MASKS

Earlier today, John Rivoire, MSN RN and Robin Ragan, RN with Louisiana Extended Care Hospital demonstrated the CDC guidelines for proper use and fit of N-95 Personal Protective Masks used by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies during their course of duty if they come in contact with a potential health hazard during the COVID-19 era according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Personal protective equipment is special equipment you wear to create a barrier between you and germs. This barrier reduces the chance of touching, being exposed to, and spreading germs.

The limited number of masks were supplied by the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association to the NPSO in an effort to assist and prevent deputies from coming in contact with COVID-19.

Sheriff Victor Jones, Sheriff-elect Stuart Wright, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington and several deputies were in attendance.

We thank the Louisiana Extended Care Hospital, Mr. Rivoire and Mrs. Ragan for their assistance today. We want to make sure that our deputies are safe, have the proper training and knowledge of how to protect themselves and use the masks if they come in contact with a possible health hazard during the course of their duties according to Sheriff Jones.

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NSU, pioneer in online learning, embraces digital transformation

NATCHITOCHES – With classes transitioned to online and alternative delivery for the remainder of the semester, Northwestern State University’s faculty, student support services and information technology staff are working diligently to meet challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Northwestern has been a pioneer and a leader in online education since the 1990s,” said NSU President Chris Maggio. “All of our academic programs are continuing with online and other alternate delivery of classes. Students have access to the library, counseling, technical support and other services required for quality learning. Offices that provide essential assistance to the university community and the public remain open as most of our personnel teach and work remotely.”

NSU students are currently on spring break with classes set to resume Monday, March 30.

“While this is a time of disruption, it is an opportunity to fully embrace ‘digital transformation’ that will forever change higher education,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, NSU’s vice president for Technology, Innovation and Economic Development. “With each new decade, we’ve experienced significant disruption as it relates to technology. Online education will no longer be the other way to deliver instruction, but potentially, the new normal. NSU has paved the way for our future, which enables access unlike ever before. We are a part of the change.”

To create a seamless transition, NSU faculty are using online labs such as “myMathLab” and other virtual experiences provided through partners or other online resources, Williams added. The Louisiana Board of Regents created clearinghouses for information at https://louislibraries.org/online_resources/students and https://regents.la.gov/distance-learning-resources/ Northwestern State’s managing partner for the NSU Marketplace bookstore, Follette Higher Education Group, is offering free eBook, courseware and shipping programs for students.

NSU offers 40 online degree programs plus more than 85 online options for individual concentrations, certificates and specialized credentials.

Early registration for summer and fall semesters is underway and NSU continues to reach out to prospective students. Virtual tours and other helpful videos have been on the university’s social media channels. Registration information is available at http://www.nsula.edu/registrar.

“As a longtime supporter of distance learning, I am proud of the work being accomplished by institutions in Louisiana, across our country and around the globe. Let’s not look back, but look forward, and embrace the transformative opportunities that are yet to come,” Williams said.

“The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis and Northwestern is meeting these new challenges through the resourcefulness and resiliency of our faculty, staff and students,” Maggio said.

Updates and information regarding academics and operations at NSU are available at http://www.nsula.edu.

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State colleges and universities seek student, retired and active healthcare volunteers to help combat COVID-19

Healthcare students, healthcare workers and retired healthcare workers have an opportunity to join the fight against COVID-19 by volunteering to help the state and the healthcare system. Louisiana Volunteers is a partnership of all higher education institutions in Louisiana, led by the University of Louisiana System and Louisiana State University, to mobilize students and graduates in healthcare professions.

Volunteers from across Louisiana’s universities and community colleges with backgrounds in medicine, nursing, allied health professions, dentistry, pharmacy, counseling, mental/behavioral health and laboratory science, among others, are encouraged to become involved.

The purpose of the www.COVID-19LAVolunteers.org website is to primarily mobilize healthcare students and graduates from universities and colleges throughout Louisiana to volunteer their time and talents, serving as force-multipliers to the existing healthcare workforce that is quickly getting stretched thin.

The website is also available to active members or retirees of Louisiana’s healthcare workforce who are willing and able to assist in this statewide workforce augmentation effort.

“It is our goal to leverage these volunteers as case managers and care coordinators to remotely and safely work with individuals with COVID-19 positive diagnoses, and to monitor patient conditions while under self-quarantine, said Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, chief innovation officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and vice president for research, innovation and economic development at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. “Using COVID-19 protocols from CMS and the Louisiana Department of Health, and in coordination with the healthcare systems, these volunteers will direct patients to specific hospitals in their communities, if and only when needed. We expect this will limit the number of patients showing up at hospitals/ERs, causing a significant burden on the healthcare system, while relieving patients and their families the burden of shopping around for hospitals with beds, staff, resources, and the ability to take in COVID-19 patients.”

Ramesh said this collaboration is a tool for purposeful service, student engagement and volunteerism that exemplifies the spirit of Louisiana and undergirds Louisianians’ innate ability to recover from disasters and adversity.

“We believe that more than 9,000 of healthcare students from our universities and colleges are willing and able to join hands (figuratively speaking) with our amazing healthcare workers on the frontlines to help the state through this crisis,” Kolluru said.

As of March 25, the Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 407 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 19 new deaths bringing the total number of positive cases in the state to 1,795, with 65 total deaths from the coronavirus to date. There are now 93 cases reported in Caddo Parish and 25 in Bossier Parish. Bienville Parish is reporting one case and one death. Webster Parish has already reported one death and is now reporting five cases. Forty-eight out of the state’s 64 parishes are now reporting coronavirus cases.

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Notice of Death – March 25, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
McKinner Dixon
July 25, 1943 – March 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

WINN:
Samuel Lowdermilk
May 04, 1920 – March 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Loy Russell Gaar
April 29, 1925 – March 22, 2020
Service: Saturday, March 28 at 11:30 am at New Hope Cemetery

Wilford “Red” Thompson
July 20, 1943 – March 21, 2020
Service: Thursday, March 26 at 10 am at Southern Funeral Home chapel

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Recreation Sites: Temporarily Closed

The following recreation sites are TEMPORARILY CLOSED:

Calcasieu Ranger District, Evangeline Unit, Rapides Parish:
• Kincaid Lake Group-Use Area
• Kincaid Lake Recreation Area, Campgrounds A & B
• Valentine Lake Recreation Area and Campground
• Loran Campground

Calcasieu Ranger District, Vernon Unit, Vernon Parish:
• Fullerton Group-Use Area
• Fullerton Campground

Caney Ranger District, Claiborne and Webster Parishes:
• Caney Lakes Group-Use Area
• Caney Lakes Recreation Area and Campground

Catahoula Ranger District, Grant Parish:
• Stuart Lake Group-Use Area
• Stuart Lake Recreation Area and Campground

Kisatchie Ranger District, Natchitoches Parish:
• Longleaf Vista Group-Use Area
• Kisatchie Bayou Recreation Area and Campground
• Dogwood Campground
• Government Pond Recreation Area

Winn Ranger District, Winn Parish:
• Cloud Crossing Recreation Area and Campground
• Gum Springs Recreation Area and Campground
• Gum Springs Horse Campground

Associated trails and boat launches within these areas WILL REMAIN OPEN. All bathroom facilities within the Forest are CLOSED at this time.

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Letter to the Editor: I’m Angry

Dear NPJ editors, and readers,

I have ceased my weekly columns, as I said I would, but if the powers-that-be of the NPJ can find a little space for me on this topic, I feel compelled to speak. This is going to be short and to the point.

I am angry, bewildered and completely at a loss to understand the stance of the Democrats in Congress in blocking the administration’s stimulus package for individuals and businesses hurt by the changes to our lives because of the corona virus.

This measure, which wold pay carry-over cash to American citizens of low and low-middle income to get us over the hump, as well provide help to businesses that are being crippled, should have been passed days ago.

But the Dems are holding it up, as people die, because they want to include money for such things as airline pollution regulations, protecting illegal aliens, allowing same- day voter registrations, promoting minority banks, bailing out the postal service, providing money for the JFK Center for the Performing Arts and other such goodies.

Incredible. And they are too radical and too blind to see that they are surely committing political suicide.

Joe Darby

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According to Kris: Don’t Sweat the Vest

By Kris James

Once upon a time, a humble sweater vest was a big example of poor styling. For years it has been downgraded and ended up being considered the “it-thing” that belonged to the golf courses of retirement communities, the campuses of elite private middle schools, and nowhere else. Of course, fashion does what it does best, from the same fashion gods that made fanny packs cool and socks and sandals HOT. The Sweater vests have been recast as a snappy, unexpected style move. This is going to be the year of the sweater-vest.

Growing up I loved my sweater vest fits my mom would get for me. Even for a chubby kid, I felt very stylish and preppy. Last year while moving I came across a picture that my mom and I took in 99 or 2000. I was wearing a cream vest trimmed in red, with a red tee and khaki shorts. Looking back at my ensemble, It was no surprise that I would find myself now wanting to recreate the look I wore from my childhood. That was the moment I told my self that I need to get me a sweater vest. How could I have predicted that the sweater vest trend would be cool?

Fast forward a few months, Harry Styles is pulling the look off by wearing them over blousy dress shirts and big wide trousers. Tyler, the Creator makes his versions that look fresh with crisp white tees and Dickies. In Hulu’s television series reboot of High Fidelity, starring Zoë Kravitz, she can be seen pairing hers with a white tee, vintage shorts, tube socks, and loafers. Honestly, a look that will work for the summer months. On another hand, Bella Hadid and Victoria Beckham styled it in very different ways, showing how versatile a sweater-vest can be. Not a single dork or geek in the bunch.

Beyond every social-economic difference, it’s one of the coolest and comfortable items to add to your closet. Furthermore, it can be worn by anyone and in every situation, making it even genderless. There are so many options, Stripes! Solid colors! Prints! And, yes, sheep! They’re also perfect to layer with over a classic button-down or wear on their own when the weather warms up. Basically, you know how the trench coat is a transitional staple for spring? Well, the sweater vest might just beat it this year because it’s just as versatile and chic.

Now, it’s time for you to join the sleeveless ranks and pull off a sweater vest. Here are some ways to get you inspired.

STYLE TIP: Google Seth Cohen from The OC for inspiration

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STATEWIDE BURN BAN ISSUED DURING PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, in collaboration with Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, have issued a statewide cease and desist order for all private burning, pursuant to authority under R.S. 40:1602. Private burning shall only be allowed by permission of the local fire department or local government. This order is effective as of 8 a.m., March 25, 2020 and shall remain in effect until rescinded.

“This burn ban is necessary to supplement the governor’s ‘stay home’ order aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 due to the anticipation that there may be an increase in open burning occurring across the state as families look for ways to pass the time at home,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “This order will assist in preventing potential fire-related dangers that could result in unnecessary fire service response as well as diminish airborne irritants caused by burning.”

This ban shall not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, by those trained and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or by those who conduct prescribed burning as a “generally accepted agriculture practice” as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law

(R.S. 3:3601 et seq.).

Violation of this Fire Marshal order could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

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Musings from “Elder Jail”

By Judy McIntyre

What good can come from “Elder Jail?” At 73, I wondered and I pondered. My being self-quarantined to my home has led to some feelings of loneliness. I miss my spouse who passed away about a year and a half ago. I miss my friends and neighbors. We text and talk, but there is nothing like a visit and a good ole Southern hug. I miss my family, and I look forward to FaceTime calls from them daily. They have been so good to call me each day since their dad died, but now they are working from home, and home schooling the “wild Indians,” otherwise known as grandchildren. And life for them is more of a three ring circus than my life is. God has been showing me how I am not alone and how I am blessed to have “Elder Jail.”

I have learned how to defeat loneliness as I look and listen to what is all around me on Sibley Lake. Blessings don’t have to be things you get, they can be things you give up as well. I have been forced to give up the “Hurry” in my life. The rush to get places is gone. A minor blessing is that I never have to look for my car keys because I am not going anywhere! I am slowing down, listening more, seeing more, and beginning to really treasure “Elder Jail.” I can sit in my rocker and watch spring kick back winter’s covers. My calendar is on vacation! To my delight, the purple martins have moved back in their three story bird house by the lake. They are the happiest birds in my yard, and their chirping is LOUD. As I watch them from my rocker, they are gliding like airplanes at a busy airport, stacked up in circling patterns, vacuuming up thousands of mosquitoes and gnats. I want to sing with joy! I know that because of their hard work, I will be able to fish for crappie and bream from my dock without donating my blood to mosquitoes or slapping at gnats to avoid their stinging bites. What a blessing? I never noticed before, but I do now. Life without social obligations can be a blessing! Living a less busy life is a blessing!

I have quit being bossed by a clock. No more appointments to remember. No more lunch dates. I am on God’s time! I go to bed when I want, and I wake up when I want! Sleeping late has never been a luxury I enjoyed before. But things have changed lately. I have a new wake up call. A bird in my yard has decided that I should not sleep past 7:30 a.m. He is such a beautiful bird, with his indigo blue feathers and his brightorange breast. He knows he is pretty. I can tell! I think he is obnoxious. He has discovered that he can get a hearty breakfast of insects by dive bombing into them as they rest on the picture window in my bedroom. Mr. Bluebird sits about 3 feet from my window on a shepherd’s crook, a hanging basket holder, watching and waiting, When the insects land on the glass, he zooms in and spears them with his beak! Then, his body crashes softly into the window, and he starts doing the back stroke with his wings as he puts himself in reverse in preparation for a forward lunge on another insect. I am now wide awake. Who could sleep through the sound of his beak hitting the glass and his body crashing into the window pane? After three attacks on insects he returns to his perch on the shepherd’s crook, and awaits his next victims. In just a few minutes, his second course of bugs appears on the windows, and the attacks begin again. Tap, thump, Tap thump goes my new wake up alarm! Thirty minutes of this every morning starting at 7:30 a.m. I am not seeing the blessing in this. And then I remember my mom waking me up on Saturday mornings saying, “Wake up sleepy head. You are going to sleep your life away.” I wondered and I pondered. I wondered if the blue bird would get so fat at the “all you can eat buffet” of insects offered on my window that perhaps he would not be able to fit in the tiny hole in his bird house. And then it hit me—The realization that the blue bird was a blessing. I just might have slept my life away in that bed if that blue bird had not awakened me! God, did you send that bluebird?

With love from a neighbor learning to count her blessings in “Elder Jail”

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Hebert selected for ASRT student leadership program

Lauren Hebert of Leonville, a radiologic technology student Northwestern State University, was selected to participate in the American Society of Radiologic Technologists 2020 Student Leadership Development Program.

The ASRT represents more than 156,000 members who perform medical imaging procedures or plan and deliver radiation therapy treatments. The Society also provides radiologic technology students with the tools, services and support they need to prepare for careers in medical imaging and radiation therapy.

Hebert will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 ASRT Educational Symposium and Annual Governance and House of Delegates Meeting, June 24-28, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition, Hebert will attend educational courses specifically designed for students, attend the House of Delegates meetings and be assigned a professional meeting partner.

Hebert was one of nearly 100 radiologic science students from around the country chosen to participate in the program.

“After graduation, I hope to advance my training in cardiovascular ultrasound,” she said. “I also intend to obtain a master’s degree in a healthcare-related field.”

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Notice of Death – March 24, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
McKinner Dixon
July 25, 1943 – March 19, 2020
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Jewel Inez Broadway
November 10, 1919 – March 20, 2020
Cordella Tilley
March 27, 1940 – March 21, 2020

WINN:
Loy Russell Gaar
April 29, 1925 – March 22, 2020
Service: Saturday, March 28 at 11:30 am at New Hope Cemetery

Wilford “Red” Thompson
July 20, 1943 – March 21, 2020
Service: Thursday, March 26 at 10 am at Southern Funeral Home chapel

RED RIVER:
Ronald Dean Sanders, Sr.
May 10, 1948 – March 21, 2020
Service: Tuesday, March 24 at 2 pm at United Baptist Church, Campti

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Natchitoches Police arrest individual after lying about possible Coronavirus exposure

On March 23, 2020 the Natchitoches Police Department was notified by the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center that an individual had reported to them that she was exposed to the Coronavirus in an attempt to get an excuse to stay home from work.

On March 24, 2020 investigators with the Natchitoches Police Department made contact with Elisha Johnson (B/F, 24 y.o.a.of Natchez) in reference to her complaint of a possible exposure. Elisha Johnson told investigators that she was notified by her supervisor on March 20, 2020 that two of her co-workers had tested positive for the Coronavirus and that she needed to notify the hospital. While at the hospital she told the health care providers about her exposure and asked if she could get a 30 day excuse note to stay home from work. The health care providers told her of the self-quarantine guidelines that were made by the Center for Disease Control but she told them she was expected to be at work on Monday. On March 21, 2020 Elisha Johnson returned to the hospital to be tested for the Coronavirus but she told medical personnel that she had not been exposed to anyone with the virus.

Elisha Johnson’s false claim that she was exposed to the Coronavirus caused her doctor and several health care providers to be placed under quarantine and unable to help any other patients.

Elisha Johnson was placed under arrest for Criminal Mischief and was given a Natchitoches City Court date of June 29, 2020.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergencyplease contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Davanta Stevenson at (318) 357-3817. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

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Statement from District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington, Sheriff Victor Jones, and Sheriff-Elect Stuart Wright

Statement from District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington, Sheriff Victor Jones, and Sheriff-Elect Stuart Wright:

Tuesday began the first full day of the ‘COVID-19 Stay at Home Order’ (https://gov.louisiana.gov/home/), issued by Governor Edwards. As you can see in the order, most of us in the community should stay at home, except in the few instances listed in the order.

We are asking Natchitoches Parish citizens to take this order seriously and to adhere it. We must all do our share in defeating the COVID-19 virus. We can only succeed if everyone does their part to help in the effort.

Yes, this is an inconvenience and a temporary disruption in our lives. We completely agree. However, it is a necessary inconvenience that we modify our daily routine in order to protect our parish.

Fortunately, to date, the Conroavirus has not community-spread in Natchitoches Parish. That’s why it is so important that we work as a team to minimize the potential exposure. Let’s continue to be smart and follow the guidelines that are in place.

Also, while we are doing our part by staying at home, let’s also remember those who are on the front lines fighting the virus for us everyday. Medical personnel, senior center care givers, first responders, and law enforcement. Additionally, there are many in our parish who continue to serve us behind the scenes: Food preparers, grocery store employees, utility workers, and truckers who deliver the necessities we buy at the stores. There are so many people who we depend on everyday just to make our lives a little more comfortable. We thank all of them for their continued service.

In closing – Stay home. Stay socially distant. Wash you hands!

If you need to reach the Sheriff Office’s, please call 318-352-6432 or message us on Facebook. Please do not come to the Sheriff’s Office for any non-emergency service.

If you need to reach the District Attorney’s, please call 318-357-2214, The District Attorney’s Office is closed to in-person contact.

Thank you for joining us in our united effort to defeat COVID-19.

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Parish President provides update on Parish, Courthouse operations

Parish President John Richmond published two videos to his Facebook page to present updated information on Parish operations during the Covid-19 outbreak as the state works to comply with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order, which went into effect yesterday, March 23, at 5 pm.

All things associated with the Parish are running and the courthouse will be up and operational starting Tuesday, March 24. The Tax Assessor and Registrar of Voters Offices are closed but if you call and leave a message, they’re checking their voicemails. They’re also checking emails from home. The Clerk of Court’s Office has limited its hours to 9 am – 1 pm. If you have needs outside those hours call them. Please call before coming to the Courthouse to make sure the person you need to see if available. Planning and Zoning and the Office of Community Service are also operating. The Highway Department and the Solid Waste Department are working with unchanged schedules.

Everyone is working to continue providing the usual services residents are accustomed to. These services will continue to be provided until state and national leaders require the Parish to limit or cease them for the health and safety of everyone. The assistance of citizens is crucial during this time. You can lessen the spread of Covid-19.

#1 Read and follow the instructions of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” Order (SEE BELOW)

#2 If you have official business at the court house call first at 352-2714 as hours and access may be limited

#3 Listen often and closely to the news. Guidance is changing daily as the virus spreads and contaminated areas are formed. Being informed and up to date and having accurate information is almost as important as being safe yourself

#4 Be safe in all you do. Be calm in all your actions. Be kind to everyone in need. Be compassionate to all those whose path you cross. We will get through this and Natchitoches Parish will be stronger when this pandemic ends. It’s very important for you to take care of yourself and those who are important to you.

The Magnolia Minute
Natchitoches Parish Journal
magnoliaminute.npj@gmail.com
318-354-4000 #6

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Natchitoches Police to strictly enforce juvenile curfew within the city

With school being suspended throughout the city it shall be unlawful for any juvenile under the age of seventeen (17) to remain in public between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Any juvenile found out in public between these hours will receive a juvenile citation and their parents or guardians will be responsible for picking them up from the Natchitoches Police Department. Upon a second offense of the juvenile curfew law the parents or guardians will be issued a summons to appear in City Court.

Below are the juvenile hours of curfew within the Natchitoches Code of Ordinances:

Sec. 20-39. – Hours of curfew.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of seventeen (17) years to be or remain in or upon any public street or thoroughfare or in any public place, within the city limits of the City of Natchitoches, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. for any day prior to a school day and between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. for any day not prior to a school day, unless one of the exceptions under section 20-40 applies.

(b) A school day shall be any day on which the school in which the minor is enrolled, or would be enrolled if in school, holds classes.

(Ord. No. 15-1990, § 4, 5-29-90; Ord. No. 06-2004, § I, 9-13-04; Ord. No. 09-2005, § II, 2-14-2005)

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101.

Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

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10th Judicial District Court, Clerk of Court’s Office limit hours

The 10th Judicial Court in Natchitoches Parish issued an order on March 23 to limit office hours for the Court and the office of the Clerk of Court. Until Friday, April 10, office hours for the District Court will be from 10 am – 1 pm Monday-Friday.

A judge will be present during these hours for all matters including 72-hour bond hearings, arraignments of detained adult and juvenile arrestees, firearm transfer hearings, civil protective orders, child in need of care (CINC) proceedings, emergency child custody matters, proceedings related to emergency interdictions and mental health orders, matters of public health related to the Covid-19 crisis and other emergency matters necessary to protect the health, safety and liberty of individuals as determined by the court.

Until Friday, April 10 office hours for the Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court’s office will be 10 am – 1 pm Monday-Friday. All fillings of any kind and nature will be filed during these hours. Anyone seeking to file a Petition for Protection from Abuse outside these hours are encouraged to call 911 if in an emergency situation and file their petitions the following business day during these hours.

The Court may issue further orders regarding this matter as necessary to address the circumstances arising from this pandemic and will post such orders online at www.10jdc.com, social media outlets @10th Judicial District Court of Louisiana, and in the news media.

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CITY UPDATES PUBLIC ON NEW DEVELOPMENTS DUE TO COVID-19 NATCHITOCHES

As many are already aware, Natchitoches Parish has 2 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:00 p.m. today, Monday, March 23rd. Yesterday, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a Stay at Home order to begin at 5:00 p.m. today, Monday, March 23rd to further fight the spread of COVID-19.
The measures taken thus far have not been enough to mitigate the spread and therefore further actions are necessary at this time. These measures have been put in place to protect you and those you come in contact with. While it is hard to comprehend, you or someone you know may already be infected with COVID-19 and are not showing any signs or symptoms. This is why the Stay at Home order is necessary and imperative at this time. Without these additional measures, persons who appear to be healthy could potentially be spreading this virus.

The Stay at Home order mandated by the governor has subsequently affected non essential businesses across the state in addition to the previous ordered closures of all K-12 public schools, casinos, bars movie theatres, playgrounds, gyms and fitness centers. Essential businesses have been outlined by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) LIST HERE.  We are asking if your business does not fall into the essential business list, you adhere to these orders declared by the state to aid in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

If you have any questions or our office can be of assistance to you, please contact (318)352-2772.

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Randall’s Great Fall

By Brad Dison

On August 9, 1975, Randall, Dick Willey, and Dick’s eleven-year-old son Walt, hiked on the rugged Ajax Peak near Ajax Lake on the Montana-Idaho state line. At about 2 p.m., the trio reached an elevation nearing 9,000 feet. Suddenly, Randall slipped on a snowfield and went tumbling down the steep mountain. End over end, he tumbled down the mountain and crashed into rocks which jutted up out of the snow. Randall’s limp body finally came to a rest about 500 feet down the mountain from where he had slipped.

Dick and his son hurried down to Randall, but they had to move slowly as not to fall down the mountain like Randall had. They reached Randall within minutes, and, to their surprise, he was alive and conscious, but severely injured. They were afraid to move Randall too much but had to roll him onto his stomach to keep him from choking on his own blood. Dick told his son to take care of Randall while he went for help.

Seconds felt like hours. Young Walt removed his coat and wrapped it around Randall’s head to slow the bleeding. At first Walt talked to Randall to keep him calm and reassured him that help was on the way. Pretty soon, Randall began talking. He talked and talked until help arrived. Both Randall and Walt knew how important it was for him to remain conscious.

On the way down the mountain to get help, Dick located U.S. Forest Service Ranger Ed Brown. Ed called for an emergency helicopter, and he and Dick hiked back up the mountain to help Walt take care of Randall until the helicopter arrived. Three hours had passed when Dick and Ed reached Randall’s location.

At about 8 p.m., six hours after Randall fell, the helicopter arrived. The helicopter circled and landed about a quarter-of-a-mile away, the closest location for a safe landing. Medics rushed to Randall, loaded him onto a stretcher, returned to the helicopter, and flew him to Missoula Community Hospital.

Doctors examined Randall’s entire body. He had bruises, cuts, and scrapes all over his body, but most of the injuries were to Randall’s head. He had a broken jaw, missing teeth, and multiple skull fractures. A team of three doctors, which consisted of a brain surgeon, a nose and throat surgeon, and a plastic surgeon, performed a 7 ½ hour surgery on Randall, and were pleased with the results. The doctors were initially concerned that his wounds would become infected, but, due to the sterile atmosphere at the high altitude, infection never set it. The doctors reported his condition as stable. Two days after the fall, Randall’s wife, Gwen, told a newspaper reporter that Randall had suffered no brain damage and said, “it’s a miracle he’s alive.” Randall was unable to speak but recognized some friends and relatives, which was a positive sign. Randall’s mother told a newspaper reporter, “We’re so thankful he has progressed out of the critical state, but he has a long way to go.”

Nine days after the accident, Randall finally agreed to see himself in a mirror. Randall later recalled, “I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad.” His head had swollen to the size of a watermelon. His face and jaws were sewn and wired together. Two weeks after the accident, Randall’s condition had improved enough for nurses to transfer him from the intensive care unit to a private room. On August 25, doctors released the “weak and nearly faceless” Randall from the hospital. Randall, along with his family and friends, knew there were many rough days ahead, but they all spoke of his positive attitude.

Dick’s family cared for Randall in their home during his recovery. Randall and Dick spent countless hours watching Yosemite Sam cartoons. Randall watched out of the corner of his one good eye. The accident had broken bones in his face and his eyes were out of alignment. One eye was four millimeters lower than the other one. Slowly his strength returned. As his vision improved, Randall and Dick played hours of ping-pong, which improved his eye coordination. Eventually, Randall only saw one ping-pong ball instead of three. Randall told a reporter, “I don’t look exactly like I once did; There’s a metal plate where my forehead formerly was. But I’m lucky to be alive.” He joked that “X-rays of the inside of my head looked like a schematic of a television set.” Self-conscious of his facial disfigurement, Randall grew a beard, and began wearing sunglasses, hats and caps.

Randall returned to work within a year of his accident. While in front of a crowd of hundreds of fans, Randall showed the audience that the accident had not affected his musical abilities. He played seven instruments and sang songs they knew and loved. Near the end of his show, Randall presented Walt with a plaque, and told the crowd how the young man had saved his life. Undeterred by the accident, Randall told of his plan to return to the scene of his accident. “I want to find a couple things. Somewhere up there above Ajax Lake there’s a hat and a pair of sunglasses that belong to yours truly.”

Randall’s career blossomed after his accident. In addition to the two Grammy Awards he had won before the accident, he won six more for songs including “Family Tradition,” “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “Born to Boogie,” and “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” Through his long and continuing career, Randall has gone by nicknames including “Bocephus,” and “Rockin’ Randall Hank” but most people know him as Hank Williams Jr.

Sources:
The Indianapolis Star, August 11, 1975, p.15.
The Missoulian, August 11, 1975, p.1.
The Tennessean, August 12, 1975, p.38.
Great Falls Tribune, August 12, 1975, p.5.
Great Falls Tribune, August 13, 1975, p.11.
The Missoulian, August 13, 1975, p.2.
The Missoulian, August 23, 1975, p.12.
Great Falls Tribune, August 24, 1975, p.6.
The Independent-Record, August 25, 1975, p.9.
The Montana Standard, August 26, 1975, p.1.
Great Falls Tribune, August 26, 1975, p.10.
The Independent-Record, August 26, 1975, p.12.
The Missoulian, November 1, 1975, p.35.
The Missoulian, March 23, 1976, p.2.
The Daily Inter Lake, April 2, 1976, p.7.
The Daily Inter Lake, June 25, 1976, p.16.
The Missoulian, August 7, 1976, p.29.