Local Teachers and Businesswomen establish Love Fund – Feeding our Heroes

Area teachers and businesswomen recognized the need to feed our local heroes as they report for work during this national pandemic of COVID-19. Effective March 23,2020 at 5:00pm Governor John Bel Edwards ordered a, “Stay at Home” order to assist in the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 and to help flatten the curve.

Essential personnel will still have to report. With most of our daily workers having to stay home or work remotely, it does put our first responders at risk. Consequently, this pandemic has also devastated our restaurant industry. Being a college town, we now have lots of students out of work.

The funds generated from this initiative will be spent at local restaurants feeding our local heroes; firemen, law enforcement, healthcare workers and EMT/EMS workers.

“I just want the public to know that this is a way we can help our community and help support local businesses while providing assistance to those who are directly in this battle. I feel like so many people feel helpless and want to help in a meaningful way. This is just a great grassroots start,” said organizer, Kelly Dunn, Adapted PE Teacher, NPSB.

“This is definitely a time for us to come together as a community and be faithful servants in this venture to serve others and be stewards of God’s grace,” committee member, Julie Sers, Regional Sales Manager.

The local committee consists of: Alex Crowell, NSU Middle Lab teacher Alanna Nelson, LP Vaughn Teacher, Julie Sers, Regional Sales Manager, Kelly Dunn, Adapted PE Teacher, Micah Foshee, Marketing Assistant at BOM and owner of NFA, and Reba Phelps, Agency Manager at BOM Financial Services and School Board Member.

A love fund has been established at BOM Bank and deposits can be made at any of the branches. Venmo is also being accepted by each committee member. There is also a Facebook page for more information. Feeding our Heroes.

If you have questions about ways to help or want to sponsor a meal from a particular restaurant for a specific group, please contact Reba Phelps at 318-581-0427.

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NSU students encouraged to shelter at home, provides information about housing and meal plans

Northwestern State University is encouraging residential students to return to their homes for the remainder of the semester. In a message to students Friday, NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio said the measure is intended to help flatten the transmission curve of coronavirus.

Students should alert housing about the day they plan to move out by emailing nsuleasing@campushousing.com. NSU will issue residential students a 25 percent credit to their student accounts if they complete the following procedures.

• Students must complete the Housing Questionnaire on MyNSU to declare their intentions by Monday, March 30.

• Students must complete check-out procedures and move off-campus by Monday, March 30.

• Students with extenuating circumstance that prevent them from moving out by March 30 should contact Stephanie Dyjack at dyjacks@nsula.edu.

The credit will first be applied to any outstanding balance on the student’s account, with any remainder being paid as a refund.

Students who must stay on-campus for the remainder of the semester will be responsible for their full semester room rate. Those students should complete the Housing Questionnaire on MyNSU to declare their intentions by Monday, March 30. Students who do not complete the Housing Questionnaire on MyNSU by Monday, March 30, 2020, will be responsible for the full amount.

Anyone with questions or in need assistance should contact Stephanie Dyjack at dyjacks@nsula.edu.

Any student on a traditional meal plan will be issued a 25 percent credit to their student account. The credit will first be applied to any outstanding balance on the student’s account, with the remainder being paid as a refund.

Residential students and non-residential students who are on a traditional meal plan and wish to continue using dining services through the end of the semester should email Jennifer Kelly at andersonje@nsula.edu to continue.

Any student who currently has an all-declining balance plan (Vic’s Max, Vic’s Lite, and Commuter) will be allowed to use their remaining DCB this semester, summer and through the Fall 2020 semester. The declining balance dollars remaining on the 19-meal plan, 14-meal plan, 5-meal plan plus, and 25 meal-plan plus will also be available for the rest of this semester as well as summer and Fall 2020.

Seniors graduating this semester or anyone with questions regarding their meal plan should contact Jennifer Kelly at andersonje@nsula.edu

The university is working on the process to issue the Housing and Meal Plan credits, and will continue to provide updates on the progress.

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Cane River Creole National Historical Park Is Modifying Operations To Implement Local Health Guidance

Cane River Creole National Historical Park, in response to the stay at home directive issued by the Governor of the State of Louisiana, is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of March 23, 2020, Cane River Creole National Historical Park will be closed in order to comply with the state order. This includes all parking lots, buildings, facilities and trails.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Cane River Creole National Historical Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website http://www.nps.gov/cari and social media channels.

The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Cane River Creole National Historical Park, including:

Exploring the park virtually, by visiting our website at www.nps.gov/cari

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NSU continues modified operations as services remain available to students

Northwestern State University is observing spring break this week, but the university has implemented modified working operations in which most employees will work from home.

Classes, which will resume March 30, have transitioned to online and alternative delivery through the end of the semester.

Health services, housing, food services, the counseling office and University Police will remain open to serve students that remain on campus. Financial aid and admissions staff will shift in and out. Health Services will have one nurse in daily and counseling will have one counselor in daily with interns twice per week.

Rebecca Boone, director of NSU’s Counseling Center, said her office will have limited face to face counseling and a 24-hour crisis call line. Beginning next week, online counseling services will be available via WebEx and Face Time.

The NSU Food Pantry is also continuing operations to serve the students that remain on campus. Hours are 10 a.m.-noon through March 27 and 10 a.m.-noon March 30-April 3.

“The Food Pantry is essential to those that rely on it,” said Van Erikson, director of First Year Experience and Leadership Development. “Please practice social distancing when entering. If someone is inside, let them finish shopping before entering.”

Donations to the Food Pantry are welcome. Current needs include hand sanitizer, canned fruit, breakfast items such as cereal, breakfast bars, oatmeal and grits, dried beans, rice, bottled water, tuna, peanut butter, chili, pasta meals and toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, deodorants, disposable razors, toothbrushes and toilet paper.

For information on Food Pantry donations, contact Erikson at eriksonv@nsula.edu.

The NSU Testing Center is observing abbreviated hours until further notice.

Hours are as follows:
March 26: 1-3 p.m.
March 30: 1-3 p.m.
March 31: 7 a.m.-noon
April 8: 11 a.m.-4:30 -p.m.
April 15: 9 a.m.-noon
April 16: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
April 21: 7 a.m.-noon
April 22: 7 a.m.-noon

Jennifer Kelly, assistant to the provost for academic support and auxiliary services, will reply to emails at the Testing Center. Students who need to make an appointment during the listed times should contact Kelly at andersonje@nsula.edu.

The NSU Post Office will be open from 8-9:30 a.m. to process incoming and outgoing mail. The Post Office will not be delivering mail to departments, but personnel are welcome to visit the Post Office to pick up or drop off outgoing mail.

Student mail will be placed in the student’s mailbox as usual. Post Office employees will contact any student that has an item too large to fit into a mailbox by email to notify them they have a package available for pickup. If the student has already moved home, personnel will forward the item if it qualifies for forwarding after the student responds to an email.

“We strongly encourage students to update their Amazon and other accounts to reflect their current address,” said Bruce Dyjack, Post Office coordinator. “Please also be aware that we cannot forward either UPS or FedEx packages. If you are expecting a UPS or FedEx package and have left campus please contact them at 1-800-pickups or 1-800-gofedex respectively to have the item redirected to your current address.”

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Emergency Road Closures on LA 120, LA 478

**Emergency Road Closure Due to Flooding/ High Water

LA 120; just west of the I-49 intersection
LA 478; south of the LA 120 intersection**

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, (DOTD), advises the public effective immediately La 120, just west of the I-49 intersection, and LA 478, south of the LA 120 intersection in Natchitoches Parish are closed due to flooding/ high water.

Permit/Detour Section
No detours are available at this time.

Travelers can find information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at http://www.511la.org or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Additionally, you can follow the Traffic Management Center on Twitter: (@Shreveport_Traf), (@Alex_Traffic), (@Monroe_Traffic). Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website @ http://www.dotd.la.gov.

During unfavorable weather conditions, motorists should drive using the following safety tips:
• Drive slowly and carefully.
• Avoid driving into standing or running water.
• Avoid driving while distracted.
• Avoid using cruise control when visibility is low or road surfaces are wet.
• Always allow for extra driving time.
• Reduce speeds when visibility is low.
• Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
• Avoid using highway overpasses as tornado shelters.

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Cancer Center reports positive case of coronavirus

The Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center (NLCC) has reported to public health authorities that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee developed symptoms outside of the office, was tested, and has been home in self-quarantine. All personal protective equipment guidelines as well as isolation precautions from the CDC were followed as prescribed. We are currently notifying all patients and personnel who may have come in contact with this employee during any recent appointments.

Our patients, providers, and employees are our number one concern. NLCC continues to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have implemented preventive screening measures across our operations to curb the spread of COVID-19, including daily temperature checks on all employees and visitors, face masks for employees, and appropriate sanitation of facility.

We will continue to keep you updated throughout this process. We understand the critical nature of cancer treatments for successful outcomes for our patients. NLCC is committed to following the latest and best guidance of the CDC and LDH in order to continue to deliver the best quality advanced cancer treatments that our community has come to expect. Please support our healthcare community by complying fully with Governor Edward’s Stay at Home Order. Rest assured that our patient’s health and well being is our top priority.

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Notice of Death – March 23, 2020

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

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

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

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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Louie Bernard, Senator-District 31

Louisiana has found itself in the crosshairs of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is unlike anything many of us have seen before. I don’t possess the medical expertise to second guess the measures Governor Edwards has implemented for our state. I believe he has acted responsibly and with the interests of Louisiana in mind.

My heart aches for those whose businesses and livelihoods have been threatened by those policies put in place to rein in the spread of this virus. As a colleague said two weeks ago at the Capitol, “we can either take a tough stance and get this over with, or let it dribble out to its inevitable end.” Three weeks ago, Louisiana had “0” cases of the Coronavirus. One week later, it had 97 cases. This past Sunday, there were 897 cases confirmed. This is an alarming increase and, on a per capita basis, makes it imperative that we take initiatives to flatten the curve.

For those businesses reeling from the ripple effects of this virus, unemployment insurance will play a role. SBA loans will be made available to assist businesses in bridging the gap. Federal stimulus packages are being finalized in Congress that will directly benefit families who qualify. I have no doubt that there will be more such packages in the days to come.

Legislators have refrained from daily instructions on how to best cope with the Coronavirus. This information is more appropriately provided by the Governor’s office, the LA Department of Health, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, and the President’s team of health officials. Detailed instructions can be seen at any time of the day on television, radio, newspapers, and social media. I urge you to stay updated on these directives.

Please be vigilant. Observe social distancing to the greatest degree possible. Help our restaurants by ordering take-out until this danger is past. Someone said, “tough times never last . . tough people do!” I firmly believe that. And I know for certain, “this, too, shall pass.”

If our office can help you in any way, please call 318-357-3116, or my personal cell 318-663-0747.

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Cane River Lake-changes due to Covid-19

Public Notice:

Cane River Lake remains open and is currently at 98.9 MSL. flood stage is 99.0 MSL.

On March 22, 2020 Gov. Edwards Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order to Further Fight the Spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana. (Proclamation number 33 JBE 2020) Read more by visiting Office of Governor John Bel Edwards PRESS RELEASE

The Cane River Waterway Commission office is closed until further notice. There will be no permits issued, and all classes and public functions are cancelled. During this time there will be limited resources to assist boaters.

For more information, contact Betty Fuller 318-617-3235.

Betty Fuller
CRWC Administrator

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(Shreveport, LA) – Prompted by the COVID-19 crisis, United Way of Northwest Louisiana has activated the United for NWLA Fund, an emergency response fund used in times of crisis. United Way has allocated $10,000 to start this fund and address both the short and long-term needs of those disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The United for NWLA Fund is donation-driven and will be used to serve ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed) community members in Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster, and Winn Parishes. Typically considered the “working poor,” ALICE community members earn too much to apply for typical government or nonprofit human service benefits but make too little to survive during natural disasters or large-scale public emergency situations, such as the coronavirus crisis.

The number of ALICE households will likely increase exponentially in the wake of COVID-19. As schools and businesses close, even as temporary measures, research suggests ALICE residents will especially face an economic toll leading to job loss, extended sickness, and even homelessness. The most recent ALICE report shows that 53% of Northwest Louisiana struggles to make ends meet day-to-day. Many of these same employees do not have employer-provided health insurance and may not reach out for medical assistance until the situation is dire.

“We know that the government and nonprofits are providing immediate assistance during this challenging time,” says Dr. Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “However, we are deeply concerned for the long-term effects of those who already struggle financially, particularly hourly employees and others who don’t have jobs that offer paid sick days or the option to work from home.”

As the needs of these ALICE families evolve, the United for NWLA fund will also evolve to address ALICE’s most urgent, unmet needs. United Way of Northwest Louisiana, Community Foundation of North Louisiana, and many other nonprofits are currently working together to identify the needs of community members in both the short and long-term as a result of COVID-19. Community Foundation of North Louisiana is surveying local nonprofits to determine what the nonprofits most urgently need to support their work in the midst of this crisis. United Way of Northwest Louisiana is in the process of identifying the needs local nonprofits are addressing and the individuals that qualify for their services, in order to identify the current gaps of services and fill those gaps through the United for NWLA fund. “Our community is fortunate to have a strong community foundation focusing on helping nonprofits remain whole in times of crisis. Our entire region will benefit from the complimentary relief provided by the Community Foundation of North Louisiana’s emergency fund for nonprofits and United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s fund to support ALICE,” says LaToria Thomas, Vice President of Resource Development for United Way of Northwest Louisiana.

To support United Way of North Louisiana’s efforts, local nonprofits are asked to complete a Community Service Providers Survey. The responses to this survey will help United Way structure the United for NWLA – Emergency Response Fund to support individuals hardest hit by the current crisis that do not qualify for government and/or nonprofit assistance. These responses will also be used to provide the general public with up-to-date information on the resources that are available when calling 211 for assistance.

Tori Thomas
Vice President of Resource Development

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Strain commends Homeland Security guidance recognizing agriculture as critical infrastructure in response to COVID-19

Baton Rouge, La. (March 21, 2020) – As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the president’s guidance for America, as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, includes those who work in the food supply chain and have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules to continue providing nutritious food for families without interruption.

On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued this guidance identifying the following as critical infrastructure for food and agriculture:

• Workers supporting groceries and other retail that sells food and beverage products
• Restaurant carry-out, delivery and quick serve food operations
• Food manufacturer employees and agriculture processors
• Farm workers and support service workers

• Agriculture warehouse, distribution and transportation workers
• Governmental agencies involved in regulatory and program support of agriculture

• Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest
products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood
• Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of agriculture equipment

“It is imperative for our national security that we continue to provide food, fiber, energy and health requirements for the human and animal populations. We must ensure these vital goods and services are protected and not interrupted,” said Strain. “We are committed to facing this crisis head on and working as a team at the national, state and local levels.”

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Application deadline for Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is May 15

The application deadline for Northwestern State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program is May 15, according to Dr. Aimee Badeaux, Director of Doctoral Studies and Nurse Anesthesia Program Coordinator.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Northwestern provides a clinical doctorate for master’s prepared registered nurses who desire to practice at the highest level and significantly impact healthcare outcomes for vulnerable populations. Graduates of the DNP program have the potential to transform health care by utilizing advanced clinical skills, translating evidence into practice, implementing systems changes, establishing standards and policies and acting as organizational leaders.

The program began in 2014 and graduated its first cohort of 10 students in summer 2016. The program is six semesters in length and is delivered completely online, allowing the student to remain in practice as a nurse or advanced practice nurse during program enrollment.

For more information, go to nursing.nsula.edu/nursing-programs.

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Notice of Death – March 22, 2020

Patricia Wilson Thomas
October 12, 1939 – March 21, 2020
a private family graveside service will be held at American Cemetery in Natchitoches. Once restrictions are lifted, a celebration of life service will be scheduled

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

Sam Braden
December 20, 1941 – March 2, 2020

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: a case of COVID-19 in Natchitoches Parish

NRMC Press Release
March 22, 2020

In accordance with our commitment to keep our community members informed, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center has received confirmation of a case of COVID-19 in Natchitoches Parish.

Following all of our infection prevention and proactive CDC disease surveillance practices, NRMC treated and discharged home to self-quarantine a community member who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This expected outcome was based on the immediate assessment and presumptive diagnosis made by one of our local providers in an outpatient setting, who followed the State and CDC guidelines for testing. The diagnosis was confirmed today by the positive test result. During the patient’s entire stay, there was never a break in our isolation and infection prevention practices thus minimizing exposure to care givers and patients.

NRMC has a consistent record of clinical excellence, infection prevention and outcomes because of our team’s focus on high quality care. Again, this has been affirmed by being recognized as a Safecare Top 100 hospital nationally 3 out of the last 4 years.

As the spread of this virus continues to grow throughout the state and nation, and our knowledge of the disease expands, treatment and testing options are evolving. Working with the LDH, the CDC and our partner CHRISTUS Health, we continue to adjust our testing algorithm, associate screening, and protective equipment usage.

NRMC has continued to fully operate even while stopping all elective and non-emergent procedures in accordance with the LDH directive.

It is our plan to continue to update everyone in real time as we learn more in the coming days. Please support our healthcare community by complying fully with Governor Edward’s Stay at Home Order.

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Complete List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

• Workers providing COVID-19 testing; Workers that perform critical clinical research needed for COVID-19
• Caregivers (e.g., physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection
control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants,
social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists)
• Hospital and laboratory personnel (including accounting, administrative, admitting and discharge, engineering,
epidemiological, source plasma and blood donation, food service, housekeeping, medical records, information
technology and operational technology, nutritionists, sanitarians, respiratory therapists, etc.)
• Workers in other medical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks, Clinics, Community
Mental Health, Comprehensive Outpatient rehabilitation, End Stage Renal Disease, Health Departments, Home
Health care, Hospices, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Organ Pharmacies, Procurement Organizations, Psychiatric
Residential, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers)
• Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of medical equipment,
personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines,
testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and
paper towel products
• Public health / community health workers, including those who compile, model, analyze and communicate
public health information
• Blood and plasma donors and the employees of the organizations that operate and manage related activities
• Workers that manage health plans, billing, and health information, who cannot practically work remotely
• Workers who conduct community-based public health functions, conducting epidemiologic surveillance,
compiling, analyzing and communicating public health information, who cannot practically work remotely
• Workers performing cybersecurity functions at healthcare and public health facilities, who cannot practically
work remotely
• Workers conducting research critical to COVID-19 response
• Workers performing security, incident management, and emergency operations functions at or on behalf of
healthcare entities including healthcare coalitions, who cannot practically work remotely
• Workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically
disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters
• Pharmacy employees necessary for filling prescriptions
• Workers performing mortuary services, including funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemetery workers
• Workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling, identification,
transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal effects; certify cause of death;
and facilitate access to mental/behavioral health services to the family members, responders, and survivors of
an incident

• Personnel in emergency management, law enforcement, Emergency Management Systems, fire, and
corrections, including front line and management
• Emergency Medical Technicians
• 911 call center employees
• Fusion Center employees
• Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector.
• Workers – including contracted vendors — who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting law
enforcement and emergency service operations.

• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail that sells food and beverage products
• Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – Carry-out and delivery food employees
• Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing
(packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood
slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for
animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging
• Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and
distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm
and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically
• Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol
facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs
• Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendormanaged inventory controllers and blockchain managers
• Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail
• Company cafeterias – in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees
• Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education
• Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments
• Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances
used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments,
and other agricultural production aids
• Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of
animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.;
transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal;
raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated
regulatory and government workforce
• Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber,
paper, and other wood products
• Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to
agricultural production and distribution

Electricity industry:
• Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power,
including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians
• Workers needed for safe and secure operations at nuclear generation
• Workers at generation, transmission, and electric blackstart facilities
• Workers at Reliability Coordinator (RC), Balancing Authorities (BA), and primary and backup Control Centers
(CC), including but not limited to independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, and
balancing authorities
• Mutual assistance personnel
• IT and OT technology staff – for EMS (Energy Management Systems) and Supervisory Control and Data
Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and utility data centers; Cybersecurity engineers; cybersecurity risk management
• Vegetation management crews and traffic workers who support
• Environmental remediation/monitoring technicians
• Instrumentation, protection, and control technicians

Petroleum workers:
• Petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, road transport
• Crude oil storage facilities, pipeline, and marine transport
• Petroleum refinery facilities
• Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response services
• Petroleum operations control rooms/centers
• Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for
use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
• Onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response
• Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them

Natural and propane gas workers:
• Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations
• Underground storage of natural gas
• Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
• Natural gas security operations center, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centers natural gas
emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls
• Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for
chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
• Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including
propane leak calls
• Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers
Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or
feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
• Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers

Employees needed to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure, including:
• Operational staff at water authorities
• Operational staff at community water systems
• Operational staff at wastewater treatment facilities
• Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring
• Operational staff for water distribution and testing
• Operational staff at wastewater collection facilities
• Operational staff and technical support for SCADA Control systems
• Chemical disinfectant suppliers for wastewater and personnel protection
• Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater operations

• Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair
technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect
infrastructure (including those that require cross-border travel)
• Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging,
and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.
• Mass transit workers
• Workers responsible for operating dispatching passenger, commuter and freight trains and maintaining rail
infrastructure and equipment
• Maritime transportation workers – port workers, mariners, equipment operators
• Truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions,
and services
• Automotive repair and maintenance facilities
• Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials,
pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and
distribution operations
• Postal and shipping workers, to include private companies
• Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and
infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers
• Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security, and aviation
• Workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including flight crews,
maintenance, airport operations, and other on- and off- airport facilities workers

• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees
• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and
operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of
critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities,
maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues
• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that
are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
• Support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy
and communications
• Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and
hazardous waste

• Maintenance of communications infrastructure- including privately owned and maintained communication
systems- supported by technicians, operators, call-centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service
providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations, Internet Exchange Points, and manufacturers
and distributors of communications equipment
• Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news
reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting
• Workers at Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations, and Network Operations
staff, engineers and/or technicians to manage the network or operate facilities
• Engineers, technicians and associated personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and restoration,
including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables
• Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed
• Central office personnel to maintain and operate central office, data centers, and other network office facilities
• Customer service and support staff, including managed and professional services as well as remote providers of support to transitioning employees to set up and maintain home offices, who interface with customers to
manage or support service environments and security issues, including payroll, billing, fraud, and troubleshooting
• Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration

Information Technology:
• Workers who support command centers, including, but not limited to Network Operations Command Center,
Broadcast Operations Control Center and Security Operations Command Center
• Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, IT
managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers, and database administrators
• Client service centers, field engineers, and other technicians supporting critical infrastructure, as well as manufacturers and supply chain vendors that provide hardware and software, and information technology
equipment (to include microelectronics and semiconductors) for critical infrastructure
• Workers responding to cyber incidents involving critical infrastructure, including medical facilities, SLTT
governments and federal facilities, energy and utilities, and banks and financial institutions, and other critical
infrastructure categories and personnel
• Workers supporting the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services
(incl. cloud computing services), business infrastructure, web-based services, and critical manufacturing
• Workers supporting communications systems and information technology used by law enforcement, public
safety, medical, energy and other critical industries
• Support required for continuity of services, including janitorial/cleaning personnel

• Workers to ensure continuity of building functions
• Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures
• Elections personnel
• Federal, State, and Local, Tribal, and Territorial employees who support Mission Essential Functions and
communications networks
• Trade Officials (FTA negotiators; international data flow administrators)
• Weather forecasters
• Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting other critical government operations
• Workers at operations centers necessary to maintain other essential functions
• Workers who support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for transportation workers
• Customs workers who are critical to facilitating trade in support of the national emergency response supply
• Educators supporting public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of facilitating
distance learning or performing other essential functions, if operating under rules for social distancing
• Hotel Workers where hotels are used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures

• Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains,
transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the
operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base.

• Workers at nuclear facilities, workers managing medical waste, workers managing waste from pharmaceuticals
and medical material production, and workers at laboratories processing test kits
• Workers who support hazardous materials response and cleanup
• Workers who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting hazardous materials management operations

• Workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services
(e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and capital markets activities)
• Workers who are needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, and to
move currency and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers)
• Workers who support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers

• Workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers at chemical manufacturing
plants, workers in laboratories, workers at distribution facilities, workers who transport basic raw chemical
materials to the producers of industrial and consumer goods, including hand sanitizers, food and food
additives, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper products.
• Workers supporting the safe transportation of chemicals, including those supporting tank truck cleaning
facilities and workers who manufacture packaging items
• Workers supporting the production of protective cleaning and medical solutions, personal protective equipment,
and packaging that prevents the contamination of food, water, medicine, among others essential products
• Workers supporting the operation and maintenance of facilities (particularly those with high risk chemicals and/
or sites that cannot be shut down) whose work cannot be done remotely and requires the presence of highly
trained personnel to ensure safe operations, including plant contract workers who provide inspections
• Workers who support the production and transportation of chlorine and alkali manufacturing, single-use
plastics, and packaging that prevents the contamination or supports the continued manufacture of food, water,
medicine, and other essential products, including glass container manufacturing

• Workers who support the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal
government and U.S. Military. These individuals, include but are not limited to, aerospace; mechanical and
software engineers, manufacturing/production workers; IT support; security staff; security personnel;
intelligence support, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers
• Personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the Department of
Defense providing materials and services to the Department of Defense, and government-owned/contractoroperated and government-owned/government-operated facilities

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Gov. Edwards Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order to Further Fight the Spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana

March 22, 2020

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide Stay at Home order that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23, to further fight the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, as the number of confirmed cases have topped 800 and spread to more than half of our parishes.

“In Louisiana we have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve; however, this is not enough. As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else. People can leave their homes to do essential things like buying groceries or food, pick up medicine or go to work only if their job is essential. If you have to go out, make sure you practice social distancing measures and keep 6 feet between you and the people around you. People are encouraged to go outside and to stay active during this time, as long as they practice social distancing when they are around their neighbors,” Gov. Edwards said. “This order is not something I take lightly, but it is necessary to protect the health, safety and well-being of our people, our communities and our way of life.”
The order is set to expire at the end of the night on Sunday, April 12. The Governor will re-evaluate the need for the statewide Stay at Home order and other mitigation measures currently in place to determine if they need to be extended beyond April 12.

The Governor previously ordered all K-12 public schools, casinos, bars movie theatres, gyms and fitness centers closed and restricted restaurants to take-out, drive-through and delivery orders only. He has also moved the state’s April 4 elections and limited crowd size.

For businesses, the new Stay at Home order has limits on the following:

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, trampoline parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, pool halls, children’s play centers, playgrounds, theme parks, any theaters, concert and music halls, adult entertainment venues, racetracks, and other similar businesses.

All personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to, barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, and other similar businesses.

All malls, except for stores in a mall that have a direct outdoor entrance and exit that provide essential services and products as provided by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines.
Businesses closed to the public as listed in the order can conduct necessary activities such as payroll, cleaning services, maintenance or upkeep as necessary.

Any business not covered by the guidance from the CISA discussed in Section 3 of the order and not ordered to temporarily close must reduce operations to continue with minimum contact with members of the public and essential employees, while requiring proper social distancing, adhering to the 10-person limitation on gathering size.

Early learning centers and child care facilities adhering to the guidance issued by the Louisiana Department of Education and Office of Public Health may continue to operate.

Examples of Essential Worker Functions under the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines include:

Healthcare workers and caregivers
Mental health and Social Service workers
Pharmacy employees
Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products
Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees
Farm workers
Electricity and Utility Industry Employees
Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)
Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers
Transportation and Logistics Workers
Communications and Information Technology Employees
Financial Services and Banking Industry Employees

Members of the public will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and pharmacies to pick up food, medicine and necessary supplies, go to their essential jobs and to go outside for exercise and fresh air. When leaving their home, people should practice social distancing.


Gov. Edwards has issued a number of orders designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana and flatten the curve. They are:

March 11: Original declaration of Public Health Emergency, restrictions
March 13: Transportation, health care, administrative
March 14: Restrictions on establishments, closures, legal deadlines
March 19: Education, health care, administrative

Obit: Patricia Wilson Thomas

Obit: Patricia Wilson Thomas
October 12, 1939 – March 21, 2020

Mrs. Patricia Wilson Thomas, a prominent figure in service organizations and social, cultural and philanthropic activities in Natchitoches and the region for more than 50 years, died Saturday, March 21, 2020, after an extended illness.

She was also involved in publishing enterprises with her husband and business partner Lovan B. Thomas. They owned The Natchitoches Times and other publications.

Mrs. Thomas was born Oct. 12, 1939, in St. James, Missouri and grew up in Rolla, Missouri. She was a 1960 graduate of the University of Missouri, where she was in the band and a member of Delta Gamma Sorority.

She was a member of First Methodist Church, P.E.O., and Beta Sigma Phi and a former member of the Mystic Krewe de St. Denis.

Mrs. Thomas was preceded in death by her parents Mr. and Mrs. John R, Wilson of Rolla and a sister, Mary Ellen Wilson.

She is survived by her husband Lovan B. Thomas, with whom she would have celebrated their 60th anniversary on Aug. 10; daughter Tracy Mayo of Jacksonville, Florida; son Max Thomas of Amsterdam, Netherlands; grandson Lovan Mayo; brother John O. Wilson of St. Helena, Calif., and sister Kathy Farmer of Monroe, Ga.

Due to restrictions placed on everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family graveside service will be held at American Cemetery in Natchitoches. Once restrictions are lifted, a celebration of life service will be scheduled.

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Magnolia Minute: Mayor Lee Posey – Local and State resources for COVID-19


NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches would like to notify the public of several resources on a local and state level to stay up to date with the developments surrounding COVID-19 or if the public has any questions/concern during these unprecedented times.


The Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is currently monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic on a state, but more importantly local level by posting daily updates to their website (https://www.nrmchospital.org/covid-19-update/) and facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nrmchospital/). Individuals with symptoms or concerns are advised to first contact their primary care provider. If they do not have a primary care provider then call NRMC at (318) 214-4267 for evaluation.


To prevent the spread of infection, the Louisiana Department of Health is heavily engaged in priority public health actions. These actions include, but are not limited to:

• working with healthcare facilities with presumptive patients to identify exposed healthcare workers and make appropriate recommendations;
• ensuring all recommended infection control precautions are implemented in the healthcare facilities until we determine that the patient is no longer infectious,
• notifying and monitoring close contacts;
• coordinating with CDC

The LDH is proactively addressing COVID-19 in the State of Louisiana and is providing the public with daily updates as they develop. Updates in the number of positive cases, test completed, and deaths reported are posted on the LDH website (http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/) twice daily at 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.


The Louisiana Region 7 Hospital Preparedness Coalition has provided the City of Natchitoches with information regarding COVID-19 Testing and Evaluation.

Drive –through COVID-19 testing can be accessed at:

• Willis-Knighton Innovation Center, 2105 Airline Drive, Bossier City, LA for Willis-Knighton Health System network patients. You must have a Willis-Knighton Health System physician’s order prior to testing. Testing is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
• CHRISTUS Health System Drive-through Testing, 1400 East Burt Kouns, Shreveport, LA for CHRISTUS Health System physician network patients. You must have a CHRISTUS Health System physician’s order prior to testing. Testing is available Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mobile COVID-19 Evaluation Site:

• Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport, 1541 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA located in the parking lot of the LSU Health-Allied Health Building. Note: Not open for walk-in. Available for patients referred from an Ochsner LSU Health physician only for further screening. Testing is available Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. by contacting 318-626-0050

If you do not fall under either of these health care systems or providers, please contact your Primary Care Physician for further Instructions.


The Keep Calm Through COVID crisis phone line provides trained, compassionate counselors to support Louisianans through this difficult time. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week with information and service coordination, linking callers to mental health and substance abuse counseling services. This service is available to the public at no charge. Call the Keep Calm Through COVID hotline at 1-866-310-7977 at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. This line is for counseling only, and people calling for general information should call 211.


United Way of Northwest Louisiana fights for health, education, financial stability and essential needs. While the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis are not yet known, United Way continues to offer services in real-time to our community. Now, more than ever, these programs are a lifeline to those in need. If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, dial 211 to speak to someone who can help. Specialists are available 24/7 to help you access the best local resources and services to address any need.
As more information becomes available on resources in our area, we will release those to the public.

If you, your business or a member of your non-profit organization would like to appear on The Magnolia Minute, then contact us at the email or number below!

The Magnolia Minute
Natchitoches Parish Journal
318-354-4000 #6

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Kenny “The Gamble” Rogers dead at age 81

August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020, 

Actor-singer Kenny Rogers, the smooth, Grammy-winning balladeer who spanned jazz, folk, country and pop with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” and embraced his persona as “The Gambler” on record and on TV died Friday night. He was 81.

He died at home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, representative Keith Hagan told The Associated Press. He was under hospice care and died of natural causes, Hagan said.

Kenny Rogers Website

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