LDH corrects Adult Residential facilities COVID-19 case stats

Baton Rouge, La. (April 29, 2020) — The Louisiana Department of Health has updated its website to reflect the latest number of COVID-19 positives and will continue to update its website at noon each day.

Nursing homes and other adult residential facilities
COVID-19 cases have been reported by 156 nursing homes and 74 other adult residential facilities in Louisiana. A total of 2,780 COVID-19 cases have been reported among residents of nursing homes, and a total of 361 COVID-19 cases have been reported among residents of other adult residential facilities. A total of 590 COVID-19 deaths have been reported among residents of nursing homes, and 47 COVID-19 deaths have been reported among residents of other adult residential facilities. There are 279 licensed and certified nursing homes and 157 adult residential care providers in Louisiana.

Note: These numbers are reported by individual facilities to the Department of Health. In the last report to the Department, an individual facility inadvertently entered their entire census in the positive cases field. This has been corrected and the numbers reported above are accurate.

The Department will update the number of adult residential facilities with COVID-19 cases, the number of residents who are confirmed to have COVID-19 and the number of deaths among these residents on Mondays and Wednesdays.

LDH Update for 04/29/20; Natchitoches: 79 Cases/4 Deaths

Defend Against COVID-19

Stay home. Follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Only leave your home if it is necessary for essential work or for essential items. 

Defend Against COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Recognize the symptoms. Cover your cough. Wash your hands. Stay home especially if you are sick.

Maintain a Social Distance of 6ft. Social distancing means keeping 6ft. of physical space between yourself and others. This helps to prevent the spread of illness.

Natchitoches Police investigate shooting on July Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place Sunday afternoon on July Street near Dean Street.

On April 26, 2020 around 7:00 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 800 block of July Street in reference to hearing gunshots in the area. As officers arrived to July Street they were notified by witnesses that two vehicles began to exchange gunfire with several individuals in front of a residence. After a search of the area officers were able to locate the two vehicles involved in the shooting parked at a residence on Jordan Street.

Officers arrested Donnie Mitchell (B/M, 26 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and Damarrius Manning (B/M, 25 y.o.a. of Natchitoches), the occupants of the two vehicles, and charged them with Aggravated Assault by Drive-By Shooting.

Detectives have obtained arrest warrants for Dangelo Brimsey (B/M, 21 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and a seventeen year old suspect, the individuals in front of the residence on July Street, for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

If you have seen Dangelo Brimsey please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additionalinformation in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Rudy Glass at (318) 357-3858. Do not attempt to apprehend or detain this individual by yourself.

Dangelo Brimsey is considered to be armed and dangerous. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

BOM Welcomes Katie Blanchard

BOM would like to welcome Katelyn “Katie” Blanchard to the team at our Washington Street location as a teller. Katie grew up in Natchitoches Parish in the small town of Fairview. She is a graduate of Lakeview High School. Katie is excited to be a part of the BOM family, and she looks forward to serving customers. In her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with her loved ones, especially her nieces, making memories that she can’t forget and most of all just enjoying life to the fullest. Welcome, Katie!

Musical theatre students will stream live performance May 1

Students in the vocal studio of Dr. Grace Edgar, assistant professor of musical theater at Northwestern State University, and in the musical theatre performance class will live stream a performance full of laughter, love and inspiration beginning at 2pm Friday, May 1.

Viewers are invited to watch the live performance at LIVE SHOW EVENT right here this Friday at 2pm.

Students and faculty in NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts have developed other innovative ways to share their talents, practice skills and inspire others during the current season of social distancing due to COVID-19.

Last week, the NSU Chamber Choir released a performance that was incorporated into a tribute to alumni who work in healthcare. (View Video Below)

Senior dance students disappointed, but understand the show can’t go on

One of the highlights of a dance student’s career at Northwestern State University is the opportunity for your original work to be performed at the annual Senior Dance Concert.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, this year’s seniors, De’Vante Bethley of Baton Rouge, Samantha Burgess of Denham Springs and Cathleen Oviedo of Covington, won’t be able to showcase their work. Students work with faculty and fellow students for months to choreograph a work that means a great deal to them personally.

“We were to design the whole thing and bring this creation to life,” said Oviedo. “It was our responsibility to find people to work lights and sound for the show, have production meetings, work with designers, take care of the posters and programs and build it from the ground up.”

The piece by Bethley is inspired by the black experience.

“I touch on the subjects of slavery, racial inequality and the prison-industrial complex as they relate to black people,” he said. “I want to inform under the guise of entertainment. I utilize only African American dancers, and each section of my piece pertains to a different subject matter relating to the black community. My goal is to amplify a voice that is often times disregarded.”

The work by Burgess is a narrative about trying to fit into the hearing world as a deaf or hard of hearing person. The protagonist of the piece struggles with wanting to fit in with everyone else. Unfortunately, due to the lack of knowledge and communication barriers, they are rejected from the rest of the world. In the end, the protagonist ends up being “heard” and accepted into the rest of society.

“It is all based on my life and my experiences while attempting to navigate the world,” said Burgess. “Even though we are unable to see our works done this semester, I am hopeful that we will get to see our works on stage in the future.”

Oviedo’s work is a story about life and how there are things that happen to us that make us feel alone. However, the main character has a protector the whole time trying to take care of her even though she doesn’t know it.

“It’s kind of interesting at a time like this, since we are being told to isolate,” said Oviedo. “There is a light at the end of this tunnel though. Even so, this is very disappointing for us after the hard work we have put in. But I’m looking forward to the opportunities to come.”

Notice of Death – April 29, 2020

Please note that the State Law limits number of people during the visitation period and attendance at the service to ten (10) or less and that social distancing be observed! This must be strictly enforced! Thank you in advance for your cooperation. It is designed for the safety of the family, our staff and the general public.

Hattie Mae Thomas Prudhomme
April 28, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Bennie Elbert Faust
February 8, 1943 – April 28, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Christopher James Leyda
October 23, 1992 – April 27, 2020
Service: Thursday, April 30 at 2 pm in the Garden of Memories of Winnfield

James Douglas Head
October 05, 1944 – April 27, 2020
Service: Thursday, April 30 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Covid-19 related lawsuit filed against Natchitoches Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Natchitoches

A petition for damages (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW) was filed April 29 for Clara Rachal versus Natchitoches Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and two of its employees (Stacey Masters and Miranda Green, who were responsible for all day to day operational aspects of the facility including but not limited to providing a safe and healthy environment for all patient/residents including Clara Rachal).

The document states that NNRC holds itself out as a long term care facility “committed to providing loving excellence in senior care”…where “you can be assures that your loved ones will be in good hands”…and where your loved ones will “receive individual and specialized care to meet their healthcare needs from our compassionate and clinically trained professionals.”

Rachal claims NNRC, Masters and Green deviated from and/or breached its promise to provide her with professional care and breached and/or ignored the guidelines and recommendations of the WHO, CDC, Louisiana Department of Health, and common guidelines for taking care of elderly patients in a nursing home setting during Covid-19.

Rachal was exposed to the coronavirus and is currently fighting for her life in the Intensive Care Unit at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.

LDH Update for 04/28/20; Natchitoches: 77 Cases/3 Death

Defend Against COVID-19

Stay home. Follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Only leave your home if it is necessary for essential work or for essential items. Click here to read the Stay at Home order that expires on April 30.

Defend Against COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Recognize the symptoms. Cover your cough. Wash your hands. Stay home especially if you are sick.

Maintain a Social Distance of 6ft. Social distancing means keeping 6ft. of physical space between yourself and others. This helps to prevent the spread of illness.

Response to Extending “Stay Home”

“I am disappointed,” said State Senator Louis Bernard, “I had hoped this would be an avenue to start businesses back to work.” Bernard and Representative Gabe Firment would have preferred a different decision from the Governor.

Bernard said, “The Governor is taking the advice of the medical community. The medical team preaches still maintaining distancing to keep the numbers down. Businesses are significantly hurting, and many may not come back from this.” Bernard added the current situation is really tough and it is causing a lot of stress among business owners and their employees.

Firment said he had hoped the Governor would have implemented Phase 1 of President Trump’s Guidelines for Reopening America on a regional or parish by parish basis. Firment said, “A little perspective: Grant/LaSalle – 33 positive cases per LDH (Louisiana Department of Health). Orleans/Jefferson – 12,469 positive cases. But the Stay at Home Order was arbitrarily applied to the entire state.” Firment added, “More food for thought: We can pack hundreds of people into Lowes or Home Depot, but we are not allowed to worship in church one day a week. You can get an abortion, but you can’t get a haircut….

District 23 Representative Kenny Cox is concerned with opening up too quickly and the possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19. Cox said the Governor acted based upon the numbers of cases. Cox said, “What we’re seeing from the rural population, there is an uptick in Natchitoches and DeSoto parishes.”

Representative Cox is concerned with the economy. “Everyone wants to put folks back to work, but you have to follow the rules. If you make the wrong decision you could cost people their lives.”

Cox also is concerned with so many unknowns. He said, “No one can tell me you can’t be reinfected. My grandson told me ‘If you have the money and you are sick or die, what good is it?’ and that’s so.” Cox added, “Two weeks delay may not seem like a lot, but if you have a resurgence of the virus, then what.”

Bernard said there has been “a tsunami of applications coming in. It has clogged the system. The federal and state governments had nothing in place to handle the volume of applications.” Bernard told The Journal he has been working with local banks and they cannot get applications they have received into the system.

Representative Firment added, “Please know that myself and other conservative legislators in the state hear you loud and clear and are working to move our state forward in accordance with President Trump’s phased approach to reopening.”

Then there is the issue of payback. This has not been addressed at the state or federal level. Senator Bernard reminded us, “We will have to consider paying it back. It was almost unanimous in Congress that this had to be done. And I think we’ve learned a lot and to be better prepared next time.”

BRIDGE CLOSURE: LA 1-X adjacent to Honda Village

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) advises the public of an upcoming routine bridge inspection, for bridge number 053-04-1304-1 (Honda Village). The inspection will take place starting on Thursday, April 30, 2020 and will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians between 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM until the work is finished.

The bridge is located on LA 1X over Cane River and is located .19 mile north of LA 1223. This Inspection is scheduled dependent upon favorable weather.

Permit/Detour section
The roadway will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians starting at 8:00 AM Thursday, April 30, 2020 and will remained closed until 3:30 PM or until the work is complete.

The detour will be as follows: LA 1223 North to LA 6-X (Business) East.

Safety Reminder
All construction activity is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD appreciates the motoring public’s patience and reminds drivers to please exercise caution when traveling through work zone areas and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at http://www.511la.org.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Detention Center: Employee of the Month

Sergeant Scott Weick, a native of Ohio, served in the Marine Corps and worked in construction prior to his employment at the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. He joined the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Detention Center in 2018. Weick has recently been promoted from Recreational Officer to Shift Sergeant due to his exemplary performance and work ethic. Sergeant Weick has 3 children and enjoys Quad Riding, Firearms, and Ceramic Painting. Weick’s favorite quote is “Not Gonna Happen!” The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Detention Center would like to recognize Sergeant Scott Weick as the Employee of the Month for March due to his Leadership, Teamwork, and Positive Attitude in the workplace.


Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies intercept illegal narcotics believed to be intended for distribution in Natchitoches area according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones and Sheriff-elect Stuart Wright.

On Friday evening April 24th at approximately 10:45pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Special Impact Patrol Unit were patrolling in the Hagewood area when they stopped a 2011 Dodge pickup truck on La. Hwy 6 West for a traffic violation.

Deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 41-year-old Brian Keith Lynch of Natchitoches, La.

Deputies say while speaking with Lynch, they smelled and observed items in plain view commonly associated in the manufacturing of illegal narcotics.

Deputies conducted a search of the vehicle discovering nine bags of suspected powder cocaine weighing approximately 3.6 ounces, two bags containing approximately 26.6 grams of suspected crack cocaine, a weighing scale, baking soda, packaging materials, and containers commonly used to manufacture crack cocaine.

The seized evidence has a potential street value of approximately $13,000.00 dollars.

Deputies also conducted a search of Lynch’s person seizing 2 bundles of cash amounting to $3813.00 dollars and a bag containing approximately three grams of suspected marijuana.

The seized currency is being turned over to the Natchitoches District Attorney’s Office for Asset Forfeiture proceedings in the Tenth Judicial District Court.

Brian Keith Lynch, 41, of the 100 block of Stellie Road, Natchitoches was placed under arrest, transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 2-counts of Possession of CDS Schedule II Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule I Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, 2nd or Subsequent Narcotics Offenses, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Open Container and traffic offenses.

Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents were summoned and joined in the investigation shortly after the arrest.

Agents and STIP Units executed a search warrant signed by a judge at an apartment complex in Hagewood.

During a search of the apartment, agents discovered evidence inside the apartment linking Lynch to the manufacturing of crack cocaine.

Lynch was released on a $50,000 appearance bond set by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge on Monday afternoon.

Deputies believe the illegal narcotics was intended for distribution in Natchitoches Parish.

The investigation is currently continuing by the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task.

Sheriff Jones and Sheriff-elect Wright both stated deputies will continue to aggressively pursue illegal narcotics and criminal activity in Natchitoches Parish while the parish experiences unprecedented times involving COVID-19. Deputies are using assigned Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and the public during the course of their duties.

The case will be turned over to the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington’s Office for prosecution purposes.

If you observe criminal activity in your community contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-352-6432 or the Drug Task Force at 318-357-2248. It’s always a good practice to provide accurate descriptions and details of the suspicious activity.


The Ben D. Johnson Educational (BDJ) Center will offer free food boxes to Natchitoches residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

As part of the Operation CENLA United, the United Way of Northwest Louisiana has provided grant funds to the BDJ Center to purchase and distribute food to community members. The food boxes will be handed out on Friday, May 1 from 11AM – 1PM while supplies last. The BDJ Center will distribute the food from their social enterprise, the Legacy Café in the courtyard located at 441 North Street.

To qualify, persons must be negatively impacted from COVID-19 such as job loss. Requirements include providing information: photo identification for head of household, proof of date of birth, proof of mailing address, number of adults and children in household, and how the virus has impacted the person/family.

The BDJ Center is looking for volunteers that can assist with this project, masks and gloves will be provided.

Claire Prymus, founder and Board Chair, “We are grateful for the financial support from United Way to be able to serve our community during this difficult time.”

For more information about acquiring a food box or becoming a volunteer, contact the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center at (318) 460-7460.

Founded by Claire Prymus in honor of her late uncle, the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success for all of its residents.