Fagan’s Visit

By Brad Dison

Michael Fagan was thirty-one-years-old, married, and had four children between the ages of three and ten. Michael was an insomniac. To combat his insomnia, he often wandered around town in the early morning hours. When his wife or other family members asked where he had been, he always replied with a sly grin: “I’ve been to see my girlfriend.” No one took Michael’s explanation seriously. Michael was not having an affair. He had a different interest.

Michael liked to break into a house, the same house, have a look around, and usually left no clues that he had been there. He broke into the same house no less than a dozen times. Rather than breaking in, which implies that he damaged property to get it, Michael always entered through unlocked windows. Michael was no thief. The only thing Michael ever took was what amounted to about half a bottle of cheap wine. Michael just liked being inside this particular house.

At about 6:45 a.m. on July 9, 1982, Michael, exhausted and depressed from lack of sleep, climbed over the railing to the house, walked over to an unlocked window, and climbed in. Uninterested in what he found in that room, rather than going out of the door into the hall, Michael exited the same window he had entered. Michaels craving was not quenched. Outside, Michael climbed a drainpipe to the roof. He removed his sandals and socks for reasons he never revealed. He crossed a narrow ledge and found another unlocked window. In he went.

Michael spent time looking at various pictures on the walls in the hallway, which led him to a doorway. He entered the room and spent a few minutes looking around. Michael broke a glass ash tray with the intent of slashing his wrists. He picked up a shard of the glass and, rather than continuing with his plan, he saw a door in the room and decided to explore what was on the other side.

At about 7:15 a.m., Michael entered the room. Unable to see well in the dimly lit room, Michael opened the curtains to get a better look. As the morning sunlight shone into the room, he found himself staring into the eyes of the lady of the house. Neither Michael nor the lady showed their surprise. They began to talk as if they were old friends although they had never met.

At 7:18 a.m., the lady calmly picked up the telephone and alerted the police. Michael did not react. He could have attacked the lady or he could have run from the room. He waited until the lady hung up the phone and continued his conversation with her. At 7:24 a.m., the lady, astounded that officers had not yet arrived, called the police a second time. As with the first call, Michael made no reaction. During their discussion, Michael asked her for a cigarette. She explained that the cigarettes were in a nearby pantry. As they reached the pantry, help finally arrived. Police arrested Michael and transported him to jail. Rather than spending time in jail for his “visit,” Michael spent six months in a psychiatric hospital.

The house Michael had broken into in the early morning hours of July 9 was originally known as Bucking House, but is now known as Buckingham Palace. The lady with whom Michael had a conversation with was Queen Elizabeth II of England.

The London Observer, July 11, 1982, p.1.
The London Guardian, July 13, 1982, p.1.
The London Guardian, July 22, 1982, p.2.

Business students helping local restaurants with marketing advice

Management 4300 students at Northwestern State University have helped provide valuable assistance to three local businesses dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 virus that should help the businesses as the economy recovers. Management 4300 is a capstone class in strategic management required for seniors.

“Students in the class visit the company and do a strategic analysis which includes reviewing marketing information and social media platforms,” said Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Elizabeth Prejean, “This is a chance for them to apply their learned business skills to a company.”

The businesses are Cane River Brewery, the Crawfish Hole and the Legacy Café.

As part of the accreditation process for Northwestern State and the School of Business students are required to participate in experiential learning projects. The university developed a Quality Enhancement Plan in which all undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in one of the following high-impact educational practices: internship/apprenticeship; research thesis/project or capstone course/project which are designed to will better prepare students for their future.

As part of the accreditation process, students are required to participate in experiential learning projects

“This project promotes NSU faculty, students and our community working together to build and support one another in a time of need,” said Dr. Marcia Hardy. “It also demonstrates the College of Business and Technology’s mission in action of developing students who are engaged, thoughtful community members and leaders. These students are contributing to our society in a time of crisis, learning to be responsible citizens today while preparing for their professional roles in the future world of business.”

The Legacy Café is part of the Legacy Youth Workforce Program under the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, a 501 ©3 non-profit organization.

“We are a startup 501©3 without a marketing department. This class is helping us tremendously with all facets of marketing,” said Claire Prymus, founder and president of the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center. “They have made suggestions on printed marketing, sales, signage, targeted focus-audience, how to increase revenue, where to target potential students for the program, potential funding and more. They are an extension to the organization, which we so desperately need.”

Rafael Guerrero Perez, who is from Colombia, was able to share some of his professional restaurant experience with Legacy Café.

“Legacy Cafe is still growing, and it is very necessary for them to find the best way to attract new customers,” said Perez. “It is important to show the outside world the very beautiful and noble work that is being carried in this establishment. It is our duty as students of the business administration program to show them some tips and express new ideas so that this establishment can improve and implement new strategies to attract new customers.”

He advised the restaurant to know their clients and analyze their tastes and customs. Perez also suggested that the café segment their customers into groups. understand the steps they follow in the purchasing process and find a way to get to know them in each of the stages they go through until they reach the café.

“Legacy Cafe is currently going through a difficult time,” said Perez. “Internationally, we are fighting against the spread of COVID-19. This has hindered the economic activities of all countries. It is difficult at the moment to attract new customers and they are doing everything possible to retain those who have supported them from the beginning. They are trying their best to obtain new customers using social media.”

As of April 27, the Legacy Café is closed due to the COVID-19 virus.

Student project examines misinformation about COVID-19 virus

Jared Parks thought he had a good topic for his senior thesis project in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University. But as a scientific inquiry major with plans to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience, pharmacology and toxicology, he was worried about misinformation he saw about the Novel Coronavirus.

Parks’ new topic “The Impacts of Spreading Misinformation: the Novel Coronavirus,” addresses a major concern of those fighting the disease.

“My research discusses some of the major forms of false information and how their propagation throughout media has negatively impacted the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Parks, a graduating senior from Keithville. ”The most significant takeaway, I think, is that we as a people should make a unifying collective effort to combat the spread of misinformation by promoting the dissemination of accurate, scientifically proven and reliable information. In addition, we as a people should come together rather than divide further if we hope to come out of this pandemic as safely as possible.”

Parks worked with Scholars’ College Director Dr. Kirsten Bartels and Dr. William Housel on the project. Bartels suggested he switch his focus from a project on computational chemistry to the COVID-19 virus.

“It was her proposal and my growing concern with how people were reacting to the pandemic that allowed the thesis to take form,” said Parks. “Neglectful ideologies and panic-based ideologies became the most common responses and that was worrisome to me as they were only products of false information. As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, surging across continents and media, its relevance could not be ignored. It truly seemed too important to pass up and I am grateful for being able to work on such a relevant topic.”

Parks did much of his research based on literature review about the types of false information, their characteristics, as well as closely following statistics regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He said his work is complicated by new data that comes in each day.

“Despite this, incredible similarities can be observed when comparing the evolving misinformation in media to previous research on the propagation of false information,” said Parks. “I used these previous observations of false information and related them to our current situation to support the idea that spreading misinformation is a large contributor to the quality of our situation.”

In studying false information, Parks focused on misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories. He defined misinformation as any form of shared information that is unwittingly false, lacking the intent to do harm. Parks said the most common form of misinformation is shared social media posts the user did not verify prior to sharing.

According to Parks, disinformation is any form of information that is purposefully false with the intent to spread lies for the sake of some alternative agenda, whether it be political, financial or otherwise. An example is smear campaigns between competitors. Parks said conspiracy theories can be defined as any outlandish attempt to explain events as the consequence of some sinister and powerful conspirator. Parks stated conspiracy theories typically lack solid logical reasoning and rely on a lack of evidence against the idea as support for it.

Parks feels the major social media companies are not doing enough to prevent misinformation from being spread.

“I see new examples every day when I open up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok,” he said. “I personally do not believe enough is being done to directly take down large quantities of false information.”

One positive development is the promotion of valid information.

“Social media platforms have taken to promoting reliable sources of scientifically backed information in order to make it the first thing on everyone’s feeds,” said Parks. “What someone does with this information is up to them, I think most tend to ignore the scientific information for the fanatical so it would be best to directly remove false information at the source.’

Parks admits it may be difficult for individuals to find out whether shared information is accurate.

“I suggest that when anyone comes across information regarding such a high-profile situation, that they cross reference using scientific and technical databases such as PubMed or journals like The Lancet,” said Parks. “Referring to the professionals is always a safe option and in this pandemic those professionals would be your epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and virologists. Trust the individuals who put years and years into studying the events we are living through.”

Parks said the work on his thesis has had meaning beyond being a class project.

“This project has been one of interest and passion for me and I find it useful when I read news every single day,” he said. “As I continue to keep up with new information about the pandemic, my eyes and ears are open to what may be false and what may be reliable. I find this particularly useful in a time that demands quick and accurate science as well as unity between people.”

The thesis project is a unique feature of the Scholars’ College. It serves as the culmination of a student’s academic work. Each project is a substantial work of scholarship, criticism, scientific research or artistic execution. Parks said his time in the Scholars’ College has shaped him academically and personally.

“This place of learning, the professors, and my peers have all contributed to my growth in all areas and I do not think I would change a thing about my experience here,” said Parks. “I would like to think I have become a much better and more intelligent person because of the Scholars’ College.”

Established in 1987 as the state’s designated honors college, the Louisiana Scholars’ College offers students the opportunity to pursue their academic and personal goals in a supportive atmosphere. The core curriculum combines great books-based courses with courses in mathematics and sciences to provide students with a strong foundation for their more focused study in one the College’s concentrations or in a traditional major.

Prospective students who are interested in learning about the Scholars’ College can attend a Virtual Scholars’ Day from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, April 30. Participants will be able to participate in a Scholars’ College class, explore options on majors, take a virtual tour, chat with professors and ask questions about scholarships and financial aid.

To register call Forest Middlebrook at (318) 663-0134. 

Shop Small Saturday – May 2, 2020

Natchitoches, LA, April 27, 2020: In an ongoing effort to support our local small businesses, Shop Small Saturday will be “celebrated” on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020. As a community, we urge you to make a purchase this Saturday from one or more of your favorite small businesses. With Mother’s Day approaching along with Graduation celebrations, many of you will need to find the perfect gift. Most of our local businesses offer ordering through Facebook, Instagram or by phone as well as shipping and curbside pickup. Make sure to look for announcements, promotions and giveaways from your favorite local shops this weekend! Look for the “Shop Small Saturday” Facebook event for updates from participating stores. A list of many of our businesses can be found at NatchitochesChamber website. For businesses who would like their updated hours and shopping information to be listed on this Shop Local page, there is a button at the top of Shop Local page.

Shop Small Saturday is a continued effort of the GO Natchitoches campaign with the efforts of the Cane River National Heritage Area, the Natchitoches Historic District Business Association, the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Natchitoches Main Street.

Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that manages the congressionally designated Cane River National Heritage Area. Its mission is to preserve and promote the cultural and natural resources of Cane River and encourage economic development by strengthening heritage tourism in the region.

The Natchitoches Historic District Business Association is a not-for-profit organization comprised of business owners and the like who strive to promote Natchitoches, encourage visitation and provide support for events and festivals.

The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making the Natchitoches area a thriving business community by promoting commerce, strengthening people, and improving lives.

Natchitoches Main Street strives to make Natchitoches a more vibrant and creative city in which to live, work and play.

The Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s mission is to maximize economic growth by generating overnight stays through promoting tourism marketing, convention and meeting business, and festivals and events throughout Natchitoches Parish and to lead sustained efforts in tourism and economic development through community engagement and partnerships in Natchitoches.

Women’s Basketball: Unique situation doesn’t affect family-centric Nimz

Like it has for many, dealing with the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has thrown obstacles in Anna Nimz’ path.

For instance, the new Northwestern State women’s basketball coach has yet to set foot in the place she will call home for the foreseeable future. Likewise, she has not been able to meet in person with the nine returning Lady Demons players.

However, Nimz has chosen a different tack in terms of defining what establishing herself in a new job during the pandemic has been.

“These are unprecedented times right now,” said Nimz, who was named to her new position April 11. “Anytime there is an obstacle, I believe there are other ways of looking at it. Instead of an obstacle, it can be an advantage, because it is going to help us grow – one way or another. The biggest thing we’re going to face is our lack of facetime together. We need to implement a new offense, a new defense and a new philosophy. Not being able to be on campus, to be face to face with my staff or the young ladies, that is going to create a different avenue of learning. Although it could be an obstacle, I look at it as a way for us to grow just like every single one of us has learned to grow professionally while doing things from home.”

Nimz’ ability to focus on the positive – or potential positives – aligns with what she longs to create at Northwestern State.

Nimz has previous head coaching experience at the junior college level, making stops at Labette (Kansas) Community College and Kilgore (Texas) College for a total of seven seasons. She spent the past two seasons on the staff and UT Rio Grande Valley as the associate head coach, learning “what it takes to be successful at the four-year level.”

The philosophies she was able to hone “through trial and error” at those two stops were molded by her two seasons on Lane Lord’s staff at UTRGV as well as the lessons she learned growing up in Topeka, Kansas.

“My goal for Northwestern State women’s basketball is to cultivate an atmosphere that focuses on relationships, preparation, really embracing the process and having a positive belief system – not just within our program but really within each other,” she said. “With every step, every decision I’ve made, I’ve had amazing support and guidance from my family. I feel their love and support in everything I do, and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be the coach I am today. It is 100 percent because of how my parents and my brothers impacted me and how I was raised that I understand how important it is to create a family atmosphere full of love and support.”

Although Nimz has yet to cross the Texas-Louisiana line and come to Natchitoches, she said she feels her family already has grown.

“I’ve had tremendous support from the NSU community, the women’s basketball alumnae and people in town,” she said. “I’ve received letters. I’ve received phone calls. I’ve received emails as if I was already on campus, and we already knew each other personally.”

Part of that can be attributed to Nimz’ personality, something Director of Athletics Greg Burke made sure to highlight as one of Nimz’ strengths.

“Her level of energy and, we heard it from one of her references, her infectious personality,” Burke said. “That’s very important in a coach. On the very first WebEx we did with Anna, she said, if she was going to be successful as our head coach, she would have to engage anyone from the president to the custodian and everybody in between. That’s something you will see.”

As she did when she was announced as the head coach, Nimz pointed out Northwestern State’s winning tradition and the importance it played in helping draw her to the position.

“The biggest thing is if you go through NSU basketball history, it has a great tradition,” Nimz said. “It’s evident you can win here. The biggest selling point to NSU is the family atmosphere, the fan base, the community. I haven’t met somebody that didn’t know somebody or was related to somebody who worked at NSU. You are able to have a Division I program in a smaller setting, and that allows for more family involvement. You’re more than a number. You’re important.”

Photos: Head shot of new NSU women’s basketball coach Anna Nimz

Notice of Death – April 27, 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.

Ola V. Turner
March 6, 1943 – April 26, 2020
Arrangements TBA

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

Gov. Edwards extends Stay-at-Home Order Until May 15 to Continue Flattening Curve, Slowing Spread of COVID-19

Today, April 27, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will extend Louisiana’s Stay at Home order until May 15 to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. Louisiana does not currently meet the White House criteria for entering Phase One of reopening.
While Louisiana has seen positive, improving trends statewide in terms of new case growth and new hospitalizations, in several regions across the state, new cases and hospitalizations continue to increase or to plateau, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health. The White House criteria calls for declining numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, among other things.

“Thanks to the commitment of the people of Louisiana, our state has made progress in flattening the curve and reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, we still have a little work to do before we meet the criteria to safely move to the next phase of reopening, so I will extend the state’s Stay at Home order until May 15, with a few minor changes,” Gov. Edwards said. “While this is not the announcement I want to make, I am hopeful, and all of Louisiana should be hopeful, that we will enter into the next phase of reopening soon, in mid-May. I am anxious to get all areas of our economy reopened, but if we accelerate too quickly, we may have to slam on the brakes. That will be bad for public health and for businesses, bad for our people and bad for our state.”

Gov. Edwards’ decision is based on regional data that shows that while overall new cases and hospitalizations have decreased, this is not the case in several regions. In the Baton Rouge and Monroe regions, both new cases and new hospitalizations have increased. Some increases are also being seen in terms of new cases in Acadiana and a plateau for hospitalizations in Southwest Louisiana and a plateau of new cases on the Northshore.

Under the extended order, which will be issued on Friday, May 1, businesses that previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, barber shops, bars and casinos, among other things.

Businesses that are deemed essential under the third phase of federal CISA guidance may still be open. Non-essential retail businesses in Louisiana continue to be able to open with fewer than 10 people total inside.

Three major changes in the new Stay at Home order include:
Malls will remain closed to the public, but stores may open for curbside delivery.

Restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only, without tableside service.

All employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.

Additionally, both the CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health strongly urge everyone to wear masks when in public.

“Wearing cloth masks or protective face coverings is part of the new normal,” Gov. Edwards said. “Wearing a mask is being a good neighbor and in Louisiana, we pride ourselves on being good neighbors. Your mask protects me and other people and my mask protects you.”

Hopefully, Louisiana will meet the White House criteria and move to Phase 1 on May 15, provided symptoms, new case counts and hospitalizations decrease and the state continues to surge testing and contact tracing capacity. Phase 1 lifts the Stay at Home order and eases restrictions on some public spaces like houses of worship and restaurants and opens other businesses that have been closed such as barber shops and salons, but with restrictions on occupancy and strict requirements for personal distancing and masks to keep everyone safe. Phase One occupancy for these businesses will be limited to 25 percent.

As Louisiana prepares for its next phase of reopening, business owners and faith leaders are encouraged to plan as well, including understanding their building’s maximum occupancy limits, which may require contacting local government or the State Fire Marshal’s office. They should also plan on ensuring their employees have masks.

Gov. Edwards intends to make his next announcement on moving to Phase 1 in Louisiana on or by May 11. 

LDH Update for 04/26/20; Natchitoches: 73 Cases/2 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. 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.

NCHS unveils gym mural honoring alum

By Reba Phelps

The Natchitoches Central gym received a meaningful upgrade that will surely impact students for decades to come.

When students are allowed to come back they will be greeted by a life size mural that recognizes two of NCHS’s most treasured athletes and role models; Coach JD Garrett and Mr. Joe Dumars III.

“First of all, we would like to thank Weyerhaeuser, Mr. and Mrs. David Thornton, School Board Member, Reba Phelps and the other entities that helped put this project together, “ said Head Basketball Coach, Micah Coleman.

Coach JD Garrett was a 1958 graduate of Central. He played for the legendary Coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State University. He went on to be a three time winner of the All-Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship. He had 259 yards rushing and two touchdowns as a rookie in 1964. He had an impressive 1,704 kickoff and punt return yards in his career. He also coached and touched the lives of student athletes through football, track, basketball and swimming. He could also be found at the Lee Street pool every summer from when he was fourteen years old until he passed away in 2012.

Members of Coach Garrett’s family were able to attend and view the mural along with donors and school officials. His son, Edward Scott, daughter, Yvette Garrett Ceasar Williams, grandson, Trevor Williams Jr and his wife, Rosetta Garrett were almost speechless as they stood in awe of the tribute.

Mrs. Garrett was tearful as she said, “This is a beautiful thing, I really like this. I will always think that he would have been so proud and humbled over this. They did a great job.” Coach Garrett’s grandson, Trevor said, “I really want people to remember his legacy and this will definitely do it.”

Joe Dumars III, a 1981 graduate of Natchitoches Central High School, was also honored on the mural. Mr. Dumars has two NBA Championships under his belt. He was the 1989 NBA Finals MVP. He is a six time NBA All-Star. The Detroit Pistons retired his #4 jersey and he went on to be an Executive for them in 2003. Mr. Dumars also had an outstanding career at NCHS. He was Allstate as a Junior and named MVP in Quad A.

One of the most unique details about the mural is that Coach JD Garrett was Joe Dumars coach for his Junior and Senior year of high school at NCHS. In February of 1982 the Alexandria Town Talk reported that Coach Garrett said, “I’ve never seen anybody who loves the game like Joe, he worked so hard at it, after practices I would have to run him out of the gym at night. Then I would make sure that I drove by Northwestern, because I knew he’d be over at Prather Coliseum and I would run him out of there too!”

This mural would not have been made possible without the generosity of local donors and the local talent of Mr. Cole Gentry.

“This was important project that was long overdue”, says Boys Head Basketball Coach, Micah Coleman. “I felt like it was super important to honor these two gentlemen for not only rising to the top of their profession but also using those positions to turn around and better theirr communities”.

Coleman went on to say, “We want Natchitoches students to know that these two gentlemen played at the same parks, went to the same schools, and come from the place that we come from. We want to them to inspire our young people to accomplish achievements and to serve their community through those accomplishments.”

Coach Coleman worked closely with talented design artist and local resident, Cole Gentry, to help make this project come to life.

Pictured above on front row from left are Trevor Williams Jr., Yvette Garrett Caesar Williams, Rosetta Garrett and Edward Scott. On back row are Coach Micah Coleman, Donors Jennifer Thornton and David Thornton, Peyton Weeks; Weyerhauser Timberland Manager, Jason Smith; Weyerhauser Mill Mangaer, Rachel Proctor; Finance Manager, Reba Phelps, School Board Member District 6, Designer Cole Gentry and NCHS Principal Bill Gordy.


In an effort to encourage social distancing, due to COVID-19, Mayor Posey has canceled the Monday, April 27, 2020 City Council Meeting. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 11, 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to make decisions that are in the best interest of our employees and the public.

NCHS LHSAA All-Academic Awards

The LHSAA All-Academic Award Program recognizes the academic excellence of senior student-athletes who have attained a 3.5 grade point average or higher by placing them on the Composite All-Academic Team or Class All-Academic Team.

To earn Composite Team honors, a student-athlete’s six-semester GPA must have a 4.00. The composite team is honored at the LHSAA state events. The Class Team is composed of student-athletes with six-semester GPA of 3.5 – 3.999.

All senior student-athletes must be registered and submitted by a school principal on the LHSAA Member Website by the specific deadline date established. In order to be selected to the All-Academic Team, the student-athlete must be a senior, have participated in the sport for at least two years, and achieved a six-semester cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. NCHS has two senior athletes receiving All-Academic Award on the Composite Team, Mali Simmons and John Waskom.

Mali Simmons is a 4 year letter athlete in Powerlifting. She competed twice in the State Powerlifting meets as a part of NCHS. She finished 7th place as a Sophomore and 6th place as a Junior. A Senior member of this year’s team, she was a top lifter for the girl’s squad. She lifted in the 165 lbs weight class where her best numbers were 315 in squat, 160 in bench, and 315 in deadlift. She had numerous medals throughout her career including medals in USAPL meets in the off-season.

John Waskom is a 4 year letter athlete in Powerlifting. He was team captain his Senior year. John competed as a Junior in the state meet placing 7th place and was ranked 5th going into this year’s state meet in his weight class. John was an extremely hard worker and team leader where he excelled as one of the four senior boys who made the state team. John lifted in the 181 lbs weight class and posted best meet numbers of 515 in squat, 290 in bench, and 490 in deadlift. He placed 1st place overall in this year’s regional meet.

NCHS athletes receiving Class All-Academic Team Awards are: Olufunke Adeleye, Alyssa Broadway, Madison Brown, James Burrell, Brandon Conant, Carley Dark, Chancellor Davis, Kaylie Delacerda, Naji Helaire, Selena Humprrey, Kayla Metoyer, Carlos Moses, Nash Nichols, Dillon Ratliff, Mali Simmons, Dane Steadman, Dustin Stewart, and Jackson.

The faculty, staff and administration of NCHS are very proud of the seniors that represent this school all over the state of Louisiana in athletic competitions. Some these athletes have traveled to four corners of the state to compete. They have trained countless hours and have still maintained their academic requirements. GO CHIEFS!

Roads & Taxes: John Richmond – Letter to the Public

I do not want anyone to pay more taxes. However, we get what we pay for: Natchitoches pays just over the state average in property taxes, in a state that ranks 48th in property tax rates.

So let’s talk sales tax. Our combined State and local sales tax in Natchitoches Parish is the same, or lower than 26 other parishes. So we do not have the highest taxes in the state. Our sales tax is high compared to most other states, but it doesn’t even come close to offsetting the low property taxes collected.

So, let’s quit giving huge tax breaks to multinational companies operating in Louisiana, AND stop giving them property tax exemptions too! Let’s be honest that our roads are bad because they were poorly built 40 years ago, and that.nothing short of new well constructed roads will fix the crap we drive on. Then let’s be real and admit the Federal government is not going to give us a new road system. No one will fix it except us, because everyone else in the USA is dealing with their own crumbling infrastructure.

Like many of you on this page, I would love to go back to the days when diesel was 35 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was 25 cents, and the Hwy Dept budget was $6,000,000 a year. But the reality is that prices are way higher now, and our budget has been cut in half. Do the math.

I will continue to work to find a way to make totheorrow better than today for Natchitoches Parish. How about you join me in this effort, and look forward for a solution, instead of backward to what never was very good to begin with.

John Richmond, Proud resident and President of Natchitoches Parish

It’s More than Just Regalia

By: Donna Brown NTL Tribal Reporter

This is the story of more than just Regalia. This is the story of two women trying to preserve their culture and the sharing of knowledge between generations. It is the story of tradition and the ties that bind to make us family.

Keatichie Gold grew up knowing that she was Native American, and was welcomed into the Caddo Tribe, even though she was not a member. She was taken in by her mentor and friend Mrs. Hunter, who was an elder in the Caddo tribe. Mrs. Hunter taught her about tradition, history and language. As Keatichie danced Ms. Hunter made her the most amazing gift and gave her the Southern Cloth Regalia you see her dancing in in the photos below. Keatichie’s Regalia is over 30 years old and had been worn in the circle many times as she danced. When Keatichie was older she found out that she was part of the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana though her ancestral lines from the Perot, Grappe, Trichel, Almond, Dartolon, and Lebrun families.

Keatichie competed as a dancer at powwows all over the East Coast. She danced Buckskin and Southern Cloth. After Katerina, she developed a lung disease and can no longer dance. Her Buckskin and Southern Cloth regalia have remained put up until now when Alexandria Brown took up dancing for the Natchitoches Tribe. Alexandria is from the ancestral lines of the Desadier, Larenaudiere, Parilla, and Perez lines.

Alexandria and Keatichie have similar stories as both were mentored by tribal elder outside their tribe. Alexandria was taught dancing by Ms. Walraven of the Ebarb Choctaw Apache Tribe. She has been dancing for less than a year. She danced in the circle in honor of her family and ancestors for the first time in November 2019 at the Natchitoches Tribe of Louisiana Powwow.

Keatichie and Alexandria share the bond of tribal dancers, but it is much more than that. Keatichie says “ I did a lot of praying and watched Alexandria, and saw that she was an old soul. I see that her heart is with the elders and those who cannot dance. She has a beautiful kind heart and a compassionate soul, this is why I decided to give her my regalia”. During a recent visit, Keatichie passed on her Southern Cloth and Buckskin Regalia that she once wore, to Alexandria. Keatichie states “ I honor her with my regalia, just like she honors me by dancing with it in the circle, not just for me, but for all those who can no longer dance or have yet to learn how”. During the visit, Keatichie shared lots of powwow stories and traditions with Alexandria. Some of the highlights of this visit were watching as Alexandria was taught about the Buckskin, given the feather fan Keatichie danced with. I was also treated to the rare joy of listening to her and Keatichie sing together. Alexandria also got to meet her cousin Taylor Gold. Keatichie and I enjoyed hearing them sing and talk with each other, who knew they would be so much alike.

Alexandria looks forward to wearing the regalia in the Powwow Circle soon. She want to both honor Keatichie and our family and tribal members as she dances for those who cant and works to help others learn.

NSU Football: Hubbard signs free-agent deal with Miami

Northwestern State offensive lineman Jonathan Hubbard did not hear his name called in the three-day NFL Draft, but he has a chance to add to the Demons’ professional lineage.

Hubbard officially signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday morning, marking the second straight season a Demon alum has found himself in that situation. Hubbard’s signing follows the same route as wide receiver Jazz Ferguson, who signed with Seattle following the 2019 draft.

A 6-foot-4, 292-pound Kilgore, Texas, native, Hubbard started 11 of Northwestern State’s 12 games in 2019, including the first seven. He was part of an offensive line that allowed a sack in just 3.9 percent of its 517 pass attempts with him in the lineup.

Behind Hubbard, the Demon offense established school records in passing yardage in each of the past two seasons with Hubbard starting 21 of a possible 23 games in that stretch, primarily at tackle.

“This is a great opportunity for Big Hubb,” said head coach Brad Laird. “He’s a very talented offensive lineman with good feet on the edge and the ability to play inside. He put himself in this position as he great as a player and as a person over the last year.”

Hubbard joins former NSU wide receiver Bryant Mitchell (Tampa Bay) as Demons on NFL rosters following the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins a Miami franchise where former Demon receiver Mark Duper is a member of the team’s Honor Roll and Walk of Fame.

Hubbard becomes part of an NSU legacy that has seen more than eight dozen players reach the NFL, including numerous free agents who turned those chances into extended professional careers.

Photo: Northwestern State offensive lineman Jonathan Hubbard (center) works out during preseason camp in August. Credit: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services

Notice of Death – April 26, 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.

July 26, 1930 – April 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Pamela Jones Sisk
October 11, 1955 – April 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sheila Brumett Cook
August 21, 1947 – April 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jackie F. Tucker
August 16, 1942 – April 22, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Eloise Jones
January 6, 1935 – April 24, 2020
Final care arrangements will be in strict compliance with currently stated COVID-19 regulations. There will be a non-lingering visitation of groups smaller than ten people at the Winnfield Funeral Home, 117 MLK Drive, Winnfield, LA 71483, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 from 10:00 a. m. to 11:00 a. m. Procedure will include viewing in that format with groups then taking their cars for procession to the Winnfield Cemetery. Even before or after the viewing period, groups on the funeral home’s premises will be confined to ten or less people. A family-only graveside service will take place immediately after the viewing at the burial site.

Charles Otto Williams
April 15, 1929 – April 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jerry Dale Prather
December 09, 1952 – April 06, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Local Nursing and Rehab Facility confirms COVID-19 case

The Natchitoches Nursing & Rehab Center in Natchitoches has notified several family members of confirmation that an individual at the facility in Natchitoches, 750 Keyser Avenue has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Should any one need information regarding the notification sent, you should call the Executive Director, Kacey Masters, RN,BSN at 318-201-9467 or by email 84KMasters@tarahc.com. (See Letters of Notice Below)

The Natchitoches Parish Journal reached out to Dr. Lau, Listed Medical Director for the center and Kacey Masters, RN, BSN, Executive Director. We asked for the total number of TESTED residents and of those tested, how many confirmed positive for COVID-19. We gave an example – Do you have 56 Tested; 34 Confirmed Positive?

Dr. Lau did not return our calls. Ms. Masters did return our call and here is her statement to the Natchitoches Parish Journal. (PLAY AUDIO BELOW)

On April 19, 2020, the Trump Administration Announces New Nursing Homes COVID-19 Transparency Efforts for Nursing facilities.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “CMS” is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s health care facilities are prepared to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). • Communicable Disease Reporting Requirements: To ensure appropriate tracking, response, and mitigation of COVID-19 in nursing homes, CMS is reinforcing an existing requirement that nursing homes must report communicable diseases, healthcare-associated infections, and potential outbreaks to State and Local health departments. In rulemaking that will follow, CMS is requiring facilities to report this data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a standardized format and frequency defined by CMS and CDC. Failure to report cases of residents or staff who have confirmed COVID -19 and Persons under Investigation (PUI) could result in an enforcement action. This memorandum summarizes new requirements which will be put in place very soon. • Transparency: CMS will also be previewing a new requirement for facilities to notify residents’ and their representatives to keep them up to date on the conditions inside the facility, such as when new cases of COVID-19 occur. (See Below)

Kacey Masters, RN, BSN, Executive Director – Audio

NRMC: COVID-19 Community Update 4/24/20

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

LDH Update for 04/24/20; Natchitoches: 65 Cases/2 Deaths/14,927 Est. Recovered

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.

As of today the Department of Health is reporting the estimated number of COVID-19 patients who have recovered. The Department estimates 14,927 Louisianans have recovered from the coronavirus.

A person is presumed recovered if:
1) it has been more than 14 days since he/she tested positive and he/she is not currently in the hospital or deceased (when hospital status is known), or
2) it has been more than 21 days since he/she tested positive and he/she is not deceased (when hospital status is unknown).

LDH will update recovery data weekly on Mondays.

Commercial testing update
Before today, LDH reported COVID-19 cases by parish of residence while it reported on tests by the parish where those tests are administered. The Department did this because it was based on data received from commercial labs, but this made it harder to understand the full picture of what COVID-19 testing capacity looked like across the state.

LDH has designed a rigorous method for reporting commercial tests by parish of residence. If it is unclear what the parish of residence is for a person tested, LDH will cross reference using Medicaid information and if that doesn’t work then it will consult LexisNexis.

Up until now, this was a manual process. Taking the time to do this comprehensive review allowed the LDH team to put into place the algorithm to shift from commercial tests reported to commercial tests performed because this is a more meaningful indicator. In making this shift there is a discrepancy of about 35,000 tests. Updated commercial testing data is now on the dashboard. This update does not impact the positive case count.
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).

Ashland receives storm damage

Thursday morning, April 23, shortly after midnight, Ashland Mayor Donna Horn contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office requesting storm damage assessment assistance after a severe thunderstorm passed through the area causing downed trees and possibly some structural damage according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the area, but were unable to get a clear view of the area because of foggy conditions.

Deputies did learn of no injuries in the Ashland area.

Power outages were found in some areas.

Today, deputies returned to the Ashland community to assess the damage and take photographs.

One residence in the 1100 block of La. Hwy 155, received moderate damage and some trees were observed down in the area.

Deputies say while speaking with the elderly homeowners, they were informed that the couple were in bed and heard what appeared to be very high winds and hard rain just before they heard a loud noise. The couple informed deputies they were frightened but relieved they were not injured.

Shreveport US National Weather Service issued several severe thunderstom and tornado warnings in Natchitoches Parish on Wednesday April 22, 2020.

A Message to Faculty & Staff from ULS President Dr. Jim Henderson

Dear faculty and staff,

It is hard to believe that only five weeks have passed since you managed the herculean task of shifting university operations online. Most of you are only a couple of weeks away from winding down your Spring semester or quarter and moving into a summer of more distance instruction, research, or perhaps uneasy rest.

During this time, I often find myself reflecting on how Louisiana responded during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the season that distinguished Louisianians as a resilient people while also revealing some chronic inequities and structural challenges. Disasters and times of grave uncertainty often create in people a desire to come together. Of course, I don’t mean physically, at least in our current circumstance. But even virtually, the collaborative spirit rises above the social media noise, the political partisanship, and even the plentiful examples of idiocy, allowing us to leverage our collective efforts and consciousness for the public good. I see it throughout our member institutions—in our presidents, in our faculty, and in our students.

I was pleased to talk about our systemic response during this week’s Board of Regents meeting. The commissioner asked system heads to address COVID-19 through the lens of our biggest challenge, accomplishment, and opportunity as we respond and move forward. I hope you will take a few minutes to review the remarks as I attempted to share the difficulty of the human impact, the immense pride resulting from your work, and the boundless opportunities ahead:

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we live, work, and interact. We will never fully recover from the human toll of this crisis. From the economic toll, while currently severe and untenable, we can recover if we are willing to develop and execute a plan that focuses not on where we have been but where it is possible for us to go. A tremendous future of hope and promise awaits those who are prepared and willing.

Throughout this crisis, you have exhibited a resiliency and fortitude that will be necessary to develop our citizenry and meet the extraordinary demands of our post-pandemic world. Despite the immediate challenges, I am bullish on our future especially if we seize control of our destiny and implement a plan worthy of our people. That is the task before us.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to benefit our students and communities at large during this extraordinary season of disruption. Your work is important. Your work is appreciated.

For your future. For our future.