Natchitoches Police seek public’s help in identifying suspects from Wal-Mart parking lot theft

The Natchitoches Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying two suspects that removed a chain saw from the bed of a pick-up truck that was parked at Wal-Mart.

On April 24, 2020 around 1:42 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were dispatched to Wal-Mart in reference to a chain saw being stolen from the bed of a customer’s pick-up truck. Officers were able to review video surveillance and observed an unknown white female remove a chain saw from the bed of a pick-up truck. After the unknown white female removed the chain saw she entered a dark colored Ford Expedition that was driven by an unknown white male.

If you recognize or know these individuals please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective Alisha Roberson at (318) 357-3810. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.


Women’s Resource Center hires Luna as Executive Director

The Women’s Resource Center and its Board of Directors has announced Jennifer Luna as their new Executive Director. Luna will oversee program development, compliance, community and public relations, and fundraising planning for the WRC, a crisis pregnancy center located on Fourth Street across from Northwestern State University.

She recently obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2019 from The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University where she specialized in nonprofit management. During her time there, she completed a Capstone regarding sex trafficking for the Texas Attorney General’s Office which will be soon be implemented state-wide and was a graduate research assistant for the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy, supervising the development of numerous student enrichment opportunities and participated in strategic planning.

“We are overjoyed to have someone with Jennifer’s commitment, enthusiasm and qualifications on board with us,” said Buddy Wood, Board President. “Jennifer embodies the spirit of the WRC, believes in community partnership and welcomes the opportunity to expand the vision and effectiveness of this organization throughout Natchitoches and the surrounding parishes.”

In 2018, Luna was the sole selected intern for the accrediting body of Children’s Advocacy Centers, the National Children’s Alliance, in Washington, D.C. There, she created individualized state publications on child abuse trends to the judiciary staffers in all 535 offices in Capitol Hill and researched policy effects.

Luna has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector since 2013 and is a member of multiple professional development groups, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Nu Lambda Mu. Her and her husband Jordan Malachi Luna, a graduate assistant for the Northwestern State Men’s Basketball Team, have been residents of Natchitoches since mid-2019.

“Jennifer and Jordan are already valued members of the community and we look forward to seeing the immediate impact she will make in the Women’s Resource Center,” Wood added.

Luna’s duties as Executive Director will begin immediately with the primary focus on serving clients and the annual Gala planned for late September.


Northwestern State releases Spring Dean’s List

One thousand one hundred and ninety-five students were named to the Spring 2020 Dean’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of between 3.5 and 3.99. For questions about the honor lists, contact the University Registrar at (318) 357-6171 or toll-free at (800) 807-8849.

Those named to the Dean’s List by hometown (in Natchitoches and surrounding areas) are as follows.

Alexandria – Gavin Arabie, Michael Austin, ArMarion Baylor, Briana Beauregard, Bo Bowers, Ashlyn Brevelle, Alexander Brooks, Kyle Brumley, Morgan Bryant, Caleb Byon , Dshaun Coleman, Noel Cusick, Ahsley Day, DeShod Dixon, Joshual Dorsey, Destiny Dotson, Alexis Flowers, Claudia Gauthier, Janae Gradney, Ian Grant, JNae Hammond, Lara Hill, Jaliyah Jasper, Erika Johnson, Gustov Johnson, Elyssa Joly, Hunter Lewis, Olivia Mosley, LaShanda Moss, Kylah Porter, Gabriella Rachal, Imani Ricks, Alicia Ross, Caleb Ross, Titus Sims, Steve Speed, Mohammad Suleiman, TreNeisha Taylor, Alexander Trotter, Thando Turner, Megan Urena, Joshua Wiggins, Deserae Williams, Mikayla Wright;

Atlanta – Alexis Hanson, Peyton Howell, Keneisha Williams;

Ball – Brittany Breland, TyKiera Fikes, Taylor Gray, Makenzie Jones, Leah Morace, Mackenzie Owen, Naiomy Perez Del Valle, Will Salinas, Kaylee Varholdt;

Barksdale AFB – Victoria Charles;

Bossier City – Trevor Barnhill, Elizabeth Blair, Carly Blondin, Alexander Brooks, Hannah Brooks, Jonathan Castillo, April Ceffalia, Callie Crockett, Gabriel Decuir, Anthonia Dogbey, Farrell Dulle, Rachel Elmore, Megan Evans, Tamia Ferguson, Khairiq Frost, Gabrielle Gatlin, Nawal Gazawaneh, A’Reonna Gilbert, Tina Gira, Sydney Gootee, Jacob Guest, Emily Hammons, Destiny Hampton, Peyton Harville, Ashanti Hill, Shastidy Hughes, Kaytlin Hunter, Sheren Issa, Anqumesha Jeter, Tyler Jewell, Jonatan Jimenez, Haley Joncas, Elizabeth Jones, Abigail Kent, Cing Kim, Kasey Landingham, Madisen Martin, Abby McClure, David McInnis, Anna McMillon, Trisella Bryn Mendones, Destiny Michel, Dylan Nash-Browder, Adriana Patton, Melissa Raley, Elizabeth Rich, Jasmine Roberson, Rheagan Rowland, Matthew Salinas, Elisha Scott, Shelby Shea, Natalie Stephenson, Savannah Stevens, Terrence Stewart, Benjamin Tanner, Chandler Vascocu, Emily Wallace, Kirk Weaver, Claudette Wilbert-Patton;

Boyce – Seth Baggett, Savanna Budnik, Natalie Dear, Devin Hilliard;

Campti – Paige Cason, Troy Coleman, Alexis Keith, Madison McLaren, Dalton Parker, Stoney Slaughter;

Cheneyville – Laiken Haggart;

Chopin – Mary Guimaraes;

Cloutierville – Alexis Coutee;

Converse – Hayley Farmer, Taylor Hill, Allison Jagneaux, Mattie Pratt, Noah Sepulvado, Ashley Sims, Triston Waldon, Hannah Womack;

Coushatta – Kori Allen, Colton Campbell, Faith Cason, La’Zaria Clark, Madison Hale, Alicia Lewis, Elizabeth Ross, Jon Russell, Jasmine Taylor;

Derry – Hannah Antee;

Dodson – Cameron Warren, Faithe Williams;

Florien – Diego Almanza, Travis Cook, Shayla Duhon, Kawliga Forehand, McKenzie Kuhlow, Megan Lumpkin, Annetra Gordon, Drayton McCormick;

Forest Hill – Brett Atkinson, Andrianne Dore, Allison Fredieu, Rafael Sierra, Jessica Thompson, Leslie Winners;

Fort Polk – Tyana Ellis, Kimberly FloresBerrier, Ana Murray, Gene Smith, MelvinJohn Tabonares, Nash Tarbox, Nohora Valencia Camacho, Kevin Zingwa Nkafu;

Glenmora – Phillip Bullitt, Precious Goins, Abbie Johnson;

Leesville — Anthony Cantrell, Seth Ducote, Magdalen Dye, Shannon Goody, Mason Green, Elizabeth Harvey, Jamie Jones, Zachary Keeton, Emilee Keuten, Angela Kitchens, ShaDonna Klinkenberg, Lane Koury, Brandy Kreeger, Lauren Kreyenbuhl, Christina Lluvera, Tiffany Lyons, James Magee, Xavier McCarty, Jaylin Moore, Malayna Nabors, Joseph Orchi, Breeana Raygoza, Hannah Scott, Kristopher Seaman, Carrie Sellers, Alexis Sepulvado, Darrin Smith, Ashlan Stephens, Savanna Stephens, Lana West;

Lena – Juan Gonzalez, Taylor Nichols, Weslee Pickering;

Mansfield – Latyteauna Goodwin, Canessia Johnson, Madison Welborn, Amber Youngblood;

Many – Toby Bruce, Patrick Colston, Brittney Garcie, Sheridan Gowen, Emily Holcomb, Kelsi Horn, Jessie Johnson, Layton Knowles, Charles LaFollette, Chloe Leach, Jaleah Lee, Chase Manning, Athena Mitchell, Seth Ozsoy, Lora Peace, Tessa Reeves, Brittany Ritter, Mayci Self, Anna Soileau, Annalise Sylvia, Hunter Walker;

Marthaville – Emily Ford, Hanna Pardee, Madison Pleasant;

Montgomery – Gerlad Chelette, Morgan McManus, Hannah Vercher;

Natchez – Corey Bennett, Clarissa Bradley, Jacorrian Davis, Amberlyn Metoyer, Daisy Noel, Morgan Slaughter;

Natchitoches – Mike Alukunyang, Tyler Anderson, Aaron Averett, Dylan Bennett, Gracie Bennett, Gavin Bergeron, Sarah Bergeron, De’Jon Blake, Janieya Bobb, Alaidrian Bolton, Demetrius Boulieu, Hannah Branam, Maelana Braxton, Luther Brooks, Alexandra Brossett, Taylor Burch, Deasia Burrell, Savannah Bynog, Donna Cooper, Gilda Chan, Daisha Cohen, Jessica Coleman, Kaia Collins, Kenneth Darcy, Hannah Deranger, Ashley Dranguet, Taneka Dunn, Jacob Dunson, Jacob Ellis, Gabriela Forero Salcedo, Hannah Forsythe, Katlynn French, Kara Gandy, Ruth Garcia Rodriguez, Brian Geraghty, Jeffrey Goff, Peyton Green, Michaela Haigh, Valentina Herazo Alvarez, Letresha High, Maya Levo, De’Ja Jenkins, Holly Jenkins, Cierra Johnson, Ronesha Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Madeline Joubert, Jade Marvin, Miranda Mayeaux, Robin McCalister, Mya Melancon, Christopher Metoyer, Travis Mitchell, Coy Morgan, Katelyn Murphy, Tristan Neitte, Emily Nobles, Weston Noe, Myles Nolley, Chaka Palm Kiara Padilla, Brittany Passi, Merdith Phelps, Finnley Plaster, Wyatt Quinn, Katherine Rachal, LaKendria Remo, Alejandro Restrepo Cardozo, Shuzettie Roberson, Catherine Roquemore, Emily Ryder, Lawson Scott, Reanne Scott, Anise Settle, Arionna Shelton, Alaysia Smith, Heather Stewart, Caroline Stokes, Samuel Switalski, Blake Teekell, Madison Thompson, Ryan Tobin, Chloe Townsend, Aaron Trichel, Abigail Vallery, Devin Vanwinkle, Eva Venzant, Lantz Vercher, Garrett Vienne, Jazymn Wade, Derek Walle, Melissa Washington, Daniel Whatley, Melissa White, Leah Wilkins, Rylee Wyer;

Noble – Emma Craig, Emmalee Lewing, Chelsea Matthews, Tiffany McMillon, Ethan Morgan, Joshua Ray;

Pineville – Travis Adams, Savannah Hope Andries, David Bourgeois, Madison Brown, Kurt Burkett, Victoria Burns, Ameliah Carpenter, Mason Corley, Caitlin Crawford, Selena Ferguson, Katelynn Frost, Mia Huffman, Kirsten Karisny, Corey King, Landon King, Jeffery Lepage, Sonya McClellan, Allyson McCowan, Cade Mitchell, Alaina Parham, Abigail Salisbury, Amaria Sapp, Jordan Sensat, Laikyn Slusher, Mikah Smith, Courtney Squyres, Brittney Thompson, Jewel Woods;

Pleasant Hill – Ethan Johnson, Courtney Jones;

Provencal – Morgan Grace, Rachel Head, Christopher Jennings;

Ringgold – Carly Chandler, Joseph Hays, Terreny Langford, Olivia Prado;

Robeline – Arica Ammons, Chad Berly, Jonathan Chism, Keely Dubois, Heather Gandy, Cody Hamous, Keira Huff, Caleb Martinez, Reagan Moore, Ember O’Bannon, Lillian Rachal, Morgan Rachal;

Shreveport – DayJah Alexander, Allen Ashley, ShyMiracle Ball, Johnetta Battle, Gregory Below, Jordan Bogan, JiKeeriya-Jontay Bowden, Jamarcia Broadway, Leta Broome, Chelsa Calup, Madison Connella, Micheal Copeland-Lloyd, Adam Cox, Daniel Crews, Reonia Davis, Melissa Dragon, Takea Dorsey, Jada Dudley, Laura Mary-Katherine Duhon, Isabelle Foisy, Carlos Garcia, Brittney Gaskin, Cassidy Giddens, Myiesha Gilyard, Catherine Gist, Lauren Gore, Leah Gould, Andrell Green, Taylor Guin, Adrianne Hampton, Shannon Harris, Zelecya Hawkins, Deountre Henderson, Chianti Hicks, Bernicia Hill, Lagerria Hinton, Courtney Hogg, Daniel Holden, Brea Housley, Jada Johnson, Jamari Johnson, Ashley Jones, Briana Jones, Summer Jones, Angel Keen, Brandon Larkin, Madison Layfield, Louis Lee, Timarka Leeper, Christian Manno, Tyler McGee, Brooklynn McWilliams, Christian Mercer, Samantha Metoyer, Alicia Mims, Destiny Mitchell, Diamond Moore, Danae Moreland, Amya Morris, Kendall Murray, Olivia Noonan, Maria Ogletree, Reva Ott, Montoya Parker, Bailey Patton, Hayden Pilcher, Nathan Pons, Angel Rankins, McKenna Reed, Patricia Reed, Amanda Riley, Natya Rogers, Ansley Rosett, Kaitlyn Ross, Amanda Rushing, Shelby Sandefur, Yuriana Sauseda, Johnathon Schluter, Jasmine Shepard, Torreanna Singleton, Kariah Sisk-Shaheed, Breona Smith, Shelby Sowers, Ra’Daishia Taylor, Matthew Terry, Brian Thomas, Khalia Tucker, Taylor Turner, Taylor Turner, Terran Turner, Trevor VanEaton, Rhiannon Venable, Kayven Victor, Madison Wallace, Ilyanna Warlen, Amyah Washington, Colbi Washington, Kennedi Watkins, Zachary White, Debriar Wilson, Kristy Wilson, Megan Winn, Jonathan Zavalydriga, Camryn Cook, Alaysia Harris, Britney Powell, Holley Wilkerson;

Winnfield – Trenton Dill, LaTerrion Green, Matthew Harrell, Hunter Johnson, Caitlyn Martin, Morgan Martinez, Fatima Rodriguez, Katreiona Starks, Rakeen Williams, Caitlin Womack;

Zwolle – Kierstyn Cartinez, Mckenzie Leone, Konner Parrie, Lily Rivers, Victoria Sepulvado, Chyna Sepulvado, Maurisha Shelby;


Public Call to Artists for New Residence Hall Installation

In conjunction with Percent for the Arts Program
The Louisiana Percent for Art Program is seeking artists to submit qualifications to design and implement interior and exterior, site-specific sculptures or installations of original design for the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), a public residential high school offering advanced instruction for high-achieving students. The school, which is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, offers unique exterior and interior space within its new residential hall facility.

A multidisciplinary committee, headed by Chris King, lecturer of visual arts at LSMSA, has proposed that the art installations should both celebrate and applaud the many educational disciplines represented by the life and work of Caroline Dormon, a Louisiana native that made monumental contributions to the conservation and protection of the state’s natural and cultural resources.

“While researching public art in Louisiana I searched for new ideas and discovered a void that was very obvious to me, becoming the catalyst for this project,” said King of Dormon’s selection as inspiration for this installation. “What I found is a lack of historic women represented in public art in the US, especially in the deep south.”

A passion for plants and old-growth forests – coupled with a strong kinship with Native Americans – shaped Dormon’s life and work, which spanned across many disciplines including visual arts, humanities, and life sciences. A former educator, writer and researcher, Dormon was the first female employee of the United States Forestry Service and was instrumental in the creation of the Kisatchie National Forest. She is now considered Louisiana’s first true conservationist.

LSMSA is open to a wide variety of artist styles, including traditional statuary and contemporary art.

The school asks for an exterior piece that complements a well-designed outdoor social area that includes seating, walkways, lighting, and landscaping and is intended to be a place that can provide learning opportunities for students and the community at large. A second piece in the main lobby of the building should serve to welcome guests into the new living area of campus.

The commission, with a project budget of $260,000, is open nationally to professional artists and artist teams aged 18 and over with a minimum of five years of demonstrated professional visual art experience. The budget is intended to be all inclusive of costs and commensurate with the intended scale of the work.

The deadline to submit proposals is September 5, 2020. The full Call to Artists, complete with submission requirements, guidelines, scope and eligibility, can be found at www.LSMSA.edu/ResidenceHall. Inquiries should be made to Scott Finch, director for Percent for Art Program at 225-342-8176.

Both the installation and new residence hall building will sit adjacent to Northwestern State University’s Watson Library, which houses the official archives of Dormon’s work.

The Percent for the Art Program was enacted as law in 1999 and provides that any state building project of more than $2 million have money set aside for public art installations on the grounds of the new building. This program is administered by the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of the Arts in the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism of the State of Louisiana, in collaboration with the Division of Administration and the Office of Facility Planning and Control.


NATCHITOCHES MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH HOME INVASION, TIES TO LAFAYETTE HOMICIDE

Duson Police arrested Jonathan Perry, 35-years-old of Natchitoches, after he entered a home in the 400 block of Toby Mouton Road in Duson uninvited while armed with a handgun. Once inside Perry was said to have brandished the Derringer style handgun at two female residents while demanding to know the whereabouts of a sister to one of the victims. Apparently, Perry was attempting to avenge the death of a friend who had been murdered in Lafayette.

Perry, who has a prior felony conviction and is on parole, was found blocks away from the crime and taken into custody without incident. The gun was recovered in a vehicle Perry was driving.

Perry has been booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail on a charge of Home Invasion, 2 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bond has been set at $100,000.00 on the aforementioned charges and additional unrelated charges are pending a bond as well.


Childcare Birth -2 Scholarship Program Accepting Applications for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Need FREE childcare for a year? If your family household income is higher than the Childcare Assisatance (CCAP) max requirements, and you meet the below eligibility requirements you should apply today for the Childcare Scholarship Program (CSP), also known as Preschool Development Grant (PDG). This scholarship provides financial assistance with childcare costs to eligible working families in Natchitoches Parish free tuition for a year starting August 2020 and ending July 2021. The program will award 25 eligible birth – 2-year-old children/families, FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS.

Families who meet the following household/income categories may be eligible for the CSP

Your child is ineligible for the CSP if he/she is currently receiving CCAP and/or currently enrolled in a TYPE III CHILDCARE CENTER

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

1. You MUST be a Natchitoches resident who is working/employed, in an approved training program or attending school. For families where both parents live within the same household, both parents must meet all eligibility requirements.

2. You MUST be in need of full time childcare for a FULL YEAR (August – July) Child must attend daily between 8am – 3pm minimum. (additional after 3pm care is optional if needed).

3. You MUST have a child(ren) UNDER the age of 36 months as of Sept. 30, 2020.

4. You MUST be willing to enroll your child(ren) in a TYPE III CHILDCARE CENTER.

QUALIFYING TYPE III CHILDCARE CENTERS:

· A to Z 123 Preschool & Learning Center

· Funtime Palace Day Care

· Bright Beginnings, Inc.

· Juz Us Childcare of Natchitoches

· Cobblestones Child Development Center, LLC

· Tiny Tots Daycare & Preschool

· Fay’s Daycare & Learning Center

To apply visit www.TeachingTomorrowNow.com to complete the B-2 Scholarship Application. TO BE CONSIDERED, DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION SUBMISSION Deadline is July 10th. Paper applications can be picked up and COPIES of verification documents can be dropped off at 420 Fourth Street Monday-Friday from 10 am- 2pm.


La. Fishing License Sales Continued to Climb During May

Fishing license sales increased for the third consecutive month in May, as it appears residents are finding fishing a great way to have fun and stay safe in the age of COVID-19.

May fishing license sales outperformed the same month in 2019, continuing a trend that saw higher numbers in March and April compared to the same months last year, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LDWF records show the department sold 51,539 fishing licenses during May compared to 38,266 during May of 2019, an increase of 13,273 licenses. That’s an increase of 35 percent.

“We hope the increase in license sales is also providing some much needed relief for the locally owned restaurants, docks and sporting goods stores that depend on fishing for their livelihoods,” LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “Anglers spend over $800 million dollars each year on fishing trips and equipment in Louisiana, this is an important stimulus for our economy; not to mention a fun time with family and friends.”

The department saw the rise in licenses sales days after Gov. Edwards issued his Stay At Home order in late March. That included restrictions that limited group gatherings to 10 or less and required social distancing of six feet. Many people, working from home at the time, took advantage of the outdoors.

In March, LDWF sold 15,162 saltwater licenses compared to 12,995 during the prior March 2019. There were 28,800 basic fishing licenses sold in March, compared to 20,550 in March 2019.

In April, residents purchased 39,702 basic fishing licenses compared to 18,901 in April of 2019. In April of 2020, there were 21,000 saltwater licenses sold compared to 13,771 in April of 2019.

Montoucet said he hopes the sales continue to move upward as the revenue is vital to the life of the department and its ability to enforce safety on our waterways, conduct biological testing of our fish and wildlife, fight invasive vegetation in state waterways, and maintain wildlife management areas. LDWF does not receive funding from the state.

LDWF reminds residents that is wise to purchase fishing licenses now. Annual fishing licenses, which went on sale June 1, are valid from the date of purchase and expire on June 30 of each year.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. LDWF receives no state general funding and depends on license sales as a major funding source. Help us protect your hunting and fishing heritage while preserving habitat, wildlife, and aquatic resources by purchasing your license at www.wlf.la.gov.


Natchitoches Police arrest individual for shooting at All-N-1 Food Store

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested Jerry Johnson (B/M, 39 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) for a shooting that took place Saturday night at 1424 Texas Street (All-N-1 Food Store).

On June 27, 2020 around 10:40 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to All-N-1 Food Store in reference to gun shots being fired in the area. While officers were responding to All-N-1 Food Store they were notified that the victim was at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center with several gunshot wounds. Officers at the hospital were able to learn that the victim was at All-N-1 Food Store when they were shot.

The victim was transported to a hospital in Rapides Parish where they are listed in stable condition.

On June 28, 2020, Jerry Johnson, surrendered himself to the Natchitoches Police Department where he was placed under arrest and charged with Attempted Second Degree Murder.

If you have any additional information in regards to this investigation please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Release Date: June 29, 2020


PARISH GOVERNMENT OFFICE CLOSURES – JULY 4TH

Parish Government offices will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, 2020 in observance of Independence Day. The Parish Landfill, along with all bin sites, will remain open on Friday, July 3rd, but will be closed on Saturday, July 4th for the holiday. For any questions about Parish closures, contact the Parish Government offices at 318.352.2714.


Mr. Stinky drenches NSU with powerful bloom fume

After years of anticipation and several days of heightened expectation, Mr. Stinky, Northwestern State University’s resident corpse flower, bloomed in odiferous glory Friday night, fuming the Creative and Performing Arts Complex with the stench of a rank dumpster.

Mr. Stinky is an amorphophallus titanium or titan arum, a giant tropical plant native to Sumatra, Indonesia, that only flowers every seven or eight years. Believed to be the largest flower in the world, Mr. Stinky unfurled its deep purple bloom Friday night, drawing a crowd of plant enthusiasts and curiosity-seekers along with insect pollinators naturally attracted to the smell of rotting flesh.

Abetted by the moist, humid Louisiana night air, Mr. Stinky did not disappoint.

“This is just the coolest thing ever,” said Martha Dowden of Natchitoches who came to photograph the strange and beautiful plant.

The bloom began about 3:30 p.m. Friday when Stinky’s ruffled spathe began to loosen and flies began to buzz through the sculpture yard where the plant has been in residence since developing the spike that indicated a bloom was near. Mr. Stinky’s primary caregivers, Professors Millard Mangrum, Corbin Covher and John Byrd, awaited like expectant parents. Mangrum answered questions and offered background information on the plant to visitors and said his phone had been ringing off the hook.

An impromptu bloom party gathered Friday evening as the plant gradually opened and its potency became stronger. Colleague Michael Scanlan, who produces videos for NSU’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences, shared a live stream on social media platforms that picked up a combined 30,000 views.

Covher stayed through the night with the bloom, which reached maturity about 1:30 a.m.

“I was doing a few drawings of him. It stunk well outside the sculpture lab,” Covher said.

Mangrum acquired Mr. Stinky as a golf ball-sized corm in 2012 and nurtured it in the Bienvenu Hall greenhouse until it outgrew the space. Titan arum generally requires seven to 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time. After its initial blooming, some plants may not bloom again for another seven to 10 years while others may bloom every two or three years.

Since 2018, Mr. Stinky has lived outside Covher’s office in the NSU sculpture lab, a high-ceilinged climate-controlled workshop that could accommodate its leafy 10-foot tall canopy while the plant stored up food reserves for the corm. Corpse plants thrive in moist humid climates and can’t tolerate temperatures below about 55 degrees. The plant died down to the corm last fall and several days ago, a large spike emerged from the corm, growing 6-10 inches per day. The professors knew a bloom was imminent and wheeled Stinky outdoors into a damp, shaded corner of the sculpture yard, inviting other plant enthusiasts to view its pre-bloom state.

The bloom of a corpse flower is an exciting event for plant enthusiasts, and over the last week, Mr. Stinky has become something of a celebrity in the Natchitoches community as curious plant-lovers stopped by for a glimpse of the towering spike. Covher’s wife Natalie designed and distributed “I Smelled Mr. Stinky” stickers for those who viewed plant in bloom.

By mid-morning Saturday, Stinky’s bloom and fragrance were already fading. Mangrum said the bloom will fall away and a seed stalk will appear before that, too, dies away and the plant begins a new leaf cycle.

Scanlan began filming the plant several days ago and plans to share a time-lapse video of the bloom on the School’s Facebook page and youtube channel.

Mangrum estimated that over 400 visitors had been in and out of the sculpture lab to view the rare bloom and were still streaming in.

“It’s been amazing. There have been people who stopped by that said this was on their bucket list,” he said.

In addition to the large bloom spike, Stinky also produced a smaller spike that Mangrum speculated may or may not produce another bloom.

“We’re in high hopes that the second sprout makes a bloom,” Mangrum said. “There may be another bloom on the way.”


Mystery Sound Cash Contest – a $780.00 Winner!

Cindy Scallion Rachal won $780.00 by knowing the Mystery Sound – “Cracking Ice”.   Cindy shared the cash with her grandkids.  Tyler in the red shirt was the one who suggested “cracking ice” to Cindy.

Join Trini & Ashley LIVE this morning for a brand new Mystery Sound  and a new Cash Jackpot!

Your chance to win begins at 7 am on 94.9 The River.

In order to play and win you’ll need the River Lines phone number: 318-581-4025. Save it to your speed dial for your chance to guess.

On-Air:  94.9/94.3 The River

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/949theriver/