Dipper’s New Year’s Celebration

By Brad Dison

“Happy New Year!” Everyone in New Orleans, it seemed, was out in the streets celebrating the passing of the old year, 1912, and was welcoming in the new, 1913. Brass bands paraded through the neighborhoods playing Dixieland jazz by torch light. People with expendable incomes shot off Roman candles and other fireworks, while others celebrated by making as much noise as possible with whatever they could find. People banged on pots and pans, scrap pieces of metal and tin, anything that would make a noise. Another popular form of ringing in the new year was firing guns into the air, which was and is illegal in most cities and towns. They accompanied whatever noise they could make by yelling, “Happy New Year!”

Eleven-year-old Dipper had no money for frivolities such as fireworks. He grew up in one of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in New Orleans. His father had left when he was just a few years old and his mother worked odd jobs to keep Dipper and his sister fed. Dipper had several “stepfathers” through the years, some of which were good for Dipper’s family, but most were not.

Dipper took odd jobs to help his mother buy food for the family. Even at the young age of eleven, he realized he needed to do his part for his family’s survival. He hustled newspapers, coal, and anything else he could get his hands upon legally. He and three of his friends became street performers and formed a singing quartet. Dipper and his friends walked down street after street singing the popular hits of the day. If someone liked their singing and had some spare change, they motioned for the quartet to sing a few songs for them. Afterword, the customer gave them some spare change, which the quartet divided up. Dipper gave his earnings to his mother.

On December 31, 1912, Dipper and his four friends wandered through the streets looking for a customer with some spare change. Dipper was well prepared to ring in the new year. Earlier in the evening, he went into his mother’s trunk and found his stepfather’s .38 caliber revolver pistol. He stealthily removed the pistol from the trunk and slipped it into his pocket. He had found his noisemaker.

Dipper and the other members of the quartet were enjoying themselves on this New Year’s Eve. They sang, laughed, joked around, and sang some more. As they were walking and singing on Rampart Street, they were interrupted by six shots from a small caliber pistol. “dy-dy-dy-dy-dy-dy.” Someone yelled, “Happy New Year!” Dipper heard what a pathetic sound the small caliber pistol made and motioned to his friends. He pulled the .38 caliber pistol from his pocket, aimed it toward the sky, and fired. POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! “Happy New Year!” People all around them laughed.

After the laughter died down, Dipper pocketed the pistol and the quartet continued down Rampart Street singing for tips. A little while later, Dipper reloaded the pistol, aimed it toward the sky, and fired six more shots. POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! POW! Just then, Dipper felt two strong hands grab him from behind. His friends ran. For Dipper, there was no escape. The two strong hands belonged to a New Orleans detective. He begged, cried, and pleaded for the detective to allow him to go home, but the detective disregarded his pleas and took him to jail.

Dipper was scared. He had never been arrested and wondered what would become of him. The next morning, a juvenile court judge sentence him to spend an undetermined length of time in the Waifs’ Home for Boys. A policeman transported Dipper and several other boys to the Waifs’ Home in a prison cart led by two horses.

Dipper was terrified when they reached the Waifs’ Home. He and the other boys were stripped of their clothes, forced into showers, were checked for lice, and received ill-fitting uniforms. One of the keepers led the newcomers into the mess hall where other inmates sat eating “white beans without rice out of tin plates.” For three days, Dipper was too afraid to eat. The keepers and other inmates mocked Dipper for not eating, but he gave no response. On the fourth day, his hunger was too strong for him to ignore.

In addition to scrubbing floors, making beds, and a myriad of other undesirable but necessary chores, the keepers at the Waifs’ Home taught Dipper and the other boys various skills. Mr. Jones drilled the boys every morning and taught them the proper way to use rifles in formation with wooden rifles. Mr. Alexander taught carpentry and gardening. Mr. Davis gave the boys other vocational training, which included music. One of the only choices the boys had in the Waifs’ Home was their selection of vocation. Dipper had always been drawn to music and naturally gravitated towards Mr. Davis’s orchestra. For the first six months, Mr. Davis refused to allow Dipper to actually play any instrument, and Dipper had been too afraid to ask. Finally, Mr. Davis asked Dipper if he wanted to play in the band. Dipper was excited. Rather than hand him a cornet, the instrument Dipper had dreamed of playing, Mr. Davis handed him a tambourine. Although disappointed, Dipper played the tambourine with such unique style that Mr. Davis immediately made him the drummer in their marching brass band. Within a short time, Mr. Davis, pleased at Dipper’s quick progress with the drums, taught him how to play an alto saxophone. Dipper was a quick student and progressed quickly. Dipper became the bugler for the Waifs’ Home, which was a coveted position because the bugler was excused from most of the undesirable chores required of the other boys. Dipper had so impressed Mr. Davis that he made Dipper the leader of the brass band and taught him how to play the cornet. Dipper “was in seventh heaven.” Dipper practiced the cornet faithfully and impressed everyone who heard his unique style.

He was eventually freed from the Waifs’ Home. For years, Dipper worked at manual labor during the day and played his cornet at night. He eventually became world-famous for his unique playing and singing abilities. Had it not been for Dipper’s arrest on New Year’s Eve and his incarceration at the Waifs’ Home for Boys, we may never have heard the musical talents of a man who went by many nicknames including Dipper, Dippermouth, Pops, and Satchmo (short for Satchel Mouth). Dipper’s real name was Louis Armstrong.

Source:
Armstrong, Louis. Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1986.

 

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Notice of Death – December 29, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Charles Clifton Ferguson
December 08, 1929 – December 27, 2020
Service: Thursday, December 31 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Ruthie Lee Fisher
December 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 2 at 10 am at the Goodwill Baptist Church on Holmes Street in Natchitoches

Ruby Lee Hicks
December 27, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 2 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Alice Oliver
December 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jennifer Robinson
December 8, 1972 – December 25, 2020
Service: Friday, January 1 at 12 pm at Mt. Olive Baptist Church Cemetery

Jayen Smith
September 11, 2001 – December 23, 2020
Service: Arrangements TBA

Willie Brown
January 8, 1965 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Bobby Jean Parker
August 9, 1955 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

McTavish Raymond
June 22, 1972 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sophia Willoughby Washington
December 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
James Sisk Jr.
January 8, 1962 – December 22, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 30 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

WINN:
Brenda Haddox Etheridge
January 10, 1949 – December 24, 2020
Service: Thursday, December 31 at 10 am at First Baptist Church

Janet Brookins
August 26, 1957 – December 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Shirley Ann Coleman
July 19, 1952 – December 24, 2020
Service: Wednesday December 30 at 1 pm at the chapel of Kinner and Stevens funeral home in Jena

RED RIVER:
Mary Lucille Williams
August 26, 1955 – December 25, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 30 at 2 pm at Bethany Cemetery

Paul Avery Blakesley
October 03, 1956 – December 28, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 2 at 12 pm at Baker Cemetery

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LHSAA football state championships – Schedule & Results

The LSHAA high school football state championship game dates are December 27-30 with state championship games in nine classifications being played at Turpin Stadium on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

CLASS 5A Season Date Time Score Status
Acadiana 10-1 12/30 6pm 0 Pending
Alexandria 7-0 12/30 6pm 0 Pending

CLASS 4A Season Date Time Score Status
Carencro 11-1 12/29 6pm 0 Pending
Edna Karr 10-1 12/29 6pm 0 Pending

CLASS 3A Season Date Time Score Status
Madison Prep 10-2 12/30 6pm 0 Pending
Union Parish 11-0 12/29 6pm 0 Pending

CLASS 2A Season Date Time Score Status
Many 11-0 12/27 1pm 16 Won
Union Parish 9-2 12/27 1pm 13 Final

CLASS 1A Season Date Time Score Status
Oak Grove 10-0 12/28 11am 33 Won
Grand Lake 8-2 12/28 11am 7 Final

Division I Season Date Time Score Status
Catholic – B.R. 9-2 12/27 6pm 35 Won
C.E. Byrd 10-0 12/27 6pm 12 Final

Division II Season Date Time Score Status
Thomas More 9-0 12/28 7pm 35 Won
De La Salle 10-0 12/28 7pm 28 Final

Division III Season Date Time Score Status
Lafayette Christian 9-1 12/28 3pm 10 Won
Charles Catholic 8-2 12/28 3pm 7 Final

Division IV Season Date Time Score Status
Calvary Baptist 8-2 12/29 1pm 0 Pending
Ouachita Christian 9-1 12/29 1pm 0 Pending

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City plans on trying new technique to improve drainage

Soon after the new year, the City of Natchitoches will try a technique at the corner of Texas Street and Second Street to correct storm water runoff from continuing to cause structural damage to the street at this location. Across the state, municipalities are using pervious concrete in locations to address storm water runoff. Pervious concrete is a porous concrete which allows water from precipitation and other sources to pass directly through the voids created, reducing the runoff from a site.

The cure time is 10 days and the public will be notified of the street closure when the project begins. Pervious concrete does require routine maintenance which will consist of City crews pressure washing and street sweeping to keep the pores open, allowing water to travel to the City’s storm water drains.

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CITY OF NATCHITOCHES JOB OPPORTUNITY: METER READER

JOB TITLE: Meter Reader

DEPARTMENT: Utility

ESSENTIAL DUTIES: Will be required to read all types of water and electric meters both electronically and visually. Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. Responsible for connecting and disconnecting utility services. Must be able to learn how to operate various electronic meter reading equipment and software. Basic math skills are required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
High School diploma, or GED Equivalent.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St., or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches LA 71458-0037. Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall located at 700 Second St. or may be downloaded at www.natchitochesla.gov

Applications will be accepted through: December 30, 2020

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

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NPSO: CORRECTIONAL OFFICER ARRESTED FOR SMUGGLING CONTRABAND INTO NATCHITOCHES DETENTION CENTER

NATCHITOCHES – An investigation conducted by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Detention Center investigators has led to the arrest of a Natchitoches Parish Detection Center Correctional Officer according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.

During the course of a lengthy investigation, investigators learned of suspected contraband being smuggled into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

On the 22nd of December, 2020, NPDC Investigators conducted a search of the facility and employees.

As a result, Melinda Faye County, an NPDC Corrections Officer, was taken into custody after the recovery of approximately 80 grams of suspected synthetic marijuana, Suboxone strips (a CDS schedule II narcotic), a large amount of tobacco and a cell phone. All of these items were intended to reach certain offenders within the facility.

Soon after the search was complete, County was charged with 3 counts of Introducing contraband into a Penal Institution and 1 count of Malfeasance in Office.

She was booked and placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center to await bond.

On the 24th of December she was released from NPDC on a $20,000 bond set by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge pending her court appearance.

This investigation is still ongoing and future arrests are pending at this time.

County had been employed at the detention center for approximately three months.

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Parish closures for New Years

All Parish Government offices will be closed Friday, January 1, 2021 for New Year’s Day. The Parish landfill and bin sites will also be closed Friday. Questions about Parish closures may be directed to the Parish Government offices at (318) 352-2714.

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Notice of Death – December 28, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Ruthie Lee Fisher
December 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 2 at 10 am at the Goodwill Baptist Church on Holmes Street in Natchitoches

Ruby Lee Hicks
December 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Alice Oliver
December 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jennifer Robinson
December 8, 1972 – December 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Linda Dickerson
Service: Tuesday, December 29 at 11 am at Saint Savior Baptist Church

Jayen Smith
September 11, 2001 – December 23, 2020
Service: Arrangements TBA

Joseph Antee
December 22, 2020
Service: Tuesday, December 29 at 11 am at the St. Augustine Catholic Church of Isle Brevelle

Willie Brown
January 8, 1965 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Bobby Jean Parker
August 9, 1955 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

McTavish Raymond
June 22, 1972 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sophia Willoughby Washington
December 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

WINN:
Brenda Haddox Etheridge
January 10, 1949 – December 24, 2020
Service: Thursday, December 31 at 10 am at First Baptist Church

Janet Brookins
August 26, 1957 – December 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Shirley Ann Coleman
July 19, 1952 – December 24, 2020
Service: Wednesday December 30 at 1 pm at the chapel of Kinner and Stevens funeral home in Jena

RED RIVER:
Mary Lucille Williams
August 26, 1955 – December 25, 2020
Service: Wednesday, December 30 at 2 pm at Bethany Cemetery

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Hold Them Close

By Kevin Shannahan

This Christmas Eve, I photographed each of our church’s three services. It made for a busy, but rewarding day given to contemplation during the downtime. As I have reached an age in which there is more in the rearview mirror than in the road ahead, events like this take on a particular significance. Age may, or may not, bring wisdom, but it does provide perspective, and if one is fortunate, understanding.

The Christmas season, perhaps more than any other, involves togetherness as family members and children return home, often from the first time in their lives that they have lived away from home. Over the years, I have enjoyed seeing young people whom I either taught or who were in my Scout Troop starting their journeys into adulthood and doing good things with their lives. I have been introduced to their wives or girlfriends, been to a few weddings, heard of their first jobs and college studies and seen some of their own families. The transformation over the course of a few years is a joy to see and it has been a singular honor to have played a part in it, however small.

As I sat in church, I thought of the past 26 years that I have lived in Louisiana, 25 of them not in the original plan. I must say it has been an eventful, and rewarding, time. I met my wife and married into a wonderful family. Our grandchildren have grown from babies to toddlers to young adults, seemingly in the blink of an eye. While I dearly miss chasing them around the house making dinosaur noises, I am equally looking forward to seeing their adult lives start to unfold.

My late father-in-law, a father, husband, grandfather and great grandfather, veteran and pillar of his family, church and community, will always be an example to me of what a husband-and man-should be. I am a far better man for having known him. Likewise, my first civilian job teaching in the Red River Parish schools gave me much more than I realized at the time, a chance to be of service, leave a situation a bit better than I found it and to be a part of something important. I owe them much, not the least of which was meeting the assistant principal of Springville Middle School, the woman who ruined my plan to leave Louisiana.

Many of my former students and Scouts have gone on to join the military. They are doing the hard and dangerous work of keeping our nation’s enemies at bay. Like their fellow soldiers, airmen and marines, some will be able to make it home for the holidays and some will not be able to. They may be soldiers, airmen, marines and fellow veterans, but I still see the youngsters they were when I had them in the classroom or in the Scout Troop.

The holiday season brings togetherness and allows us to take satisfaction in the passage of time. It shows us the truism of the fact that we raise our children for other people. One day, that toddler who loved nothing more than to be chased around the house by a monster (with the bonus of the noise annoying her grandmother no end) will become a superb young woman in her own right. Those young men in your Scout Troop will leave and go on to do good things, having found that the Scout Law is a good foundation for a worthy life.

As the season draws to a close, enjoy every minute! There is still much good in this world and it is up to us to preserve and build upon it as much as we are able.

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Lady Demons begin lengthy road swing at No. 9 Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – After a short couple days at home for Christmas, Northwestern State will make its home on the road for nearly a month beginning Monday night.

The Lady Demons (0-4) begin a stretch of five consecutive and eight of their next nine games on the road that include seven Southland Conference games. The long road stretch begins with the final non-conference game of the season and the second against a top 10 opponent in No. 9 Texas A&M (8-0).

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Reed Arena and can be heard live on 92.3 FM The Fox with steaming audio available at http://www.nsudemons.com.

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Despite a huge third quarter surge and career-high performances from sophomores Anessa Dussette and Tristen Washington, the Lady Demons were not able to maintain the momentum into the final period in their most recent outing, a 73-58 home loss to Mississippi Valley State.

Dussette leads the Lady Demons in scoring after her 20-point effort, the first of her career, at 14.0 per game with Washington right behind with 13.8 per game.

A couple days off after the game and a chance to, as first-year head coach Anna Nimz put it, “fill their bucket,” with family time and friends proved helpful for the Lady Demons as they returned to campus and preparation for not only Texas A&M but the upcoming conference slate.

“We had a great day one back after break,” Nimz said. “There was focused energy, and the effort was there. We didn’t back it up with a great second day, but we’ll take this bus ride to focus, get to A&M this evening and get an additional workout there.”

Focus, effort and discipline have been the cornerstone of development for Nimz through the first four games, and that remains the same entering Monday’s game.

“We’re continuing to focus on us,” Nimz said. “Play with poise and be disciplined in all we do. It’s about the details, details, details.”

The Aggies have had the same break between games as NSU, picking up a 57-53 win over Rice in their last game a week ago. The win pushed them into the top 10 for the first time this season and creates the second top 10 matchup of the season for the Lady Demons. It is the first time since the 2014-15 season NSU faces multiple teams ranked in the top 10 after player No. 7 Baylor on Dec. 18.

Senior forward N’dea Jones and guard Aaliyah Wilson lead the undefeated Aggies averaging a combined 27.7 points and 16.0 rebounds a game. Jones has recorded double-doubles in five of A&M’s eight games this year and has scored 10 points or had 10 rebounds in all but one game so far.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

The Ford Law Firm Offers Legal Representation You Can Trust

For anyone in need of legal representation in family or criminal cases, Samantha Ford is taking on new clients in Natchitoches Parish and other parishes in Louisiana.

Ms. Ford received her Juris Doctorate degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge after graduating from Northwestern State University with a degree in political science.

Ms. Ford didn’t always know she was going to practice law. She was working in the records division department for the Natchitoches City Police Department when she developed a passion for law and decided to turn her passion into reality.

After becoming admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 2006, Ms. Ford worked for Legal Services of North Louisiana in Natchitoches Parish for seven years where she primarily handled family law cases. After leaving the agency in 2013, Ms. Ford worked as a public defender representing numerous clients in misdemeanors, felonies, as well as child-in-need of care cases. When the time came to work for herself, Ms. Ford decided to start the Ford Law Firm.

Ms. Ford focuses her practice primarily on family and criminal law, although she handles other civil matters on occasion.

When it comes to domestic cases, Ms. Ford says, “I have a special affinity toward my clients,” “I hate to see parents being denied the right to see their children without compelling reasons to warrant such. Divorce and custody battles can be traumatic for everyone involved and children caught in the middle should have a right to a relationship with both parents unless there is physical or sexual abuse involved.”

When it comes to clients facing criminal charges, Ms. Ford suggests that clients employ competent counsel as soon as possible to ensure that their constitutional rights are protected and that their cases are not just “dragging” along in an often flawed criminal justice system. Ms. Ford further believes that in certain cases, incarceration is not always the answer, and that in many circumstances rehabilitation works.

Ms. Ford often offers payment plans for her clients because she understands how litigating cases can often be expensive.

Initial consultations are free.

“I know what it feels like to want someone to help you out during such a stressful situation,” she said. “You want a competent attorney who will listen to you and help you through each step. I like to form relationships with my clients so they feel they can trust me.”

Obtaining great results for her client’s is Ms. Ford’s number one goal, although she can never guarantee the final outcome for her clients in any case. However, her passion for fairness and justice lies in knowing at the end of the day that she’s done everything possible to fight for her client.

For more information call (318) 527-3968, email sfward1977@gmail.com, or reach out to the Ford Law Firm on Facebook.

Testimonial:

Dear Samantha,
I want to say, “thank you,” for resolving my custody battle case quickly. I was completely dazzled by your communication skills and courage at the court hearing. I was blown away by your integrity and all the hard work you did on my behalf. I will always be grateful for all your effort.You worked tirelessly to ensure the best outcome on my behalf and I can’t thank you enough.

I want to thank you for all the excellent work you did as my attorney. I know you have other clients, so you prompt response and attention to detail really meant a lot to me. Thank you for representing me and winning my custody case.

– Shaquanna W.

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PUBLIC NOTICE – NATCHITOCHES TAX COMMISSION CHANGE NOTICE

Effective January 1, 2021: Sales and Use Tax Changes for Natchitoches Parish

As of January 1, 2021 there will be a one percent (1%) decrease in sales tax for the following areas of Natchitoches Parish:

Natchitoches Parish 3.0%
Village of Clarence 4.0%
Village of Natchez 4.0%
Town of Campti 4.5%
Village of Robeline 4.0%

The changes affect columns A, C, D, E, and F on the sales tax form.

A new column for the City of Natchitoches, Economic Development District “D” (BD), is being added to the sales tax return located on Keyser Avenue at 6.5%.

The changes DO NOT affect the City of Natchitoches, for columns B (City of Natchitoches), BA (Economic Development District A), or BC (Economic Development District C).

For those businesses outside the city limits of Natchitoches, make certain you notify your vendors of the tax decrease and use the new sales tax form January 1, 2021. The new form will be sent out before the end of the year. DO NOT file online until the changes have been made in the systems. Mail in your returns and payments for January, February and March.

Any questions concerning the implementation of these tax changes should be directed to:

Jerry W. McWherter, Administrator
Natchitoches Tax Commission
318-357-8871

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Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame welcomes LHSAA attendees to Natchitoches

As excited supporters of the state’s high school football championship finalists travel to Natchitoches for their teams’ big game at the LHSAA Prep Classic which began Sunday, there’s an opportunity to enjoy more lifelong memories at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Nine state championship contests will unfold in Turpin Stadium on the Northwestern State campus in Natchitoches from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday night. Just a mile north of the stadium is historic downtown Natchitoches, where the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum is located at 800 Front Street on the north end at the traffic circle.

The museum will be open throughout the Prep Classic with its standard operating hours of 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., said local museum branch manager Jennae Biddiscombe. It is ordinarily closed on Sundays and Mondays, but pivoted to provide opportunity to provide access to Prep Classic visitors.

Admission fees are quite affordable and discounted by $1 for anyone who mentions they’re attending the Prep Classic. Regular admission is $6 for adults, with seniors, military and students at $5. Children 6 and under are free.

Museum capacity under pandemic protocols is 250 people. Groups can be no larger than eight family members. For questions, call the museum at 318-357-2492.

The two-story, 27,000-square foot museum opened in 2013 and was immediately hailed as the year’s best new architectural project in the world by an industry publication, with an addition to the Louvre in Paris as the runner up in a top 10 that included no other building in North America.

Visitors will enjoy a tremendous array of exhibits prepared by the Louisiana State Museum professionals spotlighting both the 433 members of the Hall of Fame and telling the story of Louisiana’s sports culture in language sure to please avid fans and inform those who aren’t as passionate about sports.

The Northwest Louisiana History Museum is showcased on a third of the second-floor display, telling the story of Louisiana’s oldest permanent settlement and the surrounding area..

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Ben D. Johnson Educational Center Receives $30,000 Grant from International Paper

Funding will support the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, (BDJ Center) received a $30,000 grant from International Paper. The BDJ Center is a pillar in the west Natchitoches community that provides young adults with a path out of poverty. Funds will be used for the Legacy Youth Workforce Development which supports young people ages 17-24 who are out of work and out of school by providing career development, life and leadership skills, and culinary training with support to overcome barriers to employment. Specifically, this grant will be used to create a learning lab in the Legacy garden, provide technology and software to enrich student’s educational/ distant learning, purchase COVID related supplies for students and provide scholarships for students who need and want the training, but may not qualify for federal funding. The BDJ Center is asking for community support to help get the word out about this training opportunity. Students receive a stipend in the amount of $25 a day while training and receive two meals daily.

“The most valuable things I have learned while being in the program are professionalism, communication, and so many life skills,” said Brittney Hamilton, a graduate of the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program. “It was tough to find a job without work experience or hands-on training, but now that I have those things, it really is a game changer. Now I have references, training, as well as my ServSafe Certification which has helped me out a lot in finding a job.”

The BDJ Center is currently recruiting students for their next class which starts February 1, 2020, and is asking the community to help spread the word. To learn more about the center and the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program, call (318) 460-7460.

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Obit: Linda Dickerson

A memorial service will be held for Linda Dickerson at 11:00am on Tuesday, December 29 at Saint Savior Baptist Church.

Linda was born the baby girl in a large, jovial family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 10, 1953 to Samuel and Ola Mae Franklin who both preceded her in death, along with siblings Rosetta Williams, Dorothy Stewart, Benjamin Franklin, Nolen Franklin, David Franklin, Dennis Franklin, Marvin Franklin, and Carl Franklin.

She married her high-school sweetheart, James “Bunny” Dickerson. The life partners shared 48 years filled with love, laughter, and road trips visiting family and friends, and exploring the cultures and cuisines the country had to offer.

Together, they raised one daughter, Felicia Dickerson, and set an example of unconditional love, endurance in the face of adversity, and laughter as healing medicine.

As a teenager, Linda took a job at a dry cleaners and worked diligently and with integrity in every position she held until her retirement after 16 years of service at the Church Street Inn in Natchitoches.

Linda is survived and fondly remembered by her husband James, daughter Felicia, her sisters DeLois Chapman and Shirley Sanderfer, brothers James Franklin, Olen Franklin, and Bobby Franklin and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and good friends.

 

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CITY OF NATCHITOCHES: OPPORTUNITY- MAINTENANCE MECHANIC I

Position: Water & Sewer Department – Maintenance Mechanic I

Description: Performs a variety of semi-skilled maintenance work and operates a variety of equipment in the construction, operation, repair, maintenance, and replacement of City water, sewer and storm drainage facilities and systems.

Qualifications: Must be able to acquire a LA Water or Sewer Operator Certification. Applicants that already have certification are preferred and will be eligible for an increased pay rate.

Contact: City of Natchitoches Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St., or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches LA 71458-0037. Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall located at 700 Second St, Natchitoches, LA or you can download an application at http://www.natchitochesla.gov

Deadline: Applications will be accepted through January 6, 2021.

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

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Notice of Death – December 27, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Ruby Lee Hicks
December 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Alice Oliver
December 24, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jennifer Robinson
December 8, 1972 – December 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Linda Dickerson
Service: Tuesday, December 29 at 11 am at Saint Savior Baptist Church

Jayen Smith
September 11, 2001 – December 23, 2020
Service: Arrangements TBA

Lois Kerry
January 21, 1961 – December 20, 2020
Service: Monday, December 28 at 12 pm at Emmanuel Cemetery, located at 2260 Emmanuel Road in Chopin

Joseph Antee
December 22, 2020
Service: Tuesday, December 29 at 11 am at the St. Augustine Catholic Church of Isle Brevelle

Willie Brown
January 8, 1965 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Bobby Jean Parker
August 9, 1955 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

McTavish Raymond
June 22, 1972 – December 21, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Sophia Willoughby Washington
December 15, 2020
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Lester Anderson Savell of Florien, Louisiana
March 24, 1927 – December 26, 2020
Service: Monday, December 28 at 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Cemetery (ward 2) in Florien

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Merry Christmas???

We greet each other with “Merry Christmas” this time of year. And we end conversations with the same greeting. But why? Why say this and do we mean it?

But have you ever stopped to wonder where the phrase “Merry Christmas” actually comes from? After all, for most other holidays, we use the word “happy.” In a world where “Happy Easter” and “Happy Birthday” are the norm, that “merry” part of “Merry Christmas” is unique—to say the least.
No one is entirely certain of the answer, but there are several interesting theories.

A scan of the internet brings up these interesting thoughts:

For starters, it’s important to note that “Happy Christmas” hasn’t faded completely—it’s still widely used in England. This is believed to be because “happy” took on a higher class connotation than “merry,” which was associated with the rowdiness of the lower classes. The royal family adopted “Happy Christmas” as their preferred greeting, and others took note. (In fact, each year, Queen Elizabeth continues to wish her citizens a “Happy Christmas,” rather than a merry one.)

From Wonderopolis:

Historians and linguists can’t pinpoint for sure exactly why we tend to use Merry Christmas. The greeting dates back to at least 1534 in London, when it was written in a letter sent to Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell from bishop John Fisher. Scholars also note the phrase was used in the 16th century English carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

From NBC News:

Today, however, the practice of using “Merry Christmas” is a fraught one. The choice between sticking with the traditional salutation or the more politically correct “Happy Holidays” is riven by differences in ideology, age, geography and gender. The person most likely to insist on “Merry Christmas” would be a Republican man over 60 who lives in the Midwest; the archetypal “Happy Holidays” proponent is a young (18 to 29) female Democrat living in the Northeast.

The political gap can be particularly large: A 2016 Public Religion Research Institute survey found, for example, that in response to the question, “Do you think stores and businesses should greet their customers with ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Seasons Greetings’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ out of respect for people of different faiths, or not?” 67 percent of Republicans said “No” and 66 percent of Democrats said “Yes.”

After thinking all this over and putting aside all the “political correctness” one may choose to follow, Merry Christmas is the preferred greeting of many folks in our area. Underlying there may be a desire to acknowledge the birth of Jesus or Immanuel. After all the angels announced to the shepherds that cold night that “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 1:10-11 NRSV).”

And that is the reason we celebrate. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Natchitoches’ FUMC Holds an Eclectic Blend of Christmas Eve Services

From “Christmas Eve: Beer & Hymns” at a local Brewery to the traditional candlelight service and a contemporary style service, families had an eclectic range of choices this Christmas Eve at Natchitoches’ First United Methodist Church. For the traditional candlelight service, the church was illuminated by handmade candelabras made by expert woodworker Tommy Covington. FUMC Choir Director, Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, was joined by his wife Whitney Cummins in leading the congregation in “Silent Night”. The couple also each performed several solos during the service. Roxanne Lane was the organist. FUMC Pastor Gary Willis led all three services. Both services at FUMC concluded with the congregation singing “Silent Night” as they left the sanctuary with lighted candles.

Families from First United Methodist Church were joined by community members for the second “Christmas Eve: Beer and Hymns” held at a local Brewery. The congregation sang hymns, listened to scripture readings and stayed afterwards for fellowship.

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