NHDDC discusses ‘Parade Your Valentine,’ Pub Crawl, other upcoming events

The first meeting of the new year for the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) was full of tentative hope as the representatives from different offices and organizations as they discussed upcoming events.

Natchitoches Main Street Office Director Jill Leo summed it up best when she said, “We’re in a new year, but we’re still not out of the woods yet.” She shared that her office still has some events on its calendar.

Since everyone is disappointed with the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade this year, Leo shared that in conjunction with “Go Natchitoches” and “Shop Local” efforts a campaign will be rolled out for Feb. 13 called “Parade Your Valentine.” So far the plan includes live music spread across the downtown area from 10 am – 5 pm with restaurants scheduling music for the evening hours. Specials are being planned at the restaurants and there might even be a second line parading on the sidewalk. More information will be released soon.

Leo also hopes to get the empty shop windows on the South end of Front Street repainted with a spring theme soon.

The news from Northwestern State University was good as classes are back in session with flex scheduling. A lot of campus life is going on and they’re starting to plan events safely with a 75 person maximum limit for on campus events.

N-Side View Day is coming up on March 6, which correlates with a home football game. There’s five other sporting events scheduled on that day as well. Homecoming is scheduled for March 20.

The final numbers for the Christmas Festival aren’t in yet but it wasn’t as bad as some feared it might be due to the pandemic. According to the Historic District Business Association (HDBA), the lighted boat parade created a lot of interest. Closing front street and using more technology at the booths worked really well and may be something to look at for future years.

News from the Tourist Office included fishing tournaments slated to happen at Grand Ecore landing in February. One is a high school bass tournament on Feb. 5-6 and the other is an adult tournament on Feb. 26-28. The Cane River Film Festival is also looking at holding its event on March 19-20.

Cane River Creole National Historic Park will illuminate Oakland Plantation on Feb. 20 and Magnolia Plantation on Feb. 27 in honor of black history month.

The Cane River National Heritage Area is continuing its walking tours in the historic district and Los Adaes hosted its first field trip since February, 2020.

The Natchitoches Historic Foundation (NHF) reported that its Christmas Tour of Homes was successful with people coming out despite the rainy weather.

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) is planning a membership reception at Melrose in the spring. Tours at Melrose are suspended on Thursdays starting Feb. 1. This is a temporary measure as they’re not seeing many people visiting on this day of the week. Vendors are still showing a really big interest in the annual arts and crafts festival so APHN plans on having it.

Upcoming events include:

Feb. 27 – Pub Crawl with the Holo Decks Concert
March 6 – Reading on the River
March 13 – Bloomin’ on the Bricks and CAPA on the Cane
March 13 – Home and Garden Expo at the Events Center
April 16 – NSU Steel Band Concert
April 25 – NSU Band: Concert on the Cane
May 21-22 – Jazz R&B Festival
June 17-19 – Lady Anglers Bass Tournament
June 25 – Sports Hall of Fame Induction


Guillory Scholarship Concert to be held Saturday

The annual Guillory Scholarship Concert for Vocal Excellence will be held at Northwestern State University on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The recital is open to NSU faculty, students and staff. The audience is limited to 70 with masks and social distancing required. The recital will be live streamed at capa.nsula.edu/livestream.

Eleven NSU students, who were nominated by vocal faculty, will perform to determine the recipients of the Guillory Scholarship for 2021-22. The students are Landry Allen, Valentina Herazo Alvarez, Matthew Armand, Jayvian Bush, Emilie Comeaux, Kylie Dornbush, Beth Olin, Caleb Pearson, Dara Elisabeth Pressley, Emily Saldivar and Jaeli Williams. At least two recipients will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship in the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semester.

The scholarship was established by Megan Guillory, a former vocal and choir student at Northwestern State, in 2016 after she attended an event honoring long-time Director of Choral Activities Dr. Burt Allen. Her desire to reward talented students led to the establishment of talent-based scholarships to benefit students majoring in vocal performance. She worked with voice faculty in the School of Creative and Performing Arts to set up the scholarship. The faculty audition students who seek the award.


New Miss Northwestern – Lady of the Bracelet hopes to inspire youth to study technology

JirNeicia Ward made the decision it was now or never. And saying now was the time led to her being named as the 63rd Miss Northwestern – Lady of the Bracelet at Northwestern State University. Ward, a senior computer information systems major from Bossier City, will represent the university at this summer’s Miss Louisiana Pageant in Monroe.

Meghan Woods of Monroe was first runner up, Alana Lewis of Haughton was second runner up and Sarah Shiflett of Covington was third runner up. Woods won the talent competition. Shiflett won the Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award and Chileigh Mitchell of Lafayette won the Liz Carroll People’s Choice Award and Miss Congeniality Award.

“There are lots of things that I wanted to do and accomplish during my college career,” said Ward, a graduate of Airline High School. “I was a junior at the time of applying for LOB and was running out of time in college. During the fall 2020 semester, I took every opportunity that I came across because I felt like it was either now or never.”

Ward is a lieutenant in the Demon Dazzlers and has been in the Dazzlers for three years. She will be an orientation leader in the university’s Freshman Connection program this summer.

Ward’s social impact initiative is to “Inspire an Innovative Youth in Technology.”

She became interested in technology through a mini camp and noticed the area offers few opportunities for those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Throughout grade school, I did receive invitations to several academic conferences, summer STEM programs, and trainings. However, I was not able to take the opportunities in Florida, California, or D.C.,” said Ward. “I knew that developing technology was something that I wanted to be involved in, but I had very little exposure to it growing up. I felt unprepared for future studies in the field.”

She did not let that stop her from enrolling in Northwestern State’s highly regarded computer information systems program.

“I didn’t give up,” said Ward. “I progressed. I am nearing completion of my B.S. in CIS. Now, I want to give others the exposure I didn’t have. I want to create opportunities for the youth to get involved with technology in order to inspire them to be rising developers.”

Few first-time pageant competitors have won the Miss Northwestern – Lady of the Bracelet Pageant in recent history including some who have later been top five finishers at the Miss Louisiana Pageant. Going through the preparation process for the pageant helped Ward gain confidence.

“As I got to know some of the other candidates who have competed before. I would think ‘They’re used to competing. They’ve won pageants before. They must know all of the in’s and out’s to be able to breeze through this pageant,’” said Ward. “As I learned more about what Lady of the Bracelet actually is, embraced my uniqueness, and became more passionate about the impact that I want to have, I became more confident in myself to do well in the pageant.”

Ward said events of the last 12-18 months also inspired her to compete.

“Considering recent events, I truly feel I am great for representing the university,” said Ward. “It takes so much more strength, understanding, and determination now to just get through the basics of life. As a young, black woman, those are definitely dominant qualities that I have. I have seen peers and people around me struggling and stressing way more than usual; myself included. I kept pushing through the struggles and kept taking opportunities that were presented. I want to reassure people that great things can still happen now.”

She said it is important to her to represent Northwestern State on a statewide stage.

“Northwestern is a great university, and every Demon here has so much potential that is being hindered by the continuing effects of 2020,” said Ward. “I can use my success stories to encourage and inspire others.”

Ward plans to graduate in May 2022. She is applying to Officer Training School in the U.S. Air Force.

“As I serve the country, I want to work on achieving my masters in video game development so that I can move straight into that after,” she said. “Along the way, I want to continue working on ways to impact and benefit others.”

Ward will be joined at the Miss Louisiana Pageant by 2020 Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet Madeleine Hensley, who will be Miss Pride of NSU. Last year’s Miss Louisiana Pageant was cancelled due to pandemic and those who qualified were given the opportunity to compete in this year’s pageant. Current NSU student Joy Davis of Minden will be competing as Miss Minden.

 


Hoopla Highlights from the Library

The Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) is your go-to place for no cost entertainment! Whether you use the library’s physical services or online checkout options, all Natchitoches Parish residents have access to a free library card, opening a world of possibilities. An NPL card gives patrons access to check-out online, anytime, via the Hoopla app. Now that you know how to access thousands of books, movies, tv shows, comics, music, and audio-books to download or stream, here are a few highlights.

“The Queen’s Gambit,” (e-Audiobook) by Scarlett Walter Tevis, read by Amy Landon: Engaging and fast-paced, this gripping coming-of-age novel of chess, feminism, and addiction speeds to a conclusion as elegant and satisfying as a mate in four.

Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is, until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she is competing for the US Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting.

“Little Italy” (2018 Movie, R), starring Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts: The director of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Miss Congeniality” cooks up a sizzling comedy about two lifelong pals whose romance is threatened by their parents’ rival pizzerias.

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold,” (e-Book) by Toshikazu Kawaguchi: What would you change if you could travel back in time?

Down a small alleyway in the heart of Tokyo, there is an underground café that’s been serving carefully brewed coffee for over a hundred years. Local legend says that this shop offers its customers something else besides coffee-the chance to travel back in time.

The rules, however, are far from simple: you must sit in one particular seat, and you can’t venture outside the café, nor can you change the present. And, most important, you only have the time it takes to drink a hot cup of coffee-or risk getting stuck forever.

Over the course of one summer, four customers visit the café in the hopes of traveling to another time: a heartbroken lover looking for closure, a nurse with a mysterious letter from her husband, a waitress hoping to say one last goodbye and a mother whose child she may never get the chance to know.

Heartwarming, wistful and delightfully quirky, “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” explores the intersecting lives of four women who come together in one extraordinary café, where the service may not be quick, but the opportunities are endless.

Download the Hoopla app today for Android, iOS, FireTV, Roku, or AppleTV to checkout any of these items. For more information about this service from the NPL, call 318-357-3280.  Support is available over the phone or in-person for setting up digital checkout services.


Notice of Death – January 27, 2021

NATCHITOCHES:
Ryan Brown
December 12, 1990 – January 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Marquita Nash
December 21, 1985 – January 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Eddie Ray Pikes
May 25, 1952 – January 21, 2021
Service: Thursday, January 28 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Julia Rowzee
June 29, 1941 – January 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, January 30 at 10 am at Mt. Zion Cemetery near Montgomery

Ola Henderson
January 23, 2021
Service: Sunday, January 31 at 1:30 pm at the North Star Baptist Church in Powhatan

Edward West
February 1, 1964 – January 20, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carla Phillips
January 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, January 30 at 1 pm in the chapel of the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

SABINE:
Tommy Ray Byles
December 23, 1943 – January 27, 2021
Service: Friday, January 29 at 12 pm at Mt. Freedom Cemetery

WINN:
John Owen Jordan
September 21, 1932 – January 25, 2021
Service: Thursday, January 28 at 1 pm at Big Creek Baptist Church

Billy E. Bailey
May 10, 1948 – January 24, 2021
Service: Thursday January 28, at 2 pm in the Chapel of Kinner & Stevens

Wanda “Cookie” Kay Saucier
January 23, 1950 – January 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Progress Update: Reopening Boys and Girls Club in Natchitoches

Plans to bring the Boys and Girls Club back to Natchitoches were first mentioned at a Jan. 12 City Council meeting as an agenda item was introduced to execute a contract with the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana. Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. met with the President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana, Missy Bienvenu Andrade, on Jan. 26, along with local board members to discuss the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City of Natchitoches and the Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana. They also discussed fundraising efforts as the groups move in a direction to reopen the Boys and Girls Club in Natchitoches, which closed its doors on Jan. 19, 2019.

Stay tuned for more updates and information regarding the future reopening!

Magnolia Minute: Natchitoches Parish Library

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
magnoliaminute.npj@gmail.com
318-354-4000 #6

Natchitoches man receives 140 year sentence for 2016 robbery of Southern Classic

Tenth Judicial District Court Judge Lala Sylvester rendered a 140 year criminal sentence on Jan. 26 for Deontay DeShun Hardy, 30 of Natchitoches. The consecutive sentence includes 95 years in prison for armed robbery and 45 years for attempted armed robbery.

Two unanimous jury convictions were announced on Oct. 16, 2020 as the result of a 2016 robbery of Southern Classic Fried Chicken in Natchitoches.

Hardy was convicted of robbing a father with his children in their vehicle in the restaurant’s parking lot. He proceeded inside and held a gun on an employee while demanding the safe be opened. Gunshots were fired inside the restaurant causing windows to shatter. Hardy fled the scene and was apprehended several blocks away by Natchitoches Police Department officers after a foot chase.


NPSO accepting applications for Reserve Academy through February 3

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office will accept Reserve Deputy applications beginning on January 21, 2021, and ending February 3, 2021. Reserve Deputies work in conjunction with regular Deputy Sheriffs and perform various duties, including augmenting patrol deputies and working special events.

The Reserve Unit is a voluntary unit comprised of Natchitoches Parish Citizens that supplements the Sheriff’s Office’s regular operations by providing patrol functions, working at various community events, and several other assignments.

The NPSO Reserve Unit is a voluntary unit comprised of Natchitoches Parish Citizens who have completed the application process and the NPSO Reserve Academy.

Minimum Qualifications:

· At a minimum, reserves
· Be at least 21 years of age,
· Have a high school diploma or equivalency;
· Have no felony, drug, or domestic violence convictions;
· Pass all required pre-employment screenings;
· Possess a valid Louisiana driver’s license
· Be in good physical condition

Candidates must also complete the NPSO Reserve Academy, held Monday through Friday from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

If you are interested in applying and have any questions, please contact Cpt. Jesse Taitano or Sgt. Mathew Robertson at 357-7856. For more information or to apply please go to npsheriff.org and click on careers.


Prince of Peace

By Brad Dison

On April 28, 1956, Reverend Donald P. Schneider, a graduate of Northwestern Lutheran Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, made it his mission to create a new church in North Hollywood, California. Building a church from scratch, even with the support of the United Lutheran Church, was an enormous task. Before constructing a dedicated building for worship, Schneider had to build a congregation. Before building a congregation, Schneider needed a building in which a congregation could gather. Reverend Schneider’s predicament was reminiscent of the old catch 22 in which you cannot get a credit card unless you have credit, but you need a credit card to establish credit. Schneider began searching for a place for his potential parishioners to meet. He needed a local space which was large enough for his congregation to grow. After a thorough search, Schneider located a company who had a spacious building and agreed to allow him to hold church services.

On September 9, a handful of curiosity-seekers gathered at the temporary church for the first time. They held Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., followed by a 10:45 a.m. worship service. At the worship service, Schneider explained his plans for the new church. The small congregation was enthusiastic. On the following Sunday, Schneider noticed that there were a few more people in the congregation. On each subsequent Sunday, the number of people in the congregation grew.

By December, the congregation had grown from just a handful of parishioners to over seventy. At the Sunday service held on December 2, the congregation took one more step towards becoming official. Seventy-one people signed the organizational charter as charter members of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. With help from the United Lutheran Church, the congregation had purchased four acres of land for the new church site. At the time the congregation signed the organizational charter, construction workers had already begun leveling the ground in preparation for the church’s building.

By January of 1957, leveling and grading of the building site was completed. The congregation formed several new church groups including an adult choir, Luther League for children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, adult instruction classes, and a committee to oversee the church building’s design, construction, and administration. By September, on the church’s first anniversary, the congregation numbered more than 200 members.

At a ceremony held on February 9, the congregation officially broke ground on the chapel. Construction on the building was slow because the congregation paid construction costs upfront when funds were available. When funds ran out, construction stopped. To speed up construction, the congregation held a banquet and started a fund drive to help pay for constructions costs. Most people in attendance donated generously. For over a year, construction started and stopped in a seemingly endless cycle.

In May of 1958, the Prince of Peace congregation had another unfortunate setback. Workers of the company where the congregation held their temporary worship services went on strike. The congregation searched unsuccessfully for another suitable place to hold their worship services while the strike was being negotiated. Construction on the church building had begun, but it was little more than a partially framed building. The congregation agreed to postpone Sunday school classes until the strike was over. They were determined not to postpone the worship services, however, and decided to gather in the open-air construction site. The Mother’s Day service was plagued with a light rain and large gusts of wind. Although the building site had no roof and the congregation’s clothing soaked up the rain, they were undeterred. They simply ignored the weather. Reverend Schneider fumbled only momentarily when a large gust of wind blew his prepared sermon away. Taking the situation in stride, the congregation chuckled. With a warm and gentle smile, Reverend Schneider continued his sermon from memory. The reverend expected the strike and the open-air services to lower attendance. To his surprise, attendance increased. Donations to the building fund drive increased as well. Within weeks, the strike ended and the congregation resumed having Sunday school and worship services inside in their previous venue. It seemed as though the congregation had passed some sort of divine test.

At 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 31, 1958, the congregation held a dedication service for the newly completed building. On the following Sunday morning, September 7, the congregation held its first regularly scheduled Sunday service in the new chapel. Reverend Schneider had succeeded in his mission of building a church from scratch.

For almost two years, Reverend Schneider and the congregation of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church had held their worship and Sunday school services in the most unsuspecting of places. At their last worship service in the temporary venue, Reverend Schneider presented a plaque which bore an inscription of their gratitude to the company for allowing them a place to hold their worship services. In his sermon, Reverend Schneider said, “This morning we close a chapter on the history of our mission congregation. We have worshiped here and, through this experience, we have formed many new friends, and God has given to us many new joys and blessings… We have worshiped in a strange place. We have seen strange events. Let us be a strange people of whom others beholding us say ‘See how they love one another!’” The “strange place” in which the congregation worshiped was the Anheuser-Busch Corporation’s Budweiser Beer tap room and cafeteria.

For more Real Stories about Real People …with a Twist, get your copy of “Remember This?” wherever books are sold.

Sources:
1. Valley Times (North Hollywood, California), August 29, 1956, p.7.
2. Valley News (Van Nuys, California), November 15, 1956, p.36.
3. Valley News (Van Nuys, California), December 6, 1956, p.56.
4. Valley News (Van Nuys, California), January 31, 1957, p.78.
5. Valley Times (North Hollywood, California), September 7, 1957, p.7.
6. Valley Times (North Hollywood, California), February 8, 1958, p.9.
7. Valley News (Van Nuys, California), May 8, 1958, p.93.
8. Valley News (Van Nuys, California), May 22, 1958, p.53.
9. The Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California), August 28, 1958, p.88.
10. The Los Angeles Times, September 1, 1958, p.67.


Demons tabbed sixth in SLC preseason poll

The revised Southland Conference preseason football poll was not kind to the Northwestern State football team.

That’s fine by head coach Brad Laird.

The Demons were slotted sixth out of seven Southland teams that will begin a fall season next month after not playing this past fall. The poll was a combination of votes from league coaches and sports information directors.

Northwestern State collected a total of 20 points, finishing ahead of Lamar. Nicholls was chosen to win the league, collecting seven first-place votes and 67 total points, two more than Sam Houston, which nabbed six first-place votes.

From a historical standpoint, the Demons have outpaced their preseason predictions in each of Laird’s first two seasons.

“The last thing this team is focused on is preseason polls,” Laird said. “With what this team has been through with COVID, hurricanes, snow days, these guys have been able to adjust and adapt to anything. As preseason polls come out, this team will continue to adjust and adapt to the responsibility we have to be the best football team we can be.”

The Demons open their six-game spring season Feb. 20 at Lamar inside Provost Umphrey Stadium. Kickoff time will be announced.


Gentry’s triple-double lifts NSU over Louisiana Tech in long-awaited return

NSU 1 Autumn Gentry NSU 10 Audrey Quesnel LATech 15 Faith Menary

NATCHITOCHES – Both Autumn Gentry and the Northwestern State volleyball team made quite the first impression Tuesday night.

Playing her first match in a Lady Demon uniform, Gentry became the second player in NSU program history to produce a triple-double, helping lead Northwestern State to a 3-1 (25-17, 25-17, 16-25, 25-21) victory against Louisiana Tech.

Gentry finished with 11 kills, 15 assists and 12 digs, flashing a versatile game as Northwestern State took to the court for the first time since playing at Wyoming in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship on Dec. 5, 2019.

“I didn’t really know what to expect from tonight,” said Gentry, a New Mexico State transfer who joined Flavia Bela (twice) as the only players in school history to record a triple double. “I had high hopes for myself coming back and with everything going on with COVID. I was hoping to play my best.”

Gentry and the Lady Demons (1-0) started quickly Tuesday night, winning the first two sets in their first home match since Nov. 16, 2019. In those sets, Gentry had eight kills on as many swings, setting the tone for her stunning debut.

Northwestern State built on the momentum of a 11-3 run midway through the first set by racing to a 10-1 lead on a 6-0 service run from libero Haley Hoang, who had four aces in the spurt.

As a team, NSU tallied 12 errors against eight errors. On the flip side, Louisiana Tech (0-5) tallied four service aces against nine errors.

Hoang’s effort from the service line allowed NSU to cruise to their second straight 25-17 victory to open the match and put them in position to wrap things up quickly.

“As a server, you can get the other team out of system, which helps your defense,” Hoang said. “Hopefully, they’ll give you an easy ball back and help set up your offense.”

In addition to serving effectively in the second set, Northwestern State hit a blistering .414 in the set and survived Louisiana Tech’s .350 hitting percentage.

The Lady Techsters extended the match by taking advantage of an error-laden third set from the NSU offense, which hit -.091 in the third set. Despite a starting lineup that featured just two holdovers from the 2019 season, Northwestern State found itself able to overcome adversity in the final set thanks to both ends of its experience spectrum.

Senior Darria Williams powered the Lady Demons in the final set, scoring four of NSU’s final six points of the match as part of a six-kill final set.

“I couldn’t be happier with the result,” seventh-year head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We had so many new faces out there, so many new people standing next to each other, and it was good to see them settle down and control their errors early.

“Darria had a solid match (11 kills, .346 hitting percentage). That fourth set was phenomenal. She really took off. We didn’t have a high hitting percentage overall (.184), but we were smart when we needed to be, and Darria really put it away for us. Six kills on nine attempts (in the fourth set), that’s just fantastic.”

Northwestern State returns to action Thursday when it hosts Grambling in its final non-conference match of the spring at 6:30 p.m. inside Prather Coliseum.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


The Rising China Threat

Royal Alexander/Opinion

The Chinese Communist Party has made clear that it will do whatever it determines is necessary to win what it sees as an inevitable war with the U.S.

Economically, militarily, and geographically, the United States faces a stark and growing threat from China. We have known this for some time but recent examples of cyberterrorism, hacking, industrial espionage and the theft annually of hundreds of billions of dollars of intellectual property highlight this fact. (Over the last decade alone it is estimated that the Chinese government has stolen some $6 trillion of U.S. intellectual property).

President Trump should be highly commended for his America First agenda and for the aggressive and relentless reshaping of the trade relationship between the two countries to address the enormous and unfair trade deficit the U.S. has had with China. In fact, long before he was, or even contemplated becoming president, Donald Trump was sounding the alarm about Chinese economic aggression. The coronavirus crisis proved him correct when the United States and the world suddenly discovered how dependent we all are upon the Chinese supply chain for a wide variety of pharmaceuticals and other related products. This development underscores why it is so concerning that over the decades much of American manufacturing has left the U.S. and relocated in China.

As we reflect on our American history we can look back and recall that at one time it was both helpful and necessary—to protect American foreign policy and national security interests—to, diplomatically and strategically, align with China in order to bracket the former Soviet Union and check its international aggressions. However, that time is long past as we are now engaged in a similar cold war with China itself.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) cruel, dark, and repressive history (the CCP has executed over 100 million of its own people in the last century, as it now murders the Uyghurs in a campaign of genocide and brutally crushes the Christian faith—to say nothing of its one-child policy which has resulted in more than 500 million unborn babies slaughtered by abortion) has made clear that the CCP would not hesitate to create the Covid 19 virus in that Wuhan lab and then weaponize and release it across the world, doing the incalculable damage we continue to witness.

In many respects, various American administrations have greatly contributed to this problem by, for example, making enormous economic benefits available to China by granting “Most Favored Nation” trading status—as well as membership in the World Trade Organization. We have also tolerated the continued diminishment of our military power with respect to China while we, narrowly and shortsightedly, viewed America’s principal enemy to be Islamic terrorists in the Middle East as we prosecuted the War on Terror.

Although the Trump Administration strove mightily to “catch up” our depleted military we do not currently have the ability to militarily counter either the encroachment by the Chinese navy or the building of multiple military installations in the South China Sea. It is also unnerving to realize the Chinese military is presently developing an advanced fighter aircraft that will likely equal our best fighter aircraft.

The CCP has made clear that it will absolutely do whatever it determines is necessary to win what it sees as an inevitable war between itself and the U.S. This includes conventional—and even nuclear—warfare, terrorism, and biological, cyber, economic, data and political warfare. The U.S. simply has no choice but to begin to plan aggressively to rebuff this multifaceted threat to America’s safety, security, and viability.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

Becoming a Citizen—The Golden Rule

Curtis R. Joseph, Jr./Opinion

In 1954, Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding, published his highly regarded novel, Lord of the Flies. The story is set against the backdrop of an unspecified war and chronicles the plight of a marooned group of British schoolboys, who must establish a framework of governance to survive on an isolated, remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Free from adult supervision, the boys initially bask in their freedom; however, the group soon splits into two factions—one seeking to adhere to the discipline and order that had been instilled within them by society, and the other opting to pursue basic instinct and impulse.

In many respects, the novel is a microcosm of our society. By that, it examines the conflicting human impulses of civilization on the one hand and the will to power on the other. Essentially, one group of boys chose to be civilized (i.e., polite, well- mannered and conscientious), but the other group gave vent to their more savage nature. By today’s meaning, the term “savage” has developed an association that means awesome or fierce. However, historically, when someone or something was described as being savage, the intent was a derogatory one typically used by someone from “civilized” society.

In terms of word roots, our modern-day concept of civility comes from the word civilis which, in Latin, means “becoming a citizen”. Essentially, this concept assumes that there is something about us that requires elevation and, as such, it tends to suggest that earning the status of a “citizen” is necessarily a work in progress.

To that point, when an immigrant goes through the naturalization process, they are advised of their rights (i.e., voting, serving on a jury, the right to a fair and speedy trial, freedom of expression, freedom to worship how you wish (or, to refrain from worshiping), and the freedom to register for Selective Services to defend the country, to name a few). They are also advised of their responsibilities (i.e., to support and defend the Constitution, to participate in the democratic process, to respect and obey federal, state and local laws, to pay your taxes, to stay informed on issues that affect your community and your country, and to respect the rights, beliefs and opinions of others).

Along those same lines, the early Greeks believed that civility was both a private virtue and a public necessity, which functioned to hold the state together. In other words, civility amounted to respect. And in addition to the rights associated with citizenship, one became obligated to take on responsibility to the public…responsibility to the whole.

Interestingly enough, many religions also teach that we are essentially born in need of reformation. Which begs the age-old question…is mankind, in its natural state, born either “good” or evil”? I doubt that we will ever get a conclusive answer to that question. Certainly, we’d be hard pressed to obtain verification one way or the other. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that our ordered society is dependent upon our ability to coexist. This can only be accomplished if we treat one another with respect.

Evidence points to the fact that our civic bonds are becoming more and more strained by an overall decline in civility. Look no further than the typical day-to-day exchanges between every day, ordinary people. The ability to disagree without being disagreeable is a lost art. Disagreements devolve immediately into name calling, followed by threats of violence. We see this behavior modeled by our so-called leaders and, unfortunately, parroted by our young.

But there is guidance for us in the Golden Rule— “in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Crystal clear in its simplicity, the Golden Rule is the common thread that runs through most, if not all, cultures and organized religions. This time-tested maxim sets forth an agreement that assumes a two-way street which places the burden, first, upon us.

I am reminded of the Saturday morning cartoons that presented the hero at a crossroads, faced with a dilemma. There he stands, with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. In this scenario, the angel represents civility, and the devil represents civility’s alternative. We’re faced with such choices all day, every day. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, let’s make a habit of yielding to the better angels of our nature. Our society hangs in the balance.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.


NPSO ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR LSA SCHOLARSHIP

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright has announced the availability of a $500 college scholarship for a Natchitoches Parish graduating high school senior.

The scholarship is made available each year through the Louisiana Sheriff’s Honorary Membership Program to help defray the cost associated with higher education. One scholarship is awarded in each parish where the sheriff participates in the Honorary Membership Program.

To qualify for a scholarship, the recipient must be a permanent resident of Louisiana, plan to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student, and agree to use the scholarship at a Louisiana institute of higher education.
Applicants must be eligible for admission to the school indicated on their application.

The deadline to apply is April 1. Completed applications should be mailed to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Attention: Deputy Naomi Smith, P.O. Box 266, Natchitoches, LA 71458 or can be delivered in person to the Sheriff’s Office at 200 Church Street.

A Scholarship winner will be announced by May 1. To receive an application contact the Sheriff’s Office at 318-357-7802.


Gov. Edwards: Louisiana Needs Additional Federal Aid

Gov. John Bel Edwards has requested additional federal funding from the White House to address Louisiana’s $3 billion in unmet hurricane recovery needs in Louisiana communities affected by hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta last year.

“As in previous times of difficulty, Louisianans have once again risen to meet the challenges of rebuilding by helping their friends, neighbors and even total strangers begin the process of starting anew,” Gov. Edwards wrote. “While we do not doubt the ability of our citizens to recover, we need the help of the federal government to make that recovery complete.”

Hurricane Laura struck southwest Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on August 27, 2020 and it was followed by Hurricane Delta, a Category 2 storm, on October 9, 2020. On October 28, 2020, Hurricane Zeta struck the southeast portion of the state.

Additional federal funding sources, on top of FEMA funding for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation, should include Community Development Block Grants, Social Services Block Grants and Emergency Solutions Grants program funding, in addition to further dollars from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The Governor also seeks a reduction in the cost-share required by state and local government affected by these storms.

Louisiana has unmet needs totaling $3 billion for hurricanes Laura and Delta alone. These include $396.3 million in homeowner needs, $481.7 million in renter needs, $130 million in non-federal FEMA Public Assistance cost share, $50 million in non-federal FEMA Hazard Mitigation cost share, $25 million in transportation damages, $576.4 million in estimated crop losses and $1.397 billion in estimated timber losses.


PARISH COMMISSIONERS AND BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED

The following boards and commissions currently have vacancies or members with expiring terms:

– Planning Commission
– Fire District #1
– Fire District #2
– Fire District #4
– Fire District #5
– Fire District #9
– Fire District #10
– Water Works District #2

Residents interested in serving can submit an application to the Office of the President. Board members with expiring terms who wish to continue serving should apply for reappointment. Applications may be picked up at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, located at 200 Church Street in Natchitoches, or by contacting David Kees, Jr., Executive Assistant to the President, at (318) 352-2714, or by sending an email to dkees@npgov.org.


Guillory Scholarship Concert to be held Saturday

The annual Guillory Scholarship Concert for Vocal Excellence will be held at Northwestern State University on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.The recital is open to NSU faculty, students and staff. The audience is limited to 70 with masks and social distancing required. The recital will be live streamed at capa.nsula.edu/livestream.

Eleven NSU students, who were nominated by vocal faculty, will perform to determine the recipients of the Guillory Scholarship for 2021-22. The students are Landry Allen, Valentina Herazo Alvarez, Matthew Armand, Jayvian Bush, Emilie Comeaux, Kylie Dornbush, Beth Olin, Caleb Pearson, Dara Elisabeth Pressley, Emily Saldivar and Jaeli Williams. At least two recipients will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship in the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semester.

The scholarship was established by Megan Guillory, a former vocal and choir student at Northwestern State, in 2016 after she attended an event honoring long-time Director of Choral Activities Dr. Burt Allen. Her desire to reward talented students led to the establishment of talent-based scholarships to benefit students majoring in vocal performance. She worked with voice faculty in the School of Creative and Performing Arts to set up the scholarship. The faculty audition students who seek the award.


Demons look to build on win as they host UNO in “White Out”

NATCHITOCHES – After erasing a two-game skid in its most recent game, the Northwestern State men’s basketball team looks to “White Out” Southland Conference rival New Orleans on Wednesday.

The Demons (3-14, 2-4) and Privateers (4-10, 3-3) tip off at 6:30 p.m. inside Prather Coliseum, which is expected to be awash in a sea of white as part of the White Out game, presented by Shop-A-Lott.

Shop-A-Lott will provide 100 T-shirts for fans attending the game, which can be heard on 95.9 FM and the Demon Sports Network. 

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Northwestern State enters Wednesday’s game after a 73-68 win at Southeastern Louisiana that showed the Demons’ improvement in myriad areas.

In addition to shooting a season-best 55.6 percent from the field, Northwestern State proved capable of handling adversity. The Demons built a 21-point, first-half lead only to see Southeastern Louisiana take a pair of two-point leads with less than five minutes to play.

NSU closed the game on a 9-2 run to even its Southland Conference road record at 2-2.

“You have to take care of the opportunities you have,” 22nd-year head coach Mike McConathy said. “We did that the other night. If we could have put that together against other teams, we might not be sitting at 2-4 in conference play.”

The NSU backcourt has dealt with minor injuries the past couple of weeks, but the Demons’ depth has shone in those moments.

Freshman Carvell Teasett posted a career-high 11 assists at Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 20 before LaTerrance Reed tied a season high with 11 points in Saturday’s win at SLU.

Reed hit three 3-pointers in the victory, which came in his first start since Dec. 12. In his past two games, Reed — a senior from Buffalo, New York – has connected on four of seven 3-pointers.

McConathy noted a trend in the Demons’ two Southland victories, aside from them coming in road games.

“It’s interesting, but if you look at our wins against McNeese and Southeastern, we shot 14 and 13 3-pointers, respectively,” McConathy said. “It results in a win. What that’s telling me is that less is better. If you’re making every one you throw up there, that’s a different story. That hasn’t been the case for us.

“We’re shooting a dismal percentage from the 3-point line. We felt that would be a strength of ours coming into the season, and I still think it is a strong point, but we have to get some confidence and start making shots.”

The offensive confidence may have dovetailed with an overall confidence boost on the NSU bench.

McConathy pointed to a moment during a late SLU run where Larry Owens, who finished with a team-high 14 points, told his teammates, “we’re good,” as a potential turning point.

“When everything was starting to unravel, he said that, which is an indication of a team that doesn’t have confidence,” McConathy said. “For Larry to say that vs. me saying that is enormous. Peer support is so much more important than me telling them how good they can be. That comes from one of their brothers on the team.”

The Demons will need that same type of confidence when they face a Privateers team that had won three in a row before falling to Nicholls on Saturday.

“They’re really, really hard-nosed,” McConathy said. “They compete. They’ll knock you in the mouth. They’re going to compete. The key for us is will we know what our strengths are? Will we execute the game plan? Who’s going to be tougher?

“In the second half of the SFA game, I told the guys you have to be tougher and want it more than the other team. I saw some things in the Southeastern game where we wanted it more. We need to build on that against UNO and coach (Mark) Slessinger’s team.”


Notice of Death – January 26, 2021

NATCHITOCHES:
Calvin Coolidge Campbell
February 19, 1929 – January 24, 2021
A private graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.

Marquita Nash
December 21, 1985 – January 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Eddie Ray Pikes
May 25, 1952 – January 21, 2021
Service: Thursday, January 28 at 1 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Julia Rowzee
June 29, 1941 – January 20, 2021
Service: Saturday, January 30 at 10 am at Mt. Zion Cemetery near Montgomery

Ola Henderson
January 23, 2021
Service: Sunday, January 31 at 1:30 pm at the North Star Baptist Church in Powhatan

Edward West
February 1, 1964 – January 20, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Carla Phillips
January 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, January 30 at 1 pm in the chapel of the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

WINN:
John Owen Jordan
September 21, 1932 – January 25, 2021
Service: Thursday, January 28 at 1 pm at Big Creek Baptist Church

Billy E. Bailey
May 10, 1948 – January 24, 2021
Service: Thursday January 28, at 2 pm in the Chapel of Kinner & Stevens

Max Allen Orr
January 18, 1960 – January 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, January 27 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home