Barbazon named Southland Conference Hitter of the Week

By Bud Denega, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

NATCHITOCHES — For the second consecutive week, a member of the Northwestern State softball team earned weekly recognition. Senior outfielder Hayley Barbazon was named Hitter of the Week after she played a large hand in the Lady Demons sweeping Houston Baptist over the weekend.

Barbazon batted .750 (6-for-8) during the three-game set that extended NSU’s win streak to nine games. She enjoyed multi-hit games Friday night in Game 2 and Saturday afternoon in Game 3 and stole her first base of the season.

For the season, Barbazon is hitting .378 with two triples, one double and four RBIs. This is the first such honor in Barbazon’s career.

This award arrives a week after junior pitcher E.C. Delafield won Pitcher of the Week.

Northwestern State travels to Ruston for a single game Tuesday night against Louisiana Tech.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich / NSU Photographic Services

Coreil, Hsieh to present program of contemporary French horn music April 5

Northwestern State University Professor of Horn Dr. Kristine Coreil and NSU faculty member pianist Dr. Chialing Hsieh will present a recital of French horn works entitled “Since You Were Born,” on Monday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital on NSU’s campus. Masks and social distancing required. The performance will be livestreamed at

The title of the event comes from the compositional dates of the musical pieces—all since 2003. The concert will feature a world premiere of British composer Martin Ellerby’s “Sonata for Horn and Piano” which was written for and dedicated to Coreil. Not only are all works composed within the past 18 years, but also feature a diverse list of composers, including women, Latinx, and Asian-Americans, from the United States, Venezuela, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Coreil performs with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. She is a frequent recitalist across the United States, and recently premiered a new work commemorating the USS Arizona, for natural horn, piano and pre-recorded ship’s bell at the 51st International Horn Symposium in Gent, Belgium, by British composer Martin Ellerby. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, studying with jazz hornist and composer Douglas Hill, and the Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Chicago Symphony principal hornist Dale Clevenger.

Coreil performs regularly with the NSU wind faculty, often giving collaborative recitals. She is also a pioneer in the commissioning and performing of new works for the natural horn. She can be heard with the Shreveport Symphony, the Rapides Symphony, the Texarkana Symphony, the Marshall Symphony, and the South Arkansas Symphony. Her recital performances include engagements on modern horn and the Classical era natural horn in England, Belgium, and across all regions of the United States.

Coreil has presented lectures at the MidWest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Louisiana Music Educators Association Conference, numerous regional International Horn Society workshops and at several International Horn Society symposia. She is the director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Horn Society, comprising 20 hornists from student to professional, giving performances throughout the Southern region of the US. And, as a member of the United States Army, she serves as hornist and sergeant with the Louisiana National Guard’s 156th Army Band.

An avid performer of contemporary music, pianist Hsieh is devoted to promoting new piano solo and chamber works. Hsieh has been a featured pianist on seven CD’s for the Centaur, Innova, Enharmonic, and Ballpark record labels. Hsieh has received several grants to promote new American music, including an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

A sought-after collaborative pianist, Hsieh has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Memphis. She has performed with the faculty of Julliard, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, University of Cincinnati, and Arizona State University.

Hsieh has performed recitals in Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States. She performs regularly at universities and conferences for CMS, MTNA, NATS, SCI, North American Saxophone Alliance, National Flute Society, International Clarinet Association, International Viola Congress, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Southeastern Composers’ League. Hsieh has given master classes throughout the United States and abroad and served as a judge and adjudicator for competitions and events.

Hsieh joined the faculty of Northwestern State University in 2016 as Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano. In the summer, she is the piano instructor at the Lutheran Summer Music Festival and Academy and the Sounds of Summer Institute. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the National Taipei University of the Arts, and M.M. and D.M.A. in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Richard Morris, Sandra Rivers and Tsai Chai-Hsio.

Notice of Death – March 29, 2021

Barbara Ann Delphin Balthazar
January 21, 1927 – March 27, 2021
Service: Wednesday, March 31 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church

Mildred Braden Anthony
March 27, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Bradford
March 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Garry Augustus Cole
October 14, 1942 – March 25, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 3 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis

Mike McCart
April 11, 1961 – March 21, 2021
Service: Monday, April 5 at 7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Van Thomas Barker, Jr.
January 03, 1945 – December 26, 2020
Service: Friday, April 9 from 5-6:30 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Larry Jack Casey
November 09, 1932 – March 19, 2021
Service: Tuesday, March 30 at 11 am at the Bandy family plot in the Atlanta Community Cemetery in Atlanta

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Doris Marian Powell Driever
March 5, 1926 – March 27, 2021
Service: Tuesday, March 30 at 11 am at the First United Methodist Church in Coushatta

Edward Marion Scallion
July 28, 1943 – March 25, 2021
Service: Wednesday, March 31 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Natchitoches Home & Garden Expo – Time to Put That Warm Weather to Good Use!

Natchitoches’ Events Center was the place to be Saturday, March 27 for homeowners and future homeowners as Natchitoches’ third annual Home and Garden Expo got underway. The Home and Garden Expo, a project of the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce, featured over 36 exhibitors, ranging from real estate professionals to insurance agents, home repair companies, lawn equipment dealers, banks, and many others. In addition to the home and garden businesses, the Natchitoches Parish Library had a display as did the Natchitoches Farmer’s Market. The Expo offered something for anyone interested in any aspect of home ownership.

Over 500 people came to the popular event as the advent of warmer weather turned homeowner’s minds to homeownership, maintenance, and improvement. Event goers had a chance to meet with firms covering a wide range of homeowners’ needs – all in one convenient place.

The Expo has a focus on connecting local shoppers with local vendors. Supporting local businesses is part and parcel of building a better community and a stronger economy. Shop locally and keep our dollars working at home!

NRMC’s Steel Magnolia Run-Fun For a Worthy Cause!

Kevin’s Gallery

Over 400 runners came out Saturday morning to compete in the third Steel Magnolia Run, held on the picturesque NSU campus March 27. The runners had a choice of a 1 mile “fun run” or a 5K race. There was also an opportunity for those who could not actively participate to support the cause by becoming a “virtual runner.”

This event, sponsored by the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation, was more than a chance for fun and competition. The race is expected to raise over $20,000.00 for the NRMC Foundation’s “Moms and Babies Campaign.” This campaign is designed to improve the pregnancy and birth process by protecting moms and babies with state-of-the-art monitoring software and equipment. Physicians will have access to critical health information at any time and from anywhere and the labor and delivery experience will be enhanced with new safe, comfortable birthing beds and sleeper chairs. About 500 babies get their start in life at our hospital each year. NRMC’s Dr. Mason and the hospital’s Labor and Delivery unit ran as a team in their signature pink shirts.

The Steel Magnolia Run also had two teams making their first appearance at the event. The Shreveport chapter of Team RWB, a nation-wide organization for Veterans, their families and supporters brought a dozen members to the race. The Veterans were there to run for more than themselves. They had partnered with Ainsley’s Angels, an organization that pairs special needs individuals who would not normally be able to experience a run. The Team RWB members pushed specially built racing chairs with the person inside for the 5K run, giving them the chance to enjoy racing.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. Copy protection is off and downloads enabled. Anyone is welcome to download any they wish. If you do see a photograph you like, please consider a donation to the NRMC Foundation in lieu of payment. The NRMC Foundation makes our community a better place. Let us help them as they help us!

Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival To Offer Major Artists, Great Variety

After a year’s hiatus because of Covid, the Board of Directors of the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival have announced that they are planning to hold their event on Saturday, May 22nd on the downtown Natchitoches Riverbank. This year, unlike in past years, the Festival will be a one-day event. According to Festival Chairman, Rodney Harrington, the lineup on the main stage features artists who are sure to appeal to practically every musical taste.

“We really feel like we’ve hit a homerun this year with our lineup,” said Harrington. “Since we had to take a year off last year, we felt like we had to come back with a bang and were able to book a couple of artists that we have been trying for years to get but we were finally able to get on board. It’s going to be a fantastic day.”

The headliner for this year’s event is platinum-selling country star, Neal McCoy. McCoy, who hails from Longview, Texas, has had many songs on the country charts over the years, including a couple that made it all the way to #1. His live shows are legendary for their high energy.

Peter Rivera, the original lead singer of 70’s hit-making band, Rare Earth, will be appearing with Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs and performing his band’s many hits. Rare Earth, which was signed to the Motown Records Label, had a number of Top 40 Rock/R&B hits in the early 70’s including “Get Ready” and “I Just Want to Celebrate” both of which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts.

Dwayne Dopsie of Dwayne Dopsie and The Zydeco Hellraisers hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, Dwayne, a two-time Grammy Nominee, has developed his own high-energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for twenty-first century Zydeco music.

The Back In Black Tribute Band is in an incredible, exciting high-energy reproduction of a concert performance of AC/DC. They are so authentic that their lead singer was once invited to audition for the real AC/DC. For twenty years Back In Black has simply been the next best thing to AC/DC.

Natchitoches band, Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs is often thought of as the “house band” for the Jazz Festival, being the only group to perform in all 23 festivals that have been held so far. The group that has been hailed by critics as “Quite simply, Louisiana’s best show band” has extended its reach far beyond its home base. The band’s “Great Outdoors Tour” this spring and summer will take it from Texas to Mississippi to the Florida beaches with several stops in between. They will perform a high-energy wide variety set of dance and party music.

The music will begin on the main stage on Festival day appropriately enough, with Jazz featuring the musical stylings of guitarist extraordinaire, Luke Brouillette, and his talented band LukeJazz. Luke will set the mood with an eclectic mix of classic Jazz standards with some modern numbers thrown in. Always a crowd favorite.

Festival Entertainment Chairman, Phillip Wilkerson, says that the members of his committee are excited about the quality and variety of acts they were able to book.

“We always say you can’t please everyone,” said Wilkerson, “but I truly believe that there should be something in this year’s lineup that every music fan can enjoy.” Wilkerson pointed out the fact that on the main stage alone the groups would be performing Country, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Rock & Roll, and Zydeco. Wilkerson also pointed out that there would be continuous music throughout the day on two side stages as well featuring popular local and regional acts, and again appealing to a wide range of musical tastes.
“We will have over 15 bands on 3 stages,” said Wilkerson. “If you can’t find something in there you like, then you are probably not a fan of popular music.”

Harrington did mention that the Festival will be Covid complaint and follow all rules and regulations put in place by the Governor’s office and State Fire Marshal. He said that the Natchitoches Christmas Festival was successful in presenting riverbank events during December while following appropriate social distancing and crowd control guidelines.

“We hope that by May 22nd we are at the point to where we can let everyone have unrestricted access to the riverbank, but we will respect and follow the rules,” said Harrington.

“All we know is that we are hearing that people are ready to get back out and listen to live music and we are hearing from the artists that they can’t wait and are chomping at the bits to come to Natchitoches and give everyone a show.”

WRC’s Tenth Annual Run, Baby, Run! set for Saturday, May 1

The tenth annual Run, Baby, Run! 5K, sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, will be Saturday, May 1. There will be both 1-mile and 5K walk/run races starting at the front entrance to First Baptist Church Natchitoches on Second Street. Registration/check-in for both events will begin at 8 am, the 1-mile fun run/walk begins at 8:30 am, and the 5K run/walk begins at 9:00 am. Awards will be presented after the races at 10:30 a.m.

Run Baby Run is an annual walk/run to increase awareness of the Women’s Resource Center and the services they provide for free to over 400 women and their families in the community annually. The WRC is a non-profit pregnancy help medical clinic that serves women in pregnancy in Central Louisiana. Services are 100% free and confidential and include pregnancy tests, prenatal education, community referrals, lifestyle skills, ultrasounds, material assistance, childbirth education, breastfeeding education, car seat safety classes, peer counseling, and more.

Registration fees for the 1-mile are $20 ($25 for the day of), 5K is $25 ($30 for the day of), and Virtual Runner is $15. Run, Baby, Run! is open to all ages and for children under 5, there is no charge. This is a family-friendly event, all children, strollers, and pets are welcome.

Everyone is encouraged to pre-register by April 20 to guarantee a T-shirt and goodie bag the day of the race.

For more information or to register today, visit the website at or call 357-8888. Entry forms may also be picked up at the WRC at 107 North Street. Anyone can join the event here:   TO JOIN – Click Here .

NSU Calendar: Week of March 28 – April 3

Here is a look at the week of March 28 – April 3 at Northwestern State University.

March 28 – April 3 – Registration for summer, fall semesters

March 28 – Baseball vs. South Alabama, Brown-Stroud Field, 1 p.m.

March 29 – April 2 – University observes spring break. Administrative offices open through April 1.

March 30 – Baseball vs. LSU-Alexandria, Brown-Stroud Field, 6 p.m.

April 1 – Football vs. Sam Houston, Turpin Stadium, 6 p.m.

April 1 – Soccer vs. Abilene Christian, Lady Demon Soccer Complex, 7 p.m.

April 2 – University closed for Good Friday.

April 2-3 – Softball vs. Central Arkansas, Lady Demon Diamond

April 3 – Soccer vs. Incarnate Word, Lady Demon Soccer Complex, noon

Parking, ticket specials highlight Thursday home finale vs. Sam Houston

NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State Athletic Department has announced several special offers for Thursday night’s football season finale against Sam Houston, highlighted by free parking around Turpin Stadium.

Northwestern State will offer — on a one-time basis — free parking to anyone who does not have a season parking pass. The VIP lots around Turpin Stadium will be in effect and will be monitored by parking attendants, but the remaining spots in the normal parking footprint will be open.

“Look, the last year has been tough on all of us,” Assistant Athletic Director for Ticketing and Special Events Mike Jacklich said. “We knew we had to thank the Natchitoches community — a community who’s been so, so supportive through all the curveballs COVID kept throwing at us — and felt this is a great way to do so. Free parking, discounted tickets, and a glorious evening of spring football … that’s a great Thursday night out in Natchitoches!”

Online ticket specials will be on sale for the April 1 matchup as well.

Log onto and utilize the code spring21 and receive $5 off any non-suite ticket. The discount reduces ticket costs to $5 (youth general admission), $10 (general admission) and $20 (chairback).

All NSU faculty and staff members can receive up to two free tickets by logging onto

Letter to Ms. Hoover

Leadership is the process by which a person influences others to accomplish a goal or goals, and directs the organization or team….”

Ms. Hoover, please, will you ever just take your ”ball” and go home. I read this diatribe searching for the element of ”Blame Game” which you so boldly referenced in your title without finding anything of note, notwithstanding your personal attempts to sling mud. Your premise loses all credibility with your thinly veiled attempts to undermine the Parish President. You did the same thing with the previous Parish President. The common denominator is not the office of the Parish President, but the person sitting in your seat. It is so exceptionally rare that any government body would continuously have members elected and re-elected whose personal agenda was so disharmonious with that of the body on which they serve. No, you wouldn’t want to play to the old ”Blame Game,” but your comments today are shallow and seem self-serving. Whatever it is and whatever it was supposed to be, it fell short of leadership.

Dennis Coleman
March 25, 2021

To the Parish President: Not A Blame Game

NSU will host ADVANCE on campus in July

Northwestern State University will host the 33rd session of the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE) July 4 – 24. ADVANCE is a three-week residential program that academically challenges and socially engages gifted, honors or talented students who are currently in 7-11th grades. ADVANCE will be held on campus and will follow COVID-19 protocols throughout the program.

All applicants must provide a copy of their most recent report card and state standardized test scores. If scores have been misplaced, many schools provide that information on school transcripts, and transcripts may be submitted to ADVANCE. If applicants have taken an ACT or SAT, those scores may be submitted with their applications.

Course offerings include humanities, mathematics, natural sciences with laboratory components, and computer programming. By working with carefully selected instructors and teaching assistants (TAs), and limiting class enrollment to 15 students, each student is given the opportunity to attain maximum academic growth.

While the academic program at ADVANCE is top-notch, the residential program sets ADVANCE apart from other similar summer programs. The residential assistants (RAs) offer a wide variety of social and recreational activities to assist students in forming lasting friendships, strengthen the ADVANCE community, and help all students have a great time.

Applications are now being accepted. For further information call (318) 357-4500.

Opportunity: Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches

Job Opportunity: Office Manager Position at Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches

General Description:

The Office Manager is responsible for general overseeing of the WRC administration, financial bookkeeping for WRC and state subcontractor grants, general center needs, and additional special events. This position is a core and intricate component of our team environment and has a passion for helping keep wheels running.

The Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches exists to educate and empower individuals to make life-affirming choices. A cornerstone nonprofit organization in Central Louisiana as a free and confidential resource dedicated to pregnant women; our services include prenatal education, lifestyle skills, ultrasounds, material assistance, childbirth education, breastfeeding education, car seat safety classes, child safety classes, peer counseling, and more.

Position Described:

1. The Office Manager is a full-time employee of the Women’s Resource Center.

2. Maintain and support an open commitment to Jesus Christ, promote the sanctity of human life, be an active member of a local church, and agree with the WRC principles and statement of faith.


1. Graduation from an accredited college or university is preferred.

2. Three (3) years of accounting experience.

3. Grant experience preferred.

4. QuickBooks Software knowledge preferred.

5. Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher.

6. Excellent time management skills, strong emotional intelligence, able to balance multiple functions.

Principal Activities:

1. Financial Bookkeeping: Oversee all bills, invoices, payroll, and deposits in a timely manner. Procure reports for data and monthly financial reports. Generate monthly drafts of ACH contributors. Calculate and file quarterly IRS form 941 and quarterly LA state withholding tax forms, yearly W2 & 1099 forms for all paid employees, annual IRS 990 tax report, and monthly payroll taxes. Reconcile all accounts held by the WRC.

2. State Subcontractor Grant: Recording and upkeep. Enter client visits into the grant database daily. Prepare monthly grant billing. Prepare necessary reports or paperwork grants may request. File necessary forms into client files.

3. Center Needs: Oversee the receiving of material donations and maintaining a database of all donors, necessary Center supplies, assisting volunteers with needs, assisting with newsletter mailing.

4. Special Events: Handling invoices, reports, financials, bookkeeping, applications with and working Christmas Festival (December), Run, Baby Run! (May), and the Celebration of Life Gala (September).

5. Other assorted duties as needed in daily operations at the WRC.

All resumes, in addition to any specific questions, can be sent to:

Women’s Resource Center
107 North Street
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Phone: 318-357-8888

This job description may change without notice. EOE.

Notice of Death – March 28, 2021

Mildred Braden Anthony
March 27, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Bradford
March 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sammy Jackson
September 24, 1958 – March 24, 2021
Service: Friday, March 26 at 2 pm at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Garry Augustus Cole
October 14, 1942 – March 25, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 3 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis

Mike McCart
April 11, 1961 – March 21, 2021
Service: Monday, April 5 at 7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Van Thomas Barker, Jr.
January 03, 1945 – December 26, 2020
Service: Friday, April 9 from 5-6:30 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Larry Jack Casey
November 09, 1932 – March 19, 2021
Service: Tuesday, March 30 at 11 am at the Bandy family plot in the Atlanta Community Cemetery in Atlanta

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for Attempted Second Degree Murder

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested a juvenile for Attempted Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property for a shooting that occurred earlier in the week.

On March 24, 2021 around 8:10 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 600 block of Sabine Street in reference to a disturbance in the area. Upon officers arrival they located two individuals who said that while they were traveling on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Texas Street two juveniles began to shoot at their vehicle.

On March 26, 2021 the Natchitoches Police Department arrested one of the juveniles for Attempted Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property and they were placed in the Ware Youth Center.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Alisha Roberson at (318) 357-3810. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

John Greely
Public Information Officer
Natchitoches Police Department

NPD: Release Date – March 26, 2021

Natchitoches Parish 4-H Holds Its Fourth Fundraising Banquet and Auction

Kevin’s Gallery

After a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, over 200 4-H members, families, community leaders and supporters attended the 4-H Foundation Auction and Dinner held Thursday, March 25 at the Martin Luther King Community Center. The event started with a dinner followed by a silent and live auction of everything from fishing trips to guns and crafts. The event’s fund-raising goal for the night was $20,000, every penny of which will stay in the parish and be used for supplies, programming, and camp scholarships.

Natchitoches Parish boasts the largest 4-H program in Louisiana with 953 young people in 4-H clubs hosted by every school in our parish. Pam Pearce, the 4-H Agent for Natchitoches Parish, described the popular program as “co-curricular, not extra-curricular.” In addition to the traditional livestock and agricultural activities one usually associates with 4-H, the program features science, engineering, and technology. 4-H also teaches leadership and exposes its young men and women to new experiences and opportunities to learn and grow. There is something in 4-H for every child’s interest.

4-H was founded in 1908 and may be found in every state in our nation as well as 50 countries around the world. Louisiana’s 4-H programs boast approximately 180,000 members, making it the state’s largest youth development program. Natchitoches 4-H members have a tradition of achieving statewide prominence. NCHS’ Cooper Johnson is the Northwest Regional Representative and is joined by 7 other young men and women from throughout the parish as state board members.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes our 4-H members the best in their future endeavors and commends the young people of Natchitoches Parish 4-H for their hard work and dedication. Natchitoches’ 4-H clubs are a 953-member strong force for good in our communities!

The NPJ is donating tonight’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do see a photo you like, please consider a donation to the Natchitoches Parish 4-H Foundation in lieu of payment. Every summer, over 120 young people from our parish attend a 4-H camp. Let us help them get there!

ICBA Chairman appoints Ken Hale to ICBPAC Committee

Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2021)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today announced that local community banker Ken Hale, President & CEO of BOM Bank in Natchitoches, Louisiana was named to serve on ICBA’s Political Action Committee.ICBA is the nation’s voice for community banks.

“I am honored to represent our industry and share my experiences as a community banker and civic leader to help ICBA communicate the positive story of community banking,” Hale said. “Community banks are trusted relationship-based lenders, invested in the success of their customers and the economic prosperity of their community.”

In addition to helping shape and advocate ICBA’s national policy positions and programs, Hale’s duties include engaging in grassroots activities in Louisiana to promote pro-community bank policies and serving as a liaison between community banks and ICBA staff and leadership in Washington, D.C.

“Ken is a dedicated community banker who is highly respected in hiscommunity and by his industry peers,” said ICBA Chairman Robert M. Fisher, president and CEO of Tioga State Bank, Spencer, New York. “We are delighted Ken has accepted this appointment and generously volunteered his time and professional talents in pursuit ofcreating an environment where community banks, and the communities they serve, continue to flourish.”

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America.


By Tommy Rush

Spring is finally springing! I personally love when all the flowers and trees come to life with color. Growing up in Mobile, Alabama about three miles from Bellingrath Gardens (the Azalea capital of the world) may be a contributing factor, but my mother’s love for growing flowers is probably the main reason. Plants and flowers have always been Mama’s passion. When I was about ten years old, she won the Mobile Yard of the Year Award. After our yard was featured in the local newspaper, her passion became a mission to win the award every year!

When the azaleas and dogwoods begin blooming, it brings back a lot of good memories. Each year when I see the tulip displays downtown, I send my mom pictures and we always talk about our love for growing things. I really appreciate Tim Murchison and his staff who go above and beyond to keep Natchitoches beautiful. Recently I heard a friend tell how Tim and City Employees worked extremely hard this year to keep the plants alive during the ice storm and cold winter. When you see the flower displays around town you need to remember a lot of hard work took place behind the scenes to make them possible this year!

Actually there’s always work going on behind the scenes when it comes to growing flowers and making things beautiful. One thing I learned from my mother about flowers and planting good gardens is that nothing just “suddenly” happens overnight. It’s true that spring flowers and color seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere, but the beauty has been getting ready to happen for a long time. You can ask any gardener and they will tell you that an invisible process of nourishing and growth goes on long before the buds and blooms pop out. In Mark 4:26-27, Jesus tells how a man casts his seed upon the soil and then goes to bed at night and when he gets up the seed has sprouted but he himself does not know how.

The same is true whenever God begins working in our life or when He’s preparing to do something really significant. There are so many days when it seems as if nothing is happening. Maybe you have been praying for a specific need or a friend who’s going through a tough trial. Sometimes we wonder if God is hearing our prayers when there’s little or no visible results. Maybe everything seems brown and dead in your life today and it looks like nothing good is happening. If that’s the case, I hope you will take some time to appreciate the spring flowers and remember that a lot is going on long before we ever see the first signs of life.

Just because we can’t see God working doesn’t mean He isn’t working. Just think of all those amazing spring blossoms. They were a long time in coming, but they came. And so will your spring if you keep you eyes on the one who has created it all!

St. Mary’s Teams Compete At Powerlifting State Championship

Members of the varsity girls and boys powerlifting team at St. Mary’s Catholic School recently attended the LHSAA Powerlifting State Championship at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. All nine members of the boys team, as well as all three members of the girls team, qualified for the state competition. Congratulations to both teams! The results from the meet are below.

Anna Kate Jackson finished 2nd with a meet lift total of 705 pounds.
Chloe Nash finished 5th and set a personal record.
Sarah Thibodaux finished 9th and set a personal record.

Kolton Norsworthy finished 2nd in his weight class with a meet lift of 1165 pounds.
C. J . Smith placed 4th in his weight class.
Jace Miley placed 4th in his weight class with a personal record of 500 on squat and a meet lift total of 1200 pounds.
Will DeVargas placed 5th in his weight class.
Cole Fisher placed 5th in his weight class.
Logan Watson, Gunner Nash and Ian Gardner were 7th in their weight classes.
Mason Mathis placed 8th in his weight class.

The boys had a third place team finish in Division V 1A out of 16 teams competing.

Jackson Parish man arrested for inappropriate behavior with juvenile at Natchitoches Parish church gathering

On March 3rd, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a 51-year-old Jackson Parish man in connection with a 6-month investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior with a juvenile almost 19 years ago.

In September of 2020, Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division received a complaint from the the victim of alleged sex abuse that occurred back in the year of 2002-2003 in north Natchitoches Parish.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed several potential witnesses and collected statements concerning the alleged incident that allegedly occurred while the victim was attending church gatherings at a north Natchitoches Parish church.

Detectives obtained sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain criminal warrants signed by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge for the arrest of James M. McCrory.

On March 3, 2021, James M. McCrory, 51, of Quitman, La. turned himself in to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives.

McCory was placed under arrest, transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 3-counts of Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile.

McCrory was released on a $30,000 bond set by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge pending his court appearance with a protective order issued that he have no contact with the victim, do not possess any firearms, must not possess or consume any alcoholic beverages, or unauthorized prescription medications or illegal controlled dangerous substances and
refrain from criminal activity.