Second Notice: Road Closure – LA 494 (Keyser Ave)

1.77 miles east of Jct. w/ La. 1;
Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish;
Control Section 835-06

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, (LaDOTD), advises the public that La. 494 (Keyser Avenue), 1.77 miles east of its junction with La. 1, will close for a 36” cross drain installation, beginning on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at approximately 8:00 am. This road closure is expected to last approximately two (2) days.

The work will be performed by Regional Construction of Natchitoches, LA, on behalf of Commcare Corporation of Mandeville, LA.

Permit/Detour Section
The detour is as follows:
Eastbound traffic will detour to La. 1 South Bound to La. 119 North Bound to La. 494 West Bound.
West Bound traffic will detour to La. 494 East Bound to La. 119 South Bound to La. 1 North Bound to La. 494 West Bound.

Safety Reminder
All construction activity is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. DOTD appreciates the motoring public’s patience and reminds drivers to please exercise caution when traveling through work zone areas and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

Opportunity: Registered Nurse – Magnet

POSITION: Registered Nurse


QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Valid state license to practice as a registered nurse
in the state of Louisiana.
2. Certification as a school nurse and/or any other
certification as required by federal, state or local
3. Two years of experience in the field of nursing.

SALARY: According to Natchitoches Parish Salary Schedule

Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
310 Royal Street, P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358

DEADLINE: Wednesday, July 7, 2021

APPLICATIONS: Application packets should consist of a letter of application, resume’, transcripts from colleges/universities awarding degrees, and a copy of nurse’s license.

Podcast: Edwin W. Edwards joins Billy West Live

Ninety-three-year-old former Governor Edwin W. Edwards joins Billy West Live and provides his thoughts on Donald Trump, the news media of today and social media’s impact on politics. Governor Edwards talks about his tenure as the only four-time elected Governor of the State of Louisiana, race relations and voter suppression issues that dominate the news.

Next week Governor Edwin Edwards joins Billy West Live and discusses teacher pay, the value of funding higher education and his relationship with former Governor Dave Treen as well as his thoughts on Governor Jon Bel Edwards. Governor Edwards also discusses his race against former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

Billy West Live Profile

Billy West has been a practicing attorney in Louisiana for 32 years with an active practice in all areas of civil and criminal law. Continue reading

Notice of Death – June 28, 2021

Jett Houston Cook
December 05, 1919 – June 24, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Lawrence Spikes
June 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Jerry Carlton Lehr
April 6, 1942 – June 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Booker T. Chatman
June 23, 2021
Service: Wednesday, June 30 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Lois Corbitt
July 22, 1934 – June 25, 2021
Service: Thursday, July 1 at 1 pm at Iatt Baptist Church

Jo Nell Windham Stewart
May 24, 1930 – June 24, 2021
Service: Friday, July 2 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church of Winnfield

Christopher “Chris” G. Bell
October 02, 1960 – June 26, 2021
Service: Tuesday, June 29 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Keyser Avenue near Masonic Drive will be closed for several hours due to a vehicle crash

Keyser Avenue near Masonic Drive will be closed for several hours while utility workers repair a power pole that was damaged earlier today by a vehicle. Expect heavy traffic in that area and make plans for an alternate route if heading into or out of the city.

The Natchitoches Police Department will issue more updates as they become available.

If you would like to report suspicious activity, please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

John Greely
Public Information Officer
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: June 28, 2021

Maggios honored with scholarship in thanks for years of service to NSU

The Northwestern State University Foundation Board planned a special surprise for Dr. Chris Maggio, who is retiring from NSU after more than 33 years of service, the last four as president. At a June 18 board meeting, which was also Maggio’s birthday, the group announced the creation of the Dr. Chris and Jennifer Maggio Endowed Scholarship to honor the legacy of the Maggio family and their support for NSU. The scholarship is fully endowed at the $100,000 level.

“I’m blown away. I had no idea the scholarship was being talked about,” Maggio said in thanking the presidential leadership team, vice presidents and volunteers who serve on the Alumni Association and NSU Foundation Boards. “I love Northwestern and I’ve been able to spend 33 years of my professional life and four years as an undergraduate at Northwestern doing something that I love. I’m going to continue to support and be there for this university.”

NSU Director of Development Jill Bankston said the Board’s fundraising committee chaired by Jo Pease of New Orleans and Mike Knotts of Haughton thought the most appropriate way of thanking the Maggios and acknowledging their years of dedication to Northwestern State was through a scholarship that will assist students.

“Dr. and Mrs. Maggio have been servant leaders, role models and friends to so many over the years. The fundraising committee believed it would be most appropriate to create a scholarship to give support to students, which has always been a priority for the Maggios,” Bankston said. “Our original goal was $100,000, but support for the Maggio scholarship far exceeded our expectations. We were able to raise more than $123,000 in pledges and gifts before the announcement and that figure has continued to rise.”

Dr. and Mrs. Maggio thanked the NSU supporters who contributed to the scholarship, family, friends and colleagues, acknowledging mutually beneficial partnerships in the community and with other institutions. They also stressed the sense of family and teamwork that is part of the NSU culture.

“We are so fortunate to have world class faculty, the most supportive staff that you can find and the most amazing student that you could ever imagine,” Maggio said. “Northwestern is a special place with an extremely bright future, and we are so very lucky to have Dr. Marcus Jones who will be leading us as our interim president. I appreciate each and every one of you for the job that you do.”

Jennifer Maggio also expressed appreciation to the NSU community.

“Thirty years ago, I came to Northwestern as a Louisiana Tech graduate and was only prepared to be here for two years,” she said. “I met Chris, ironically, at the track. He was having track practice and I was taking a running class with Coach Leon Johnson. Little did I know that here I would be 30 years later in this role that was certainly not on my radar at the time. I would say that coming from another university, Northwestern always welcomed me with open arms and you all truly have become a family.”

Maggio’s retirement is effective June 30. He is a 1985 summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern State where he was elected Mr. NSU. He joined the staff as a track and field and cross country coach in 1988.

Over the years, Maggio worked in Admissions and Recruiting, Enrollment Services, Alumni and Development, Student Affairs, and as the university’s first Vice President for Student Experience. He continued to teach on campus, serve on numerous committees at the university, and engage in community activities that support widespread initiatives to improve health, education and quality of life. He was named president in 2017.

Maggio led Northwestern through one of the most difficult times in the university’s 137-year history that included a global pandemic, two devastating hurricanes, a catastrophic ice storm and other unexpected challenges. In spite of those difficulties, the four highest enrollments in NSU’s history were recorded during Maggio’s tenure and the university’s economic impact on the region climbed to an all-time high of $428 million.

Jennifer Maggio earned a graduate degree in Student Personnel Services at NSU in 1992 and has worked in education as a teacher, counselor and administrator at the elementary, secondary and university levels. As first lady, she was actively engaged with campus activities, organizations and service to the university and Natchitoches community.

“Chris and Jennifer have been so personally engaged with students, it’s only fitting that this gift of thanks will significantly impact students,” said Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation. “The Maggios immersed themselves in university life and their roles as president and first lady. Dr. Maggio’s ability to know students by name, hometown, high school GPA and other details made each one feel important and at home at NSU.”

“This a wonderful university and at the heart and soul of the university are our students and what we can do for them and our world class faculty,” Maggio said. “I’m glad to be just a small part of that.”

Friends can make contributions to the Dr. Chris and Jennifer Maggio scholarship by visiting

Pictured: The NSU Foundation Board surprised Dr. Chris Maggio by announcing the Dr. and Mrs. Chris Maggio Endowed Scholarship in celebration of his retirement. From left are Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation; Mike Knotts, Board fundraising co-chair; Director of Development Jill Bankston, Jennifer and Chris Maggio and Jo Pease, Board fundraising co-chair.

City Council Agenda for June 28 Meeting – Tonight

The Natchitoches City Council will have a pre-council meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. to discuss non-agenda items. The City Council meeting will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month and will be reserved to only items on the Agenda. The public is invited to both the pre-council meetings and council meetings with the understanding that items not on the agenda will not be discussed at the scheduled council meetings, but the public is welcome to discuss any topic at the pre-council meetings. The City Council Meetings are held at the Natchitoches City Council Chambers located at 716 Second Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Natchitoches City Council meetings open to the public: social distancing is encouraged.

Any Citizen that wishes to observe the City Council meeting live may do so at:


#055 Nielsen Proclamation Honoring Dr. Chris Maggio Upon His Retirement And Declaring June 29, 2021 As Dr. Chris Maggio Day In The City Of Natchitoches.


#037 Petite Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property Described As Follows:

Lot Northwest Corner Front Street & Touline Street, 194.9 Feet Front Of Front Street By 162 Feet. (506 & 512 Front St.)

Mayeaux’s Steak and Seafood


#038 Nielsen Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For The Runway 7-25 And Taxiway B-1 Reconstruction Project At Natchitoches Regional Airport

(Bid No. 0636)

#039 Elie Ordinance Amending the 2021 – 2022 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues and Expenditures.

#040 Harrington Ordinance Approving The Terms And Form Of A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement Between The City Of Natchitoches And Natchitoches Community Alliance Foundation, Inc. D/B/A Natchitoches Economic Development Alliance And Authorizing The Mayor To Execute The Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) Between The City Of Natchitoches And Natchitoches Economic Development Alliance Which Will Provide For A Facade Grant Program For Texas Street And Washington Street Corridors And Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.

#041 Petite Ordinance Authorizing The Execution Of A Memorandum Of Understanding Between The City Of Natchitoches (“City”) And The Boys And Girls Clubs Of Acadiana, (“BGC), Whereby BGC Will Operate Within The Ben Johnson Auditorium Providing Educational And Recreational Programming For A Period Of Three Years, Providing For Funding From The City For BGC Programming, And Providing For Other Matters Related Thereto.


#054 Smith Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Enter Into A Maintenance Agreement, Including Mowing And Litter Pickup, With The State Of Louisiana, Department Of Transportation And Development, Office Of Engineering Beginning July 1, 2021 Through June 30, 2022.


The next scheduled City Council meeting will be July 12, 2021.
The Offices of the City of Natchitoches will be CLOSED Monday, July 5, 2021 in honor of Independence Day.

DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm Launches Summer CSA Program

How It All Started

In 2019, Donna and Waylon purchased a 14-acre homestead in Eros, Louisiana. Upon purchasing it, they knew immediately what their mission would be, to use the land to produce farm fresh, delicious, and nutritious food. Food that would feed their friends, family, and community for years to come. When they began searching for a name, Waylon suggested DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm. A phrase that, quite literally, meant “of the earth.” The objective of the farm? To produce humanely raised animals, using regenerative grazing practices, and naturally grown fruits and vegetables, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals. To date, that is EXACTLY what the farm has accomplished. DeLaTerre is growing food the way nature intended!

Rolling Out Summer CSA

Donna and Waylon would like to be your farmers and are inviting you to subscribe to their Summer CSA. What is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farmer and the community. The CSA program is a type of “cooperative,” where a community member (customer), pays a subscription fee at the beginning of the growing season in exchange for a full season of “cream of the crop” produce, eggs & meat selections, a “share.” The items in your weekly share are then boxed and delivered to convenient pick-up locations in Monroe, West Monroe, Campti, Natchitoches and Ruston. The CSA model creates a direct connection between farmers and consumers.

DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm’s Summer CSA subscription will run for 12 weeks, from the week of July 13th through October 2nd, 2021. There are three different types of CSA boxes to choose from this season. Customers can choose from either a veggie box, a veggie and egg box or a veggie, chicken and egg box. Each box will contain at least 8 seasonal, freshly picked produce items. DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm is accepting pre-orders for the summer CSA boxes now. You won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to have farm fresh, nutritious and delicious food from your local farmers!

Pricing For The Summer CSA Boxes:

* 12-week Veggie CSA Box Subscription – $300 ($25/week)

* 12-week Veggie and Egg CSA Box Subscription – $360 ($30/week)

* 12-week Veggie, Chicken, and Egg CSA Box Subscription – $600 ($50/week)

Other Farm Fresh Options

Every week, DeLaTerre Permaculture Farm stocks their online market with seasonal produce, a variety of herbs, a selection of pastured eggs and humanely raised meat products. You can shop online by visiting To ensure you never miss the happenings on the farm, subscribe to their weekly newsletter, like them on Facebook,, or follow them on Instagram, @delaterrepermaculturefarm.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp Is Held at NSU

Over 325 young people from throughout the parish participated in the LSHOF Junior Training Camp held on NSU’s campus this Saturday, June 26. Several Hall of Fame members, assisted by NSU football and basketball players, put the young people through a series of drills in football and basketball skills. The children were also treated to a basketball demonstration by a Harlem Globetrotter. This is the tenth year the training camp has been held in Natchitoches. Over the years, it has become an eagerly awaited event for area families. The Natchitoches Sheriff’s Department has been a sponsor of the event since the inaugural camp and brought several deputies and the SWAT vehicle. Likewise volunteers from the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center helped check in children and passed out souvenir camp shirts. Thanks to the sponsors, the children enjoyed a fun day of physical activity and education at no cost.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend the NSU athletes in Football and Basketball who helped at each of the stations. They were unfailingly helpful and gracious with the children. NSU’s WRAC staff turned their facility over to the campers and supplied water for breaks. They were superb ambassadors for their university.

Natchitoches Police arrest individual after brief standoff

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested Christie Williams (B/F, 54 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) for Attempted Second Degree Murder, Domestic Abuse Battery, Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer and Resisting an Officer after a brief standoff Friday afternoon.

On June 25, 2021 around 12:58 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were dispatched to the 1500 block of Stella Street in reference to a disturbance inside a residence. Upon officers arrival they made contact with Christie Williams who was holding a large knife in her hand that she was refusing to put down. While officers were trying to calm down Christie Williams she went back into her residence. When officers attempted to get Christie Williams to come back outside she charged them with the knife but they were able to restrain her and place her under arrest.

Christie Williams was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where she is awaiting bond.

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 Terry Johnson at (318) 357-3858. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

John Greely
Public Information Officer
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: June 25, 2021

The Ben D. Johnson Summer Feeding Program Is Off to a Good Start!

There was a firetruck, DJ, and the parish library’s ubiquitous bookmobile on hand for the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center’s kickoff celebration of the center’s inaugural summer feeding program.

The fire truck delighted the children as they sat in the driver’s seat and blasted the siren. The bookmobile had educational activities, books and some most welcome air-conditioning. Volunteers cooked and served hamburgers and hotdogs for the children as they took a break from the games and fun. There are seven Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members working for the Center. These dynamic young people hail from Louisiana as well as several other states and are an integral part of the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center’s efforts.

The summer feeding program will serve breakfast and lunch to approximately 100 youngsters. The meals are served at the Ben D. Johnson Auditorium on Martin Luther King Street. Breakfast will run from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and lunch will run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. There is no application process, the only requirement is that the person receiving the meal be under 18 years of age. In addition to the meals, the children will receive a backpack full of food each Friday to see them through the weekend. The meal program will start Monday, June 28 and run through the end of July.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend the volunteers and staff of the Ben D. Johnson Center for starting this feeding program. It is a sad fact that all too often the best, and sometimes only meals some children receive are at school. This program will help fill the gap when school is out. We would also like to commend the VISTA volunteers serving our community. We have been uniformly impressed with their dedication and energy. Their love and care for the children the Center serves is quite evident and a joy to see. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes them all the best as they fulfill their term of service and go on to the next phase of their lives.

NCHS graduate receives Gracie’s Gift Scholarship Award

Mr. Aaron Lawrence Warren is the recipient of the Annual Gracie’s Gift Scholarship Award.

Gracie Helaire Roberson retired after 35+yrs of service at the local Natchitoches ARC. After passing away in 2014, her daughters began to continue her display of love for individuals with exceptionalities, through this scholarship.

Mr. Aaron Warren is a 2021 graduate of NCHS. His mother plans to enroll him in classes that will aid him in social skills, peer relationships and independent living skills, just to name a few. He is a member of the St. Paul MBC, where Rev. Leo Walker Sr. is the Pastor.

He is the son of Ms. Windy Robinson and grandson of the late Creola Robinson. Active in his day to day achievements are his aunts Sharon Williams, Denise Mitchell, Tamika Warren and his uncle Ronnie Robinson.

Gracie’s Gift committee consists of her daughters; Michelle Roberson, Brenda R. Sarpy and Sheree Roberson. This is the 6th scholarship given since 2015, and we would like to thank all of our sponsors this year making this another successful year.

Congratulations Aaron!

Demon sports information/broadcasters take home myriad LSWA awards

The Northwestern State sports information and broadcast staffs were honored in myriad categories in the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Association writing, broadcasting and sports information contests.

NSU’s staff captured awards for writing, broadcasting, graphic design and photography at the annual awards luncheon Sunday, hosted by Merci Beaucoup.

Demon Sports Network announcer Tony Taglavore took home first-place honors in the “Best Live Broadcast Team” category for his work with Captain Shreve High School football, working alongside color analyst Jimmy Martin.

The judges said, “The play-by-play announcer is very good. I always like to hear right away where the game ‘is,’ and he did that immediately. You didn’t have to wait for score, time, opponent, etc. Used the color announcer very well.”

Fellow Demon broadcaster Patrick Netherton was honored twice, earning third-place honors for “Best Radio Interview” for his conversation with ESPN broadcaster Anish Shroff. Netherton also earned honorable mention in the Best Radio Show Host solo division for “The Patrick Netherton Show.”

Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Jason Pugh notched a second-place award in the “Division II Best Feature/Release” (men’s basketball/baseball division) for his feature on how the Demon baseball coaching staff handled the sudden absence of head coach Bobby Barbier in an April series against Nicholls.

Assistant Sports Information Director Matt Vines also nabbed a second-place finish for “Division IV Best Feature/Release” (all other non-football sports) for his piece on NSU soccer co-head coaches Jess and Anna Jobe being able to spend time with their newborn son, Sterling, during the pandemic.

NSU photographer Chris Reich grabbed second place in the “Best Sports Photo” category for his shot of Demon second baseman Daunte Stuart being swarmed by teammates after his walk-off hit against Nicholls in April. It was the first LSWA award for Reich, a first-time entrant.

Northwestern State grabbed third place in graphics on the strength of Brad Welborn’s mock video game cover featuring the Demons.

The annual LSWA awards luncheon wraps up the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame weekend in Natchitoches each year. The 2020 awards ceremony was not held this past June, however, awards were distributed for work produced during the 2019-20 athletic calendar year.

Photo/Graphic:  NSU Athletics

Library Reading Program Continues!

The Natchitoches Parish Library (NPL) has seen hundreds of children attend its Summer Reading Program performances over the past month. Your local library has hosted magicians, puppets and storytellers, and musicians at both branches, on the NPL’s front lawn, and even the Downtown Riverbank Stage. And don’t worry if you have not had the chance to catch a library show with your kids; the NPL still has weeks of performances to look forward to! Plus, you can still register your child to read for rewards until the program ends on August 31.

Next week, you will not want to miss Dinosaur Experience, with a walking, roaring T-Rex on June 30, at 10 AM (Riverbank) and 2 PM (NPL), and June 10, 10 AM (Riverbank) and 2 PM (Northeast Branch). The following weeks’ shows will be NSU’s comical improv group, Out On a Limb, followed by Animalogy, a wildlife program with real furry, feathery, scaly, and slimy friends.

The NPL also offers Family Story Time every Tuesday at 10:30 AM. And on Fridays through the end of July kids can catch Sprout! on the library’s front lawn, featuring a different developmental activity each week, along with free veggies from the City of Natchitoches Mobile Market and a sack lunch provided by the Natchitoches Lions Club.

Weekly classes and events for teens and adults are also offered each week.

Love for Louisiana apparent in LSHOF Class of 2020 induction ceremony

Delayed but not denied, the 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class finally took center stage Saturday night inside the Natchitoches Events Center.

And despite the two years between induction ceremonies, little changed during the 61st induction ceremony, attended in person by nearly 600 and seen live over Cox Sports Television in 18 states.

The 11-person induction group lived up to its billing of a diverse class, but the themes that permeated their presentations and induction speeches were generally similar.

From family members or coaches or teammates or co-workers – and of course, their Louisiana roots — the feelings of gratitude remained as consistent as they were ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, which twice delayed the group’s official induction into the state’s sports shrine.

Whether it was the self-professed “city boy” from New Orleans like Kerry Kittles or the sweet, smooth shooting small-town girl from Bienville Parish in Angela Turner Johnson, those Louisiana roots run deep.

“Growing up in Shady Grove, it was such a small community, but we had a sense of family,” Turner Johnson said “If someone did something wrong, our parents knew before we got home because everybody cared about everybody. Mr. Edward Mason, our principal, instilled in us to be the best we can be. He wanted us to not let our humble beginnings get in the way of us dreaming big.”

The members of the long-awaited Class of 2020 dreamed big and delivered even bigger for the Sportsman’s Paradise.

Inducted into the Hall as an outdoorsman, Phil Robertson started hunting at 11 years old and eventually converted his passion into the world-renowned Duck Commander brand that launched the A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty.” The Robertson roots are a threadbare existence in north Caddo Parish at Vivian.

“I told my Ma, ‘I’m not going to school today. I’m going duck hunting,’” Robertson recalled. “She said, ‘Go get us some.’ I walk to Little Lake, and I’m poaching. I see three green-winged teal and a pintailed hen flying together. They come right at me, and I empty my gun. Boom. Boom. Boom. I got two of them. I stripped naked, jumped in the water got my ducks, put my clothes back on and jogged home.

“I ran in the door and told my Pa, who was sitting by the header, ‘Paw, I’ve struck’ He said you got a teal and a pintail, tell your mom to cook them and we’ll eat. I’ve been chasing them ever since.”

Joan Cronan, who was named the recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award., grew up in Opelousas and graduated from LSU before coaching three sports at Northwestern State for one year. Over 30 years as women’s athletics director at the University of Tennseee, she helped coach Patt Head Summit turn the Lady Vols into the best-recognized program in women’s sports before eventually taking the reins of the entire UT athletic department.

“It’s so much fun (to be in Natchitoches),” said Cronan, a self-described Cajun with orange blood. “Over 50 years ago, my husband came here to Natchitoches to get his master’s degree, and I became the volleyball coach, the basketball coach and the tennis coach. It’s a very special place, and we’ve always loved it.”

Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU to sponsor summer concert series

The Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University is sponsoring the 2021 NSU Folklife Concert Series, a series of six Saturday concerts in July and August. The concerts will highlight different folk musical traditions with a 45-minute music set followed by interviews with the musicians and an audience Q&A. Each performance will take place at 2 p.m. at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in downtown Natchitoches. The concert series is free and open to the general public.

The series will kick off on July 3 with Cajun music by Amanda Shaw. Zydeco artist Corey Ledet will perform on July 17. Singer-songwriter ensemble Smithfield Fair will perform on July 24. The Yvette Landry Trio will perform Cajun and classic country on July 31. San Antonio, Texas rock artist Nina Diaz will perform on August 7. Rounding out the series, Blato Zlato (“Swamp Gold” in Bulgarian) will perform Balkan music from New Orleans and Bulgaria on August 14. In addition to the music performances, folk artists will demonstrate and sell traditional crafts on each day of the series.

“This will be an amazing series of performances by some of the most passionate folk artists making music today” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the concert series and Northwestern State University’s Louisiana Folklife Center. “Each of these artists is keeping tradition alive by putting their own stamp on what has come before, which is why folk music is so vital and relevant to our lives. The music and conversations at these concerts will be exciting and memorable.”

Music has been engrained into Shaw’s world for as long as she can remember. That exposure greatly paid off as the Louisiana-raised musician has carved out her place in Cajun culture, and has become one of the most recognizable brands in Louisiana music. From national appearances on the “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the Today Show’s “Roker-thon” and the “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” to a once in lifetime performances with Cyndi Lauper, Shaw’s magnetic presence helped her to build an extraordinary following of fans and supporters. Younger fans look up to Shaw for her pristine fiddling skills and sassy sense of style, while order fans respect her strong work ethic and sincere sensibility, but audiences of all ages agree that Shaw’s musical talent and appealing personality give her a special flair and make her an incredible representative of Louisiana’s melting pot of music.

Ledet’s love for the Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard for him to ignore. He studied the originators of the music such as Clifton Chenier, John Delafose and Boozoo Chavis and branched out to include studying any and all artists of Zydeco. At the early age of 10, he picked up shows playing drums for Houston-based band Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals and slowly learned the main instrument of the music – the accordion. He came to truly love any type of accordion – the single-note, triple-note and piano key accordions – and any others. He worked at building his skills until he knew each one fluently. Ledet eventually moved to Louisiana in order to be surrounded by this beautiful culture at all times. He keeps one foot firmly in the tradition while exploring surrounding influences in order to create the best of both worlds. He is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco into his own unique sound from all of the people he studied and was influenced by.

For over four decades, the focus of Smithfield Fair has been harmony vocals and original songs deftly placed over acoustic instrumentation. Smithfield Fair has presented its heartfelt original music and arrangements of traditional songs across the United States on concert and festival stages; in historic venues and theatres; at large events such as the World’s Fair, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Kerrville Folk Festival; as well as in the most intimate coffeehouses, cafes and house concerts. “Flowers In Her Hair,” “Longships,” “James of the Glen,” “God Never Sleeps,” “Flying High” and other Smithfield Fair songs have become popular internationally through constant radio, satellite and internet airplay. Smithfield Fair continues to be a true original, creating hopeful and imaginative songs, and performing them with passion, honesty and humor.

Landry grew up in Breaux Bridge, not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin. It was in and around that swamp where she learned an appreciation for the music, dance, stories and language of her Cajun culture. After earning a master’s degree in education and developing a successful teaching career, she began telling stories through song. Her debut award-winning album titled “Should Have Known” was released in 2010. (The album was named Offbeat Magazine’s Best Country/Folk Album and Landry “Best Country/Folk Artist”). Over the past several years, Landry has traveled the world and played countless cultural festivals and venues – from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Bluebird Café in Nashville. She toured Russia and served as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the Library of Congress to perform at the Festival of Traditional American Music and graced the stage at both the Library of Congress and John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Considered “one of the two or three most exciting, scary good vocalists in rock today” (David Brown, KUT/NPR), Diaz began her musical career at 13 when she co-founded the all-female rock group Girl in a Coma in 2002. Three years later the group was signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Record and began extensive traveling, creating and performing for audiences around the world as a headlining act and as support for several highly acclaimed artists. Diaz began her journey as a solo artist and released her debut album “The Beat is Dead” on Cosmica Records in 2016.

Blato Zato, who means swamp gold in Bulgarian, is a New Orleans based Balkan band featuring dreamy three-part vocal harmonies and hard hitting instrumentals. They have produced two albums, “Swamp Gold” and “In The Wake.”

Support for the NSU Folklife Concert Series is provided by grants from the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332.

NSU unveils restored historic marker

Northwestern State University unveiled a restored historical marker that acknowledges the early presence of Europeans in what would become Louisiana territory. The Colonial Gateway Corral marks the confluence of three paths, one from the west that used by Spaniards; one east towards a residence of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, and one north to the original Fort St. Jean Baptiste. St. Denis was founder of the settlement that became the city of Natchitoches.

The Colonial Gateway Corral was first sighted by St. Denis and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville in 1700 and the hill later became St. Denis’s vacherie where livestock were kept.

The plaque was originally installed in 1970 by the Natchitoches Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the 17th Century. It was the first plaque installed by the Colonial Dames in Louisiana, according to Carol Steinmuller, current Louisiana president of Colonial Dames. She and several past state presidents attended the unveiling. Colonial Dames is an organization that prioritizes preservation and education of historic places.

The historic marker is located in the triangle in front NSU’s Wellness, Recreation and Activities Center where Central Avenue meets Sam Sibley Drive that has been a crossroads for students for decades. The ridge where St. Denis pastured cattle and horses protected them from floods and extends to the site of the 1832 Bullard mansion. In the mid-1800s the mansion housed a convent and in the 1880s was purchased for use of the Louisiana State Normal School, created by the state in 1884, now known as Northwestern State University. Benches in the triangle date to the 1930s. In 1962, the Classes of 1959 and 1960 installed the north-facing Demon Head plaque in the triangle.

Several individuals had a hand in replacing the deteriorated marker. Physical Plant Director Dale Wohletz and special projects coordinators Gil Gilson and Tommy Whitehead collaborated with experts from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training Deborah Dietrich-Smith, Jason Church and Andy Ferrell. The restoration project was supported by the NSU Foundation.

Pictured: On the front row are Dr. Pete Gregory, NSU professor of anthropology; Leslie Breaux, past state and national Colonial Dames presidents; Pat Gallagher, past Colonial Dames state president; Carol Steinmuller, current state president; NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, SGA President Tja’h Edwards, Kelly Krouse, associate director of University Advancement; Tommy Whitehead, special projects coordinator, and Andy Ferrell, deputy director of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. On the back row are Deborah Smith, historic landscape architect at NCPTT, Kirk Cordell, NCPTT executive director; and Gil Gilson, NSU special projects coordinator.

NCHS Football Team will hold golf tournament fundraiser on July 10

The NCHS Football Team will hold a golf tournament fundraiser on Saturday, July 10 at the Northwest Hills Golf Course, located at 6604 Hwy. 1 Bypass.

Tee time is 8 a.m. Tee Box Sponsorships are $100 and teams are $400. Checks can be made out to NCHS Football. Prizes will be awarded for longest drive, closest to hole, etc.

For more information contact Coach James Wilkerson at 318-220-6883 or call the school at 318-352-2211.


POSITION: Director of Public Works

DESCRIPTION: Performs complex supervisory, administrative and professional work in planning, organizing, directing, and supervising the Public Works Department, including environmental, streets, drainage, grass cutting and other public works projects and programs.

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 you can download an application on line at

QUALIFICATIONS: A registered Civil Engineer with at least two years related experience in a responsible managerial or administrative position OR shall have at least 5 years of related public works experience in a responsible managerial or administrative position OR any equivalent combination of education and experience.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through June 28, 2021


BOM congratulates Kristen Carpenter on her promotion

BOM would like to congratulate Kristen Carpenter on her new position as Head Teller at our University Parkway location. Kristen brings ten years of customer service experience to BOM. Kristen is a graduate of Natchitoches Central High School. She has been married to her husband Brock Carpenter for nine years, and they have two children: Matthew (11) and Dawson (2). In her spare time, Kristen enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.