Notice of Death – June 27, 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

Junior Broadway
April 28, 1933 – June 25, 2021
Service: Monday, June 28 at 10 am at Rocky Mount Cemetery in Robeline

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

Top Five: Week ending June 26, 2021

Top Five (5) Stories on the Natchitoches Parish Journal for the week of June 20, 2021 to June 26, 2021.

If you missed any of these, take a moment to read them now.   If you are not receiving this on your social media of choice, then sign up for the morning update delivered each morning, Monday through Friday, to your inbox.

Reatha Cox named vice president for the Student Experience at Northwestern State

A Well Lived Life of Servant Leadership and a Lasting Legacy

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested an individual for six felony warrants

Road Closure: LA 494 (Keyser Ave)

Update on Natchitoches Parish Schools Providing Student Info for P-EBT for 2020-21 School Year

Dr. Joel Hicks named dean of Northwestern State College of Nursing and School of Allied Health

Dr. Joel Hicks has been named dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health at Northwestern State University effective July 1, according to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. Hicks has served as interim dean since January. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has approved the appointment.

“I am thrilled to have Joel Hicks join us as Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health,” Handel said. “His experience working in radiologic sciences, with industry partners, and his passion for Healthcare, coupled with his emphasis on training future nurses and allied health professionals, will be an asset to the University. Joel is a consummate professional who is thoughtful and responsive to the students, faculty and staff in CoNSAH.”

Hicks has been interim dean since January. He was director of the School of Allied Health from 2017-2020 and was named assistant dean of the College in 2020.

“The foundation of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health was laid long ago by outstanding faculty and staff who wished to educate and graduate the best nurses and radiologic technologists in our state and beyond,” said Hicks. “Building on that foundation, we will continue to fulfill the mission of our college and University by providing the highest quality nursing and allied health education to all students.”

In May, Northwestern State’s nurse anesthesia program received full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The College of Nursing and School of Allied Health recently received a $1.9 million grant from The Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce to help expand the delivery of mental health services in Louisiana.

Hicks joined Northwestern State’s faculty in 2010 after 16 years in the health care field. He earned a certificate in radiologic technology from LSU Health Sciences Center, a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science from Northwestern State, a Master of Science in Radiologic Technology from Midwestern State University and a Doctor of Education in Developmental Education from Grambling State University.

As a member of Northwestern State’s faculty, he has held the Caroline Romine Endowed Professorship for the past four years and was the recipient of the Carolyn Cole Saunders Endowed Professorship for one year. He was principal investigator for a Louisiana Board of Regents grant of $78,894, “Enhancing Student Competencies in Radiologic Science Using Virtual Radiography.” He was represented the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health on NSU’s Faculty Senate from 2010-16, serving as secretary and vice president. He is participating in the UL System’s Management and Leadership Institute and the NSU Leads program.

Hicks makes frequent presentations to national, statewide and regional groups and has had research and book reviews published in national professional journals.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Welcome Reception Gets the Party Started!

Several hundred sports enthusiasts and area residents were joined by Miss Louisiana, Julia Claire Williams, and the inductees into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at the welcome reception for the LSHOF’s 2020 class held Thursday, June 24. The event was free and open to the public and was an excellent opportunity to meet some of our state’s sports legends.

The official portraits of each inductee were on display for the first time to the general public. Each portrait shows the inductee in the context of his or her sport and is a tradition of the Hall of Fame. In addition, a silent auction of donated items and sports memorabilia helped raise funds for the organization.

The festivities are far from finished. Friday will feature a concert along the riverbank complete with signature Natchitoches quality fireworks show. Saturday morning will feature the Junior Training Camp at NSU in which young people will be able to test their abilities, win prizes and learn what it takes to succeed on-and off-the playing field. The weekend will culminate at the induction dinner Saturday evening at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Reatha Cox named vice president for the Student Experience at Northwestern State

Reatha Cox has been named vice president for the Student Experience at Northwestern State University effective July 1. Her appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System. Cox replaces Frances Conine who is retiring.

“I have worked with Reatha for more than 30 years and she has always endeavored to see each student gets the most of their time at Northwestern,” said NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio. “She is known for her energy and enthusiasm and works tirelessly to let students know about available resources that can assist them. Reatha also has a gift for recognizing potential in students and giving them opportunities to develop leadership skills which serve them for the rest of their lives.”

Cox will lead the areas responsible for enrollment including the Offices of Admissions, Recruiting and Financial Aid. The vice president for the student experience also supervises offices in student affairs including the Offices of Accessibility and Disability Support, the Career Center, Counseling Services, First Year Experience and Leadership Development, Fraternal Leadership and Civic Engagement, Health Services, Student Activities and Organizations, Student Development, Student Support Services and the Friedman Student Union.

“I’m excited to serve the university and our students in this new role,” said Cox. “Our Student Experience team is dedicated to providing exciting and innovative programs and services to support the academic and personal goals of our students. I’m looking forward to working with students, faculty, staff and stakeholders as we elevate the student experience at NSU.”

Cox has served as director of Student Affairs since 2018, leading and managing several areas in Student Affairs. She has been a member of Northwestern State’s staff since 1988. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in student personnel services at NSU. Cox was executive director of the First Year Experience and Leadership Development from 2013 to 2018, providing leadership and oversight to Freshman Connection, the university orientation program for first-year students and upper class mentors.

From 2007-13, she was director of Student Life and New Student Programs after serving as director of Student Success and New Student Programs from 2003-07. Cox was director of New Student Programs from 1999-2003 and assistant director of Student Activities and director of Greek Life from 1992-99. From 1988-92, she was an admissions counselor and recruiter.

In 2020, Cox was recognized as the Outstanding Staff Member of the Year by the University of Louisiana System which includes nine regional state universities. She received the Academy of Country Music Awards Volunteer Leadership Award in 2018 and received the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society Executive Director’s Advisor of the Year Award in 2016.

Cox has made numerous presentations to state, regional and national conferences on subjects including student leadership, the value of honor societies and Greek life. She is active in a variety of professional organizations, university committees and community activities.


The City of Natchitoches would like to notify the public beginning Monday, July 19th operating hours for the Utility Service Center will change to the following:

Drive Thru Hours

Monday—Thursday 7:00am to 5:00pm
Friday 7:00am to 2:00pm

Lobby Hours

Monday—Thursday 7:30am to 4:30pm
Friday 7:30am to 12:00pm

City offices including City Hall (Finance, Mayor’s Office, and Planning and Zoning), Purchasing, and Police Records will be open to the public:

Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

For more information or questions regarding the City’s operating hours contact the Office of the Mayor at (318) 352-2772.


By Tommy Rush

Last Saturday afternoon a tragic accident took place on I-65 near Greenville, Alabama. Sadly the accident claimed the lives of ten people, a young father and his baby girl from Tennessee and eight young people returning home from a trip to the beach. The Young People whose ages ranged from five to seventeen, were all residents of the Alabama Sheriff’s Girl’s Ranch. I share this article because the Alabama Sheriff Youth Ranches has been a ministry that my wife and I have been familiar with for many years. The ministry was started by a group of Christian Sheriffs and Business People in the early 70’s and their goal was to provide a good home and a godly environment for neglected and abused children. Many people mistakenly think that the Sheriff Ranches are juvenile detention centers, but that is not the case. I would encourage you to check out their website ( and see how God has used this amazing ministry to touch the lives of more than 5000 children over the past five decades. I wish that I could describe in words the beauty of this awesome ministry and how it has impacted so many young lives with God’s goodness and grace!

In a social media post this week, Hunter Pearson, a photographer who travels the state taking photographs of Alabama’s natural beauty and it’s historical sites, described his experience after coming up on the accident. His words reminded me of two things that I hope to never forget. Everyday is a gift! I pray for God to give me the wisdom to live each day making this world better rather than wasting time whining and complaining about all that’s wrong in the world. Secondly, I hope to never forget that every person is a precious soul and worth loving in Christ! This week I have been reminded of the thousands of house-parents and volunteers involved in ministries like the Sheriff’s Youth Ranches. They are grieving today, but God bless those who have devoted their lives to loving those who desperately need love!

“Returning home to Huntsville from a week in Gulf Shores with my family, we made it just past Greenville, AL on I-65 North when, without warning, the traffic came to a sudden and screeching halt. Immediately I could see a large plume of black smoke rising from the roadway just around the bend about 3/4 of a mile in front of where we were stopped in the road. We had no idea what had just happened. And it would be hours before we had any clue of the horrific event that transpired almost in front of our own eyes. But slowly and one by one, emergency vehicles made their way ahead of us to the scene. They traveled on the shoulder of the northbound lanes, and they traveled north in the southbound lanes with sirens blaring and lights flashing. All we could do was wait. Bystanders around us walked to the scene to see what happened. They would return and pass along what little information they could gather from those close to the accident site. One hour turned into two. Two hours turned into three. And three hours became four. We walked around our parked cars just to move our legs. I spoke with fellow motorists from Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and all parts in between. Then I found myself standing in the middle of the southbound lanes of Interstate 65 with my camera. No cars sped by and no trucks roared past. And without notice, an ambulance appeared on the road leaving the accident scene just up the road from me. This one ambulance was the first of more to come leaving in the same manner. But this time their lights did not flash with bright intensity nor did their sirens scream with loud warnings. And we knew that this could only mean one thing. But standing there in the middle of the interstate it was incredibly quiet and beautiful, almost surreal. Green trees and green grass. And with a horrific event unfolding just up the road and around the bend, Alabama The Beautiful was there with me and all the rest of us. As hard as it was to focus on the beauty and serenity of our surroundings in the face of unimaginable tragedy, sometimes it is all we have left.”

Rural roots are a common thread for LSHOF’s Class of 2020

The 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees competed on the biggest stages under the brightest lights across the country and around the world, but a recurring theme underlined Thursday’s press conference and welcome reception at the LSHOF Museum in downtown Natchitoches.

Five of the seven competitive inductees cut their teeth in small towns, on dirt courts or in grass fields chiseled from the rural Louisiana landscape.

All four of the other honorees either grew up in small towns or were shaped by rural Louisiana on their way to wildly successful careers.

Thursday’s opening press conference kicked off a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend that will enshrine 11 inductees.

Tonight’s free Rockin’ River Fest concert starts at 6 on the downtown riverbank, with introductions of the inductees at 9 followed by fireworks.

Saturday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center caps a weekend full of festivities to honor Louisiana’s greatest athletes.

Visit for participation opportunities at the five remaining events.

The seven competitive ballot inductees are basketball’s Kerry Kittles, Angela Turner Johnson and “Sweet Lou” Dunbar, legendary football coach Mackie Freeze, noted NFL cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, world famous bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman and quarterback turned famed outdoorsman Phil Robertson (who will arrive today).

The hall will also honor its first Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award recipient, Fox Sports broadcaster Tim Brando, along with Joan Cronan (Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award) and Robin Fambrough and Kent Lowe, this year’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients.

“Sweet Lou” Dunbar perfected his game on a dirt basketball court in Minden.

Before he made his name at now-closed Webster High, starting his high school and college battle with future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer (and 2002 LSHOF inductee) Robert Parish, Dunbar had to outsmart his neighbor Mr. Odom’s bulldog if the basketball went over the fence from his dirt court.

“We had to trick the dog as one of us distracted him from the front so another guy could jump the fence and get our ball back,” Dunbar said with his wide grin that would eventually be seen across the world as a Harlem Globetrotter.

Minden seems small to most, unless you’re a native of Shady Grove like Angela Turner Johnson and graduated with a class of 17 from Shady Grove High. She became a cornerstone of dominating Louisiana Tech women’s basketball squads from 1979-82.

Tech made Final Fours in each of her four seasons, and the mid-range specialist was the Final Four MVP in 1981 as the Techsters won the first of two straight national crowns.

“We might have been a little town and a little school, but we had big hearts,” Turner said of Shady Grove, which helped her bond with her Louisiana Tech teammates. “I’m joining three players from those Louisiana Tech teams (Pam Kelly, Kim Mulkey and Janice Lawrence-Braxton) and both of my coaches (Hogg and Leon Barmore) in this hall of fame, and at that time, we just didn’t know the impact we would have on women’s basketball.

“But we did think we could win a title. Pam and I told our coaches and (President F. Jay Taylor) that we were going to win a national championship. We won two.”

Back When the West Was Really Wild — and Dangerous as All Get Out

By Joe Darby

The year was 1881, exactly 140 years ago. Our great or great-great grandparents, for many of us, were alive and more than likely struggling to forge a decent life for themselves. It was only 16 years after the devastation of the Civil War. Things were still tough in Louisiana.

But out 1,000 or more miles to the west, life was even rawer. The folks who had migrated out to America’s western frontier were tough and either brave or foolhardy — maybe both. Life was lived on the edge and those skilled with the gun had a strong advantage in getting by.

I’m touching on these facts because two of the most famous events of the Wild West occurred in 1881. They were the shooting of outlaw Billy the Kid by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Lincoln County, New Mexico and the famous gunfight near — not at — the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

The late 1870s and early ’80s were indeed the heyday of violence in the Old West, times that still live today through legend as well as in countless books, TV shows and movies. For example, Wild Bill Hickock had been killed just five years prior to 1881 and Jesse James was gunned down the following year, both men shot treacherously in the back.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the two signal events of 1881 out on the frontier. Billy the Kid, whose birth name was William Henry McCarty, first saw the light of day in New York City in 1859, possibly the son of an Irish immigrant prostitute in the notorious Five Points section of the city. The family moved to New Mexico and Billy’s mother died in 1874, when the lad was 15.

Billy, as was the case with many teenagers then and now, was in and out of trouble constantly. But his troubles escalated when he shot and killed a bully then joined a gang of rustlers known as The Boys. He then became involved in a range war between two factions trying to rule Lincoln County, N.M.

Billy, nicknamed “The Kid” by newspapers because of his smooth skin and youthful appearance, became notorious in the region and was arrested by Sheriff Pat Garrett in December, 1880. But the gunman soon escaped, shooting and killing two deputies in the process.

Three months later Garret tracked down the Kid in Fort Sumter, N.M. Billy was visiting a girlfriend at the ranch of a man named Pete Maxwell. Garret placed himself in a darkened bedroom and when Billy entered, Garret shot twice, hitting his prey once in the heart. And so ended the life of a 22-year-old man, one of the most famous western outlaws to ever mount a horse. Ironically, Garret himself was gunned down years later, in 1908. One might think that by then violence had more or less abated in the Old West, but remnants of the past lived on.

So, six months after Billy the Kid was shot down, the legendary gunfight in Tombstone took place. In spite of what most folks call it, the fight actually occurred near the OK Corral, not inside it. On one side was probably the most famous lawman of the Old West, Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and Wyatt’s best friend, Doc Holliday. On the other were four members of a gang of cattle rustlers, Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury.

The cowboys had been bragging that they were going to take care of the Earps and on the morning of Oct.26, 1881, the lawmen went looking for the rustlers to disarm them, in keeping with a Tombstone ordinance. They found them on Fremont Street near the corral. Shooting broke out and when the smoke cleared, the McLaurys and Billy Clanton were dead and Virgil and Morgan were wounded. Ike Clanton, who had done most of the pre-fight bragging, cowardly fled the scene just before the bullets started flying.

But that wasn’t the end of the story, as many would think. Both Morgan and Virgil were later ambushed at different locations, with Morgan being killed and Virgil crippled in his arm. Then Wyatt and his compadres went on a famous Vengeance Ride, gunning down more members of the rustling gang. Things got so hot that Wyatt left Tombstone and ended up living to the ripe old age of 81, dying peacefully in bed in 1929.

So these are two famous incidents that made the Old West legendary and happened to occur exactly 140 years ago. There are so many other fascinating tales to tell of those times and places, stories of such people as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Dalton Gang, John Wesley Hardin, Will Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, Belle Starr, Calamity Jane and many others. There are many, many books that tell of the Old West. If you’re interested, they’re out there.

Northwestern State’s Taitano chosen to serve on NCAA Softball Rules Committee

Northwestern State administrator Dr. Haley Taitano has been chosen to serve on the NCAA Women’s Softball Rules Committee beginning in July.

Taitano, who is in her second year as NSU’s deputy athletics director and fifth overall in a senior athletics administration role, will serve a three-year term through August 2024.

The rules committee recommends, evaluates and votes upon softball rules changes affecting a wide range of areas.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve on this committee, and I look forward to the opportunity to represent NSU, the Southland Conference and the FCS at the national level,” Taitano said. “Following a record-setting Women’s College World Series last week, I am anxious to play a part in this rapidly growing sport.

“This is an incredible professional development opportunity for me, and I intend to utilize my voice to continue to increase visibility of women’s softball, and to serve as an advocate for all women’s sports in general.”

Taitano, NSU’s senior women’s administrator, will fill the FCS SWA role on the nine-member rules committee.

The committee consists of five head softball coaches and four administrators from various NCAA divisions.

This is Taitano’s first NCAA committee appointment.

The veteran administrator is a familiar face on a multitude of NSU and Southland Conference committees, including the Student Affairs Council and the SLC Championships Committee.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Who Is The Greatest Bass Angler Of All Time? (Part 2)

This week we continue our quest to determine who is the greatest bass angler of all time. In the previous article we revealed and made a case for three anglers in Denny Brauer, Aaron Martens and Edwin Evers. Again, our criteria are based off the recent list by B.A.S.S. of the ‘All-Time Money Winners.” But before we get to the top two on this list, we have to take a look at some of the old timers who made bass fishing what it is today. Guys who were around when it all began in the late 1960’s like Bill Dance, Roland Martin and Rick Clunn who all dominated the pro tour in the beginning and took full advantage of their early success.

No name or person in the history of bass fishing is more recognizable than Bill Dance with his University of Tennessee baseball cap. To give you an idea how popular that cap is, I ran into Bill at the International Fishing Show known as ICAST in Orlando a few years ago and his PR director had one of Bill caps in his hand while Bill toured the show. I ask him what the extra hat was for, and he said it’s in case someone comes by and snatches his hat off his head. I asked if that had ever happened, and he said yes quite often. When it comes to marketing, no other cap is as recognized as the one Bill Dance wears. His show “Bill Dance Outdoors” is the longest running fishing TV show in history broadcasting since January 5th,1968. Bill does an outstanding job of introducing new tackle and techniques to the public though his show. He’s not just another pretty face for TV, but in his hay day, he was one of the best anglers to ever wet a hook and dominated the tour early on. But he retired from tournament fishing at a very young age in order to focus more on his TV show and sponsor promotions. He pretty much put Strike King Lures on the map and has help make them the leading tackle company in the world.
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Opportunity: Guidance Counselor-NCHS


JOB VACANCIES: Guidance Counselor

SITE LOCATION(S): Natchitoches Central High School

QUALIFICATIONS: Certification according to State Department of Education as a guidance counselor.

SALARY: According to parish school salary schedule.

DEADLINE: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 4:00 p.m.

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



Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) is an evidence-based strength, balance and fitness program for adults 60 and older. The Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging (NPCOA) is proud to offer older adults this program in two separate classes, meeting twice a week, at no charge in person and via ZOOM.

The SAIL program is proven to improve strength, balance and fitness in older adults if taken two to three times a week. The NPCOA will offer the hour-long SAIL classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10:00AM beginning Wednesday, July 7th and online via Zoom. Participants are encouraged to sign up early as there are a limited amount of spaces for this class. SAIL can be done from a standing or seated position.

Performing exercises that focus on strength, balance, and fitness is the most important activity that adults can do to stay active and reduce their chances of falling. The entire curriculum of activities in the SAIL Program can help improve strength and balance, if done regularly. The class is divided into five sections that include a warm-up, aerobics, balance (dynamic and static balance exercises), strength and stretching. All five sections can be done in a seated or standing position; therefore, the class is an ALL levels class.
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Caddo student commits to Call Me MISTER program at NSU

Christian Holmes, a 2021 graduate of C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, was honored during a signing day program for future educators. Holmes committed to participate in the Call Me MISTER program at Northwestern State University, an initiative to recruit African American males to become teachers and mentors at low-performing schools.

Holmes participated in Caddo’s teaching professions classes in recent years, which allowed him to gain insight into the work of educators. He is the first Caddo Parish student to participate in the Call Me MISTER program.

“I want to be a teacher to inspire the upcoming generation of young boys,” Holmes said. “I want them to know that they can do any and everything they put their minds to.”

“Teaching is a calling that requires passion, ambition and determination,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “To see Christian identify at such a young age his desire to go into this incredible profession is something to admire. Through our work to provide coursework to prepare future teachers for the demands of undergraduate education classes, we are seeing the results of these efforts through students like Christian. We look forward to seeing additional students choosing to be teachers and participating in opportunities such as the Call Me MISTER program which allows individuals to become the best teachers they can be.”
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Groundbreaking to Observe Start of Badin-Roque House Restoration

The St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) and the Louisiana Society Daughters of American Revolution (DAR) invite friends and community to a groundbreaking in celebration of Badin- Roque building restoration. The ceremony will take place at the Badin-Roque historic house on Saturday, July 10 at 10 a.m. The house is located at 1996 Louisiana Highway 484 about 6.6 miles Southeast of Natchez and is in the midst of the Cane River National Heritage Trail.

Made possible from donations throughout the country, St. Augustine Historical Society has been able to go forward in the preservation and restoration of the Badin-Roque House. Originally built in the early nineteenth century, it is a poteaux-en-terre (post in the earth) French Creole cottage built with bousillage (mud and moss). Rich in architectural significance, the Badin-Roque House is only one of its kind in the State of Louisiana and one of four surviving examples of poteaux-en-terre (post in the ground) construction remaining in the United States. Due to the composition and frailty of the building, the Badin-Roque House is currently listed as one of Louisiana’s most endangered historic properties by the Louisiana Trust for Historic Places.
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NSU will host virtual STEAM camps in July

Northwestern State University has partnered with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) to present three upcoming virtual summer camps for junior high students entering grades 6-8 and high school students entering grades 9-12 this fall. Registration is open to all junior and high school students.

Participants will work intensively with NSU faculty and undergraduate students in the areas of robotics, cybersecurity and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics). New this year is the addition of ACT preparation components in the Robotics and S.T.E.A.M camps, designed to help campers further prepare for success on up-coming ACT.

There is no cost to register or attend the virtual camps, but registration slots are limited and depend upon the availability of program funding. Campers will receive confirming emails once their registration has been approved. Campers will receive specialized no-cost Summer Camp Kits containing all the materials needed to learn-at-home in real-time throughout the summer.

NSU Robotics Camp + ACT Practice for Math and Science will take place July 12-16. Sessions for junior high students will be from 8 a.m.-noon. Sessions for high school students will be from 1-5 p.m.

NSU Cybersecurity Camp will be July 19-23. Sessions for junior high students will 8 a.m.-noon followed by high school student sessions from 1-5 p.m.

NSU STEAM + ACT Prep Camp will be July 26-30 with junior high sessions from 8 a.m.-noon and high school session from 1-5 p.m.

For more information, email or call (225) 627-3814.

Notice of Death – June 24, 2021

Ethel Ann Dark
September 07, 1934 – June 22, 2021
Service: Friday, June 25 at 10am at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Rosa B. French
June 22, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Elsie LaCour
June 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 26 at 11 am at the Abundant Life Church on Ben Drive in Natchitoches

Arnetta McPhearson Hyams
August 14, 1941 – September 23, 2020
Memorial Mass: Saturday, June 26 at 9 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church
Graveside Interment Service: Saturday, June 26 at 10 am at the American Cemetery in Natchitoches. All are welcome to attend.

Cynita Nash
June 16, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Edward Sewell, Sr.
June 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, June 26 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Freddie Lee Jackson
June 01, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Clarence D. Langlina
October 19, 1932 – June 22, 2021
Service: Friday, June 25 at 11 am at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Campti

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested an individual for six felony warrants

The Natchitoches Police Department has arrested DeAndre Butler (B/M, 22 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) for Second Degree Rape, Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, Domestic Abuse Battery by Strangulation, False Imprisonment, Simple Kidnapping, Simple Robbery, Simple Battery, Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Possession of Marijuana and Resisting Arrest.

On April 10, 2021, officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were dispatched to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in reference to a rape. After a thorough investigation detectives assigned to the case were able to determine that DeAndre Butler was the perpetrator.

On June 7, 2021 around 10:12 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department met with a victim at the police station about a disturbance that took place in the 800 block of Clarence Drive. Officers were told that DeAndre Butler came to the residence uninvited and committed a battery on his ex-girlfriend. After hitting his ex-girlfriend he refused to let anyone inside of the home leave until an unexpected guest knocked on the door and DeAndre Butler fled the area.

On June 13, 2021 around 3:25 a.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were dispatched to the 800 block of Clarence Drive in reference to a kidnapping. Upon officers arrival they spoke with a witness who told them that DeAndre Butler and another individual attacked the victim and forced him into their vehicle. While officers and detectives were still on scene the victim of the kidnapping arrived back to the 800 block of Clarence Drive. The victim said that he was attacked and forced into a vehicle by DeAndre Butler and another person but he was able to free himself in the 500 block of Lakeview Drive.

On June 22, 2021 around 12:30 p.m., detectives were able to locate DeAndre Butler at a residence on Genti Street. After a brief foot chase DeAndre Butler was placed under arrest without incident.

DeAndre Butler has been placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center where he currently 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 or Detective Alisha Robertson at (318) 357-3810. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.
Release Date: June 23, 2021

A Well Lived Life of Servant Leadership and a Lasting Legacy

Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio was honored by colleagues, friends, family, and community members at a retirement reception held on campus Wednesday, June 23.

Dr. Maggio’s thirty-three years of service to his alma mater will draw to a close with his retirement effective July 1. Dr. Maggio graduated from St. Mary’s in 1982 and went on to the university he was to serve and eventually lead. He graduated from NSU in 1985 with a degree in Physical Education, lettering in track and cross country as he had as a high school athlete. He coached for a few years at St. Mary’s before embarking upon his remarkable career at Northwestern state.

Dr. Maggio was honored in a way that was particularly appropriate to his love of Northwestern State University. The NSU Foundation presented him with an endowed scholarship in his name. The Maggio Scholarship has raised over $123,000.00 thus far. The scholarship will be sending young men and women on to a better life for years to come!

The Natchitoches Parish Journal extends its best wishes to Dr. Chris and Jennifer Maggio on their well-earned retirement. Your stewardship of the university leaves NSU in a position to do even more for the young people of our state in the future. Well done sir!

BOM: Rewards Checking

BOM Rewards is a no-fee program that rewards you with points for using your BOM Visa® Debit Card. BOM members who have an active Visa® Debit Card are automatically enrolled in the program- so no need to sign up, just register your account here:

How do I earn points?

You automatically earn points when you use your BOM Visa® Debit Card. You earn one point for every two dollars ($2) spent on eligible purchases. Only signature-based debit card transactions will earn points. If your PIN is entered during the transaction, points are not earned. If a merchant asks you to enter your PIN, say “Credit please.” So, sign your name instead of entering your pin! We keep track of all the points you’ve earned and provide you with a quarterly BOM Rewards paper statement and monthly rewards e-statement. Points expire after 3 years.

What and where can I redeem my points for?

You can redeem your earned points for any of the following types of rewards:

  • Travel
    Any airline, train, cruise, or car rental… book online, with an agent, or book your own/get a travel rebate. Redeeming your points for travel is easy. Simply go to the Travel Resource Center to book online or speak with our travel agency. If you need assistance, call our live BOM Rewards Service Center toll-free at 1-888-646-RWDS (1-888-646-7937) twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Merchandise
    Home, appliances, sports items, computer and electronics, gourmet foods, gift cards, etc. Redeeming your BOM Rewards points for gifts and gift cards is just as easy. Simply compare the total points you’ve accumulated with the number needed for the items you want. If you have enough points, go ahead and redeem. If you need assistance, call our live BOM Rewards Service Center toll free at 1-888-646-RWDS (1-888-646-7937). Our reward specialist will take your order and you will receive your items within 2-4 weeks. Example of gift cards include: Disney, Bass Pro Shop, Old Navy, Chili’s, Lowes, Cracker Barrell, TJ Maxx/Marshalls!
  • Downloadable Rewards Music, ringtones, audio books, movies, etc.

Customer Testimony:

 “I have been banking with BOM for years and finally registered my accounts and redeemed $825 in gift cards!”

“My points just paid for 2 flights round trip to Hawaii!”

“I redeemed my points and took $1000 off of our flights to Disney and $1000 in gift cards for Disney!”

* Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender