LSHOF Induction Celebration begins, you’re invited to the fun!

Natchitoches becomes Louisiana’s Cooperstown for the rest of this week.

With the start of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Induction Celebration this afternoon, our state’s oldest and friendliest town assumes the role of the quaint community in upstate New York that is the home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

That’s a comparison made many times by media and visitors over the nearly 50-year history of the LSHOF inductions during the summer in Natchitoches. It will certainly be rekindled over the next three days, when seven events are staged locally.

It all culminates with the first LSHOF induction ceremony since 2019, Saturday night at 7 in the Natchitoches Events Center.

Eleven new members will be officially welcomed into the Hall of Fame.

For information and participation opportunities, visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255. Reservations are available for all ticketed events and for the free Junior Training Camp Saturday morning at 9 at the NSU WRAC and Turpin Stadium.
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Notice of Special Commission Meeting: JUNE 29

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Commissioners for the Natchitoches Parish Communications District will hold a special meeting on June 29 at 5 pm in Room 116, 911 Public Safety Blvd. in Natchitoches. The purpose of the meeting will be for further discussion regarding the Executive Director selection process.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS WILL BE REQUIRED


Annual Cane River sign delivery run set for Friday

A staple of summer on the Cane River and a symbol of the approaching 2021 football season arrives Friday afternoon.

The annual Northwestern State nautical yard sign delivery on Cane River and Sibley Lake begins at 3 p.m. Friday.

NSU Athletics staff members and coaches will depart mid-afternoon on three boats to post signs in the yards of Demon supporters on both the river and the lake. If you are a Demon season ticket holder who lives on either Cane River or Sibley Lake and would like a sign placed in your yard, please contact Deputy Athletic Director Dr. Haley Taitano at 318-357-4278.

Demon fans who live along the river and lake and would like a sign in their yard are encouraged to flag down the boaters they see Friday.

The annual boat rides are a tradition that unofficially signals the start of the run-up to the Sept. 4 football season opener at North Texas and to the Sept. 18 home opener against UT Martin. It also allows Demon staff members and coaches another avenue to interact with NSU fans and supporters as they look to #LightTheFire for the upcoming athletic year.

In addition to the matchup against UT Martin, Northwestern State’s 2021 schedule also features home games against Incarnate Word (Oct. 2), McNeese (Oct. 16), Southeastern Louisiana (Homecoming, Oct. 23) and Houston Baptist (Nov. 2).

For more information contact Mike Jacklich at 318-357-4268.


Apply now for Natchitoches Virtual Academy for the 2021-2022 school year

The Natchitoches Virtual Academy (NVA) is still accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year. The Academy will offer online instruction for grades 6-12 next academic year. The selective admission program will offer two personalized programs for self- motivated learners in the district:

  • A full-time virtual program for students taking all online courses

  • An accelerated learning program that will give virtual and face-to-face-students an opportunity to take an advanced learning course online in addition to their regular course load

    NVA’s application process will close on Wednesday, June 30th. All 6-12 grade students who are interested in enrolling in NVA for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year must apply via the NVA website at https://npsb.la/natchitoches-virtual-academy.


NSU calendar

Here is a look at the week of June 27 – July 3 at Northwestern State University.

June 27 – July 3 – Registration for summer second four-week session, fall semester
July 1-2 – Advising for second four-week summer session
July 2 – End of first four-week summer session


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).


Shreveport product Coleman playing overseas tour with Athletes In Action

NATCHITOCHES – Shreveport native Kendal Coleman chose to stay close to home and attend Northwestern State, but he’ll be bouncing a basketball halfway around the world in early July.

Coleman will continue an NSU basketball tradition of traveling with Athletes In Action, a Christian organization that organizes tours around the world with the goal of personal and competitive development.

The Captain Shreve product will be one of eight college basketball players headed to North Macedonia for a 10-day tour, which includes four games against U20 teams from around the region.

NSU men’s coach Mike McConathy, who has sent close to 10 players with AIA including recent tours by LaTerrance Reed, Chudier Bile and Ishmael Lane, said the experience greatly impacts its participants.

“It’s a great experience because you’re playing with other guys that are Division I athletes, and you figure out where you fit,” McConathy said. “AIA is an extremely strong Christian organization led by Mike Sigfrids, who has done 30-plus tours through the years.
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School of Instruction for New Election Commissioners

Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court David Stamey announces that the Clerk of Court’s office will be holding a School of Instruction for new election commissioners. It will be held at the main Courtroom of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, 200 Second Street, on Tuesday June 29, 2021 starting at 5:30.

The school is for new persons wanting to be certified as Election Commissioners. If you are already an Election Commissioner, you do not have to attend.

The qualifications to serve include:

You must be a qualified voter who does not require assistance in voting. You cannot be a candidate in the election or have an immediate family member who is a candidate at the precinct in which you serve. To become an election commissioner, you cannot have been convicted of an election offense. You must attend the course of instruction for new election commissioners.

By attending this school, you would be eligible to be selected to work at one of the election precincts on Election Day. Pay is $200 per election.

If you have any questions, please call the Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court office’s at (318) 352-8152.


Notice of Death – June 23, 2021

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.

Sarah Jolene Gourdon
September 02, 1971 – June 16, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 24 at 10 am at Clearlake Cemetery in Goldonna

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

SABINE:
Randy Gene Parker Sr.
April 14, 1969 – June 21, 2021
Service: Thursday, June 24 at 2 pm at Cassell Cemetery in Converse

RED RIVER:
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


NATCHITOCHES MAN ACQUITTED IN MURDER TRIAL 3-WEEKS AGO; BACK IN JAIL ON DOMESTIC ABUSE, WEAPONS AND DRUG CHARGES

A Natchitoches man acquitted during the conclusion of a jury trial in the Tenth Judicial District Court on murder charges three weeks ago- is back in jail in connection with a domestic abuse incident that also led to the seizure of illegal narcotics, assault rifles and a handgun according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Kristopher R. Burks, 21, of Natchitoches is currently being held in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule I Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Domestic Abuse Battery, and 2-Counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony.

Burks was convicted of Simple Burglary in 2017.

The investigation began on Thursday June 17 at approximately 7:30am, when Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were dispatched to a reported domestic disturbance in the 200 block of Laird Fletcher Road just south of Natchitoches, La.

Deputies say upon their arrival, they spoke to the female victim and her mother.
During the investigation, deputies learned the victim had allegedly been abused by her boyfriend identified as Kristopher Burks for over a week.

The victim was able to contact her mother during the early morning hours of June 17 and exited the residence through a window.

Due to the sensitivity of the investigation, no other details are being released at this time, however, deputies learned that illegal narcotics and weapons were allegedly in the residence and a vehicle.

Deputies obtained permission to search the vehicle and obtained a search warrant signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge to search the residence.

Agents assigned to the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force were summoned to assist in the investigation.

During a search of the vehicle, agents seized 1-bag containing approximately 15.2 ounces of suspected marijuana, 1-bag containing approximately 1 ounce of suspected marijuana, 1-bag containing approximately 3 grams of suspected marijuana and 2 additional bags containing 54 suspected MDMA Ecstasy tablets.

During a search of the residence, agents seized three weapons, a SKS asault rifle, Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun and an Anderson 556 assault rifle.

The seized evidence will be submitted to the crime lab for narcotics identification analysis.
Burks remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center with bond set at $62,500.00 by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge.

The victim was provided a Louisiana Automated Victim Notification System Form by NPSO Deputies:

LAVNS is an on-line resource and toll-free automated system that allows you to search for information regarding an adult offender’s current custody and case status. Through this system, you can also register to be notified automatically when an offender is released, transferred, or escapes from a Parish facility or has a change in case status.
If you have any additional information contact the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force at 357-2248.


Campti man arrested for Legend Drug and Obstruction charges

Deputies assigned to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office (IMPACT) team stopped a white 2015 Chevrolet Malibu on June 21 for a traffic violation on Hwy 6 East near Tauzin Island Rd. The driver was identified as, Jacquarious Ardison, 24, of the 100 block of Kemp Street in Campti.

Deputies learned that Ardison’s Louisiana driver’s license was
suspended.

During the course of the traffic stop investigation, NPSO K9, Misty, was utilized. Misty gave a positive odor alert on the vehicle.

During the search, Deputies located 12 pints of Promethazine in the trunk of the vehicle. Upon locating the Promethazine, Ardison broke his flip phone by snapping it in half.

Due to Ardison breaking the flip phone, which could have been used in the post arrest investigation, he was placed under arrest for Obstruction of Justice and Possession of a Legend Drug.

Ardison was arrested and booked on the following charges:

Prescription required to possess a Legend Drug (Promethazine)
Obstruction of justice
Improper lane usage
Driving under suspension

Ardison was placed into the NPDC awaiting a bond.

According to NMJDTF officials, there has been a rise in street sales of Promethazine syrup due to it being easier to obtain and less expensive than the Schedule V CDS -Promethazine w/codeine, also known as “lean”. Promethazine abuse is frequent in patients struggling with coexisting addictions. Opioids, Promethazine, and abuse are highly correlated. Methadone use for opioid addiction treatment is linked to Promethazine abuse. The Antihistamine strengthens the Opioid “high.” The enhancing ability makes the drug popular among people with an addiction disorder. Promethazine abuse is common among injection drug users, patients with chronic pain, and at-risk teenagers. Sadly, people without prior drug disorders are becoming addicted to Promethazine as well.


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

DCFS worked with the Louisiana Department of Education and schools around the state to produce a list of schools that have students who are eligible for P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year and the status of information gathering from those schools.

P-EBT, or Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, is food assistance for families of school children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP), but are not receiving those meals due to campus closures and/or reduced in-person class schedules related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The P-EBT program was authorized by Congress in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 for the 2019-20 school year and later reauthorized for the 2020-21 school year.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and Louisiana Department of Education are partnering to provide the program to Louisiana’s eligible students.

Status of the information that your child’s school has submitted to DCFS:

East Natchitoches Elementary & Middle School – Student Information Received
Fairview Alpha Elementary & Junior High School – Student Information Received
Goldonna Elementary & Junior High School – Student Information Received
LP Vaughn Elementary – Student Information Received
Lakeview Annex – Student Information Received
Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School – Student Information Received
MR Weaver Elementary – Student Information Received
Marthaville Elementary & Junior High School – Student Information Received
NSU ELAB – Student Information Received
NSU Middle Lab School – Student Information Received
Natchitoches Central High School – Student Information Received
Natchitoches Jr. High – Student Information Received
Natchitoches Magnet – Student Information Received
Natchitoches Parish Technical and Career Center – Student Information Received
Provencal Elementary & Junior High School – Student Information Received
Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy – Student Information Received

P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will be issued in installments over the Summer of 2021. Due to the number of cards being issued, it may take several weeks for you to receive your child’s card. Please be patient and do not request a new card, as that would only cause more delay.

Cards will be issued as DCFS receives information from each school. Therefore, families with more than one child may receive their children’s cards at different times, according to when each child’s school submitted their information.

If you have questions about your child’s school’s status, please contact the school or the school district. PHONE LIST BELOW

For more information on P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year and for a list of frequently asked questions, including how to change your address to receive a flyer, visit our P-EBT FAQs.

Will we get Summer P-EBT?

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced that funding is available for P-EBT for families of K-12 students for Summer 2021, and DCFS is working with the Louisiana Department of Education and local school systems to develop a plan to distribute those benefits to eligible families. We do not expect there to be an application process. Summer P-EBT benefits would be distributed automatically to eligible students on the same card they received for the 2020-21 school year. More information will be released.


Cooking for A Cause Benefits Local Organizations

What do you get when you combine a group of determined students with an inspiring leader, chocolate chip cookies and plenty of enthusiasm to raise money for good causes? A new club at St. Mary’s Catholic School named Cooking for a Cause, founded by junior Mason McCart with the assistance of his high school classmates.

When school resumed in September after the Covid shutdown and Hurricane Laura, Mason felt a desire to do something to help the community. “I had a difficult time during the quarantine,” says Mason, “I wanted to use my privilege to try to help others and my community. So, I prayed about it and this is where God led me.”

Mason likes to cook, and students love sweet treats so the idea of selling cookies and baked treats, while donating the profits to a needed cause, appealed to him. He knew St. Mary’s was a natural avenue to pursue his new passion so he approached Tracie Key and former principal, Andrea Harrell, about his idea and they both enthusiastically approved. Key, who is the Director of Religious Education and high school religion teacher for the school, agreed to be the sponsor for the club. Mason had a group of fellow high school students and friends that were ready to lend a helping hand and Cooking for a Cause was born.
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Sweet summer time is upon us and that means one thing to school-aged children in Goldonna. Vacation Bible School!

The Goldonna Baptist Church is hosting their, “Destination Dig”, bible school at 6:00pm starting on July 11 through July 16. A kid-friendly supper will be served to the VBS goers nightly. The church is still serving meals on Wednesday nights utilizing the donation from the Tony Chachere Company. This is the gift that keeps multiplying and feeding the five thousand. Dinners are served beginning at 5:30 every Wednesday night except for the Wednesday of VBS week. These meals will continue until the end of August. The week after Labor Day they will resume their Kingdom Kid ministry on Wednesday nights 6:00 to 7:15. This ministry was put on hold during COVID19. Everyone is looking forward to this excitement as it is one of the community favorites!

For everyone who ever attended Goldonna High School before it closed, there will be a reunion on July 10 at the Goldonna Baptist Church. The menu will include fried fish and all of the trimmings that you need to have a successful meal. You can contact Linda Dupree to reserve your spot. July 1st is the deadline to make your intentions known. Tickets are $20. Please spread the word to all of your classmates who may have attended.

According to Goldonna Town Hall, tax collection from the recently passed tax will begin on July . The Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee is busy working on new ideas and details for the 2021 Christmas in the Park. The town is gearing up for the arrival of a new patrol truck. Along with this, the State will be assessing speed limit signs and updating them accordingly.

If you have news that you would like to share please contact Reba Phelps jreba.phelps@gmail.com


Podcast: John Belton Discusses the Ronald Greene death investigation

John Belton Discusses the Ronald Greene death investigation

John Belton joins Billy West Live and comments on why he referred the Ronald Greene investigation to the United States Department of Justice and the state of that Investigation.

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

Still time to register for Saturday’s free LSHOF Junior Training Camp

There’s still plenty of room for parents to register their kids for the free Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Junior Training Camp Saturday morning on the Northwestern State campus in Natchitoches.

Boys and girls ages 8-17 are eligible to attend. To guarantee a spot, they should be pre-registered through the LaSportsHall.com website or by calling 318-238-4255. Walk-up participation Saturday morning is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Webb Wellness and Recreation Center (WRAC) in the heart of the NSU campus, just northeast of Turpin Stadium.

The Natchitoches Parish’s Sheriff’s Office and Natchitoches Regional Medical Center are the presenting sponsors for the JTC.

Campers will get individualized skills instruction in basketball, football and basic sports fundamentals, and will also receive messaging and items promoting healthy lifestyles. Each camper receives a T-shirt and a free achievement certificate from Raising Canes good for a lunch meal at the popular restaurant.

Instruction comes from experts – the members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020, some past inductees including five-time USA Olympian Danielle Scott, and Northwestern State football and basketball coaches and players.

The new inductees include two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman of the Chicago Bears, eight-year NBA standout (Brooklyn Nets) Kerry Kittles, Harlem Globetrotters legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, and Angela Turner Johnson, the MVP of the 1981 Final Four for the national champion Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

Also on hand will be Mr. Duck Dynasty, the Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who was a starting quarterback with Terry Bradshaw as his backup at Louisiana Tech. Fox Sports announcer Tim Brando might be doing some play by play or offering his ample expertise in football and hoops.

Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman will be enjoying his own kids in the clinic and will be a football contributor, since he was a middle linebacker from 1983-86 for the Eddie Robinson-coached Grambling Tigers.


Stanley’s Stump

By Brad Dison

Stanley Bert Eisen was born on January 20, 1952 in New York City. On that day, doctors and nurses immediately realized Stanley had been born with a congenital deformity known as Microtia. The deformity prevented his ear from forming properly and left him deaf in his right ear. Rather than being deaf in his right ear, it would be better stated that he was deaf on his right side because there was no right ear. Stanley was born with a stump where his right ear should have been.

Stanley recalled that he had a “less than optimal childhood.” His parents refused to acknowledge that Stanley had a deformity. Rather than explaining his deformity and that he was half-deaf, his parents simply ignored the issue altogether. Stanley recognized his deformity at an early age when people would stare at the right side of his face. Stanley looked into mirrors and compared his left ear and the stump on the opposite side. He knew he was different. Stanley had trouble hearing on his right side but his family never spoke of his half-deafness. Stanly recalled, “I was an angry, dysfunctional kid with a real image problem and a hearing problem that put me under constant scrutiny. My family’s way was, ‘Everything’s OK. Forward, march.’ But the idea that you make someone stronger by ignoring their pain shouldn’t be called ‘tough love.’ It should just be called ‘no love.’”
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NSU nursing students awarded CHEN scholarships for summer school

The Community Healthcare Education Network (CHEN) awarded two senior Northwestern State University nursing students with scholarships for the summer semester. CHEN is a volunteer, non-profit organization consisting of healthcare professionals, businesses, agencies and organizations that provide healthcare education and resources to the people of north and central Louisiana. “We want to help students with their summer tuition when other scholarships might not be available,” said Brian Driggers, CHEN president. After reviewing over 20 applications, the board voted to approve two scholarships this year instead of one. Alayna Moreau of Lafayette was awarded $2,000 and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing this summer from the Shreveport campus. Gabriella Kopf of Cooper City, Florida, was awarded $1,000 and has just begun the accelerated BS-BSN (Bachelor of Science to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program at the Shreveport campus.

Pictured from left are Driggers, Moreau and CHEN Scholarship Committee members Eva Deeds and Shondale Coleman.


Women’s Resource Center Executive Director speaks to Rotary Club

Rotarian with the Program Mark Thomas introduced Jennifer Luna Executive Director of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) at the June 22 luncheon. Mrs. Luna summarized the purpose of the WRC which was founded in 1989 for the purpose of offering services (within a 50-mile radius of Natchitoches), assistance, and guidance to young women facing difficult life situations most often due to unplanned pregnancies.

Pictured from left are Rotary President Paul Rinehart, Luna, and Thomas.


Opportunity: Business Administrator

POSITION: Accountant – Business Administrator

DUTIES: Managing all financial accounting processes and implementing the policies of the church in cooperation with the Church Board and Pastor.

QUALIFICATIONS: Accounting degree required. Previous public accounting and supervisory experience preferred. Detail oriented. Trustworthy and Honest. Clear background check with satisfactory references. Proficient with financial computer software. Knowledge of Shelby Church Management Software is a plus.

SALARY RANGE: $20,000-$24,000 – Part Time

CONTACT: Gina Matt or Gary Willis, First United Methodist Church, 220 Rue Amulet, Natchitoches, LA 71457, office@fumcnla.org, 318-357-8296

EOE