NPD reminds everyone to practice safety this Halloween

The City of Natchitoches will have neighborhood trick-or-treating for Halloween from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Sunday. The Natchitoches Police Department would like to encourage parents and children to follow these safety tips while enjoying trick-or-treating.

Only trick-or-treat during the observed hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Children should trick-or-treat in groups or with a responsible adult.
Realistic replica firearms should never be used.
Children should always use the sidewalk, not the street for walking and should look in all directions before crossing the street. If walking on the street is necessary, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
Parents should know what route their children will be taking.
Only approach a home with the porch light lit.
Children should never accept rides from strangers.
Children should never eat any treats until they have been examined.

We will have additional officers patrolling neighborhoods so that everyone can have a safe and happy Halloween this Sunday.

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.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:
You can also report a tip anonymously by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

Tonight’s district title game at Logansport will define 2021 SMHS squad

Nobody who saw it will forget last year’s 46-45 win by St. Mary’s over Logansport, when the local Tigers scored 15 points in the last 17 seconds to end the visitors’ 26-game district winning streak.

A year later, St. Mary’s goes to Logansport tonight for a 7 o’clock rematch that will again determine the District 3-1A championship, and could turn the tide in this friendly rivalry.

Despite last year’s outcome, Logansport has had the upper hand lately against SMHS. But putting a road win on top of last year’s incredible victory would flip the script.

More importantly, it would virtually guarantee St. Mary’s at least one home game in the upcoming Division IV playoffs. The Tigers currently stand fifth in the LHSAA’s power points rankings, and the top eight teams host first round games, with the top four best positioned to host another game.

“That’s our goal is to host this year. We’ve been to the playoffs, but it’s time for us to host a game and win, and then make a run,” said St. Mary’s coach Aaron York. “We’ve set ourselves in position to do that, being one of the top eight teams, but we’ve got to finish it in these next two weeks.”

St. Mary’s is 7-1 and has won seven straight. Logansport, whose head coach, Kevin Magee, is a former NSU quarterback, is 4-4. Both squads are 3-0 in district.

“That 4-4 record is very deceptive,” said York. “Like us, they played up in classification in non-district games. Logansport and Oak Grove are the two hot picks to win Class A in the non-select division. They’re a very, very good 1A team.

“They’ve got kids up front who can play. They’ve got a big time receiver and a quarterback who gets him the ball. They’re extremely well coached.”

And they’ve got a chip on their shoulders.

“We’re not sneaking up on anybody because we won the district last year, and the way we beat them last year, it’s eaten at them for every day since then so they will be highly motivated Friday night,” said York. “For us, we’ve got a chance to be back-to-back district champions, which hasn’t been done here in a while.”

Both teams have mashed their other district foes and have played out games with running clocks the last three weeks, at least. This matchup, however, shapes up as a four-quarter battle.

“Offensively, we’ve got to establish the running game and that opens up things on the outside and down the field,” said York. “Defensively, we have to contain their athletes. But we’ve got good athletes too, and we know we’re good. We have to go prove it Friday night.

“Everything we’ve done to this point leads us to this moment. We’re treating it like a playoff game and it is a district championship game, just like both teams expected it to be as soon as the schedules came out.”

What will be the legacy of the 2021 St. Mary’s team? Tonight’s contest is a defining moment, and York said his Tigers are ready.

“I like where our team is, the mindset of our kids, going into this,” he said.

Lakeview hits the road for the last time, visiting Winnfield tonight

While the outcomes haven’t been what Lakeview football coach Brandon Helms hoped for this fall, the effort and guts of his young Gators have been inspiring, and promising for the future.

As the last road game of the season kicks off at 7 tonight at Winnfield’s Stokes-Walker Stadium, the wear and tear of a grinding schedule and a small roster combine to ramp up the degree of difficulty for the Gators.

“We’re beat up, and will probably be without three starters this week. With our lack of depth, that’s really going without six starters because they all three play both ways, and on special teams,” said Helms. “But we have kids who have come in and worked to step up, and that bodes well for the future, and hopefully this week.”

The banged up Gators are Dillon Ireland up front, running backs and brothers Kaleb Collins and Kylin Collins.

“The Collins’ poor grandmother has one with a broken ankle, and another with a sprained knee,” said Helms.

But Lakeview will doubtlessly get great effort, led by senior linebacker Matthew Howard and junior quarterback and safety Dillon Pikes.

Helms is pleased with the emergence of a younger Gator.

“Jarmarrian Vaughn has had a really good week. He’s a young offensive/defensive lineman for us and he has risen up, just when we need it,” said Helms. “I’m eager to see how he gets after it Friday night.”

Winnfield, coached by former NSU Demon offensive lineman Jay Watson, is a ground-and-pound team.

The Tigers (5-3) won their first three games and their last two, but like Lakeview (1-7) are seeking their first District 3-2A triumph. Winnfield edged Bunkie 7-3 last week after an 11-6 win a week earlier at Menard.

“They do what they do,” said Helms. “They’re 80 percent run, and so you know what they’re going to do and pretty much where they’re going with it. They don’t care. Any time you play a team that runs as much option as they do, there’s the chance they can put the ball on the ground. We’ve got to force those turnovers and cash them in.

“Offensively, we’ve got to keep from turning it over, get first downs and work at our tempo. It’s a good Winnfield team and we’re a hungry, tough, young Lakeview team that has come to play no matter who we are playing.”

Lakeview’s season ends at home next Friday night against defending state champion Many.

Practice What You Preach

As you are probably aware, October is National Pastor Appreciation Month. Being raised as a pastor’s child it was very difficult to appreciate the pastor when he was a resident of my own home. Seeing your pastor once a week leaves room for the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Living with a preacher was a whole different story. It’s a good story but it’s a different story.

Many people do not get to see the behind the scenes work that pastors do and the amount of studying and preparation that goes into a Sunday message or just merely opening the doors for a church service. The pastor is the first one to church in the mornings and the last to leave. Their children and spouses have a front row seat to all of these festivities. Tending to the flock is a full time job and sometimes it takes the pastor’s wife and children to work as a team to ensure that everything is taken care of.

Pastors are known for inviting random people over for Sunday lunch in a moments notice. Their family must be prepared for this. They are known for leaving in the middle of meals because someone is in need. Their family must be prepared for this. They are known to travel across the country to perform a wedding or a funeral. Their family must be prepared for this. Sometimes they even have the tough jobs of delivering bad news to unsuspecting people or their own church family.

No one is prepared for this.

One of the heaviest burdens to bear as a pastor is that they must perform all of these duties without showing the slightest bit of wavering faith. After all, they are our spiritual heroes and always have the right words to share. If the pastor has a bad day or not feeling his best, the whole flock will be able to tell it.

It reminds me of a turbulent flight. If the flight attendants are worried then the passengers are equally worried. Same thing with a church, if the pastor loses his faith then the flock will follow.

Sometimes what preachers don’t talk about is the need to be tended to as well. Please don’t confuse this as a paid advertisement from local preachers. But in some respects it could be read as a reminder that pastors need prayer and encouragement as well. Pastors constantly pour from their cup and often need it filled again. Pastor-fatigue is a real thing and it is easily cured with support and constant prayer from the church family.

It’s an incredibly easy task to sit on a pew and judge every word, every movement, every mispronunciation of a word or missed scripture when you aren’t the one standing behind the pulpit after having prepared all week for the perfect message to deliver to the flock.

I am probably preaching to the choir but I sincerely pray you spent October appreciating your pastor and all of their hard work. If you haven’t, it’s not too late. If you feel so inclined, I am sure they would appreciate your prayers all year long and not just confine it to the fall season of the year.

“And I will you give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Jeremiah 3:15

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”
Ephesians 4:11


By Tommy Rush

I remember the final years of my father’s life. Although only in his late 70’s, his dementia had a major effect on him. His short-term memory left him hanging on memories from his childhood. Dementia and Alzheimers like other diseases are tough for any family to experience. Nancy Reagan referred to Alzheimers as the “long goodbye.” She watched her husband, President Reagan go through ten long years of suffering with the disease.

My Dad experienced dementia for the final six years of his life. Those years were some very painful and difficult ones for my family as we watched him slowly lose his memory. Eventually he had regressed backward to the point that he required constant help to complete even the simplest of tasks. My heart goes out to families who are walking through this tough valley.

I still remember the night we sat together watching his favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. They were playing the team he always referred to as “those Dad-gum Dodgers.” He was quiet and still and he looked over at me after several innings and asked, “What are those people doing?” It broke my heart to hear that question, because it confirmed to me that his memory had almost completely left him. In a matter of a few short months he had regressed to the point that he did not know me or any of the other family members by name. Someone said, “It’s like losing your loved one twice when you lose them to Alzheimers or Dementia.”

Seeing Atlanta in the World Series again has triggered many good memories for me. I have many fond memories of my dad watching the Braves play baseball. One of my favorite memories is the trip we took to Atlanta to see the Braves and Giants play on his 70th Birthday. It was his first and only time to see a major league game in person. He loved the trip to the game, but could never get over the price of the hot dogs at the stadium or the traffic in Atlanta. After our trip to the game, he preferred to just watch the games from home and eat “Mama’s Hot Dogs.” The trip was one that I’ll never forget or at least I hope to never forget!

This past Wednesday Night, in our children’s ministry the children were learning a new song titled, “The Story of Scripture.” The leaders told me the song was a great way to teach the kids the entire storyline of the Bible using music. It is really amazing to see children learning and memorizing God’s Word through singing.

Again I thought about my dad’s ability to sing the old hymns and songs of our faith that he had been singing all his life, even when he could not remember anything else. He never forgot the songs! Research has demonstrated that music is so deeply meaningful in our childhood that memories tied to music live on even in advanced Alzheimer’s patients. I was encouraged Wednesday Night thinking about the children memorizing God’s Word through music. Then I watched Game 2 of the World Series. Even though the Braves lost, I was grateful for my good memories!

Questions and Answers About Gallstones and Gallbladder Surgery

With General Surgeon Dr. Steven Jackson
NRMC General Surgery Associates

Question: What is the purpose of the gallbladder?
Dr. Jackson: The gallbladder is an organ that plays a role in digestion by releasing a fluid called bile into the small intestines. The gallbladder is located near the liver in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen.

Question: Why do gallstones form?
Dr. Jackson: Causes include too much cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile, some blood disorders, or a poorly functioning gallbladder that does not release bile effectively. Each of these can lead to the formation of crystals or pebbles. These solid masses can block the bile ducts and cause an infection and inflammation in the gallbladder.

Question: What are the symptoms of gallstones?
Dr. Jackson: Gallstones can cause sharp pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. Other common symptoms are vomiting, sweating, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and fever. An infection can lead to serious illness.

Question: How do you diagnose gallstones?
Dr. Jackson: When a person comes in with pain and illness suggestive of gallstones or other gallbladder issues, we do imaging – CT scan, ultrasound, or sometimes MRI – of the gallbladder to see what’s going on. We look for gallstones and whether or not there are any blockages. We also do blood tests to check for infection and liver enzymes.

Question: When is surgery needed to remove the gallbladder?
Dr. Jackson: When gallstones are blocking the bile ducts causing pain, infection, and inflammation, the condition will not improve on its own, and surgery is needed. There are also other conditions that can lead to removal of the organ. We do most of these surgeries laparoscopically using four small incisions. The recovery is much faster than if we need to do traditional surgery which is done through one larger incision.

Question: Do you need a gallbladder?
Dr. Jackson: The gallbladder serves an important function, but for people with gallstones and gallbladder disease, it is necessary to remove the organ. After removing the gallbladder, the liver continues to produce bile but instead of it going into the gallbladder, the bile goes directly from the liver into the small intestines where it then helps with digestion.

For more information on gallbladder disease or for an appointment with Dr. Jackson, please call 318.214.5770. NRMC General Surgery Associates is in the Multispecialty Clinic, adjacent to NRMC. In an emergency, patients should go to NRMC’s Emergency Department. General Surgery Associates are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NSU calendar

Here is a look at the week of Oct. 31 – Nov. 6 at Northwestern State University.

Nov. 1 – January 9, 2022 – Registration for Spring 2022 semester
Nov. 1-8 – Exhibition by graduate student artist Edgar Cano, Hanchey Galley, reception on Nov. 1, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 – Wellness Fest, Randall J. Webb Wellness Recreation and Activity Center, 10 am.-2 p.m.
Nov. 2 – Native American Heritage Month film screening, “L’Eau Est La Vie: From Standing Rock to the Swamp and Awake: A Dream of Standing Rock,” President’s Room, Friedman Student Union, 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 3 — “Song of a People: Music of the African-American Experience,” Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 3-6 — NSU Theatre and Dance will premiere the Del Shores play “In Memoriam of Lena,” Theatre West, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 4 – Volleyball vs. Incarnate Word, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 4 – NSU Wind Symphony, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #
Nov. 5 — Journalism and Media Day, Friedman Student Union
Nov. 6 – Volleyball vs. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, Prather Coliseum, 11 a.m.
Nov. 6 – Football vs. Houston Baptist, Turpin Stadium, 3 p.m.

NSU Presidential Search “On-Campus Interview Schedule” Monday, Novebmer 1st & 2nd.


The Colorful World of Baits

By Steve Graf

When it comes to soft plastic lures, one thing anglers will say is that “color does not matter.” But I’m going to give my perspective on why it does. For years both novice and professional bass fishermen have made a case for why the color of your bait doesn’t matter. They say it’s more about the presentation than it is the color of the bait itself. This may be true in some isolated cases, but if that’s true, then why do manufacturers make soft plastic worms in so many colors? Is it to catch fish or is it to catch anglers?

Today’s anglers are overwhelmed with color selection by many of the top name brands like Strike King, V&M, Gary Yamamoto, Zoom, and Reaction Innovation, just to name a few. Each of these manufacturers produce some of the best soft plastics ever made. But colors in the bass fishing world are not your standard red, blue or greens. They have very creative names like red bug, tequila sunrise, green pumpkin, watermelon and my personal favorite, black emerald. Bait companies are even more creative than the original box of 64 crayons when it comes to color options. You may remember this from your childhood days when Crayola crayons had names like Brick Red, Burnt Orange, Chestnut, and even Bittersweet. But today’s box of crayons might include Inchworm, Granny Smith Apple, Caribbean Green, Tropical Rainforest, or my personal favorite Permanent Geranium Lake. Who comes up with these names? How is a child or an angler today, suppose to understand or learn the different color pallets of this magnitude?

Well, bass fishermen new to the industry are in the same boat. How is an angler supposed to know the difference between crab apple or plum? Well crab apple, also known as red bug by some companies, are red worms with green flake. But back in the day when soft plastic baits were first invented by Nick Crème of Crème Lures, crab apple was the original red worm with green flake. By the way, it was at the Cleveland Sportsman’s Show in 1951 that Nick Crème introduced and sold over 9600 packs of soft plastic worms which jumpstarted the soft plastic industry. Today the king of soft plastics is a company by the name of Zoom, which started manufacturing soft plastic baits in 1977.

As you can see, the color pallets of the bass fishing world all depend on what company is producing the baits. But does color really matter when it comes to catching bass? I say yes, because I’ve seen days where you can throw red bugs and then switch to green pumpkin and start catching fish. Just like this past August, I was pre-fishing for a tournament on Sam Rayburn and was throwing one of my favorite V&M baits called a Baby Swamp Hog in watermelon/red with basically zero bites in the first three hours. I switched to Gleason Candy and it was like someone turned on a light switch. Making this change in color allowed me to finish in 2nd place in that event. I’m also of the opinion that if color doesn’t matter, then why do they make so many color options for anglers to choose from? Now I will admit that some colors are designed to catch anglers rather than fish, but in general, the array of color choices allows an angler to experiment and try something that maybe the bass have not seen.

So, the next time you’re in your favorite tackle store, make sure you know what color soft plastic you’re looking for. Know the difference between watermelon/red and green pumpkin with red flakes. If you’re not sure, ask someone to help you. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to set the hook!

NSU alumni Frank, Tison will join NNSO in concert Nov. 14

Two accomplished Northwestern State University alumni will be featured at an upcoming Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra concert set to begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 in Magale Recital Hall. Kevin Tison will be featured on piano and Clarence Frank Jr. will conduct Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1.” The program will also include Haydn’s Symphony No. 92 “Oxford.”

Tickets are $15 for the public and free for Northwestern State, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students. Dr. Douglas Bakenhus is conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony.

Frank was born and raised in Baytown, Texas, and earlier this year made history when he was appointed conductor of the Baytown Symphony. He is the first African American conductor to be appointed in the greater Houston area and in the Baytown Symphony’s 53-year history.

Frank and Tison have been friends since their undergraduate days when they connected through the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Baptist Student Union, now the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. They have both maintained ties to NSU and reunited to perform the Tchaikovsky concerto with the Baytown Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 17, a performance that both said was a resounding success.

“I had called Clarence earlier this year to say congratulations on being appointed conductor and said, ‘You should program the Tchaikovsky concerto and bring me out to perform it,’” Tison explained. “It was mostly a joke, but he called me up later and said, ‘How about October 17?’ It was a dream for me and such a cool opportunity. We rolled forward with it.”

“I mentioned to my Theta Chi fraternity brother Van Erickson [director of Recruiting] that we would be doing a concert in Baytown with two NSU alums,” Frank added. “I said we should try and organize a Houston area alumni gathering for this event. He then mentioned it to Dr. Bakenhus. From there, Dr. Bakenhus said that we should come back to NSU and do the program there. So, we got the ball rolling and got everything set up. My expectation is that it will be a rousing success with the symphony orchestra and will bring back lots of alumni and friends to visit the old stomping grounds.”

“We’ll be right at home on the Magale Hall stage again,” Tison said. “It will be surreal being back and coming full circle.”

Frank started his musical journey in the 6th grade at Cedar Bayou Junior School playing cello in the orchestra. He continued playing all through high school, graduating from Sterling High School and then receiving his Bachelor of Music Education from NSU in 2000. While at NSU, he studied cello with Richard Rose and conducting with Dr. George Adams. After graduating with honors, he began teaching orchestra in the Goose Creek public schools. He taught for 16 years and, following a desire to transition to higher education, earned a Master of Music Degree in Conducting from Sam Houston State University studying with Dr. Jacob Sustaita and Dr. Daniel Saenz.

Frank continues to teach through private cello studies and as the director of Performing Arts for Baytown Christian Academy serving as the orchestra and choir director for the school. In his young conducting career, he had the privilege of leading the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, Sam Houston State Symphony Orchestra, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.

A central Louisiana native, Tison began his musical education with piano study at age 13. Over the past 30 years, his professional work in music has spanned various roles as a conductor, educator, pianist, arranger and vocalist. He is in his 20th year teaching high school choral music, the past 17 at Fountain Valley High School in Orange County, California.

Tison earned a Bachelor of Music at NSU in 1993 and a Master of Music from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, both in piano performance. Additional concentrations of study were pursued in the areas of voice, composition, orchestration and conducting.

At the conductor’s podium, his work has been extensive and varied from orchestras and choirs to directing musical and opera theater. He has been featured as a performer on organ, harpsichord, French horn, percussion and voice, in addition to piano. Before teaching, Tison served as music director of various churches throughout Louisiana, Texas and California. In addition to his teaching and performing duties, he is passionate about educational travel and serves as part of the Perform International team as an artistic advisor and production assistant, helping develop choral music festivals and other international performance opportunities.

Notice of Death – October 28, 2021

Gertie Kilgore
October 31, 1924 – October 26, 2021
Service: Sunday, October 31 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Penny Ivey
October 08, 1947 – October 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, November 6 at 11 am at Westside Baptist Church in Natchitoches

Lucille Wardsworth
May 12, 1969- October 20,2021
Service: Friday, October 29 at 11 am at Pentecost Baptist Church in Natchez

James David Meshell
February 6, 1943 – October 26, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 30 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Update – Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for making threats on social media


Release Date: October 28, 2021

After a thorough investigation the Natchitoches Police Department has arrested a fourteen year old juvenile for making threats on social media earlier this week. The juvenile was placed under arrest for one count of terrorizing and was placed in the Ware Youth Center.

Terrorizing is a felony and carries a maximum prison sentence of not more than fifteen years.

If you would like to report suspicious activity 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.

Original Story – Natchitoches Police investigate social media threat to local school

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a social media threat to a local school after receiving several tips from the community.

On October 22, 2021 around 10:18 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were made aware of a social media threat towards “Central High School.” Investigators have been working throughout the night and are conducting an extensive threat assessment to determine the validity of this threat and to identify the responsible party for making it.

This is an active investigation and we will release more details as they become available.

Please contact the Natchitoches Parish School Board at (318) 352-2358 or Natchitoches Central High School at (318) 352-2211 if you have any questions about school operations.

If you would like to report suspicious activity contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.


The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a social media threat to a local school after receiving several tips from the community.

On October 22, 2021 around 10:18 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were made aware of a social media threat towards “Central High School.” Investigators have been working throughout the night and are conducting an extensive threat assessment to determine the validity of this threat and to identify the responsible party for making it.

This is an active investigation and we will release more details as they become available.

Please contact the Natchitoches Parish School Board at (318) 352-2358 or Natchitoches Central High School at (318) 352-2211 if you have any questions about school operations.

If you would like to report suspicious activity, contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

Corporal John Greely
Public Information Officer
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: October 23, 2021

Indoor mask mandate to remain in place at Northwestern State

Northwestern State University’s indoor mask mandate will remain in place until Natchitoches transmission is below high or substantial, according to NSU Interim President Dr. Marcus Jones.

On Tuesday Governor John Bel Edwards announced the lifting of the statewide mask mandate with some caveats. K-12 schools must maintain a mask mandate or follow CDC guidance on quarantine. Institutions in the University of Louisiana System have been under a systemic mask requirement that precedes the Governor’s statewide mandate. The UL System guidelines require students, faculty and staff to wear masks in classrooms and other public indoor spaces in regions of high or substantial transmission.

“It is with an abundance of caution that we will continue to wear masks indoors,” Jones said. “NSU’s indoor mask mandates have played a role in the low numbers of COVID cases on campus and we will continue to mask up until COVID no longer poses a threat to public health.”

Thursday, Oct. 28 is the last day to qualify for the Shot for $100 campaign. NSU will host a COVID vaccine clinic from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday in Hanchey Gallery.

Information on NSU’s COVID-19 protocols can be found at

NSU Presidential Search: Jeremy L. Thomas


Thomas hopes to return home to NSU and Natchitoches

• On serving as President:
Serving as President of Northwestern State University would be one of the highest honors I have received. Everything I’ve done so far in my career has been to obtain the skills, experience and life lessons to come back home and serve my alma mater.

• On making a long-term commitment:
If you want someone who will stick around – who isn’t using the opportunity as a stepping stone or a bridge to another destination – I’m your person. I consider Natchitoches our home, and if you put your trust and confidence in me, I’ll serve as long as this community will have me.

• On my loyalty to Northwestern State University:
Even now, here, as the Interim President at Oklahoma City Community College, my band cape hangs on my wall in my office. My colleagues and direct reports know how much of a die-hard Demon I am, and if they ever forget, my backpack, my jacket, my umbrella, and my license plate holder are all reminders of my affection for Northwestern State University.

• On my commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education:
Oklahoma City Community College is one of the more diverse colleges in Oklahoma. We serve 17,000+ students each year, a number of whom are first-generation college students, and many have jobs and families to support. Since my time as interim President, we’ve made significant strides to better communicate our mission and vision to the community, we’ve opened up our campus (when Covid-safe) to guests to experience our hospitality and culture, and we’ve stepped out into the business community as significant sponsors and cultural liaisons for our student body. It’s my belief that a college education has the ability to change lives, families and trajectories for anyone who’s willing to do the work, and has a significant positive impact on the development of responsible citizens in our communities, too. There is no question that this commitment to servant leadership, to helping open up access for higher education to everyone who wants it, and to creating a culture where everyone is welcome, comes from the experiences, mentors and lessons I was fortunate enough to have at Northwestern State University.

• On my professional experience:
I’m in this for the long haul. I bring fresh experiences in the workforce. I bring energy and creativity to my role. I connect with students and elected officials alike. I have an understanding of technology, of modern culture, of work, and of the struggles that take place in higher education, not from a distant position, or from memories of experiences years or decades ago, but from my conversations and experiences I have daily with my staff, my colleagues, my board, and my family. I have two teenage daughters: They are our future student body, and growing up in their generation is very different. I’m dialed into that, as only a father experiencing it, can be.

• On my own experiences as a student:
I am, as my staff sometimes reminds me, a farm boy. I was the first one in my family to go to college, and as it has done for so many students who have come before or since, it changed my life, and the lives of my children, and likely of their children, and so on. I have always remembered the feeling of being a young student, taking my first steps onto campus: The fear, the excitement, the pressure, and the constant thought that I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ll figure it out on my way. Of course, I know now that we all feel that way sometimes, that we don’t always have the answers. And that’s okay. That’s where great advisors, professors, mentors, and friends play such a huge part of the college experience: They help you find your way, and sometimes, just reassure you that it’s okay if “the way” has some twists and turns, or seems far off, or if you’re not even sure where you’re trying to go in the first place. Northwestern State University, and its top-notch people, helped nudge me to keep moving in the right direction. I can say confidently that I would not be where I am in my career today, asking to be your next President, without the help of the great faculty, staff, and community that surrounded me during my time as a student.

• On band:
Band is, and was, and always has been, a significant part of who I am. I was a trumpet player in the Spirit of Northwestern marching band, jazz ensemble, pep band, and concert band. (I was on the rowing team for a bit, too, FYI.) Band taught me leadership skills. Band gave me a support system. It made me a better musician, of course, but it also made me a better person. My daughters are band kids now, and whether they realize it or not, that’s because of Northwestern State University, too. I wanted my daughters to grow up in a system like what I experienced, and it’s my hope that they’ll continue on in band through college. In fact, my oldest will be a freshman at Northwestern next fall. The memories, the friendships, and the lessons are all lifelong.

• On my vision for a successful Northwestern State University:
As your President, it’s my hope to bring a number of lessons and experiences forward with me. It’s my hope to listen to all of you, to learn from you, and to build the path forward together that we believe is right for our families, neighbors, and community. But let me be more specific, if I may, and offer three things I believe Northwestern State University must be or do to continue its legacy of success:

– Be flexible. I’m sorry to say, there’s no going back to the pre-pandemic way of life. Despite the frustrations and struggles all of us in higher education have faced as we solved one problem or crisis after another over the last two years, there have been some important progressions in how we reach students, and we shouldn’t just roll those back at the first opportunity. Let’s continue to get better at educating students remotely. Let’s continue to improve technology, but also improve the way we use that technology to connect with students at any distance. And as we do that, let’s ensure that the in-person class offerings don’t just become live Zooms, either. Let’s be certain that the in-person experience – the one many of us know is unmatched in terms of engagement, mentoring and knowledge absorption – continues to be the most effective way to teach, and that we continue to innovate in this space, too. The services and course offerings we provide to our students must continue to evolve to meet them where they are.

– Secure alternate funding. This isn’t news to anyone, but we must continue to increase and strengthen the quality and quantity of our partnerships with organizations, community leaders, foundations, industries and private donors, to ensure we can help alleviate the financial strain placed on students who pursue a degree. Raising tuition is not always the answer to an institution’s problems. Let’s get creative, and let’s leverage the resources in and around our community.

– Adapt to the needs of our community’s evolving workforce. Working with our industry partners is nothing new at Northwestern State University, but let’s continue to make it a high priority. Our institution should set up our students for success, and it should set up our community employers for a reliable, educated, efficient, and prepared workforce. Colleges and universities sometimes get stuck in what they know and do, even when the world around them changes. Let’s keep a pulse on our community, and be sure we’re always in lock-step with their needs.

• In conclusion:
I’m confident Northwestern State University is moving in the right direction, but I’m hopeful you’ll agree with me that your next President should share your values, understand your community, and have a demonstrated capability and passion for connecting with students, elected officials, and donors alike. I believe if we work together, if we serve our students and community in everything we do, and commit to learning and adapting, we will accelerate Northwestern State University’s progress. My wife Rachel and I can’t wait to visit with you soon. Please know that I mean this with all of my heart: It would be the honor of my life to serve Northwestern State University. Fork ‘em, Demons.

Robeline First Baptist Church will hold its 14th Annual Deer Fest this Saturday

Summer season has ended and that means one thing, deer season is upon us! The Lord has blessed us with 13 wonderful years of Robeline First Baptist Church’s Deer Fest! The 14th Annual Deer Fest “The LARGEST Opening Day Deer Contest” will be Saturday, Oct. 30!

RFBC conducts a weekend geared toward bringing all hunters and their families together for friendly contests, thousands of dollars in drawings, silent auctions, many deliciously homemade foods and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, showing the love of Jesus Christ. Over the past years, this event has grown into one of the largest opening day big buck/heaviest doe contests in Louisiana.

Unexpected friendship gives Nanai perspective, purpose

Two years ago, Northwestern State defensive lineman Nathalohn Nanai was riding a stationary bike on the Demon sideline, staying loose during a game, when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

Then-9-year-old John Painter told Nanai he wore No. 51 on his youth football team – the same number Nanai still wears on his chest. That innocent moment between a nearly 300-pound defensive lineman and a child whose father had died a month earlier laid the foundation for a growing friendship that endures today.

“John is a great kid,” Nanai said. “Every time gametime comes around, he reaches out to me on Facebook messenger and says, ‘Hey, go get ’em today.’ He’s always here at every home game – him and his mom. It feels good to have a support system outside of your family. It’s always great seeing him when he’s running along the rail or giving me a casual high five. He’s a great kid, a really great kid.”

There are many who share the same description of Nanai, a 6-foot-3, 292-pound product of Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas.

“It doesn’t shock me at all,” defensive line coach Kevon Beckwith said of Nanai’s friendship with the Painters. “He’s a family guy. You look in the stands and see his family. He’s always talking about his family. When I got here, he helped me move into my house. He’s always looking to help. That’s part of his perspective. He just gives so much through his energy and his service. He’s on the SAAC Committee. He’s definitely a role model for the athletic program.”

Nanai credited his meeting Painter, a Leesville native, with helping adjust his perspective and with assisting him in becoming a leader.

While rehabbing a foot injury that cost him the first three games of the season, Nanai leaned on what he learned from watching Painter go through a situation few children have to endure at 9 years old.

“Obviously, you want to be out there fighting with your brothers,” Nanai said. “At that point in time, I focused on how I could make the team better – how could I come back as quick as possible and still be able to do what I’m capable of. I don’t want to take the little things for granted.”

Nanai’s brotherhood includes Painter, who Nanai calls “the little brother I never had.”

His other brotherhood is the NSU defensive line, which grew deeper with Nanai’s return against Incarnate Word in the Demons’ Oct. 2 Southland Conference opener. The Demons rotate their three-man line liberally, playing nine to 10 linemen per game.

In four games since returning from injury, Nanai has recorded five tackles and pounced on a fumble at Houston Baptist. What would have been his second fumble recovery of the season, this past Saturday against Southeastern, was overturned by video review.

Nanai’s dedication to detail and doing the little things has earned him his teammates’ and Beckwith’s respect. It also reiterated one of fourth-year coach Brad Laird’s tenets he preaches to his team.

“You never know when somebody’s watching,” Laird said. “Our young men have the opportunity to be a role model. They never know when that will come. This situation happened during a game, and the relationship between them got closer and closer to the point where we had (Painter) and his family out for practice. This young man – he loves football – he’s grown to love Northwestern State football because of one simple thing. We say it’s simple as far as Nate communicating with that young man, and it has turned into a love for Northwestern State football.”

While Painter gained a big brother and a day that included him taking the practice field with Nanai and the Demons, the older half of the duo gained something that will stick with him for life.

“Meeting John and understanding what he was going through at such a young age, it puts things in perspective,” Nanai said. “Every day I’m out here, I try to be grateful. I’m taking it one day at a time, one snap at a time, one meeting at a time. I try not to overlook anything and to be grateful for everything I have in football and with my brothers on this team.”

Photos: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Obit: Roland Newton Pippin Ph.D.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 1:00 PM in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 400 Camellia Boulevard, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70508, for Roland Newton Pippin, Ph.D., 78, who died on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Sanctuary at Passages Hospice in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Interment will be in St. John Cemetery.

Reverend Michael J. Bordelon, M.Div., Rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, will conduct the funeral services.

Survivors include his son, Bradford Warren Pippin of River Ridge, Bradford’s wife, Monica and their two children, Delia Jane Pippin and Colin Bradford Pippin, as well as his nephews, nieces, and his brother, Roger Pippin.

Roland was preceded in death by his wife of many years, Jane Bradford Pippin, his parents, Robert “Pip” and Lula Pippin of Baton Rouge, and his brothers, Robert “Bob” and Ronnie.

Born on June 2, 1943, Roland Pippin was a native of Baton Rouge where he was raised with his three brothers. He graduated first from Louisiana College and pursued his Master’s Degree at Stephen F. Austin. He was awarded his Doctorate at Virginia Tech.

Roland met and married the love of his life, Jane Bradford, while teaching at what was then USL in Lafayette. They later moved to Natchitoches where they were members of Trinity Episcopal Church and where Roland taught Sociology at Northwestern University and volunteered in the community

Pallbearers will be Bradford Pippin, Jim Henry, Ron Pippin, and Harold Pippin.

Memorial contributions can be made in Roland Newton Pippin’s name to the American Cancer Society.

Martin & Castille-SOUTHSIDE-600 E. Farrel Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508, 337-984-2811

BOM Welcomes Corey Gallion

BOM would like to welcome Corey Gallion to our Washington Street location. Corey is from Natchitoches, where he graduated from Natchitoches Central High School. Corey is currently studying at Northwestern State University and is looking to graduate soon with his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In his spare time, Corey enjoys going hunting, fishing, to sporting events, and to trail rides with his family and friends.

OPPORTUNITY: Accountant – Finance Department

POSITION: Accountant – Finance Department

DESCRIPTION: Performs technical and administrative accounting work in maintaining the fiscal records and accounting for the City. Prepares periodic reports and assists in the preparation of the annual and other State and Federal reports. Makes journal entries to balance and close monthly books in the general ledger, revenue and expense accounts; reconciles general ledger and subsidiary utility accounts. Reconciles bank statements. Assists in the preparation of the various year end reports.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful applicant shall have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in accounting or a business related field.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located

At 1400 Sabine Street 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

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through: November 12, 2021


Riverdale Academy Visits Alliance

Alliance Compressors hosted students from Riverdale Academy of Coushatta for a plant tour on October 26, 2021. The student group was greeted by Michelle Brundige, Alliance Human Resources Manager, and was led on a plant tour by Craig Caskey, Continuous Improvement Manager.

Pictured are Craig Caskey and students from Riverdale Academy.

Rotary Club presents Father Frank Fuller with ESGR Seven Seals Award

Rotarians Bob Gillan and Joe Sers presented Father Frank Fuller the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Seven Seals Award for Support of the National Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency. The award is presented for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve America in the National Guard and Reserve. Fuller was recognized for his 20 years of service in support of the Louisiana Military Community and their Employers. His actions are in keeping with the finest tradition of volunteerism (Pictured from left are Sers, Fuller, and Gillan).