Take Care of Your Kidneys!

March is National Kidney Month – a time to give some thought to just how well you are taking care of these important bean-shaped organs. At Natchitoches Regional Medical Center (NRMC), we want to help increase awareness about the role of the kidneys in your overall health and the early signs of kidney disease.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), millions of people in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Unfortunately, many people do not even know they have it until the disease progresses. Often considered a silent disease, it is important to diagnosis CKD in its earliest stages. Those in the highest risk group for developing kidney disease are those with diabetes and/or high blood pressure, but there are also many other conditions and illnesses that can affect your kidneys.

What the Kidneys Do

We have two kidneys located just below the rib cage on both sides of the lower back. About the size of a fist, these important organs help filter the blood in our bodies and remove waste. The kidneys also produce Vitamin D, which is essential to good health, help balance fluids within the body, and serve to regulate salt and potassium. The kidneys also produce red blood cells and regulate pH. As a specialized branch of medicine, doctors who specialize in caring for the kidneys are called nephrologists.

Managing CKD

“The kidneys are the body’s filter similar to the filter in a car that helps keep the car engine clean,” explained Board Certified Nephrologist Dr. Alfred Ajise. “The job of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood and produce urine that carries the waste to the bladder and then out of the body. When the kidneys begin to fail, a person will still produce urine for a while but will begin to lose the ability to filter the blood. Eventually, the ability to produce urine becomes impaired, resulting in severe fluid buildup in the legs and throughout the body, including the lungs.”

Nephrologists help patients by diagnosing and treating the cause of kidney disease with the hope to stabilize the kidney and/or improve kidney function through the management of hypertension, nutrition, exercise, and medication management.

Know the Warning Signs of CKD

If you notice any changes in the amount or frequency of your urination, you should see your doctor. Watch for changes in color, foamy urine, or any odors.

Get a routine physical and have your urine checked for blood and protein– both can be signs of kidney disease.

Many people also experience lower back pain.

Make a Commitment

Talk to your doctor about your kidney health. Watch your diet, limit additional salt, drink enough fluids to stay hydrated, and exercise. If you have other health issues such as high blood pressure, get regular blood pressure checks, take your medicine as prescribed and get enough exercise. For more information about your health, visit NRMChospital.org.


Dr. Ed Graham, former NSU vice president and dean, dies

Dr. Edward William Graham, who served as vice president of Academic Affairs and an academic dean four times at Northwestern State University, died March 25, 2022.

Graham joined the Northwestern State faculty as chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Physics in 1974 and throughout his tenure at Northwestern State served as dean of the College of Science and Technology, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, dean of Graduate Studies and Research, dean of instruction, vice president for Academic Affairs and faculty senate president. He retired in June 2010 and was named a Dean Emeritus in 2011.

During his years as an administrator, Graham developed a means for evaluating teacher performance at the university and was praised for many administrative accomplishments.

Graham was born to Cecil and Lise Graham of Natchitoches Oct. 24, 1937 and was a graduate of Natchitoches High School. He earned degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of California-Berkeley. His 53-year professional career was dedicated to scientific research and higher education.

In addition to NSU, Graham held faculty positions at Clarkson College of Technology and University of California (Los Angeles). During his 36 years at NSU, he served as chemistry and physics department chair, held several dean positions and was the vice president of academic affairs. He received many honors and distinguished teaching awards from UCLA and Phi Lambda Upsilon. He volunteered his time as a board and committee member, evaluator and served on educational task forces and his passion for science was evident in his teaching, research and grant funding.

Graham is survived by his wife Marsha Bella Zulick; daughters, Rebecca Graham of Savannah, Georgia, and Deborah Graham Zaheer (Saqib) of San Francisco, California; sister, Cecilia Graham Possoit (Johnny) of Natchitoches; brother, Stuart Graham (Barbara) of Austin, Texas; his children by marriage, Kristen Zulick Dulin (Brian) and Richard Zulick (Denise) of Dallas; 10 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


The Influence of Misfortune Upon the Gifted

By Brad Dison

When Mary Porter was in her final year of high school, she wrote an essay entitled “The Influence of Misfortune Upon the Gifted.” She had no way of knowing how well that title fit the life of her son, William Sydney Porter. In 1882, twenty-year-old William Sidney Porter decided to relocate from Greensboro, North Carolina to rural Texas to alleviate his persistent coughing. While in Texas, William worked as laborer on a sheep ranch, as a surveyor, as a newspaper writer and cartoonist at the Houston Post, and finally, in 1891, as a paying and receiving teller for the First National Bank of Austin. During his tenure at the bank, William worked part time on a humorous weekly newspaper of his own creation called The Rolling Stone.

It was while he was working for the First National Bank of Austin that misfortune struck. In 1894, William’s boss accused him of embezzling $1,100.00. William defended himself as well as he could, but the bank’s accounting ledgers were rarely balanced due its “loose methods.” He explained that he had been a loyal employee of the bank for four years. There was nothing William could say that would save his job. After being fired, William worked on The Rolling Stone full time. He was lucky not to be prosecuted.

In 1895, William moved with his family to Houston to work at the Houston Post after The Rolling Stone failed to turn a profit. William’s luck ran out when the First National Bank of Austin was audited. After reviewing the bank’s ledgers, the federal auditor found evidence of embezzlement. William’s ex-boss told the auditor that William had been fired for embezzling money. William was indicted on the embezzlement charge and arrested in Houston. William’s father posted bail and William was released. His trial was set for July 7, 1896.

On the day before his trial was to begin, after much discussion with his wife, William fled to New Orleans then took a ship to Honduras. At the time, Honduras had no extradition treaty with the United States. William’s wife, Athol, and daughter, Margaret, were to join William in Honduras at a later date. Misfortune struck William again when his wife contracted Tuberculosis. Despite being a fugitive, William quickly returned to Austin to be with his wife. William’s wife, 29-year-old Athol Estes Porter, died on July 25, 1897.

While grieving over the loss of his wife, William stood trial for embezzlement. He tried to persuade anyone who would listen that he was innocent, but on February 17, 1898, he was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. He began serving his prison sentence at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio the following month. It must be noted that William’s predecessor in the job had a nervous breakdown and his successor tried to commit suicide. The First National Bank of Austin, the loosely-run bank in which William was convicted of embezzling of money, eventually failed.

William was able to turn the misfortune of prison into a fortunate situation. One newspaper reporter claimed “The prison term, to a man of Porter’s sensitive temperament and culture—he was of the best blood of Virginia and North Carolina—was crushing, yet it revived and stimulated his genius.” For the entirety of his prison term, William wrote short stories with a fervor. He knew no one would publish stories sent from a convicted criminal in the penitentiary, so William enlisted the help of a friend. Each time he completed a story, William mailed it to his friend. Upon receiving it, his friend discarded the prison envelope, addressed a new envelope to William’s publisher, and the publisher was none the wiser. To ensure that no one learned that the stories were written by a convict, William chose a pen name that he had used on occasion.

William’s stories became wildly popular. Newspapers proclaimed after his death that his “name and fame…is secure in American literature. He was one American writer who was touched with the fire of genius. After Poe, he was the greatest American master of the short story, and in depicting American life he excelled Poe and was equal to Mark Twain.” William entered prison “a man chastened by misfortune.” He emerged as an American icon, a man “whose genius had been stimulated and inspired.” William Sydney Porter became famous for stories such as “The Gift of the Magi,” “The Ransom of Red Chief,” and “The Caballero’s Way” in which he introduced his most famous character, Cisco Kid. His pen name was … O. Henry.

Sources:
1. Austin American-Statesman, August 1, 1897. P.3.
2. The Chattanooga News, November 3, 1916, p.4.

PHOTO: William Porter Working in the Teller Cage of First National Bank of Austin circa 1892


Legacy Cafe: Flavor of Louisiana

Crawfish pies and shrimp pasta will be on the menu for guests who stop by the Legacy Café booth at Flavor of Louisiana, Northwestern State University’s spring seafood celebration. From left are Crisy Bernard, Jill Bankston, Legacy Head Chef Karen Wallace and Sharon Leone. Guests will be able to wander from food booth to food booth tasting a variety of Louisiana seafood dishes prepared in many different ways, along with beverages, desserts and options for non-seafood eaters. Flavor of Louisiana, NSU’s biggest spring fundraiser, will be at 6 p.m. Friday, April 8 in Prather Coliseum. Tickets are $75 per person.


OPPORTUNITY: Payroll Assistant

Northwestern State University seeks qualified applicants for the position of PAYROLL ASSISTANT in the Office of Business Affairs. 

JOB TYPE:     Unclassified

SALARY:       $30,000.00 – $40,000.00

LOCATION:  Natchitoches, Louisiana

As part of the payroll team, under the direct supervision of the Assistant Controller to Payroll, the Payroll Assistant, aids in the processing and reviewing of the bi-weekly, monthly, and summer payrolls, providing functional support for the payroll system to improve efficiency.

MINIUMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • High school diploma or equivalent required
  • Two years of experience in accounting or bookkeeping, with at least six months of payroll experience

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills
  • Excellent grammar and proofreading skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to successfully work independently, organize own work and coordinate work activities of others (student workers)
  • Ability to successfully work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite including Excel and Word

To Apply: Send letter of application, resume and complete contact information for three professional references to:  apply@nsula.edu

 Review of applicants will begin immediately an continue until the position is filled.

To view a complete job description, click the link below:   https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/louisiana?keywords=northwestern

An Equal Opportunity Employer


OPPORTUNITY: Outpatient Medical Center

Outpatient Medical Center is recruiting a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or a physician to provide primary care at its Natchitoches or Leesville location. We are a federally-qualified health center offering weekday ambulatory primary care to anyone, but especially the underserved.
A rewarding career serving those with greatest need, excellent benefits, no Holidays, and competitive pay for a workstyle that supports a family life.

Anyone interest may contact us at hr@outpatientmedical.org or call 318-357-2071 (ext. 3202).


BOM Welcomes Sylvia Davenport

BOM Bank would like to welcome Sylvia Davenport to our Washington Street location in Natchitoches as a Customer Service Representative. Sylvia joins the BOM team with 26 years of banking experience. She graduated from Natchitoches Central High School and attended Northwestern State University. She has been married for six years and has one child. Sylvia is Chairman of the Board for the City of Natchitoches Housing Authority, a board member for Heaven’s Blessings and a member of the Dreams Organization. In her spare time, Sylvia enjoys quality time with family and friends and traveling. She said, “My focus in life is to be happy and make a difference wherever I can.” Welcome, Sylvia!


Rotary Club learns about protecting natural resources

Rotarian with the Program Ben Stevens introduced Fish Biologist Villas Bowden from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Office at the March 29 luncheon. Bowden described the many responsibilities of his conservation department for managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. Pictured from left are Rotary President Tommy Caldwell, Bowden, and Stevens (Photo by Dr. Ron McBride).


City Council works to redistrict City of Natchitoches

The Natchitoches City Council received information on redistricting according to information gathered during the 2020 US Census. Natchitoches had a population loss of 1.55% from the 2010 Census as it dropped from 18,323 residents to 18,039.

According to a representative for the redistricting effort, the decrease in numbers is an undercount as people did not answer the Census. This was explained as being related to Covid as there was a loss of population (reporting) for most parishes.

This is reflected in the following numbers for the districts:

District 1: 4,089
District 2: 5,129
District 3: 4,795
District 4: 4,026

The deviation of the districts is 24.46%, which is above the 10% limit according to federal law. Redistricting must take place. The task should be finished by August.

The Council will work to pass a resolution at its April 11 meeting to begin work on redistricting.

Other agenda items included:

ORDINANCES – FINAL:

Declare Certain Buildings (Hopeville/Summertree Apartments) Unsafe And Recommend That Same Be Demolished Or Put Into Repair To Comply With The Building Code, Authorizing Notice To Be Served, Fixing Hearing Date And Appointing Curator To Represent Absentees.

Award The Bid For FY 2021 – 2022 Phase 1 Street Rehabilitation (Bid No. 0641)

Award The Bid For Christmas Lighting Supplies (Bid No. 0644)

Amend Chapter 6 Of The City Of Natchitoches Code Of Ordinances By Adding Sections 6-10: Delegation Of Authority For Noncommissioned Animal Control Officers To Issue Misdemeanor Summons And/Or Notices; And 6-11: Noncommissioned Animal Control Officer Enforcement For Misdemeanor Violations And Providing For An Effective Date

Amend And Restate Ordinance No. 12 Of 2022 Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Approving That Instrument Titled Cooperative Endeavor Agreement Between The City Of Natchitoches And Natchitoches CFA LLC, Which Agreement Provides For Cost Sharing For The Installation Of Infrastructure, Including Traffic And Drainage, Which Improvements Will Serve The Proposed Restaurant Facility At The Corner Of E. 5th Street And Highway 494, As Well As Provide For Upgrades To The Existing Infrastructure And Accommodate Future Development In The Area; Prescribing Terms And Conditions For Said Agreement, And Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Ronnie Williams, Jr. To Execute Same.

Enact An Ordinance Relative To The Disposal Of Adjudicated Property In Accordance With La.R.S. 47:2201, Et Seq. (Disposal Of Adjudicated Property)

*MOTION TO TABLE ORDINANCE NO. 020 OF 2022*

Approve That Instrument Titled Cooperative Endeavor Agreement Between The City Of Natchitoches And The Industrial Development Board Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Inc., Which Agreement Provides For The Assignment Of Lease Payments Received By The City Of Natchitoches From The United States Parks Department For The Purposes Of Securing And Paying Revenue Bonds To Be Issued By The Industrial Development Board Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Inc.; Prescribing Terms And Conditions For Said Agreement, And Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Ronnie Williams, Jr. To Execute Same.

Accept And Approve The Power Supply Agreement For Sale Of Power And Energy Between CLECO Power LLC And The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana And Authorizing The Mayor To Execute The Power Supply Agreement On Behalf Of The City

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:

Award The Bid For The Purchase Of One 750 KVA Pad Mount Transformer (Bid No. 0645)

Approve The Conveyance Of The Hanger Located On Lot 3 Of The Natchitoches Regional Airport To Marc Millican, For The Consideration Of $41,003, Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Ronnie Williams, To Execute A Bill Of Sale On Behalf Of The City For The Conveyance Of The Hanger And To Execute Any And All Other Related Documents That Might Be Necessary And Proper, To Provide For Advertising, And A Savings Clause.

Execute A Lease In Favor Of Marc Millican, Of Lot 3 As Shown On The Airport Layout Plan Of April 12, 1994, And Further Providing For Advertising Of The Lease And An Effective Date.

RESOLUTIONS:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, April 11, 2022.
The offices of the City of Natchitoches will be closed Friday, April 15, 2022 for Good Friday.


Stay Weather Aware Again This Week

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is closely monitoring another threat for severe thunderstorms beginning Wednesday and lasting through the night. According to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC), thunderstorms capable of tornadoes and severe wind gusts across the Lower/Middle Mississippi Valley and Southeast. This is one of several threats forecast for Louisiana in recent weeks. GOHSEP is urging the public to finalize your emergency game plans now and stay weather aware.

“No one wants another round of dangerous weather, but unfortunately we appear to be facing a serious threat again Wednesday,” said GOHSEP Director Casey Tingle. “A series of threats like we have experienced in recent weeks are not uncommon for the Gulf Coast this time of year. We must remain vigilant when these threats happen. Take action now to prepare and stay weather aware over the next few days. Talk to your family members and develop an emergency communications plan. Check your emergency supplies. Make sure your devices are charged and turned on to receive any potential emergency alerts. Go towww.GetAGamePlan.org to finalize your emergency plans.”

Here are the latest updates from the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Louisiana:

NWS Shreveport:

Timing and Overview:

A line of strong to severe thunderstorms will move through the region late Tuesday night through early Wednesday afternoon. The greatest severe threat will be Wednesday over Central Louisiana and Northeast Louisiana. Damaging winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes are possible.

NWS Lake Charles:

Timing and Overview:

A severe weather event is expected to unfold on Wednesday. All modes of severe weather will be possible, however, damaging winds appear to be the primary threat at this point.

NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge:

Timing and Overview:

WHAT: ENHANCED RISK of Severe Weather

WHEN: The line will be moving west to east, entering the state of Louisiana by sunrise and exiting the coastal MS counties after midnight.

WHERE: All of SE LA and S MS has a threat of severe weather with the highest threat being north of I-12/I-10

CONFIDENCE: Confidence continues to increase that severe weather will occur. Confidence is also increasing that damaging winds with a line of storms will be the main threat. At this time, the tornado threat would be confined to brief tornadoes within the line. That could change as we get closer to the event.

Impacts:

The main threats associated with any severe storms will be:

Wind gusts greater than 70 mph will be possible
Trees and power lines could be damaged and lead to isolated/scattered power outages
A few tornadoes will be possible
Excessive rainfall and widespread flooding are not expected at this time.

Visit http://www.511la.org for road updates if you must travel during potentially dangerous weather conditions. Keep your phones and devices charged and near you while the threat continues in order to receive potential emergency messaging.


John Winston honored for his role in voter advocacy through the years

John Winston, past president of the Natchitoches Parish Voters & Civic League was recognized at the Natchitoches City Council meeting on March 28 for making a difference in his community. A long time educator in Natchitoches for many years, Winston served on the City Council for 24 years, and worked at Northwestern State University. The City chose to honor him for his role in voter advocacy.

“It’s an honor to be honored,” said Winston. “I thought it was time to let someone else stand up and take that torch and run a little further.”


Editing God: Transgenders and Abortionists take on Mother Nature and even God himself

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

Make a list of your worst enemies. Now, look it over. Did you remember to include yourself? Add a point if you even put yourself at the top of the list. That’s because the history of humankind has proven century after century that we humans are both collectively and individually our own worst enemies. In fact, it has been this way since the first man and woman reigned in the blissful Garden of Eden. If you are a Christian, I have no doubt that you are familiar with the story. God blessed Adam and Eve to live in a paradise filled with all the things that make a paradise worthy to be called that. However, he did have this one little bitty rule. He warned them that if they ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die (The Book of Genesis, chapter 2, verses16-17). As soon as his back was turned (if God ever turns his back), the devil, in the form of a snake, seduced them into disobeying God. He basically told them that God was laying it on thick and there would be no consequences for eating the forbidden fruit. According to him, they would not even die. In fact, he said, if they ate it they would be like God. He delivered a very effective sales pitch. They both ate the fruit. The result was that this single act of disobedience brought sin into the world. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden and death and hell became a reality for all of us, their descendants. When many people hear this Bible story, they often criticize Adam and Eve’s decision-making processes. Understandable. But let’s be honest. Are we any better? I say that because Satan is at it again, using the same formula to bring down contemporary mankind. And yes, it really is kind of a formula. I believe it consists of four steps. Step 1) Lure humans into disobeying God. 2) Misquote the Bible or distort facts to make humans feel comfortable disobeying God. 3) Call evil good and lure them into putting their desires above those of God. 4)Step back and watch them sin and wait while God dishes out the punishment for disobeying him.

It’s a formula that works so well, Satan uses it in every generation. it sure doesn’t hurt his plan that the Devil knows how to edit the Bible. Editors delete or add things to music, commercials, publications or movies to tell the story they want the public to buy. A good illustration of this today, is the way the LGBT Movement and The Abortion Movement position themselves in order to sway public opinion. And you know something? I believe their campaigns are getting Satan’s seal of approval because they are persuading people into disobeying God’s commandments and that is ultimately Satan’s main goal. To see what I mean, all you have to do is take the story of Adam and Eve and the preceding formula and compare them to what is happening today in real time with these two social movements. Here is what I mean: Step 1) Lure humans into disobeying God. In the Bible account, Satan told Eve that she could eat the forbidden fruit despite the fact that God had made it clear to Adam and Eve that doing so would certainly lead to death. Genesis 2: 16-17 says: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Eve knew this and even told the snake this (Genesis 3:3). But the snake/devil countered with: “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). So basically, he called God’s integrity into question. Aren’t, LGBT (Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) doing about the same thing when they try to convince the public that homosexuality and transgender lifestyles should be accepted, even though God has already said in his Holy Word several times that homosexuality is a sin? In fact, in Leviticus 18:22 God even bluntly said men should not have sex with other men. (Also see, Romans, Chapter 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which warn of the consequences of all same sex unions).

2)Satan misrepresented the facts. He claimed that God did not want Adam and Even to eat the fruit because doing so would make them like him. Today, Similarly, The LGBT Movement is pushing a, distorted version of human sexuality on young people. They are currently lobbying schools to allow so called transgender boys to compete with girls in sports events. Meanwhile, abortionists claim that aborting a baby is not murder but a choice that a woman gets to make because it’s her body. Apparently, God disagrees. If a woman is a Christian, the Bible teaches that her body does not in fact belong to her. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 makes the point that every Christian gives his or her body to Jesus. Also, Exodus 20;13 prohibits murder. The word abort means to stop something. In this case what we would be stopping is a life. “Why isn’t that murder?

3)The serpent called evil good and appealed to their selfish nature. He positioned the concept of eating the fruit as a good thing, despite the fact that God had positioned it as a very bad thing. But the snake had awakened a desire in Adam and Eve. They lusted for the power biting it would bring. Is it any different today when people put their desires above God’s? The snake tapped into their selfish nature. Any time we put our desires above God, we sin. Sin starts with selfishness. The gay movement and the abortionists appeal to people’s desire to have things their way. Consider the pitches of the gay movement and the abortionists. They promise sexual freedom without having to answer to anyone. But this is a distortion, just as it was with the snake. He was quite dishonest with the facts. There is no way eating some piece of fruit will make you equal to God—and we all have to answer to God. Similarly, there is no way identifying as a woman can turn a male into a female. Sure, pretending is good sometimes. When I was a child, my grandfather used to put me on his lap as he drove his car. I pretended I was driving and the adults played along, humoring me. My what a time we had. But even as a four-year-old, deep down, I knew I was kidding myself. My grandpa was really doing the driving. It may feel good for transsexuals to pretend they are turning into the opposite sex and many people today seem to be willing to go along or unwisely play along with this kind of thing. But even if transgenders really believe they have the wrong sexual bodies, the truth is, only God can make someone male or female. The Bible tells us God “made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). Nature confirms what God commanded. That is why women can have babies but men cannot. And it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. Period. The devil said eating the fruit was a good thing. The LGBT Movement celebrates their gay lifestyles with “Pride Parades”. Would, anyone who; is a believer in God celebrate anything he has already said was a sin? Would a real believer in God imply that God made him or her the wrong sex? Abortionists celebrate their “Pro Choice” Movement, pitching it as something that is liberating. Abortion supporters demand their rights. At the same time, aren’t they conveniently forgetting about the rights of the child trying to be born?

4) After making his best pitch, like a master salesman, Satan waited for Adam and Eve to commit the sin of disobeying God. He knew that when they did, they would bring down God’s wrath. That was the fine print Adam and Eve did not read. You see Satan works both sides of the fence. He entices us to disobey God and then waits for God to punish us, because he knows God being righteous, must punish all unrepentant sin. It’s simple. Satan wants to destroy all humans. God by contrast is loving and wants to save all humans. He does not want them to go to hell. Jesus said, no one can get to heaven unless they will believe in him (John 14:6) This is why Christians are called by God to be his voice on earth and warn people about sin, asking them to accept Jesus as savior and lord, so they can go to heaven. Yet, some who claim to be Christians are reluctant to obey that command. There are many reasons. Mainly, they either pretend there really isn’t a problem, or they simply won’t teach or preach about controversial topics. In some cases, many who “claim Christ” are actually moving towards acceptance of sinful lifestyles. This is particularly true of a growing number of young people who claim to be Christians. A 2011 study by Barna Research titled “Six reasons young Christians leave the church” revealed that some young people in the Christian Community disagree with the Bible’s views on sexuality and believe Christians are “narrow” minded and need to update our beliefs. In another study, Barna basically communicates that these young folks may be feeling pressure from nonbelieving friends and society. It has not dawned on their young minds that God is not interested in winning a popularity contest and that he does not need to. He has this whole world in the palm of his hand. His will is going to be done. His true and Holy Word will not change, regardless. What they also do not get is that we so called “narrow” Christians don’t hate nonbelievers or anyone else. We are simply called by God to warn them of the price of sin so that the devil cannot trick them into falling into sin and eventually into the pits of a fiery, eternal hell. However, we should listen to young people’s opinions in order to understand their doubts and misconceptions and be willing to share with them the reasons for our faith in God and in the Bible. We Christians and our children are the targets of Satan. Our young need to be taught how to spiritually resist the devil. It will help to start taking church fellowship with other believers and Bible reading more seriously.

Believers are at a decision point in history. Like Adam and Eve, we must decide whether to obey God and obey his commands. Or we can make the mistake Adam and Eve made and side with the world. We cannot choose both because in general, most of the world is clearly moving against Christian morality. They call it a Post-Christian Society. But Jesus is ready for it all. In fact, he predicted this. The Bible even says there would come a time when people would not “endure sound doctrine” (Second Timothy 4;3). Which way you and I go will depend on the intent of our hearts. Each of us should ask, “Who is my God?” If God is our lord and master and we love him above everything—even our desires—we will obey the Bible (John 14:15). On the other hand, if you and I love ourselves and our desires more than we love God, we will conform to this world (Romans 12:1-2). That means we will only follow God when he gives us what we want or when it is convenient. We will also edit out the parts of Scripture that offend us. Like Adam and Eve, we will seek to be our own gods. And it won’t work any better for us than it did for them. Because without Jesus as lord, when we are faced with life’s decision points, we will become our own worst enemies. But if we will humble ourselves and realize that there isn’t anything greater than to live eternally with God, then he will give us the strength through our faith in Jesus to endure the tricks of Satan (Philippians 4:13). Then the next time some snake of a person comes knocking, trying to get us to bite some piece of fruit so we can be like God; Or a viper tries to edit God’s words and promises that we can do things The Lord says we should not, we’ll look him or her up and down and say, “No thanks. I think I’ll have something else to eat.”

” Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:1-2


Young at Heart resumes meetings on April 6

Young at Heart meets Wednesday, April 6 at 11 thru noon. It has been two years since Covid and we are back with all in our community who want a good meal and fellowship with a music program. You do NOT need to bring a dish. We are catering and celebrating birthdays this year. Just come and bring $5 to cover the meal. All are welcome.


Graeme and Sam: Fidelak, Goodwin honored by National Football Foundation chapter

St. Mary’s two-sport star senior Graeme Fidelak was among nine north Louisiana senior scholar-athletes honored last Thursday night at the annual National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet, recognized alongside legendary retired Northwestern State coach Sam Goodwin.

Receiving NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards and $500 scholarship grants along with Fidelak were Caleb Aillet of Byrd, West Monroe’s Tag Banks, Tonzaiha Bland of Logansport, Luke Gibson of Mangham, Connor Heard from Minden, Benton’s R.J. Moore and Jed Worthey III of Cedar Creek.

Evan Howe of North DeSoto was the first recipient of the KTBS/Johnny’s Pizza Bob Griffin Scholarship, named in tribute of the iconic local TV sportscaster who covered area high school football and other sports for over a half-century. Griffin was also on the local NFF chapter’s board of directors.

Head football coaches around north Louisiana nominated senior players who carry at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, have earned all-district honors and are involved in extracurricular activities.

Goodwin received the NFF chapter’s Contributions to Amateur Football Award.

The Swiss Army Knife for St. Mary’s, Fidelak played receiver, running back, quarterback, cornerback and safety for coach Aaron York’s Tigers, who went 4-1 to open the season against all higher-classification opponents, and finished 8-3.

Fidelak carries a 3.93 grade point average and posted a 26 score on the ACT. He has been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America.

In All-State shortstop last spring on the SMHS baseball team, Fidelak made the 2021 Coaches All-State Class A football team and was honorable mention on the LSWA All-State team. He played in the I-20 Bowl All-Star Game and was a two-way first-team all-district selection.

He is considering attending either Denver University or the University of Arkansas.

The event was hosted by the NFF’s S.M. McNaughton Chapter of North Louisiana.

Goodwin is the winningest football coach in Northwestern history with 102 wins from 1983-99. His Demons won conference championships in 1984, 1988, 1997 and 1998, making FCS playoff appearances in the latter three seasons and reaching the national semifinals in 1998.

Thirty-eight of his players reached the NFL, and 22 won All-American honors, including College Football Hall of Fame member Gary Reasons. Goodwin also coached 1998 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete winner Dr. William Broussard and two other Academic All-Americans, along with 42 all-conference selections. After ending his collegiate coaching and administrative career, his love for coaching the game returned him to prep football sidelines in Arkansas and then back in Louisiana at Pineville, Alexandria Senior High, Natchitoches Central, Lakeview and St. Mary’s.

The Pineville native is in the Southland Conference Hall of Honor, NSU’s N-Club Hall of Fame, and the hall of fame at his alma mater (Henderson State) and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for his playing career at Henderson and his high school coaching accomplishments in the 1970s at Little Rock-Parkview, where his teams won five state championships in the first seven seasons after he started the program.

The winner of the McNaughton Chapter’s Distinguished American Award, George Sirven has managed KTBS-TV as the station emerged as a significant community partner with its sponsorship of major events such as the Freedom Fest Fourth of July celebration, and promotion of many civic causes including St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Last fall, KTBS celebrated the 25th anniversary of its popular Friday Football Fever scoreboard show, which was just named Best Sports Show by the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. The native Cuban is a naturalized American citizen who early in his television career shot high school football footage for Griffin when both worked for KSLA-TV.

PHOTO: by ROBERT FREDERICK, TimeBox Photography


Former Demon star Kendal Coleman transfers to LSU

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

Kendal Coleman was not heavily recruited during his Captain Shreve High School basketball career.

That changed, in a major way, this season and especially lately after his breakout campaign at Northwestern State. He reportedly had as many as 40 programs, including Oklahoma, Memphis and Marquette, providing him offers that may have included NIL deals that outpaced anything new Demons’ coach Corey Gipson could propose.

The 6-8 Coleman officially entered the NCAA transfer portal March 14 and Monday announced on Twitter his decision to join the rebuilding LSU program with new coach Matt McMahon, former head coach at Murray State.

“Thank you to all the coaches that recruited me and gave me an opportunity, but with that being said I will be furthering my academic and athletic career at LSU,” he wrote in a Tweet Monday afternoon.

The Tigers have had key players from this year’s NCAA Tournament team announce they’re entering the NBA Draff and three others have entered the transfer portal after the regime change created by Will Wade’s dismissal as LSU’s coach.

Coleman was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection as a second-year freshman this season for Northwestern. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

In his announcement that he was entering the portal, Coleman made sure to offer gratitude for his experience with veteran coach Mike McConathy in Natchitoches. McConathy’s 23-year tenure with the Demons ended on March 14, a few hours before Coleman entered the portal.

“First off I would like to thank Northwestern State University for welcoming me and helping me become a better student-athlete,” wrote Coleman that day. “I have created many memories with my coaches and teammates. With that being said I will be entering my name into the transfer portal.”

The 220-pound Coleman was Northwestern’s leading scorer and rebounder from the beginning of the season. He started all 30 games he played, averaging 15.4 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 58.2 percent overall on free throws.

Notably, he scored 16 points and snagged 13 rebounds in a Dec. 14 loss at LSU, sinking 8 of 11 shots in an 89-49 defeat to a then Top 25 LSU squad.

At the line, he started the season struggling, sinking under 50 percent in non-conference action, after making 69.6 percent as a true freshman. He found his touch in conference play when he hit 70.4 percent of his free throws.

Also in league play, he expanded his reliable shooting range to 15-18 feet, creating matchup challenges for less agile post players. His averages in 14 Southland games were 15.6 points and 11.5 rebounds, and he blocked 27 shots as he earned a place on the five-member Southland All-Defensive Team.

Coleman ranked second in the conference and in the top 35 nationally with his 55 percent shooting aim from the floor. He led the Southland in rebounding, and in defensive rebounds, ranking 12th nationally with a 7.4 average.

As a first-year freshman in the Covid-impacted 2020-21 season, Coleman averaged 6.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 29 games, with no starting assignments. He blocked 33 shots.

At Shreve, Coleman led the state in blocked shots as a junior, then helped the Gators to a 26-7 season in his senior year. He graduated with a 3.9 grade point average.


Harmon earns Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honors

NATCHITOCHES – For the first time in nearly three years, a Northwestern State baseball pitcher threw a nine-inning complete game.

And for the first time this season, the Demons have a Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week.

Johnathan Harmon earned his first career award Monday, grabbing the conference honor after spinning a complete-game, four-hitter in a 2-1 win at New Orleans on Saturday.

Harmon became the first Demon to go all nine innings in a game since Nathan Jones did so on April 27, 2019, at Stephen F. Austin.

A 6-foot-5 sophomore right-hander from Hornbeck, Harmon became the first Demon named SLC Pitcher of the Week since Levi David earned the award on April 5, 2021.

Harmon (3-2) notched his first complete game in his 23rd career start, tying a career high by throwing 105 pitches. He became the first Demon starting pitcher to record an out in either the eighth or ninth inning this season while holding New Orleans to a .133 batting average. The Privateers came into the weekend hitting .276 and had recorded 14 hits in the series opener before Harmon throttled them.

Following Sunday’s games, Harmon leads the conference in ERA (1.72) and owns the lone complete game by any Southland pitcher this season.

The Demons return to action Friday when they host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the opener of a three-game Southland Conference series at Brown-Stroud Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


Hoover collects third Pitcher of the Week for NSU staff

After more than five innings of no-hit work and a career high strikeout performance in the first conference game of the season, freshman Sage Hoover has been named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week.

Hoover is the third different Lady Demon pitcher to earn the weekly honor joining Maggie Darr (Feb. 22) and Bronte Rhoden (March 14) from earlier in the season.

It was evident from the first inning that the Houston Baptist lineup was going to have trouble deciphering Hoover’s mix of pitches on the day.

The freshman struck out the side in order in the bottom of the first, one of three instances in the game where she did so, and tallied seven strikeouts the first full time through the Husky lineup.

Her 14 in the game was a new career high and matched Darr’s 14 against Purdue-Fort Wayne as the most in a single game this season and the past 10 years by an NSU pitcher. Her dominance in the strike zone allowed her to retire the first 13 batters she faced carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth.

Against the top hitter in the conference, with the fourth best batting average in the country entering the game, Hoover struck out HBU’s Shelby Echols twice in her three at bats.

It was the sixth outing this season where she struck out eight or more batters and the third with 10 or more strike outs.

Hoover continues to lead the team and the conference in strikeouts this season with 95 and has a 9.9 K/7 average, ranking in the top 50 in the NCAA.

She has a record of 6-3 with five complete games in 10 starts and still leads the country with five saves on the year.

The Lady Demons host Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night at Lady Demon Diamond to complete the home-and-home with the Lady Techsters before the first home conference series of the year this weekend with Nicholls.

PHOTO: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services


The Loft at Five Thirty: Flavor of Louisiana

The Loft at Five Thirty will serve shrimp alfredo at Flavor of Louisiana, Northwestern State University’s celebration of spring that will include food, music and more. Chefs and restaurateurs from all over the state will participate, offering samplings of seafood dishes, along with options for non-seafood eaters, craft beers, cocktails, coffee and specialty desserts. From left are Loft at Five Thirty owners Angela and Ron Bolton with NSU’s Cristy Bernard and Sharon Leone. Tickets are $75 per person or $125 per couple. Flavor of Louisiana will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, April 8 in Prather Coliseum with special guest Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.


Natchez Police Chief speaks to Natchitoches Junior High JAG members

Natchitoches Junior High JAG members would like to extend our gratitude to Natchez’s Police Chief Michael Gillie Jr., for being the guest speaker on March 23. Chief Gillie spoke on a facet of topics to include his life’s journey, working in corrections and entrepreneurship. It was an honor, JAG is looking forward to building on this relationship.

Pictured: Dominic Shavers, Jody Hamilton Chief Gillie, Demija Beaudion, Destinee Lacour, Maria Canos Campos, Greg Burton, James Pier, Jaqualyon Coleman, Deshawn Braggs, Jonathan William, and Derrick Beaudion.