First responders work single-vehicle crash near Marthaville

 
Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS, Robeline Police and Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #7 responded to NATCOM 911 Center reports of a single-vehicle crash with possible injuries on Nov. 23 at 12:51 pm on Hwy. 120 near Marthaville according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.
 
Deputies arrived on scene finding the operator of the vehicle and two children, ages: 2 and 3, suffering from only scratches and bruises.
 
The operator of the vehicle and two children were properly restrained in the vehicle by seat belt and child passenger restraint seats.
 
Deputies say the 20-year-old female operator of the 2004 Lexus and her two passengers, ages: 2 and 3, were traveling eastbound on La Hwy 120 near Rawls Loop when the vehicle partially left the roadway on the right side for reasons still under investigation.
 
The operator then over corrected crossing over to the left side, then crossing back over to the right side overturning in the ditch.
 
The occupants of the vehicle were assessed at the scene by EMS and released without transport.
 
The crash is unfortunate, however, we commend the vehicle operator for taking a few seconds to properly restrain herself and the 2 children in the vehicle. Wearing a seat belt and properly restraining your children in certified child restraint seats may reduce significant injury or death in traffic crashes.
 
The crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria.

Bruce Brown, Lori Lyons are 2023 sports journalism inductees in LSHOF

Two transformational and highly-decorated figures in the state’s sports journalism field, Lafayette writer and editor Bruce Brown and longtime New Orleans Times-Picayune prep writer Lori Lyons, have been selected for the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

The duo will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next July 29, LSWA president Raymond Partsch III and Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland announced Wednesday.

Brown, whose journalism career is nearing 50 years, is an acclaimed writer whose 20 years as sports editor of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser saw the paper earn well over 100 LSWA honors as the industry, and the Advertiser, went through radical changes.

Lyons, a Houma native, rose through the ranks from starting as a sports agate clerk to winning LSWA Prep Writer of the Year honors twice and becoming the second-ever woman president of the state sports writers’ association.

Both have authored books and branched out into other aspects of journalism, with Brown contributing to online publications and being a regular panelist on an award-winning sports talk show, and Lyons also dabbling in broadcasting and continuing as a correspondent for various publications as she is now teaching the vocation to high school students.

The DSA honor, to be made official next summer in Natchitoches, means Brown and Lyons will be among an elite 12-person Class of 2023 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. They were selected from a 29-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.

The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients are chosen by the 40-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on nominees’ professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national circles, with leadership in the LSWA as a beneficial factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.  

Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 467 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Just 71 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 39 years ago in 1982.

Brown and Lyons will be among the 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Ceremony on Saturday evening, July 29, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Ceremony culminates the 2023 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, July 27, with a press conference followed by a public kickoff reception in  the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning Joins four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard and College World Series champion LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri in a star-studded 10-member group of 2023 competitive ballot inductees announced in September.

The LSHOF Class of 2023 also includes New Orleans native Ron Washington, who managed the Texas Rangers to a pair of World Series appearances and last year helped the Atlanta Braves win the world’s championship; two-time LSU track and field USA Olympian and world champion Walter Davis; and Slidell native, Tulane great and Chicago Bears two-time Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte.

Also elected for induction next summer are All-American LSU pitcher Paul Byrd, a 14-year Major League Baseball veteran who made the 1999 All-Star Game; Shreveport native Wendell Davis, who shattered LSU football receiving records before heading to the NFL; multiple national champion and world class weightlifter Walter Imahara, a UL-Lafayette legend; and retired Baton Rouge-Parkview Baptist baseball coach M.L. Woodruff, whose teams claimed 11 state championships.

The 2023 inductees will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

“Lori Lyons and Bruce Brown are the epitome of ‘service’ when it comes to sports journalism in Louisiana,” said Partsch, the LSWA president. “Yes, you could easily cite the plethora of award-winning work Lori was responsible for during her time working at The Times-Picayune. But what stands out to me is what she has done behind the scenes for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.  Bruce was one of the most respected scribes in our state but what stands out to me is the journalists he helped mentor and develop at The Daily Advertiser.

“We are extremely fortunate to have both Lori and Bruce help tell Louisiana’s storied sports history. I can’t think of a better way to honor them, and their tireless work over the years, than having them inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”

Brown served on the sports staff of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser for 21 years, and worked for 37 years overall as part of theAdvertiser editorial staff. Most of that time – 20 years – he served as sports editor and helped guide the Advertiser through radical changes in both that newspaper and in the industry.

During that time, the Advertiser sports department won more than 100 LSWA awards for writing, layout and photography, as well as numerous Louisiana Press Association honors. The Advertiser also won a coveted national Best of Gannett award in 2005 for its coverage of Lafayette’s team in the Little League World Series.

Brown began his career as a part-timer in January of 1975, covering a prep basketball game between Pecan Island and Meaux as his first assignment. He joined the Advertiser staff full-time in August of 1975 under then-editor Bob Tompkins, and one year later he took over as sports editor, serving in that capacity for two decades. In 1995 he left that role to concentrate on writing and covered prep, college and pro sports as well as military, faith and values and non-profit organizations for the Advertiser. He moved back fulltime to sports coverage in 2011 before retiring in 2012.

In 1980, Brown wrote “Prides of Acadiana,” a book about legendary UL sports standouts including Hall of Famers Walter Imahara (a fellow 2023 inductee), Ron Guidry, Bo Lamar, Harold Porter and Chris Cagle. He served two years as LSWA vice president and another two as secretary, and has been a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee for two decades. In retirement, he has been a freelance writer for the UL Athletic Network, for Quick Slants and Tiger Rag magazines, the Crowley Post-Signal and the Abbeville Meridional, and still contributes pieces to the Baton Rouge/Acadiana Advocate and the UL Athletic Network.

Lyons started her newspaper career as the assistant society editor at the Houma Courier while still in high school. She was a member of The Mirror staff at Terrebonne High School and, later, The Maroon while majoring in English and journalism at Loyola University in New Orleans. She began as a sports agate clerk at The Times-Picayune in 1986 and rose to become the president of the LSWA (the second woman in that role) with an impressive collection of writing awards. 

Climbing a steep hill at a time when women sports journalists were uncommon in Louisiana, she became the high school reporter for the T-P’s River Parishes Bureau in 1991, remaining there until 2012. She continued to cover the River Parishes as a freelancer until she became the sports editor at L’Observateur in LaPlace, winning an Louisiana Press Association writing award as well as an award for Best Photo. After leaving L’Observateur in 2017, she continued to freelance for multiple outlets.

Lyons was twice chosen by out-of-state judges as the LSWA Prep Writer of the Year, was honored by the Louisiana High School Athletic Assocation as its Prep Writer of the Year in 2008 and won the LSWA’s prestigious Mac Russo Award that year for contributing to the ideals and progress of the organization.

She was president of the LSWA from 2012-2014, helping to oversee the opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches. Lyons created, launched and continues to maintain the LSWA’s website (lswa.info) and Facebook page. 

She is a longstanding member of the LSHOF selection committee, and for 25 years served on the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame selection panel.

An occasional mom blogger, Lyons also authored Adoption in America: The Diary of a Mom-in-Waiting, an account of her and husband Marty Luquet’s quest to adopt a baby. Their daughter is now a senior at Northwestern State University and the editor of The Current Sauce, the century-old student newspaper.Lyons is now teaching high school journalism, creative writing and multimedia at Riverside Academy in Reserve and is the advisor for the Rebel Express student news website. She is also the social media manager and content provider for the Baton Rouge Rougaroo summer collegiate league baseball team.

The 2023 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, July 27, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, July 29 Induction Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2023 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.

The Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame.  The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors.  For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com.  Standard and customized sponsorships are available.  


Demons announce challenging 2023 schedule

Plenty of familiar faces and a single new one populate Northwestern State’s 2023 baseball schedule.

Head coach Bobby Barbier announced his team’s schedule Wednesday, a slate that features 23 home games, 20 matchups with in-state foes and a pair of weekend tournaments.

In addition to a second straight season with a 24-game Southland Conference schedule, the Demons have loaded their non-conference slate with typically challenging opponents.

The Demons will play 10 games against teams that reached the 2022 NCAA Tournament with seven of those coming in non-conference matchups. The highlight of that group are a four-game series at Pac-12 member Oregon from March 24-26.

Those four games will mark the Demons’ first action against a Pac-12 member since the 2018 NCAA Corvallis Regional matchup against eventual national champion Oregon State.

Additionally, NSU will have a home-and-home series against Louisiana Tech and a single game at LSU (May 9) among its games against NCAA Tournament participants.

The Demons’ non-conference weekends see them playing in the South Alabama tournament that features the host Jaguars, UAB and Eastern Kentucky on opening weekend Feb. 17-19.

The next weekend takes the Demons back to Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, which hosted the Southland Conference Tournament for the better part of a decade, for the WAC-Southland Challenge from Feb. 24-26.

“We are really excited about this year’s schedule,” said head coach Bobby Barbier, who begins his seventh season at the helm of his alma mater. “We work every year to challenge our team in non-conference to get them ready for what they will see in a very good Southland.”

NSU sandwiches its home opener – a Feb. 21 matchup with LSU-Alexandria – between the two tournaments. Following those tournaments, the Demons play three straight home weekends, hosting UT Arlington (March 3-5), Alabama A&M (March 10-12) and Little Rock (March 17-19) ahead of the trip to Oregon.

Once back from the West Coast, the Demons open Southland Conference play at New Orleans from March 31-April 2.

The Demons’ first home SLC series comes Easter weekend against Lamar (April 6-8). NSU also has home conference series against UIW (April 21-23), Nicholls (April 28-30) and against defending regular-season champion McNeese (May 12-14).

In addition to New Orleans, the Demons take SLC road trips to Houston Christian (April 14-16), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (May 5-7) and to defending league tournament champion Southeastern (May 18-20) to cap the regular season.

After a two-week format a year ago, the Southland Conference Tournament will revert to its pre-2022 format and will take place at McNeese’s Joe Miller Ballpark from May 24-28.

Season tickets for Northwestern State baseball are available for $225 (VIP seating) and $125 (reserved). For VIP seating, $100 of the cost is donated to the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

Single-game tickets will go on sale Feb. 1. For more information, visit www.NSUTickets.com or call 318-357-4268.


Newcomer of the Year Patterson, first-teamer Jones highlight Demons’ All-SLC selections

In their first season at Northwestern State, Travon Jones and Zach Patterson made an impact on Southland Conference coaches.

Patterson was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and Jones earned first-team All-Southland Conference acclaim as part of the league’s postseason honors that were announced Wednesday morning.

Patterson, a sophomore wide receiver from East Mississippi Community College, snared 83 passes in his first season with Northwestern State – the second-most catches in a single season in program history. His 7.5 catches per game paced the Southland and are the fifth most in the FCS entering the playoffs.

Patterson paced the Demons with 710 receiving yards and ranked second on the team with five touchdown catches en route to earning a spot on the second-team offense.

Jones was Northwestern State’s lone first-team selection, earning the tight end/H-back spot after emerging as a factor in the Demon passing game while being an adept and willing downfield blocker for the NSU running game.

A freshman who transferred from Chattanooga, Jones was the Demons’ fifth-leading receiver with 20 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown. His 13.3 yards per catch average was tops on the team among receivers with a minimum of 15 catches.

Three Demon offensive players and three Demon defenders earned second-team All-Southland Conference honors.

Quarterback Zachary Clement collected the first Southland award of his career after throwing for 2,498 yards and 19 touchdowns, ranking in NSU’s single-season top 10 in attempts (410, 2nd), completions (222, 4th), touchdowns (4th) and yards (5th).

In his eight starts, Clement averaged 312 passing yards per game. He twice accounted for four touchdowns (vs. Lamar, at Texas A&M-Commerce) and added 303 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

A Lafayette Christian product, Clement ranked second in the Southland Conference in passing yards per game (227.1), touchdown passes (19), points responsible for (128) and points responsible for per game (11.6).

Wide receiver Javon Antonio earned second-team honors after returning from a redshirt season in 2021 as he and Patterson were two of the three second-team receivers. Antonio finished second on the Demons with 64 catches and 684 yards while leading NSU with six touchdown grabs.

His 5.8 receptions per game were second in the Southland behind Patterson and ranked 25th nationally.

Antonio, a product of East St. John High School and Hinds Community College, has moved into a pair of NSU top-10 lists, sharing eighth place in single-season touchdown catches and 10th place in career touchdown grabs with 10.

Antonio’s appearance marks his second, second-team all-conference selection, having been honored in the spring 2021 season.

Defensively, the Demons picked up a trio of honors as well.

Jomard Valsin Jr. capped his Northwestern State career with his second all-conference honor.

Valsin, named as a second-team defensive lineman, tied for fourth on the team with 51 tackles and was fourth in tackles for loss (5.0) while shifting between defensive end and linebacker.

Valsin added a pair of blocked kicks, ranking 11 nationally and leading the Southland Conference.

A Port Arthur Memorial product, Valsin previously was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection in the spring 2021 season.

Like Valsin, a pair of Demon defensive backs earned their second career all-conference honors.

Safety PJ Herrington filled the stat sheet in his final season at Northwestern State, finishing third on the team with 63 tackles while adding 3.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, a sack, a quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Herrington, a Natchez, Mississippi, native, returned his lone interception of the season 38 yards for a touchdown in a Nov. 5 with at Texas A&M-Commerce. It was the Demons’ first interception return touchdown in nearly three years, dating to Shemar Bartholomew’s 2019 score at Sam Houston.

Herrington, a spring 2021 third-team all-conference pick, also earned second-team all-conference honors as a punt returner after averaging 11.5 yards per return on 13 attempts. Herrington had three punt returns of at least 19 yards, topped by a 31-yard burst against Lamar on Sept. 24.

Cornerback William Hooper, another senior, ranked second in the conference and 24th nationally in passes defended at 1.2 per game.

A Montgomery, Alabama, native, Hooper started all 11 games as the Demons battled injuries at cornerback. He added 29 tackles (20 solo) and blocked an extra point against Grambling – a game where the Demons blocked three extra points as a team.

Hooper’s 13 pass defended nearly equaled his career total entering his senior season as he finished his Demon tenure with 29 passes defended. 


Jr. High JAG students attend virtual conference

Natchitoches Junior High JAG members virtually attended RoyOMartin’s Women in Manufacturing Day Virtual Conference on Oct. 28.
 
The event is designed for young women to gain awareness of career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry. Students heard testimonials from women who work in RoyOMartin’s production and support roles.
 
Pictured are: Ethan Gourdon, Michael Brown, Makalia Kneuppel, Jayna Curry, Dominic Shaver, Carolina Baltazar, Amiyah Willams and Bra’nya Smith. 

LSMSA invites community to upcoming events

Free events open to public from Wednesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Dec. 6

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) invites the community to join students, faculty, and staff for the following free events:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – An Evening of Voice
  • Friday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Science Speaker Series
  • Friday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m., LSMSA Dance Studio – Artist in Training Capstone Performances: Victoria Friddle and Grace Guidry (limited seating)
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m., High School Building – Saturday Tour (registration required)
  • Sunday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Music Department Fall Concert
  • Monday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Music Department Fall Concert
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m. – LSMSA Auditorium – NSU Folklife Center Christmas Concert

LSMSA is a tuition-free, residential, public high school for high-achieving rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a nominal room and board fee to cover housing, meals, and campus activities. The LSMSA Foundation offers assistance for families in need. For more information about the Louisiana School or to apply for the 2023-24 school year, visit www.LSMSA.edu.


Notice of Death – November 24, 2022

NATCHITOCHES:

Melba Jordan Cruse
March 18, 1947 – November 22, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Jennings Chapel CMC near Marthaville
 
Leo “Jim” Llorens
January 29, 1938 – November 19, 2022
Service: Saturday, November 26 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

Alexander Ryan Nobles Jr.
July 29, 1949 – October 31, 2022
Service: Wednesday November 30 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis funeral home in Natchitoches

Stephen Lane Stroud
October 26, 1959 – November 2, 2022
Service: Tuesday, November 29 at 10:30 am at Rosemary Beach Town Hall in Panama City Beach, FL

WINN:

Shirley Ann Rivers
June 24, 1946 – November 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, November 26 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Ronald Lee Preston
April 7, 1954 – November 18, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Welcome Home Baptist Church

Judy Fay Conerly
February 24, 1945 – November 22, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Natchitoches Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or npjnatla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to npjnatla@gmail.com)


Update: Parent and Guardian charged in connection of juveniles theft of city vehicle and other charges

UPDATE:

Detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department arrested two additional juveniles on Nov. 21 for the theft of a city vehicle that occurred last week.

During their investigation detectives were also able to connect the two fourteen year old suspects with a vehicle burglary that occurred on November 7 and a theft that happened on November 9 in the Downtown Historic District.

The juveniles were arrested and charged with one count of theft of a motor vehicle, burglary of a motor vehicle and theft.

Detectives also arrested a parent and a guardian of the two juveniles.  The parent and guardian were charged with improper supervision of a minor.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective 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 downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or 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.

Original Story: Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for theft of city vehicle

On November 12, 2022 around 9:24 a.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 500 North Street (J.W. Thomas Apartments) in reference to a vehicle crash.  Upon officers arrival they were told by several witnesses that the driver who caused the crash fled the area.  Officers were able to determine that a truck involved in the crash had been stolen from the MLK Recreation Center the previous day along with another city vehicle that was also located near the J.W. Thomas Apartments.  

On November 16, 2022 detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department were able to locate and arrest one of the juvenile suspects without incident.  The twelve year old juvenile was charged with one count of theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of simple escape.

This investigation is ongoing and the Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

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


Conley, Horton, Kidd named to CAPA Hall of Fame

The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. D. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts is adding three new members to its Hall of Fame for 2022.

This year’s honorees are long-time School of Creative Performing Arts Administrative Assistant Ladell Conley, Executive Director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts Dr. Steve Horton and the late Phil Kidd, a member of the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty. They will be formally inducted in a ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Orville Hanchey Gallery. The public is invited to attend.

Conley was a staff member at Northwestern State for 42 years and worked in the School of Creative and Performing Arts for 35 years. She retired recently.

“If you needed help, Ladell was the ‘go to’ person in the CAPA office,” said Director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts Emeritus Bill Brent. “I could not have asked for a better administrative assistant.  She was really organized with all day-to-day paperwork that was required to keep the school running smoothly. Ladell was often the first person at the office each morning at 7 a.m. and frequently the last person to leave in the afternoon.”

Brent said Conley “contributed in so many ways beyond the requirements of her written duties.” She assisted more than 40 faculty members, nearly 500 academic majors in the School of Creative and Performing Arts and more than 400 non-majors who participated in band, choir, orchestra and theatre and dance.

“During her career at NSU, Ladell was vital to the day-to-day operations of CAPA,” said Scott Burrell, director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts. “She mastered the ins and outs of the University’s complex internal systems. She was certainly quick to remind everyone to ‘make sure you keep a copy!’ And below the tough shell she often presented, she would go incredible lengths to help with any issues that someone might encounter. No matter the yearly changes of students, staff and faculty, Ladell was always a constant.”

Brent credited Conley with being a vital part of the success of the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band. She handled travel arrangements for the 300-member band. She often traveled with the band to handle any emergency situations that might arise.  Conley would sew uniforms that needed repair and oversaw the distribution and return of band uniforms prior to and after all marching band performances.

For many years, Conley managed ticket reservations for four Christmas Gala performances for children which helped to ensure that more than 4,000 elementary school aged children from the region were able to see the Gala each year.

Horton earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and secondary teacher education from Northwestern in 1988. He earned an M.S. in journalism in 1990 and the Ph.D. in vocational education/communication in 1998, both from Louisiana State University.

He returned to Northwestern in 1989 as an instructor of journalism and served in various positions on the campus, including director of Alumni Affairs, head of the Department of Journalism, dean of the Graduate School and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He ended his tenure at Northwestern in July 2016 as chief academic officer, dean and professor of Education when he was named executive director of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. He continues to teach part-time for the University.

“Dr. Horton played many significant roles at NSU shaping both the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communications and CAPA,” said Burrell. “When I first arrived at the NSU Theatre/Dance department in 1998, Dr. Horton was one of the first friendly faces welcoming me to the NSU and Natchitoches communities. When he became the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he worked with all of us CAPA to ensure our continued excellence as a premiere school of creative and performing arts. His influence on CAPA remains to this day.”

In 2017, the former Mr. NSU was inducted in the Hall of Distinguished Educators at NSU; in 2020, he was named Leadership Professional of the Year for the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children; in 2021 was named an Alumnus Advisor of the Year for Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and in 2022 he was named to the inaugural Greek Life Hall of Fame at NSU.

“Throughout Steve’s career in academia, he has been a sought-after journalist because of his ability to communicate messages that are responsive and relevant,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. “His contributions to the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts are seen from NSU-TV to the radio station, to the Current Sauce. His connections to the profession have led to speeches, speech writing and assisting university presidents, political hopefuls and future and current journalists. His publications are numerous, but his gifts lie in his promotion of the profession, and his furthering of the journalistic integrity necessary for those in the profession. He is a champion of media and its embrace of contemporary perspectives, of experiential learning for students, and for faculty across all disciplines.”

Kidd began his career at NSU in 2002 as the theatre shop foreman for the NSU Theatre and Dance program. In 2003 he moved to the position of assistant professor of theatre and the director of technical theatre where he continued to be integral in the growth of the program. Before retiring in 2020, he had designed sets for over 30 NSU Theatre/Dance productions and was technical director for just as many productions.

“Phil was, and still is, a great influence on so many,” said Burrell. “He took every interaction with a student to teach. It could be about technical theatre or classwork or art.  But just as often, his lessons were about life and growth as a human being.  He gave sage advice to his students who needed more than just insight to schoolwork. It was sometimes with tough love. Sometimes it was with laughs. He was ‘Uncle Phil’ to all.”

Kidd worked on many other shows as a charge artist, technical advisor, shop foreman, props master and any other role thrown at him. In his almost 20 years of service, he was a dedicated faculty member, a caring and giving mentor, a passionate teacher, a gifted artist and a dear friend. He touched the lives of all who worked and “played” with him. For many, he was a father figure, to some he was the “cool uncle.” He was an excellent teacher, being patient, kind, tough, tireless, passionate, demanding, inspiring and protective. He brought out the best in his students and gave them the courage to take risks and to fail and to try again.

“Phil was a great teacher, mentor and friend,” said Director of Production and Design, Technical Theater Robert Richoux, who was a student of Kidd and later a colleague. “He knew that each student learned differently and would adapt to the style of teaching that was best for that student. Phil was always there for you as a student or a graduate. I would always call Phil at random times to ask a question and he would always answer. I knew he had taught me well when those phone calls happened less and less.”

Richoux said Kidd knew how to treat students as equals but in a way that they still understood he was the teacher, and they were the students.

“I believe my graduating class had a much different experience than other classes, because we started here when Phil started which meant we were new to the university and so was he, which seemed to give us a closer connection,” said Richoux. “Phil was always there for you and was a giver. He was selfless and always wanted to deliver on promises. Phil will be in our hearts forever and will be missed.”

Kidd passed away in February 2021 after a lengthy battle with cancer.  To honor him, the Department of Theatre and Dance named its scene shop in his memory.


NSU calendar for Nov. 27 – Dec. 3

Here is a look at the week of Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 at Northwestern State University.

Nov. 27 – Dec. 9 — Exhibit of artwork from personal collections of faculty and administrators, Orville Hanchey Gallery

Nov. 27 – Jan. 8 – Registration for spring semester via NSUConnect

Nov. 28 – University reopens after Thanksgiving break

Nov. 29 – NSU Maker’s Faire, Orville Hanchey Gallery, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 – NSU Maker’s Faire, Orville Hanchey Gallery, 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 – Christmas Gala, A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Dec. 1 – ROTC Awards Program, Teacher Education Center, 4 p.m.

Dec. 2 – Last day of classes for fall semester.

Dec. 2 – Christmas Gala, A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, 7 p.m., 9 p.m.

Dec. 3 – 8 – Final examinations for fall semester.

Dec. 3 – SAT testing, Kyser Hall, 8 a.m.

Dec. 3 – Native American Arts and Crafts Day, 1st floor, Kyser Hall, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Notice of Death – November 22, 2022

NATCHITOCHES:

Leo “Jim” Llorens
January 29, 1938 – November 19, 2022
Service: Saturday, November 26 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

Alexander Ryan Nobles Jr.
July 29, 1949 – October 31, 2022
Service: Wednesday November 30 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis funeral home in Natchitoches

Stephen Lane Stroud
October 26, 1959 – November 2, 2022
Service: Tuesday, November 29 at 10:30 am at Rosemary Beach Town Hall in Panama City Beach, FL

WINN:

Ronald Lee Preston
April 7, 1954 – November 18, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Welcome Home Baptist Church

Judy Fay Conerly
February 24, 1945 – November 22, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Rose King Downs
May 4, 1940 – November 21, 2022
Service: Wednesday, November 23 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

RED RIVER:

Joyce Council
August 18, 1941 – November 20, 2022
Service: Wednesday, November 23 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

Natchitoches Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or npjnatla@gmail.com . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to npjnatla@gmail.com)


Holiday Closures:

City Hall:
        Wednesday 7 am – 1 pm
        Thursday – Closed
        Friday – Closed

City garbage collection will have a one-day delay for Thursday and Friday.  If your pick-up day is Thursday your garbage will be picked up Friday.  If your pickup day is Friday your garbage will be picked up Saturday.  The Office will be closed Thursday and Friday.

City Utility Service Center:
Wednesday 7-11 am  THEN 1-3 pm
Closed Thursday and Friday

 
Parish Courthouse:
Closed Thursday and Friday
 
Incorporated Municipalities within the Parish:
Closed Thursday

Parish Council creates commission

The Natchitoches Parish Council voted to appoint James Rhodes and Wayne Halm to the Economic Development District Commission as one of the beginning steps to forming the commission.

A few months ago the Council voted to create four Economic Development Districts for Natchitoches Parish. Maps are being drawn up now. The commission will be a board of five people to oversee all economic development districts in the parish. Applications are open for the remaining three seats. The goal is to have representative for every community in the parish sitting on the commission.

First Introduction of Proposed Ordinances:

  • Add Sim Foshee Road back into the Parish Road System
  • Amend the pay scale in the Personnel Manual
  • Begin charging a road permit charge of $50 beginning Jan.1, 2023 for all road permits in the parish
  • DIED FOR LACK OF A MOTION: Amend Ordinance 002-2015 to remove Article III (Health Hazards Section 20-7(b) regarding written notice to property owners). Before the property owner is subject to any penalties under this section, he/she shall be notified in writing of the particular health hazard that exists on the property which is in violation of this section, and shall be given 10 days to correct the condition without a penalty. The parish may extend such time for good cause upon written request of the property owner. Such request shall specify the reasons for which the extension is requested. If the parish approves an extension, the property owner shall be notified in writing and advised in such notice of the new removal deadline. For purposes of this section, the term “owner” shall be defined as the individual, group of individuals, or one or more businesses, agencies, or organizations or other entities having title to the property containing the building or structure in question. In the case of multiple owners having undivided interests in the property, notice shall be issued to all owners of record or to all owners of record having authority to administer the property on behalf of all owners, as is in each case appropriate.
  • DIED FOR LACK OF A MOTION: Remove 1 mile of the Mora Hutton Road from the Parish Road System. Crowell Forest Resources LLC manages land for Crowell Land and Mineral Corporation for their Natchitoches Parish holdings (nearly 750 acres of land). According to the request, there are no residents living on the Mora-Hutton Road. It’s used as a pass-through for residents crossing the “Devil’s Swamp” area, either headed to Mora or vice versa toward Hutton. Once crossing Devil’s Swamp, heading North, there are two roads that are used as a pass through to Kisatchie/Mora, Fate Martin Road and Mora-Hutton Road.

Other agenda items:

  • Re-appoint Ralph Ingram to the Natchitoches Parish Port
  • Appoint Bryan Miller to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 4 Board
  • Appoint Kirk A. Leone Sr. to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board
  • Council to announce a public meeting
  • DIED FOR LACK OF A MOTION: Amend Ordinance Section 125: Density restriction in the parish and all its participating municipalities. The Planning and Zoning Commission for the parish has come across issues for addressing division requirements for multiple home structures on a parcel or acreage of land. The amendment will make the maximum gross density (number of individual dwelling units) on any parcel of land or development zoned I-A shall not exceed two dwelling units per parcel. Any additional dwelling placements shall require subdivision of the parcel to satisfy the density restrictions. 
  • Change zoning from I-A District to a Business-3 District for the purpose of a club on a 1.49 acre tract of land subdivided from a 27.9-acre parent tract located at 6539 Hwy. 71 in Clarence
  • Approve holding an election in Fire Protection District No. 7 on Saturday, March 25, 2023 to authorize the renewal of a special tax therein (10 mills)
  • Award bids for the following Highway/Solid Waste items: Tires to Despino’s Tires; Grader Blades to Dogged Machinery Services; Silty Clay Soil to FFT Trucking; Stone Rip Rap 30lb, Stone Riprap 3×5, and Base Coarse Aggregate SB2 to Madden Contractors; HP Cold Mix to Diamond B Construction; and Culverts to Coburns Supply. Everything is going up in costs. The companies listed are the lowest bidders.
  • Approve insurances for the parish including health, retiree supplemental health, dental and vision. Projected to have a cost savings of $71,000 this year over last year.
  • Award insurances for the parish including worker’s compensation, auto, inland marine, cyber security, property, and public officials liability

Local Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday

Carmen Carter, of Natchitoches, recently celebrated her 100th birthday with four generations of family members. The Courtyard of Natchitoches presented her with a proclamation from Governor John Bel Edwards and a plaque acknowledging this milestone. The Courtyard also hosted a party with cupcakes and ice cream, and all residents were invited.

Deputies looking for Rapides Parish man who fled, handcuffed from abuse investigation

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies are asking for the public’s help while they continue to look for a Rapides Parish man that fled from them during a domestic abuse investigation on Sunday evening according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies are currently looking for 25-year-old Bailey D. Goodman, W/M, Hgt/509, Wgt/198 with light brown hair, and hazel eyes of the Flatwoods area in Rapides Parish.

Goodman is wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office on outstanding criminal arrest warrants signed by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge for Domestic Abuse Battery, Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine, Simple Escape and 2-Counts of Resisting an Arrest.

On Sunday evening, November 20, 2022 at approximately 6:36pm, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies responded to NATCOM 911 Center reports of a domestic disturbance in the 100 block of Lateral Lane near Natchitoches, La.

Deputies say upon their arrival, they learned Goodman allegedly committed a battery on a dating partner.

Goodman was reportedly hiding in a vehicle parked in the yard.

Deputies located Goodman and assisted him out of the vehicle, placing him under arrest for domestic abuse battery.

During a search of his person incidental to his arrest, deputies discovered suspected methamphetamine on his person.

While walking and attempting to place Goodman in the rear of a patrol unit, he jerked away from a deputy fleeing into some nearby woods.

Deputies summoned assistance from the Winn Parish K-9 Tracking Team to assist in a search.

During the search, deputies discovered Goodman, while handcuffed behind his back, apparently succeeded in removing his pants and boots and then rolled in mud to cover his body.

Several NPSO, and NPD Units assisted by the K-9 Tracking Team searched for Goodman until shortly after midnight, but were unable to locate him.

The victim was issued a La. Victim & Registration Form.

Goodman has ties to the Many, and Shreveport areas.

Deputies ask that if you see Goodman to contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-352-6432.


DA announces recent dispositions in 9 felony criminal cases

District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced the court dispositions of 9 felony criminal cases that were charged in the district court. The cases involved felony charges of weapons possession, domestic violence, sex offender registration violations, burglary and probation violations.

Division “B” Judge Lala Sylvester was the presiding judge in the following cases:

Antoine Mitchell, 36, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to burglary. The guilty plea is the result of a 2017 arrest of Mitchell by the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, who apprehended him as he was exiting a bedroom window of a residence. Mitchell was previously convicted of burglary in 2015 and also convicted of introducing illegal contraband into a penal institution in 2016. In the current case, Mitchell was sentenced to 12 years of incarceration.

Michael Rachal, 42, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to aggravated flight from a police officer. The guilty plea was the result of January incident in which Rachal attempted to elude police during a traffic stop by excessively speeding away, nearly hitting a police officer, putting other motorists in danger, and crashing his vehicle into a ditch. Rachal was sentenced to two years of incarceration.

Dojourneyean Smith, 24, of Campti, was on supervised probation for a 2020 guilty plea of aggravated assault with a firearm in which he was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence. In June, Smith was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result of the arrest, a probation revocation hearing was conducted and Smith’s probation was revoked, and he was ordered to immediately serve the original 5 year prison sentence. The current charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is pending.

Rahkeem Armstrong, 29, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender. Armstrong having been previously convicted of a felony sex offense failed to Properly report to law enforcement. Armstrong was sentenced to two years of incarceration.

Rufus Demery, 44, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender. Demery having been previously convicted of a felony sex offense failed to properly report to law enforcement. Demery was sentenced to two years of incarceration.

Michael Johnson, Jr., 41, of Campti, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender. Johnson having been previously convicted of a felony sex offense failed to properly report to law enforcement. Johnson was sentenced to two years of incarceration.

Ouncre Jones, 46, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary. The guilty plea is the result of a 2019 arrest in which Jones, along with two other suspects, were caught attempting to burglarize a residence in Natchitoches. Jones was sentenced to six years of incarceration.

Jamel Toliver, 24, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The guilty plea is the result of a traffic stop in which Toliver was found to be in possession of a handgun. Toliver was sentenced to five years of incarceration.

Isaiah Hymes, 40, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of illegal narcotics (methamphetamine). Hymes was sentenced to seven years of incarceration.

Assistant District Attorneys J. Chris Guillet and Jason Methvin prosecuted the cases.


DA announces dispositions in 8 felony criminal cases

District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced the court dispositions of 8 felony criminal cases that were charged in the district court. The cases involved felony charges of illegal narcotics, illegal weapons possession, and battery of a police officer.

Division “A” Judge Desiree Dyess was the presiding judge in the following cases:

Brandon Bernstine, 23, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to home invasion. The guilty plea is related to a June 2022 incident in which Berstine forcibly entered the home of a former domestic partner. Bernstine was sentenced to 6 years of incarceration.

Seankayln Chatman, 24, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Chatman was arrested in February in Natchitoches as a result of traffic stop in which narcotics and a handgun was found in the vehicle that Chatman was driving. Chatman was previously convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possession a firearm. Chatman was sentenced to 6 years of incarceration without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

Kristopher Burks, 22, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Burks was arrested by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies in June 2021 during a vehicle search in which over 15 ounces of marijuana was found in vacuum sealed packages along with other illegal narcotics. Burks was sentenced to 8 years of incarceration.

Rynell Jefferson, 23, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The guilty plea relates to March incident in which Jefferson was involved in an altercation with another person relating to obtaining a firearm. Jefferson was sentenced to 6 years of incarceration without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

Derek Nash, 22, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Nash was arrested by Natchitoches City Police during a traffic stop in which he was in possession of a handgun. Nash had been previously convicted in 2020 of possessing illegal narcotics and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. Nash was sentenced to 10 years of incarceration.

Jeremy Renya, 32, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to battery on a police officer with use of force or violence. The guilty plea is the result of an incident in which Renya battered a Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy, knocking him to the ground and causing injuries during and attempt to arrest Renya for an outstanding felony warrant. Renya was sentenced to four years of incarceration at hard labor.

Donnie Mitchell, 28, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mitchell was arrested by Natchitoches City Police during a traffic stop in which he was in possession of a handgun. Mitchell had been previously convicted in 2017 of aggravated assault with a firearm and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. Mitchell was sentenced to 10 years of incarceration.

Shaquille Robinson, 27, of Natchitoches, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance. Robinson was arrested during a traffic stop in which he was was found to be in possession of a AR-15 and illegal narcotics, marijuana and alprazolam (Xanax). Robinson was sentenced to 8 years of incarceration.

Assistant District Attorneys Cloyd Benjamin and Bray Williams prosecuted the cases.


DA announces parole and probation revocations

DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES PAROLE AND PROBATION REVOCATIONS

District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced the disposition of recent parole and probation revocation cases in the 10th Judicial District Court.

Okyeame Thompson was on probation from a 2021 felony conviction. A condition of his probation included to refrain from criminal conduct and was prohibited from possessing a firearm. In October 2022, Thompson was arrested by the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result of the recent arrest, Thompson was in violation of the terms of his probation, according to the La. Office of Probation and Parole.

The District Attorney’s office presented evidence of Thompson violating the conditions of his probation to the court during a probation revocation hearing. He failed to report to his probation officer, failed to obtain or attempt to gain employment, and was delinquent in paying his court-ordered fines in the amount of $1650. District Court Judge Desiree Dyess ordered Thompson’s probation revoked and ordered him to serve his original sentence of 5 years of incarceration at hard labor. The recent arrest charge is pending.

Tapiwa Rubunya was on probation relating to an August 2022 conviction. The condition of his probation included to refrain from criminal conduct and was prohibited from possessing a firearm. Less than one month later, in September 2022, Rubunya was arrested by the Natchitoches Police Department on charges including two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As a result of the recent arrest, Rubunya was in violation of the terms of his probation which required him to refrain from criminal conduct and was prohibited from possessing firearms, as reported by the La. Office of Probation and Parole.

The District Attorney’s office presented evidence of the arrest and the probation violation to the court during a probation revocation hearing. District Court Judge Desiree Dyess revoked Rubunya’s probation and ordered him to serve his original sentence of 7 years of incarceration. The recent arrest charge is pending.

Rodrickus Jackson was on probation from a February 2022 felony conviction and received a 7 year suspended sentence. A condition of his probation required him to refrain criminal conduct and to remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless permitted by his supervising probation officer. Less than three months later, in May 2022, Jackson was arrested in Montgomery County, Texas on counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance, and money laundering.

Upon his release on bond in Texas, Jackson was arrested by La. Office of Probation and Parole for violating the conditions of his probation.

The District Attorney’s office presented evidence of the recent arrest and the probation violation to the court during a probation revocation hearing. District Court Judge Desiree Dyess revoked Jackson’s probation and ordered him to serve his original sentences totaling 10 years of incarceration.


Sharp named Southland Conference Player of the Week

Two game-clinching performances led DeMarcus Sharp to the first individual honor of his Northwestern State career.

Sharp was named Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on Monday afternoon after leading the Demons to a pair of road wins, including the first true road victory against an Associated Press Top 25 team in program history.

A 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior, Sharp averaged 21 points, five assists and three steals per game and hit the game-winning basket in the Demons’ 64-63 victory at No. 15 TCU on Nov. 14.

He followed that up by scoring five of NSU’s final seven points – including the go-ahead free throws with 58 seconds to play — in a 70-67 win at Illinois State.

Sharp, a Missouri State transfer, finished the Illinois State game with a career-high 23 points and has established an NSU career high in points in three straight games. His seven assists at TCU and five steals at Illinois also stand as his NSU career highs in those categories.

Sharp and the Demons (3-2) return to action Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Central Arkansas in the UCA Multi-Team Event in Conway, Arkansas. NSU will face Bethune-Cookman at 1 p.m. Sunday in the second game of the event.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


2022 LMEA LMEA Hall of Fame Induction

Natchitoches Central Orchestra Director Syll-Young Lee Olson was inducted to 2022 LMEA Hall of Fame on Nov. 19 at the LMEA State Conference in Baton Rouge.  The induction plaque was presented by Katrice LaCour, chairman of LMEA All-State Orchestra Division.