A Community Conversation on Crime

The meeting room in Natchitoches’ Martin Luther King Recreation Center was standing room only as over 65 community leaders and citizens met to have “A Community Conversation on Crime” Thursday, January 27. The meeting was led by Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams with Police Chief Nikeo Collins, Sheriff Stuart Wright and Crimestoppers President Dr. Carmella Parker each speaking.

Mayor Williams began the event with a brief introduction and video showing the national nature of an increasing crime rate. The audience then broke into groups to discuss items such as what were the contributing factors to crime in Natchitoches and possible solutions. After the group discussions, audience members addressed the civic leaders and their fellow citizens with their ideas.

Sheriff Wright then spoke. He stated that while the majority of the Sheriff Department’s work was outside of the city limits, they did cooperate with and support the Natchitoches Police Department in a number of ways. Both he, Chief Collins and the Mayor reiterated the need for victim and witness cooperation with investigations and the end of “street justice” in which victims, friends, and family act outside of the law. So called “street justice” feeds into a cycle of violence that also leads to death and injury to innocent parties due to stray gunfire.

Natchitoches Police Chief Collins followed and spoke at length on policing in the community, its challenges, and proposed solutions. Crimestoppers President Dr. Carmella Parker closed the evening with an explanation of the Crimestoppers program and how it works. The program is completely anonymous, not even the people running the program know the identities of persons reporting investigative tips. The rewards are paid using a numerical ID rather than a name, using a bank not identified to anyone but the tipster.

Neither the police nor prosecutor will know the identity of the person providing the tip. Crimestoppers’ number is 318-238-2388.

Council member thanks community members for cleaning up streets

City Council member Chris Petite expressed his thanks to the residents of the City Of Natchitoches who came out and supported the 3rd Annual Community Clean-Up.

Organized by the Jackson-Square – Bailey Heights Community Improvement Association Inc. this community clean up included the following streets and roads: Lake, Hedges, Powell, North, Julia, Old Robeline, Powell, Amulet, and Martin Luther King.

“Thank you for investing in our community,” said Petite. “It was a tremendous effort. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Clean Up participants included Mayor Ronnie Williams, City Council members Rosemary Elie – Washington and Petite, School Board members Tan’keia Palmer and Dorothy McGaskey, local business owner Henry Dennis, Concerned Citizens of Natchitoches representative Johnny Barnes, Damien Medlock Jr. and Jhir’don Petite from Natchitoches Central High School, Kaveon Braxton from Natchitoches Jr. High, Gwendolyn Hardison, Ralph Wilson, Wayne Halm, Julia Kennedy and Tommy Myles of Houston, TX.

Washington Leads Lady Gators in District Play

In a year of talent-rich teams, the Lakeview Lady Gators are among the very elite, sitting at 19-1 overall and 2-0 in district play following back-to-back wins last week against the Red River Lady Bulldogs and the Many Lady tigers.

Off to a stellar start, the Lady Gators continued to elevate with a commanding home victory over the Red River Lady Bulldog with a final score of 84-14. Leading the way was last year’s district 3-2A defensive MVP Timberlyn Washington.

The Freshman guard would dominate the game with an impressive 19 points and eight steals in only ten minutes of play. Junior forward Trinity Browder finished the match with 14 points and eight rebounds, following her lead.

The deeply rooted rivalry always ignites real passion from fans and participants in true form and fashion. However, the fans were able to catch a glimpse of all of the Lady Gators in action as the starting five only played 10 minutes of the game.

Head coach Fuller stated, “It’s not many games that I get to play all of my players, and I was adamant about making sure that each player was able to get some varsity experience.”

Next up was the Lady Gators toughest district challenge of the 2020 season and the district 3-2A runner up the many Lady tigers. In a sizzling matchup, the Lady Gators found themselves in a close game within the first few minutes of the game. However, the game wouldn’t stay close for long as the lady gators turned up the heat.

Igniting the Lady Gator fire again, Timberlyn Washington mandated the court with 3 layups and two steals to close out the first quarter. Early in the second half, the Lady Gators found themselves in foul trouble, sending 3 of their 5 starters to the bench. This setback would not slow the lady gators down.

With Washington and Fisher still in the lineup, their defensive presence and determination would allow the lady gators to gain a 20-point lead that they would not lose for the remainder of the game, steering the lady gator past the Lady Tigers with an impressive 56-33 road victory. Timberlyn Washington would finish with 18 points, 4 assists, and 5 steals, followed by senior guard Jamesha Fishers with 12 points and 10 steals.

After the win, Washington stated, “It was just one of those games where I don’t think I just play. Not many players have the energy that I have, and I love to play defensive because it comes naturally.”

Senior Guard Jamesha Fisher also elaborated on the win stating, “With my sister in foul trouble most of the game, I knew I had to do more on both ends of the court.”

In the end, Coach Fuller praised all of his team and noted, “This is what makes them a strong team. One player gets in foul trouble, and the other steps up. This is not just a one-player show. We are a well-rounded team.”

The Lakeview Lady will look to continue their fight in the district on Friday as they face the Winnfield Lady Tigers in Winnfield.

Hot-shooting Demons

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State had been knocking on the door in Southland Conference play, not making enough plays in the final minutes to secure a win in its first three road games.

But on Thursday, the Demons busted that door down in a 79-70 win against Incarnate Word as NSU pieced together a 27-9 run in the final nine minutes at Prather Coliseum.

UIW (4-17, 0-4 SLC) rode a hot shooting wave and turned a four-point halftime deficit into a 59-52 lead, but the Demons roared back behind the surge of an energetic home crowd as NSU (5-16, 1-3 SLC) played its first contest at home in 40 days.

“We did an exceptional job of shooting, and we took good shots,” said NSU coach Mike McConathy as the Demons shot 57 percent from the floor and 75 percent in the second half. “We got the ball inside the Kendal Coleman, and we had guys like Robert Chougkaz pick and pop for two 3-pointers.

“We had 16 assists and made a lot of plays, and that’s real positive thing. Those breaks are what fueled us to get ourselves to win a ball game against a very disciplined team.”

Coleman supplied a couple of raucous roars with a dunk and three-point play during the run to highlight a career-high 25 points with 13 rebounds. It’s the ninth double double in the last 11 games and 10th overall.

But smashing UIW’s surge took an entire team of Demons – like Cedric Garrett’s five points to start the monumental run as part of his 14.

Junior Robert Chougkaz drained consecutive 3-pointers that handed the lead back to NSU on two separate occasions, including a trey with six minutes to go to put the Demons ahead for good (67-65). NSU made 10-of-18 from deep overall, it’s most efficient performance from range this season.

Natchitoches native Brian White was a fan favorite, and his stepback jumper padded NSU’s lead to 69-65 before sealing the win with a steal and an assist to Coleman. White added a game-high six assists.

“We haven’t played here in 40 days, and it was really nice to see the fan support, and I know they’ll be back Saturday (against Texas A&M Corpus Christi),” Coleman said. “We did start conference play 0-3, but it’s been really important to come together as one, to pick each other up when we make mistakes and to keep that negativity out.

“My teammates always tell me to keep shooting when I wasn’t making shots, and they fed me the ball all night and gave me open looks. I got a couple dunks, and these are the boys I want to ride it out with.”

Coleman shot 11-15 overall, and NSU’s 57 percent shooting as a team is a season-high.

Joining Coleman and Garrett in double figures was White (10 points) and Carvell Teasett, who made 4-of-7 3-pointers as part of his 14 points.

“We stuck together as a team, listening to the coaches and moved the ball inside, so I want to applaud the bigs and the coaches tonight,” Teasett said. “It felt amazing to feel the fan support tonight, and they boosted us to get the win.

“This one can be very big because we can take this momentum through the rest of conference play.”

In a game between the two winless teams in league play, NSU will try to use that momentum Saturday against a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi squad that beat Southeastern by 15 points on the road Thursday.

The Demons would love another quick start like Thursday night as NSU started on a 10-1 run with 3-pointers from White and Teasett.

UIW answered with a 13-5 run to slice NSU’s lead to 15-14 at the 11-minute mark.

The Demons, who never trailed in the first half and didn’t until the 16-minute mark of the second half, kept their lead by holding UIW to 32 percent shooting. But the Cardinals stayed close by making 7-9 free throws while NSU didn’t attempt any.

Coleman nearly had a double double in the first half with eight points and nine rebounds, highlighting NSU’s paint dominance with a 16-6 edge. NSU finished with a 36-22 advantage in the paint and cashed in 18 points off 13 UIW turnovers.

The Demons also committed 13 turnovers, but they led to just seven UIW points.

UIW’s Charlie Yoder matched Coleman’s 25 points but he also had seven turnovers. Josh Morgan (16 points) and Bradley Akhile (11 points) also reached double figures.

The Cardinals chopped up NSU’s four-point halftime lead by starting 10-14 from the field in the second half. NSU made six of its first seven shots but were plagued with turnovers early.

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

NSU set for long trek to Texas Tech Open & Multis

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Northwestern State track and field team’s third road trip to Texas will be a longer one than its previous two.

It also comes with the benefit of a wider variety of competition.

For the first time in the 2022 indoor season, the Demons and Lady Demons will take part in a two-day meet, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, for this weekend’s Texas Tech Open & Multis at Texas Tech’s Sports Performance Center.

The meet begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday with the beginning of the men’s heptathlon. Field events begin at 3 p.m. Friday with running events starting at 5 p.m. Saturday’s schedule starts at 10 a.m. with the women’s shot put while the women’s 200-meter preliminaries kick off the running events at 11:30 a.m. ESPN+ will stream coverage of the meet both days.

“Something (associate head) coach (Adam) Pennington and I have discussed is challenging these young men and women to have them ready to compete in conference,” head coach Mike Heimerman said. “In order to do that, you have to compete against the best. That’s why we’ve been at Texas A&M the past couple of weeks and why we’re going to Lubbock. There are going to be some West regional teams in Arizona State and San Diego State along with Texas Tech, who is ranked very high. There are also some other Big 12 schools that are there too, so it’s another loaded field.”

In addition to stepping up in competition, the Demons and Lady Demons will step up in altitude a bit as Texas Tech’s facility sits more than 3,200 feet above sea level.

Answering the dual challenges of increased competition and competing at a higher altitude dovetails with Heimerman’s message to his team following this past weekend’s Texas A&M Aggie Invitational. At that meet, several NSU competitors took part in events in which they were less experienced.

“They all have their No. 1 event, but we may need them in two events, and in some cases, three events,” Heimerman said. “We need them to fill those shoes because we’ve had people in the past like Natashia Jackson, who did that. We have a fifth-year senior on the team this year in Janiel Moore. Whatever we put her in, she goes out and does it. Last year was the first time she ran the hurdles. She was the conference champion in the indoor and the outdoor runner up, and she had never run it before last year. She’s right behind the conference leader (in the hurdles).

“She won her heat and made the finals last week in the hurdles, but we took her out of the finals to run the 400, and she had a lifetime best. She’s only going to get better and better.”

Moore’s 400 time of 56.83 ranks her second in the Southland behind teammate Maygan Shaw, who clocked a 56.46 at the season-opening Texas A&M Ted Nelson Invitational on Jan. 15. Moore’s 8.76 time in the 60-meter hurdles also puts her in second in the league, .16 seconds behind Houston Baptist’s Kaitlin Smith, who ran her time at the Air Force Invitational on Jan. 20.

As NSU enters its third of four pre-Southland Conference indoor meets, Moore is not alone among Demons and Lady Demons who are near or atop the SLC performance lists.

Shot putter Djimon Gumbs has established the indoor school record in his signature event in each of the first two weeks of the season. The sophomore transfer from New Mexico Junior College’s season-best mark of 61-1.25 at last week’s Aggie Invitational leads all Southland throwers by nearly 8 feet and stands 26th nationally.

Gumbs won his event both weeks at Texas A&M, but he will see a tougher field this week.

“He’s going to see some men from Arizona who are very, very good this week,” Heimerman said. “(Turner Washington of Arizona State) has thrown right at 70 feet. We’re not going to throw that, but we can throw farther than we have. (Gumbs) will be pushed, which is something we’ve looked to do with him. He’s a gamer. He loves the competition and the challenge. Mentally, I try to push him all the time, and 90 percent of the time, he steps up.”

Heimerman saw true freshman Galen Loyd answer his challenge this past week.

Loyd scored for the Demons in three events, finishing fourth in the 400 (48.99), eighth in the 60 (7.2) and running the anchor leg of NSU’s 4×400 relay team that ran a 3:19.36 to finish third behind a pair of Texas A&M squads.

Heimerman credited Loyd’s work ethic – and his training partners – with helping the freshman acclimate to collegiate track and field after a standout career at Grant High School.

“He’s a sponge right now,” Heimerman said. “He’s soaking it all up. He loves to work. He’s in a group of men who love to work with Ebenezer Aggrey and Destine Scott. Those guys love to grind. He’s done some work with our short sprinters like Kie’Ave Harry, Tre’Darious Carr, Dylan Swain and Simon Wulff. Our sprint crew is deep, so to get any recognition they have to step up.”

Photo: Mike Wade/Southland Conference

Community rallies around fundraiser for family who lost their home in a fire

The Santos’ lost their home in a late morning fire on Jan. 26. Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Deputies and Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #6 responded to NATCOM 911 Center reports of a structure fire in the 1800 block of Johnson Chute Road.

Units arrived on scene shortly afterwards finding the structure engulfed in flames. The homeowner was not at home but was contacted and responded to the scene.

Deputies say the residence received heavy damage. The cause of the fire is being determined by Fire District #6.

Charlotte Santos and her children have temporary lodging and are left with what they took to school with them that morning. Join the Natchitoches community in helping them recover, restore and return to normal as soon as they can.



By Tommy Rush

Have you ever unintentionally driven down the wrong road or missed a turn only to realize after several miles that you were going in the wrong direction? I sure have! Over the years I have found myself on the wrong road many times. Once on a trip to Indiana, I missed an exit and traveled in the wrong direction for almost 40 miles. I only admitted that I was going in the wrong direction when I saw the sign, “Welcome to Illinois – The Land of Lincoln!” Don’t laugh! It happened a long time before GPS and Mapquest.

Missing your turn on an Interstate is never good. Usually the exits are far apart and U-turns are illegal on major highways. If you do find a place to make a U-Turn the sign is marked with “For Official Use Only.”My father always referred to the U-Turn signs as “Whup Around” signs. He would always say, Don’t miss the road or you will have to go ten miles before you will find a place to “whup around.”

Do you ever feel like your life is heading in the wrong direction? When you find yourself on the wrong road heading in the wrong direction it only makes things worse to refuse admitting it. Sometimes we get stubborn and convince ourselves that we’re on the right road all the way until we end up in Illinois. If you are in a place that you never wanted to be today or you feel as though your life is heading in a direction that God never intended, then I encourage you to stop and turn around. God has a word for this attitude of “I’ve got to turn around and get off this road,” and it’s the word, repentance. It is a word that’s often viewed negatively, but the Bible describes repentance as a blessing that leads to life. One of the most awesome verses describing the blessing of repentance is Acts 3:19. It says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

It’s a wonderful thing to know that God promises grace and mercy to all who not only desire but are willing to turn from sin and turn their heart to Him. And it’s great to know that God always provides a good place to “whup around” for those who truly long for a change of direction.

The Best Drug Ever

“Just say no!” This has been the slogan to fight the drug war going on in this country since former First Lady Nancy Reagan introduced it in 1982. Her work was extensive and diligent in fighting the war on drugs. This fight still continues today and it appears it’s a war we’re losing. With little to no border control and our government leaders refusing to recognize that we have a border crisis, the battle rages on. As a teen growing up in East Texas, I had very little exposure to the drug world, but knew it existed. In the 1970’s, marijuana, speed and cocaine were the drugs of choice for those that chose that route looking to get high. Today I’ll give you my perspective on my drug of choice back then, one that I’m still addicted to and crave today.

As most of you already know, athletics have played a huge role in my life and are responsible for the opportunities that have come my way over the years. I enjoyed a great high school career, running track and playing both baseball and football, which included winning the Texas 3A State Baseball Championship in 1978. I was blessed with a football/baseball scholarship to Northwestern State that resulted in being drafted by the Montreal Expos (today’s Washington Nationals) in 1983.

Sports for me, was a drug that came with both highs and lows. Drug addicts talk about how they just can’t get enough of whatever they’re craving. For me, I could relate because I was the same way. I could not get enough of the rush that sports gave me. I thought about it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I would dream of getting my next high by hitting a home run, making a great play, or scoring a touchdown. Success in the sports arena came fairly easy for me, as God blessed me with good athletic ability.

But let’s talk about my first addiction…. bass fishing. Fishing has been an addiction for me since I caught my first bass as a kid walking the banks of our ranch stock ponds. This all started for me in the summer of 1969 when I got my first Zebco rod and reel combo. I was basically self-taught. I remember getting my hands on a copy of Bassmaster magazine that was full of tips and technique illustrations anyone could follow. One of the gifts I got on my 10th birthday was a subscription to Bassmaster magazine. BEST GIFT EVER!!!! Back then there were only a few fishing shows that existed. I watched “Fishing with Virgil Ward” and “Outdoors with John Fox.” Both were great, but then I found a show called “The Bassmaster’s,” hosted by legendary Bob Cobb. This introduced me to guys who actually fished for a living. Are you kidding me? You could make a living catching bass?!!! Now this had my full attention, and I could not wait for it to come on each week. I remember watching anglers like Tommy Martin, Bill Dance, Rick Clunn and Roland Martin, guys who became legends of the sport.

For me, there’s always been something about the moment you set the hook and a fish starts to pull drag. The adrenaline rush is unmatched and unexplainable! You don’t know how big your catch is until you see it jump out of the water as it is trying to throw your bait, or you swing it in the boat. Even today, despite the many bass I’ve caught over my lifetime, I still get this huge rush of excitement. So, I guess this makes me an addict! I just can’t get enough bass fishing action! It can be so rewarding, whether you’re catching small one-to-two-pound bass or five and six pounders. It’s still the same rush!

To wrap this up, if you’ve never had a fishing experience before, find someone to take you who knows what they’re doing. Go hire a fishing guide or an experienced angler who can teach you the ins and outs of fishing. If you want to get high, go fishing…whether it’s for bass, crappie, redfish or trout! The species doesn’t matter; the high is still the same. But beware, it can be addicting! Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf

Adam Philley named director of Cane River Singers

Adam Philley has been named director of the Cane River Singers, a local choir which includes Northwestern State University students and faculty along with Natchitoches area residents. The choir is in its third year.

The Cane River Singers group meets on Monday nights at 7 p.m. and is open to anyone with an interest in singing. Students must register to join. Faculty or community members must only sign up with Philley.

Philley teaches upper-level piano classes at Caddo Magnet High and choir at Captain Shreve High School. He previously taught voice, piano and theory at Centenary College.

“I have been aware and loosely connected to the NSU music community for a few years now. I’ve experienced the talent and level of professionalism from all those involved in the music school over those years,” said Philley. “When this opportunity arose, I immediately wanted to be a part of such a great team. The Cane River Singers are the type of group I am passionate about. I love working with ensembles whose makeup is diverse in skills and talent.”

Philley serves as director of music ministries at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Shreveport and music director of the B’nai Zion Congregation. He is founder and conductor of the Prísma Vocal Ensemble, Shreveport’s only semi-professional choral ensemble, serves as secretary of the Board of Directors for the Carrefour Collaborative Music Project and is the resident music director for the Shreveport Little Theatre Academy. His choirs have collaborated with the Shreveport Symphony, the Shreveport Opera, Robinson Film Center and have sung in Carnegie Hall in New York City. He holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.M. in Sacred Music from Centenary College.

“I believe that community and collaboration are keys to changing the world and these are foundational principles of choral music,” said Philley. “My goal for the Cane River Singers this semester is to remember how music has united and uplifted us over the centuries. In the most challenging of times, which now might be considered another of those challenging times, music has served as an inspiration for hope. Our goal is to provide hope and joy to those who hear us this semester.”

Philley hopes choir rehearsals will serve as a respite during a busy and stressful time of their life.

“I hope they become better musicians but more importantly I hope they find connection with the music and with each other,” he said. “Connection and collaboration are such vital skills that will take them far.”

Cellist Madeline Kabat to present recital, master class Feb. 6

Cellist Madeline Kabat will present a recital at Northwestern State University on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. University COVID protocols will be in effect. Those attending are asked to wear a mask.  She will teach a master class at 11 a.m. for members of the NSU Cello Studio.

Her recital of unaccompanied cello music will feature Bach’s “Cello Suite No.2” and selections by Britten, Cassado and Ligeti. She will appear as a soloist with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Kabat is a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In her first year there, she was acting assistant principal cellist and served as principal for 7 months. Kabat has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Houston Symphony.

Following her solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at age 18, Kabat has been featured as soloist with dozens of orchestras, performing concertos ranging from Shostakovich and Haydn to Elgar and Ligeti. In 2012 she made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on an invitation to represent the Oberlin Conservatory.

An active chamber musician, Kabat was named visiting artist at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, from 2011-16. During the summer she performs at the Lakes Area Music Festival (Minnesota), Festival Mozaic (California), and is a faculty artist at the Renova Chamber Music Festival (Pennsylvania). She was a featured guest artist for the Lima International Chamber Music Festival in Peru, and has also performed chamber music in China, Korea, and in Colombia as faculty artist of Medellin Festicamara.

Kabat has won top prizes in the competitions of Fischoff, Hellam and Klein International. She holds diplomas from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University, the Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory.

Obit: Thomas Lattier Hennigan

November 26, 1929 – January 26, 2022

Funeral services celebrating the life of Dr. Thomas Lattier Hennigan will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services. Officiating will be Reverend Linda Clark with the eulogy delivered by Senator Louie Bernard.

Mr. Hennigan was born November 26, 1929 in Marthaville, Louisiana to Hattie Maines Hennigan and Dewey Lattier Hennigan. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Leonard Wayne Henigan and Dewey Raymond Hennigan and wife Rose Ann; sister, Eleanor Jane Ingram and husband Billy; and daughter-in-law, Christine Jordan Hennigan.

Survivors include his wife, Gloria Crump Hennigan, who he was married to for seventy years; three sons, Michael P. Hennigan (wife Kay), Mickey O. Hennigan (wife Cheryl), and Thomas C. Hennigan (wife Kelley); eight grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.

As a native of Marthaville, Dr. Hennigan graduated from Marthaville High School and following graduation, enrolled at Northwestern State University (NSU). The celebration of graduation from NSU was high-lighted by the marriage of his high school sweetheart Miss Gloria Crump.

Upon graduation from NSU, Dr. Hennigan served as the Instructor and Director of Audio-Visual Education. Among his accomplishments at NSU, he introduced 16mm film production, and personally filmed hundreds of football and basketball games during his career. In addition, Hennigan and his close friend, Paul Keyser, designed, developed, and operated the first and only closed circuit television instructional system in the entire State of Louisiana.

Furthering his education, Dr. Hennigan completed his Ed. D. from Indiana University in 1969, while continuing his full-time professorship at NSU. His dedication and service to the university was recognized through the years by his induction into the NSU Long Purple Line, the Hall of Distinguished Educators, and the Graduate N Club.

Following his retirement from teaching in 1985, he became a Certified Lay Speaker for the First United Methodist Church in Natchitoches, Louisiana and preached at community churches in the parish for many years.

Those honored to be pallbearers are Tim Crump, Joe Bill Ingram, Christopher Hennigan, Brian Baiamonte, Sam Leone, and Ted Brockway, Jr.

The family would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Dubuis Hospital, Cabrini Hospital, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, Kindred Home Health, and the Courtyard of Natchitoches.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the first United Methodist Church, 220 Amulet Street, Natchitoches, LA 71457, St. Jude’s, or the charity of your choice.

NSU calendar for Jan. 30 – Feb. 5

Here is a look at the week of Jan. 30 – Feb. 5 at Northwestern State University.

Feb. 3 – Recital featuring pianist John Price, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

Feb. 5 – Tennis vs. Loyola, Jack Fisher Lady Demons Complex, 10 a.m., 2 p.m.

# Livestream is available at capa.nsula.edu/livestream

OPPORTUNITY: Animal Control Officer


POSITION: Animal Control Officer

DESCRIPTION: Enforcement of the Animal Control Ordinance; maintain records and reports regarding impounded animals, animal bites, quarantines, investigations, citations and daily statistics; ability to operate Microsoft Word and Excel; clean and disinfect kennels and cages; provide animals with proper food, water, and medical care; must be available for after hours and weekend work.

EDUCATION: High School diploma or equivalent. Must be a licensed driver.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St. or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches La 71458-0037. Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall, located at 700 Second St., or you can download an application on line at http://www.natchitochesla.gov

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through February 8, 2022.



BATON ROUGE, La. — Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has announced that Louisiana will suspend its participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), effective immediately. The announcement comes amid concerns raised by citizens, government watchdog organizations and media reports about potential questionable funding sources and that possibly partisan actors may have access to ERIC network data for political purposes, potentially undermining voter confidence.

“When Louisiana joined ERIC under my predecessor, we did so under the impression that it would enhance the accuracy of our voter rolls and strengthen Louisiana’s election integrity. After reading about these allegations and speaking with election attorneys and experts, I have determined that it may no longer be in Louisiana’s best interests to participate in this organization,” Secretary Ardoin said.“It is vital that any legitimate allegation of voter fraud or possible misuse of our voters’ personal information is investigated. My job is to ensure that the data voters entrust to my office is protected. I look forward to ERIC’s swift response to these allegations.”

ERIC was founded in 2012 by seven states, including Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the Pew Charitable Trusts. It has since grown to include 30 states and the District of Columbia. Louisiana joined the organization in 2014.

For more information, please contact our Elections Division at 800.883.2805.

Notice of Death – January 27, 2022

Thomas Lattier Hennigan
November 26, 1929 – January 26, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 12 pm at the Chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Jessie B. Williams
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11:30 am at the Kingdom Life Center, located on Hwy 71 in Campti

Ruby Tamara Balthazar
January 3, 1966 – January 22, 2022
Visitation: Saturday, January 29 from 1-2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Burial will follow at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Cloutierville.

Frederick Lawson
Aug 15, 1956 – Jan 26, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Myrtis Marilyn Brett Otteman
January 23, 1938 – January 17, 2022
Service: Friday January 28 at 1 pm at The Minor Basilica of The Immaculate Conception

Sameria Pearrie
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11 am at the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel.

Nicholas Flakes
Dec 5, 2000 – Jan 10, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Cornell Robinson
Jul 27, 1962 – Jan 15, 2022
Arrangements TBA

Mildred Louise Eckhardt McTyre
March 26, 1935 – January 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Natchitoches

Kathy Lea Kirk
December 5, 1952 – January 26, 2022
Service: Sunday, January 30 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Charles Renay Tant
September 21, 1944 – January 26, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29 at 1 pm at Corinth Baptist Church

Lillian Bernadine Crain Hyde
August 19, 1928 – January 22, 2022
Service: Friday, January 28 at 2 pm at Southern Funeral Home

Patrick Kevin Hale, II
November 18, 1983 – January 22, 2022
Service: Saturday, January 29, at 1 pm at the VFW Hall, located at 1859 Highway 71 in Montgomery

Barbara Gayle Alderman
October 5, 1943 – January 7, 2022
Arrangements TBA


Recognition Ceremony to be Held Friday, January 28th

NATCHITOCHES – A recognition ceremony will be held on Friday, January 28th to honor last year’s group of Natchitoches Treasures. The Natchitoches Treasures are an elite group of Natchitoches residents of retirement age who have made a lasting contribution to the community through their generosity, service, volunteerism and spirit.

The recognition ceremony will be held on Friday, January 28th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center, located at 750 Second Street. Light refreshments will be served and the public and the media are invited to attend.

The 2021 Natchitoches Treasures were selected by a committee of those who have previously been named as a Natchitoches Treasure. Natchitoches Treasures have been selected each year since 2008. The treasures are selected from nominations received from members of the community.

The 2021 Natchitoches Treasures are Mr. Clifford Blake Jr., Mrs. Beulah Coutee, Dr. Jerry Glynn Ferguson, Mr. Stan Nash, and Mr. Thomas E. Roque.

The recognition ceremony will highlight the contributions made to the City of Natchitoches and the community by each newly elected Treasure, as well as pay tribute to those individuals named as Natchitoches Treasures in years past.

For more information about the Natchitoches Treasures, please call City Hall at (318) 352-2772.

‘First Amendment Auditor’ films arrest at local library

Natchitoches Police officers responded to the Natchitoches Parish Library on Jan. 22 in response to a call from concerned library staff reporting a patron who was behaving bizarrely. This involved carrying multiple bulky bags into the building, setting up multiple cameras for recording purposes, trying to access areas restricted to the public, and pulling on door handles to areas that are off limits.

When officers made contact with the suspect he refused to give any information or provide them with an ID. Later identified as Travis Heinze, the suspect was taken into custody for resisting arrest and brought to the corrections center where he bonded out.

Heinze stated that he was just using the library and looked around the building since he’d never been to it before. When asked for identification he responded, “What does that have to do with anything,” and “How are you going to go above my constitutional protections on this because there is no crime?”

So who is Travis Heinze? He’s a “First Amendment Auditor” or “Police Auditor” from Aberdeen, Wash. What’s an auditor? These are individuals who film encounters with law enforcement officers/public officials. If an actual/perceived violation of the auditor’s protected rights occurs, the video will likely be posted on social media and/or serve as the basis for a claim or suit.

According to cirsa.org, one Colorado municipality recently agreed to pay a “First Amendment Auditor” $41,000 to settle a wrongful detention claim.

Heinze’s claim is that he was arrested illegally for not giving his name, but according to LRS 14: 108, resisting arrest is the refusal by the arrested or detained party to give his name and make his identity known to the arresting or detaining officer or providing false information regarding the identity of such party to the officer.

One of Heinze’s many internet followers commented, “Failure to I.D. is a secondary charge, these guys don’t have a primary charge of a crime committed.”

According to the NPD, Heinze was legally detained because of the reports regarding his suspicious behavior in the library and his refusal to provide identification. Under Louisiana law this gave officers probable cause for making the arrest.

What about those cameras Heinz set up in the library? From three different angles he filmed officers arriving in the library’s parking lot, his conversation with them inside, and his arrest. He publishes videos like these to his YouTube page for his followers. He also posted his “Top 10 Complaints Against My Arresting Officers in Natchitoches, La.” on Twitter with a link to his blog on a wordpress site.

On his Twitter profile, Heinze describes himself as “a homeless bum who lives out of my car, travels, offers health advice and shares anything on my mind.”

Following the posting of the Natchitoches videos, the library and police station began receiving an onslaught of calls from Henize’s first amendment audit peers/followers voicing their concern/disdain over the arrest and the fact that the library called the police on him in the first place. These same people have also taken to Facebook, flooding comment sections on the library and police department pages with links to the YouTube videos and comments along the lines of:

Don’t go to this place unless you want to get arrested. These horrible people are bigoted against folks using their facility stay away its for your own good. we need to close this place down. #TravisHeinze #ExchangeIDs

As he documents his travels across the country on his YouTube page “Life in a Car with Travis Heinze,” he documents his encounters with law enforcement along the way on his “Lets Exchange IDs with Travis Heinze” account, which dates back to 2017. These videos sport titles like:

“Reading and proofreading my lawsuit against Williston, ND”
“Officer Harris arrests me at city hall in Bethany, Missouri”
“Deputy Mortensen was called twice on me in Pembina, North Dakota”
“Comments about arrest in Horseshoe Bend, Idaho; showing a picture ID is the law?”

The City of Bethany, Mo. released a statement on Nov. 4, 2021 reporting charges were dismissed against Heinz, who entered the City Hall on Nov. 2 and began making repeated inquiries with the staff regarding parking regulations and parking availability. City Hall Staff members attempted to answer questions, but soon became uncomfortable and called police as a security measure. Heinze refused to identify himself when questioned by officers. He was placed under a 24-hour investigative hold at the Harrison County Detention Center. He was charged with Disturbing the Peace and Second-Degree Harassment by the Harrison County Prosecutor.

The bottom line is that there’s two sides to every story, so are these auditors “professional agitators” or are they performing a service for the American people?







Exchange student from Italy enjoying opportunity to live and learn in the South

Elisa Silicato found the perfect opportunity to explore her long-time interest in southern life and culture this spring as an exchange student at Northwestern State University.

Silicato is a graduate student at the University of Pisa in Italy. The University of Pisa was founded in 1343. It is the 19th oldest university in the world in continuous operation and the 10th oldest in Italy.

“I chose to come and study in the United States, and specifically in the South because I had developed over the years a growing interest and fascination for the Southern life and culture,” said Silicato. “I found out about Northwestern State when I started scrolling down the list of agreements that my home University has all over the world, and Northwestern was one of the very few located in the South.”

Silicato is taking courses in French, English and Linguistics, American sign language and ballet. Each of the classes correspond to classes offered at her home university. She has found significant differences in the way classes are taught in Italy and the United States.

“Class structure is where the biggest ‘cultural shock’ happened,” said Silicato. “In Italy the classes are frontal and mostly monodirectional. Following a course in Italy means listening to what the professor says for four months, taking a lot of notes and studying a lot of books. After that you show up at your professor’s office the day of the exam and give an oral exam where you answer all of the questions.”

She had to quickly adjust to the way classes are taught in the U.S. and out of class homework.

“Some of the classes I follow are positioned in a circle giving the student the possibility to face each other and interact,” said Silicato. “Also the weekly homework was new to me, We don’t really get homework in Italy after high school, and that of course has forced me to create a different kind of schedule from what I was used to. It feels more like the university organizes my time rather than me doing it. Another positive aspect I found here at Northwestern is that students are expected to interact, give their opinion, produce and share what has been produced. That felt like fresh air as the Italian University System is a little more rigid.”

Silicato likes the variety of offerings at NSU.

“The university offers a range of opportunities to which I wouldn’t have had such easy access in my home university, like for example studying subjects from very different fields,” said Silicato. “The community of Natchitoches has been more than welcoming towards me, and I am very delighted to live in such a beautiful, warm and multicultural environment.”

Silicato encourages students from Northwestern to spend a semester at an international university like the University of Pisa. NSU and Pisa have had an exchange agreement for several years. Students from NSU pay the same tuition to study internationally, but have access to all services offered by the host university.

“I would encourage students from NSU to come and study at the University of Pisa for many reasons,” said Silicato. “It is a great opportunity to grow and explore a different culture. Our university holds more than 30 courses in English in a variety of fields. Most are graduate courses but undergraduate courses are available as well. Pisa is a wonderful, charming, clean, safe little town, packed with students and fun activities.”

The International Student Resource Center & Study Abroad is currently accepting applications for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. Travel scholarships are available for International Exchanges. The ISRC & Study Abroad office offers opportunities to Study Abroad through bilateral agreements with partner universities around the world and through the International Student Exchange Program and opportunities to Study Away at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the National Student Exchange Program.

For more information on international and national study opportunities at Northwestern State, visit nsula.edu/international or contact Dr. Telba Espinoza-Contreras at 318-357-5939. 


(Gorum)-Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives are attempting to identify the owner of a burned vehicle discovered by a motorist on the Maurice Bynog Road near Gorum on Sunday evening, Jan. 23, shortly after 7:30pm according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the scene and discovered what appeared to be a late model Chevrolet or GMC Sports Utility Vehicle totally burned.

It appeared the vehicle was deliberately burned at that location.

The vehicle was also missing an engine and the transmission.

A search of the immediate area for any clues or other evidence was unfounded.

Detectives have been unable to obtain a VIN on the vehicle due to the burned condition , however, a local towing service that recovered the vehicle is assisting detectives in attempting to locate other unique identifiers on the frame or other undisclosed locations on the vehicle.

If you have any information contact Major Reginald Turner at 357-7830.