La Capitol set to again sponsor kickoff event for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction weekend in 2018

Louisiana Sports Hall of fame-LaCap2018

Ronnie Rantz, CEO/President of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, accepts a sponsorship check from La Capitol Federal Credit Union and North Louisiana Regional Vice President Mary Ann Nowlin. Joining in the presentation were Jennae Biddiscombe, branch manager of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, and Patrick Hollier, Natchitoches Area Branch Manager. 


The biggest Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Weekend ever begins in signature fashion on Thursday evening, June 28, with the annual La Capitol Kickoff Reception welcoming the 2018 Induction Class and guests to the Hall of Fame museum.

The reception is open to the public at no charge from 5-7 p.m. on June 28. It starts a series of weekend festivities including a brand-new Friday afternoon bowling outing; a first-ever riverbank concert Friday night, June 29, that is free to the public; the traditional free Championship Saturday Kids Clinic; a Sunday golf scramble July 1 at Alexandria’s OakWing Golf Club; and the feature event, the Saturday evening, June 30 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony.

Information and registration opportunities are available at the website or by calling the Hall of Fame Foundation office at 318-238-4255.

La Capitol has sponsored the Kickoff Reception since the Hall of Fame returned its annual inductions to Natchitoches in 2003, after a three-year trial run in Shreveport-Bossier. The reception has always been open to everyone, providing a unique opportunity in a casual setting to meet and mingle with the incoming Hall of Fame members while enjoying quality local entertainment, food and refreshments.

Natchitoches resident Mary Ann Nowlin, a regional vice president for La Capitol, initiated the financial institution’s partnership with the Hall of Fame induction weekend 15 years ago with a sense of community responsibility and pride.

“La Capitol is committed to improving the well-being of communities throughout the state. What better way than to provide our youth dedicated role models, determined to achieve a standard of excellence,” she said. “The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame honors “Real Life” heroes and presents their stories of achievements – right here in Natchitoches with this event, and all year long in the museum.”

“La Capitol is a cornerstone partner for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame,” said Foundation CEO/President Ronnie Rantz. “Mary Ann Nowlin and La Cap led the local and area business community in supporting our annual induction weekend and consistently helping raise the level of involvement by their active engagement in all our weekend activities.

“The La Cap family, from all around our state but particularly the local staff members, have been active participants and volunteers during our inductions since 2003 and we hope for years and years to come,” said Rantz.

La Capitol FCU has been part of Louisiana’s financial landscape for 56 years, with roots deep in the capital city of Baton Rouge and branches spreading statewide.

The La Cap mission statement says the organization’s goal is “to be a strong and growing non-profit financial institution, serving the financial needs of a wide diversity of members throughout our state, region and nation.”

For more information about La Cap and its many financial services, visit

The 11 inductees being enshrined June 30 at the Natchitoches Events Center include eight competitive ballot sports heroes: NFL star receivers Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley, LSU and 18-year Major League Baseball pitcher Russ Springer, Grambling and NBA champion Larry Wright, coaching legends Lewis Cook (high school football) and Jerry Simmons (tennis at UL Lafayette and LSU), and the late Paul Candies, a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Three contributors are set for induction, led by Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints defensive back whose advocacy for victims of ALS has earned nationwide acclaim. He will receive the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award.

NSU graduate and noted Louisiana broadcaster Lyn Rollins, and acclaimed Lake Charles sportswriter Scooter Hobbs will receive the state’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.

LSHOF-2018 Induction Itinerary


Student initiates service project

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India Gurley of Logansport, a student majoring in early childhood education at Northwestern State University, initiated a service project to benefit local preschool and kindergarten students. While enrolled in the Child Development and Appropriate Practices for Young Children class last semester, Gurley implemented a t-shirt fund raiser to support the Early Childhood Education Cradle to Prison Intervention Pipeline project. Gurley raised enough money to purchase 180 children’s books for local classrooms and designed a flyer that will be used this fall during a second round of fund raising.

NSU to host Louisiana Boys State, Girls State


Northwestern State University will host the Louisiana Boys and Louisiana Girls State programs June 24-30. Louisiana Boys and Girls State is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school students between their junior and senior year. The programs will be held concurrently on the NSU campus.

Participants – called citizens — in each program are divided into groups and elect mock municipal officials and representative to a mock state legislature. They also elect state officials who meet to hold elections and pass bills in a manner similar to the actual Louisiana legislature. The program is intended to teach high-achieving students to be informed citizens while developing a sense of community, service and responsibility.

More than 1,000 students, along with about 80 counselors and junior counselors and dozens of Legion and Auxiliary staff participate in each program.

Louisiana Boys State began in 1940, followed by Louisiana Girls State in 1941. Northwestern State has hosted the event since 2007. Delegates are sponsored by an American Legion Post, local business or community-based organization. The delegates will utilize several residence halls and university buildings throughout the NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts campuses. Boys and Girls State staff and counselors will be arriving throughout the week in preparation for the citizens’ arrival and convocation Sunday, June 24.

ASP Team focused on Traffic Enforcement

NPD-Task Force

The Natchitoches Police Department ASP Team was on patrol today and concentrated on traffic enforcement with a focus on texting while driving.

While using traffic monitoring techniques the officers issued a total of 50 citations in different areas of the city. The citation charges included texting while driving, no seatbelt, illegal window tint, unlicensed driver, driving under suspension, no vehicle registration, no tail lights, wrong way on a one way, red light, switched plates and modified exhaust.

The Natchitoches Police Department would like to remind citizens that it is illegal to text while driving and also always wear your seat belt.

Approved for release by Capt. Walker Date: 6/22/18

Louisiana Studies Conference issues call for presentations

Louisiana Studies Conference


Presentation proposals for the 10th annual Louisiana Studies Conference on Sept. 21-22 at Northwestern State University are being accepted through July 15.

The 2018 conference theme, “Once Upon a Time in Louisiana,” is dedicated to exploring Louisiana’s long and continued relationship with narrative. Presentation proposals on any aspect of Louisiana narratives, as well as creative texts and performances by, about and/or for Louisiana and Louisianans, are sought for this year’s conference.

“Although we are especially interested in proposals that deal with the theme of ‘Once Upon a Time in Louisiana,’ all papers, creative writing, and short performances (dance, music, or theatric) that address any aspect of Louisiana studies are welcome,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and organizer of the conference.

Rasmussen said proposals are being solicited for 15-minute presentations from scholars at all career stages as well as graduate students. Creative work (film, creative non-fiction, short fiction and poetry) is welcome. Undergraduates are invited to submit, provided they are working with the guidance of a trained scholar.

Conference registration is free for all faculty, staff and students affiliated with Bossier Parish Community College, the Louisiana Scholars’ College, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and Northwestern State University, as well as State and National Park Service personnel situated in Natchitoches Parish.

The Louisiana Studies Conference is sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center and Northwestern State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Rasmussen at (318) 357-4332 or at

Cane River Creole National Historical Park is hiring!

NPS Job Opening

Deadline to apply is July 5. All applications must be received online via the link below.

These positions are located in Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

Anticipated Entry on Duty: 10/01/18

A permanent career-seasonal position includes all the benefits of permanent employment, but does not provide employment on a full year-round basis. As such, selectees will be in a non-pay/non-duty status for at least 2 weeks based on project requirements or weather conditions.
Selectees are guaranteed to work at least 6 months per year but not more than 50 weeks per year, with the work schedule to be determined upon appointment. Selectee must complete a Career Seasonal agreement.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide guide services to visitors. This includes conducting programs, interpreting the diverse cultural history and historic features, guiding tours, answering questions, and providing miscellaneous services to visitors.
Develops interpretive programs; conducts independent research of topics; selects and organizes material to fit the purposes of a program and the type of group for which it is intended. Presents a variety of formal and informal interpretive programs including orientation talks, environmental education programs, conducted walks, demonstrations, and guided tours. Initiates or assists with creation or revision of interpretive materials, such as guidebooks, handouts, and exhibits.

Answers a wide variety of visitor questions that arise from diverse origins, including visitor observation, interest or the nature of the programs. The answers to these questions require explanation and description of the background of the events and the introduction and discussion of an extensive body of facts, events, personalities, and circumstances.

Guides groups of all sizes, insuring the group stays together, and maintaining a pace comfortable for the group while conforming to prescribed schedule. Guide must conduct visitors through the site, telling the story of the events which took place there, how these events relate to the particular historic situation. When needed the guide must take measures to maintain order, prevent crowding or damage to historic sites, and take appropriate action.

Provides a wide range of services to visitors. Guide is responsible for providing current, accurate information concerning the NPS and other surrounding area of interest, explaining the area’s recreational opportunities, including NPS interpretive services. Additionally, provide public orientation and explanations of current park events, and informs visitors of potential safety hazards.

District Attorneys Warn of ‘Catastrophic Cuts’ to Local Offices Due to 82% State Budget Cut


The Louisiana District Attorney’s Association predicted that each District Attorney office around the state will lose a majority of their experienced prosecutors and would end victim support services if their budget is cut by 82%.

Pete Adams, executive director of the LDAA, testified in the House Appropriations Committee that in his 44 years of experience, “never had an agency or department to have received such a significant reduction in funding.”

The Fiscal Year 2018-19 operating budget reduced the district attorney’s annual appropriation from $31.7 million to $5.4 million.

“This is what will happen. We will lose the experienced prosecutors. These are skilled litigators who will leave to go into private practice. We are going to lose valuable experience and service that we won’t replace in the next 10 years. It will be devastating, catastrophic cuts. You are looking at no victim services, no domestic violence services, no specialty courts,” said Adams.

Adams also warned that “we are looking at letting people out of jail, regardless of the charge, because we can’t provide them with a speedy trial.”

10th Judicial District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington attended the committee hearing and advocated for preserving the services his office provides to crime victims and citizens in Natchitoches Parish.

“I can also assure you that my victim’s assistance coordinator would not be able to survive an 82% reduction of salary. We will be forced to end the program and won’t be able to serve the needs of crime victims in Natchitoches Parish,” said Harrington.

District Attorneys Warn of ‘Catastrophic Cuts’ to Local Offices Due to 82% State Budget Cut, June 22, 2018, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office, page 2 of 2

Harrington also stressed the immediate effects of the budget reduction would include the loss of experienced prosecutors who represent the State of Louisiana on behalf of crime victims.

“These cuts would be devastating for our office. In today’s economy, I can’t imagine any assistant district attorney employed here being able to survive an 82% reduction of salary. I am proud of my ADAs who have chosen public service as their career and it is very disappointing that they are being used as pawns in the budget war,” said Harrington.

Harrington and other members of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association have been working at the Legislature this week to find an appropriate solution that will avoid the catastrophic cuts to the district attorney’s budget.

Notice of Death – June 22, 2018

Notice of Death 2017


Charles “Peanut” Glen French, Sr.
July 31, 1944 – June 18, 2018
Visitation: Friday, June 22 from 5-10 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 23 at 11 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: St. Anne’s Cemetery in the Spanish Lake Community near Robeline

Mary Susan Owen Smith
April 10, 1947 – June 16, 2018
Service: Sunday, June 24 at 2 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches with visitation to follow in the Fellowship Hall

Melinda Gayle Quarles
November 14, 1981 – May 26, 2018
Service: Sunday, June 24 at 2 pm at 231 Hargis Road in Natchitoches

Marvin Davis
June 16, 2018
Arrangements TBA


Helen Marie Rains
July 29, 1927 – June 21, 2018
Visitation: Friday, June 22 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Saturday, June 23 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Many
Interment: Ft. Jesup Cemetery


Elliott F. Mock
September 24, 1933 – June 17, 2018


Van Garner
Visitation: Saturday, June 23 from 5-7 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home in Many
Service: Saturday, June 23 at 11 am at Pilgrim Star Baptist Church in Florien
Interment: Pilgrim Star Baptist Cemetery

Bobbie White Bolds
Visitation: Friday, June 22 at Jenkins Funeral Home in Mansfield
Service: Saturday, June 23 at Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel in Mansfield
Interment: Community Cemetery in Logansport

Ethel Green
Visitation: Friday, June 22 from 6-7 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, June 23 at 12 pm at the Northwest Auditorium in Mansfield
Interment: Old Zion Cemetery in Grand Cane

Natchitoches Boil Order Lifted


The boil order for the City of Natchitoches Water System has been lifted.  The city will issue an official press release with additional information today.


NATCHITOCHES – The boil order issued for City of Natchitoches Water System has now been lifted on Friday, June 22, 2018. All tests collected by the Louisiana Department of Health/Office of Public Health on Thursday, June 21, 2018 have come back absent of bacteria.

During this boil order; Louisiana Department of Health/Office of Public Health performed a series of tests to determine if the water met regulatory drinking water standards. Samples were taken from sites in the affected area and tests confirmed that the water meets all state and federal requirements. It is no longer necessary for residents to boil their water before drinking or cooking.

 The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience during this time.

Boil Advisory - Natchitoches.jpg

The Report – City Water 06-22-18

A history of handmade furniture continues

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George M. Olivier, a master craftsman and artist, opened Olivier’s Fine Cypress Furniture in Natchitoches in 1965. He recently passed away at the age of 78.

His daughter Chalon Abhol decided to keep the family business open, having worked with him closely for the last several years. She will continue to produce furniture with the same designs, patterns, and methods George used.

“Dad and I were very close,” she said. “Continuing the family business was something I just knew I had to do.”

The completion of a recent project is poignant for Chalon, as it brings her to reminisce on the continuation of her father’s work. An article published in the Alexandria Town Talk in 1989 featured an octangular Empire bed with a full tester canopy. George eventually stopped making this particular design, choosing to transition to a style with shorter posts.

Twenty-nine years later, as Chalon reads the article, she is ready to ship an octangular Empire bed with a full tester canopy for a client in Dallas.

George was forced to stop work on this bed once his health began to decline. At the age of 50, it was a touching moment for Chalon as she carved and assembled the same bed design her father was recognized for building at the age of 50.

The customers, Gary Cathey and Justin Normand, considered George a member of their family. They saw a drawing for the Empire bed in a Kirshman’s Furniture ad that hung on the wall in Olivier’s gallery on Front Street.

While they have bought several of George’s pieces in the past, Gary said this new piece will be special to them because it was among the last pieces of furniture he was working on before he passed.

“He’s been a friend of the family for generations,” said Gary. “We’ve always respected his work. Like Clementine Hunter, there are so few artists in Natchitoches that are truly original. He gave his interpretations of historic furniture a fresh approach by building them completely in cypress wood. He gave a simple elegance to everything he designed. He was a great ambassador for Natchitoches and the City lost a treasure when he passed.”

Ponderings with Doug – June 22, 2018

Michael had a positive attitude. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a natural motivator. If a co-worker was having a bad day, Michael would encourage them and help them to see the positive side of the situation.

A friend asked how he could be so positive all the time. After all, it seemed so unnatural compared to the rest of the world. Michael replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘You have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.”

The friend protested that even though it sounded great in theory it would be hard to live out.

Michael responded, “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.”

Several years later, Michael was involved in a serious accident as he fell sixty feet from a communications tower. As he lay on the ground, the first thing he thought of was the well–being of his soon–to–be–born daughter. Then, he remembered that he had two choices: He could choose to live or … he could choose to die. He chose to live.

The paramedics arrived and went to work. They kept telling Michael that he was going to be fine. But when they wheeled him into the ER, he saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses. He began to feel fear overcoming his body because he could read their eyes: “He’s a dead man.” He knew he needed to take action.

A big burly nurse was shouting questions. She asked Michael if he was allergic to anything. He replied, “Yes.” The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for Michael to fill in the missing blank of his allergy. He took a deep breath and yelled, “Gravity.” Over their laughter, he said, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me with that understanding.”

After eighteen hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, and also because of his amazing attitude. When asked about his health, Michael would respond, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Want to see my scars?”

Natchitoches Rotary Club thanks sponsors and presents check to SWAT Team

Rotary Club June 19 2018 (1)

Pictured from left are Chief of Investigations at the Sheriff’s Office Greg Dunn, Police Department Lieutenant Nikeo Collins (SWAT Commander), Rotary President David Zolzer, Assistant Chief Jesse Taitano (NPSO and Assistant SWAT Commander), Assistant Police Chief Harmon Winters, and BTB Committee Members Rotarians Tommy Caldwell, Eddie Harrington, and Josh Axsom.


After a successful Bullet Proof the Blue fundraiser to purchase gear for the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team, the event produced a $14,000 check! “Bulletproof the Blue 2018” was a law enforcement experience held at Darks Woods. At BTB participants received some training about how law enforcement operates and were geared up with duty belts and simunition guns (9mm paintball). Participants then went through 4 exciting and interactive scenario’s with role players. The goal of the event was not only to raise money to help the SWAT team purchase equipment, but also to give the public an opportunity to feel the stress and adrenaline of a realistic law enforcement scenario. Perspectives were changed and a positive and fun experience was enjoyed by over 100 participants!

Rotary Club June 19 2018 (3)

Honored for their contributions to the Rotary fundraiser Bullet Proof the Blue are front row from left are Eddie Harrington, Laramie Nichols, Mardy Summerlin, Darrell Hickman, Ron Corkern, and Rotary President-elect Richard White. On second row are Gary Hatch, Jason Summerlin, Kirk Soileau, Don Mims, Louie Bernard, Mike Newton, and Mark Begnaud.


Rotary Club June 19 2018 (2)

Josh Axsom was honored for his participation in Bullet Proof the Blue as “Rotarian of the Year.” Pictured from left are Axsom and Rotary President David Zolzer

(Photos by Dr. Ron McBride)