Calvin Braxton, Sr. Resigns

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A public official has resigned from a powerful state board, following a FOX 8 investigation earlier this week.

Our investigation found Braxton threatened a state trooper who arrested his daughter for a DWI in 2015 and had the executive director of the commission fix traffic tickets.

The governor released a statement Friday afternoon:

Today, I accepted the resignation of Commissioner Braxton from the Louisiana State Police Commission. I believe he made the right decision. The law regarding the removal of a commission member dictates that, as the governor, I must preside over a public hearing. As such, it was critically important for me to remain impartial and review only the evidence before me. Due process is important. Public officials must hold themselves to the highest ethical standard, and I will accept nothing less as we consider a replacement on the commission.

Braxton released his own statement Friday, writing, “After unfounded allegations regarding my service and with deep consideration for family, I am resigning from this volunteer position effective today. As a family man, my first priority is to my family and I do not wish for them to have to deal with continuous attacks by the media and others.”

Braxton never directly disputed the claims we found in an official State Police account: allegations that Braxton made threatening statements to the trooper who arrested Braxton’s daughter.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.  With Permission.

NHDDC budgeting for potential cuts pays off, new marketing initiative on the horizon

NHDDC July 20 2017

Due to the action of House Bill 1, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC) is slated to receive $319,165. The budget was cut back by $50,000 in June, but in the end, only $40,835 was removed from it. At its meeting July 20 David Stamey said they’d anticipated a 12 percent cut, so their 15 percent cut to the budget was accurate.

“We knew this was coming down the pipe so it’s a good thing we planned for it,” said Chairman Van Erikson.

For the past four years the NHDDC has received their capped amount of $360,000 from Louisiana’s Visitor Enterprise Fund to divide amongst its projects.

Sometime between now and the end of the year, the NHDDC will reach out to its state representative to see if there could possibly be an update to its budget.

“We didn’t actually anticipate a 12% cut. We felt there would be a reduction in our funding.  We budgeted for a 15% cut and it turned out the cut was 12%, so we didn’t over commit to our 2017-2018 funding promises.,” said Stamey.

“That part hasn’t decreased. Now we know the numbers we’ll be going forward with to January. We’ll reassess our needs then. So far we haven’t committed to anything we can’t respond to.”

Rebecca Blakenbaker discussed a new marketing initiative that would develop a brand for Natchitoches. The target date is January 2018 to have everything up and running. An RFP will be release next week.

“We don’t have a tag that reflects Natchitoches as a community today,” she said. “We want to create an umbrella brand for the City and all the entities that help make it run.”

The idea is to have a cohesive voice and a consistent brand that speaks to the community, businesses, visitors and perspective visitors.

“This has never been done in Natchitoches and it’s really important,” said Erikson.

City Main Street and Public Relations Manager Janna Jenkins said they’re also working on compiling one community calendar on the City’s website to emcompass all events that occur in town. It’s important to unify information because this calendar can be a business tool and an economic driver.

Dates for upcoming events include:

Aug. 19: NSU Move-in Day
Aug. 26: NSU Athletic Auction
Sept. 14-16: NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio’s Investiture
Sept. 22: 60th Anniversary Lady of the Bracelet Reunion
Sept. 23: NSU’s Lady of the Bracelet Pageant
Sept. 29-30: NSU Family Day Weekend
Oct. 20-21: NSU Homecoming
Sept. 29-30: Classic Car Show with Friday night Fish Fry
Oct. 13-15: APHN Fall Tour of Homes
Sept. 17: Miss Merry Christmas Pageant

NSU ASN students have 100 percent pass rate on licensing exam

NSU Nursing 2017

Graduates from Northwestern State University’s May 2017
Associate of Science in Nursing program recently achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the latest National Council Licensure Exam, according to Dr. Dana Clawson, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health.

The 46-member graduating class includes students from Northwestern State’s Shreveport, Leesville and Natchitoches campuses. Nationwide, the first-time pass rate in 2016 for ASN programs was 81.68 percent. Statewide, the first-time pass rate in 2016 for ASN Programs was 87.48 percent.

Pam Holcombe, ASN and BSN program director at Northwestern, said the initial steps to launching a successful nursing career are to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX.

“The ultimate goal is for all of our nursing students to be successful,” said Holcombe, an assistant professor of nursing. “The NCLEX measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse.”

Holcombe believes Northwestern’s nursing faculty should be recognized for their active role in preparing nursing students for a challenging healthcare career.

“The 100 percent pass rate is an indicator of program quality, a cutting edge curriculum, the work of our exceptional faculty, simulated experiences and the ability of students to gain real life experience at a variety of quality health care facilities,” said Holcombe. “Faculty have worked hard to offer a consistently rigorous, standard-driven program. Students understand professional values provide the foundation for quality nursing care. Northwestern’s ASN students are dedicated to the process of obtaining quality education which is reflected in the group’s pass rate and their success in being employed after graduation.”

Over the past several semesters, nursing faculty began several initiatives to prepare students for the NCLEX exam. Holcombe said NSU has moved to computerized testing, provided extra tutoring and utilized hospital provided simulation experiences to add to understanding of classroom knowledge in clinical learning environments. Students also receive active learning opportunities in the classroom.

“The students work hard over the course of the two years they are enrolled in the program, and we are very proud of them,” said Holcombe.

For more information on Northwestern State’s nursing programs, go to nsula.edu/academics/nursing-allied-health/nursing-program.

CITY MARSHAL’S OFFICE OUTSTANDING BENCH WARRANTS – JULY 21, 2017

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City Marshal Randy Williams wanted to inform the following people that they have outstanding bench warrants through the Natchitoches City Marshal’s Office. The names on this list did not pay their fines in full nor did they return to court on the court date they were sentenced to by City Court Judge Gahagan. These individuals will need to clear up their fines and bench warrant fees at the City Marshal’s Office located at 373 Second St. to stop any further actions:

FINE PAYMENT (F):
Amanda Bailes, 440 Stephens Ave, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Brittany Bush, 100 Harry Dr, Natch, La – Exp MVI
Shameal Parker, 209 Henry Ave, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver, NSB
Brittany Smith, 107 Martin Dr Apt 2, Natch, La – NSB, NCR
Stephen Varice, 142 MLK Dr, Natch, La – Follow too Close
Kennedy Blackman Jr., 1120 Magnolia St, Natch, La – Simple Assault
Briana Bolton, 323 E. Fifth St, Natch, La – DP, No Tail Lights, Unlicensed Driver, NCR, No DL, Ran Stop Sign, Unlicensed Driver, Exp MVI, NSB
Joann Howard, 460 Jean Marie, Natch, La – Telephone Harassment
Shanice Kelly, 701 Brahma Dr, Natch, La – Resisting an Officer
John King, 724 Lafayette St, Natch, La – SPOM
Dakedra Manning, 1120 Washington, Natch, La – Theft
Adarian Moore, 124 D Reba, Natch, La – Resisting an Officer
Temika Payton, 430 Howell St, Natch, La – DP
Beau Roberts, 193 Provencal Vowells Mill Rd, Natch, La – TBS
Billina Sanders, 1118 Old Robeline Rd, Natch, La – DP
Tialesha Thompson, 243 Melle St, Natch, La – DP
Kenyatta Barfield, 1108 Berry Ave, Natch, La – Simple Battery
Patrice Howard, 117 T Joe St, Natch, La – Unlicensed Driver
Randy Lewis, 1025 Allen St, Natch, La – TBS
Calvin Newton, 728 4th St, Natch, La – Follow too Close
Deondrea Scott, 313 Fairgrounds Rd, Natch, La – Domestic Abuse Battery
Kenneth Gay, 702 Myrtle Dr, Natch, La – SCDP

Trial (T):
Stephen Hudson Jr., 500 North St Apt M5, Natch, La – SPOM, SCDP
Verterrius Johnson, 926 Short 7th St, Natch, La – SCDP
William Johnson, 736 Sixth St, Natch, La – SPOM, Resisting an Officer
Shawanna Maxie, 190 Hwy 119 Apt 11, Natchez, La – (2) DP
Darick Wallace, 2085 Hwy 487, Marthaville, La – Simple Assault

Paid Notice

McNeese Foundation Receives Donation from Agriculture Alumni Chapter

Foundation.Ag Alumni donation.7.14.2017

The McNeese State University Agriculture Alumni Chapter recently donated $15,000 to the McNeese Foundation for the McNeese Agriculture Alumni Scholarship #2. The scholarship was established for students majoring in agriculture or national resource conservation management with money raised through private donations and from proceeds of the chapter’s annual crawfish boil and auction. Dr. Chip LeMieux, third from left, director of the Harold and Pearl Dripps School of Agricultural Sciences, accepts the donation from Agriculture Alumni Chapter executive officers, from left, Wayne McVicker, of Lacassine, Jennifer Compton, of Jennings, and Jon Streete, of Natchitoches.

OES Natchitoches Chapter will hold garage sale this Saturday

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The Natchitoches Chapter No.13: Order of the Eastern Star will hold a multi-family INDOOR garage sale fundraiser Saturday, July 22 from 6:30 am – until at the Natchitoches Masonic Lodge, located at 110 Masonic Drive in Natchitoches.
Featured items include home décor including a Tiffany style lamp, children’s clothing, Miss Me Jeans, office and home furniture, kitchenware as well as clothing from infant to adult. All items are priced to sell!!

Stay cool as the temperature climbs

Homeland Heat Notice

With temperatures climbing into the mid to upper 90s and heat index values ranging from 105 to 108 degrees, the Natchitoches Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness offers the following tips to protect yourself from heat related incidents:

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When
possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the occupational safety and
health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat
should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an
emergency, call 911.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room,
stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.