Master’s program in radiologic sciences ranked seventh in the country

Northwestern State University’s Master of Science in Radiologic Sciences is ranked seventh in the United States by Best Health Degrees, an independent, free online source for information on healthcare degrees and careers.

Best Health Degrees researched schools offering online/hybrid programs in Radiation Sciences and that are eligible to offer federal financial aid. The programs in this ranking are all accredited by Department of Education agencies such as The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) or regional agencies such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

To rank the 10 Best Online Radiation Sciences Master’s Programs for 2021, Best Degrees editors researched accredited, trusted programs of all kinds. From an initial pool, the organization ranked programs according to price, accreditation, reputation and salary potential, using data from IPEDS and Niche, U.S. News and World Report and other higher education rating publications.

“We live in a remarkable time with regards to medical advancement and technology,” Best Health Degrees editors explained. “That advancement is front and center in Radiation Sciences. Advances in X-rays, diagnostic scanners and treatment modalities are constant.”

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job increases in this field are at 7 percent between 2019-2029, which is much faster than other professions. A master’s in radiation sciences can offer working professionals the chance to take courses at their own pace, while continuing to work and meet family and personal obligations. A master’s degree in radiation sciences can also open career avenues in administration and/or education.

Interim Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health Dr. Joel Hicks said the Master of Science in Radiologic Science program was the vision of Dr. Laura Aaron who helped develop the program over a decade ago. He said under the leadership of Dr. Tammy Curtis the program has nearly tripled in enrollment.

“The program was redesigned several years ago to be completely online, making it accessible to imaging professionals everywhere,” said Hicks. “Even in a completely online format, the faculty continue to make real connections with each student. Every faculty member works to ensure that the students are engaged. Whether emails, phone calls or video conferences, the MSRS faculty work to meet the needs of the students.”

According to Best Health Degree editors, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated online/hybrid education benefits with the online/hybrid degrees taught by the same faculty, using the same curriculum and with a minimum of on-campus attendance.

Does ‘Cost Plus’ Cost More?

The NPJ received an email from a reader asking the following question:

Can someone explain the 10% surcharge on my receipt and why the prices showing on the shelves are not the price we pay at the register?

We decided to look into this matter. Looking at the front of the store it has the Piggly Wiggly logo and brand name, but underneath it says “A Cost Plus Food Outlet.” What does this mean?

The important thing to not is the “Cost Plus” phrasing. This means that all items will be offered at the cost to the stores plus 10 percent. The reasoning behind this change in pricing is that with cost plus 10 percent pricing, every item in the store will be on sale every day. This is meant to be a savings to customers between eight and 10 percent and possibly more on everyday purchases.

This is not a new business model as we found news articles on other stores in Baton Rouge and Brundidge Alabama (to name a few) dating back to 2011 and 2017.

This model is geared toward the store making more money by selling at a greater volume. When customers buy items, the price on the shelf reflects what the store paid for them. Shoppers are then charged a 10 percent add-on at the cash register for each item.

We decided to check this out. We bought three items at the Piggly Wiggly, then went and bought the same (or comparable) items at Super 1 and Walmart.

The items we purchased were:

1. A pack of Oreos
2. A can of flavored sparkling water
3. A bottle of Powerade

Side Note: As we were purchasing our items for comparison we overheard an employee trying to explain why the 10% surcharge is added to the overall bill. The explanation was given a few times as this subject seems to be very confusing to customers.

We think the receipts from our purchases speak for themselves. Is the “Cost Plus” grocery model really saving the customer money?

Lady Demons to host SLU on senior night

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State is well aware how effective, and frustrating, a good defense can be, having been the one frustrating opponents in recent years. The Lady Demons will continue to rely on their defense as they continue to round a young offense into shape.

The next step in the formation of that offense comes on Thursday as the Lady Demons (2-3, 0-3) host an ever-improving Southeastern Louisiana team on senior night for the 2020 class.

Recognition of the three seniors – Hannah Brister, Charli Fouts and Darria Williams – will begin prior to the match at 6:30 p.m. As always there is no charge for admission to NSU home volleyball matches and fans are encouraged to wear masks and social distance while inside Prather Coliseum.

The Lady Demons were on the receiving end of a stellar defensive performance in the straight-set loss to Lamar on Tuesday night. An absurd 70 digs in three sets for the Cardinals kept the NSU offense from getting the ball to the floor with as much consistency as they would like. Consistency that a young group of attackers are still searching to find.

While the group still has work to do, freshman Breanna Burrell has begun to find her swing match-over-match. Although the kill totals haven’t been eye-popping, reaching double figures once through five matches, in the last two matches she has 14 kills with just three errors.

“Brea had a nice breakout night offensively against a big block,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said of Burrell’s performance against Lamar. “They switched into a 6-2 to get a bigger lineup at the net so there were very few easy swings. There were some swings that easily could have ended up as kills that I was really happy with because they were situations we have been working on. I’m as happy about some of the errors as I am the kills.”

The NSU defense has been the consistency so far this season with a third 20-dig match for libero Haley Hoang and the fourth match with eight or more total blocks against Lamar. They will be asked to continue that level of play against SLU (3-3, 1-2) if they plan to notch their first conference win and eighth straight against schools from the Pelican State.

“They’re a lot tougher but this has been a couple year evolution since Jeremy (White, SLU head coach) has been there,” Kiracofe said. “They do things a little bit different and it’s a different look that you don’t necessarily see all the time. And for that fact alone it can be very successful.”

The Lady Lions come into the match after dropping a five-set battle to Sam Houston on Monday. Freshman standout Kailin Newsome lead a spread-out attack with 11 kills and leads SLU with 3.88 kills per set on the young season.

Four other players have more than 30 kills on the season with three others averaging more than 2.0 kills per set.

The test for the Lady Demons will be how quickly they can adjust to what SLU does offensively. The experience-laden group a season ago excelled at the quick turnarounds, able to make adjustments with as little as a conversation at times, but something that Kiracofe is continually teaching his young squad as this season progresses.

“I would love if this was our Saturday match and we had a few more days to put it in front of the girls so it’s not a surprise,” Kiracofe said. “Seeing it in real life is different than seeing it on video. They (SLU) have done a great job the past couple of years of controlling their errors and not giving up free points to teams, now they’re earning points.”

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

Quilts Can Tell A Story

To celebrate Black History month, the students in Mrs. Laura Friedel’s third grade class at St. Mary’s Catholic School researched African Americans who changed history. Mrs. Friedel suggested a list of people to choose from, from the past and the present: athletes, musicians, politicians, and a range of others. The children then each chose one person to research and learn about that person’s life and their contributions. Once the research was complete, the students placed their information on quilt pieces, and the quilt was then assembled. This quilt project was then extended into creating and using timelines and writing biographies.

Third grade students with the completed project are (back row, l-r) Taelyn Thornton, Corbyn Gandy, Paisley Rae Tilley, Lexie Metoyer, Roan Mc Clung, Wes LeGrande, Jayd Linebaugh and Avery Katherine Sheffield. Middle row: Aaron Blanchard, Holt Cedars, Lacey Boyd, Isaac McGuffee, Brooklyn Clark, Anna Johnson, Madden Cameron, and Raylee Hale. Front row: Anistyn Rhodes.

Letter to the Editor: Parish Council Failed Voters

Committee Meeting 2015

This letter is in response to the “Letter to the Editor” written by Joe Givens that was published the weekend of February 13-14.  Approximately five years ago Rick Nowlin, the President of the Parish at that time, appointed a committee composed with Natchitoches citizens to study the condition of the roads in Natchitoches Parish. Members of the committee were from Campti, Cloutierville, Marthaville and the City of Natchitoches. The committee researched the road conditions and alternate ways to finance road repairs.

We reported back to the Parish Council with a detailed study and ways to finance road repairs. We recommended that the Parish request that bonds be issued to provide funds for road repairs. The bonds would be retired from funds derived from either a one percent sales tax or an increase in the ad valorem tax.

The Parish Council chose not to put our proposal for a tax increase, that would provide funds for road repairs, on the ballot. Parish voters were not given a chance to vote on the tax issue and thus, the roads are in a worse condition today than they were two years ago. I assume our detailed written report is on a shelf somewhere collecting dust. Mr. Nowlin attempted to address the road issue, however, the Parish Council members failed to give the voters a chance to vote.

Roger H. Williams
February 24, 2021


Read the Final Report of June 25, 2015

Final Committee Meeting – 2015 by Clif Hart

Former Demon greats Rew-Hoover, Heath named honorary co-chairs of Demons4Equality task force

Graphic by Brad Welborn/Northwestern State Sports Information

NATCHITOCHES – When Northwestern State’s Demons4Equality task force was formed last June, there was discussion about having at least one student-athlete alumnus on board to help guide the nascent group.

As it turns out, it was a job – or an honor – for a pair of former NSU student-athletes.

Trecey Rew-Hoover, the 2011 NCAA Outdoor discus national champion, and current Kansas City Royals outfielder Nick Heath have been named honorary co-chairs of the Demons4Equality task force, a 12-member group of student-athletes formed in June with the aim of raising awareness around minority issues and expanding voices across the athletic department.

“Engaging Trecey and Nick with the Demons4Equality group is a way to connect the past with the present, and future, of the NSU athletic program. Their experience as NSU student-athletes will provide insight which will inspire and guide today’s student-athletes to be bold and to pave the way for those who will follow them,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke.

Burke noted the Demons4Equality task force made strides in the fall which included establishing goals and objectives for the 2020-21 year and added that, “the timing is now right to connect two former student-athletes who had decorated careers at NSU but more importantly, have been difference makers in their personal and professional lives, with this group. It is exciting to have them on board.”

The group interacts regularly with NSU Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Michael T. Snowden, who arrived at NSU in August and has worked with faculty, staff and students to implement programs and increase awareness as it relates to inclusion and diversity.

Heath has been one of the most visible and vocal members of the Royals organization when it comes to the fight for equality and social justice.

A three-year letterman at Northwestern State from 2014-16, Heath left campus as the program’s single-season stolen base leader and third in career stolen bases. He made his major league debut July 30, 2020, becoming the first position player from Northwestern State to play in the major leagues.

“For a while, it had me beaming,” Heath said of receiving the call from Burke to co-chair the group. “That was a really cool phone call to get. I was really excited. It had me fired up to participate and to do what I can do to help. I’m excited to get it going and see if we can make some headway, make some change with people I went to school with.”

In addition to her national championship, Rew-Hoover competed in two U.S. Olympic Trials (2010, 2016) and left as the school record-holder in the shot put (57-0.25) and discus (192-4).

She currently coaches the throwers at Heritage High School in Frisco, Texas, and sees her involvement with the group as another way to reach out to the younger generation.

“I am so excited to help NSU students find and use their voices,” Rew-Hoover said. “What’s happening in the world is happening to student-athletes away from campus and on campus, whether we realize it or not. Athletes need a space within their NSU world to be able to voice their concerns without fear of consequence. As someone who is currently doing the same work in my professional career, I am honored to be a part of this with these athletes.”

The addition of Heath and Rew-Hoover to the task force should prove mutually beneficial for them and the 12 current NSU student-athletes.

“I feel like, at the end of the day, anybody can make progress for a group of people,” said junior softball infielder and task force co-chair Cayla Jones. “Mrs. Trecey and Nick have been monumental in setting the standard for African-American athletes. Nick has been speaking a lot for the Royals on equality. Us or younger African-American athletes seeing them makes us realize we can do it too. Everyone thinks things are so out of reach, but when you see someone who looks like you standing up for what they are doing, it makes it more attainable.”

Although the group is in its infancy, Heath and Rew-Hoover both see much larger things ahead for it.

“I want to make it something people want to be part of, not only at NSU,” Heath said. “I want it to make a difference across the Southland Conference. I want them to understand the power we have when we step up and use our voices. When you get enough people together for a common cause, you can really make a splash.”

Added Rew-Hoover: “My biggest hope for this group of athletes is for them to have a platform to be heard about regarding their experiences at NSU. I hope this group will make people more aware of others’ realities and be proactive when necessary.”

SWEPCO thanks customers for patience, conserving energy during extreme weather

SWEPCO would like thank all customers for their patience throughout last week’s severe weather event. Louisiana experienced record low temperatures, reaching as low as 7° F in Natchitoches, and 23,200 customers were without power at the peak of the storm.

“We greatly appreciate everyone for bearing with us over the past week,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We understand the issues that outages can create for our customers, and that’s why our crews worked around-the-clock in hazardous conditions to restore power for everyone.”

A crew of 1,500 workers, including more than 300 SWEPCO employees, worked out of three basecamps to assist in restoration efforts. Power had been restored for the majority of customers across Northwest Louisiana by Sunday night.

The storm caused almost a half-inch of ice to accumulate between Sabine and Natchitoches parishes. Temperatures remained near 32° F for much of the storm.

When temperatures reach extreme lows, power demand creates a heavy load on the regional electric grid. SWEPCO would like to thank all customers who helped conserve energy over the past week. Everyone working together to provide small contributions—such as minor adjustments to thermostats and reduced use of lighting and appliances—can make a significant difference to the overall electric system.

SWEPCO customers can report and check the status of outages by downloading the SWEPCO Customer Mobile App at or visiting

More information on what do to prepare for an outage and safety tips can be found at

Best Practice When Encountering Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) would like to remind the public that the best thing to do when encountering injured or orphaned wildlife is to leave it alone and undisturbed.

Each year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they believe to be orphaned or abandoned mammals. It is against the law to capture, transport or possess mammalian wildlife and generally, those animals are better off left where they are found.

During the upcoming spring and summer months, the public is more likely to encounter or observe young wildlife with and without their parents. The presence of juvenile wildlife is common during these seasons as young wildlife begins to explore their environment, learn to forage/hunt and defend themselves.

LDWF is alerting the public to refrain from intervening in normal wildlife rearing and dispersal processes.

It is not uncommon to find young wildlife alone while the parents are hunting/foraging or during a den relocation. Wildlife parents will return to the den site twice a day or more calling and waiting for a response from their young to then provide the necessary care of the young and/or move the young, one by one, to the new den site. The young will often be observed alone during the relocation and dispersal phases. Predators are less likely to find the young if the parents move the den location and doing so reduces the chances of entire den failure.

Individuals who encounter what appears to be orphaned wildlife should leave them alone and immediately leave the area, allowing the parents to return and continue to care for their offspring.

Individuals who encounter deer fawns must leave the area immediately. Do not touch or interact with the fawn. Fawns are virtually scentless and use this advantage to avoid predation. Does often leave their fawns alone for hours to forage and to reduce attracting predators to the fawn.

You are most likely to see fawns in Louisiana from March-September. If you have encountered a fawn or deer which you believe to be orphaned or injured, note the location of the animal and leave the area immediately. Notify an LDWF biologist at the nearest LDWF Regional Office at or call the 24-hour LDWF Enforcement Dispatch at 1-800-442-2511. Remember: IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE!

Individuals who believe they have encountered other orphaned or injured wildlife species, should likewise leave the animal alone and contact an LDWF biologist at the nearest LDWF Regional Office or an LDWF licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on LDWF’s website at

Individuals interested in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program should contact Melissa Collins at or 225-763-8584.

Softball starts season emphatically, sweeps doubleheader with Grambling

By Bud Denega, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State softball head coach Donald Pickett knew Tuesday was going to be a good day. The sun came up unabated by any clouds, the temperatures were warming, water came back on in his home, and the Lady Demons were finally — after four different opening days failed — beginning the 2021 campaign.

The day earned the proverbial cherry on top with what NSU accomplished on the diamond. The Lady Demons swept a doubleheader from Grambling, winning by scores of 10-0 (five innings) and 9-1 (five innings).

“We bragged on them as a coaching staff after the game of how mature they were with approaching the games,” Pickett said. “With everything that has been thrown at them, to be able to come out here, and we talked about playing softball, and that’s not just playing again, but being in tune with what you’re trying to do and being competitive. A lot of things go into that, and our girls did a great job.”

The final results are a testament to that focused mindset. The Lady Demons got after the Tigers early and didn’t let up.

NSU pitchers combined to only allow one earned run on a total of five hits in the doubleheader. At the plate, the Lady Demons combined for 19 runs on 22 hits with nine extra base hits, two of which were home runs.

“We came out, and we had good defense, we had good pitching, and we had good hitting,” senior outfielder Kaitlyn St. Clair said. “We had all three phases working for us.”

The pair of victories pushes NSU’s all-time record against Grambling to 31-3. That dominance — and Tuesday night’s dominance — overshadows the fact that the Lady Demons have played much closer contests against the Tigers in recent memory.

The last three matchups with Grambling had been won by NSU in 3-1, 7-3 and 2-1 decisions. While victorious, the Lady Demons had to scrap for all seven innings. That’s what made Tuesday night all the more impressive.

“I think we did really well,” junior pitcher Jensen Howell said. “I think we were excited, which made it much more easy. I think we were just all in, and we got the job done.”

The Lady Demons will look to continue their strong play at the Jaguar Classic. NSU opens tournament play with SIU-Edwardsville on Friday at 10 a.m.

NSU 10, Grambling 0 (five innings)

Sophomore pitcher Bronte Rhoden set the tone for the doubleheader. She set a career-high in strikeouts with six, and scattered four hits in her scoreless five innings of work.

Much of Rhoden’s run support came via the home run. St. Clair blasted a two-run home jack to left in the fourth inning, which made it 7-0.

Sophomore third baseman Maggie Black put a bow on the game in the fifth. She launched a walk-off, three-run home run that officially run-ruled the Tigers.

Delafield, freshmen infielders Kat Marshall and Keely DuBois all boasted multi-hit games in the opener. A total of 16 players entered the contest, which is precisely what Pickett wanted.

“I’m glad we got a lot of people in,” Pickett said. “I would have loved to have a few more in. But just missing two weeks of games, I needed to make sure we were getting reps for those that needed them. But I thought we did a great job of getting people in.”

NSU 9, Grambling 1 (five innings)

Howell entered the nightcap having struggled in her bullpens leading up to the game. It’s safe to assume those kinks were worked out, as she dazzled in all four of her innings Tuesday.

“My last couple bullpens had been rocky, but when I got out there today, I just worked my butt off to make sure what I had been practicing in bullpen transferred over to the mound,” Howell said. “I was very pleased with what I did.”

Howell finished allowing zero hits, one walk with six strikeouts. She also helped out her own cause at the dish.

Howell opened the scoring with a two-run double in the second inning. She duplicated that two-run double, which capped the Lady Demons’ scoring for the night.

Junior second baseman Cayla Jones had a pair of RBIs, occurring off a two-run double of her own in the fourth frame. Sophomore catcher Alexis Perry also enjoyed a two-RBI night with a double that scored two in the fourth. Freshman third baseman Taylor Williams boasted two hits, one being a triple, in the nightcap of what was her first career collegiate day of softball.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich / NSU Photographic Services

Notice of Death – February 24, 2021

Ray H. Allen
March 22, 1933 – February 23, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Brother Christopher Willis Jr.
September 17, 2009 – February 23, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mattie Mae Casson
August 6, 1961 – February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

Nathaniel Scott
February 19, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Ada James
February 15, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 1 pm in the Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Atlanta

Alvin Smith
February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel,located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Jackie Rivers
November 3, 1958 – February 21, 2021
Service: Friday, February 26 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Stafford Bill Moses
February 16, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am in the Winnfield Funeral Home Chapel, located at 117 MLK Drive in Winnfield

Wanda Sue O’Bryan
April 08, 1944 – February 22, 2021
Service: Saturday, February 27 at 11 am at Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Calvin

Sandy (Lysander) Allen Webb
October 17, 1951 – February 22, 2021
Service: Friday, February 26 at 11 am at Springville Cemetery in Coushatta

Sara McKissack
July 19, 1932 – February 21, 2021
Service: Thursday, February 25 at 2 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home

RoyOMartin to Host Drive-by Hiring Event in Natchitoches – TODAY!

Upcoming hiring event

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | 2pm to 5:30pm
220 S. Jefferson St. | Natchitoches, Louisiana

(In the parking lot of NSU’s Prather Coliseum)

Make a Great Start with RoyOMartin.

Join us for a special, COVID-compliant drive-by hiring event for production team members at RoyOMartin’s plywood and timbers plant in Chopin, Louisiana. Company representatives will be on hand to collect resumes and provide details about upcoming interviews.

Competitive Wages

Starting pay is $14.50/hr., with the potential to earn up to $22.50/hr. through on-­the-job training.

Exceptional Benefits

Enjoy terrific medical benefits, including a health clinic, as well as life insurance, retirement, wellness program, and a variety of training and advancement opportunities.

A Commitment to Safety

Employee safety and wellbeing is our #1 priority. Our award-­winning safety program begins on Day 1 with new-hire orientation.

Demons eye seventh straight win as SFA visits Prather

NSU 15 Jovan Zelenbaba

The Northwestern State men’s basketball team’s current six-game win streak has been built equally on the strength of its late-game performances and its adaptability.

Win No. 4 in the streak came after an 11-day break while the most recent victory came after a nine-day hiatus between games. Now the fun really begins for the Demons, who host Stephen F. Austin in Southland Conference action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Prather Coliseum.

Natchitoches Regional Medical Center is the presenting sponsor of Wednesday’s game and will give away T-shirts while supplies last. The game can be heard on 95.9 FM and the Demon Sports Network at


The Demons (8-14, 7-4) have not lost a game since visiting Stephen F. Austin (13-3, 9-1) on Jan. 20. Because of COVID and weather issues, the Demons have played just six games in the past 29 days.

NSU’s period of sporadic play came to an end Monday in an 86-80 win against Houston Baptist that started a run of six games in the final 12 days of the regular season – something that is music to the Demon players ears.

“A week off is nothing when you’re used to quarantining for three months,” said junior guard Trenton Massner, who recorded his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Houston Baptist.

“We would rather play. The last couple of weeks haven’t been ideal, because when you’re not playing, you’re practicing. We’d rather be playing.”

Northwestern State’s six-game win streak is its longest since a nine-game run from Jan. 19-Feb. 19, 2013. Standing in the way of moving the run to seven is a Lumberjack team that is one three Southland squads with just one loss in league play.

In SFA’s 86-74 victory on Jan. 20, the Lumberjacks shot 60 percent from the field and had 50 points in the paint. SFA enters Wednesday’s rematch as the top shooting team in the Southland Conference the No. 2 shooting team nationally at 53.2 percent.

“Coach Kyle Keller’s team is extremely strong and physical,” 22nd-year head coach Mike McConathy said. “I feel like we are a little different team than we were then. We were trying to find ourselves at that point. Our guys will come in and try to compete against a very well-coached and talented team.”

While the Demons’ roles have become more defined, the players have bought into those roles. Northwestern State’s largest margin of victory during its six-game win streak has been eight points, allowing for a variety of players to contribute to those victories.

Freshman guard Carvell Teasett was the latest to do so, pouring in a career-high 25 points and hitting five straight 3-pointers in the second half against Houston Baptist. Teasett also sealed the Demons’ victory against McNeese on Feb. 13 with a last-second steal.

Those plays followed the lead of Dalin Williams taking a game-sealing charge at Central Arkansas on Jan. 30 and a pair of Kendal Coleman free throws at Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 23 as key moments in the Demons’ run.

“They’re buying into it,” McConathy said. “They see if we win ballgames, it makes it a lot more fun for everybody. I’m really pleased with the general attitude, enthusiasm and the concern and care for one another.

“I always said if you care about each other, you pull for one another and you love one another, you can be really successful.”

Goldonna News

By Reba Phelps

The fish fryers were lined up with care under the pavilion at Goldonna Town Hall as the volunteers worked tirelessly to make sure the fundraiser went off without a hitch. And, boy did it! The snow and ice began to melt just in time so residents could come out and enjoy the day.

On Sunday, February 21st the community of Goldonna rallied to support local resident, Kristin Dupree, as her and husband are having to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for treatments and testing for the next thirty days.

The residents really showed up and it was quite evident as the cooks could barely keep up with high demand. They sold out of every single thing they had to offer. They even had utility linemen visiting the area from as far as Florida who stopped in to support the cause and enjoy some of the fresh caught area fish. The Dupree family sent a video from their first day in Minnesota with a heartfelt message of gratitude and thanks.

On Sunday, February 28th, there will be a Ribbon Cutting at the Goldonna Elementary/Junior High School at 2:00 in the afternoon. This will be the groundbreaking ceremony for the Uniti Fiber Optic Internet service to the students of the school. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing rules.

“This is a historical moment for the students in Goldonna and we really hope the public can come out for the ribbon cutting. This is very exciting,” said School Board Member, Eugene Garner.

“This certainly helps pave the way in our getting residential access. Thanks to everyone that has worked so hard to make this happen,” shared Mayor Jennifer Smith.

In other news, the Louisiana based Creole food company, Tony Chachere’s in Opelousas, has donated boxed meal mixes to the Winn Baptist Association for churches affected by Hurricane Laura, in which Goldonna is a member. Former resident, David Dupree, will also be donating the sausage to help create the meals to feed the Goldonna Baptist Church at a future date. The church was very grateful for the show of support to entire community.

If you have news to contribute please email Reba Phelps

State Fire Marshal Warns of Heat Lamp Dangers After Horses Die in Barn Fire

One of Three Animal Warming-Related Fires Throughout Winter Storm

BATON ROUGE- The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) is calling on Louisiana residents to reconsider the use of heat lamps to warm pets in cold, outdoor conditions following several similar fires this week, including the latest in north Louisiana that claimed the lives of seven horses.

“Heat lamps seem like a simple solution, but in reality, they’re a fire hazard similar to a space heater that are unfortunately left unattended frequently,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “These lamps being placed close to bedding and left on for extended periods of time are not only dangerous for the animals you’re trying to warm, but if a fire starts, you’re jeopardizing your property and your family’s lives too.”

Around 8:30 p.m. on February 20, the South Bossier Fire Department responded to a report of a barn fire located in the 1900 block of Highway 154 in Elm Grove. Firefighters discovered that seven horses had died in the fire. Three of the horses belonged to the property owner, but four were being boarded there.

After an assessment of the scene, including witness statements, deputies determined the fire began as a result of an overheated heat lamp that was left on in the barn to keep the horses warm.

Two other fire investigations this week involved heat lamps warming cats and dogs outdoors that overheated creating fires. In one case in the Houma area, the dog being warmed died in the resulting fire. In the other case, in Livingston Parish, three people suffered minor injuries trying to escape the fire.

“The best plan of action for protecting pets from frigid temperatures is to bring them inside,” said Browning, “For livestock and larger animals, there are various ways to provide warmth with extra bedding and blankets. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to reevaluate their preparedness for extreme cold weather and alter your warming game plan now.”