SPECIAL CALLED PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: JANUARY 30

A special meeting of the Natchitoches Parish Council will be held Tuesday, January 30 at 5:30 pm in the Parish Council Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, room 211. For any questions about the special called meeting, contact the Parish Government offices at 318.352.2714.

Council to consider adoption of Ordinance 019-2019 authorizing the acceptance by the Parish of Natchitoches of a donation by Total Environmental Systems, Inc. of the Payne Sewer System to the parish and authorizing the Parish President to execute all documents in connection therewith, upon the advice of the District Attorne


NSU Living Library will present 'Ben Johnson – a Natchitoches Legacy'

Northwestern State University’s second Living Library event will examine the life and legacy of the late Ben D. Johnson (1910-2005), who was for several decades, a business leader, mentor and advocate in Natchitoches’s African American community. The panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Ora G. Williams Digital Media Center (NSU TV Studio), Kyser Hall Room 142. Admission is free and open to the public.

Johnson was born in Campti, one of 10 children, and in the 1930s launched a successful funeral home business that became one of the most prominent minority business systems in Louisiana. He was involved in government, civic affairs, youth development and many philanthropic endeavors.

Johnson received many honors throughout a lifetime of service. He was named an honorary Louisiana state senator and awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Northwestern State University, where he established the Ben D. Johnson Endowed Professorship in Business. He received the NAACP humanitarian services award was lauded by U.S. President Bill Clinton and South African President Nelson Mandela.

Today, his work lives on through initiatives coordinated by the Ben D. Johnson Education Center, the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program and the Legacy Café.

Joining the panel to discuss Johnson’s legacy will be his niece Claire Prymus, State Rep. Kenny Cox, Coushatta Mayor Johnny Cox, Edward Ward Jr. and Dr. Marcus Jones. Each will speak and answer questions about Johnson, his impact on their lives and the large footprint Johnson left in the community.

“Ben Johnson: A Natchitoches Legacy” will last about 90 minutes and is being presented by NSU’s Eugene P. Watson Library. The concept of a living library encourages individuals to share their experiences on a specific topic so that listeners get a first-hand account of what the person saw or lived through. The panels are recorded and become part of the collection that researchers can use to supplement books, journals and other traditional resources. The living library concept encourages cross-curriculum study and experiential learning.

“Ben Johnson’s lasting impact and achievements on the Natchitoches community deserves to be recognized,” said Deborah Huntington, head of Collection Development and Cataloging. “Black History Month is an ideal time to honor the legacy of Ben Johnson.”

For more information, about the Watson’s Living Library Collection, contact Huntington, at huntingtond@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6947.


MUSIC CLASSES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN TO BEGIN JANUARY 30

Joysounds Music Together is now accepting registrations for its winter semester of music classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents and/or caregivers. These Music Together® classes will be offered on Thursdays 4:15-5:00 PM at CAPA at NSU and taught by NSU Music Education Faculty member Dr. Sharon Joy. Interested families may participate in the first class as a demonstration class on Thursday, January 30.

The Music Together philosophy is based on the belief that all children are musical. Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners and the adults who love them. These classes involve both children and parents or other caregivers in informal singing, chanting, moving, listening, and instrument playing activities that are developmentally appropriate for very young children. “Children and their parents love these classes,” says Joy, “They get the opportunity to have quality musical family time, when they can leave their daily stresses and simply enjoy making music with their little ones.” Continuing the activities at home is made easier by the CD, children’s book, and parent education materials included in the cost of tuition. Access to online resources is also included.

Joy is passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making and helping families discover the joy—and educational value—of early music experiences. For more information about JoySounds Music Together and or to register for the demo classes or winter session visit joysoundsmusictogether.com or call 832 978-6145.

Lakeview band member performs with LMEA District II Cavalier Senior High Honor Band

Lakeview Jr.-Sr. High band member Myla Porter performed with the LMEA District II Cavalier Senior High Honor Band on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Myla, a senior band member, was first chair in the euphonium section. She also qualified for the second round of the All-State honor band tryouts in October, and is only the second student from Lakeview ever to achieve this honor. She is the music student of band director Denise Roper and talented music instructor Kelsey Wright McDonald.

The Cavalier Honor Band performed Overture for Winds by Charles Carter, Dusk by Steven Bryant, Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik, and The Thunderer by John Philip Sousa. Dr. Joshua Davis of Louisiana College was the Cavalier Honor Band’s conductor.


Notice of Death – January 28, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Larry “Thigh-Thigh” Batiste
September 3, 1978 – January 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Carol Adkins Williams
November 07, 1950 – January 26, 2020
Visitation: Saturday, February 1 from 11 am – 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St Denis Funeral Home

John Gill “Bud” Rachal
October 10, 1949 – January 17, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, located at 911 5th St. in Natchitoches

Jessie Mae Thomas Manning
March 5, 1942 – January 24, 2020
Visitation: Friday, January 31 from 5-8 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 11 am at the Friendship Baptist Church

James Pickett
January 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

John L. Brooks
January 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Billy Gibson
December 25, 1950 – January 19, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 12 pm at The Camp, located at 1026 Hampton Road in Natchitoches

James Moody
January 17, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 2 pm in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel

WINN:
Mary Kirkendoll
May 6, 1949 – January 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 1 at 1 pm at the New Zion Baptist Church in Winnfield

RED RIVER:
Grace Eleanor Adams
August 08, 1927 – January 27, 2020
Visitation: Wednesday, January 29 from 6-9 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, January 30 at 11 am at Fairview Baptist Church
Interment: Fairview Cemetery


BOIL ADVISORY FOR PAYNE SUBDIVISION LIFTED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches’ Distribution System would like to notify the public the Boil Advisory issued for Payne Subdivision on Friday, January 24, 2020 has been lifted. The Louisiana Department of Health collected a sample from Payne Subdivision on Monday, January 27, 2020 and notified the City of Natchitoches on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 the water was safe for human consumption and use.

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


UPDATE: Natchitoches Police identify suspect in double homicide on Short Seventh Street

Update: Natchitoches Police identify suspect in double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is asking the public for assistance in locating the suspect, Jessie James Petite Jr. (B/M, 21 y.o.a, weighing 135 pounds, around 5’7” of Natchitoches).

An arrest warrant has been issued for Jessie James Petite Jr. who is charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder.

If you have seen Jessie James Petite Jr. please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Do not attempt to apprehend or detain this individual by yourself. Jessie James Petite Jr. is considered to be armed and dangerous. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Original Story: Natchitoches Police investigate double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a double homicide that took place Monday night on Short Seventh Street.

On January 27, 2020 around 10:17 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 900 block of Short Seventh Street in reference to a disturbance. Upon officers arrival they located Larry Batiste (B/M, 41 y.o.a. of Natchitoches), Hiram Phillips Jr. (B/M, 35 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and a female suffering from gunshot wounds. Larry Batiste and Hiram Phillips Jr. were pronounced deceased as a result of their injuries. The female was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and later to a hospital in Shreveport where she is listed in severe condition.

The Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.
If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Officer John Greely
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: January 28, 2020


Rhodes' attorney release statement regarding St. Maurice Place Subdivision

My clients are disappointed in the City Council’s decision to deny their application to build the St. Maurice Place Subdivision. This development is an exciting opportunity for our City. The project would potentially result in 27 new homes in our community valued between $300,000 to $400,000. In addition to attracting people to move to our community, the development would result in significant property taxes that could be used to improve our City (like improving our drainage system).

It has been more than 10 years since our City had a residential development. This lack of expansion has hurt every sector of our local economy. My clients have always made an effort to employ local subcontractors when possible. When we are not constructing new homes, there is less work for our local electricians, plumbers, carpenters, relators, bankers, etc.

The City has acknowledged that the subdivision complied with all of the City’s Planning and Zoning Regulations. It is difficult to develop subdivisions when the Council continues to move the goal post. If the Council wants to require larger lots, it should pass new planning regulations that increase the minimum square foot requirements for residential lots and apply the same rules to everyone. It defeats the purpose of having planning and zoning regulations if the Council is just going to make the rules up as they go.

My clients will be appealing the Council’s decision to the District Court. We are confident the Council’s decision will be reversed and my clients look forward to breaking ground on this wonderful project.

Sincerely,

Jared Dunahoe
Attorney for Rhodes Properties and Development

Natchitoches Police investigate double homicide on Short Seventh Street

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a double homicide that took place Monday night on Short Seventh Street.

On January 27, 2020 around 10:17 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 900 block of Short Seventh Street in reference to a disturbance. Upon officers arrival they located Larry Batiste (B/M, 41 y.o.a. of Natchitoches), Hiram Phillips Jr. (B/M, 35 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) and a female suffering from gunshot wounds. Larry Batiste and Hiram Phillips Jr. were pronounced deceased as a result of their injuries. The female was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and later to a hospital in Shreveport where she is listed in severe conditi

The Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

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

Anonymous Tips by Smartphone:

You may also provide tips that will be anonymous via our Tipsoft Product. Simply send the tip by using your smartphones (download the free application) or by texting (Text-A-Tip) to CRIMES (274637). Use NPDTIPS before typing your message. You can also submit a Web Tip from our Police Protection page.

Check it out: http://www.smscrimetips.com/


Officer John Greely
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: January 27, 2020


City Council denies St. Maurice Subdivision application a second time

UPDATE: Rhodes Attorney Issues Statement regarding this vote:

Rhodes' attorney release statement regarding St. Maurice Place Subdivision

The Natchitoches City Council voted to deny an appeal from Rhodes Properties and Development at its meeting Monday night, Jan. 27. The appeal was for the Council to review a decision of the Natchitoches Planning and Zoning Commission at its Dec. 3 meeting that denied the application regarding the St. Maurice Subdivision. The Council voted to uphold the Commission’s decision, except for Council Member Sylvia Morrow.

The overall reasoning behind the decision was the preservation of the neighborhood’s character.

“Every homeowner has spoken to that [the character of the development] and that speaks volumes to me,” said Council Member Eddie Harrington. Several area residents spoke about their concerns for drainage, traffic congestion, the Rhodes’ trustworthiness, and decreasing property values.

Attorney Jared Dunahoe spoke for the Rhodes brothers. The gist of his argument was that after the Rhodes prior appeal was denied for its first application for the St. Maurice Subdivision project at a Council meeting on Sept. 13, the Rhodes brought everything into compliance with ordinances. They changed the design from a gated community to one on a public street with a 60 foot right-of-way instead of the initial 50 foot they had planned. The lots sizes (7,200 sq ft) meet the minimum required, although according to the Council many lots in the area are 20,000-21,000 sq ft on average. The new application also had one less house (27 lots) and the retention pond was removed.

Dunahoe said the changes Rhodes made before reapplying bring them in 100 percent compliance.

“Tonight’s decision is about will Natchitoches be a City that follows the rules…or will we move the goal post just to achieve a desired result. They’ve followed the rules and they should be allowed to continue with their project.”

Other agenda items included:

PLANNING & ZONING – FINAL:

Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property at 1504 Gold St. from R-3 Residence Multiple Family to R-3 Residence Multiple Family, Special Exception to operate Save the Children Head Start.

Amend Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property at 219 Williams Ave. from R-1 Residential to R-1 Residential, Special Exception to operate a Bed & Breakfast.

2019 ORDINANCE – FINAL:

Authorize The City To Lease A Portion Of A Building Located At 200 Rapides Drive To Youth & Families Empowerment Services, LLC.

ORDINANCES – FINAL:
Approve The Acquisition Of The Hanger Located On Lot 3 Of The Natchitoches Regional Airport From Harold G. Foster And Laurie M. Berry, For The Consideration Of $13,000.

Amend Ordinance Number 042 Of 2019 Which Said Ordinance Approved The Acquisition Of A Tract Of Land Situated On The Western Right Of Way Of Sixth Street In The City Of Natchitoches, From Eagle Distributing Of Shreveport, Inc., For The Total Consideration Of $400,000.

Amend the 2019-2020 Budget to Reflect Additional Revenues And Expenditures.

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:

Authorize The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For The Natchitoches Event Center Roof Replacement Project.

Authorize The Mayor Or His Designee To Advertise An Airport Hanger Lease For Maintenance Shop, Establishing The Terms And Conditions For Said Lease Which Will Include Obligation Of Lessee To Provide An Experienced Aircraft Mechanic And Aircraft Mechanics Shop For Fixed Wing And Rotor Wing Aircraft, Authorizing Mayor To Execute Lease After Due Advertisements And Compliance With Law.

RESOLUTIONS:

Authorize The Mayor To Execute A Certificate Of Substantial Completion To The Contract Between The City Of Natchitoches And Ratcliff Construction Company For The Natchitoches Sports & Recreation Park.

Authorize The Mayor To Enter Into Contract With Travelers Casualty And Surety Company Of America For The Public Official Schedule Bond For The City Of Natchitoches.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, February 10, 2020.


Purple Pizzazz Pom Line clinic Feb. 1

Northwestern State University’s Purple Pizzazz Pom Line will hold a clinic for dancers age 3 years through 8th grade beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Following a morning of practice, participants will perform with the Purple Pizzazz during the Demons’ doubleheader in Prather Coliseum.

Participants will learn a dance routine and cheers to support the Demon basketball teams. Games will begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost to participate is $30, which includes NSU swag and lunch. Drop-off is at the Health and Human Performance gymnasium on Tarleton Drive. Dancers will walk to Prather for the games at 12:30 p.m. Approximate pick-up time is 4:30 p.m.

Spots should be reserved by Friday, Jan. 30 and a medical release form is required. Parents can fill out the registration form the day of the clinic. For more information contact Ashlee Hewitt at crooksa@nsula.edu or call (318) 357-4615.


Rhodes Properties and Development: Project Coordinator

Job Title: Project Coordinator-Full Time

JOB DUTIES include, but are not limited to: Coordinate regularly scheduled meetings with buyers, clients, agents and construction staff. Ensure all necessary subcontractors and suppliers have any and all necessary information available to them to allow the projects to continue on schedule. Create, approve, and order all specific materials associated with each project. Inventory materials as they get delivered, and store in warehouse. Maintain inventory of warehouse. Follow jobs on company construction software, and ensure schedules are up to date. Enter all selections on company construction software, and keep correct updated information. Maintain showroom organization.

SKILLS REQUIRED: Strong organizational, problem-solving, and time-management skills. High level of initiative. Ability to work independently and as part of a team. Ability to communicate effectively. Ability to coordinate multiple ongoing projects.

Please email resumes to ali@rhodespropanddev.com or fax 318-238-3735, Attn: Ali Rhodes.


Bobby’s Barrel

Robert “Bobby” Leach was a daredevil. Originally from Cornwall, England, he moved to Canada at some point and got a job as a stuntman in Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. In his early 50s, Bobby owned and operated a lunch counter and souvenir stand near Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, but he thrived on the attention his life-threatening feats brought him. He once told reporters, “I fear nothing.” He had made four trips through the dangerous rapids at Whirlpool Falls, the last of which nearly killed him. He had made “a number of balloon ascensions” in homemade balloons, he rode over the Seneca Falls in a barrel, and leapt off the Rainbow International Bridge 200 feet above the Niagara River with a homemade parachute. Newspapers reported that his net worth since his daredevil days began had risen to between $20,000 and $30,000, an enormous amount in the early years of the twentieth century.

Bobby had another goal that would exceed anything he had done before. His next feat was to go over Horseshoe Falls, the largest of three waterfalls which collectively form Niagara Falls, in a barrel. If he succeeded, he would be the first man to survive the trip. Ten years earlier, Mrs. Anna Edson Taylor became the first human to survived the trip. Unlike Anna Taylor, who used a wooden barrel for her trip, Bobby helped design and build a steel barrel for his trip over the falls.

Bobby’s plan was hindered almost immediately. Authorities in Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario, Canada, both refused to allow Bobby to launch his barrel from their cities. Undeterred, just after 1 p.m. on July 25, 1911, the 53-year-old Bobby tied his barrel to a motor boat and launched it several miles upriver from Horseshoe Falls. Strong winds and choppy water pounded the boat and barrel, but Bobby was determined to continue. At a point about three miles above Horseshoe Falls, Bobby climbed into the barrel, released the rope, and sealed the hatch on the barrel. There was no turning back. Bobby was now at the mercy of the river.

Spectators watched as the barrel slowly made its way toward Horseshoe Falls. A mile above the Falls, the barrel reached the rapids. Over and over, the barrel smashed into and bounced off of the myriad of rocks in the rapids. At 3:13 p.m., the barrel tumbled over the falls and disappeared into the churning water below. Spectators held their breath and wondered if Bobby had survived. Less than a minute later, the barrel bobbed up to the surface of the water. Newspapers reported that the force of the impact tore both ends off of the barrel, but it was still afloat.

Spectators stood in stunned silence for almost twenty minutes while the barrel drifted a safe distance away from the falls. There were no signs of life from Bobby’s barrel. Frank Bender, a local resident, swam out to Bobby’s barrel with a rope. He tied it around the barrel and held on as a team of men pulled the Barrel to shore. The men struggled to open the hatch. They all wondered if Bobby had survived, though none would say it aloud. When the hatch gave way, they peered in. Blood streamed down Bobby’s face from a deep gash and his right leg was sprained, but Bobby was alive!

On the following evening, Bobby spoke with a reporter about the trip. His first words were “no more,” when the reporter asked if he planned to take another trip over the falls. Bobby told the reporter, “The drop over the falls was not so bad, but that through the upper rapids was frightful. It seemed as though the barrel turned over a million times. The nearer I approached to the falls, the more the barrel turned. Once, when I struck a rock, I thought it was all over. A big dent was stove in the barrel and a couple of quarts of water came in. I prepared to die. But the water merely washed through the air holes. It was striking the rock that hurt my leg. The big drop over the falls was nothing in comparison to the rest of the trip. I felt no sensation, certainly no pain, going down, and there was very little bump at the bottom. All I have to say is that nobody’s got anything on me, so far as going over Niagara Falls is concerned. But—never again.”

Adopting the nickname Professor, Bobby went on a worldwide speaking tour and told of his many life-threatening, death-defying feats. The people were most interested to hear Bobby tell the story of his trip while showing a film of his barrel going over Horseshoe falls. He answered questions and posed for pictures, all for a small fee. People flocked to his presentations. While returning from one such showing in Christchurch, New Zealand, Bobby slipped, fell onto the street, and broke his leg. Within a short time, his leg became infected with Gangrene. Penicillin and other antibiotics were not yet available. Doctors did the only thing available to them at the time and amputated the infected leg. The infection, however, had spread throughout his body. On April 26, 1926, in an ironic twist of fate, the man who had survived a trip over Horseshoe Falls, who had survived four trips through Whirlpool Falls, who once predicted that the water would probably “get him” one day, died as a result of slipping on an orange peel.