Louisiana Tech University is closed today, April 25, as the result of a tornado.

Louisiana Tech University is closed today, April 25, as the result of a tornado.

The storm traveled through the Ruston campus on Wednesday night, April 24.

No students on campus were injured, but a significant amount of damage occurred. Power lines and trees are down in some areas on and near campus.

In some areas, traveling is hazardous.

If you do not live on campus, please do not go to the campus. Essential personnel will be contacted by their supervisor about reporting to work.

Find fresh produce and new ideas at the Natchitoches Farmers Market – Kid’s Club

The Natchitoches Farmers Market is part of Ready, Set, Go: the City’s initiative to improve the health and wellness of residents through a three part plan. The market will SET up shop Saturdays from 8 am – 12 pm from April 27 – July 27. It will be located on the downtown riverbank from.

The Farmers Market offers $5 in free Kids Club Tokens each Saturday for the first 50 children ages 2-13. These tokens can be spent on fresh fruits and vegetables! The market also accepts cash, credit, debit and SNAP.

“This market season is filled with adventure and healthy opportunities,” said Valerie Balthazar, Farmers Market Coordinator.


April 27: “Metamorphosis at the Market”

Kids make healthy butterfly themed snacks
Kids plant milkweed seeds for growing plants that will attract butterflies
The Master Gardeners will be there
**4-H Day

May 4: “Walk to Remember”

Homemade butter and corn grinding
Kids make watermelon pops
**4-H Day

May 11: A “Berry” Special Mother’s Day

Kids make strawberry flowers and mugs for Mom for Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day celebration and picture booth
Book Mobile
**4-H Day

May 18: “Get Physical at the Farmers Market”

· Herb Growing Demo by the Natchitoches Parish Master Gardeners

Kids make smoothies on Spin Bike

May 25: “Buzz Over for Breakfast Pancakes”

Pancake breakfast
Kids make fruit sandwiches
Bee demo by Natchitoches Bee Keepers Club
Book Mobile
**4-H Day

June 1: “Celebrate Rural Farmers Month”

Raw vegetable salad tasting
Kids participate in a Scavenger Hunt
First Responders and mascots will be present
Master Gardeners will be there
**4-H Day

June 8: “3rd Annual Corn Eating on the Cane”

Hot Corn Dip tasting
Kids make squirrel feeders
Kids participate in Corn Hole Games

June 15: “2nd Annual Battle of the Badges”

Cook-Off featuring the Natchitoches Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and Police Department
Kids make presents for Dad
Dunking Booth
Book Mobile
**4-H Day

June 22: “Mini Makers at the Market”

Grilled Okra tasting
Mini Makers battling for the trophy
**4-H Day

June 29: “Red, White and Blueberries”

Fruit Kabobs tasting
Kids make patriotic hands on a canvas
Book Mobile

July 6: “Super Squash to the Rescue”

Farmers Market Mascot (Super Squash) in attendance
Grilled squash tasting
Kids make squash ducks
Master Gardeners will be there

July 13: “Amazing Veggie Race”

Zucchini noodles with pesto tasting
Kids participate in the Veggie Race

July 20: “Who Let the Dogs Out”

Fruit tasting
Kids will bring donations for the Humane Society

July 27: “Splash into Summer”

Fruit Salad tasting
Kids will participate in squirt painting
Book Mobile

*Prop up your boots with old coots” every Saturday at the Old Coots & Good Advice tent! To participate contact Valerie Balthazar at 318-663-5190.

**4-H Days feature Natchitoches Parish 4-Hers who will man the Community Garden table, which features locally grown produce. A percentage of what these students sell will go back to their 4-H clubs for future programming.

For more information call (318) 663-5190

This project is funded through a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation. The Healthy Behaviors Program Grant funds projects which have a focus on healthy eating, active living, or prevention of tobacco use, substance or alcohol abuse. To learn more about grant funding from The Rapides Foundation, visit www.rapidesfoundation.org, and click on “Grants.”

First Responder Appreciation Dinner Hosted By Westside Baptist Church

The men and women of Natchitoches’ Westside Baptist Church held their second First Responder Appreciation Dinner Wednesday, April 24th at the church hall. The congregation served over 300 fried fish dinners with all the trimmings to hungry deputies, police officers, firefighters, corrections officers and paramedics. The event was put on by 50 volunteers from the congregation who cooked and served throughout the evening. A group of church members also shared their baking and cooking skills by ensuring each dinner was accompanied by a homemade dessert.

Westside Baptist pastor, Rev Steve McAlister, said “this is something we could do to show our appreciation for all the men and women who serve our community as first responders.”

The Summer of Love Turns 50 This Year-Exhibit Items Needed!

By Kevin Shannahan

The Cammie G, Henry Archives and Research Center at NSU needs our community’s help. This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 “Summer of Love.” Assistant Archivist Sharon Wolff is planning an exhibition to mark the event.

The archive is looking for materials related to that era. The year of 1969 was an eventful one. Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. The Vietnam War was still raging and the Woodstock concert came to symbolize the era and made an indelible mark on popular culture. These are just a few of the events that made 1969 such a memorable year.

The archive is looking for any materials related to that timeframe for its exhibit. Posters, tickets, newspapers, and magazines. Any material from the summer of 1969 is welcome. Items relating to national, international and local events are sought. The materials will be on loan to the archive and will be returned to their owners after the exhibit’s conclusion. If you have any items to share, please contact asstant archivist Sharon Wolff at 318-357-4585.

They Have Only One Dog Left Now — Old Kate the Survivor

By Joe Darby

Old Kate, a spaniel-chow mix who’s either 15 or 16, has seen a number of dogs come and go in our house. All of our other beloved canines died too young, but Kate, bless her, is still around.

I’m writing this because we lost our Beagle-Basset mix, Bea, this week. Bea apparently had cancer, lost all of her energy and at the end, stopped eating. There was nothing to be done, except to have her “put to sleep” as they say. And it really was like going to sleep, as her transition from life was as gentle and easy as it could have possibly been.

I want to compliment our vet, Dr. Joey Bynog. Dr. Joey showed an abundance of compassion and understanding for the feelings that Mary and I had when we took Bea for her last visit to him.

We knew something was wrong a few weeks ago when Bea preferred staying in her little bed and sleeping most of the day to going out into “her” backyard to chase squirrels. Chasing squirrels was her great passion in life. We have several trees in the back yard, which provide cover and habitat for the squirrels but Bea would do her best to stalk them, as her DNA required her to do.

Much to the chagrin of Mary, who loves almost all animals (except for snakes and geckos) Bea caught a squirrel not too long ago. To Mary it was an unfortunate loss of a little life. To Bea it was fulfillment of an instinctive drive in her very bones that goes back for millennia, to her wolf ancestors.

Bea had been with us for about six or seven years, maybe a little more because time flies. Mary had found her in a rural area north of Baton Rouge, abandoned and forlorn. She had been abused because when approached she would cower down and whimper. By the time she passed, she had grown to know love, companionship and the joy of getting a bit of ham sandwich straight from my hand. So, her last years were good.

Bea joins three other dogs buried in our back yard. First there was Belle, a pointer mix, who died not long after we moved here in 2006. She was one of my all time favorite dogs. Belle had a rare spinal defect that caused her to lose control of her legs and her bodily functions. Belle was about 9.

The next to go was Doodie Claire, a rat terrier who was in fact my all time favorite dog. She died of brain lesions that caused similar symptoms to Belle’s but that blinded her as well. Doodie was not quite 5 when she died. I had expected that Doodie and I would grow old together. But it’s just me that’s getting old.

Then there was Mosby, or Boy as we sometimes called him, another rat terrier. He had internal problems that caused him to quit eating also. He was rapidly losing weight when we had to put him to sleep. He was about 10.

That brings me back to Kate, who had turned up at my sister’s house in the country back around 2004, when Mary and I still lived in the New Orleans area. . We adopted Kate and although Belle let Kate know that she, Belle, was definitely the alpha dog, Kate quickly fit in with out little pack.

Kate’s been remarkably healthy for these last 15 or so years, but now she’s starting to show signs of having trouble with her bladder. Puddles in the house have been found. And sometimes her back legs seem unsteady. I don’t know. Maybe it won’t be too long before she has to join Belle, Doodie, Boy and Bea in our doggie cemetery. I hope not. But in any case, Kate will likely be the last. It’s just too hard to lose them.

Larkins and Frank earn Southland Conference Athlete of the Week

After their last performances before competing at home in the Southland Conference Track and Field Championships May 3-5, Northwestern State senior standouts Micah Larkins and Kelsey Frank won Southland Athlete of the Week awards Wednesday.

Larkins, the Demons’ sensational sprinter, was voted Male Track Athlete of the Week in the Southland for the third time this outdoor season. Frank, who met a career goal in breaking a 20-year-old school record in the javelin, claimed conference Female Field Event Athlete of the Week honors. Both were winners last Saturday at the LSU Alumni Gold meet.

Larkins, a two-time relay All-American, earned the weekly distinction after running a wind-aided 10.10 (a wind reading of +2.8, 0.8 too high to be a school record) 100 meter dash to win the section A final. The Haughton High School product beat six professional runners in his victory, clocking the second-fastest time of his career behind a wind-aided 10.02 last year at the Texas Relays.

The Haughton High School product is tied for the fifth-fastest time in the nation and sits atop the Southland. Larkins’ time was the fifth-fastest wind-aided in school history, with the wind (over 2.0).

Frank, the Southland champion in 2017 before redshirting last year, went almost two feet past the Lady Demon record with her winning distance of 168-5. The Oberlin native ranks first in the conference by nearly 18 feet and is tied for 20th in the nation. The old school record of 166-9 was established by All-American Regina Roe in 1999.

Larkins also claimed the same award for his performances at the Prairie View A&M Relays and the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on March 23 and 28. At Prairie View A&M he won the 100 (10.26) and was part of the winning 4×100 relay team (40.14). He repeated as athlete of the week after winning the 100 in Austin, Texas the following week with his previous season-best 10.11 (+2.9).

Both decorated seniors will try to win a title on their home turf May 3-5 at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex as NSU hosts the 2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Championships.

Operation Christmas Child volunteers hold first 2019 meeting

The West Central La team for Operation Christmas Child had their first team meeting for 2019. Beth Martin, area coordinator, gave a praise report for the 2018 results. The West Central La Team (Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Winn Parish) collected 14,333 shoeboxes in 2018. This commitment made by churches, groups, organizations, schools, individuals and community is making the following possible:

* 14,333 lost children are hearing about Jesus’ love for them

* 14,333 lost children are being given the opportunity to accept Jesus as their personal Savior.

* 14,333 families are hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. (Each shoebox impacts an average of 10 people)

* Thousands will be added to the Kingdom of God

*Shoeboxes are going where missionaries cannot and reaching people untouched by the Gospel.

*Joy, hope, and eternal life are being offered to needy children in desperate situations

*Churches are being started

Your West Central Year-Round-Volunteers have already been praying, meeting, and planning for shoebox collections in 2019. The goal for WCLA in 2019 is 15,000 Shoeboxes. Several area OCC events are being planned such as a Full Circle Speaker, Prayer Events, Project Leader Workshops, and a Kickoff event. Information will be made available before each event. Your continued partnership with Operation Christmas Child is vital to demonstrating Jesus’ love in a tangible manner to hurting children and their families around the world.

For more information about this ministry call the Collection Center Coordinator, Brenda Ingram at 318-471-9415

Pictured above, sitting from left, are Cienna Thompson, Cherry Wells, Tonia Cates, and Helen Antilley. Standing are Freida Berry, Jack Ingram, DeWayne Martin, Jeanine Ford, Susan Longino, Brenda Ingram, Virginia Crossno, Beth Martin and Sharon Ebarb.

Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony to perform April 30

The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will perform its final concert of the 2018-19 season on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current I.D.

Dr. Douglas Bakenhus is music director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. Juan Pablo Paternina Paez is the graduate assistant conductor. The concert will feature winners of the 2019 Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Concerto Contest, Ramon Barralaga and Shihaun Wang on piano and Emily Owens on violin.

As part of the concert, James Ford, Richard Jennings and Shirley Jennings will be formally inducted into the School of Creative and Performing Arts Hall of Fame.

The program will include “On Top of the World” by Brian Balmages, the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” featuring Owens, the first movement of C. Saint-Saens’ “Piano Concerto No. 2” featuring Wang, the third movement of “Piano Concerto No. 1” by Tchaikovsky featuring Barralaga and “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber” by Paul Hindemith.

Barralaga began his musical studies in 2008 at the School of Music Victoriano Lopez in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He enrolled at NSU in 2016. That year, he won the NSU Concerto Competition and performed the Grieg “Piano Concerto” with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Last year, Barralaga received an honorable mention at the MTNA Louisiana State Competition. He serves as a piano teacher at the NSU Music Academy. Barralaga is a student of Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Francis Yang.

Owens received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Baylor University, performing in the Baylor Symphony and Waco Symphony. She is assistant concertmaster in the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Owens won the state division of the MTNA Young Artists Solo Competition. She won the Rapides Young Artists Competition earlier this year and performed with the Rapides Symphony playing the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto.” Owens is a student of Professor of Violin and Viola Andrej Kurti and is working toward a Master of Music Performance degree at NSU.

Wang, a native of China, earned her bachelor’s degree at Guangxi Normal University. She won second prize in the Chinese Works category in the Macau-Asian Pacific Youth Piano Competition and first prize in the Yamaha Music Scholarship Competition in China. She is working toward a master’s degree at Northwestern State and is a student of Yang.

Notice of Death – April 24, 2019


Clarence DeWitt Booty
October 20, 1940 – April 22, 2019
Service: Thursday, April 25 at 10 am at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches
Interment: Springville Cemetery in Coushatta

Kimberly Hall Oas
July 21, 1956 – April 19, 2019
Service: Saturday, April 27 at 2 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchitoches
Interment: American Cemetery

Charles Myles
April 22, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Frederick Lacy
April 05, 1967 – April 21, 2019
Service: Saturday, April 27 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Lawrence Serenity Sanctum

Narvy Lewis
April 10, 2019
Service: Saturday, April 27 at 11 am at the Rock Island Baptist Church
Interment: Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery off of Hwy. 6


Dr. Richard John Oosta, M.D.
August 30, 1928 – April 23, 2019
Visitation: Friday, April 26 at 9:30 am at First Baptist Church of Many
Service: Friday, April 26 at 11 am at First Baptist Church of Many
Interment: Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville

Betty Mae Powell
April 1, 1935 – April 23, 2019
Service: Thursday, April 25 at 10 am at Cedar Grove Cemetery

Joseph Martin Wallace
December 19, 1944 – April 19, 2019
Service: Thursday, April 25 at 11 am at Fellowship Baptist Church in Oak Grove Community
Interment: Oak Grove Cemetery in Converse

Lee Waskom for Parish President

I’m Lee Waskom and I am announcing my candidacy for the office of Parish President in Natchitoches Parish.

My family moved to Natchitoches in 1964 when I was 11 months old. Having grown up on a farm raising 35 head of cattle, I learned the value of hard work at a young age. My summers were spent baling hay. I lived on my family’s farm on Fish Hatchery Road for 31 years.

I attended school in Natchitoches, graduating in 1982 from Natchitoches Central High. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northwestern State University in 1986. I am married to Ginny Fontenot Waskom and we have 3 children and three grandchildren. We attend Westside Baptist Church.

As a successful businessman, I have supported the local economy by creating and maintaining thousands of jobs over the last 35 years. From 1987-2010, I was President and owner of the Campus Corner Bookstores in Natchitoches, with other locations in Shreveport, and Monroe. Because of business market changes in the Textbook industry, I shifted my business focus to property management, property development and investment opportunities. In October 2012, I ventured into the restaurant business through ownership in Smoothie King and, later, Dickey’s Barbecue Pits in Natchitoches and Lafayette.

My active participation in charitable, community and service organizations has given me the opportunity to understand the people of Natchitoches Parish, their needs and concerns. I also served a two-year term as President of the NSU Foundation. As a member of the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club, I was on the Board of Directors for nine years and Treasurer for five. Presently, I am on the Board of Directors of the HDBA serving as Treasurer and I’m a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club.

I want to use my financial success to create a pathway to solve the issues this Parish is facing. As Parish President, it will be my goal to work within the current budget structure to ensure we meet the needs of the parish citizens through infrastructure improvement and business development.






According to Kris: How to Dress for Success with Mario Fox

By Kris James

Although he may be a resident of Natchitoches, Mario Fox is no average Joe. After leaving at the age of 19 and joining the Army, Fox obtained his realtor license while in Washington, DC and strived for success. After 10 years he moved back Natchitoches and is now the assistant broker at the ever-growing Rhodes Realty. But Mario’s knowledge of Real Estate wasn’t the only thing he picked up. He learned that the first impression you leave is important and a lot of it has to do with how you dress. Mario is a firm believer of “dress how you would want the world to see you.”

“Nobody going to buy a million dollar home from you if you don’t look the part,” he said.

Anyone that’s gotten the chance to meet Mario, knows he knows how to wear a suit. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him on a good Friday morning to discuss why style is important and how to create dapper looks in the workplace. Even that morning he greeted me in a custom “Obama blue” suit, a crisp white button-down and a knitted turquoise tie (SEE IMAGES BELOW).

KJ: Everyone doesn’t know how to wear a suit, and look good wearing one. How did you get introduced into the art of suit-wearing?

MF: My first four suits came for Burlington, that my wife purchased for me. I got them tailored and started creating my look, but it wasn’t until one of my mentors told me “Fox you gotta get some better suits.” People who wear nice suits can tell a good suit just by quality. I couldn’t afford it at that moment so I continued to sell real estate until I could buy my first custom suit. At that point, I saw the difference of the texture and quality and I never looked back.

KJ: What are some details you should look for when getting a nice suit?

MF: You should always make sure your jacket fits you. You don’t want it too tight but never big and boxy. Custom suit jackets have functional buttons, even small details in the treading. Pants are your preference, I personally don’t like the highwater look.

KJ: What’s your favorite add on?

MF: I put a lot of energy in ties. I don’t think a lot of business people realize how important a tie is. Everything from the color to the pattern on the tie. For me, I know every situation is different. If I’m headed to a meeting I wear bold dominating colors. Not just the color but the knot is important too, for example, the Windsor knot is more aggressive, but the prince fox knot, which I named after myself, is fun and modern.

KJ: Last question, What are 5 tips everyone should know

MF: 1. Dress according to the seasons, velvet or corduroy do not work in the warm seasons.

2. Every man should have a suit in their closet.

3. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and classic. There are ways to look good without doing too much.

4. If you can’t afford custom suits find a good tailor.

5. Last but not least, find your own style and be true to who you are.

For someone so, young Mario has proven that no matter where you come from you too can succeed. Different situations could have taken him down a different path but he wanted more. He wanted to move not just for his wife and kids but for his community.

“Dress the way you want to be acknowledged” – Mario Fox