Operation Christmas Child kicks off new year, meets with regional coordinator

The West Central La Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child team had their first meeting of the year. The team was honored to have the regional coordinator, Jesse Reimers, attend the meeting and share exciting information for this upcoming year.

The team includes year round volunteers in the areas of Prayer, Community Relations, Church Relations, and Media. The team is made up of volunteers from Red River, Natchitoches, Sabine, and Winn parishes. The four drop off locations are located at Calvary Baptist Church in Many, Mitchell Baptist Church in Mitchell, Martin Baptist Church in Martin, and First Baptist Church in Winnfield. The Collection Center is located at First Baptist Church in Natchitoches.

Shoeboxes are collected each year filled with toiletries, school supplies, clothing, shoes, toys, stuffed animals and a “Wow” item. The shoeboxes are sent to girls and boys from 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. Each child hears the gospel and receives a book sharing the gospel. The children are invited to “ The Greatest Journey” which is a 12 lesson bible study sharing the gospel. The shoeboxes are collected the third week in November each year. The goal this year for the West Central La team is 14,500. If you have any questions or would like more information go to Samaritan’sPurse.com or contact Pansy Morgan at 352-6233

Pictured on front row from left are Cherry Wells, Brenda Ingram, and Freida Berry. On back row are Bill Huggins, Jack Ingram, Glenna Ott, Helen Antilley, Pansy Morgan and Jesse Reimer. Not pictured are Susan Longino, Alvester Barfield, Ciena Thompson, and Jeanine Ford.

Lowe piano performance scholarship honors long-time Cenla musician

Wanelle Lowe began playing piano at age three, before her feet could touch the pedals, and by the time she was 12, she was the pianist at her church in Rochelle, Texas. She spent her life teaching, performing and accompanying choirs and vocalists and, along with her husband, sharing her musical gifts with others.

Lowe’s legacy will live on through a scholarship established by her children to benefit students majoring in piano performance at Northwestern State University. The Wanelle Lowe Endowed Scholarship for Piano Performance will be awarded to senior-level or graduate student studying piano performance. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average.

Lowe earned a bachelor’s degree in music before moving to Louisiana where her husband Carroll Lowe served as music minister and later as state church music director for the Louisiana Baptist Convention in Alexandria. Her family said she could easily have made a career as a concert pianist, but she wanted a family life and felt led to use her talents in other venues. She was a private piano teacher for over 50 years and actively involved in local and international competitions. She was a district judge for the International Piano Guild and organizer of the Central Louisiana Music Teachers Association. In 1997, she was voted Outstanding Piano Teacher by her peers, demonstrating the deep respect she elicited from colleagues.

In addition to her work as a private teacher, Lowe was also the pianist for First Baptist Church Pineville for 57 years. Her role of church musician expanded to include performing as accompanist for the Singing Ministers of Louisiana Baptists for 20 years and the Louisiana Baptist All State Youth Choir for 25 years, ensembles that were organized by her husband. She was also accompanist for the Pineville High School Choral Program for 26 years. An anonymous donor gifted a grand piano to First Baptist Church in her honor and it remains in the sanctuary bearing a plaque with her name. She was also honored by First Baptist Church with the dedication and naming of the music suite as the Lowe Music Suite.

Lowe earned a master’s degree in piano performance at Northwestern State in 1980.

Lowe passed away in 2012 at the age of 78. Her husband passed away last year. The scholarship is expected to be awarded to its inaugural recipient in 2022.

Friends may contribute to the scholarship in memory of the Lowes by visiting http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com. Donors can click the Give tab and indicate the Wanelle Lowe Endowed Scholarship in the Specify section.

Lady Demons add pair of dynamic guards on opening day of spring signing period

It’s a new era for Northwestern State women’s basketball and two proven winners have signed their names to be a part of it.

After signing three freshmen during the fall, head coach Anna Nimz and staff announced the additions of ACCC North Player of the Year Jiselle Woodson and Grambling transfer Candice Parramore on Wednesday.

Woodson, a dynamic scoring point guard, makes her way to Natchitoches from the junior college ranks after two stellar seasons at Wallace State.

The Alabama native was a 2020 NJCAA All-Star following the 2019-20 season after averaging 12.5 points per game, leading the conference in 3-point shooting at 40 percent and dishing out 133 assists on the year. She upped her game this past season with a 17.4 point average, second best in the conference, adding five rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

She picked up First-Team All-Region 22 honors and was named the Alabama Community College Conference North Division Player of the Year along with earning a spot on the North Division First Team.

“Jiselle is a true point guard with the ability to run the club, score and create,” Nimz said. “She is someone that can be counted on when the game is on the line. Her skill, work ethic and court leadership are going to be a great addition to our program.”

The Lady Demons also picked up Division I transfer Candice Parramore, an experienced guard from Grambling who started nearly 40 games in the past two seasons for the Tigers.

“Candice is a multi-sport athlete that has proven success at the NCAA Division I level,” Nimz said. “She is an excellent fit for our offense and will immediately help us be a bigger threat on the defensive end. As an upper classman, she’ll bring a sense of maturity and leadership to the court.”

Parramore scored an average of 10.2 points this past season, reaching a season-best 17 on two occasions against Prairie View A&M and Southern. She had a career-best 22 against Texas Southern during the 2019-20 season and averaged 26 minutes per game in her last two years for the Tigers.

The Dallas native was not only a standout on the basketball court during her prep career, being named First-Team All-District twice and Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, she was a multi-medalist on the track, winning the 6A 300 meter hurdles three times with city medals in both the triple jump and 4×400 relay.

She was also a USA and AAU National Junior Olympic gold and silver medalist in the hurdles and 4×100 relay.

The duo join freshman signees Jordan McLemore, Josie Fleischmann, winners of Louisiana and Iowa state titles respectively, and Jordyn Stroud who signed during the early period this fall.

Graphic by Brad Welborn, NSU Asst. Director of Communications.

NSU calendar: Week of April 18-24

Here is a look at the week of April 18-24 at Northwestern State University.

April 18-24 – Registration for summer, fall semesters

April 18 — NSU Saxophone Studio Recital, Magale Recital Hall, 5 p.m. #

April 19 — NSU Clarinet Studio Recital, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

April 20 – Lucile Hendrick Room dedication, Student Union Room 121, 11:30 a.m.

April 20 – Three Reeds Duo Recital, Magale Recital Hall, 5:30 p.m. #

April 20 — NSU Concert Choir, Lyrica and Men’s Chorus, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

April 21 — NSU Wind Ensemble Recital, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

April 22 – 34th Annual Research Day

April 21-24 – NSU Theatre and Dance presents “Working,” A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

April 22 — NSU Wind Symphony Recital, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

April 23 – Seven Oaks Stage Dedication, Iberville Green, 1:30 p.m.

April 23-25 – Baseball vs. Nicholls, Brown-Stroud Field

April 23-24 – Softball vs. Sam Houston, Lady Demon Diamond

April 24 – Leon Johnson NSU Invitational, Walter P. Ledet Track Complex

April 24 – NSU Theatre and Dance presents “Working,” A.A. Fredericks Auditorium, 2 p.m.

# Livestream available at capa.nsula.edu/livestream

Lakeview FFA members place third in state in Floriculture CDE

Lakeview FFA members placed third in state in the Floriculture CDE. Members of the team are Meagan Corley, Blake Smith, Kandice Palm, and Naeer Barker. Meagan Corley was 3rd State High Individual in the event. Both Meagan Corley and Blake Smith earned the Floriculture Career Development Event credential.

The Floriculture Career Development Event (CDE) requires students to identify plants, judge flower arrangements and solve problems. Participants also demonstrate skills in flower arranging, propagation and the preparation of floral and foliage products for sale.

This team event is designed to create an interest in career preparation for all current and future aspects of the floriculture industry through leadership development and hands on technical skill development using industry standards that are delivered through the agricultural education curriculum. Teams are judged on their ability to perform an assignment similar to one routinely performed in the floriculture industry. Additionally, individual members are called up to contribute to the team’s effort by completing events such as a general floriculture examination, an identification of plant materials and equipment, a problem-solving exercise.

This event builds skills that are important to careers in greenhouse and field production management, garden center and floral shop management and floral design management. Students who excel show a well-rounded knowledge of horticulture, the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants and the floral industry.

Notice of Death – April 14, 2021

Dennis Wayne LaCaze
December 21, 1959 – April 12, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 17 at 2 pm at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Natchitoches

Edward Reliford Sr.
April 14, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Thomas Allen Solomon
September 14, 1950 – April 12, 2021
Service: Friday, April 16 at 1 pm at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Natchitoches

Keshundrel DeQuez Russell
June 8, 1978 – March 31, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sean Anthony Revels
June 22, 1968 – April 7, 2021
Service: Friday, April 16 from 6-9 pm at the Winnfield Life Funeral Home in Natchitoches

Johnnie Coleman
April 10, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Amos Payton Jr.
April 4, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Larry Williams
November 19, 1938 – April 08, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Darren Jackson
April 1, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA


Notice is hereby given pursuant to Article 7, Section 23(C) of the Constitution and R.S. 47:1705(B) that a public hearing of Law Enforcement District (MT) 1053009 and (MT) 1053010 in Natchitoches Parish will be held at the regular meeting place, Natchitoches Parish Court House, located at 200 Church St., Room 100, Natchitoches LA 71457. On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. to consider levying additional or increased millage rates without further voter approval or adopting the adjusted millage rate after reassessment and rolling forward to rates not to exceed the prior year’s maximum. The estimated amount of tax revenues to be collected in the next tax year from the increased millage is $6,966,852.00 and the amount of increase in taxes attributable to the millage increase is $130,580.00.

Out of Extreme Caution, Louisiana Department of Health Puts Temporary Pause on All Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The Louisiana Department of Health is placing a temporary pause on all administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while federal health agencies investigate whether six reported cases of blood clotting in other states were caused by the vaccine. Providers in the state of Louisiana will continue to use the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and all Louisianans are encouraged to take advantage of the available vaccines, so the state can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and put the pandemic in its rearview.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have recommended that the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution over six reported U.S. cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot.

“Today’s pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is out of an abundance of caution. This morning, I had a call with White House officials and other governors to discuss this issue as we work to safely get as many Louisianans 16 and older vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible. While I understand that this news may be concerning, I remain committed to working alongside public health experts to make sure people can get the answers they need to make an informed decision,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Right now, there are two safe and effective vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – available and being administered in Louisiana and I encourage everyone in Louisiana to keep their appointments and to take advantage of the vaccines we have available. Nearly one million Louisianans have already completed their vaccinations against COVID-19. There have been around 85,000 Johnson and Johnson doses administered in Louisiana and no reported cases of this rare blood clot that we are aware of. In the short-term, this means some community vaccination events may have to be rescheduled or shifted to use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for now and working with the team from the Louisiana Department of Health and health care officials, we will continue the important work of administering vaccines.”

“While this news is frustrating and concerning, we appreciate the FDA acting with abundant caution and transparency,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Louisiana’s State Health Officer. “We do not yet know whether these reported cases of blood clotting were caused by the vaccine. The State of Louisiana takes vaccine safety very seriously, and this temporary pause should give the public and providers confidence the system of monitoring and safety checks are working as intended.”

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, LDH is temporarily pausing in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, chest pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

Minor side effects are a normal sign the body is building protection. Side effects may include pain and swelling in the arm, fever, chills, tiredness or a headache. Most side effects will go away in a few days or less.

Vaccine availability of Pfizer and Moderna will continue uninterrupted.

St. Mary’s Catholic School Open House at 6:00pm – TONIGHT

St. Mary’s Catholic School will host an Open House on Wednesday, April 14th at 6:00pm in the school gymnasium. Prospective new families, of students in preschool through twelfth grade, will be able to tour the school campus and receive enrollment information. Faculty members as well as club and athletic representatives will be available for questions. RSVP is preferred but not required. Interested families may contact Debbie Norman at 352-8394 or dnorman@smstigers.org if they wish to attend. Masks are required.

New student registration is currently open for the 2021-22 school year.

St. Mary’s is a Catholic, co-educational college preparatory school that educates students from preschool through twelfth grade. It is a ministry of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church.

St. Mary’s Catholic School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in: (i) the admission of students; (ii) the offerings of rights, privileges, programs, or activities generally made available to their students; or (iii) the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, loan programs, athletic programs, employment practices or policies, or other school-administered programs.

NSU E-Lab Honor Roll

NSU Elementary Lab School is proud to announce its Honor Roll students for the 3rd Nine Weeks of the 2020-2021 School Year.


Adams beck William
0Barbier Landry Claire
Fontana Wyatt Lewis
Fredieu Ava Lynn
Hogan Shiloh Isabelle
Hubier Lila Blair
Johnson Braylee Grace
Jones Kaylee D`Ann
Kaufman Khloe Morgan
Landry Garrett James
Martin Danny
Matt Caleb Lee
Mckee Brody Greg
Moore Caige Charles
Morris Molly Katelyn
Todtenbier Anna Leigh
Trichell Harper Elise

4th Grade
Bonnette Ruby Elizabeth
Boyd Addisyn Paige
Bynog Caleb Joseph
Collier Brody Alan
Dawson Aubryn Isabella
Demery Zoe Louise
Dunahoe Ann-Marie Ryan
Eleyae Oghenetano Oghaleoghene
Foshee Piper Elise
Guillory Brylee Carol
Harrell Kynlee Blair
Hawkins Eliana Claire
Lacaze Jameson Thomas
Liles Lily Alyss
Mangum Callan Alexandra
Martinez Isabella Maria-Rae
Mcgrath Addison Rae
Mitchell Katelyn Janay
Sales Katherine Elizabeth

5th Grade
Terrell Sara Elizabeth
Ajise Kimoni Motunrayo
Cedars Andrew Grant
Nicholson Evelyn Marie
Wilkerson James Paul


Bertrand Rayleigh Jane
Britten Riley James
Cade William Ray
Dupre Erin Elizabeth
Hammonds Blayne Lee
Hudlow Jack Turner
Jenkins Paige Elizabeth
Jones Estella Ann
Lacaze Addison Breann
Lacaze Braylen Lane
Lafosse Collins Lee
Peppers Ava Mae
Proctor Kathryn Ruth
Reynolds-Perez Thomas Guillermo
Sampson Lily Kathryn
Smith Brinley Faith
Weber Leah Janet
Wilkerson Kennedy Faye
Wilson Brenyn Leigh

Achord Cadence Anne
Bernard Jaxon Louis
Broadway Jake Thomas
Bryant Emery Jane
Caballero Ty Caden
Caruthers Kiondre Cammdon
Christophe Madden Knox
Clark Hayden Lane
Cole Connor Burke
Demery Adam Gabriel
Ducote Allie Estelle
Eloi Ella Hazel
Fontenot Andrew Brooks
Guidroz Kallie Nicole
Henderson Jackson Daniel
Jones Kobe Chad
Kiracofe Reese Kaylynn
Lancaster John William
Lyles Carson Neil
Matt Jude Randall
Moore Gavin Tramayne
Poche James Thomas
Settle Garrett Cole
Shea Jolee Reagan
Vallery Karrington Elizabeth
Anderson Domenick Jamont

Berry Brinlee Hanne
Bush Emma Caroline
Cain Jake Harner
Christophe Nevayah Monet
Church Caroline Grace
Forkner Valentina Dela
Goings Carsyn Olivia
Gray Lane Matthew
Matt Jayce Matthew
Matta Meenakshi Srinivas
Pasch Amsden Cael
Roquemore Madelyn Grace
Slaughter Mikayla Rose
Spillman Cole Parker
Stetson Scott Allen
Vansickle Griffin Hugh
Walker Hunter Dixon
Weber Riya Nalini

Sweet Kiss

By Brad Dison

Frank Hayes was an apprentice jockey originally from Ireland. Rather than a full-fledged jockey, Frank was employed as a stable hand and horse trainer. In 1923, the twenty-year old had been working with horses for about five years, had raced only occasionally, and had never won a race. Frank’s passion was to become a professional jockey. Frank’s boss saw that he had potential and offered him a chance to prove himself in an upcoming race. In his determination to win, Frank took drastic measures in his preparations for the race. To qualify to ride in the race, Frank had to weigh 130 pounds or less. At 145 pounds, Frank was too heavy. He needed to lose weight quickly. Frank used every trick known to jockeys, and, according to newspaper accounts, lost fifteen pounds in 24 hours, a feat which hardly seems likely or possible. Whether Frank lost fifteen pounds in a single day or over a period of a few days, his quick weight loss was extraordinary. By the time of weigh-in, according to the judges Frank weighed exactly 130 pounds. He was able to compete.

On June 4, 1923, Frank was “piloting” a horse called “Sweet Kiss” in a steeplechase at Belmont Park, a major thoroughbred horse racing facility in Elmont, New York, just east of New York City. Steeplechasing originated in Ireland, and took its name from the church steeple used for orientation in plotting the course’s direction. While thoroughbred racing typically uses an oval track, a steeplechase track is made up of obstacles for the horses to jump, usually hedges or fences with pools of water on the far side.

On that day in 1923, the odds were twenty to one against “Sweet Kiss.” It was a long shot. The horses lined up in their starting gate and awaited the sound of the pistol. Pow!!! The gates opened and the horses were off. Another horse, Gimmie, gained a slight lead from the start. Frank held his body as close as possible to Sweet Kiss’s back to lessen wind resistance. Patrons of the horse race could see little more of Frank than his bright silk jockey uniform as he and Sweet Kiss sped past them. The horse and jockey seemed to soar gracefully and effortlessly over each of the twelve obstacles on the two-mile track. The crowd roared with cheers. In the final turn, Sweet Kiss took the lead. When Sweet Kiss leaped gracefully over the final obstacle and straightened out for the run to the finish line, Frank swayed in the saddle. He slipped to one side for just a moment but quickly recovered.

The crowd cheered as Frank and Sweet Kiss crossed the finish line at Belmont track. Sweet Kiss won by a length and a half. Frank showed no emotion although it was the first time he had won a horserace. By all accounts, Frank piloted Sweet Kiss to an easy victory. After crossing the finish line, Sweet Kiss trotted then walked toward the judges stand. Rather than sitting up in the saddle like all of the other jockeys, Frank remained in his racing position, close to Sweet Kiss’s back. The crowd continued to cheer for Frank and the horse. Suddenly, Frank fell from the horse onto the track. Attendants hurried onto the track to attend to Frank. They quickly realized that Frank would never race again.

You see, during the race Frank suffered a massive heart attack. He died just as Sweet Kiss landed his last jump of the race. Doctors attributed Frank’s death to his incredibly quick weight loss. Three days later, Frank was buried in his bright silk jockey uniform. Frank Hayes holds the Guinness World Record as the first (and only) jockey to ride to victory… after his own death.

1. Buffalo Courier (Buffalo, New York), June 5, 1923, p.11.
2. Des Moines Tribune (Des Moines, Iowa), June 5, 1923, p. 16.
3. The Standard Union (Brooklyn, New York), June 6, 1923, p.10.
4. “First Deceased Jockey to Win a Race,” Guinness World Records, accessed April 2, 2021, guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/first-deceased-jockey-to-win-a-race.

Goldonna News – April 14, 2021

Goldonna Elementary School is proud to announce the 2021 NPSO DARE Graduating Class. The 5th graders recently successfully completed the DARE curriculum provided through the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Department. Pictured with the graduating class is Principal Manuel, Deputy Deidre Hobley, Lieutenant Derrick Turner and 5th grade teacher, Sheri Johnson.

“We would formally like to thank Deputy Deirdre Hobley for providing our 5th graders with such a valuable education to help them make good choices and stay drug free as they grow and mature,” said Principal Cori Beth Manuel.

The Goldonna Junior High School 7th and 8th grade Healthy Living Club recently facilitated and participated in National Stomp Out Tobacco Week. Each day the students read a fact about tobacco use over morning announcements as well as created posters and initiatives to help keep their classmates and peers tobacco, Juul, and vape free.

Principal Manuel would like to announce the following testing dates for the students.

3rd-4th grade LEAP2025 testing will be April 28-May 5.

5th-8th grade LEAP2025 testing will be May 6-May 14.

Be sure that your students get plenty of rest the nights before and during testing. Sending them to school after eating a good healthy breakfast is always a plus as well.

Christmas In the Park Committee is looking for new members. The planning will begin in May. If you would like to be on the committee please reach out to Mayor Jennifer Smith. There are plenty of spots open and they are ready to get to work.

The Goldonna Town Council voted to approve the purchase of a police car. Mayor Smith was very excited and wasn’t sure if this was newsworthy and I assured her it was an exciting time for the town and absolutely newsworthy!

Goldonna Baptist Church is cooking again Wednesday, April 14 from 5:30 to 6:30. They will be serving dirty rice with ground meat, green beans, garlic bread, dessert and drink. Meals are free and available while supplies last. According to local resident, Linda Dupree, “Just pull up and say how many you need. Don’t get busy and forget!”

Lakeview High School is hosting a Senior FAFSA Day (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) on Wednesday, April 14 from 9am until 1pm. If parents would like assistance in completing their student’s FAFSA, representatives from Career Compass will be available in the School Library. I strongly urge any parent who is reading this to please attend. FAFSA has caused lots of stress, arguments and foul language in my own household. It is not a fun venture that strengthens family bonds. Save your peace of mind and take the help!

If you have news to contribute please email Reba Phelps jreba.phelps@gmail.com

NSU Middle Lab Honor Roll

NSU Middle Lab is proud to announce its Honor Roll students for the 3rd Nine Weeks of the 2020-2021 School Year.

Principal’s List : 4.0

6th Grade
Mary Hannah Churchman, Peyton Faucheaux, Alison Key, Maggie Massia, Anthony Miller, Camille Procell, Ana Reynolds-Perez, Abram Romero

7th Grade
Jade Barfield, Cameron Brunson, Kale Doffitt, Christian Frazier, Audrey Matt, Lila Robertson, Vincent Sayles, Caleb Scott, Hayden Sellers, Alexis Shaw, Grace Smith, Anna Weaver

8th Grade
Tobi Adeleye, Jaden Braden, Ava Bush, Adam Guillet, Breanna Hale, Anna Hobart, Natalie Hyde, Sydnie Jones, Brynn Landry, Ross Lindsey, Gracie Moore, Cambell Morrow, Finely O’Con, Kate Perkins, Claire Perritt, Yancy Spillman, Bess Stewart, Sydney Terrell, Ainsley Weeks

A Honor Roll: 3.5-3.99 no grade lower than a B

6th Grade
Alexis Broadway, Arwen Brown, Skylar Campa, Tripp Carr, Layla Conway, Kamryn Dawson, Noah Dillard, Braxton Lambert, Dylan Lott, Kyson McKnight, Dennis Morgan, Mackenzie Morgan, Brian Morris, Ripplie Perkins, Kaylie Rhodes, Kendall Rhodes, Jackson Smith, Zavion, Sowell, Sadie Summerlin, Caden White, Lincoln Wilkerson, Adelle Williams

7th Grade
Ariana Adams, Duncan Brown, Sam Cade, Braylee Fredieu, Jaykob Harrison, Sydnie Hatten, Sienna Henderson, Max Hines, Macey Jarnigan, Ciara Johnson, Zach Jordan, Audrey Lafosse, Caitlyn Martin, Marcus Martinez, Emorie Mathews, Miracle Phanor, Sean Remo, Annaliece Romero, Darrell Roque, Jacob Roquemore, Brooklyn Smith, Tristan Smith.

8th Grade
Cayleigh Addison, Markos Braden, Skylar Braxton, Kaleigh Chapman, Madison Dupuy, Mollie Durbin, Clark Glenn, Kniht Hogan, Jacob Hypes, Mallory Lacour, Brock Laird, Lilyasta Lanning, Jonah Maynard, Aidan Moses, Liyah Norton, Suhani Patel, Ayla Payne, Mackenzie Smith, Barrett Waxley, Rees Williams, Ellie Wilson, Logan Wyatt.

NSU Saxophone Studio to present recital Sunday

The NSU Saxophone Studio will perform a recital on Sunday, April 18 at 5 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Attendance is limited. Social distancing and masks are required. The event will be livestreamed at capa.nsula.edu/livestream.

The event will feature classical and jazz solo works and chamber music from composers such as J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Marc Mellits and many more. Members of the Saxophone Studio are Justin Dysarz, Julio Galvan and Joshua Parks of Houston, Kamryn Johnson of Texarkana, Texas, Ethan Maynard and Daniel Scott of Bossier City and Sebastian Oviedo and Cristian Paez of Cartegena, Colombia.

NFA creates scholarship for NSU cheerleader

Natchitoches Flipping Athletics created a scholarship to benefit a Northwestern State University cheerleader in good standing that will be awarded annually in the amount of $1,000. Recipients must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better.

NFA has had a long relationship with NSU Cheer, working closely with the team and Coach Amy Stepp. NFA also employs several NSU cheerleaders and work around their cheer and class schedules.

“We have employed over 20 NSU cheerleaders,” said Micah Murchison, NFA director. “NSU cheer also uses our facility free of charge to practice. NFA, our parents and kids support NSU cheer with their fundraising efforts as well. I see how hard these kids work with little recognition and always a smile on their faces, so any opportunity we get to help these kids, we do it to our best ability.”

NFA opened its doors in 2012 on Isadore Street when Ramona Williams and her daughters Mallory, Mackenzie and Abby saw a need in the community for kids’ tumbling and competitive cheer classes. After quickly outgrowing the original location, NFA moved to 1200 Keyser Ave. In 2018, Williams handed the reins to Murchison.

“NFA has grown significantly throughout the years and has opened its doors to over a 1,000 or more kids in our community,” Murchison said.

“I wanted to do something for [NSU Cheer] with meaning and what better way to do that than with a scholarship? NSU cheer reciprocates in their efforts to do for NFA. They coach our kids and do it well, they show up in uniform to surprise our tumblers with Vic in tow. If I need tables moved or anything cleaned or help with anything, they are always there to support us and cheer us on,” she added.

Pictured: Natchitoches Flipping Athletics presented a donation to the NSU Foundation to initiate a scholarship for members of the NSU Cheer team. On the front row from left are Coach Courtney Bergeron, NSU assistant volunteer coach and NFA coach; NSU Coach Amy Stepp, Terrance Green, scholarship recipient; Thea Foshee, Coach Micah Murchison, Erin Dupree representing the NSU Foundation and NFA Coach Abby Williams. On the back row are Valyn Myrick, Toby Green, Presley Stewart, Izzy Peluso, Annalise Sylvia, Tre Jackson Elise Vidrine, Gavin Acor and Drelan Evans.

Boys to Men Club Holds Car Wash

The Boys to Men Club held a car wash on Saturday at Natchitoches Junior High School.  The guys worked vigorously from 11am until around 4pm and detailed cars, trucks, and SUV’s. The guys in the club are slowly getting back to community work after COVID-19 put a tremendous halt on all activities that they normally would do.

A New and Growing Crisis on Our Southern Border

Royal Alexander/Opinion

No nation can long remain a sovereign nation if it cannot control, secure, and defend its own borders

It is not often we are presented in national policy with such a clear contrast—a clear connection between cause and effect—but that is what is on display on our southern border.

As reflected in the latest data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the overall tally for all illegal immigrants, of all ages, encountered on our southern border in March was 172,000, a 71% percent increase from the already high numbers in February, the Biden Administration’s first full month in office. That’s up from 103,731 in March 2019 and way up from 50,347 in March 2018. Sadly, this includes 18,890unaccompanied children, compared to 9,380 in March 2019 and 5,244 in March2018.

It’s worth asking why the number of those attempting illegal entry into the U.S. has increased so dramatically in 2021. The only logical answer is the drastic change in immigration policy in the Biden Administration.

It’s been feebly argued that these droves are the result of a “seasonal surge” of workers who seek unfilled jobs here. (This assertion is undermined by the fact that, in a political gift to the unions, there are no new avenues for guest workers who would on a short-term basis be allowed to take unfilled American jobs). Seasonal workers may impact the number but the drastic surge we are seeing can only be credibly attributed to Biden promises and policies. His words and actions have created the impression that now is the time to try to sneak into America.

Also, most importantly, why has the border wall and the fencing and technology it includes not been continued to completion? It’s clear that the area in which the wall has not been finished is where illegals are most heavily pouring into the country. The wall unquestionably slows if not stop entirely the flow of illegal activity. What video and documentary evidence there makes clear is that the surge at the border is about much more than children and their parents seeking jobs or even asylum in the U.S. Instead, the drug trafficking from Mexico has hugely increased as large amounts of drugs including marijuana and heroin have been seized at the border. This, of course, says nothing about the human traffickers and terrorists who are coming into the country.

And—while the national media often does not report honestly anyway—why has it been denied access to the southern border by the Biden Administration?(Can you imagine the screaming if the Trump Administration had denied press access this way?). The answer of course is that the southern border has become both a humanitarian disaster and magnet for illegal activity that the Biden Administration does not wish the American People to witness.

The American people must quickly demand that our federal government take the necessary steps to stop this influx and secure our borders. No immigration reform legislation has a chance until we first stop the illegal activity.

Weyerhaeuser Donates to NPSB Child Nutrition Program

Weyerhaeuser granted $7,000 to the Natchitoches Parish School Board Child Nutrition Program. The funding will help with the purchase of a generator to keep the Natchitoches Parish Central Warehouse operational during power outages and emergency situations. The Warehouse serves as a storage facility for the school food supply which is essential for operating Parish Schools.

Pictured from left are Debbie Roy, WY Timberlands; Shauna Hicks, Supervisor – Child Nutrition Program; and Rachel Proctor, WY Trust Joist.

CASA of Central Louisiana Now Hiring: Volunteer Recruiter/Trainer

Our team is growing! We are looking for someone who is team oriented to fill the Volunteer Recruiter/Trainer position. Do you have experience managing social media pages and enjoy being involved in our community? I fro, please read the position description below!

-Assisting with the recruiting and training of community volunteers

-Attending events in the community where a CASA is needed

-Ability to embrace flexibility and help with other projects when needed

-Editing website as needed

-Managing main Facebook page, creating and scheduling content

-Creating graphics and writing captions for posts

-Planning and execution of community outreach events

-Assisting with the administration of the training program

CASA of Central Louisiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Resumes are currently being accepted by email only at edahl@casanat.org.

Northwestern State jumps coach to be inducted into Cedar Hill High Hall of Fame

As a military kid with a dad in the Navy, Northwestern State jumps coach Tyron Stewart searched for a place he could call home throughout his childhood.

He found that home in the Dallas Metroplex, and his name will be enshrined in that home as part of the 2021 Cedar Hill High School Hall of Fame.

Stewart led the 2007 track and field team to a Class 5A state runner up, winning the triple jump title and placing fourth in the long jump as a senior.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be inducted at Cedar Hill because I was always looking for a place to call home,” said Stewart, who moved to the area as an eighth-grader and spent his entire high school days in Dallas. “That class was incredibly gifted, and to be recognized as an individual in that class – I’ve been waiting on this moment, and it’s a big deal for me.”

Stewart has coached a national champion (Jasmyn Steels) at NSU, won a USA Indoor national title (long jump) and has won a team national championship at Texas A&M in his career.

“But this one means the most,” said Stewart, who was named the Dallas Morning News Track and Field Athlete of the Year in 2007.

Stewart is also part of the 2007 team that will be inducted in a ceremony expected to take place in the spring of 2022.

As an individual, he jumped 50-9.5 to win the triple jump crown and 23-7 to take fourth in the long jump at those 2007 state championships.

He credits his dad’s decision to move to Dallas as the turning point for his successful athletics career.

“In the different places we lived (Guam, Washington, Nevada, Corpus Christi, Texas), there wasn’t really a lot of competition,” Stewart said. “I was usually the best athlete, and I was winning every competition.

“My dad attended a high school basketball game that featured Chris Bosh and these Horton twins from Cedar Hill, and you could barely get into the gym. He knew that I needed that type of environment and competition.”

Upon his arrival, Stewart wasn’t winning any more and wasn’t standing out.

“I had to grow up fast, and that’s a huge reason that I was able to take it to the next level,” Stewart said. “These kids were bigger, stronger and faster than me, and that definitely had a big impact on me to push me to do the work necessary.”