OPPORTUNITY: METER READER

JOB TITLE: Meter Reader

DEPARTMENT: Utility

ESSENTIAL DUTIES: Will be required to read all types of water and electric meters both electronically and visually. Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. Responsible for connecting and disconnecting utility services. Must be able to learn how to operate various electronic meter reading equipment and software. Basic math skills are required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  High School diploma, or GED Equivalent.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches
Human Resources Department
1400 Sabine St., or P.O. Box 37
Natchitoches LA 71458-0037

Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall located at 700 Second St. or may be downloaded at www.natchitochesla.gov

Applications will be accepted through: October 5, 2020

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.


CITY INFORMS CUSTOMERS OF REINSTATING DISCONNECTS AND BUILDING REOPENING

The City of Natchitoches would like to inform the public beginning on Friday, November 6th, the Utility Service Center will resume their normal process for disconnects. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Natchitoches made the decision to not disconnect any utility customer for non-payment. While no late fees were incurred, the City asked utility customers to be mindful that customers would be responsible for the utility consumption during this time and should remit payment as soon as possible. If your account is past due after the above mentioned date, please contact the Utility Service Center to make payment arrangements on your account.

Also, since moving into Phase 3 of reopening, the Utility Service Center Lobby will now be open for new connects only. Employees are still available to assist for all other services including collecting payments, disconnections, and transfers via the drive thru.

Utility payments can still be made in the following ways:

· Credit card payments can be made via telephone (VISA and MasterCard ONLY)

· Check payments can be put in the drop box located in the last drive thru lane

As always, the City offers online bill pay for our utility customers 24/7. To sign up for online bill pay:

https://click2gov.natchitochesla.gov/Click2GovCX/index.html

For further information or questions regarding utility payments, please contact the Utility Service Center at (318)357-3830.

How a foundation that has not accounted for $19,500 designs a website

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

A website is supposed to give people an idea of who the site’s owner is. This can be accomplished with photos, cool graphics, and solid, interesting writing and accurate information about how to interact or conduct your business with them. You might say, a website paints a portrait of an organization. Sometimes however, it reveals more than the site’s owner or organization intends or realizes. Such is the case with the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF) and its website. .

The Natchitoches Community Improvement is a foundation which has been court ordered to distribute 1.8 million in settlement funds to the citizens of Natchitoches in the areas of recreation, education, housing, and economic development. The settlement resulted from a lawsuit filed after it was reported that Tennessee Gas spilled pcbs in Sibley Lake in the late 1990s. But NCIF itself has been involved in lawsuits and controversy due to public dissatisfaction with how the money has been handled and the low amounts of money actually given to the public since the settlement. In 2014, an audit revealed that $19,500 was unaccounted for. The foundation has still not told the public what happened to that money. The foundation has also not made it easy for the public to access information. In particular, info about public meetings can be hard to find. The way the website has been designed reflects that. Consider the following troubling characteristics of the website:

• Figure 1: Website features members who no longer are on the board. For instance, James Below, Billye Sue Johnson, Estelle McGill, Ed Ward and Catherine Hoover are all no longer on the board.
• Figure 2: One member is deceased, yet is still listed as serving in office as vice president, With due respect, It is a fact that Kelvin Porter, unfortunately passed away not long ago.
• Figure 3: Under section about meetings, the meeting locations and times are missing and all information is from 2019 even as I accessed the site a few days ago. Note also it says TBD which means that even last year, they never actually posted the information online.
• New members Edwin Poe and DeMarquis Hamilton are not listed at all.
• Figure 4: Under the “Grants awarded” section, it only gives information up to the year 2018. This is tail end of 2020.

The question isn’t just “Is this any way to run a website?” The more important question is, “Is this any way to run a foundation that is ordered by the court to distribute 1.8 million dollars to citizens of Natchitoches?”
The Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation Board members are: Oswald Taylor, Mildred Joseph, Gwen Antee Hardison-Davis, Shaniqua Hoover, Brenda Milner, Gwendolyn Williams, Edwin Deon Powe, Renee Porter, DeMarquis Hamilton, (the following are sitting on the board although according to NCIF bylaws, their term limits are up: Leo Walker, Diane Blake Jones).

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”—Jesus in John 8:32

 


Natchitoches Parish Fire Districts participate in parish-wide training

The week of Sept. 21 was a busy training week for Natchitoches Parish Fire Districts.

Members of NPFD 1, NPFD 4, NPFD 5, NPFD 6, NPFD 10 and NFD participated in parish-wide training on Thursday, Sept. 24. The training, hosted by LSU FETI, took members through a friendly competition that reinforced skills pertaining to nozzles, hose handling, flow control and teamwork.

NPFD6 members also completed the Emergency Vehicle Operator Course on Saturday, Sept. 26, which included classroom instruction and a challenging competency driving course. The competency course is designed to measure driver proficiency in handling emergency vehicles. The course duplicates situations in which the driver’s skill, judgment and knowledge of the limitations of the emergency vehicle are required for effective maneuvering.


Opportunity: City Attorney Opening

POSITION: City Attorney – City of Natchitoches

DESCRIPTION: The City Attorney shall serve as Chief Legal advisor to the Mayor, council and all departments, offices and agencies, shall represent the City in all legal proceedings and shall perform any other duties prescribed by the City charter or by ordinances.

QUALIFICATIONS: The City attorney shall be an attorney licensed to practice in the courts of Louisiana with at least five (5) year’s experience in the practice of law.

CONTACT: Resume’s may be mailed or dropped off at the City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department, located
at 1400 Sabine Street, or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches, LA 71458-0037.

Resume’s may also be dropped off upstairs at City hall, located at 700 Second St.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through
September 30, 2020

THE CITY OF NATCHITOCHES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.


St. Mary’s shows its appreciation for Mr. Dewey Page

St. Mary’s Catholic School recently presented Mr. Dewey Page with a plaque of appreciation for his 62 years of service as an educator. The last 15 of those have been at St. Mary’s as a geometry teacher. Ray Gandy, at left, and Rhonda Gallien, at right, (both math teachers at St. Mary’s) presented the award to Dewey and his wife Mary.


Golden Jubilee, Long Purple Line rescheduled for 2021

Northwestern State University’s Golden Jubilee event and Long Purple Line Induction Ceremony have both been rescheduled for 2021.

The Golden Jubilee, an event to celebrate the NSU classes of 1970 and 1971, will take place Friday, May 7-Saturday, May 8, 2021. Tickets are $75 per graduate and $60 per addition guest(s). Tickets can be purchased at goldenjubilee2021.eventbrite.com. Event details will be announced as they are determined.

The Long Purple Line Induction Ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The event will honor those who were set to be inducted in the 2020 ceremony, Sujuan Boutte, Harvey Marcus, Tommy Whitehead, John Smith, Ed Orgeron and Jerry Pierce. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at longpurpleline2021.eventbrite.com. Details for the ceremony will be announced as plans are finalized.

Anyone who purchased tickets to Golden Jubilee or Long Purple Line, which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are not able to attend the new dates, should email Danielle Cobb at cobbd@nsula.edu or call (318) 357-5513 to receive a refund for your purchase.


Notice of Death – September 28, 2020

NATCHITOCHES:
Naive Michael Elhage
June 11, 1949 – September 27, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 2 pm at Old Pisgah Baptist Church

Sherwood Lyles
June 24, 1941 – September 28, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Lester Edwin Keeth
October 26, 1946 – September 24, 2020
Service: Tuesday, September 29 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Natalie Wilson
September 25, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Jessie Sawyer
September 24, 2020
Service: Saturday, October 3 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, located at 318 North Street in Natchitoches

Vanilla Hardy
May 11, 1970 – September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Laraja Brianne Nicholas
July 10, 1997 – September 23, 2020
Service: Wednesday, September 30 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, located at 2654 Highway 1226 in Clarence

Willie Baldwin
September 23, 2020
Arrangements TBA


Natchitoches Police investigate shooting on Amanda Street near Simmons Alley

The Natchitoches Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place Monday afternoon on Amanda Street near Simmons Alley.

On September 28, 2020 around 2:50 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 100 block of Amanda Street near Simmons Alley in reference to an individual being shot in the area. While officers were responding to Amanda Street they were notified that the victim was heading to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center in a personal vehicle. Officers at the hospital located the victim who was suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim was transported to a hospital in Caddo Parish.

This investigation is ongoing and the Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

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

John Greely
Public Information Officer
Natchitoches Police Department

Release Date: September 28, 2020


Agenda for September 28 City Council Meeting – LIVE STREAM TONIGHT

The Natchitoches City Council meeting will be open to the public at the next regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. Occupancy for the Council Chamber is limited to 25% or 26 people total. Temperature checks will be given before entering the chamber. Seating markers will be placed on the chairs. Any Citizen that wishes to observe the City Council meeting live may do so at:

https://www.facebook.com/NPJNatLa

If you have any comments that you would like to make on any agenda item, you can email those comments to smcqueary@natchitochesla.gov and they will be read into record. Also, during the meeting if you have any comments on the agenda item being considered, you may call 318-521-1023 and you will be placed on speaker phone to make your comments. You must state your name for the record and you will be limited to 3 minutes for your comments. Please remember that this is not a question and answer session and please speak clearly for the record. Since we are allowing for a public comment period, agenda items will take longer than usual because we will allow 45 seconds between the reading of the item and the vote being taken, for any public comment. For additional questions, please call 318-357-3821.

The City Council meetings will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month and will be reserved to only items on the Agenda. The City Council Meetings are held at the Natchitoches City Council Chambers located at 716 Second Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana.

NATCHITOCHES CITY COUNCIL MEETING

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

5:30 P.M.

A G E N D A

CALL TO ORDER

INVOCATION

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

READING AND APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

SPECIAL GUEST: Mr. Johnny Barnes – Present Awards To Mayor Williams and the City Council.

PROCLAMATIONS:
#062 Petite Proclamation Declaring October 4 Through October 10, 2020 As Fire Prevention Week In The City Of Natchitoches.

PLANNING & ZONING – INTRODUCTION:
#049 Nielsen Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 64 Of 2001 By Changing

Zoning Classification Of Property Described As Follows:

Two Lots Having Front Of 300 Feet On South Side Of Keyser Avenue In Section 57 And Section 58, Township 9 North – Range 7 West, And 1 Shown On Map Slide 252-B As Tract “A” Containing 2.24 Acres And Tract “B” Containing 1.35 Acres Less 0.111 Acre To Highway Department From B-3 Commercial To Additional B-A Zoning To Sell Beverages Of High And Low Alcoholic Content For Consumption On Premise. Doug and Cathy Collins (1011 Keyser Ave., Parkway Cinema)

ORDINANCES – FINAL:
#046 Elie Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For Caustic Soda for the Water Treatment Plant (BID No. 0628)

#047 Harrington Ordinance Amending The 2020-2021 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues And Expenditures.

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:
#050 Smith Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Ronnie Williams, Jr., To Execute A Lease In Favor Of Marc Millican, Of That 21,785.76 Square Foot Area Shown And Depicted As Lot 4 Of The Natchitoches Regional Airport As Shown On The Airport Layout Plan Of April 12, 1994, And Further Providing For Advertising Of The Lease And An Effective Date.

#051 Nielsen Ordinance Amending The 2020-2021 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues And Expenditures.

#052 Petite Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For Phase 3 Street Rehabilitation. (BID NO. 0629)

#053 Elie Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches To Award The Bid For A 35 Ton Detachable Gooseneck Spring Ride Trailer (BID NO. 0630)

#054 Harrington Ordinance Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Ronnie Williams, Jr., To Execute An Amendment To That Lease In Favor Of Air Data Solutions Of A Portion Of Lot 1A Of The Natchitoches Regional Airport As Shown On The Airport Layout Plan Of April 27, 2001, To Provide For An Updated Mailing Address For Tenant.

RESOLUTIONS:
#063 Smith Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Accept And Execute A Grant Agreement From The Federal Aviation Administration For A Project At The Natchitoches Regional Airport (Rehabilitate Airfield Drainage- Phase III Construction)

#064 Nielsen Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Accept And Execute A Grant Agreement From The Federal Aviation Administration For A Project At The Natchitoches Regional Airport (New Perimeter Fence and Repair Existing Fence – Phase II)

#065 Petite Resolution Confirming The Appointment Of Matt Anderson
As The Utility Director For The City Of Natchitoches.

#066 Elie Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Advertise For Bids For The Natchitoches Regional Airport Consisting Of Furnish Mk20a Localizer (Equipment Only) BID NO. 0631

#067 Harrington Resolution Appointing Nicole Gray As Chief Of Staff For The City Of Natchitoches.

REPORTS: Debbie Miley – Financial Report

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The next scheduled City Council meeting will be October 12, 2020.


Parish Council approves tax exemption applications during special called meeting

The Natchitoches Parish Council held a Special Called meeting on Sept. 25 to approve two tax exemption applications for Martco LLC (project Numbers 20190393-ITE and 20180296-ITE).

Martco CEO Roy OMartin III came to the Council’s regular meeting in September to let the Council know that he submitted an appeal to the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry and to ask the Council to reconsider its vote from August and write a letter of support for the tax exemption applications instead. Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio and State Senator for District 31 Louie Bernard came to show their support.

The Council approved both agenda items at the special called meeting. The vote passed with Council members Marty Cheatwood, Larry Paige, and John Salter voting in favor of the items. Patsy Ward Hoover and Jim Kilcoyne were absent.


Riding With a Purpose – The Buffalo Soldiers MC Rides to Natchitoches

Kevin’s Gallery

Our picturesque city has long been a destination for motorcyclists. This Saturday, September 26, a group of bikers came by to enjoy our city and to extend a helping hand to residents who suffered damage from Hurricane Laura. Over 25 members of the Shreveport chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club rode to Natchitoches to present Natchitoches mayor Ronnie Williams with over $3,000.00 for hurricane relief. The funds were raised from the chapter’s members, New Greenwood Baptist Church of Greenwood, LA, Old School Car Club and Don’s Automotive. The club will also be riding to Lake Charles in the near future to assist with cleanup efforts.

In addition to the generous donations, the club made Mayor Williams an honorary Buffalo Soldier and presented him with his “colors” complete with the road name of “Day-Day”. The mayor also got to try out a Harley for size.

The Buffalo Soldiers MC is the largest African-American motorcycle club in the country, if not the world. They boast over 120 chapters throughout the United States and Korea. Many of their members are current and former military, Law Enforcement personnel and members of other professions.

The club was named in honor of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments of the US Army. These segregated units were formed after the Civil War, served our nation on the Western Frontier and charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish American War. The club honors the memory of a group of soldiers whose long, arduous and faithful service to our nation went too long unrecognized.

The Shreveport chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers MC is the oldest one in Louisiana. It was founded in 1999 and chartered in 2000. The club has since grown in popularity in our state, now having chapters in Alexandria, St. Gabriel, Alexandria and Lafayette.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to thank the Shreveport Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club for their generosity. The Journal is donating the event photography. The Buffalo Soldiers are welcome to download any photos they wish with our compliments. This superb group of men and women embody the virtues expressed by the motto of the 9th Cavalry “We Can, We Will” and of the 10th Cavalry “Ready and Forward”.


Pick Up Your Brush painting classes to be offered in October

Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Pick Up Your Brush painting class on Thursday, Oct. 1 and 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. until noon on the second floor of South Hall. The fee is $45 per session.

In the class, participants will learn the art of painting using step-by-step instructions to create a masterpiece. Students will take home a completed painting at the end of every class. Participants will paint a pumpkin abstract on Oct. 1, a moon and tree on Oct. 15 and pumpkins on Oct. 24. No special or prior skills are required. Children ages 7 – 12 years old are allowed to enroll, but a parent must accompany the child the entire class. The parent does not have to enroll unless they participate. All supplies are included. Safe distancing and facial covering are required.

For more information or to register for classes email ece@nsula.edu.


Food Pantry open to serve students

Northwestern State University’s Food Pantry is fully stocked and ready to serve students. Hours for the fall semester are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday with a staff of student and faculty/staff volunteers. The NSU Food Pantry is located on the south side of Trisler Power Plant on NSU’s Central Avenue.

The Pantry received a large donation from Housing personnel this week when staff delivered a truck load of non-perishable food items to the Food Pantry. Director of Housing Stephanie Dyjack recently toured the facility to learn the needs of the students and purchased items with programming funds that were unused in the spring when students left campus. Dyjack shopped for complete meal items, such as ingredients for a soup or a noodle bowl, and things easily prepared in a microwave.

The Food Pantry also stocks personal hygiene items, toiletries and cleaning supplies and is open to all NSU students and BPCC@NSU students.

The NSU Food Pantry was created five years ago as a class project by a group of social work students who recognized that some of their peers were struggling with food insecurity while stretching their money to cover other expenses.

Donations are always welcome. To obtain a list of needed items, donors should contact Director of Student Affairs Reatha Cox at coxr@nsula.edu or Professor of Social Work Dr. Denise Bailey atgarlandd@nsula.edu. Monetary donations are also accepted through the NSU Foundation. Donors can visit http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com and support the NSU Food Pantry in the Make A Gift section and specifying the NSU Food Pantry.

Pictured above: Staff from NSU Housing delivered a truckload of non-perishable food items to the NSU Food Pantry this week. From left are Helen Kassahun, Resident Assistant; Anna McMillon, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; Emme Jones, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; Stephanie Dyjack, Director of Housing; Hunter Horton, Director of Leasing; Ashley Fortenberry, Assistant Director of Residence Life; Natalee Cook, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; Klay Zumwalt, President’s Leadership Program; Rashiqa Abdel-Jabbar, President’s Leadership Program; Abbie Butler, President’s Leadership Program; Grace Gosserand, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society; Jack Wright, Demon Volunteers, and Natalie Mangandi, President’s Leadership Program. The pantry will be open Monday-Friday and staffed by volunteers from several student groups and faculty/staff.