Driver education class to be held March 2-6

Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a driver education class starting on March 2-6. The registration deadline is Feb. 20.

The class will be held in South Hall on Northwestern State’s Natchitoches campus.

The course will include 30 hours of classroom instruction with a minimum of eight hours of driving. The driving schedule will be set once the class begins. Those who enroll must be at least 15 years old on or before June 2. Proof of age must be provided. A mandatory parent meeting will be held on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.

Call (800) 376-2422 or (318) 357-6355.
More Information:

Ponderings with Doug – February 15, 2019

Currently, I have a laptop where it belongs. I am composing this wonderful tome for you sitting in my recliner. To the right of the keyboard is a numeric keypad. I rarely use the calculator function. It seems I only use the numbers for my passwords. Next to my laptop on the arm of the chair is iPhone. Of course on the table next to the iPhone is the remote for the TV. Actually, I have a laptop, cell phone, and an iPad all within reach. I think for Lent I need to give up being connected or maybe go on a digital diet. That is a hint to the Methodists that Lent is in sight. What are you going to “give up” for Lent? Maybe you will give up giving up.

Do you remember when phones were attached to the wall, had chords, and rotary dials? If you had to make the rare long-distance phone call, it took quite a while with that rotary dial phone. Yes, I do remember party lines. A party line was a vast treasure trove of information for the community, not that anyone ever listened in to a party line call.

Cell phones are everywhere now. You can’t escape them. It seems they are always going off in church, at weddings, and even at funerals. Yes, we are all secretly laughing at that dumb ring tone you have set as your default for your phone. There are some things that can’t be unheard over the hushed crowd at the funeral. Once a cell phone went off at during the wedding ceremony. I think it was a groomsman that set it up. The music playing was “Another One Bites the Dust.”

I am looking at the numbers on my phone. One, two and three are across the top line of the phone. On the computer keypad one, two, and three are across the bottom. I have noticed this same phenomenon at ATM’s and gas pump numeric pads. I’m wondering why. Why can’t all the numeric keypads have the same arrangement? I have pondered this question before with no satisfactory answer.

Whoever is in charge of numbers, could you get together so there will be only one pattern on these number pads? It is very confusing to those of us who use both.

As a minister people often ask me “why?” I will tell you that ministers mostly can’t answer “why” questions. Those questions should be directed to management. I am in customer service. We minister types are pretty good at answering “how” questions.

If you are dealing with some “why” event in your life, I invite you to church we can talk about “how” you can live through your “why.”

BOM Welcomes Brittany Robinson

BOM would like to welcome Brittany Robinson to its family. She is a native of Natchitoches, and she graduated from Natchitoches Central High School in 2006. Brittany is married to Terrance Robinson and they have two children: Terrance Jr. and Breauna. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family, making arts and crafts and reading a good book.

Lions Club learns about Legacy Cafe

Dallas Russell, executive director for the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, recently spoke to the Natchitoches Lions Club recently about one of its components: The Legacy Café.

The Legacy Café, located at 400 MLK Drive, Suite J, will offer a made from scratch menu with locally sourced ingredients when available. Breakfast will include quiche, muffins, scones and specialty coffee drinks. Lunch will offer soups, salads and sandwiches. Café hours will be Monday-Friday 7am – 2pm. The café will be the hands-on training environment for participants in the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program.

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center will utilize a social enterprise structure to serve the community with a Youth Workforce Development Program, Legacy Café, Teaching Farm & Green Market and a Shared Community Kitchen/Business Incubator.

Founded by Claire Prymus in honor of her late uncle, the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a commitment to building community and providing access and opportunities for residents in Natchitoches.


Parish President Rick Nowlin has announced that the Parish Government offices, along with the Parish landfill, will be closed on Monday, February 18, 2019 in observance of Presidents’ Day. Parish-wide bin sites and compactor stations will be open for regular business hours. In addition, the regularly scheduled Parish Council meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, February 25 at 5:30p.m. in the Council Room of the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse. For any questions about Parish closures, contact the Parish Government offices at 318.352.2714.

Notice of Death – February 14, 2019


John Clark
April 7, 1950 – February 14, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Sharon LaCaze
August 3, 1970 – February 14, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Evelyn Marie Mitchell Lee
September 24, 1937 – February 11, 2019
Visitation: Friday, February 15 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 16 T 2 PM at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Rocky Mount Cemetery in Robeline

Willie Beard
February 10, 2019
Service: Saturday, February 16 at 2 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: St. Paul Baptist Church Cemetery

Connie Ruth Burton-Lincoln
February 8, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, February 16 from 10-11 am at the First Baptist Church, located at 1116 Amulet Street in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 16 at 11 am at the First Baptist Church
Interment: Jackson Square Cemetery

Frances Armstrong McKenzie
February 7, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, February 16 from 9-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, February 16 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: St. Savior Baptist Church (Cane River) Cemetery

This is My Story

By Reba Phelps

It is completely unfathomable that one year ago this very Valentine’s Day I began writing this column. At the urging of friends and relatives I followed my passion and began the journey of writing for the Natchitoches Parish Journal.

I remember being so concerned thinking I may fail at this new venture. I recall the uncertainty and the possibility of running out of things to say. There was a deep fear that no one would read it or even relate to what I was writing about.

I spent countless hours researching blogs and what made them successful. Some bloggers post daily and others less often. I knew without a doubt that I did not have an interesting enough life to post something every day. Some blogs are blogs with a financial purpose. They are peddling products or targeting a certain audience.

Although I wasn’t pitching a product I certainly had an audience in mind that I wanted to reach.

The audience I had in mind was imperfect just like me. They were flawed with many mistakes under their belts. They were faulty by design. They came from broken homes. Their kids made bad grades and have never seen an honor roll. They have scars from bad marriages. They forgot to pay their kid’s lunch bill. (Why don’t they offer bank draft for this? I will have to check on that!)

My target market burned the family supper last night and had to eat cereal. It was even the full- sugar cereal not the healthy whole wheat version.
Once this audience was hand selected what did I need to share with them?
They are normal. They are forgiven. They are loved. They were made in God’s image and likeness. They are cherished by a King. You don’t have to be perfect all of the time. When you have nothing else you have hope. The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. You win every time you choose love over bitterness or anger.

Sharing my stories with you this past year has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I have heard from so many different people, all walks of life, and they all say the same thing. “I really needed to read this today.”
This is my story and thank you for being a part of it.

“And now these there remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

Bag checks set for Feb. 20 matchup against LSU

The bag check policy enacted in the fall for Northwestern State athletics events will be enforced at the highly anticipated Feb. 20 baseball home opener against LSU.

All bags will be checked at both points of entry to Brown-Stroud Field. For a full list of prohibited or allowable items visit Foldable chairs and blankets will be allowed into the stadium, which is expected to see one of its highest-attended games in school history.

A smattering of general attendance tickets also remain available for the game.

The $15 tickets are for lawn/bleacher seating at Brown Stroud Field for the matchup between the Demons and Tigers (bleacher seating will be limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Once filled, the ticket can be used on the lawn).

Northwestern State students with a valid student ID must come by the ticket office, located in the NSU Athletics Field House, and pick up their ticket by Friday.

A small number of season tickets for the new chairback seats are available for $125 and cover the entire 30-game home schedule.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Northwestern State Athletics Ticket Office at 318-357-4268 or visit

Only attendees with a VIP pass – and members of the NSU Baseball Cooking Club — will be allowed to bring in outside food and beverages, and no dogs will be permitted in the stadium with the exception of service animals.

Photo Credit: Erik Williams/Southland Conference

Get tax, legal, and financial solutions with the Long Tax Advisory Group

Running a business is extremely demanding, and there just isn’t enough time in the day to keep all the plates from spinning out of control. The Long Tax Advisory Group helps business owners and retirees cut their taxes and keep more money in their pockets through proactive strategies that go beyond just getting your taxes done.

When’s the last time your tax person called you up with an idea to save you $1,000 or more? When is the last time your tax person, financial advisor, and attorney all got together to look over your information? For most people, the answer to these questions is: never.

“There’s nobody else in town that does what we do,” said Jimmy D. Long Jr., J.D. “We’ve got a passion for solving financial problems for people so they can sleep at night.”

With over 30 years experience an attorney and tax planning expert Jimmy provides integrated tax, legal, and financial solutions, all wrapped up and backed by his carefully cultivated network of professionals. He serves Natchitoches and its surrounding parishes.

Services include business owner or retiree tax reduction planning, tax free retirement plans for anyone, strategic business coaching, cost segregation studies, asset protection, executive benefit planning, and much more.

The traditional way of saving for retirement has changed a lot. Most people set up retirement plans for the environment as it existed at that point in time. Considering increased life expectancy, there are strategies that can lower taxes and give you more social security benefits.

Under the current tax law, if a married couple has an adjusted gross income of more than $44,000 per year, then at that level their social security begins to be taxed. Depending on how much over $44,000 their income is, up to 85% of their social security is taxable. Most people have no idea!

The biggest culprit that causes this tax trap is the complete lack of any tax planning, income distribution planning, and ultimately, long-term care planning for your IRA.

Now it’s in your control to fix it! The money in your IRA has never been taxed. All this time it’s been growing. When you draw it out, it’s all taxable (the contribution amount and the amount it’s grown). You have to pay tax on the interest and all the principle and the government gets the first big juicy bite.

That’s where the Long Tax Advisory Group can help. Call for a free consultation.

“Whether it’s sophisticated or simple, there’s lots of reasons to come see us,” said Long. “Let’s make next year different. Give me a call and get started today.”
Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday 8 am – 12 pm and 1-5 pm
Friday 8 am – 12 pm

Another winner in the High-Low Cash Contest on 95.9 Kix Country

Donna knew the correct amount and won the Kix High-Low Cash Contest on 95.9 Kix Country

“We’ll do it all again each weekday morning with a new game and a new jackpot” said Trini Triggs.  Weekday mornings starting at 8:35 am – Trini & Melissa will take calls from listeners who think they know what the exact amount in the jackpot is – if they are correct, they WIN the cash!

The first caller to correctly guess the High-Low amount will win the jackpot. For your chance to WIN the cast…. Just Listen to 95.9 Kix Country.   The Kix Line to play:  318-379-4838.

“The Sound of History” Exhibit at NSU’s Cammie G. Henry Research Center

By Kevin Shannahan

The Cammie G. Henry Research Center, located on the 3rd floor of NSU’s Watson Library, hosted an opening reception for its new historical exhibit “The Sound of History” on Wednesday, Feb 13th. The exhibit features sheet music, hymnals and song books drawn from the archive’s extensive and eclectic collection. The music dates from the 1830’s to the 1940’s. In addition to the songs, which were the popular entertainment of their day, Christian sacred music is also featured. The exhibit also displays sacred music drawn from Natchitoches’ once sizable Jewish population.

Assistant Archivist Sharon Wolff, who in addition to her archival duties, is an accomplished violinist, was joined by her brother Scott in a violin duet of several pieces from the exhibit. Scott Wolff is an Air Force officer stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base and took the opportunity to come down and join his sister in bringing some of the music on display to life.

The exhibit is one of several that have been staged throughout the past year with more coming up next semester. The Cammie G. Henry Research Center is truly one of the hidden gems of Natchitoches. The center is open 8-5:00 Monday through Thursday and 8-noon on Friday.

Closure of East Third Street Intersection for Concrete Pavement Replacement

The City of Natchitoches advises the public, beginning tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 14 the intersection of Stephens Avenue at East Third Street will be closed to all traffic for removal and replacement of the existing failed concrete pavement.

Weather permitting, it is anticipated that this work will be completed within approximately one week.

During this closure, traffic may detour around the work site via the adjacent network of City streets. When traveling near the work zone, motorists are advised to exercise caution and to observe all warning signs and flagger instructions.

For questions relative to this temporary closure, please call the Mayor’s office at (318) 352-2772.


A joint investigation by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s High Tech Crime Unit and Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has led to the arrest of a Natchitoches man on Child Pornography charges according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began on January 22, 2019 when the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office contacted NPSO High Tech Crime Unit Detectives reporting internet crimes involving the illegal possession of child pornography images.

Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and High Tech Crime Unit secured search warrants to search the residence of William Jay Schultz located in the 7100 block of La. Hwy 6 West, vehicle and undisclosed locations for forensic and physical evidence involved in the investigation.

Detectives seized four images of child pornography.

As a result of the investigation, detectives arrested:

William “Bill” Jay Schultz, 66, of the 7100 block of La. Hwy 6-West, Natchitoches, La. was arrested on February 8th, transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 4-counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

Schultz was released on a $20,000 set by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge signed by a licensed professional bond on February 11 pending his court appearance.

Detectives ask that if you have any information to please contact Detective Amber Shirley or Lt. Carey Etheredge of the NPSO High Tech Crime Unit at 357-7830.