The first day of Sheriff Victor Jones’ retirement was yesterday, July 1. Jones has 43 years of experience serving and protecting the residents of Natchitoches Parish.
When Jones announced his decision to not seek re-election, he stated, “It has been the most rewarding career I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful to my fellow deputies through the years and the current team in the Sheriff’s Office who work tirelessly to serve the citizens of our parish.”
The buzz surrounding Mr. Stinky is still going strong. Following the magnificent bloom of Northwestern State University’s resident corpse flower, botanists, plant enthusiasts and the curious were still contacting biology faculty about the plant. Dr. Michael Scanlan’s timelapse video of Stinky’s flowering, which began June 19 and matured about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, June 26 was viewed and shared by thousands. By Tuesday, the giant purple bloom was gone.
Professor Millard Mangrum has continued to field requests for interviews and information about the plant, whose scientific name is amorphophallus titanium or titan arum. The rare giant tropical plant is native to Sumatra, Indonesia, and only flowers every eight or 10 years. As it blooms, titan arum gives off a powerful foul odor politely described by Mangrum as “decaying proteins,” hence the common name corpse plant. Mr. Stinky lived up to the species’ reputation during its full bloom early Saturday morning.
Mangrum estimated that more than 500 people viewed the plant Friday but couldn’t be sure of the number that came Saturday because so many returned throughout the day, often bringing friends.
Mangrum acquired the plant’s corm, similar to a bulb, in 2012. After years of being carefully nurtured by him and colleagues Corbin Covher and John Byrd, the plant affectionately known as Mr. Stinky grew to an astonishing 10-foot height with a large leafy canopy. This year, after dying back to the corm, Stinky developed a spike that indicated a bloom was imminent.
Mr. Stinky’s caregivers watched carefully as the spike grew 6-10 inches every day and expected the bloom late last week. Friday afternoon, it began unfurling its large single purple petal as a crowd gathered to witness the rare spectacle.
Mr. Stinky’s media exposure extended to the botany faculty at California State University-Stanislaus, where they are awaiting the imminent bloom of their own corpse plant. One professor emailed Mangrum to inquire about collecting pollen from Mr. Stinky’s bloom.
“Our arum is going to open in a day or two and we were hoping to pollinate it with non-self pollen,” wrote Dr. Stuart Wooley, professor or botany at Stan State. “We’d be willing to send you some seeds, if we can get some successful seed set. Your lily was the only one we could find that was even close to the right stage.”
On Tuesday, June 30, as Stinky was collapsing, Mangrum and Byrd attempted to collect some of the genetic material, without success.
“It’s too late and we can’t isolate any of the pollen,” Mangrum said.
As the flower dies down, a sprout will be exposed that may or may not grow immediately into a foliage stem, Mangrum explained. There is also a secondary sprout that appeared prior to Stinky’s bloom that faculty speculate might be grow into another bloom.
“The other sprout may form a flower. We have been offered pollen from Southern Cal if it is a flower. There may be some seeds, but you need pollen from another flower to do the job. If all goes according to plan the vegetative state will soon appear to replenish the corm with energy for it to continue. Thus the life of Arum,” Mangrum said.
Since the arrival of Covid-19, the school systems in Louisiana have been hard at work ensuring students and faculty stay safe and healthy. As we look ahead, it is our utmost priority to address unfinished learning from the 2019-2020 school season. The Louisiana Department of Education has enacted the Strong Start 2020 plan to create a foundation for continuous learning in 2020-2021.
In order to adhere to the requirements set in place by the state, we as a district, are working diligently to finalize a solid plan for what the upcoming school year will look like. If a traditional start is not advisable by the state, we will be proposing a hybrid schedule for the 2020-2021 school season. Because Phase 2 only allows for 50% capacity in classrooms, we have decided the safest solution would be to split the school population in half.
NPSB school officials are asking the community to offer input on the new hybrid schedule for the 2020-2021 school season. We are encouraging parents, teachers, faculty and community members to fill out the survey below in order to help us gain insight to what would be the best choice if Natchitoches Schools went to a modified schedule in August. The survey is not a final vote on plans for the next school year and will only be used as a gauge to see what parents and students would be most comfortable with.
We will be accepting responses for the next few weeks. We are committed to the safety and success of our students and appreciate the support and participation of all parents, students, teachers and staff.
How can you enjoy July 4th in Natchitoches and still maintain social distancing?
Kayaking\Stand Up Paddleboards – Bring your own or rent from Cane River Paddle & Pedal.
Riverboat Tours – Cane River Queen offering tours every 2 hours.
Picnic on the Riverbank – Enjoy a bite to eat from one of our restaurants or food vendors.
Carriage Rides – Cane River Carriage Company will be offering rides throughout the day.
Shop in one of our local owned retail stores.
Various restaurants will be offering outdoor dining options and live entertainment.
How can you enjoy the fireworks on July 4th?
From your personal vehicle parked along various streets either on the East or West side of the River to include Front Street and the Downtown side streets. Please note road closures listed below. Socially distanced on the Riverbank.
**Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th overlooking Cane River Lake.***
In preparation for the fireworks show, the Church Street Bridge will close to all traffic, including pedestrians and motorists, at 8:30 p.m. In addition, Williams Avenue from Whitfield to Henry Avenue will also close at 8:30 p.m. The roadway and bridge will reopen after the fireworks show is completed and the fire marshal has given the all clear.
The City of Natchitoches encourages all attendees to practice social distancing and safe hand sanitizing practices.
This event is sponsored by the City of Natchitoches and the Historic District Development Commission. KTBS Channel 3 will be broadcasting live from the downtown riverbank beginning at 6:00 p.m. in conjunction with their annual Freedom Fest which will take place in multiple cities around the Ark-La-Tex this year.
For more information, please call the Natchitoches Main Street Office at (318) 357-3822.
June 30, 2020 — Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC) will hold a virtual graduation ceremony broadcast via social media platforms at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30.
School officials had hoped to be able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony; yet with Phase Two measures continuing due to COVID-19, the decision was made to have a virtual ceremony. “The large venues that we were looking at were not able to host it due to COVID-19 precautions, and we don’t want to delay it any longer,” explained William Tulak, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Tulak said the college will still include all of the traditional elements of the school’s graduation ceremony, including featuring a keynote address. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser is scheduled to deliver the commencement address.
“We will still have the traditional commencement remarks, and we will recognize the graduates individually announcing each graduate’s name,” Tulak said. “The only difference is we will be doing it virtually.”
As the graduates won’t be there to receive their diplomas, Tulak said they will be able to come by the campus office the following week to receive their diploma.
For more information, contact the school via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-278-9855.
After COVID-19 forced its postponement, the “Triple B Invitational” Golf Tournament supporting the Northwestern State football program has been rescheduled for Aug. 15.
The tournament begins at 12 p.m. with a shotgun start at Northwestern Hills Golf Course. Registration begins at 11 a.m. four each four-person team. COVID-19 safeguards will be in place and participants are encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing until they begin playing the course.
The rescheduled event now will coincide with the Demons’ first scheduled scrimmage of fall camp, which is set for earlier that morning. There also will be a cookout that will allow NSU football players to meet donors who gave to the “ALL IN” fundraiser, which lent financial assistance to NSU for its summer school program.
Sponsorships and spots remain open for the tournament at five levels: Hall of Fame ($1,000), All-American ($450), All-Conference ($400), Scholarship Player ($125) and Walk-On ($100). All fees include free food and drinks and there will be awards presented afterward. For more information about the golf tournament please visit www.nsudemons.com/tripleb.
The tournament will be coupled with an online silent auction that will include trips and autographed memorabilia from Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes among its offerings. To participate in the silent auction, go to ww.nsudemons.com/footballauction. For those who do not want to participate in the auction but would like to assist the Demon program, donations also will be accepted through the web site as well. All proceeds from the tournament and the auction directly benefit the Northwestern State football program.
Photo: Head coach Brad Laird smiles during the third practice of spring football in February. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services
Seven hundred and sixty-one students were named to the Spring 2020 President’s List at Northwestern State University. Students on the list earned a grade point average of 4.0. For questions about the honor lists, contact the University Registrar at (318) 357-6171, toll-free at (800) 807-8849.
Those named to the President’s List listed by hometown are as follows.
Bossier City – Christian Baker, Jayde Barnett, Makenzie Chaffin, Kendall Corkern, Catherine Dean, Hannah Gates, Javin Hatter, Savanna Head, Nicholas Hopkins, Michaela Jenkins, Shytrinity Jett, Mary Jones, Chelsea Laverdiere, Rebecca Markle, Arielle Martignetti, Autumn Parish, Jami Rivers, Jalyn Robertson, Madeline Saucedo, Bonnie Singletary, Hope Spaw, Tori Spraggins, Karissa Thacker, Kortney Toellner, Giselle Trejo, Sarah Varnado, Kaitlyn Walker, Mia Ware, DeAnndrea White, Courtney Wilson, Eric Zheng;
Boyce – Dylan Frazier, Martha Hopewell, Paige Mcfarland, Jodie Martin, Hannah Miller, Kionna Mitchell, Miranda Perry, Madison Smith;
Campti – Alyssa Breaud, Morgan Etheredge;
Cheneyville – Kenneshia Roy;
Converse – Nicolas Farmer;
Coushatta – Kaylee Antilley, Elizabeth Cummins, Mary James, Erikka Johnson, Sidney Jones, Carmie Williams, Charli Williams;
Florien – Kaitlyn Foshee, Terry Foshee, Jacob Oxley, Abby Parker, Noah Parker, Dylan Roberts, Nicholas Slaydon, Presley Stewart;
Forest Hill — Maritza Srisawang;
Fort Polk — Courtney Armstead, Jenna Caswell, Elizabeth Flores, Stephanie Garcia, Nerishlyan Gotay Ramos, Amy Killough, LeAnne Kimray, Hillary Kitchen, Blaise Nkengafac, Julia Ward, TeKweena Wilson, Christian Wood;
On a warm day in July, John Adams lay in his bed at his home in Quincy, Massachusetts. The aged former president had been unable to leave his bed for several days. The unmistakable sound of cannons firing in the distance got his attention. It was a sound he remembered all too well. His thoughts raced back to the events of the American Revolution. Following the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, it was he, then a 34-year-old Boston attorney, who successfully defended the British troops against charges of murder. None of the other local attorneys would take on the case for fear of reprisals. In the trial, Adams proved that an angry mob had provoked and attacked the British soldiers. The soldiers had acted in self-defense.
Although Adams had defended the British troops in the Boston Massacre trial, he spoke out and fought constantly against what he, and many others, considered unfair taxation and unjust attacks by the British Parliament. As a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses, he argued aggressively against Parliament’s ultimate control over the colonies. He was one of the first people in Congress to argue for total separation from Great Britain.
Adams’s thoughts raced back to his old friend, Thomas Jefferson. While Adams argued for total separation in Congress, Jefferson watched, absorbed everything, but said nothing. Adams had never heard Jefferson speak more than a word or two in Congress, and that was usually a simple aye or nay during a vote. Adams and Jefferson developed a friendship over the issue of independence. Before the Congress declared independence, Adams formed a committee to draft a formal Declaration of Independence. Reluctant at first, Jefferson completed a draft of the Declaration which the committee edited into the document’s final form. On July 2, 1776, Congress approved the Declaration. Adams predicted the second day of July would be celebrated annually throughout the country. Congress approved the Declaration on July 2, but officially declared independence two days later, which is why we celebrate independence on the fourth of July and not the second of July.
The war raged on until October 19, 1781, when the British General, Lord Cornwallis, surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia. America had won its independence. Adams, Jefferson, and the other founding fathers spent the next eight years developing America’s system of government. Adams and Jefferson had spent years as envoys in separate countries trying to garner support against the British, and, once the war was over, as ambassadors of the new country.
Adams and Jefferson wrote letters to each other frequently and spoke highly of their friendship in letters to others. In a letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote that Adams “is so amiable, that I pronounce you will love him if ever you become acquainted with him.” Adams expressed his affection for Jefferson in a letter to him in which he wrote “intimate correspondence with you…is one of the most agreeable events in my life.” Their friendship grew stronger when Jefferson arrived in England on diplomatic business. Adams was currently serving as an ambassador to Great Britain. Adams and Jefferson toured several English gardens and visited William Shakespeare’s home. Adams recorded in his notes that they chipped off a piece of Shakespeare’s chair “according to the custom.”
In 1789, the presidential electors cast their votes for the first President of the United States. The candidate who received the most votes became president and the candidate who received the second most votes became vice-president, a system that seems foreign to us today. George Washington won by a landslide followed by Adams. George Washington served two terms as president with Adams as his vice-president. All the while, Adams and Jefferson remained friends.
George Washington’s announcement that he would not accept a third term as president created a power struggle in Congress. The members of Congress broke off into factions, the Federalists and the Republicans. The Federalists chose Adams as their candidate and the Republicans chose Jefferson. Adams, who had argued and played a large part in convincing the Congress to vote for independence, and Jefferson, who had drafted the Declaration of Independence, were on opposite sides. When the electors tallied the votes, Adams won the election by just three votes. Adams became president and Jefferson became vice-president, the only time in American history where the president and vice-president were from opposing political parties.
Adams and Jefferson were often at odds over policy but remained friends. Adams served just one term as president. He lost his reelection bid to his old friend, Jefferson. Before he left office, Adams made several last-minute political appointments who were Jefferson’s political rivals. Due to the appointments, Adams and Jefferson stopped corresponding altogether.
Jefferson served two terms as president and retired to his home, Monticello, in 1809. For eight years, the old friends had had no direction communication. They only heard about each other through friends. In 1811, Jefferson learned through mutual friends that Adams had said, “I always loved Jefferson, and still love him.” With this simple statement, Adams and Jefferson renewed their friendship with another series of letters which continued for the rest of their lives.
Upon hearing the cannons firing again, Adams was jolted back to the events of the moment. He inquired as to the reason for the firing cannons. Someone at his bedside answered that they were firing cannons in celebration of independence from Great Britain. It was the fourth of July. “It is a great and glorious day,” Adams replied. Newspapers reported that “he never spake more.” At around 6:00 p.m., John Adams passed away. Some historians have claimed that when Adams realized that death would soon take him, he uttered the phrase, “Jefferson survives.” Unbeknownst to Adams, Jefferson had died five hours earlier. John Adams, the man who convinced Congress to declare independence, and Thomas Jefferson, the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence, both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, … the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Sources: John Adams, “Notes on a Tour of English Country Seats, &c., with Thomas Jefferson,” April 4-10, 1786, in L.H. Butterfield et al., eds., Diary and Autobiography of John Adams (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1961), 3:185. Jefferson to Madison, January 30, 1787, in PTJ, 11:96. Adams to Jefferson, March 1, 1787, in PTJ, 11:190. Jefferson to Rush, December 5, 1811, in PTJ:RS, 4:313, 4:314n. The National Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), July 10, 1826, p.2.
The Cane River Commissary has turned into Natchitoches Parish’s hidden gem. Opening in September of 2017, The Commissary quickly earned a spot in the hearts of people of Central Louisiana and its visitors. The building has a long, rich history that precedes owners Ricky and Sylvia LaCour deciding to open a restaurant nearly three years ago. According to the National Park Service, The Commissary was first a school. Natchitoches natives may remember that it was later reopened as a store by the Lambre family who owned the cotton gin next door.
When you visit The Commissary for the first time you’ll notice the buzz of friendly conversation echoing off of its historic walls, the neon signs lighting up the bar, and some of the friendliest smiles welcoming you in. If these things don’t hook you, the menu definitely will. The Commissary offers a mix of family recipes and innovative specials all thrown in with classics like jambalaya and poboys. So maybe you’re a light eater? Don’t worry. They have a variety of specialty beverages endearingly named the Rickarita, the Cane River Iced Tea and the Rougaroo amongst others.
Like many other mom and pop restaurants across the state right now, The Commissary is learning how to operate according to the new normal. They are striving to provide the experience their customers have grown accustomed to while keeping their staff and patrons safe. All employees are wearing masks, they are using disposable menus to stop the spread of germs from customer to customer, available tables are staggered to enforce social distancing, additional outdoor dining tables are available, all tables are thoroughly sanitized after each party leaves, delivery through the EZ Street app is being offered and much more.
But until the dust settles, one of their fan favorites is on hold. The restaurant welcomed customers to breakfast, live music and dancing at The Commissary’s Zydeco Breakfast before the pandemic. Patrons could enjoy bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, a fresh meal and cut a rug the first Saturday of every month. In the meantime, The Commissary is taking care to maintain other traditions. Sundays are for specials like catfish Atchafalaya and chicken fried steak. Tuesdays are for tacos, Wednesdays for wine, and everyday there is happy hour from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
The next time you and your family want a taste of something special, take the short trip outside of the city limits to The Commissary. You won’t regret it.
Mayor Lee Posey would like to congratulate the 2020 graduates of Natchitoches Parish for their hard work and dedication in completing their secondary education. No one could have predicted when you started your academic career 12 years ago that this is how you would close this chapter of your life.
I hope many of you have taken the time to reflect on your academic career during this time remembering the educators who played a role in your success in where you are today, reflecting on your achievements throughout the years, and truly appreciating all you have accomplished on this journey in life.
While nothing could have prepared you for graduating during a pandemic, I hope you all have realized how strong and resilient you are as the world changes and do not let those changes limit your future success.
Mayor Lee Posey, the Natchitoches City Council and the City of Natchitoches employees wish our graduates all the best in their future endeavors as each school hosts their respective graduation ceremonies in the following weeks.
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC Because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low. Scammers view these as ripe conditions to strike. They’ll stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information. That includes pretending to be a government official from the Federal Trade Commission to gain your trust.
We just heard about an email going around from someone claiming to be from the FTC. This scam email says you’ll get money from a COVID-19 “Global Empowerment Fund.” All you need to do, it says, is respond with your bank account information and they’ll transfer the funds. But that’s a scam. There’s no money and there’s no fund. And it’s not from the FTC. If you get a message like this, don’t respond. Instead, report it to the real FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
The FTC will never contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media to ask for your financial information. (Or your Social Security number.) Anyone who does is a scammer, phishing for your information.
If you’re getting an economic stimulus payment, that money will come from the Internal Revenue Service.