32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches

32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches offers aesthetics, wellness, and pain management services through localized Cryotherapy. The NPJ sat down to learn more about cryotherapy and what it can do for you!

Studio Owner, Suzette, has been in healthcare for over 18 years.

“I have always had a passion for working with people and helping them reach their goals,” she shared. “It makes my heart smile to see their results and progress. When I saw the difference localized CRYOTHERAPY could make in peoples’ lives, I knew immediately that I wanted to offer those services in our area.”

What are the benefits of CRYOTHERAPY?

Helps with recovery and relieves pain. Targeting injured muscle tissue with localized CRYOTHERAPY helps relieve the systemic inflammation of the treatment area.

CRYOTHERAPY helps reduce wrinkles and tighten loose skin in just a few treatments. Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to repair the basal layer in your skin to restore the supply of collagen, elastin, and hydration to regain a smoother, tighter appearance.

CRYOTHERAPY can help lose inches after one treatment, with permanent fat loss. The ice-cold temperatures cause Cryo – Lipolysis or fat cell suicide – safely breaking down the fat cells, which are permanently removed from the body through the lymphatic system.

CRYOTHERAPY increases focus, attention, energy, and mood. CRYO stimulation to your scalp and Vagus nerve will release hormones and neurotransmitters that affect the brain beneficially.

How do I book an appointment?

To book an appointment or schedule a free consultation call 318-228- 3520 or book online at our website: CRYOSTUDIO-LA.COM

Who is not a candidate for CRYOTHERAPY?

Pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.
Blood clotting issues.
Have Cancer or currently receiving treatment / Could be a candidate after 6 months of receiving treatments (We ask that you consult with your Physician)

What is the difference between a CRYOTHERAPY tank ( walk-in ) vs Localized CRYOTHERAPY?

CRYOTHERAPY tanks treat the entire body.
Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to focus on your specific problem areas for a quicker recovery /quicker results.

More bad birds stories sure to please turkey hunters

A year or so ago, Jim Spencer, my good friend and avid, make that obsessed, turkey hunter, put together a book about his encounters with wild turkey gobblers, birds he described as “bad birds.” In fact, that was the name of his first book — Bad Birds.

Realizing that his book that took readers step by step up mountains, through briar thickets and across creeks to chase bad birds only covered part of his experiences, Spencer has assembled his accounts of more brushes with bad birds. His new book, “Bad Birds 2,” is hot off the presses and is available for the perfect Christmas gift for turkey hunters.

Beneath the title on the cover of his new book, Spencer adds…”Another collection of ‘mostly’ true stories starring the gobblers we all love to hate.”

Just who is this guy, Jim Spencer, anyhow? Here’s what a blurb on the back cover of the book says about this turkey fanatic….”Jim Spencer’s name and reputation are well-known in the turkey hunting subculture. A self-described turkey bum, Spencer has written more than a thousand magazine and newspaper features about turkeys and turkey hunting, and now, a third book on the subject. In more than 40 years of being whipped by turkeys, he has hunted them in three countries and 30 states. He and his wife Jill (also a well-known outdoor writer) live in the north Arkansas Ozarks, near Calico Rock.”

The book is beautifully illustrated in photos taken by Spencer, his wife, and renowned wildlife photographer Tes Jolly. The foreword was written by Tes and her husband, Ron Jolly. Here’s what Ron Jolly wrote in the book’s foreword about the kind of turkey man Spencer is.

In describing a hunt in which Spencer was the shooter and Jolly the cameraman shooting a video for television, they had set up on a gobbler and when the gobbler closed the distance and was within shooting range, Spencer never got the signal to shoot before the gobbler walked away.

“When he was gone, Spencer pulled down his mask and grinned at me over his shoulder. ‘You couldn’t see him, could you?’ I shook my head. ‘You should have killed him anyway,’ I said. ‘Naw,’ he said, ‘that wasn’t the deal. You couldn’t get any footage, so I didn’t want to shoot. It’s just a turkey.’”

Giving it their all for two more days to film Spencer taking a gobbler they never had another chance but Jolly added, “Spencer proved to us to be a turkey man.”

Bad Birds 2 contains 40 stories of Spencer’s encounters with tough old birds, some he was able to conquer; some where the gobbler got the best of him. He affixed monikers to each of the bad ones he has met, names like Lazy Bones, Gabby, Sir Edmund, Ringo, Blinky and on and on.

As thrilling and frustrating and fun to read as Spencer’s stories are about the bad birds he has encountered, the book ends soberly with his epilogue where he describes in a manner only he can muster of the problems wild turkeys are facing in today’s world. “Something is happening out there in turkey country, and we need to get a handle on it,” he wrote.

This is a book every turkey hunter should read, for enjoyment, for pleasure and for instructions on what not to do. It’s also one that needs reading for his serious message about the plight of wild turkeys today.

To order your copy in time for Christmas giving, send a check for $26, which includes cost of shipping and handling to Treble Hook Unlimited, P.O. Box 758, Calico Rock, AR 72519.

Contact Glynn at glynnharris37@gmail.com

Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for five burglaries

On November 22, 2022, detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department arrested a juvenile for five burglaries that occurred over the past month at several businesses near I-49.

Detectives assigned to the cases were able to learn that items stolen from the burglaries were inside an apartment in the 500 block of North Street. Investigators made contact with the occupants of the apartment and placed a seventeen year old juvenile under arrest without incident.

The seventeen year old juvenile was charged with five counts of simple burglary.

Detectives also arrested the mother of the juvenile who was charged with improper supervision of a minor.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Shermaria Lewis at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

St. Mary’s quarterback excels in every way 

BE ALL YOU CAN BE: St. Mary’s quarterback Adam Parker uses his team’s and coaches’ confidence in him to achieve on and off the field.

By DWAIN SPILLMAN JR., Journal Sports  

When your head coach has full confidence in your ability, it only feeds fuel to a fire that already burns torridly in an optimum competitor. 

That’s the belief that St. Mary’s coach Aaron York has in his quarterback Adam Parker. 

“We’ve got a shot with (Parker) leading us in every game.” York started as he shared comments on his senior quarterback. “He’s not the biggest kid or has the strongest arm, but Parker finds a way to get it done. And the other kids feed into that and it makes them better. It makes the whole team better.” 

The Tigers have enjoyed one of the best regular seasons in program history in 2022, winning the District 3-1A crown  and earning a first-round playoff bye after bulldozing through the competition and outscoring league opponents 197-28.  

Now 9-1 after rolling past Hanson Memorial last Friday in their playoff opener, the Tigers earned the No. 5 seed in the LHSAA Division IV Select playoff bracket. They play in the state quarterfinals Friday night at Metairie against No. 4 St. Martin’s.

The St. Mary’s signal caller has been a major part of the Tigers’ success story. 

In just nine regular-season games this season, he was often limited to only first-half appearances because of the Tigers’ starters moving to the bench for most of the second halves. After a bye in the opening playoff round, Parker upped his statistical line to completing 127 of his 181 passing attempts for 1,805 yards with 20 touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 180.7.  

He also contributed heavily as a dual threat with 289 rushing yards on 57 carries and finding the end zone an additional 11 times on the run. Parker has accounted for 2,094 yards of total offense.

When not leading the Tiger offense, Parker doubles as a free safety on defense and has 10 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. 

“He’s a competitor,” York continued in his praise of his offensive field general. “It doesn’t matter what he plays or what he does off of the field, he is going to find a way to be the best at it.” 

Parker reflected on his approach to the game of football.  

“I just want to understand the (opponent’s) defense the best that I can in order to exploit them in every way and just win,” he said. “I just want the ball. I’m a little nervous when the game starts but that all goes away and I become completely focused with the first touch.” 

He was also quick to give praise to his teammates and described just how enjoyable this season has been playing alongside trusted colleagues.  

“I believe we are the most complete team we have been in a while,” Parker added. “Our comradery is so high, probably as high as it has been since we have been teammates. We are all on the same page.” 

Parker added the extraordinary attention that coaches have given both him and the team and the impact that has. 

“The coaches prepare us 100 percent for each game. It’s like having a second set of parents out there. We can always go to them, and they discuss things with us and help us where they can.” 

He also expressed immense gratitude for family support as well.  

“It means everything to me just knowing they are there and that they believe in me,” Parker said. “They can truthfully tell me the good and help me correct anything they see as bad. It makes me want to be the best that I can be.” 

Parker also shines off the field. The senior Tiger carries a 4.0 GPA while participating in Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA and the Pro-Life group. He also plays basketball for the Tigers. 

Like most high school athletes, especially those with great talent and superior work ethic, Parker has hopes of playing at the next level. He also expressed that his focus is earning a college degree while gaining a professional career after football.  

His future appears to be bright and successful. Parker just finds a way to be the best at whatever he does and “just gets it done.” 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

Over the river and through the ’hood, complaining away we go

With the Pilgrims held up as our example, we learned early to “be grateful.” 

As they dragged us to various in-laws’ in assorted neighborhoods for turkey and pumpkin pie and secondhand smoke, our parents reminded us that at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 (give or take), the settlers of the New World had it much tougher than we do. They had to eat outside. They didn’t have potatoes over here yet. The yeast rolls didn’t rise. William Bradford forgot to pick up a Marie Callender’s Apple Crumb Cobbler at the store, and the cable went out halfway through the Detroit Lions-Chicago Cardinals football game. 

“And they didn’t even complain,” our parents said. 

“Bet they got drunk then,” I said. 

“No, they most certainly did not!” 

The Pilgrims really WERE tough; I would have complained if there’d been no potatoes. Loud and clear. They could have heard me back over in England.  

But to hear our parents testify, no one 40 years ago ever complained about anything, especially on Thanksgiving. When you are spoiled like I am, that is setting the bar sort of high. But hey, I’m old school too and really not much of a complainer – as long as everything goes right. That’s just me. 

This week, complaining is a given. This week is about the pre-Thanksgiving misgivings about “where we’re going for Thanksgiving.” Do you know where you’re going yet? Or what you’re bringing? Or the order in which you’re going to whomever’s house when? Are we all on the same page? 

It can be dicey. 

“Are we going to grandmama’s?” 

“Not this year. But we’re not sure. We might.” 

“When will we know?” 

“I don’t know. Who are you, Dan Rather? We’ll know when we hear from everybody and decide.” 

“It’s Tuesday.” 

“Then good! Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, as it usually is, that means we don’t have to know yet.” 

“We’re cutting it close.” 

“I’ll show you what cutting it close is, mister!” 

“I was just asking…” 

“Well just quit just asking, mister man. Your grandmother might meet us at Big Aunty’s. We might go there.” 

“Not to Big Aunty’s! Big Aunty can’t cook, momma. Big Aunty won’t have nothing even done until supper. We’ll starve.” 

“She most certainly will have and you most certainly will not starve. I’ll make you a pimento cheese to hold you over. We might just all bring different things.” 

“What do you mean, ‘we all?’ Who all is coming?” 

“Aunt Jean will bring the macaroni and cheese and we’ll bring the bean casserole and…” 

“Momma that means Uncle Lester is coming. He’s a professional smoker. We’ll all smell like something burnt. They’ll be ashes in the macaroni.” 

“No there will not!” 

“There was last year.” 

“You’ll think last year if you don’t shut up! Now I mean it!” 

“Can we just stay home and make hamburgers?” 

“NO! We can be thankful and not complain about gummy rice and ashes in the food and Jello with nuts in it and getting your picture taken. And if I hear one word, ONE MORE WORD….” 

Precious memories. And Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you get where you’re going. 

(Originally ran Nov. 20, 2009) 

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu 

Charlie Brown once said, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything?”

This Thanksgiving I had the distinct pleasure of talking turkey with several of Goldonna’s residents. Each one of them were grateful for different things but they all held one common thread. All of them choose to be grateful and thankful every day of the year and not just on a beautiful fall day that is riddled with delicious food, parades and football games.

Natchitoches Parish School Board Member, Eugene Garner, shared, “Thanksgiving means a lot for my family and grandchildren. I love them so much and enjoy spending time with them. Soon it will be Christmas time and life gets even better! Living with grandchildren is a life-changing experience for and I will always cherish this time.”

Goldonna Assembly of God Pastors, Timmy and Pam Harris said, “Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, stop for a moment and reflect on God’s blessings! Simply take a breath, be quiet for a few moments, bow your heads in humble surrender to the creator and lover of our souls, and just say thank you. The list of things to be thankful for is forever long we all know; but if I had to mention just one it would be, Jesus! Our Savior. John 3:16”.

Linda Dupree- One blessing leads to another. I can most clearly see my blessings in my rear view mirror! Paul tells us to always be grateful. That’s difficult in some areas, but he encourages us to have an attitude of gratitude. It lasts a lifetime. Salvation. Family. Church. Friends. Opportunities for serving and helping.

Goldonna Baptist Church Pastor Ben Dupree- “Ive always liked 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There are blessings everywhere. Once we begin to search for them, even in situations we may deem as unpleasant, we will soon find out that God is far more good than we can ever imagine and certainly more than we deserve. So this Thanksgiving season, I’m thanking God for himself. He’s a God so powerful, he extinguished the sting of sin at the cross but he did so because he couldn’t imagine eternity without you. I can’t limit that Thankfulness to just the 3rd Thursday in November.

River of Life Family Worship Center Pastor George Procell “Thanksgiving is a reminder of how much God has given us. Blessings and hardships. We must be thankful for everything, all year long and not just one day of the year.”

Goldonna Mayor Jennifer Smith – “Every year as we enter the Thanksgiving season, we often find ourselves taking assessment of our lives and what we are most thankful for. One thing that comes to mind is my upbringing. I’m thankful my parents were Godly parents who made it a priority to raise me and my siblings in church. Their dedication to seek God has been a cornerstone of my life.”

Mayor-Elect Gayle Cloud- “I am thankful for my family, my health and the ability to continue an active lifestyle. I am also very thankful that I am still able to keep the store open, and especially for all of my incredible customers.

Don’t forget the following events happening soon!

On Saturday, November 26th at 1:00 the Village will welcome back the Indian Santa who visited last year. Children of all ages are invited to take pictures with Santa and he will have a special gift for everyone that comes to Town Hall.

Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee is still seeking donations and volunteers for the Festival that will take place on Friday, December 9th. Pictures with Santa will take place at 4:00pm until 5:30pm. The parade will begin at 6:00pm with lineup beginning at the School. The fireworks show will start at 8:00. There will be refreshment served. If you have a business who would like to sponsor please reach out to Mayor Smith or one of the councilmen.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may God shine his face upon you.

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

Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Market is coming to Natchitoches on November 26

The Fleur de Lis Christmas Craft Market will celebrate its 17th year in operation on Saturday, Nov. 26 from 9 am – 4:30 pm at the Natchitoches Events Center, located at 750 Second Street in Natchitoches. This event is free and open to the public.

There will be gifts for the whole family, from adults to children. Over 110 vendors from a four-state area will come to Natchitoches to sell their wares.

“The best part is everything offered at our craft market is handmade,” said organizer Cheryl Gianforte.

NPJ not to publish on Thanksgiving

In order for our staff to spend time with friends and family on Thanksgiving, we will not publish tomorrow. We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving as you are able with your loved ones as well.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal will proudly resume publishing on Friday morning at 6:55 a.m.

Make sure to get your news at 6:55 a.m. every day of the week in the fall by subscribing for FREE by clicking HERE.

All NPJ articles are free and always will be free!


A Natchez man incarcerated in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on unrelated charges has been arrested in connection with a series of thefts on Cane River according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.

During the course of a couple of months beginning in September of 2022, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives began investigating several cases of fishing equipment, and gas being stolen from boats and boat houses mostly in the areas of Plantation Point, Natchez and Bermuda communities on Cane River.

Detectives estimated the value of the stolen property to be approximately $20,000.00.

Sheriff Stuart Wright and the Cane River Waterway Commission began networking and established additional patrols on the river in effort to curb criminal activity.

Detectives continued the investigation by talking with theft victims and other residents along Cane River for over 2 months.

Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Operations Bureau who responded to the initial theft calls were briefed frequently on the cases and what to look for if they encountered any of the items while on patrol.

On Tuesday evening, November 15, Detectives got a break in the case, when NPSO Patrol Deputies were following-up on a domestic abuse investigation and suspicious vehicle complaint in the 700 block of La. Hwy 484 south of Natchez.

NATCOM 911 Center received a call from a homeowner in the 700 block of La. Hwy 484, (near the domestic abuse victim) reporting that a black Ford F-150 was parked on their property without any headlights on.

The Ford F-150 then left quickly traveling westbound on La. Hwy 484.

NPSO Deputies intercepted and stopped the vehicle near the intersections of La. Hwy 484 and La. Hwy 493 in the Melrose community.

Deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 25-year-old Hunter Ross of Natchez.

The private property owner wished to pursue trespassing charges.

Ross was placed under arrest without incident.

A local wrecker service was contacted to impound the vehicle.

During an inventory of the vehicle, deputies discovered and seized suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a Mossberg 12-gauge pump action shotgun.

Deputies observed, photographed and documented fishing equipment and other items in plain view in the vehicle.

Ross, was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Aggravated Assault of a Dating Partner with Child Endangerment Law, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony, Possession of CDS Schedule II Narcotics, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Trespassing and Illegal Possession of a Firearm in the Presence of Narcotics.

Detectives were briefed then began to focus on the Cane River thefts.

On November 16, NPSO Detectives obtained a search warrant signed by a 10th Judicial District Judge to search the vehicle (Ford F-150) impounded at a local towing service.

A search of the vehicle led to the seizure and recovery of one Garmin, and two Lowrance fishfinders that were reported stolen in the Cane River thefts, a bag of suspected methamphetamine, syringes and other drug paraphernalia.

Detectives continued the investigation, executing an additional search warrant signed by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge on Ross’s apartment located on La. Hwy 484 south of Natchez.

During a search of the apartment and exterior curtilage, detectives discovered and seized over 55 rod & reels, several tackle boxes containing fishing lures, fishing nets and other fishing equipment all believed to be stolen.

Detectives also observed a pump installed in Ross’s boat believed to be used for the purposes of siphoning gas from other boats parked along the river.

On November 18 at approximately 4:45pm, NPSO Detectives went to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and arrested Ross on the charges of:

(1). 4-Counts of Theft over $5000 but less than $25,000
(2). 1-Count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine

Ross remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center.

Additional charges may be forthcoming as the investigation progresses.

Detectives believe most of the thefts occurred during the late evening and early morning hours.

Sheriff Wright said we are pleased to have cleared several of these thefts on Cane River. The investigation remains ongoing as we sort through some of the evidence and contact potential owners of the recovered property. Our patrol and criminal investigations division did an outstanding job networking and working with each to solve these cases for residents along the river and others that come to fish along our beautiful Cane River”.

If you had any fishing equipment stolen along Cane River and did not report it, contact the case agent.

Bacon & Brie Crescent Wreath

Just in time for the holidays, this can work for any course of any meal.


  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • Cranberry sauce
  • 1 (8 or 12 ounce) wheel of Brie, cut into cubes
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a baking stone unroll crescent rolls, separating each one.  Arrange with the thick end toward the inside in a sunburst pattern.  The base of the triangles should overlap.  Spread cranberry sauce on dough.  Top with bacon and Brie.  Fold triangle tips over and tuck extra dough underneath.  This will make a ring so you have a hole in the middle of the dough.  Whisk eggs and baste over dough.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until done.

Ashley Madden Rowton is a wife, mom and published cookbook author.

Only God: Thoughts of Thanksgiving

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

They can legalize marijuana,
But only God can send the rains required to grow it.

Billionaires can launch space ships to explore new worlds,
But only God can actually create new worlds.

They can take a precious baby’s life.
But only God has the power to give life.

They can make a man look like a woman.
But only God can create a real woman.

They can remove God’s commandments from in front
of court houses. But only God can make sure that
justice is served inside that court house and every other one
in the land.

We can neglect to thank God for his many blessings
and instead turn a day meant for giving thanks to him, into
just another day that’s really all about us. But only God can
give us the blessings that fill our dinner tables and our wallets.
And only he can wake us so that we can enjoy them again the next day.

As our world unwisely continues to rebel against God and his holy word,
It is comforting to remember that God is always in control and that he
blesses in a special way, those who are faithful. Pray that we Christians
will be faithful and obedient to him despite the costs of doing so, and that we
will express sincere thanks not merely on Thanksgiving Day, but the other
364 days of the year as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Laird to return as NSU head coach in 2023

Brad Laird will return as Northwestern State’s head football coach for the 2023 season, according to an announcement Monday by NSU Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian.

The decision was made following a 2022 season in which Northwestern State produced its best Southland Conference record in more than a decade and went into the final week of the season with a chance to win its first conference title since 2004.

Northwestern State started 4-0 in the Southland Conference for the first time since 1988 and posted its best winning percentage in the league since 2004, going 4-2 in six conference games. The 4-2 mark was NSU’s first above-.500 finish in conference play since 2010.

“The progress our team showed throughout the season reinforced to me the program is headed in the right direction,” Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian said. “After meeting with Brad, I am further convinced he is the right person to maintain the momentum built this season. It is clear Brad connects with his players on a personal level and they fought through a tough start to the season because of the level of respect they have for him.”

Through five seasons, Laird is 16-35 after a 4-7 season in 2022. He holds a 15-23 mark in Southland Conference competition.

The Demons made significant coaching staff changes and welcomed 30 newcomers to the program this offseason although offensive coordinator Cody Crill, hired in January, never coached a game at NSU. Crill stepped away from the program less than two weeks ahead of the Sept. 3 season opener at Montana for family reasons.

Following an 0-3 start, the Demons won four of their next six games, putting themselves alone in first place in the Southland entering the final two games of the season.

“A year ago, based partly on outside circumstances, it was prudent for us to extend Brad Laird’s appointment as Northwestern State’s football coach,” NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones said. “The steps the program has taken during the 2022 season proves we made the right decision. Maintaining continuity at the head of the program is important to build on the culture coach Laird has created.”

Laird, a record-setting quarterback at Northwestern State from 1991 through 1995, held the Demons’ all-time passing record for nearly a quarter century before coaching Shelton Eppler to a record-breaking, two-year campaign in 2018-19.

He served as defensive coordinator at NSU three times for a total of eight years and also was associate head coach for three of those seasons before becoming head coach in 2018.

Laird was inducted in 2015 into Northwestern’s N-Club Hall of fame, the highest athletic honor at the university.

Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

The 2022 “Turn on the Lights” Event starts the Season off Properly!

The 2022 Christmas season began in grand style at the “Turn on the Holidays” event Saturday, November 19 in downtown Natchitoches. The downtown riverbank was the place to be for family fun as thousands of visitors enjoyed a free concert from NOLA Dukes and local favorites, the Kelli Roberts Band as well as enjoying a variety of food and snacks from vendors. Visitors also enjoyed shopping and dining along the iconic bricks of Front Street. NSU spirit groups manned the ticket booths.

The evening’s penultimate event was Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles flipping the switch as the audience counted down to zero and lit up Cane River with a myriad of lights. Miss Merry Christmas and the Belles were joined by the Christmas Angels, Miss City of Lights and Miss City of Lights Outstanding Teen. Miss Christmas in the Park from Goldonna also visited. Miss Jesse Foshee is both a Christmas Belle and Miss Cane River Outstanding Teen. The turning on of the lights was followed by one of Natchitoches’ iconic fireworks shows. The fireworks have been an integral part of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival for 86 of the show’s 96 years and are a perennial crowd favorite.

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival is in its 96th year of delivering holiday fun and building family memories. It has grown over the years from a local event into an internationally recognized festival. The Natchitoches Christmas Festival won the 2018 Southeastern Tourism Society’s “Shining Example Award” as a top twenty festival of the year. The Natchitoches Christmas Lights are the oldest, and in the Natchitoches Parish Journal’s opinion, far and away the finest, component of the multi-city “Trail of Lights” that stretches across central and northern Louisiana.

With thousands of lights, fireworks, concerts and the festival day’s events, there is nothing quite like the Christmas season in Natchitoches!

Fun and Fitness Under the Lights-The 3rd Annual “Light the Way Fun Run & 5K Race”

There was an abundance of holiday spirit at the downtown riverbank as runners in some truly inventive-and well lit-costumes came together for the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce’s third Light the Way 5K and Fun Run Sunday, November 20. Natchitoches’ incredible Christmas lights provided a unique backdrop as over 250 runners brought some additional holiday spirit to downtown for an evening race under the lights. Athletes and coaches from Northwestern State University’s celeritous Track and Field program once again volunteered to assist with administering the race. A local fitness studio led the runners in a warm-up routine and area businesses dispensed much needed hot chocolate.

The race was more than a chance to have fun in a unique holiday atmosphere. The event was held to raise funds for the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce’s initiatives such as the A+ Coalition, dedicated to improving the educational opportunities afforded our area’s children, Leadership Natchitoches and Natchitoches Young Professionals.


FAUNA (Friends All United for Natchitoches Animals) is the official non-profit merger of the Natchitoches Humane Society and Natchitoches Hope for Paws.  Together as one, we will continue being the voice for all abused and neglected animals in our parish who need medical treatment, shelter, and adoptive homes.  Beginning in 2023, we will also start working on a major capital campaign to build a new animal adoption center for Natchitoches Parish within the next four years.

In the meantime, we have wonderful dogs who are being housed at our two rescue sites and facilities.  Some will be transported to rescue organizations in northern states, many are available for adoption right now, and some are under veterinary care for heartworm treatment.  All are a joy to be around, and they need us. Our regular NSU student workers are going home for the holidays, and we have an immediate need for volunteers.


Volunteer during the holiday season at one of our locations

  • The best way to help is to walk the dogs, play ball with them, and give them attention. It is good for them and good for you.
  • You can volunteer for feeding time, sometimes chaotic but always rewarding.
  • You can clean kennels. We called it grunt work once, but in unison, our dogs yelled, “Au contraire! Kennel cleaners are heroes.”
  • For those of you with a huge heart and a soft spot, consider fostering a dog during the holidays. For you, it is a couple of days with a canine house guest. For them, it is a couple of the best days of their lives.
  • Choose your schedule. You can volunteer for a couple of hours or half a day for as many days as you want. We welcome you, and our four-legged friends welcome you whenever you can visit us.
  • Make it a family affair. Anyone under 18 must have their parents onsite with them. Have a fun family outing while you model giving back and community involvement for your children.

This is a terrific opportunity to be of service and work off those holiday calories.

Kick off the holiday spirit of giving by helping these amazing dogs. Call or text Carla Salard at 318-663-1042 for information and to find available dates that are open to help. Thank you!



QUALIFICATIONS: Pre-K Teacher Certification according to State Department of Education

SALARY: According to NPSB schedule


DEADLINE: Friday, December 9, 2022 4:00 p.m.

WHERE TO APPLY: Linda G. Page, Director of Personnel
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
Phone: (318) 352-2358

APPLICATION WEBSITE: http://www.npsb.la

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a letter of application, resume’, official transcript(s) from institutions awarding degrees, a copy of Louisiana Teacher’s Certificate and two letters of reference.


St. Mary’s rocks Hanson Memorial in playoff shutout, logs first postseason win since 2017

St. Mary’s receiver Ethan Busby accounting for 223 receiving yards and three touchdowns as he powered the Tigers’ offense in a 45-0 second-round playoff win Friday against Hanson Memorial at NSU’s Turpin Stadium.


NATCHITOCHES – The defense bent — a little, but never broke.

That gave the No. 5 St. Mary’s offense time to methodically dismantle No. 12 Hanson Memorial as the Tigers were triumphant, 45-0, in Friday’s second round of the LHSAA’s Division IV Select playoffs.

Coming up with brawny stands on multiple fourth-down situations as Hanson drove deep into St. Mary’s territory along with a key interception by Tiger defensive back Mixon Bankston to end any thought of a momentum change were key factors in the shutout victory.

“Our defense was unbelievable,” St. Mary’s coach Aaron York said. “They gave us a shutout against that bunch, and that bunch is really good. Hanson Memorial ran the ball extremely well, but we made plays when we needed to on defense. I thought we played very physical, and that got us through the game.”

Senior linebacker Logan Watson said a relatively young St. Mary’s defense built trust in each other, starting back in the summer.

“Our defense is actually young overall, but we work together and trust each other,” senior linebacker Logan Watson said of the stand against the visitors. “We have been building that trust since the summer, and we just keep rolling from there. People just keep doubting us, but we want to keep proving them wrong.”

The St. Mary’s defensive unit held Hanson Memorial to just 164 yards of total offense.

The defensive stands gave way to a deluge of St. Mary’s offensive success after SMS was able to muster a 3-0 lead via a Payne Williams 36-yard yard field goal on the first possession.

A 30-yard touchdown run by senior running back Joe Metoyer followed by a pair of aerial connections of 84 yards and 31 yards between quarterback Adam Parker and receiver Ethan Busby pushed that lead to 24-0 at the half. Busby, who had a career night, collected five receptions for 223 yards and three scores.

“We have been waiting for this for the last two years,” Busby said of his teams advance to the quarterfinals. “It’s just great to get our first playoff win in the last few years.”

The playoff win was St. Mary’s first since 2017 when the Tigers pushed to the quarterfinals.

Busby was quick to give gratitude to his quarterback and the offensive line for the production he recorded.

“My quarterback has been my best friend my whole life,” Busby said. “We just have that connection, and we trust one another. The O Line has stepped up the last few weeks and protected him, giving Adam the opportunity to get us the ball. We just have been able to make plays from there.”

Parker added a 4-yard scoring run before he connected again with Busby on a 68-yard strike to push the lead to 38-0 after three quarters. Metoyer capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with an additional 8-yard scamper to the endzone.

Parker was 11-19 through the air for 296 yards and three touchdowns while Metoyer recorded 97 rushing yards and two scores on 14 attempts. Drake Griffin added 61 yards on the ground on five attempts.

The Tigers racked up 475 yards of total offense against Hanson. Griffin led the Tiger defenders with 8.5 tackles while collecting two sacks. Watson and teammate Braylon Normand added six stops each on the night.

Hanson Memorial coach Ryan Stoute was extremely complimentary of St. Mary’s following the defeat.

“We had high hopes,” Stoute said. “I knew we would have to play well, and we just didn’t. St. Mary’s is a very good ball club and what they do, they do very well. They extend plays. We did the best we could to prepare for that but it’s just hard when some plays go for 10 seconds or more. Our kids competed, and it was a good clean game. They have a quality program and that number 4 (Griffin) is just outstanding.”

St. Mary’s moves to the quarterfinal round and will travel to No. 4 St. Martin’s Episcopal the Friday after Thanksgiving.

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

Last dance for Demons today at home could be historic

TITLE AT STAKE: William Hooper (7) and Race Moser (49) hope to celebrate plenty of pass breakups today at Turpin Stadium. (File photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)


NATCHITOCHES — There will be no playoffs for the Northwestern State football team.

But in the Demons’ final game of 2022 today at 1 o’clock in Turpin Stadium, there’s a chance – a slim one, but a chance – to share the Southland Conference championship.

With a massive upset of No. 5/7 Incarnate Word, NSU can claim a share of its first Southland title since 2004. It’s the first time since then the Demons have taken the field on the final playing date within a win of a conference title.

The game will serve as both Senior Day — with the Demons honoring 16 seniors in a pregame ceremony – and Military Appreciation Day.

The game will air on ESPN+ with free streaming audio available through www.NSUDemons.com.

“We have an opportunity to play for a co-conference championship,” fifth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “That is a credit to these players and coaches. We sat there after Week 3, trying to determine what is this team going to be about? Those players and coaches really flipped the switch and made a difference in what this team is going to be known for and what opportunities still lay ahead for this team.”

NSU’s fourth nationally-ranked opponent of the season is standing in the way of the Demons (4-6, 4-1) sharing the league title with Southeastern, which clinched a share of the title with a Thursday night victory at Nicholls.

SLU will get the Southland’s automatic playoff berth because it’s the only team to defeat UIW, and NSU. Whoever wins today’s matchup will be conference co-champions. UIW will surely receive an at-large playoff berth based on its dominant showing this fall.

The Cardinals (9-1, 4-1) bring the FCS’ top scoring team (51.6 ppg) and the top scoring margin in Division I (31.3 points) into Natchitoches.

“They’re a talented team, a disciplined team,” said sixth-year senior defensive end Isaiah Longino, who will play his final game as a Demon. “We have our work cut out for us, but everyone knows what’s on the line, what we’re playing for. We have to put it together. There’s no other choice. We’re down for the challenge. We accept it.”

The Demons have upset the Cardinals in two of their last three meetings, both times in San Antonio in high-scoring contests.

While the Cardinals score and score fast, the Demons’ Purple Swarm defense has shown the ability to fix itself in the course of a game throughout the season.

NSU enters the matchup having pitched back-to-back, second-half shutouts at Texas A&M-Commerce and Southeastern. The Demons also blanked Grambling and Eastern Illinois in the second half of matchups earlier in the year.

“It hasn’t always been about adjustments,” Laird said. “We’ve done our job better compared to just adjusting at halftime. This week will be important, as well, to start fast and get things going early. Adversity is going to hit. Sometimes it hits early. Sometimes it hits late. We have to take that adversity and switch it to momentum.”

The possibility of collecting the Demons’ fifth overall SLC football championship is a driving force for a team that has spent the previous 10 weeks learning how to play as one.

“Sticking together, not going down each other’s throats,” wide receiver Zach Patterson said of what has been behind the Demons’ turnaround after an 0-3 start. “At the beginning of the season, we wanted to point fingers. We had to come together as a team, not single one person out for not doing this or that. We had to come together.”

Because of that developing chemistry, the Demons have a chance to send 16 seniors out with a championship ring.

“I feel like I’ve been able to see the whole changing of the culture,” said Longino, a sixth-year senior who has been part of the program since the summer of 2017. “The last few years have not been the way we wanted. When I first came in, we had just come off a 1-10 season. My class had a lot of true freshmen who played. We were the ones trying to change things, shift things, bring discipline, bring intensity to practice.

“It’s only going to get better. To say I’ve seen the culture change completely as far as where we started – teammates not caring about each other to now being one full team and putting it all together for this – I’m happy to say I was part of the process.”