Opportunity: NPSB District Coordinator of Maintenance

POSITION: District Coordinator of Maintenance Department

QUALIFICATIONS:
• High School Diploma (college degree preferred)
• Experience managing teams (general contractor experience preferred)
• Knowledge of plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC and construction blue prints
• Experience in purchasing of construction materials and supplies
• Basic knowledge of operating computer software
• Experience with maintaining vendor relations and processing invoices
• Additional criteria as the Director of Business Affairs may establish

SALARY: According to Natchitoches Parish Salary Schedule

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: 12 months

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

DEADLINE: Thursday, May 20, 2021; 4:00 p.m.

APPLICATIONS: Application packet should consist of a resume’, transcripts or diploma, and a letter of reference from former or present employer.


HMT students awarded scholarships for Spring, Summer, Fall 2021

Northwestern State University’s Hospitality Management and Tourism program announced several student scholarship recipients for the Spring, Summer and Fall 2021 semesters.

Rayne Skelton of Many and Travon Jones of Cullen were selected for Columns Café Scholarships for the Spring 2021 semester. The $500 awards are funded by proceeds from Columns Café and Bistro to Go, which provide experiential learning and supplementary culinary funds for equipment and activities.

Julie Nelson of Boyce was awarded the $1,000 Mary Leigh Gallaspy Scholarship funds for Spring 2021 and the $500 Dixie Nell Gallaspy Scholarship for Fall 2021, dedicated to HMT majors only. Two other students, Katie Briggs of Keithville and Lilly Roach of Bryan, Arkansas, were awarded Dixie Nell Gallaspy Scholarships in the amount of $500 each for Spring 2021.

Mary Leigh Gallaspy funds were awarded in the amount of $1,000 each to students who plan to take classes during the Summer 2021 semester. They are Skelton, Justin Mundy of Pineville, Andrew Pitari of Metairie, Meredith Phelps of Natchitoches, Kierra Linden of Morse, Cameron Cherry of Ball, Morgan Slaughter of Natchez and Cree Roark of Olla. Cherry will also receive the Marlene McKinney Allen Scholarship ($200) for Spring 2021.

For 2021, Linden and Peyton Spurgeon of Pineville received funding from Louisiana Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. This is the second time Spurgeon has been awarded a scholarship from LRAEF.

Three students have been nominated to receive dedicated funds from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. They are Faith Burke of New Orleans, earning $2,000 for two semesters, Pitari, earning $1,500 for fall only as he will graduate in December, and Linden, receiving $2,000 for two semesters. Linden and Pitari also received $2,000 for the current academic year.

Peyton Spurgeon of Pineville, Kierra Linden of Morse and Andrew Pitari of Metairie were awarded scholarships from the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation for the Fall 2021 semester. Linden and Faith Burke of New Orleans will receive funding from the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation for the next academic year.

Spurgeon, Linden and Angela Wilson of Hahnville were also named LRAEF Scholars, an award presented in partnership with Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers for students who intend to pursue a career in the restaurant, foodservice, tourism or hospitality industry.

Pictured: Several students from NSU’s hospitality management and tourism program earned scholarships for the spring, summer and fall semesters. On the front row from left are Rayne Skelton, Andrew Pitari and Cameron Cherry. On the middle row are Cree Roark, Julie Nelson, Meredith Phelps and Morgan Slaughter. On the back row are Chef John Carriere, professor; Landon Amberg, professor; Valerie Salter, professor, and Kierra Linden.


Remember This: Carolyn’s First recipe

By Brad Dison

During World War II, allied forces used naval mines, self-contained underwater explosives, to destroy enemy ships and submarines. Sailors armed and deposited the mines in key areas where enemy ship traffic, especially German submarines known as U-boats, was likely. The slightest nudge ignited the mines. Sharks became an issue in the allied forces’ naval mining operation. Naturally curious, sharks frequently swam up to the naval mines for a closer look. In trying to determine what the mines were, sharks often bumped into the mines which triggered the mines and led to explosions. The military was not as much concerned for the welfare of the sharks as they were for the loss of the mines. Naval mining operations were time consuming, tedious, dangerous, and expensive. They needed some way to repel sharks from the mines.

Soon after the United States entered World War II, Carolyn McWilliams felt drawn to the war effort. She said later in life that “Everybody that I knew was in the Army or the Navy or down in Washington, so that’s where I went.” Carolyn tried to join the Women’s Army Corps (WACS) and the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), but was rejected by both because, they claimed, she was too tall. Carolyn stood 6’2” tall. Undeterred and eager to do her part, Carolyn volunteered to work in the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Carolyn was just one of 4,500 other women who worked for the OSS. She worked as a file secretary and typed up thousands of names on small note cards for a system which was used to keep track of officers’ locations in the era before computers. Carolyn was well-educated and ambitious. Within a short time, she was transferred to the Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, a top-secret experimental research project.

One of Carolyn’s tasks within the OSS was more suited to a chemist than someone whose previous work was as a file secretary. Carolyn’s job was to develop a chemical shark repellent. Her superiors hoped that in addition to keeping sharks away from naval mines, downed pilots in the ocean could use a shark deterrent to stave off shark attacks while they awaited rescue.

Sharks have a heightened sense of smell, hundreds of times more powerful than a human’s. They have the ability to detect trace amounts of various compounds in millions of gallons of water. During her experiments, Carolyn learned that sharks avoided dead sharks. With this information, Carolyn set out to develop a recipe which smelled like a dead shark.

Carolyn was pampered in an upper-class household. Her father graduated from Princeton University and became wealthy in the real estate business. Her mother was an heiress to a paper company. Her grandfather was a lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Carolyn had no experience with recipes or cooking because the family had hired cooks. Undeterred, Carolyn eagerly accepted the challenge.

Carolyn tried various combinations of putrid-smelling recipes, many of which attracted sharks rather than repelled them. Finally, after numerous attempts, she found one which showed a slight repellence. Carolyn’s recipe was a mixture of copper acetate and black dye made into a cake. Although the CIA eventually released Carolyn’s dead shark cake recipe, its use during World War II remains classified. Some sources claim that Carolyn’s shark repellent “was a critical tool during WWII, and was coated on explosives that were targeting German U-boats.”

Carolyn learned that the OSS was planning to send people overseas. She had always wanted to travel and pushed for overseas duty. In 1944, the OSS transferred Carolyn to Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka, and Kunming, China, where she worked as Chief of the OSS Registry. The Registry served all American intelligence branches, and Carolyn, who had the highest security clearance due to her position, knew every top-secret message that passed into and out of her office.

While abroad, Carolyn met another OSS officer who was well-educated, well-traveled, and loved fine French cuisine. Carolyn and Paul fell in love. In September of 1946, just over a year after the allied victory in World War II, Carolyn and Paul married. With the war over, Carolyn returned to civilian life while Paul continued to work in intelligence. In 1948, Paul was assigned to the U.S. Information Agency in France. Carolyn had always wanted to visit France, but, being the driven person she was, she needed a task, a purpose. She enrolled in one of France’s most prestigious cooking schools, Le Cordon Bleu. Up until this point, the only significant recipe she had experimented with was her shark repellent cakes.

In 1951, Carolyn graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. For most people, graduating from such a prominent school would have been enough. Carolyn, however, knew that there was more that she wanted to learn. She studied under several master chefs in France and continued to experiment in the culinary arts. In that same year, she began working with two authors on a French cookbook for Americans. Ten years later, the trio finally found a publisher who was interested in publishing their 726-page Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book was a best-seller and is still in print.

The book was the first leap in Carolyn’s culinary career. Carolyn became a syndicated author, wrote numerous books which were designed to teach Americans how to cook French cuisine, and became the most widely seen cooking host on television from the 1960s until the 1990s. It is difficult to imagine that Carolyn’s culinary career began during World War II with a recipe for shark repellent. Rather than repel, her recipes have attracted the attention of millions of people around the world. Back in 1948, Julia Carolyn McWilliams married Paul Child, and became Julia Child.

Sources:
1. News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida), July 10, 2015, p.A13.
2. Naval Aviation Training Division Guide, Shark Sense, March, 1944.
3. “Julia Child Helped Develop Shark Repellant During World War Ii,” the National World War II Museum of New Orleans, accessed April 30, 2021, nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/julia-child-shark-repellant-world-war-ii#:~:text=The%20recipe%20of%20Child’s%20and,to%20deter%20sharks%20from%20attacking.
4. “Julia Child: Cooking up Spy Ops for Oss,” Central Intelligence Agency, accessed April 30, 2021, cia.gov/stories/story/julia-child-cooking-up-spy-ops-for-oss/.


Massive New Taxes Will Cripple Economic Growth

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

Crushing new taxes on job creators, along with workers staying home because they make more money not working, are harming our very productive economy.

President Reagan once stated, “I believe the best social program is a job.” That simple truth remains, and the Biden Administration would be wise to heed it.

The $2 trillion Biden plan will directly reduce wages, eliminate jobs, and restrict economic growth while decreasing private market investment, ultimately causing the U.S. to become less competitive. Why is that?

Because, among several other reasons, the proposal will increase the tax burden on entrepreneurs who create the very jobs a strong economy needs by raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent. Biden also plans to raise the long-term capital gains tax rate from its current 23.8% to a whopping 43.4%. (Note, the top capital gains tax rate for Chinese investors is only 20%. Yes, that means the U.S. will be punishing investors more than Communist China).

The corporate tax rate is damaging enough but that, unfortunately, is not all the Biden plan does. Among other things, it will also add a new minimum 15% tax on “book income” (income corporations publicly report on their financial statements to shareholders), increase taxes on multinational corporations based in the U.S., and undermine and weaken American competitiveness through a new international agreement between high-tax countries. (Heritage.org). It will also continue hammering the fossil-fuel industry, this time with targeted tax increases. (Recall on his first day in office Pres. Biden revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and also froze new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and the issuance of new drilling permits).

What does all of this mean? In the simplest terms, if our federal (or state) government too heavily taxes economic activity we will have less economic activity. Taxes create a disincentive to provide or produce goods or services. For this reason, the power to tax is also the power to destroy. (Chief Justice John Marshall). Along these same lines we should also note that one of the most critical elements of job and business creation is the presence of individuals who are willing to take a risk—often a significant financial risk—that their business will succeed. The way you entice these individuals to do that is with affordable financial capital (start-up/investment dollars) to buy the equipment, lease or buy the space and/or location, and hire the people they will need to launch their business. If they cannot afford to borrow this start-up capital the business—and those jobs—will never be created.

Although we never seem to learn it, the lesson never changes when the government dramatically increases spending and significantly raises taxes the result is less economic growth, fewer jobs, and lower wages. Always. And, given that we are still recovering from government mandated Covid shutdowns the last thing we need to do is impose huge new taxes.

Taken together, these plans and the vast new taxes they include serve to put a drag on our increasingly vibrant post-Covid economy. I am hopeful that Congress will reject such harmful tax increases and instead focus on a concrete pro-growth agenda that keeps all taxes low—and job creators and job creation thriving in our economy.


Natchitoches Police investigate fatal crash on Keyser Avenue

On May 8, 2021 around 12:45 a.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department were dispatched to the 300 block of Keyser Avenue in reference to a fatal crash involving a pedestrian.

The initial investigation by Natchitoches Police Department revealed that a 2007 Ford Explorer, driven by Juan Chavez, was travelling westbound on Keyser Avenue. At the same time, Brenda Knight, was crossing Keyser Avenue and was struck by the Ford Explorer.

Brenda Knight was transported to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased as a result of her injuries.

Routine toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for the analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or have any additional information in regards to this crash contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.


Northwestern State’s Delafield, Jones, St. Clair reel in Southland All-Conference recognition

By Bud Denega, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

The Southland Conference announced its All-Conference teams Monday. A trio of Northwestern State players were honored.

Junior E.C. Delafield led the way, garnering first-team All-Conference at the utility position. She did it all for the Lady Demons, both in the circle and at the plate.

Delafield owned a team-best 1.99 ERA in 109 innings pitched. She held a 10-4 record with nine complete games and 90 strikeouts.

Delafield also laid claim to the second-highest batting average on the team at .315. That came equipped with eight doubles, two home runs and 20 RBIs.

Northwestern State had a pair of third-team selections. Junior second baseman Cayla Jones and senior outfielder Kaitlyn St. Clair were honored.

This marks Jones’ third time being named all-conference. She came on strong toward the end of the regular season, finishing with a .309 batting average, seven doubles, one triple, four homers and 24 RBIs.

St. Clair reeled in all-conference recognition for the first time in her career. She batted .306 with five doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs.

The No. 4-seeded Lady Demons open Southland Conference play Tuesday against the winner between No. 5-seeded Southeastern Louisiana and No. 8-seeded Abilene Christian.

Photo: NSU Athletics


Notice of Death – May 11, 2021

NATCHITOCHES:
Brenda Gail Rachal Knight
December 01, 1963 – May 08, 2021
Service: Tuesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Christian Worship Center, located at 1513 Hwy. 494 in Natchitoches

Taylor Madison Weaver
April 2, 2002-May 9, 2021
Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at the funeral home.
Service: Friday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at Rockett Funeral Home, Ringgold.
Cemetery: Hathorn Cemetery, Ashland, Louisiana.

Spencer Castleberry
August 27, 1972 – May 10, 2021
Service: Wednesday, May 12 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Todd Moore
August 31, 1962 – May 10, 2021
Service: Thursday, May 13 at 10 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Robert Hall, Sr
November 7, 1936 – May 4, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Clyde Ray Jackson
October 19, 1951 – May 7, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Willie Carr
May 23, 1945 – May 07, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Phillip Lloyd Gillis
March 13, 1968 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 1-5 pm at the home of Ryan and Bekah French Home, located at 1615 Williams Ave. in Natchitoches

Ruben Sawyer
September 13, 1959 – May 04, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Jo Ann Richards
March 11, 1957 – May 8, 2021
Service: Friday, May 14 at 10 am at Hornbeck Full Gospel Church

Martha C. Foshee
January 19, 1929 – May 9, 2021

Service: Thursday, May 13 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel


City Council holds brief meeting Monday night

The Natchitoches City Council met on May 10, 2021 for a brief meeting. Agenda items were as follows:

ORDINANCES – FINAL:

Adopt The Millage Rate For The Tax Year 2021.
Adopt The Budget For The City Of Natchitoches For The Fiscal Year June 1, 2021 Through May 31, 2022.
Authorize A Franchise In Favor Of Cane River Paddle & Pedal Sports, L.L.C. To Operate A Rental Boat Business Within The City Limits Of The City Of Natchitoches, Confirming The Term Of The Franchise, Conditions, And Considerations For Said Franchise And Authorizing The Mayor To Execute The Said Franchise Agreement On Behalf Of The City Providing For Advertising, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.
Provide For The Incurring Of Debt And Issuance Of Sales Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2021 Of The City Of Natchitoches

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION:
Declare Certain Buildings Unsafe And Recommending That Same Be Demolished Or Put Into Repair To Comply With The Building Code, Authorizing Notice To Be Served, Fixing Hearing Date And Appointing Curator To Represent Absentees. Properties include 1332 Berry Avenue, 722 Sabine Alley Street, 815 and 827 Jordan Street, 709 Kerry Street, 1538 Berry Avenue, and 312 Sanford Street.

Amend The 2020-2021 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues and Expenditures.
Declare Movable Property To Be Surplus And Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Natchitoches, Louisiana, To Convey Said Movable Surplus Property To Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District No. 10 Of Natchitoches Parish, Whose Functions Include Public Safety; Providing For Advertising, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.

Provide For Affirming Zoning And If Necessary Rezoning Certain Premises As B-A Or B-Sob, And Further To Amend Sections Ii, ( C ) (4) And Ii, ( C ) (5) Of Appendix B – Zoning Regulations Of The Code Of Ordinances, Entitled B-A Districts And B-Sob Districts, To Provide For An Exception To Provision That Requires Termination Of Certain Zoning When Business Discontinues For A Time Period, Providing For Advertising, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.

Approve That Instrument Titled Cooperative Endeavor Agreement Between The City Of Natchitoches And Commcare Management Corporation, Which Agreement Provides For Cost Sharing For The Installation Of Utility Infrastructure, Including Electric, Water And Sanitary Sewer, Which Improvements Will Serve The Proposed Nursing Home Facility At 781 Louisiana Highway 494, As Well As Provide For Upgrades To The Existing Infrastructure And Accommodate Future Development In The Area

RESOLUTIONS:
Authorize The City To Participate In The LaMATS Administered Cooperative Purchasing Joint Commission (LACPC) And To Appoint Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr., As Commission Representative
Re-Appoint Henry Kinberger and Johnny Broussard as Members Of The Natchitoches Fire And Police Civil Service Board.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, May 24, 2021


NPSB to hold Cloutierville Town Hall Meeting

The Natchitoches Parish School Board is holding a Town Hall Meeting in Cloutierville on Tuesday, May 11 at 6 pm at the Grace Baptist Church located at 15926 Hwy 1, Cloutierville, Louisiana.

They will be discussing the consolidation of District 6, 8 and 10 into a new District 1. They are also proposing a new high school that would serve the Provencal, Marthaville and Cloutierville areas.

Input from the public is encouraged to attend to provide feedback on the consolidation as well as the high school.


Entire St. Mary’s baseball lineup collects all-district honors

There wasn’t a weak link in the lineup for the St. Mary’s High School baseball team this season.

District 3-1A coaches agreed. Everybody in the Tigers’ lineup earned all-district honors.

St. Mary’s posted a run-rule victory in every district contest and that was reflected in the all-district voting. Senior pitcher and first baseman Patrick Vienne was the obvious choice as the District Most Valuable Player, and Brooks McMinn was the clear-cut pick as Coach of the Year.

The Tigers finished 29-8, with a non-district resume that included wins over Class 4A St. Thomas More and Franklin Parish, a series win at another 4A toughie, Northwood of Shreveport, a triumph over 3A Westlake, and a win over 2A Many.

Vienne, already signed to play at national junior college power LSU-Eunice, was 9-2 on the mound with a 2.78 earned run average while striking out 106 hitters in 61 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .474 with 14 doubles, three triples and nine home runs.

The senior has been selected to play in the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star Game, which includes Class of 2021 players from teams in all classifications.

The Tigers’ other senior, Noah Heard, headed the rest of their all-district selections. Two other freshmen outfielders, Ben Bienvenu and Ethan Busby, made the squad.

Junior Graeme Fidelak, at shortstop, was joined by freshmen Nathan Slaughter (third base), Mixon Bankston (second base), Drake Griffin (catcher) and Payne Williams (utility, as a first baseman and pitcher), and Vienne (utility, pitcher and first baseman).

“I was very, very proud of these kids,” said McMinn. “You look at our lineup and six of our nine starters are freshmen. Those boys have only had playoff experience in one football game. But they stood tall in our two playoff series, two three-game series, with a lot of pressure with every pitch. They had to grow up a lot in some pretty intense playoff games, and I think that will help us going forward as they play football, basketball and come back for baseball.”

St. Mary’s earned the fourth seed in the Division IV playoffs and came within one inning of advancing through the quarterfinals to the state tournament, after Catholic-Pointe Coupee pushed across the decisive runs in the seventh and final inning of the third game in the quarterfinal playoff series last Friday night.


NPSO: TEXAS FELON ARRESTED ON DRUG AND GUN CHARGES DURING I-49 TRAFFIC STOP; INFANT IN VEHICLE

NATCHITOCHES-A Marshall, Texas felon was arrested on drug and gun charges following a traffic stop on Interstate-49 in Natchitoches Parish on Saturday afternoon according to Sheriff Stuart Wright.

On Saturday afternoon at approximately 3:15pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division stopped a 2019 Ford Escape on I-49 just north of Natchitoches for Speeding 98 miles per hour in a posted 75 mph speed zone.

Deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 24-year-old Trevian D. Leary of Marshall, Texas.

Deputies say while speaking with Leary, they smelled a strong marijuana smoke odor as he replied he did not have a driver’s license”.

A female and a 10-month old infant were passengers in the vehicle.

A LSP/NCIC Drivers License/Criminal History Background Check revealed that Leary was wanted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for Parole Violation.

Leary was convicted of a felony narcotics offense in Texas in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years probation.

Deputies asked Leary if he had been smoking marijuana in which he replied approximately one hour earlier in Texas.
Leary was placed under arrest on the outstanding Texas Probation Warrant after it was confirmed by NATCOM 911 operators with Texas authorities.

Trooper John Axsom assigned to LSP Troop-E arrived on scene to assist.

During a search of a diaper bag on the rear seat near the infant, deputies seized a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, approximately 32-grams of suspected marijuana, weighing scales , a partially burned suspected marijuana joint and other drug paraphernalia.

Deputies say when they asked Leary, a felon, where did he get the firearm from, he replied “off the streets”.

Trevian D. Leary, 24, of Marshall, Texas was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Texas Warrant for Parole Violation, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm in the Presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony, Illegal Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in the Presence of a Person under the age of 17, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Leary remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention awaiting bond on Natchitoches Parish charges then extradition to the State of Texas.

The female and infant were released at the scene.

The couple was traveling from the Marshall area to Natchitoches.

Deputy S. Axsom made the arrest assisted by Trooper J. Axsom.

Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents are assisting.


NPSO, LSP AND RPSO INVOLVED IN 75-MILE PURSUIT ON SUNDAY MORNING; METAIRIE MAN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

NATCHITOCHES-A vehicle clocked speeding on I-49 north of Powhatan by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies on Sunday morning eventually led to a 75-mile pursuit involving the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police and arrest of a Metairie man on several traffic, criminal and wanted person charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

It all began on Sunday morning May 9 at approximately 9:15am, when a Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies clocked a gray 2010 Acura passenger car traveling southbound on I-49 north of the Powhatan exit, speeding 88 miles per hour in a posted 75 mph speed zone.

The deputy attempted to overtake the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop, but the vehicle accelerated and created distance between he and the deputy.

The deputy contacted other deputies around the Natchitoches area to BOLO for the vehicle.

Shortly thereafter additional deputies spotted the vehicle near Natchitoches. The vehicle continued southbound at a high rate of speed. Deputies lost sight of the vehicle south of Natchitoches but NATCOM 911 Center received multiple calls from motorists that the vehicle had taken the Waterwell Road #132 exit then went back northbound on I-49 towards Natchitoches.

Deputies continued to patrol the area, then spotted the vehicle traveling southbound on the I-49 on-ramp at Natchitoches.

Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle again, although the vehicle failed to stop reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour including passing other motorists on the shoulder.

The pursuit continued southbound into Rapides Parish where Louisiana State Police and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Deputies joined in the pursuit.

As the pursuit continued through Rapides Parish, the violator avoided tire deflation devices deployed by LSP near Alexandria.

Multiple units continued the pursuit into south Rapides Parish where the suspect was eventually boxed in near milepost# 60, stopped and taken into custody after crashing into a Rapides unit.

There were no injuries.

Kevin I. Williams, 39, of the 2400 block of Caswell Lane, Metairie, La. was placed under arrest and later transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Speeding, 2-counts of Aggravated Flight from an Officer, 2-counts of Careless and Reckless Operation, 2-counts of Child Desertion, St. Tammany Parish Warrant for Issuing Worthless Checks and New Orleans Warrant for Home Improvement Fraud.

Williams, two daughters, ages: 10 and 11 were in the vehicle. The juveniles were transported to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and later released to a relative.

Additional charges are pending in Rapides Parish.

Williams remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

Sheriff Stuart Wright expresses his thanks to Louisiana State Police and the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office for their professionalism and assistance during Sunday’s pursuit that led to the apprehension and arrest of Williams.


BRIDGE CLOSURE: Grand Ecore Bridge

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that on Saturday, May 15, 2021 and Sunday, May 16, 2021, the Grand Ecore Bridge over the Red River on LA 6 in Natchitoches Parish will be closed.

This closure is scheduled to take place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, and is necessary to allow for a topographical survey to be conducted.

This bridge is located 2.3 miles north of the LA 6 at LA 6 Business (Washington Street) intersection north of the Natchitoches city limits.

Alternate route: There will be no marked detour. Alternative Red River crossings are located at Coushatta to the north of Natchitoches and Boyce to the south of Natchitoches. Motorists are advised to plan their trips accordingly.

Restrictions/Permits: Total bridge closure. All vehicles must detour.

This work will be performed WEATHER PERMITTING.

Safety reminder:

DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution through the construction site and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Area residents should exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking near an active construction zone.

Additional information:

Visit http://www.511la.org or download the Louisiana 511 mobile app for additional information. Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website at wwwsp.dotd.la.gov, by selecting MyDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.


Natchitoches Native: Neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes

Dr. Julian Bailes

Louisiana native and world renowned neurosurgeon and traumatic brain injury expert, Dr. Julian Bailes joins Billy West Live. Dr. Bailes discusses how his team of Doctors in Chicago managed conducting brain surgery during the Covid Pandemic and his opinions of the Covid Pandemic in general.

Billy West Live Profile

 

Billy West has been a practicing attorney in Louisiana for 32 years with an active practice in all areas of civil and criminal law.

Mr. West has been recognized as a distinguished Alumni of Louisiana State University and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Mainstay Independence Bowl. Mr. West has hosted sports related radio shows for years in Louisiana and has been a frequent color commentator for High School and Collegiate radio and television broadcasts.

Billy West has long been involved in Louisiana politics and has been an acute observer of the political landscape that has drastically changed in Louisiana and the United State of America from the late 1970s to the present date. The Billy West Live Podcast will inform, entertain, promote debate and potentially anger the listeners. Billy West will have present, former and potentially future elected officials join the show to talk about issues. Billy West Live will cover topics related to politics, sports, science and general information of interest to Louisianian’s, southerners and all Americans. Archive and link the Billy West Live Podcast to stay informed and be entertained.


West Central Louisiana Team shares information about Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child’s West Central Louisiana Team enjoyed a productive day at Clara Springs Farm and Family Day. Resources, materials, appropriate craft items and inappropriate items were shared with many people. Questions were answered about Operation Christmas Child and information was shared. The importance of packing a shoebox and sending to third world countries was emphasized. It is much more than a child receiving a gift for the very first time but the importance of sharing the gospel.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child call Pansy Morgan at 471-7160. Pictured are Jack and Brenda Ingram, Pansy Morgan and Bill Huggins. Not pictured is Glenna Ott.


BOM Promotes Luke Rasberry to Assistant Vice President and Senior Credit Analyst

BOM Bank is proud to announce that Luke Rasberry has been promoted to Assistant Vice President and Senior Credit Analyst. Luke joined the BOM family five years ago. He is a 2012 graduate of Elizabeth High School, 2016 fall graduate of Northwestern State University with a bachelors degree in Accounting and minor in History, and 2020 Fall graduate of LSU Shreveport with an MBA concentration in Finance. Luke will also be attending LSU Banking School starting in May 2021. Luke is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society for the School of Business at Northwestern State University and a member of the Natchitoches Young Professionals. He is also a member of the Saturday Bass Anglers fishing club. Luke’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, playing basketball, fishing and he loves working out at the gym. Congrats, Luke!


LSMSA holds long awaited Ring Ceremony for the Class of 2021

NATCHITOCHES, LA- The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) was unable to hold its annual Ring Ceremony for the Class of 2021 last year. Now seniors, the students’ rings were shipped to them as they attended school virtually as juniors during the pandemic. The school was excited to finally recognize these hard working students at a Ring Ceremony held on May 5.

Family members and friends watched the ceremony, held in the Treen Auditorium, via livestream. The group was welcomed by Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton and was given an opening address by Senior Class President Madeline Lorio.

“For most of us, this past year and a half has been rocky and daunting, but also rewarding,” said Lorio. “Being the first virtual students LSMSA has ever had is a title we should bear with honor. We lived through the thick of COVID – 19 and thrived while doing so…So let this ceremony make up for lost time. Bask in the presence of your peers and the honor with which The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and Arts now bestows upon you.”

LSMSA Chief of Staff, Director of Administration, and LSMSA Alum John Allen then gave the history and tradition of the LSMSA ring.

“We wear our hearts on our sleeve with the items from this ceremony, representing our experiences and feelings for this school,” Allen shared. “You’ll carry your memories from LSMSA wherever you go. The ceremony is a celebration of the upcoming closing of your junior year and your achievements thus far.”

The first Ring Ceremony was held on May 19, 1984, as a senior ring ceremony, and the tradition students experience today stems from that morning 35 years ago.

The LSMSA Class of 2021 is the 37th graduating class to participate in the LSMSA Ring Ceremony.

Each student was individually introduced by Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate as they walked through a ceremonial ring arch on stage and were met by Horton with an elbow bump and congratulations. Students received a LSMSA lapel pin as they crossed the stage, one step closer to graduation.

“We will all leave LSMSA with the colors blue in gold in our hearts, not only because they are the official colors of the State of Louisiana, but most importantly because they are the elected colors of LSMSA; actually the other choice was blue and grey,” Horton said in his closing remarks. “You will cherish the events of this afternoon as you move into these first days of the rest of your lives.”

LSMSA offers a rich legacy and time-honored tradition of educating some of Louisiana’s best and brightest students. Interested freshmen, sophomores and juniors interested in being a part can apply for the 2019-2020 school year now at http://www.LSMSA.edu/apply.


Freshman orientation program to begin at NSU May 20

Northwestern State University will hold seven sessions of its freshman orientation program, Freshman Connection, beginning May 20.

Four sessions will be on the Natchitoches campus on May 20-21, May 27-28, June 3 and July 8-9. The program will be held on the Shreveport campus June 17, the Alexandria campus June 22, the Leesville/Fort Polk campus June 24.There is also a session for parents called Parent Connection and a session for younger siblings, Kid Connection.

The fee is $100 for the sessions on the Natchitoches campus and $60 for the sessions on the Alexandria, Shreveport and Leesville/Fort Polk campuses. Those attending the sessions on the Alexandria, Shreveport and Leesville/Fort Polk campuses should be planning to take all classes on that campus. The two-day sessions on the Natchitoches campus include a one-night stay in campus residence halls.

Participants in Freshman Connection will be placed in a small group with a connector, who will guide individuals through the orientation program. Connectors are current Northwestern State students who share information about what can be expected at NSU and will offer support and guidance about the high school to college transition.

During the program, those attending will have a chance to meet with university administrators, visit with faculty and staff and learn more about campus life. Participants will be introduced to the academic programs and services provided by the University, such as academic advising and support services. Upon completing the registration process at Freshman Connection, you will be prepared for your first semester in college.

The Parent Connection program runs concurrently with day one of Freshman Connection but is a separate program to meet the specific needs of parents and families. Parent Connection will provide an overview of the academic and co-curricular resources available to your student at NSU. Parents will meet professional staff, faculty members, and current students who will share valuable information on college success. Parents can learn where and how to get support for your student, meet other families of NSU students ask questions and feel confident in your student’s ability to succeed in college.

Kid Konnection is designed exclusively for siblings (ages 5 – 12) of new NSU students to help them learn more about their big brother or sister’s new home. Activities include arts and crafts, a campus tour and meeting Vic the Demon. Participants will receive lunch, an afternoon snack and fun NSU stuff. In order for a sibling to participate in Kid Konnection, they must have a parent/guardian attending Parent Connection.

Current Northwestern State students serving as Connectors are Ebenezer Aggrey and Abigail Ramos of Baton Rouge, Treyvin Aucoin of Rayne, Jacob Boyter and Nick Knotts of Haughton, Natalee Cook of Vivian, Nicholas Cooksey, Gabbie Lawrence, Jazz Rasouliyan, Jordan Richardson and JirNecia Ward of Bossier City, Matthew Courville, Malaya White and Bailey Willis of Opelousas, Sheridan Duet of Thibodaux, Scott Fowler of Natchitoches, Kellen Haymon of Anacoco, Travis Jimenez of Belcher, Zoe Johnson of Morgan City, Juliana Lummus of Houston, Madison Pleasant of Marthaville, Maddie Smith of Minden, Jacob Stone of Kilgore, Texas, Gracie Sylvia of Many and Slade Thomas of Farmersville, Texas

Student Coordinators are Katie Kennedy of Baton Rouge and Matt Nelson of Natchitoches.