The Perfect Black Dress

By Reba Phelps

One of the unintentional perks of being divorced is that you have a lot of extra closet space. At first it was a really sad reminder that I no longer had a life partner and the open space seemed to be symbolic of the emptiness I was experiencing. Once I got my life together I decided to make use of the extra space and have a Fall-Winter closet and a Spring-Summer closet.

I then decided to divide my clothes into colors. Once they were properly divided, I then sub-divided them into categories of purpose. Tops, skirts, dresses, work pants, fun pants and workout clothes. Yes, that was the smallest category and it did not require a lot of space.

Immediately after the day long project took shape I stood in the small hallway that divides the two walk-in closets. I was so prepared to be in awe of my hard work. I was even mulling over the perfect quick-witted social media post that would surely garner one hundred likes or laughs.

But, while I stood there, I couldn’t help but notice that strangely enough…. my Fall-Winter closet looked identical to my Spring-Summer closet. There it was, laid out in black and black. All seasons. All black. If any of my friends are in need of stylish plus size funeral apparel please come visit me or if anyone feels the need to dress up as a female Johnny Cash, come see your girl.

I mentally tried to reason with myself. Black is classic. Black is season-less. Apparently, I carried that one a little too far. Last, but definitely not least, black is slimming. After lots of self-reflection there was really no good reason other than black was my comfort zone.

Some people will never know the full drama associated with women and their clothes.

I was reminded of this recently, while enjoying some mother-daughter shopping time. I was summonsed to assist my oldest daughter while she shopped for a dress for her cousin’s wedding. Every good mother knows that I was invited to pay for the dress and not help pick it out.

The evening quickly grew dramatic when she could not find a dress that fit or one that she liked. Nothing worked. It was a gruesome scene. She became very emotional and just wanted to leave. There is no cut deeper than not being able to find something that fits or being unaware that your size may have gone up a notch.

It was really hard to feel sorry for her at this point because she is drop dead gorgeous, has stunning eyes and a heart of gold. Being the supportive mother that I am I let her have the pity party for a few miles of interstate before I put on my detective’s hat.

How could someone be so incredibly upset over not finding a dress?

Unable to console her we just rode in silence. My youngest was enjoying her headphones in the back seat and was oblivious to the meltdown currently happening in the front seat beside me. At that moment, I just gently held her hand and began to pray for her. In the middle of prayer I realized that someone must have said something to her to make her feel this down about herself.

A mother’s intuition is always right.

She went on to disclose that a close family member made a comment about her weight the day before. At this point, I began to pray for myself. I was so angry because I too had been the recipient of these cutting comments. I knew exactly how she felt and I know exactly what the Bible says about us being Children of God, but my Zwolle nature had me plotting physical harm to this relative.

I was having a mini-war within. I take the mama bear role very serious.

After I took a few deeps breaths and reined in my anger I began to tell her how God sees us as his children and no where in the Bible does it mention that Christ only died for the petite or perfectly sized humans who are not carrying an extra pound. No where in the Bible does it mention that Christ is only coming back for the people who maintained the perfect BMI.

I reminded her that when people judge others merely by their outward appearance they are the ones with unrest and discontent in their heart.

After she let these reminders soak for a minute and peace began to wash over her I then offered to continue with the bodily harm route. We can keep praying together or we can tag team it. It was at that moment that I saw her smile return and the black cloud lifted.

The very next day she went to a local boutique and found the perfect black dress for the wedding and her mom pulled a black dress from her Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter closets to match her daughter. It was a perfect night. Black dresses and all.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

NWLCC: Full Time Radiation Therapist

Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center

Position: Full Time Radiation Therapist
$5000 Sign on Bonus or relocation package available

Operates radiation therapy equipment in order to simulate and/or treat patients for malignancies. Completes required documentation in medical records, completes charge procedures and Performs quality assurance checks to verify accuracy of all procedures performed.

Position Responsibilities-

• Performs patient’s simulations under direction of physician, which includes patient alignment, portal marking and chart documentation

• Supply data for and assist in fabrication and/or designs patient immobilization and treatment devices, such as vaclocks, bolus and aquaplast masks

• Assists in dosimetry procedures, including obtaining patient parameters.

• Educates patients regarding simulation, treatment procedures and possible reactions (as directed by physician/nurse)

• Observes patient for treatment reactions and reports reactions to physician/nurse

• Assists in emergency procedures as necessary

• Delivers a prescribed planned course of radiation therapy, which includes review of prescription, diagnosis, medical record and patient identification. In addition, prepares room and equipment for patient treatments including set-up of immobilization devices, field size, treatment distance, shielding devices, etc.

• Monitors patient and equipment during treatment and/or simulation reporting any unusual circumstances, such as patient movement, equipment malfunction, etc.

• Completes daily quality checks on treatment and simulator equipment.

Maintains accurate documentation of quality checks. Documents and reports all variances and Initiates proper follow-up

• Coordinates patient simulator/treatment schedules

• Records accurate daily patient billing

• Performs other related duties as requested or assigned


Associate’s Degree

Graduate of an Accredited School of Radiation Therapy


Registered by American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT)

Registered through Louisiana State Radiologic Tech Board (LSRT)

One-year experience preferred

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities-

Knowledge of simulation and radiation therapy equipment (Mosaiq & Elekta Infinity a plus)

Benefits offered:

Paid time off
Flexible schedules
Workplace perks such as food/coffee/lunches
Health insurance
Dental insurance
Vision Insurance
Life Insurance

Office: (318)238-3322
Web Site:

BOM announces promotion of Keith Miller to Senior Vice President

BOM Bank is proud to announce that Keith Miller has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Keith has been working at the Bank for 13 years and is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a degree in Business Administration. Keith also graduated from LSU Banking School in 2016. Keith and his wife Karen have been married for 22 years and have two children, Olivia who is 19 and attends Louisiana Tech and Nicholas who is 20 and also attends Louisiana Tech. Keith and his family attend Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Keith is a member and past president of the Natchitoches Lion’s Club and his hobbies include hunting, traveling and spending time with his family.

NSU announces interim administrative positions

Northwestern State University announces three interim administrative positions for the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. Francene J. Lemoine will serve as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences pending approval from the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System. Scott Burrell will serve as interim director of the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts and Dr. Christopher Lyles will serve as interim director of the School of Biological and Physical Sciences.

Lemoine has been a member of the faculty in the School of Biological and Physical Sciences since 2006 and has served as director since 2015. She earned a B.S. in biology at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1997 and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine in 2002. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine from 20020-2005 and at Duke University Medical Center from 2005-2006.

Lemoine has been an active published researcher in the field of microbiology and a leading fund raiser for the School of Biological and Physical Sciences having authored grants and secured private donations for laboratory and classroom enhancements. She has earned teaching and research honors from NSU, UNC-Chapel Hill, Baylor College of Medicine and University of Southwestern Louisiana, now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She was selected as one of NSU’s representatives for the University of Louisiana Management and Leadership Institute in 2018-19 and honored with NSU’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Science and Technology in 2010.

Burrell has served as a professor of theatre at NSU since 1998 and as assistant director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts since last year. He was chairman and artistic director of the Department of Theatre and Dance from 2006-2018 and has been active as a director and instructor for acting, directing, playwriting, dramatic literature and voice. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in directing from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a Teacher Training Certificate (280+ hours) in the Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA) in New York.

Burrell’s academic experience includes teaching at the School of the Performing Arts for the Richmond (Virginia) Community, New Voices for the Theater in Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been active as a presenter and has served on several administrative committees at the university.

Lyles has been a member of NSU’s School of Biological and Physical Sciences faculty since 2015. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at NSU in 2004, a master’s degree in marine and environmental biology at Nicholls State University in 2006 and a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma in 2013.

Lyles has been an active researcher, research mentor to undergraduate students and presenter. Since joining the faculty at NSU he has served on several academic committees and been involved with alumni outreach, grant-writing and service-learning projects.

“I am thrilled to have these three individuals join the academic leadership ranks in the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Dr. Greg Handel, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “They bring tremendous experience and perspective to their respective roles and will continue to develop programs that are responsive to today’s students. Their experiences in their respective fields is invaluable for continued growth in these stellar programs.”

Control Burn set for Wednesday near Shell Beach

Public Notice:

Boaters please use caution while navigating in the Shell Beach area as there could be reduced visibility on Wednesday June 19.

Oakland Plantation advises the following:
A planned prescribed burn along the Cane River riverbank at Oakland Plantation. The burn will remove the invasive vegetation, open the viewshed from Oakland, and provide us with an opportunity to reassess the riverbank stabilization that was carried out a few years ago. A window of opportunity to burn that section of riverbank is set for Wednesday, June 19 (weather dependent).

Wildland firefighters from the National Park Service (from Natchez Trace Parkway) and Kisatchie National Forest will be handling the burn in coordination with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. Safety of our firefighters and the general public is our utmost priority. For information about the prescribed burn please contact: Carrie A. Mardorf-Superintendent Cane River Creole National Historical Park 318-352-0383, x100.

Southern University offers Training in Natchitoches

The first in a series of training and certification opportunities for Natchitoches Parish residents, will begin on Monday, June 17 through the Southern University Agricultural Research Center community outreach program.

Small business development will be the initial training session. This session will provide a thorough outline on the scope of a small business, a step-by-step process on how to become a small business owner, funding, growth and retention points.

The four sessions will be taught in a state-of-the-art mobile (bus) unit from Southern University and land-based demonstrations in the classrooms in the H.B. Barnum Educational and Life Development Annex at First Baptist Church, 1116 Amulet Street. For information regarding the effort, contact: The Rev. Thomas Carter, Sr. at the church, 318-352-3314.

High school trumpet students get advanced lessons

NSU- A group of high school musicians participated in activities for advanced high school musicians this week at Northwestern State University. The Honors Wind Ensemble Trumpet Section received private lessons and daily masterclasses on pedagogy, literature and ensemble performance.

Participants were, front row from left, Cameron Blackburn and Allison Jenkins of Jacksonville, Florida; Zeshan Faroog of Little Elm, Texas; Black Taggert of China Spring, Texas, and Northwestern State Associate Professor of Music/Clinician Galindo Rodriguez. On the back row are Jack Stanley of Stonewall, James Huckabay of Longville, Aaron Dickerson of Little Elm and Konner Thibodeaux of Lafayette.

Notice of Death – June 14, 2019


Ronald Goff
June 11, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Bobby Ray Bush
June 10, 2019
Service: Saturday, June 15 at 11 am at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church


Zomia Gail Baurber
June 08, 2019
Service: Saturday, June 15 at 11 Holly Ground Church of God In Christ, located at 1800 Gum Street in Winnfield

Billie Jean Thompson
December 07, 1933 – June 13, 2019
Service: June 15 at 2 pm in the chapel of Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home

Allen John Floyd
April 6, 1948 – June 4, 2019
Service: Saturday, June 15 at 11 am at Oak Ridge Baptist Church
Interment: Oak Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery

City Council Member Issued Summons

On Thursday, June 13, 2019, the Natchitoches Police Department’s, Criminal Investigations Division arrested Councilwoman Silvia Morrow in reference to her being on property after being forbidden or banned. Detectives stated that after being given proper notice that she was not to go onto the property of Wardsworth Grocery, Ms. Morrow, parked in the parking lot of the grocery to converse with another citizen. Ms. Morrow was apparently confronted by a store employee who later notified the police department about Ms. Morrow trespassing on the property. Based upon the information obtained Ms. Morrow was arrested on one count of LA R.S. 14:63.3 Entry on or remaining in places or on land after being forbidden. A summons was then issued to Ms. Morrow to appear in court on July 23, 2019.

Approved For Release By: Chief Micky Dove Date: 6/14/2019

Proposed Tax – Letter from Mayor Lee Posey

June 14, 2019

Citizens of Natchitoches

RE: Economic Development District C

I am writing to clarify for each of you how the recently introduced Ordinance No. 23 affects the City of Natchitoches. Ordinance No. 23 will levy a 1% sales tax only within Economic Development District C. District C is the University Boulevard Corridor out to Exit 138 of I-49. This includes the area which includes all businesses in the immediate area of the interchange of University Boulevard and I-49. A map of District C can be viewed on the City’s website at development-district.

Once created, Economic Development Districts allow for a levy of a 1% sales tax within the district. Due to the City infrastructure needs as well as assistance with the new recreational park, Parc Natchitoches, the City is proposing to levy the 1% sales tax. This sales tax applies to all goods and services provided by businesses within the District with the exception of gasoline. If a automobile dealership locates to areas within District C, vehicles sold will be taxed based on the purchaser’s physical address and this sales tax would not apply to a vehicle purchase. It should also be noted; revenue will primarily come from people passing through the area.

In addition, there are new service roads being considered along University Boulevard near I-49 within District C. This tax revenue will allow the City to continue future developments at this location and some of the intended businesses and restaurants that will be needed to support the tournament participants of the Parc Natchitoches. Tournaments are already scheduled on a regular basis throughout 2020 beginning in February.

I am certain this further explanation of the boundaries of Economic Development District C and the intended manner that the City will use the tax revenue generated, clarifies the City’s intent.  I appreciate and acknowledge the concern we have received from the citizens of Natchitoches as it relates to this matter and the future of our community.

Sincerely yours,

Lee Posey, Mayor

Pieces of Our History: School Programs at Natchitoches Training School and St. Matthew School in 1944

by Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Today’s piece of our history is once again drawn from the superb Melrose Collection of NSU’s Cammie G. Henry Archives and Research Center. They are programs from school plays put on in 1944 by the students of St. Matthew Junior High School in Natchez and the Natchitoches Training School in Natchitoches, two African-American schools of the parish in the Jim Crow era. The still familiar family names in the program as well as the names and businesses in the advertisements are a window into our past that stretches into the present day.

These schools may have been modest in size and resources, but it is obvious to anyone looking at the programs that they held high expectations for their students. Schools like these kept the flame of hope alive in a most difficult era. We owe a great deal to the men and women who taught there over the years.

Natchitoches Parish President Rick Nowlin to Speak on the Future this Monday

Parish President Rick Nowlin will speak on “Three Ideas for the Future of Natchitoches” this Monday, June 17 at 12 pm at Trail Boss. The public is invited to “Lunch with the League” to hear Nowlin discuss ideas for a better future he has learned as leader of the Natchitoches Parish Government.

The goal of the Natchitoches League of Women Voters is to help community members learn more about local government, and to increase public participation in voting. Politically, this group viewpoint is non–partisan but pro-voting and civic education. For more information call 318-576-8975.

Nominations open for NSU’s Long Purple Line

Northwestern State University’s Office of Alumni Affairs is accepting nominations for 2020 inductees into the Long Purple Line, the university’s Alumni Hall of Distinction.

Nominations are due Aug. 23 through the online form or can be mailed to the Alumni Center, 535 University Parkway, Natchitoches, LA 71597. The online form can be found at

Since 1990, 130 individuals have been added to the Long Purple Line.

For more information, contact Mary Katherine Horton at or call (318) 357-4487.