Hollywood Studios Lip Sync Battle Breaks Out at NSU!

Kevin’s Gallery

NSU’s Prather Coliseum was the scene of an intense competition as 13 NSU student organizations battled for bragging rights in the “Hollywood Studios Lip Sync Battle”. The groups performed their routines before a packed to the rafters student section. The standing room only crowd cheered the performers, all of whom were in some pretty inventive costumes, as they danced and “sang” a variety of pieces ranging from musical theater to hip-hop.

NSU’s Wesley Campus Ministry kept the crowd supplied with homemade treats as they raised funds for the Magooli Academy in Uganda. The academy educates children orphaned by war and the AIDS epidemic. The Wesley Campus Ministry meets Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at First United Methodist Church. The group is active throughout campus and has taken several recent mission trips. They are a worthwhile addition to anyone’s college experience. All are welcome.

The night’s festivities are part of NSU’s annual Homecoming Celebrations. There will be a Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally Friday at 5:30. The Demons will face off against Central Arkansas at Turpin Stadium on Saturday at 6:00. Be sure to come early to join in the tailgating fun and other activities. Fork ’em Demons!

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating tonight’s event photography. Anyone may download any photos they wish. If you do see a photo you like, please consider a donation to Wesley Campus Ministries at FUMC 220 Amulet St. Natchitoches, LA 71457 in lieu of payment. The Wesley is a force for good in quite a few student’s lives. Let’s help them out in their work

Rhodes Properties and Rhodes Realty invite all first responders to FREE appreciation lunch this Thursday – TOMORROW!


Rhodes Properties and Development and Rhodes Realty is proud to invite all first responders for a FREE meal at Raising Canes this Thursday, Oct. 17. National First Responders Day takes place on October 28 — a day to show gratitude to these everyday heroes. The administration and staff at Rhodes Properties and Development and Rhodes Realty appreciate the people whose contributions, sacrifices and dedication to public service help keep Natchitoches Parish residents safe.

Letter to the Editor: Tired of SWEPCO Power Outages

Jimmy Atherton / Opinion

If you are tired of the continual power outages we are experiencing, the PSC is the mechanism for resolving the issue. I have personally had eight power outages in the past three months but the problem goes much further than a few months or years.

I conveyed my frustration with SWEPCO’s non-response to emails, on-line complaint forms, survey response to President M. Smoak, phone calls to AEP (SWEPCO owners) customer service center in Ohio, etc. to the PSC. I also conveyed my frustration with the SWEPCO power outages that are continuing to be experienced.

However, the complaint system only seems to work when numerous people call and register a complaint. I have started the ball rolling by contacting the PSC, Foster Campbell’s office in Shreveport, with the outage complaint.

If you would like to register a complaint, then please make a call directly to Bill Robertson, Foster Campbell’s personal assistant, at 318-676-7464.

At the time I registered my complaint, I was not really aware of the history of SWEPCO outages, but with some research, I have found the following public information:

November 11, 2004

LPSC Commissioner Foster Campbell and SWEPCO Announce Tree Management Plan to Reduce Outages

SHREVEPORT, La., November 15, 2004 – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) will nearly double spending on tree-trimming around power lines to reduce outages and improve reliability, the company and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell jointly announced.
“Since I took office, I have been concerned about the number of tree-related outages that SWEPCO customers are experiencing,” Campbell said. “It became evident in the community meetings I have been conducting that something needed to be done. This move should help reduce outages.”


October 5, 2014

Campbell calls for review of SWEPCO Outages

Curtis Woody

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he wants the utility regulator to study why so many Southwest Electric Power Co. customers lost electricity during a Thursday storm in northwest Louisiana.

Campbell told The Times of Shreveport that he didn’t believe winds should have been substantial enough to cause 35,000 outages across SWEPCO’s territory in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas……………. A unit of Ohio-based American Electric Power, SWEPCO has 231,000 customers in northwest Louisiana. Campbell said he fears that in the event of an ice storm, SWEPCO couldn’t respond quickly enough and some customers might lack power for weeks.


December 20, 2018 2:15 pm GMT

Louisiana PSC Issues Order Involving Southwestern Electric Power


Targeted News Service

………… After an investigation into SWEPCO’s service quality in 1999, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “LPSC”) required SWEPCO to implement a Service Quality Improvement Program (“SQIP”) including a minimum spending budget for vegetation management…………………..

From the above, I find my concerns are some of the same concerns that have been expressed by Mr. Foster Campbell in the past 10 years. I know that SWEPCO had outage issues that came with the Valley purchase in 2009. However, as we approach winter with the normal more severe weather, I agree with Mr. Campbell’s comments that the power outage frequency will probably increase with inclement weather.

It has been 10 years since the Valley purchase. That has been long enough for SWEPCO to “right the ship”.

As the old adage goes – if you don’t want to be part of the solution with a phone call, then don’t complain.

Lakeview Junior Senior High School’s 2019, Homecoming and Tailgating Activities

Lakeview Junior Senior High School’s alumni is invited to the 2019, homecoming game and tailgate activities at the newly renovated football field and track of Lakeview Junior Senior High school. Lakeview alumni is encouraged to wear their green and orange to show school spirit reflective of their time spent in high school. The homecoming tailgating activities will begin at 4 PM on Friday, October 18, 2019. Tailgaters may begin setting up their barbecue pits at this time. Kickoff time for the homecoming game will be 7:00 PM.

Lakeview Junior Senior High School will provide canopy tents as gathering sites for the different classes of postgraduates. Alumni are encouraged to reach out to former classmates to help make this event a special evening.

Please remember no alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the premises. This is a family event.

According to Kris: Festive and Fashionable

By Kris James

Happy Wednesday Stylers! I know fairs and festivals are more about food, fun, and family than fashion. But hey, when is it not about fashion?! But giving a little thought to your clothing choices can make your time more enjoyable. Growing up in Campti, Smokin’ on the Red was the kick-off to the fall fest season. As it approaches this weekend, Oct. 18-19, it still gives me all the fall vibes I’ve been missing. Comfort should always be the top priority when putting together an outfit for a walking-intensive activity. Still, there are plenty of ways to be both stylish and comfy, even when you’re elbowing your way through the crowded streets.


I can’t even say how obsessed I am with Kimonos. Wearing the kimono as a statement piece is a great festival look. The kimono adds a fashionable element without sacrificing comfort. You can pair this item with some flair jeans and a simple top underneath.


The embroidery trend is huge this season, particularly with floral designs. This trend lets you put your stamp on key items like jeans and jackets, giving them a fun and fashionable look.

Solid Basic

If you’re like me then you already have a solid color basic t-shirt in your closet. This trend hypes up the basic tee by adding accessories like scarves or layered items. Throw on your t-shirt with basic or embroidered skinny jeans for an easy look

Structured Hats

Hats are taking over fall festival fashion. Fall styles feature more structure with medium to small brims, like a fedora hat. Pair the hat with denim, a simple shirt and cool jewelry for a complete look.

As we move into the fall festival season, take notice of these fashion trends that can update any look.

Troubled Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation to Be Audited

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

According to its bylaws, the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation (NCIF), a local community foundation, was supposed to be audited in October of 2018. However the foundation’s board decided to wait, citing the need to find a CPA firm to handle the audit. But that was over 12 months ago—a full year. The lack of the required audit became a thorny issue, so much so it was mentioned in a recent lawsuit against the foundation. As a matter of fact, for an entire year, I attended each quarterly NCIF meeting and asked at each one, when the overdue audit would take place but got no commitment from the board. Indeed, the audit did not even appear on the agendas of any quarterly meetings. But at the Tuesday October 8, 2019 at First Baptist Church Amulet, the board finally voted to hire a firm to conduct the audit.

What is interesting, is that the local CPA firm chosen is the same one that found and reported in 2014, that $19,500 in funds handled by NCIF were unaccounted for (and are not yet accounted for). According to documents presented at the October meeting, that firm is Thomas, Cunningham, Broadway & Todtenbier, Natchitoches. The documents also say the audit will cover the years 2014 through 2018. NCIF is being challenged to explore new ways of doing things. It has a long history of controversy and even recently has been involved in a lawsuit that concerns its alleged practices. It is also currently in violation of the term limits provision of its bylaws. That is because the sitting chairman Leo Walker and two other board members—Kelvin Porter and Diane Blake Jones—are holding on to their seats even though their terms expired a year ago. The board voted to put them back on despite the fact that doing so violates term limits in the NCIF bylaws. At the Tuesday, October 8 meeting, I asked Mr. Walker if he would step down and he claimed he had come prepared to resign that night, but decided (apparently at the meeting) not to resign. And he also spoke for Mr. Porter indicating Porter would not step down either. The usually quite verbal Mr. Porter who was at the meeting too, softly communicated that Walker could speak for him. When I asked Ms. Jones if she would resign as required by the bylaws, she declined to comment. By the way, the board asked anyone from the public to leave while it went into a so-called “executive session” to discuss something. This is the second straight time the board has done this. It also called an executive session at the last quarterly meeting in July. This one lasted 49 minutes. I got the distinct impression board members were very concerned with what I might hear and tell you, as I was the only member of public present both times.

A few days ago, I drove past a local church that had a sign outside which seems to sum up the challenge for NCIF, a foundation stuck in old ways and in keeping the same people, year after year. (All of the expired members have been on the board at least five to 10 years. Walker has been on since 2003—16 years.) That church sign I mentioned, said simply: “Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors”. When I saw that sign, I thought of NCIF because to become a foundation that can truly help Natchitoches, it must abandon its old ways and open the door to new ideas and new people who are sincerely dedicated to using the 1.8 million in its treasury for the purposes that money was originally intended: to provide funding and grants to help citizens in Natchitoches in areas of education, recreation, housing and economic development. And yet, the fact that The Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation has had to submit to an audit is in itself progress for the public as it makes the foundation more transparent and a bit more accountable to the people of Natchitoches. For the people, that’s a win. The Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation Board of Directors are: Gwen Ante Hardison, Brenda Milner, Shaniqua Hoover, Oswald Taylor, Gwendolyn Williams, Mildred Joseph, Renee Porter, Dionte Powe, and DeMarquis Hamilton, The following members are not letting go of their seats on the board even though their terms expired 12 months ago: Leo Walker, Kelvin Porter, and Diane Blake Jones

“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” –Jesus, John 8:32

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Pumpkin Glow will light up riverbank on October 29

The Historic District Business Association will hold its 7th Annual Pumpkin Glow on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the rue Beauport Riverbank from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is FREE!

All ages are encouraged to attend and are welcome to participate in the pumpkin decorating contest. Cash prizes will be awarded in both carved and painted categories. Pumpkin drop off will take place from 3-5 p.m on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the rue Beauport Stage.

Live entertainment throughout the evening will be provided by local school orchestras, community groups, and cheer\dance groups.

Hot dogs, popcorn, caramel apples and various treats will be available for purchase.

For more information, contact the Main Street Office at 318.357.3822

NSU Football: NSU Athletics offering special three-game football season-ticket package

The Northwestern State Athletics ticket office is offering a special three-game season ticket package for the final three home football games of the 2019 season.

Three-game packages now are on sale for the Oct. 19 Central Arkansas, Nov. 9 Lamar and Nov. 21 Stephen F. Austin matchups. Prices are $60 for chairback seats and $35 for general admission seating.

There also is a special $10 ticket promotion for Saturday’s Homecoming game against Central Arkansas, which kicks off at 6:07 p.m. Those tickets will be on sale at Thursday’s Demon Huddle, which airs at 6 p.m. at Mama’s Blues Room on Front Street.

The Blues Room also will offer a 2-for-1 special on draft beer from 6- 7 p.m. Thursday with a ticket to Saturday’s Homecoming game. The special will apply to tickets purchased at the show.

For more information on ticket packages for all Northwestern State athletic events, contact the NSU ticket office at 318-357-4268 or log onto www.NSUTickets.com.

NSU Guest Recital set for October 17

Northwestern State University will hold a guest recital on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 PM at the Magale Recital Hall featuring Unhi Kim, a pianist from South Korea. NSU Cello professor Paul Christopher and Violinist Emily Owens will also perform. The program will feature works by Beethoven, Liszt, and Mozart.

Emily Owens began playing violin at the age of four and has studied with several professors over the years. In 2017, she received her Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Baylor University. She played in the Baylor Symphony during her time there, as well as with the Waco Symphony, which included featured artists such as Yo-Yo Ma.

Emily recently won the state division of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artists Concerto Competition. In March, she won the Rapides Young Artists Competition in January and soloed with the Rapides Symphony with the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. She also was selected as one of the winners of the NSU Concerto Competition and soloed with the NSU symphony in April with Tchaikovsky.

Currently, she is studying for her Master of Music Performance degree with Andrej Kurti and studying for teacher certification at Northwestern State University of Natchitoches, where she serves as concertmistress for the NSU Orchestra. In addition to her studies, Emily works with Syll-Young Olson Natchitoches Central High School as assistant director of orchestra.

Paul Christopher received his Bachelor of Music Education from the New England Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Memphis.

From 1989 to 2004 he was Principal Cello of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Opera, and a member of the Premier String Quartet. Simultaneously, from 1993 to 1999 he also served as Adjunct Lecturer of Low Strings at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 2005 Mr. Christopher joined the string faculty at Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSULA) in Natchitoches, where he serves as Associate Professor of Cello and Music Theory. In the summers of 1993-2014 he performed as Assistant Principal Cello with the Peter Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Mr. Christopher has appeared as clinician and guest artist throughout Louisiana, as well as, in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panamá, and South Korea. His original articles have been published in American String Teacher, Bass World, The Jacques Offenbach Society Newsletter and Strings.

As a member of the Nashville String Machine Mr. Christopher has recorded with artists such as Faith Hill, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Springsteen and George Strait. He has recorded the cello duos of Jacques Offenbach, with seven CD’s available on the Human Metronome label. For more information visit: paulchristophercello.com.

NSU–Kristen Prejean of Lafayette and Jacob Ellis of Athens were selected as queen and king of the 2019 Homecoming Honor Court at Northwestern State University.

Prejean and Ellis are part of a 22-member honor court, which will participate in activities during Homecoming Week at Northwestern State and will be presented at halftime of the Homecoming game against Central Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The court also includes Caleb Allen and Alexia Shontelle Rubin of Plaisance, Tarik Andrus of Washington, Libby Blair of Texarkana, Texas, Zachary Breaux of Cut Off, Luther Brooks the Fourth and Qualantre Jackson of Lafayette, Kyler Lee Burns of Haughton, Triston Bussell of Starks, Elizabeth Marie Coleman of Napoleonville, Luke Austin Conway and Hannah Gaspard of Pineville, Daniel Crews of Shreveport, Emmy Lou Hinds and Kelsi Horn of Many, Nicholas Hopkins and Tori Spraggins of Bossier City, Haley Sylvester of Baton Rouge, Shelby Sullivan of Sulphur and Jourdan Waddell of Slidell.

Prejean is the daughter of Harold and Theus Prejean. She is a junior biology/pre-med major. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, Alpha Lambda Delta, Order of Omega, Blue Key, Beta Beta Beta and the African-American Caucus. She is active in the Student Government Association, serves as a Presidential Ambassador and was a freshman orientation leader. Prejean is a President’s List student.

Ellis is the son of Chris and Cindy Ellis and Kim and Cathy Grigg. He is a senior business administration. Ellis is in his second term as president of the Student Government Association. He is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Order of Omega, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Beta Lambda. A Dean‘s List student, he was the 2018 Greek Man of the Year and the Pi Kappa Alpha Leader of the Year.

Allen is the son of Danielle Celestine and Terry Allen. He is a junior industrial engineering technology major. Allen is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Lifted Voices Gospel Choir, the African-American Caucus, A Million Records of NSU and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Andrus is the son of Nichole Brown and Lee Andrus. He is a junior secondary education major. Andrus is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Leadership NSU. He was a member of the University Programming Council and was a freshman orientation leader. He is a President’s List student.

Blair is the daughter of Ricky and Beth Blair. She is a senior biology major. Blair is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Tri Beta Honor Society. Blair is a Presidential Ambassador and is active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. She is a JOVE Scholarship recipient and received the Lisa Burton Leadership Scholarship and the Lucille Mertz Hendricks Award. Blair is a Dean’s List student.

Breaux is the son of Andrea Guidry and Scott Breaux. He is a senior business administration major. Breaux is a member of Kappa Alpha Order and is a lifetime member of the Freshman Connection orientation staff.

Brooks is the son of Luther and Kassandra Brooks. He is a junior theatre major. Brooks is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Student Theatre Organization, the NSU Dance Company and the Dance Organization of Students. He is a member of the NSU Men’s Choir and the NSU Concert Choir, Lifted Voices and the African-American Caucus.

Burns is the son of Lindsay and Jason Burns. He is a junior business administration major. Burns is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and has served as a Presidential Ambassador and freshman orientation leader. He is a member of the Order of Omega, Demon Volunteers in Progress and was on the Demon Days Welcome Committee. He is active in the Catholic Student Organization. Burns is a President’s List student.

Bussell is the son of Nikki and Shane Bussell. He is a junior nursing major. Bussell was external vice president of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Lambda Delta and was a freshman orientation leader. He was Speaker of the Senate in the Student Government Association and served on the Leadership NSU Committee.

Coleman is the daughter of Kevin and Rosa Coleman. She is a junior hospitality management and tourism major. Coleman is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and was a freshman orientation leader. She is active in the Student Government Association and the Catholic Student Organization and serves as a Presidential Ambassador. Coleman is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Order of Omega, Purple Jackets, Demon Volunteers in Progress and was on the Demon Days Welcome Committee. She was 2019 Greek Woman of the Year, 2018 New Senator of the Year and the recipient of the Jo Ann J. Trow National Undergraduate Scholarship for Alpha Lambda Delta and the Sigma Sigma Sigma National Foundation Scholarship.

Conway is the son of Kevin and Susan Conway. He is a senior business administration major. Conway is philanthropy chair and former president of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He is a member and mentor of the Presidential Leadership Program and was a freshman orientation leader. Conway is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and the Order of Omega. He is a two-time nominee for Greek Man of the Year and a recipient of the Bacdayan First Generation Scholarship.

Crews is the son of Michael and Kerri Farmer and Paul and Lisa Crews. He is a senior business administration major. Crews is president of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and Demon Volunteers in Progress. He was a Freshman Connection coordinator and a member of the Student Advisory and Outreach Board. Crews is a Demon Days event coordinator and a member of the Leadership NSU Committee, the Committee on Organizations and the Residential Life Committee. He is a Dean’s List student.

Gaspard is the daughter of Rodney and Sharon Gaspard. She is a senior biology major. Gaspard is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Tri Beta, the Order of Omega, Purple Jackets, Alpha Lambda Delta and the Demon Days Welcoming Committee. She was a freshman orientation leader and the recipient of the Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship.

Hinds is the daughter of Amy Wyatt and Kristin and Eddy Hinds. She is a junior radiologic sciences major. Hinds is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and is a Panhellenic delegate and Panhellenic recruitment coordinator. She was a freshman orientation leader and is a Demon Volunteer in Progress and a Demon Days event coordinator. She is a Dean’s List student.

Hopkins is the son of Kevin and Donna Hopkins. He is a junior business administration major. Hopkins is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and serves as internal vice president. Hopkins is Student Government Association Speaker of the Senate and was a freshman orientation leader. He is a President’s Leadership Program mentor and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Hopkins is active in the Catholic Student Organization. A President’s List student, he was the 2019 Greek Man of the Year and the 2018 Greek Scholar of the Year.

Horn is the daughter of Larry and Tricia Horn. She is a junior hospitality management and tourism major. Horn is a member of of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and has served as Student Government Association External Affairs Commissioner. She was a freshman orientation leader. Horn is a Dean’s List student and received the Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship First Generation Scholarship.

Jackson is the son of Qunisica Harris. He is a senior hospitality management and tourism major. Jackson is a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Phi and is an NSU cheerleader. He is a member of N-Siders and served as an event coordinator and Spring Fling director for the University Programming Council. Jackson is a Dean’s List student.

Rubin is the daughter of Alena and Gregory Leday and Anthony Rubin. She is a junior psychology and business administration major. Rubin is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she is vice president of student development and serves as the Student Government Association Academic Affairs Commissioner. She is a member of Purple Jackets, the African-American Caucus, Presidential Leadership Program, Addiction Studies Club, Psi Chi Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the University Programming Committee Concert Committee, Demon Days Welcome Committee and Demon Volunteers in Progress. She has been a freshman orientation leader and a Student Support Services mentor. A President’s List student, she has been named SGA Senator of the Year and received the Greek Scholar Award.

Sylvester is the daughter of James and Laura Sylvester. She is a senior biomedical science major. Sylvester is president of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and is active in the University Programming Council. She is a member of Purple Jackets, N-Siders, Alpha Epsilon Delta, the Student Alumni Association and the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. She is a Dean’s List student and a recipient of the Sherry F. Morgan Extra Mile Scholarship.

Spraggins is the daughter of Anne and Robert Spraggins. She is a junior biology major. Spraggins has been a freshman orientation leader for t wo years and served in the Student Government Association as secretary and a member of the External Affairs Committee. Spraggins is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she has been public relations and homecoming chair. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and is a President’s List student.

Sullivan is the daughter of Karen and Patrick Sullivan. She is a senior business administration major. Sullivan is the 2019 Miss Northwestern State University. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and serves as a Student Government Association justice. Sullivan is a member of Purple Jackets, Order of Omega, Blue Key and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. She is a member of the Student Alumni Association and the President’s Leadership Program and was a freshman orientation leader and a University N-Sider. Sullivan served as Demon Days Family Day chair. She is a Dean’s List student.

Waddell is the daughter of Paul and Rene Waddell. She is a senior psychology major. Waddell is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and is active in the University Programming Council. She was the 2018 Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Psi Chi honor societies and the National Society of Leadership and Success. A President’s List student, Waddell was the 2017 Maureen A. McHale Outstanding Junior in Psychology.

Pictured above: Members of Northwestern State University’s 2019 Homecoming Honor Court are, front from left, Emmy Hinds, Kelsi Horn, Libby Blair, Elizabeth Coleman, Haley Sylvester, Kristen Prejean (queen), Hannah Gaspard, Jourdan Waddell, Alexia Rubin, Shelby Sullivan and Tori Spraggins, back from left, Zach Breaux, Tre’ Jackson, Kyler Burns, Nicholas Hopkins, Luke Conway, Jacob Guidry (king), Triston Bussell , Luther Brooks the Fourth, Tarik Andrus, Daniel Crews and Caleb Allen.

Children and pets invited to enter Halloween contest at Farmers Market this Saturday

The Natchitoches Humane Society and the Natchitoches Farmers Market present a Halloween Costume Contest for pets and children this Saturday, Oct. 26 during the market on the downtown riverbank. Registration will be held from 8-10 am at the Riverbank Stage. There is no fee to enter. Judging begins at 10:30 am. There will be prizes for first, second and third place in both the pets and kids contests.

Mayor Laron Winslow thanks Constituents

Please allow me to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of the constituents in the Town of Campti Louisiana. I humbly thank you for placing your confidence in me to begin the process of moving our town forward. I also thank my family for standing with me in this election. I look forward to working with all of elected officials, community members, organizations, and community leaders to positively build upon great work which is already the foundation of our town.

I look forward to continuing to help build a community which has a strong sense of pride. As I stated earlier, my standing is not about me but about the kind neighbors, families, relatives and friends of the Town of Campti. My pledge is to always remain genuinely concerned about the prosperity and well-being of all citizens in the Town of Campti. So thank you all once again, as I roll up my sleeves and get ready to work on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Campti.

NSU Football: #FORKCANCER game holds special meaning for sophomore offensive lineman Kenny Sheldon

Saturday’s 6:07 p.m. #FORKCANCER game against No. 13 Central Arkansas marks the third time in his Northwestern State career that redshirt sophomore Kenny Sheldon has been part of one of NSU’s once-a-semester fundraising efforts.

Because of the events of June 6, 2019, this one means a little more for Sheldon, the Demons’ starting right guard.

With his family on vacation that day, Sheldon received a life-changing phone call from ear, nose and throat Dr. John Craddock Jr. informing Sheldon the mass he found on the 20-year-old’s thyroid was malignant.

“It was a little scary, but it was calming being with my family and having them there to support me,” Sheldon said. “My mom was in tears, and that was hard to see, but everyone was very supportive.”

One day after the diagnosis, Sheldon was at former teammate Andrew McAlister’s wedding before returning to Natchitoches to resume summer workouts in preparation for the 2019 season.

He kept news of his cancer limited to strength and conditioning coach Jared Myatt and “a few close friends.”

“I just wanted to work out and feel like one of the guys,” Sheldon said.

For nearly three weeks, Sheldon took part in summer workouts along his teammates and coaches before revealing the news to his teammates two days before his June 28 surgery, an operation that came with a choice.

The Demons’ collective reaction was unsurprising, especially from Sheldon’s fellow offensive linemen.

“They were all supportive,” Sheldon said. “Our O-line is extremely close. Everyone in that room was checking on me. (Senior guard Tyler) Rapp was the first person I saw when I woke up from surgery. It was nice to see familiar faces and have teammates who support you. We’re a close room, and that was really proven to me once I had the surgery.”

That support extended past the offensive line and was born from watching what Sheldon had done throughout the early part of June.

“I was in Houston seeing my girlfriend and was able to see him the day after his surgery,” junior wide receiver Gavin Landry said. “The day he told us, we had no idea. It’s like he said, we don’t always know what anyone is going through. For him to be here that whole month of June, grinding it out with us … we circled up and led a prayer for him and his family for dealing with it. That’s what got me through it when I had to deal with my heart surgery (in 2016).”

Because the tumor was confined to one side of Sheldon’s thyroid gland, he and his family had a decision – remove one side of the thyroid or remove it all.

After deliberating with Craddock, the decision was made to remove the affected half and allow Sheldon to retain some sense of normalcy.

“Dr. Craddock said he wanted to take half of it so I wouldn’t have to take Synthroid or another type of medicine,” Sheldon said. “I got the blood work done and it all checked out. It didn’t affect me too much, except for the recovery time.”

Except for the scar that crosses the midpoint of his throat, there is little outwardly to suggest Sheldon’s recent battle, one that began with a sore throat that felt “a little different,” according to Sheldon.

He returned to fall camp on time and has started each of the Demons’ first six games of 2019 at right guard, extending his streak of starts to 16 dating to the 2018 season. Sheldon said there “never was a doubt” in his mind he would return for his sophomore season despite a diagnosis of a disease of which approximately 5 percent of cases occur in children or teenagers.

“I’ll never forget whenever he called and he talked about going back to Houston to get it checked on,” Laird said. “At that time, we didn’t think it was going to end up being what it did. I also remember talking to him after the fact. He talked about the process, and I was taken aback that he would have the ability to quickly come back and play the game he loves.

“What he had to endure was tough. It’s tough for any young man or young woman, but how he handled the situation with such a positive attitude, I can take that as a coach and learn from it.”

Much like that June 6 phone call did for Sheldon, the 2019 season has not gone to plan for the Demons (0-6), but it has given Sheldon a new perspective on battling through adversity and coming out wiser.

“One thing I learned when I had the surgery was you never know what anyone’s going through,” he said. “I remember coming back and working out after the diagnosis, and I looked at some people and thought about that. Coach Laird talks about it. We’re all together to accomplish one goal, but you never know what someone’s going through outside football, outside the fieldhouse.”

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services