2017 NCHS Girl’s Volleyball Hosts Teacher Appreciation Night

By Kevin Shannahan

NCHS-Volleyball Night-2

The Natchitoches Central Chief’s Volleyball team hosted Teacher Appreciation Night Tuesday, September 19th at the school. Coach Nikki Murphy emceed the presentations between the junior and senior varsity matches against C. E. Byrd. The night was dedicated to all of the faculty and staff that diligently work to build the next generation.

The evening featured a special presentation from the team. Each player chose a teacher to present with a framed team photo that was inscribed by the player with a note as to why he or she was chosen. The teachers thus honored were: Mr. Beaubouef, Ms. Thompson, Ms. Stultz, Ms. Dunn, Ms. Jones, Coach Jones, Coach Breland, Coach Coleman, Ms. Odom, Ms. Olson, Coach Daughtery, Coach Murphy, Mr. McQueary, Ms. Bellow, Ms. Spears, Ms. Essex, Ms. Richardson, Ms. Ebert, Ms. Bynog, Ms. Nelson, and Ms. Hatten.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend the teachers chosen by their students/athletes. Being chosen by your students, several by more than one, is as sure a sign of success as can be found. We would like to also commend Coach Nikki Murphy for her efforts. This year marks the Volleyball Team’s second year, the first competing in the LHSAA as a varsity team. Starting the program from scratch was an impressive feat, all the more so on top of her teaching and family responsibilities. The affection and mutual respect between her and her athletes is a joy to watch. You are building more than athletes, you are building up the next generation. Thank you

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes the young ladies of NCHS Volleyball every success on and off the court.

Westside Baptist Church will host Life Share Blood Drive

PSA-Blood Drive at Westside

Life Share will be collecting blood donations Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 4:30-8:30 pm at the  Westside Baptist Church Campus Family Life Center, located at 6834 Hwy. 1 Bypass in Natchitoches.

Due to the shortage of blood donations lately and the devastating storms that have hit Louisiana recently the church is hosting this Blood Drive.

During this time, the congregation at Westside Baptist Church wants to express the importance of community solidarity. Not only is blood donation a vital component to be prepared for such devastating events, but every day we see blood donors give of themselves to help someone they don’t know and contribute to keeping their community strong. A simple, but meaningful action to support one another. Thank you to the men and women who donated blood in advance of tragedy, those that show their support in a peaceful and truly impactful way by donating blood, and especially those who donate regularly.

Cancer Center helps patient battle cancer

AD-Bobby Slaydon

“They’re the hands and feet of Jesus, the masters of killing cancer” said Bobby Slaydon as he talked about his battle with cancer and the care he received at the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center.

Bobby was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. He underwent a surgery at MD Anderson to remove it in December, 2015, but in June, 2016 the cancer was still there. He underwent 39 radiation treatments from August-September, 2016 at the Cancer Center with Dr. Alex Hnatov.

Bobby chose the NWLCC after his surgery. He was told he needed to stay at MD Anderson for 39 days for his radiation treatments, but Bobby knew Natchitoches had the Cancer Center where he could receive great care locally.

“The doctors and staff at the Cancer Center have been priceless to me and my family,” he said. Like the doctors and staff, Bobby’s family, his wife Karen and their three sons (Logan, Jacob and Nick) have given him nothing but support and encouragement throughout his journey.

Bobby is the administrator for the Natchitoches Medical Specialists and has worked in healthcare since 1988. Overcoming the fatigue was the most challenging part for Bobby, but through the whole process, he only missed one day of work.

“I’m responsible as the administrator for maintaining the day-to-day operations for my employees,” he said. His employees proudly wore “Slaydon Storm Team” t-shirts to support their boss the day before his first treatment. The saying comes from the Bible verse “The anchor holds in the midst of the storm.”

AD-Bobby Slaydon Headshot
Bobby’s battle isn’t over, but he said he has the doctors and staff at the Cancer Center to see him through. They rejoice with him and they grieve with him. He received a certificate for his last day of radiation treatment in August, 2016. In April, 2017 his PSA started elevating. He called Dr. Hnatov, who immediately ordered bone scans and an MRI. The cancer metastasized to three spots on his spine. Bobby underwent 27 radiation treatments from June-August and still has an additional 5-7 chemo treatments left. The good news is that his PSA has improved by 88%.

“When I first got my diagnosis I thought, ‘not me.’ Cancer is for someone else. As an administrator I’ve heard ‘chemo’ and ‘radiation,’ but until you live it, you have no idea the impact it will have on your life. That’s why having the Cancer Center has been so important to me. I just want to personally thank Dr. Alex Hnatov and Dr. Manish Dhawan and their staff for walking this journey hand-in-hand with me.”

Day 2: Natchitoches Kiwanians send relief team to Texas

Kiwanis Day 2 16 MAIN


The Natchitoches Kiwanis Disaster relief team is in Texas, spending eight days helping families who need help with tree removal and blue roofing after Hurricane Harvey. On day two the team tarped three houses. They wanted to do more but the rain slowed them down. They started on Dr. Ryan Toney’s house, tapping up a few spots that were leaking. Then they headed to Isidora Garcia’s house, which needed a full tarp job. Deborah Perry’s house also needed a full tarp job.

The crew today was:
From Bank of Montgomery: Dion Boyett and Craig George.
From Waskom Brown and Associates: Kristy Sampey, MaryKay Waskom, David Waskom, and Rodney Boswell
From Ashlar Medical: Jesse LeBlancand Angela Waskom

Support Kiwanis’ efforts for hurricane disaster relief for this trip by donating online:


All extra funds raised will be used for support of future Disaster relief trips.


Cunningham Insurance, Ameriprise Financial Move Downtown

AD-Cunningham Family Move


The Cunningham Insurance Agency and Cunningham Financial Group, an Ameriprise Financial investment practice, have moved to their new offices at 431 Jefferson Street in downtown Natchitoches. Joe Cunningham Jr., President of the insurance agency and a financial advisor with Ameriprise, said that the move was a long-time in the making.

“A lot of us grew up knowing this building as the old Natchitoches Parish Library,” he said. “We read books inside and rolled down the hill outside when we were kids. Years later our insurance agency insured this building for Dr.’s Ana and Javier Pere’ while they were in practice here, and when they moved to Ohio six years ago, I tried to buy it from them then. They kept their property insurance with us while they leased it to Rejuvenation Health Spa, and late last year Ana finally agreed to sell it. We’re very happy to be back downtown in the Historic District, which is where my grandmother started the insurance agency in 1935.”

According to Cunningham the building has undergone extensive interior renovations in the past several months. “We knocked down several inside walls to try to recapture natural light through the large floor-to-ceiling windows to the exterior, and put in glass-walled offices on the inside, to see the views of Cane River from a larger section of the interior of the building. It’s a very open, bright and engaging interior.”

“We’re very happy with what our architects came up with and the work our general contractor and his subs did. We’re looking forward to finishing up the little things, like interior decoration and art, and the awning over the new balcony in the back. We’ll have an open house sometime later in the Fall and we’ll be hosting the Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Party in December.”

TBA Associates of West Monroe was the architect on the project, and Page Builders of Natchitoches was the general contractor.

The Cunningham Insurance Agency is an all-lines property and casualty insurance agency with affiliated offices in Alexandria and Mansfield. Cunningham Financial Group is investment and financial planning firm and Joe Cunningham Jr., CFP® is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial. Other tenants in the building include realtor Dannie Collins and Dranguet Appraisal Service. There are two additional office spaces for lease within the building. Cunningham Family Properties, a real estate investment firm, owns and manages the property.

AD-431 Jefferson St

Donate excess meats to Hunters for the Hungry this Saturday

Hunters for the Hungry

The 4th Annual “Clean Out Your Freezer” Day for Hunters for the Hungry will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 am – 1 pm at the Council on Aging, located at 1016 Keyser Avenue. Please donate any excess meats (venison, elk, fish, ducks, etc…) to make room to refill this season. Hunters for the Hungry cannot accept wild pork. All donations will be distributed by the Natchitoches COA to needy families in the parish.