Mayor Ronnie Williams, Jr. would like to announce he will give a State of the City Address on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Natchitoches Council Chambers, located at 716 Second Street.
The purpose of the State of the City Address is to connect with our constituents and inform them of the City’s policy agenda for the year 2021. Mayor Williams will address his projections for economic development, capital outlay, and infrastructure improvements for the City of Natchitoches.
The Natchitoches City Council meeting will be open to the public at the next regular meeting on Monday, January 25, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Occupancy for the Council Chamber is limited to 25% or 26 people total. Temperature checks will be given before entering the chamber. Seating markers will be placed on the chairs. Any Citizen that wishes to observe the City Council meeting live may do so at:
If you have any comments that you would like to make on any agenda item, you can email those comments to email@example.com and they will be read into record. Also, during the meeting if you have any comments on the agenda item being considered, you may call 318-521-1023 and you will be placed on speaker phone to make your comments. You must state your name for the record and you will be limited to 3 minutes for your comments. Please remember that this is not a question and answer session and please speak clearly for the record. Since we are allowing for a public comment period, agenda items will take longer than usual because we will allow 45 seconds between the reading of the item and the vote being taken, for any public comment. For additional questions, please call 318-357-3821.
Natchitoches City Council will have a pre-council meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. to discuss non-agenda items. The City Council meeting will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month and will be reserved to only items on the Agenda. The public is invited to both the pre-council meetings and council meetings with the understanding that items not on the agenda will not be discussed at the scheduled council meetings, but the public is welcome to discuss any topic at the pre-council meetings. The City Council Meetings are held at the Natchitoches City Council Chambers located at 716 Second Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana.
NATCHITOCHES CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JANUARY 25, 2021 5:30 P.M.
A G E N D A
CALL TO ORDER
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
READING AND APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF JANUARY 11, 2021
ORDINANCES – FINAL: #065 Smith Ordinance Declaring 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.
#001 Petite Ordinance Approving The Policy And Procedure For Applications For Rebate Of Sales And Use Taxes For Natchitoches Economic Development District A And C, State Of Louisiana, Providing For Advertising, Further Providing For Severability, And Further Providing For A Repealer And Effective Date Of Ordinance.
#004 Harrington A Second Supplemental Bond Ordinance Amending and Supplementing Ordinance No. 1 of 2015 providing for the incurring of debt and issuance of not to exceed Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000) of Utilities Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2021, of the City of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana; prescribing the form, terms and conditions of said Refunding Bonds, designating the date, denomination and place of payment of said Refunding Bonds, providing for the payment thereof in principal and interest; authorizing the agreement with the Paying Agent; and providing for other matters in connection therewith.
#005 Nielsen Ordinance Amending The 2020-2021 Budget To Reflect Additional Revenues and Expenditures.
ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION: #006 Harrington Ordinance Approving A ‘Second Amendment To That Lease Entered Into With The United States Government’ For The Lease All Or A Portion Of The Property Located At 607 Trudeau Street/Depot Street And 720 Sixth Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana, And Authorizing The Execution Of The Lease Amendment By The Mayor, Ronnie Williams, Jr., After Due Compliance With The Law, And Further Providing For Advertising Of The Lease Amendment And An Effective Date.
RESOLUTIONS: #008 Elie Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Execute An Agreement With The Louisiana Department Of Transportation And Development (LADOTD) For Improvements At The Natchitoches Regional Airport For Obstruction Of Removal Runway 7 Approach – Phase I (Design)
FINANCIAL REPORT: Debbie Miley
The next scheduled City Council meeting will be Monday, February 8, 2021.
Mayor Williams and the City Council of the City of Natchitoches, will hold the Annual State of the City Address on Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. The State of the City address will be livestreamed and can be accessed by visiting the city’s website link at https://www.natchitochesla.gov/content/meeting-videos The media and public are encouraged to watch online.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin issued the following statement following the Legislature’s overwhelming passage of the most recent emergency election plan.
“I am pleased that this emergency plan passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support at every step of this process. This plan is a pragmatic response to the recent unprecedented surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the Clerks of Court, Registrars of Voters and their staff along with the entire SOS elections staff will provide the people of Louisiana safe, secure and accurate elections to which they are accustomed.”
That’s one positive as Northwestern State football plays its regular season in the spring as opposed to the fall.
A Demons team that will feature eight new offensive starters and five new defensive starters started its spring process Friday with its first official practice.
Friday’s session lasted about two hours and is the first of four acclimation days before the Demons don full pads with contact Wednesday.
“There’s been a combination of new guys and then sophomores and juniors that have been here that have stepped up,” said NSU coach Brad Laird, who is beginning his third season as the Demons head coach. “We had an abbreviated spring practice (six practices) before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it took time for us to adjust to fall practice.
“But we got into our 15 practices in the fall, and that was huge for our guys. The mental part is the biggest thing, and we’ve seen a lot of carryover from the fall and from our walkthroughs so far that was evident in today’s practice.”
The team participated in strength and conditioning drills and well as walkthrough sessions before embarking on 20 preseason practices heading into its first game week, which culminates in the season opener Feb. 20 at Lamar.
In normal times, players endure the brutal Louisiana heat in August as they prepare for a regular season.
But tight end David Fitzwater and the rest of the Demons didn’t mind an overcast sky with temperatures hovering the 50s to open practice.
“It was really enjoyable, and that’s fun weather to play in,” said the Calvary Baptist product. “I’m really happy to be on the field today, and a lot of guys came out with excitement.
“Honestly I feel like that’s been missing in years before this. Guys were excited and ready to go today.”
Linebacker Landon King will be a key cog this season in NSU’s deepest unit.
King is one of five returning linebackers who made at least three starts this past season.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with this team,” said King, a Pineville native. “We were hoping to play last fall but didn’t get that chance.
“If we keep doing what we have to do and controlling what we can control, hopefully we can go out there on Saturdays, have our season and come out with a championship.”
Before the season-opener at Lamar, NSU’s 20 practices include scrimmages Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 before a mock game on Feb. 11.
NSU will play a six-game spring schedule, all against Southland Conference opponents that didn’t play in the fall.
After traveling to Lamar, the Demons host McNeese, the first college football game in Turpin Stadium in since NSU wrapped up the 2019 season in late November, which will be a 16-month span without NSU football in Natchitoches.
NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches would like to notify the public of the following temporary closures next week. The Utility Department will be taking down the Christmas lights along Front Street and the Church Street Bridge.
Closures will occur as follows:
Monday, January 25th – Front Street (South End) – 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 26th – Church Street Bridge – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 27th – Front Street (North End) – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
This temporary closure is subject to change weather pending. The City of Natchitoches appreciates the public’s patience during this time and asks when traveling through the area motorists proceed with caution.
It was a cool, cloudy day in Coushatta at the livestock show barn, but that did not dampen the spirits of the Natchitoches Parish 4-H members who were ready to kick off 2021 and show off their livestock projects. Organized by Extension Agents, Randall Mallette and Pam Pearce the event featured eight youth showcasing three species of animals: hogs, goats and beef. Serving as judge for the day was Dr. Ashley Edwards, Livestock Agent for the Northern Region of Louisiana.
The morning started with the showmanship competition. The judge was tasked with selecting the 4-H’er who best handled and presented their animal.
Showmanship placings were as follows:
Hogs Champion: Cole Johnson Reserve Champion: Cooper Johnson
Goats *Senior division: first place – Cooper Johnson second place – Cole Johnson third place – Madeline Mitchell
*Intermediate division: first place – Addison Ivy second place – Taylor Allen
Champion: Cooper Johnson Reserve Champion: Addison Ivy
Beef *Senior division: first place – Layton Parks *Intermediate division: first place – Tatum Roberts *Junior division: first place – Bayla Procell
Champion: Bayla Procell Reserve Champion: Tatum Roberts
Following the showmanship competition, the youth then exhibited each of their animals by species and breed. According to Mallette, total of 26 animals were shown, representing numerous hours of work and care to get ready for this show. “It was a great day for our youth to be able to exhibit their projects. They are preparing for the district show that will be February 5”, said Mallette. Assisting as ring-steward was Travis Rachal, a member of the Natchitoches 4-H Junior Leaders.
Placings that were awarded are listed below by each participant.
Taylor Allen: *First place Pygmy Doe, in 3 separate classes *Champion Pygmy Doe *Reserve Champion Pygmy Doe
Addison Ivy: *First place Full Blood Boer *Reserve Champion Full Blood Boer *First place Percentage Boer *Second place Percentage Boer *Reserve Champion Percentage Boer
Cole Johnson: *First place Market Hog in 2 classes *Champion Market Hog *Reserve Champion Market Hog *Second place Market Goat
Cooper Johnson: *Second place Market Hog in 2 classes *First place Market Goat in 2 classes *Champion Market Goat *Reserve Champion Market Goat
Madeline Mitchell: *First place Full Blood Boer *Champion Full Blood Boer *First place Percentage Boer *Champion Percentage Boer *First place Commercial Doe *Champion Commercial Doe *First place Myotonic Doe *Champion Myotonic Doe *Supreme Breeding Goat Champion
Layton Parks: *First place Commercial Heifer *Champion Commercial Heifer *First place Brahman Bull *Champion Brahman Bull *First place Hereford Heifer *Champion Herford Heifer *First place early junior yearling Brangus heifer
Bayla Procell:| *First place early summer yearling Brangus heifer *Reserve Champion Brangus heifer
Tatum Roberts: *First place early junior Brangus heifer calf *Champion Brangus heifer *Supreme Champion Breeding Heifer *First place Brangus bull *Champion Brangus bull *Supreme Champion Bull
The Natchitoches Parish 4-H livestock participants would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Red River Parish Police Jury and Nancy Nettles for the use of the facility and Natchitoches Farm Bureau for the sponsorship. Additionally, thank you to Tractor Supply, Raisin’ Canes and Dairy Queen for the kind donations.
Submitted by: Tatum Roberts Natchitoches Parish Livestock Club Reporter
Outpatient Medical (OMC) is looking for 3 ethical, personable, highly-responsible and highly-accountable experienced healthcare supervisors for the following areas:
Natchitoches (largest) Leesville DeSoto (RHC)
Our Clinic Managers must run OMC clinics under established policies and procedures. Outstanding, energetic, and experienced candidates are encouraged to apply. Must have a record of successful business management experience. Salary based on degree of job-related experience and qualifications. For information or to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 318-357-2071.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Mu Omega Zeta Chapter, enjoyed a weekend of activities as they celebrated 101 years of service. This Founders’ Day weekend was completely different than previous year’s celebrations. As the global pandemic reared its head, it impelled the sorority to rethink each phase of the celebration to ensure it stayed in compliance with the CDC and the sorority’s national headquarter’s guidelines.
Reflecting back on January 2020, the sorority held its’ Formal Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C. Intentions were to continue the celebration in June 2020 with a Centennial Boule’ again to be held in Washington, D. C., however with the global pandemic, International President Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker along with the venues were required to cancel all face to face activities and ceremonies and everything reverted back to being virtual. That was 6 months ago and now in January 2021 the pandemic has affected so many family members, sorority members and friends. So, again there won’t be any face-to-face interactions or celebrations. However, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is a group of resilient women. Their hearts did not skip a beat and sorority members brainstormed ways to celebrate this momentous occasion and do it safely.
The first event of the weekend was a Virtual Founders’ Day Program hosted by the Upsilon Pi Zeta Chapter of West Memphis, AR in the South Central Region. Kathy R. Tatum serves as South Central Regional Director and Beverly Cook is Arkansas State Director. Dignitaries who were present on the Virtual Program were Camille Young-Miller, State Life Member Coordinator and Treva Sanders ,State Z-Hope Coordinator. Pamela Vaughn serves as President of the Upsilon Pi Zeta Chapter. The host chapter was joined by Nu Omega Zeta Chapter, Malvern, AR, Chi Lambda Zeta Chapter, Bartlett, TN, and Mu Omega Zeta Chapter, Natchitoches. Jannette Strong of Nu Omega Zeta Chapter served as moderator.
The theme for the event was “Omnia Vincit Labore-All is Conquered by Labor. It is All About Zeta.” Mu Omega Zeta Chapter members played a vital role in making this virtual program a success. President Yalaunda Toliver-Taylor served as guest speaker, Kimberly Smith provided a praise dance and Jacqueline Wells- Smith shared her voice in song. President Toliver-Taylor spoke of the duties and the importance of being an active and engaged member in each respective chapter.
She reminded everyone that members are actively involved and are always up-to-date with the numerous changes which occur in constitution and by-laws, membership updates, current social action initiatives, national programs, partnerships and all of the news and events that make this sorority the best sorority. She stated that in order for the chapter to move and grow members should be willing to serve in a capacity where their strength lies. As the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority works together it is all for the betterment of the sorority as the members uphold the founding principles.
Being well informed is one of the things Toliver-Taylor stressed. The sorority’s past Grand President Mary Breaux-Wright would often say “A Good Zeta is a Well Informed Zeta” and that was a key point in Toliver-Taylor’s message.
Kimberly Smith provided us with a spiritual praise dance to the gospel classic, “I Know I’ve Been Changed” and Jacqueline Wells-Smith offered a beautiful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This hymn was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson at a pivotal time, when Jim Crow was replacing slavery and African-Americans were searching for an identity. His poem was later set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson. The hymn is often referred to as the Black National Anthem. James Weldon Johnson was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated a fraternity that is constitutionally bound to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.
On Sunday evening the sorority engaged in a Virtual Paint and Sip Party. Sorority members from Coushatta, Montgomery, Natchitoches, Shreveport, Winnfield, Texas, and Tennessee joined the zoom party. Members ordered pre-drawn canvases of their choosing from Amazon and from Wasted Paint, a business owned by Natchitoches native Sonja Knight. They joked, laughed, sipped and enjoyed a relaxing evening of painting.
The 101 Founders’ Day Celebration may have been Virtual but it did not deter members from a grand celebration. They honored their Sisterhood: The Ties That Bind, “It’s All About Zeta.”
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 20, 1920 in Washington, D.C., on the campus of Howard University by five women affectionately referred to as “Our Five Pearls”. The founding principles are Scholarship, Service, Sisterhood and Finer Womanhood. It is a community-conscious, action-oriented organization.
LEAP 2025 state-mandated tests are currently being administered at Natchitoches Central High School. These tests are given at the end of English I, English II, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, and US History. The tests serve 2 purposes. These tests serve as the final exam for these courses and are calculated as 15 % of the entire course grade. Passing LEAP 2025 test scores are also required to earn a high school diploma. Each test has 3 sessions, and each session is timed, taking a considerable amount of time.
Students that have not tested must come to NCHS on Monday 1/25/21 at 7:40 to take required test. All students will need to come to the attendance office and then be directed to their testing room.
The testing window closes on Tuesday, January 26th. Teachers have already given information about the LEAP 2025 tests to their students.
NATCHITOCHES, LA – Cane River Creole National Historical Park will host two separate memorial illumination events to remember and honor the people who were enslaved on Oakland Plantation and Magnolia Plantation on February 20 and February 27 as part of Black History Month. The Oakland illumination will take place on Saturday, February 20, and the Magnolia illumination will take placed on Saturday, February 27.
The FREE illumination events and self-guided tours will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. The tours will be outdoors, will cover about a half mile over uneven and unpaved ground, and will occur rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight and dress appropriately for weather and walking conditions. Oakland Plantation is located at 4386 Highway 494, Natchez, LA. Magnolia Plantation, which can only be accessed from LA Highway 1, is located at 5549 Highway 119, Derry, LA.
The institution of enslavement and the act of emancipation have left indelible imprints on many aspects of Cane River life, and the park has been working for many years to uncover the stories of all the people that lived on the two plantations. The process was a long one, and one that is still ongoing. Each luminary represents an enslaved man, woman, or child. Groupings of luminaries reflect a moment in time in the plantation’s history. Luminaries will be marked with the names, ages, places of origin and skills of the enslaved individuals when possible. This information has been retrieved from original archives.
“We honor them by finding out their names and remembering their contributions to the landscape, the park and our country,” said Chief of Interpretation Barbara Justice. “It is important that we remember all of the people that helped create the nation, that we remember not just the good parts of our story but also the painful parts. We can’t heal if we don’t acknowledge the pain.”
Anyone who might know more details about enslaved people who lived and worked on Oakland or Magnolia is encouraged to reach out and share. In addition, please contact the park if you would be willing to volunteer to assemble and/or place luminaries on February 20 or February 27.
The grounds of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nearly 80 original buildings remain, many open for self-guided tours including several that are historically furnished from Wednesday through Sunday. Park staff conducts tours of the plantation grounds daily Wednesday through Sunday. In addition, the park offers a cell phone tour. The Oakland Main House is open for self-guided tours from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Magnolia Main House is privately owned and is not open to the public. For more information call the park at 318-352-0383, ext. 316.
Weyerhaeuser is a sponsor of the Natchitoches Central High School’s Baseball Team. Normal fundraising has been challenging due to social distancing and ensuring safety throughout our community. Weyerhaeuser knows the importance of and encourages support for our youth programs.
Pictured: Bayden Turlington, Baseball player; Regan Kaufman, Head Baseball Coach and Rick Turlington, WY Production Coordinator
Natchitoches, LA – As part of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 26, the Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is encouraging locals and visitors to dream, plan and book their next vacation.
National Plan for Vacation Day takes place during the last Tuesday in January as a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the entire year at the start of the year.
While much of the country continues to face rising case numbers and travel restrictions, National Plan for Vacation Day is a chance to do what is safe and productive: plan.
National Plan for Vacation Day coincides with the Let’s Go There initiative to encourage Americans to still plan or even book future vacations, or to simply keep their travel flame alive and think about their next trip.
Let’s Go There is led by a coalition of businesses and organizations, including many of the most recognizable U.S. brands from both within and outside the travel sector, whose mission is perfectly aligned with NPVD: As you plan your future trips, the travel industry is ready to safely welcome you back when you’re ready.
“It’s been a challenging year, and I know we have all missed traveling and exploring our great country,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “While many are not yet ready or able to take a vacation, we are encouraging Americans to pull out their calendars on January 26 and get a future trip on the book seven if that just means dreaming about your next getaway.”
“In the face of so much uncertainty, and with more than 63% of Americans saying they desperately need a vacation, National Plan for Vacation Day is the perfect opportunity for Americans to renew their love of travel and to look ahead to better days.”
There is a wealth of information that says simply planning a vacation can increase happiness, with 97% of survey respondents saying that having a trip planned makes them happier. Further, survey data shows that 84% of Americans are excited to plan a vacation in the next six months, indicating an impending surge in travel demand once conditions improve.
With so many great travel deals to be had, the Natchitoches Area CVB advises savvy vacation planners who are able to book future trips now to take advantage of these offers before demand picks up. Visit http://www.natchitoches.com to discover these offers!
“The Natchitoches Area CVB is celebrating National Plan for Vacation Day to encourage Americans to plan ahead for future travel and take some much-needed time off,” said CVB Executive Director Arlene Gould. “By committing to planning on January 26, Americans can all enjoy the many benefits of taking a break while giving themselves something to look forward to and Natchitoches has some great ideas to help you plan your perfect getaway.”
The Natchitoches Area CVB continues to urge Americans to adhere to healthy travel practices whether one is planning a vacation in the short term or for later this year. U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Confidently toolkit has a wealth of resources and guidance to encourage safe and healthy travel, which includes wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, maintaining physical distance when possible and staying home if feeling sick.
About Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau The Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a destination marketing organization whose mission is to maximize economic growth by generating overnight stays through promoting tourism marketing, convention and meeting business, and festivals and events throughout Natchitoches Parish.
Micah Murchison of Natchitoches was installed as a new member of the Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches during the club’s meeting on Jan. 21. At this meeting, Craig George also presented to the club members in-person and socially distance as well as members joining via Zoom. He explained details of ordering, shipping, storing, transporting, setting up and executing firework shows.
“Kids need Kiwanis, in our community and in communities around the world,” said Craig Caskey, who presented Murchison with her membership certificate. “Our club believes in children and wants to provide all kids with an opportunity to thrive, prosper and grow.”
The Kiwanis Club of Natchitoches welcomes new members who want to serve their community. Information about becoming a member is available by contacting Craig Caskey at email@example.com or by joining the weekly meeting.