Chef Leah Chase lectures at NSU: “In my dining room, we changed the course of America.”

NSH-Chef Leah Chase lecture2017


“People have to eat,” said Chef Leah Chase, the well-known New Orleans writer, TV personality and ambassador for Louisiana culture and cuisine, during a guest lecture at Northwestern State University Sept. 19. Chase spoke to a capacity crowd, discussing her life, cooking and how food brings people together.

At 94, Chase lectures with sass, humor and wisdom. Since she began cooking in the 1940s, she has prepared meals for presidents, activists and international dignitaries in her family’s restaurant, Dooky Chase, but finds the most meaning in helping the everyday people around her.

“Presidents come and go, but it’s the regular people who make you.  It’s the everyday people you feed and the food inspires them to do better.  Then they are ready to go to work,” she said.

Northwestern State’s School of Business/Department of Hospitality Management and Tourism sponsored the lecture to raise money for a scholarship named for Chase.  On hand to assist with the cooking demonstration was Terriann Marchand, a recent graduate of NSU’s culinary arts program who grew up in Chase’s New Orleans neighborhood. HMT students served Chicken Clemenceau and peach cobbler to guests at the lecture.

Chase went to work as a waitress in the French Quarter as a teenager, never having seen the inside of a restaurant before. After marrying Edgar “Dooky” Chase II, she worked to transform his mother’s poboy stand into a restaurant that not only became an important part of the Civil Rights movement and an anchor of the neighborhood but also advanced African American cooking and art.

“In my dining room, we changed the course of America,” she said, indicating that many plans were hatched there over a bowl of gumbo and fried chicken. The Dooky Chase restaurant flooded after Hurricane Katrina, but devoted supporters rallied to raise funds to help with the reopening.

Chase told students that the service industry is a good one and getting a business degree, along with a culinary arts degree is advantageous.

“Hospitality is what makes our state, our food and our hospitality.  We have the best food in the country,” Chase said.

Chase has been the recipient of a multitude of awards and honors. She  was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2010 and earned the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.  She was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2000 and has received several honorary degrees.

HMT Administrators ended the lecture by announcing the recipient of the Chef Leah Chase Scholarship, presented to Jeremy Aaron of Natchitoches.  Aaron is pursuing the culinary arts concentration in the HMT program and was awarded the scholarship based on a high GPA in culinary arts courses, leadership and teamwork in and out of the classroom.

Information on Northwestern State’s HMT program is available at

NSUS-Jeremy Aaron, Leah Chase2017

Jeremy Aaron of Natchitoches was named the first recipient of the Chef Leah Chase Scholarship which will be presented to a student pursing a degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism with a concentration in culinary arts.  Aaron was selected based on his high grade point average in culinary arts classes, leadership and teamwork.

NSU-Chamber Donation2017

Miss Northwestern-Lady of the Bracelet pageant to be held Saturday

NSU-LOB contestants

Northwestern State University will hold the 60th annual Miss Northwestern – Lady of the Bracelet Pageant Saturday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Admission is free but donations will be accepted for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Twelve contestants will compete in the pageant which is a preliminary for the Miss Louisiana Pageant. The contestants are Katelynn Alford of Florien, Emily Bencosme of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Noel Cusick of Alexandria, Jada Dudley and Reagan Escude’ of Shreveport, Madison Farquhar of Princeton, Aly Jacobs of Houston, Texas, Erica Jarlock of Covington, Abigail Reynolds of Minden, Shelbi Rials of Pine Prairie, Tore’a Taylor of Benton and Jourdan Waddell of Slidell. The winner will receive more than $8,000 in scholarships and prizes.

The Mistress of Ceremonies will be Laryssa Bonacquisti, Miss Louisiana 2017. Bonacquisti was a top seven finisher at the Miss American Pageant, winning the preliminary swimsuit and talent competition. Her platform issue is fighting pancreatic cancer. Bonacquisti is a broadcast journalism major at LSU. She is a PanCAN volunteer, a Boys and Girls Club mentor, volunteer and spokesperson, member of Chi Omega and the LSU Greek Board of Directors. Bonacquisti was an intern for U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, a CMN Miracle Challenge top fundraiser and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Entertainment will be provided by the cast of “Stars of Tomorrow,” which will be presented by Northwestern Theatre and on Sept. 27 – Oct. 1 in Theatre West.

Bencosme, a senior biology major, is founder and president of the Biology Student Organization. She is a member of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society and event coordinator for the Student Activities Board.

Cusick is a freshman. She is a graduate of University Academy where she was a member of the National Honor Society and received a Danceline Athletic Award.

Dudley is a sophomore biology major. She is a member of the Vet Tech Club.

Escude’ is a sophomore communications major. She was a freshman orientation leader and a member of Demon Volunteers in Progress. Escude’ is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the College Panhellenic Council. She is a writer for the Potpourri.

Farquhar is a sophomore secondary education major. She is a member of Kappa Phi and received the organization’s Light in the Darkness Award. Farquhar is the recipient of an Outstanding Student Scholarship.

Jacobs is a senior accounting major. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity where she served as president and treasurer. Jacobs is Student Government Association treasurer and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She served as a freshman orientation leader and was on the Demon Days Welcome Committee. Jacobs is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and the President’s Leadership Program.

Jarlock is a junior theatre major with a concentration in musical theatre and dance. She is event coordinator on the Student Activities Board and president of the Student Theatre Organization. Jarlock is a member of the Demon Dazzlers and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Reynolds is a sophomore business administration major. She is a member of NSIDERS, First Year Experience, the President’s Leadership Program and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.

Rials is a freshman biology major. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and Demons Support Demons.

Taylor is a freshman biology major. She is a member of Helping Hands. At Benton High School, she was a National Honors Society inductee and received the Honor Graduate Award.

Waddell is a sophomore psychology major. She is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Natchitoches residents discuss infrastructure and credit unions with legislators in DC

Rick and Mary Ann with Senator John Kennedy

Parish President Rick Nowlin and Mary Ann Nowlin, Cenla Regional Vice President for La Capitol Federal Credit Union, traveled to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11-12. They met with Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, and Congressmen Mike Johnson, Ralph Abraham and Garrett Graves.  One of the primary issues they discussed was the promotion of federal assistance to parishes and counties nationwide for the improvement of local roads as part of the national transportation infrastructure program proposed by President Donald Trump.  Previous federal programs have directed the funds to the state departments of transportation and the funds are used on state highways. Rick stressed the need to allocate funds for local roads and direct them to the local governments.

All of these legislators expressed interest in Rick’s proposal and agreed to see what could be done to accommodate the local government entities.  Of course, any local entity seeking assistance would have to contribute 20 percent of the project costs, just the same as state transportation departments must do.   If a parish asks for federal help, it will have to provide the 20 percent match.  For Natchitoches Parish, it would mean the citizens would have to agree to increase their dedicated road taxes in an amount sufficient to generate the matching funds.  The Natchitoches Parish government doesn’t have the funds to meet the match with present tax revenues.

“I think the Parish should pursue any program that will provide the Parish with $4 for every $1 the Parish contributes,” said Rick. “For example, the sales tax initiative rejected by Parish voters in 2016 would have generated about $3.5 million per year for road improvements. Had it passed and if the proposed federal funds were available, the federal contribution would be $14 million in one year alone.  So, instead of having $3.5 million to spend on roads, we would have a total of $17.5 million!”

Rick said he will continue to communicate with representatives in Washington, D.C. and push for the inclusion of this plan in the legislation.

Mary Ann represented LaCapitol Federal Credit Union at the annual NAFCU conference in D.C.  She spoke to the senators and congressmen about the important role credit unions play in the nation and, in particular, in Louisiana.  Many people don’t realize that nearly 1.4 million people in Louisiana are members of credit unions.  Credit unions serve many people who cannot be served by other financial institutions due to their particular circumstances.

Mary Ann works closely with local community banks to meet the needs of citizens.  She stressed the importance of support for revisions to the Consumer Finance Protection Board that would relieve credit unions and other small financial institutions from over burdensome regulations.  The regulation of credit unions increased dramatically following the 2008 financial collapse, even though they had little, if anything, to do with the problem.  In fact, credit unions across American did a lot to pull the country out of the situation.

Natchez man arrested for narcotics related charges

MJDTF-Damien Johnson

According to a Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force official, agents arrested Damien Johnson B/M 21, on Sept. 6 on narcotics and weapons charges in Natchez.

NMJDTF agents obtained a narcotics search warrant for Johnson’s residence as a result of a six month narcotics investigation where Johnson was allegedly selling illegal narcotics out of his residence in the 100 block of Lewis Loop Natchez.   Agents located Johnson operating his motor vehicle in the area and he was detained pending the outcome of the search warrant.  Task Force agents served the search warrant and found approximately 8 ounces of suspected marijuana, 30 grams of suspected methamphetamine, Alprazolam pills, $1,621, a SKS assault rifle, a stolen Glock pistol and drug paraphernalia used in the packaging and selling of illegal narcotics.

Johnson was charged with the following and placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center:

-Possession of CDS II methamphetamine with intent to distribute
– Possession of CDS I marijuana with intent to distribute
– Possession of CDS IV with intent to distribute
– Possession of drug paraphernalia
– Possession of a firearm in the presence of CDS
-Possession of a stolen firearm

The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support.  Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen.  For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.

NSU Homecoming 2017

AD-NSU Homecoming Alumni

A time-honored NSU tradition, Homecoming brings together students, parents and alumni to celebrate their Demon spirit. The week long festivities showcase the Demon spirit through athletic events, fun on- and off-campus activities, and entertainment. The highlight of this week is the Homecoming game when the Demons take on the University of Central Arkansas Bears in Turpin Stadium. The Student Activities Board in partnership with the NSU Alumni Association has put together a schedule that has something for everyone, so come out and have a great time!

Schedule of Events:

Friday, Oct. 20
9 am – Alumni Association Board Meeting @ Caspari Hall Conference Room, 3rd Floor
11 am – Homecoming Golf Tournament @ NSU Rec Complex
1 pm – Varnado Hall Open House

1:30 pm – NSU Foundation Board Meeting @ President’s Room, Student Union
5 pm – Alumni Art Exhibit @ Orville Hanchey Gallery – with alumnus and collector, Ron Wilkinson
5:30 pm – Homecoming Parade (University Parkway)
6 pm – Pep Rally (Iberville Green)
6:30 pm – 1997 Football Team Reunion Banquet @ the Landing
7 pm – NSU BAA Mixer @ Hana Sushi Bar & Grill, Refreshments provided
7:30 pm – Homecoming Awards During Rockin’ on the Green
8:30 pm – Afterhours: Downtown by Decades…Graduates will meet up up downtown at specific locations by graduation year.
60s-70s: Mayeaux’s
80s: Magliueaux’s
90s: Mama’s
2000s: The Landing
2010-2017: The Pub

Saturday, Oct. 21
9 am – Homecoming Alumni Breakfast and Bingo @ Collins Pavilion
10 am – N Club Hall of Fame Induction @ Magale Recital Hall
10 am – Morrison Open House for Scholars’ 30th Anniversary
10 am – NSU BAA Annual Planning Meeting @ Student Union Cane River Room
11 pm – College of Business Reception – Outstanding Business Awards @ Russell Hall, Natchitoches Room
11:30 am – Luncheon for Past Homecoming Kings & Queens and Mr/Miss @ Student Union – Ballroom
12 pm – Scholars’ 30th Anniversary Picnic Lunch @ Morrison Quad
12 pm – Men’s Basketball Alumni Game/Reunion
1 pm – Gallaspy College of Education & Human Development Reunion @ Teacher Education Commons Area
1:30 pm – Hall of Distinguished Educators Induction Ceremony @ Teacher Education Auditorium, Pod A
2 pm – Tailgating Activities @ Collins Pavilion and Donald’s Demon Alley
3 pm – Demon Regiment Open House and Tailgate @ James A. Noe Military Science Building
5:30 pm – Pregame Activities @ Turpin Stadium
6 pm – Northwestern State vs. UCA @ Turpin Stadium
– Scholar’s College 30th Anniversary – Dinner and Dance @ Natchitoches Events Center (Or Game)
TBA – Black Alumni Alliance – Mixer
7:30 pm – Halftime Ceremonies @ Turpin Stadium
9 pm – Win against UCA
10 pm – NSU BAA Homecoming Party @ Illuminations

To Register for Homecoming events, click the links below:

NSU Golf Tournament –
Scholars’ College 30th Reunion –
Homecoming Queen/King & Mr/Miss NSU Reunion –
Breakfast Bingo –
Homecoming Tailgate –

Natchitoches Parish Fair Board members speak at Lions Club

Lions_Parish Fair 2017.jpg

The Natchitoches Parish Fair and Rodeo will come to Natchitoches Sept. 24-30, offering young and old alike a whole week of fun, food and live entertainment. Board members spoke to the Natchitoches Lions Club at its meeting Sept. 18.

“Kid’s Day at the Fair” (Sept. 28-29) raises awareness for these industries. Children in Natchitoches Parish schools (grades PreK-2) attend the fair for FREE. It’s an educational day featuring Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office DARE and SWAT units, a truck from the Natchitoches Fire Department, a SWEPCO electricity trailer and more.

In conjunction with the fair, the Jim Leslie Memorial Rodeo (Sept. 29-30 at 7:30 pm) features cowboys and cowgirls competing. It also features special guest clown Rudy Burns.

Judged exhibitions offer junior and adult divisions that are open to the public for crafts, canning items, paintings, photography, sewing and cooking. There will be ribbons and premium money awarded.

New and annual events include:
4-H Talent Show: Sept. 28 at 6 pm
4-H BB Gun Shoot: Sept. 26 at 9 am
Forestry Skills Competition: Sept. 29 at 10 am
Beebe Martin Memorial FFA Competition: Sept. 27 from 8 am – 12 pm. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.
Sassy Senior Day: Sept. 27 from 9 am – 12 pm

For more information, a complete schedule or catalog go online to

Notice of Death – September 20, 2017

Notice of Death 2017

Judith Grayson Broadwater
August 2, 1939 – September 19, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 11 am – 1 pm
Service: Friday, Sept. 22 at 1 pm in the Chapel at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery

Isabelle Verzwyvelt Cataldie
June 17, 1937 – September 19, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 5-8 pm and Saturday, Sept. 23 from 8:30-9:30 am at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10 am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park

Sammie Coleman
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 1-6 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home in Mansfield
Service: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 am at Friendship Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Interment: Friendship Cemetery in Grand Cane

Kessire Brisker
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 7-8 pm at Jenkins Funeral Home Chapel in Mansfield
Service: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 am at Springville Baptist Church in Coushatta
Interment: King Hill Cemetery in Ajax

Ellis J. LaHood
October 26, 1924 – September 18, 2017
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 8-10:30 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
Service: Friday, Sept. 22 at 10:30 am at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park

Marquerite Wilson Martin
Visitation: Friday, Sept. 22 from 6-7 pm at New Zion Baptist Church in Grand Cane
Service: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 12 pm at Higher Ground Ministries in Mansfield
Interment: Old Zion Cemetery in Grand Cane

Alfred “Pip” Demas
December 29, 1965 – September 16, 2017
Service: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Morning Star Baptist Church Cemetery in Natchez

Franklin Allen Hammon 
June 6, 1933 – September 16, 2017
Service: Thursday, Sept. 21 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Alma Edwards 
February 21, 1911 – September 14, 2017
Service: Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 10 am at Beulah Baptist Church
Interment: Beulah Cemetery