Various genres of music presented at the 2022 Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival

The organizers of the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, which is going to be presented on the downtown riverbank stage on May 20th and 21st always like to spotlight the diversity of the music at the event and love to set a “If you can’t find some music at this festival that you like, then you just don’t like music.” This statement is clearly illustrated when you break down the various genres of music presented at the festival and the bands that will be performing music of that genre: 

JAZZ:     

Dave Duplissey’s Sax in the Corner Band
The Nakatosh Rhythm Chiefs
The Dan Sumner Band – Featuring Coco York
The Forsyth Jazz Collective               

Note:  All Jazz bands will be performing on the Jazz Stage which will now be located at The Venue on Front Street.

RHYTHM & BLUES/SOUL: 

The Commodores
Klockwork Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
Deshawn Washington
The Kelli Roberts Band
Josh Hyde and the Lost Parish
The Turn-Ups
Cane River Soul 

ROCK & ROLL/CLASSIC ROCK: 

The Commodores
L.A. Roxx
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
James Burton
Resurrection
The Kelli Roberts Band
The Sundown Band
Jesse Cole
The Turn-Ups
The Comeback Kids
Cane River Soul 

ZYDECO: 

Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators
B Cam and the Zydeco Young Bucks 

BLUES:               

Josh Hyde and the Lost Parish
Klockwork Band
Cane River Soul
The Snake Doctors

COUNTRY: 

Marty Haggard
The Chase Tyler Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
The Sundown Band
Armadillo Jackal Band
The Comeback Kids 

FUNK: 

The Commodores
Klockwork Band
Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs
Cane River Soul 

AMERICANA/FOLK: 

L.A. Sweet T
Armadillo Jackal Band
Snake Doctors
50 Man Machine  

LATIN:

L.A.Sweet T     

CELTIC/SCOTTISH 

50 Man Machine 

The festival begins on Friday, May 20th at 7 p.m. with Gerard Delafose and the Zydeco Gators followed by L. A. Roxx, then continues all day Saturday, May 21st with over 20 bands on four different stages with The Commodores closing the show. 

There will be lots of food and activities for the kids at this family friendly event.  

For tickets and more information go to www.natchjazzfest.com


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Kindness at Provencal

Mrs. Salard’s preschool class fixed special testing snacks for Mrs. Guin’s third grade homeroom. They gave the class an encouraging poster and performed a good luck cheer for them before testing started. In response, Mrs. Guins third graders made each preschool student a thank you card and brought them doughnuts.

Pictured on front row from left are Emery Liner, Jayce Chester, Logan Wadkins, Johnny Vanhook, Nolan Briley, Cashlyn Lacaze, Destini Moran, Hayden Harvey, Lainey Hepner, and Keith Sarpy.
Second row: Ra’Leigh Conday, Lillie Niette, Haizley Mann, and Jamarquist Jones. By Mrs Guin is Randall Welch.


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Cross Pollination

By Katie Bedgood

What does cross pollination mean and what does it do? Cross pollination is the process of applying pollen from one flower to the pistils of another flower. Not only is cross pollination used on flowers, but farmers use cross pollination to get the perfect varieties of produce. For example, pollen from a Gala apple tree can go and fertilize a golden delicious apple tree and result in a red and yellow or a smaller apple from the golden delicious apple tree. What exactly happens when another plant cross pollinates with another plant is that the two plants’ genetic material are combined and the resulting seeds from that pollination will have characteristics of both varieties and is a whole new variety.

So, is it true that strawberries and blueberries can cross pollinate? No, that is not true. For a plant to cross pollinate they must have similar enough genetic material like in the apple example, or you could cross pollinate different types of pepper to each other.

Not only do farmers use cross pollination but florists do too. They can cross pollinate flowers that can result in different colors, or they could make a flower hybrid. Our local extension agent from the LSU AgCenter, Randall Mallette, had this to say regarding cross pollination:

“Cross pollination is beneficial in production agriculture, however home gardeners should be aware of issues that can arise from cross pollination in their gardens. For instance, peppers can cross pollinate. This will not affect the pepper fruit, however if the gardener plans to keep seed for replanting, the plants that grow from that seed will not be true seeds, they will be a hybrid. Squash varieties, including zucchinis, can cross pollinate as well. The biggest problem that gardeners can encounter is with sweet corn. Varieties of sweet corn can cross pollinate each other and result in altered tastes, textures, and ear size and structure.”


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BOM sponsors Sweetie’s Bar-B-Q

BOM is proud to sponsor Daryl Walker with Sweetie’s Bar-B-Q. Daryl and his team competed in the Hogs for the Cause as the Head Pitmaster for Team Aporkalypse. His team placed 6th overall out of 85 teams. Congratulations!!


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Thou Shalt Not Steal

By Brad Dison

On the night of April 23, 2006, David Kotkin, Cathy Daly, and Mia Volmut went to dinner after work in West Palm Beach, Florida. David was a multimillionaire and Cathy and Mia were his assistants. At about 11:15 pm, after they had finished dinner, they left the restaurant and walked into the parking lot. They were unaware that they were being watched.

Four teenagers sat in a dark car and watched as David, Cathy and Mia exited the restaurant. When the trio was about halfway between the restaurant and their vehicle, far enough that they would be unable to run to the safety of either, the teenagers jumped from their parked car. Before the trio could react, pistols were pointing at their faces at close range. The teenagers told the trio to give them their money, cell phones, and whatever else of value they had on them. By stealing their phones, the robbers knew they would be long gone by the time the trio could alert police.

Cathy and Mia gave the teenage robbers a purse which contained about 200 euros, $100, a passport, and airline tickets. Cathy and Mia emptied their pockets of about $400. To the robbers, it was looking like it was going to be a good night. In David, however, they were attempting to rob the wrong man.

David, himself, had a habit of making things disappear and could escape pretty much any situation which presented itself. He had made his fortune by making things owned by other people disappear right before their own eyes. At his peak, David cleverly pulled in thousands of dollars per night.

David remained calm. He carefully studied the faces of the teenage hoodlums. At their insistence, David pulled his pockets inside out. He showed the robbers that his pockets contained nothing of value. The teenagers were surprised that he had no money, no wallet, and no cell phone, when they had made such a big score from his companions.

Finally satisfied that they had taken all there was to take from the trio, the teenage robbers ran to their car and sped away. David had outsmarted the four robbers. By using what he referred to as “reverse pickpocketing” aided by the shadows that the night provided, David hid his cell phone and wallet in the palms of his hands. As the robbers were fleeing, David, cell phone already in his hand, dialed 911 and gave the police the license plate number of the robbers’ car.

Within minutes, police arrested the four teenage robbers and recovered the stolen goods. At the police station, David, Cathy, and Mia easily identified the teenage robbers. Police charged the teenagers with armed robbery and held them without bond. Some of officers knew that David had a habit of cutting women into pieces, but none attempted to arrest him. Rather, several of them asked for his autograph. You know David Kotkin by his professional name. He is master illusionist David Copperfield.

Sources: Fromm, Emily. “David Copperfield Robbed at Gunpoint.” People.com. Accessed May 9, 2022. people.com/celebrity/david-copperfield-robbed-at-gunpoint/.


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FARMERS MARKET – This Saturday

The City of Natchitoches will kick-off the Natchitoches Farmers Market tomorrow (Saturday) and will be open every Saturday every Saturday from now until July 23, 2022.

The Natchitoches Farmers Market will be downtown on the riverbank from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

May 21, 2022 – “Battle of the Badges”
May 28, 2022 – “Signs of Summer”
June 4, 2022 – “The Chicken or The Egg?”
June 11, 2022 – “Mini Makers Day”
June 18, 2022 – “Blue Grass Day”
June 25, 2022 – “Contest on the Cane!!!”
July 2, 2022 – “4-H Day”
July 9, 2022 – “Blending for Health”
July 16, 2022 – “One Mans Treasure!!”
July 23, 2022 – “Farming on the Cane”

For more information, please contact the Farmers Market at (318) 663-5190 or (318) 214-7911.


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Notice of Death – May 17, 2022

NATCHITOCHES:
Benedict “Bubba” LaCour, Jr.
December 1, 1945 – May 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 21 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

WINN:
Marie Guthrie Saucier
January 18, 1926 – May 16, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 18 at 12 pm at Bethel Church of Christ, located at 4793 Highway 501 in Winnfield

RED RIVER:
Terry Lynn Fields
December 31, 1951 – May 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel


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Parish Council Meeting: May 16

The Natchitoches Parish Council’s May 16 meeting was brief. The following items were addressed:

  • Patsy Ward Hoover will no longer serve on the Parish Council, effective June 23, as she won the election for mayor of the village of Natchez.
  • OCS will not participate in the Summer Feeding Program because they will not be able to participate in the “grab and go” style food distribution because they don’t have the facilities to package the food correctly since Head Start is no longer under their supervision.
  • At the April 19 meeting, the Council authorized the Parish President to hire an attorney to help close an IRS matter from the non-filing of the 1095C for the year ended 12/31/2017. The current penalty is $142,000 and growing. The Parish is looking to hire a tax attorney to help mitigate the fine. The findings are failure to file timely and failure to file correct forms. Each finding has about a $70,000 penalty with interest accruing. The Parish is not in active collections while it’s given a bit of leeway to file an appeal. A firm was retained in Lafayette. An appeal has been written and submitted so at this point the Parish is waiting to hear something back from the IRS.
  • The Parish is planning to remove two overgrown Magnolia trees in front of the Courthouse as they’ve been a contributing factor to the deterioration of the building’s facade. A smaller tree species will be planted in their place that will allow a full view of the stonework at the entry doors. Replacement stone was ordered and is expected to be delivered and installed within the coming weeks to complete the rehab project.
  • Confirm reappointment of Dustin Paul Dauzat and Bayli Quick to the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Confirm reappointment of Johnny Possoit to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 6 Board
  • Confirm reappointment of Winfred Lonadier to the Northwest (Black Lake) Fish and Game Preserve Commission
  • Confirm the appointment of Patrick D. Masson to replace Clyde Masson on the Waterworks District 2 Board
  • Confirm appointment appointment of Rodney Baker, Sammy Leone, and Christopher Leone to the Natchitoches Parish Fire District 10 Board
  • First introduction of proposed ordinance 010-2022 to affect a zoning change from an Industrial-Agriculture (I-A) District to an Industry-2 (I-2) District for a compressor station on a 10-acre tract set back from Hwy. 1 that is being divided from a 485-acre parent tract owned by Melrose Plantation. Another first introduction includes ordinance 011-2022 to change zoning from an Industrial-Agriculture (I-A) District to an Industry-Agriculture (I-A) District special exception for an interconnecting pipeline servitude between the existing pipeline and the proposed compressor station. An application was submitted by Acadian Gas Pipeline System in order to fulfill plans of a pipeline system expansion. Site prep will begin next week.
  • Approve levying the same millage or roll forward for the 2022 tax year. A motion was made to leave everything the same as the previous year.
  • Appoint Natchitoches Times as journal for the Parish
  • Chairman John Salter informed the Council of the Parish President’s veto on the adoption of ordinance 009-2022 to remove section 1.11 The Recording Policy from the Parish Personnel Manual. The Council will vote on this at next month’s meeting.

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School Board holds brief Special Called meeting, discusses Cloutierville Elementary building

It’s come before the Natchitoches Parish School Board at multiple meetings, but the vacant Cloutierville Elementary facility came up on the agenda again at a May 16 special called meeting. The board voted to reject the current RFP for the sale of the property based on a lack of appraisal.

Instead the board voted to declare Cloutierville building, content and property surplus and to award the winning bid to Bayou Rapids Construction with a base bid of $374,965 for the demolition of Cloutierville school which includes abatement and removal.

Board member Harris made a motion to amend the scope of the demolition to include all of the buildings except for the gym and the external buildings and abate all buildings. The motion passed with the following members voting against it: Metoyer, Bennefield, Garner, Guidroz.

With the change in the scope of the demolition, Finance Director Lee Waskom will go back to the construction company to negotiate and ask for another change order to be presented to the board at the next meeting.

The School Board will be able to sell the 17 acres the facility sits on once the buildings are demolished. The School Board budgeted $400,000 for this process. It cost the School Board $38,000 to hire a consultant to make sure the bidding was done correctly. This consultant will be on site observing the demolition, costing the School Board another $6,000.

Not for the first time, a representative from Kingsom Earth LLC, a third party interested in purchasing the school, came before the board, to “fight” for the school building. She was not in agreement with Waskom’s report that the second floor of the school would have to be removed to rid the building completely of the asbestos. She said her group would like to get a second opinion for abatement alternatives.

“We’ve done a bit of research our own selves. It seems like every time we make an effort, something is a battle or a fight against us,” said Matthis. “I don’t understand why it’s so important to demolish the school when it could be such an asset for my community, for an underserved community. If this building was in another area it might be looked at a little bit differently. Maybe more things would be done or looked at or more possibilities searched to save it, not just tear it down.”

Waskom said he was concerned about the financials included in the group’s proposal. He didn’t see an adequate amount of financing to do what the group’s vision is for the property. The asbestos abatement itself will cost $100,000.

The issue the School Board is concerned with is future liability regarding the asbestos. While abatement will mitigate the risk of liability, the most sure fire way is to demolish and not sell, thus not involving a third party. No one knows the “what ifs” of the legal system or the “what ifs” of 30 or 40 years from now. Hold harmless or “as is” sales do not apply to buildings that contain asbestos.

A legal opinion on the possible sale of the property stated, “Although school boards routinely sell unneeded properties containing asbestos and other hazardous materials “as is,” arguments can be made that the sellers of such buildings remain liable for any injuries later sustained by others due to the presence of the hazardous substances in the buildings. In other words, arguments can be made that, if the School Board sells the building with asbestos, the School Board will retain some liability for individuals who claim they were exposed to asbestos in the building, even after the liability for individuals who claim they were exposed to asbestos in the building, even after the sale.”

Board members expressed their disappointment that the electricity was turned off to the school and that the building was allowed to deteriorate to its current condition without any plan being created through the years to salvage it. Board member McGaskey made a motion to table the vote until the board’s June meeting, letting the current bid expire. If forced to rebid, prices will significantly increase for the next bid due to rising diesel costs. The vote was tied 5-5 since Board member Danzy was absent from the meeting, so the motion failed.

In other business, the board also approved the millage levee for 2022.


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Wednesday Morning: The Largest Bingo Game in Natchitoches Parish; 7am to 8am

FREE BINGO

In April 2022, 949 The River had over 2,800+ folks play our “4-Corner” Bingo games!

949 The River will play 4-Corner Bingo Wednesday morning between 7am and 8am 94.9 The River

Three Games, Three Jackpots and Three Winners!

In order to play, you must have a Bingo Card.   To obtain a BINGO CARD, just click this link:

https://mfbc.us/v/nvv66pb

Cards are LIMITED, so make sure you save the date and get in line now!

Then tune your Radio to 94.9/94.3 The River at 7AM Wednesday (tomorrow) morning.

NOTE:  4-Corner Bingo is FREE.  The first person to have a all 4-Corners marked must be the first person to call 318-581-4025 and verify their card as officially being “4-Corner Blacked Out” – will be named the winner!

There will be only ONE Winner per game and all management decisions are final.   Management reserves the right to cancel this game without notice.

Free Bingo Play comes with a Free Subscription to the NPJ and the First-in-Line to play more high dollar .FREE BINGO.


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NCHS Chiefs Battalion earns perfect score for JROTC Accreditation

Natchitoches Central High School JROTC cadets recently briefed the Natchitoches Parish School Board regarding their accreditation results.

Superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi took part in the inspection of the ROTC unit two weeks ago under Lt. Col. Malt and First Sgt. Selby.

Cadet Lt. Col. Shemaria Harris is the Battalion Commander of the NCHS Chiefs Battalion. With her was Battalion Executive Officer, Cadet Major Shakeria Metoyer; Battalion Personnel Officer, Cadet Captain Janna Garrett; Battalion Security Officer, Cadet Captain Reshaun Bayonne; Battalion Logistics Officer, Cadet Captain Preston Parker; and Battalion Public Affairs Officer, Cadet First Lt. Arianna Smith. Absent from the presentation was Cadet Command Sgt. Major Kenneth Brickhouse and Operations Officer, Cadet Major Brenden Cooper. 

To receive accreditation, the JROTC program is broken down into seven different categories in which the program receives a number of points based on the battalion’s execution. 

In the Battalion Staff Continuous Improvement Briefing and Interview Category, the NCHS JROTC Battalion received 35/35 points. In the Service Learning Briefing Category, the Battalion received 20/20 points. In the Cadet Portfolio and Interview Category, the Battalion received 20/20 points. In the Unit Report Category, the Battalion received 35/35 points. In the Drill/In Ranks Category, the Battalion received 15/15 points. In the Color Guard Category, the Battalion received 15/15 points. 

Lt. Col. Malt and First Sgt. Selby’s portfolios were also reviewed for a total of 60 points. This means that the Battalion received 200/200 points for its overall JROTC accreditation. This also means the Battalion will continue to be an Honor Unit of Distinction, displayed by a gold star cadets get to wear on their uniforms.


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Demons wrap up regular season with visit to LSU

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BATON ROUGE – With the Southland Conference Tournament just days away, the Northwestern State baseball team will have one final tune-up Tuesday night.

It comes in the form of state rival LSU, which hosts the Demons in NSU’s final mid-week game of the 2022 season at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium. The game will stream live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on www.NSUDemons.com and through the Northwestern State Athletics mobile app, which can be downloaded free for Apple and Android devices.

“It’s always a good trip,” sixth-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “It’s a good trip to get better. It’s a good trip to play against a really good team. When you play those really good teams, the ball moves a little bit faster whether it’s on the ground or from the mound. It’s an opportunity to do that and, hopefully, get better going into the tournament.”

The Demons (25-26) have won their past two games against LSU (33-18) for the first time since taking two straight April 2-3, 1996.

In addition to facing a Power Five opponent for the first time since playing Nebraska on March 5, Tuesday’s game serves as a homecoming of sorts for several Demons, including senior center fielder Larson Fontenot and senior shortstop Cam Sibley.

Fontenot has been part of the back-to-back wins against the Tigers and was a member of the 2018 Demon team that was within two outs of eliminating the Tigers from the Corvallis Regional.

A season ago, Fontenot went 4-for-5 with a stolen base and an RBI as the Demons built a six-run lead in an eventual 7-3 win that came 28 miles from Fontenot’s hometown of St. Amant.

“It’s really nice going over there and playing at Alex Box, where you grew up watching them play,” Fontenot said. “It’s a good feeling to go play against them.”

Fontenot is not the only Demon from the Baton Rouge area who will play a short distance from home. Fellow senior shortstop Cam Sibley played his high school career at Dutchtown High School in suburban Geismar while outfielder Reese Lipoma is another St. Amant product. Pitcher Thomas Sotile (University High, Baton Rouge) and freshman infielder AJ Bailey (Zachary) also hail from greater Baton Rouge.

Sibley had to wait almost two years into his NSU career to face LSU after the Panola College transfer saw his first Demon season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. He made his debut in the series a year ago more than a year after he planned to. The Demons’ 2020 date against LSU was set for April 28 before the pandemic shuttered the season 16 games into it.

“It’s fun to go down and play them,” said Sibley, one of eight seniors and nine Demons who will play their final regular-season game Tuesday. “They have such a great facility. The atmosphere is unmatched. It’s fun to go down there and show our skills against those guys. We just have to go down and play our game. Things will work out for us and keep going.”

Northwestern State will send right-hander Dawson Flowers (0-2, 4.88) to the mound while LSU has yet to name its starting pitcher.

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services


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BRIDGE CLOSURE: LA 1-X over Cane River

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that on Thursday, May 26, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, weather permitting, Bridge # 083500530414631 on LA 1-X over Cane River will be closed to all traffic for routine bridge inspections. The bridge is on LA 1-X and is located 0.01 miles South of the LA 1224 Intersection.

Permit/Detour section
The road will be closed to all traffic while the inspection is being performed by LA DOTD personnel.
The City of Natchitoches is providing traffic control and detours.

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).


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LANE CLOSURE: LA 490 over Cane River

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, weather permitting, Bridge# 083500000039082 on LA 490 over CANE RIVER will be reduced to one lane for routine bridge inspection. The bridge is located 1.0 MI. SW OF LA 1.

Permit/Detour section
No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times.

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).


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LANE CLOSURE: LA 485 over Bayou Pierre

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, weather permitting, Bridge# 083501150206081 on LA 485 over BAYOU PIERRE will be reduced to one lane for routine bridge inspection. The bridge is located 5.30 MILES OF INTERSECTION LA 485 & I-49.

Permit/Detour section
No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times.

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).


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LANE CLOSURE: US 71 over Saline Bayou

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), advises the public that on Monday, May 23 from 8 AM to 3:30 PM, weather permitting, Bridge# 083500090500001 on US 71 over SALINE BAYOU will be reduced to one lane for routine bridge inspection. The bridge is located 0.7 MI. N OF LA 477.

Permit/Detour section
No detour will be needed as one lane will be open at all times.

Safety Reminder
DOTD appreciates your patience and reminds you to please drive with caution around the construction sites and be on the lookout for work crews and their equipment.

Additional Information
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).


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ST. MARY’S CATHOLIC SCHOOL VIRTUE OF THE MONTH

The Virtue of the Month for April was Perseverance. Students from St. Mary’s Catholic School chosen, on front row from left, are Juhee Han, Sutton Vandersteen, James Streete, Remington Poole, Ava Harper, Ansley Dranguet and Anniston Clark. On back row are Father Blake Deshautelle, Addison Ivy, Summer Rushing, Carter Burks, Atlas Hicks, Landri Ezernack, Emme Errington, Abbie Rodriguez and Kevin Albert.  Congratulations to these students!


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Notice of Death – May 16, 2022

NATCHITOCHES:
Linda LaCaze McCain
April 17, 1942 – May 12, 2022
A Memorial Mass will be announced at a later date.

Benedict “Bubba” LaCour, Jr.
December 1, 1945 – May 4, 2022
Service: Saturday, May 21 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

Sadie Theresa Llorens Metoyer
September 20, 1944 – May 11, 2022
Service: Tuesday, May 17 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

SABINE:
Adell Sills
April 13, 1938 – May 15, 2022
Service: Tuesday, May 17 at 11 AM at Little Flock Baptist Church

RED RIVER:
Terry Lynn Fields
December 31, 1951 – May 14, 2022
Service: Wednesday, May 18 at 1 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel


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NHF kicks off Roque House Rehabilitation Project with Groundbreaking Ceremony

A Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Roque House Rehabilitation Project was held on May 12 on the downtown riverbank. The Natchitoches Historic Foundation and the Cane River Waterway Commission have partnered on the project to preserve and renovate one of the state’s most iconic buildings.

The Ceremony marks the beginning of the construction phase of the project, which is estimated to take 9 months. The goal is to reopen the area, which will be closed to the public during construction, for the Christmas Festival. Additional work, including landscaping, will be finished in the spring of 2023, which is when the NHF plans to hold a ReOpening Ceremony.

Cane River National heritage Area Executive Director Rebecca Blakenbaker introduced the speakers for the event. The CRNHA works in partnership with many entities in the community to preserve and promote the historic resources of the region.

NHF President Terri Cunningham, Roque House Steering Committee Chairman Ben Barron, DSW Construction, Tipton Associates, Jim Rhodes with the Cane River Waterway Commission, and Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. offered their remarks.

The Roque House was relocated in 1967 to downtown Natchitoches from its original location in the Isle Brevelle community down Cane River Lake. It was originally built in 1803 by Yves Pacale, a freed man of color. It is a circa 1790s French Creole post on sill house with three rooms. The house is a remarkable example of the Creole style of French architecture along Cane River. Constructed in typical French colonial fashion with hand-hewn cypress and a bousillage fill (a mixture of mud, Spanish moss and animal hair), the structure was topped with an oversize roof of durable shingles. A close inspection of the house reveals the craftsmanship of Pacale in the jointing. It contained no nails.

The Roque House is among the oldest surviving examples of Creole architecture in Natchitoches Parish, home of the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was founded in 1714. The structure may be the only remaining circa 1790s French Creole post on sill house built by a freed man of color.

The Roque House Rehabilitation Project has been in the works for over two years. As one of the few remaining bousillage structures left standing in the US, its need for preservation reached a critical peak after the flood of 2016. The structure took on about 2 feet of water that caused significant damage to its structure.

One of the challenges of putting humpty dumpty back together so to speak, was a greater more long-term concern of preserving this historic building, located in a flood-prone area, and making it more resilient to flooding hazards. The NHF and its partners share a common love and appreciation for the story the Roque House has to tell.

The mission of Natchitoches Historic Foundation is to support and promote the preservation of history in Natchitoches Parish through education and advocacy. This jewel sits prominently in historic Natchitoches, and we are excited to share its unique history.


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