Kiwanis recognizes Terrific Kids at L.P. Vaughn

Students in grades PreK-K at L.P. Vaughn received Terrific Kid certificates from the Natchitoches Kiwanis Club for the month of October recognizing them for their character development, self-esteem and perseverance.

Pictured Terrific Kids are Jocelyn Martinez, Collin White, Essence Issac, James Smith IV, Rhyia Bolton, Brooklyn Smith, Olivia Roque, Jayceon Miles, Johnathan Slate, Khian Middleton, Emerson Oswald, Jariya Guy, Bailee Lynch, Emily Howard, Carleigh Bush, Cassi Caldwell, Symone Jackson, Heidi Thompson, Harlie Rogers, Jeremiah Martin, and Laila McCleellan. Pictured with the students are Principal Ducote, Kiwanian Heather Martin and Clarissa Davis.

Spare the Rod

By Reba Phelps

Disclaimer: Disciplining your children is an immensely personal thing. Not every child is the same nor is every parent the same. This is merely my personal experience and no children were harmed during the writing of this article.

One of the most humorous and lively conversations that the Procell siblings ever have with our father is when we would reminisce about childhood spankings and being grounded. It is comical because my father, and my mother when she was living, only seemed to recall two spankings per child for the entire eighteen years we lived at home.

This was far from the case. We seem to remember being on a first name basis with switches, belts and spatulas.

Our recollections included numerous incidents of catching a good ole fashioned whooping merely for laughing at the other sibling while they were being punished or laughing during your own spanking. Or the one time my younger brother decided to pile numerous pairs of underwear because he was forewarned of the spanking and he wanted to soften the blow. Those kind of spankings were the worst because of the impending doom, you never knew when or where it would occur.

“Just wait until your dad gets home” was code red for us.

In my own case, I was the child who was grounded for months at a time. Mainly, following a disappointing report card or a false claim from a teacher that I had skipped school for the day. Well, I guess the statute of limitations is up therefore I can confess, it was never a falsehood. I skipped all the time for more favorable activities. If you wanted to punish me you had to cut my social ties to get my attention or make me partake in physical labor.

At Campti High School, the chosen punishment was squats. Many squats. Needless to say, I had amazing quads in high school.

As I became a parent I knew I wanted to take a different approach. I really wanted them to learn from what they did wrong and be creative with discipline.

A few years ago my youngest daughter was being punished for a misdemeanor offense so I grounded her from playing outside. She proceeded to tell me it was not a great idea because she really didn’t want to play outside anyway. She then gave me a list of better ways to punish her and explained how she will punish her kids when that day comes.

She then began to tell me that when she has children of her own she will simply tell them stories from the Bible to get their attention and teach them life lessons. She was commended for her negotiation skills and told the story of Bre’r Rabbit and his briar patch. I knew she was trying to out wit me but I so admired her for her effort and creativity at the same time.

She really had me thinking about discipline and its effectiveness.

During all of this conversation and research about child rearing I was reminded of the 23rd Psalm….the words, “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me,” specifically. Having hand-picked many of my own switches back in the day never gave me that warm fuzzy comforted feeling. It sent me on a deeper mission to find the origins of, “spare the rod.”

All I have heard my entire life was, “Spare the rod spoiled the child.” Whether is was from my parents talking about their offsprings or other parents talking about their own. After minutes upon minutes of exhaustive research on the trusted internet web it appears the phrase, “Spare the Rod” in fact does not appear in the Holy Bible. According to Google, this is often misquoted and the saying actually comes from a 1662 poem by Samuel Butler.

My whole childhood was a lie but I chuckle at what would have happened if I told my parents they were misquoting the Bible.

But upon deeper research it appears “the rod” mentioned in the scriptures is very symbolic. The shepherds used the rod to pull their sheep back to the safety of the flock. The crook was used to scoop them out of ditches or holes. The rod was actually used as a comforter for the sheep and an attention grabber and not necessarily for corporal punishment.

One of the most demanding and exhausting things about being a parent is finding the correct punishment to fit the crimes committed by our children. It is only when children go unpunished and left to their devices that all of society has a problem. Ungoverned children become ungoverned adults. Life is much more difficult for everyone when we give up on our children.

The poem of Samuel Butler was pretty clear but did leave room for interpretation. The Bible says it with even more clarity and no room for interpretation.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24

Children’s author will sign books at Farmers Market

Children’s author Karen Petit will be at the Natchitoches Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 19, as part of this weekend’s Poodles on the Brick celebration.

Karen will have her popular Lady Louise series, which follows the adventures of a poodle who is traveling the world to impart manners and kindness. Included in the series is the most recent book, “Lady Louise, Adventures at the North Pole.” The full-color books feature illustrations by artist Maureen Broussalian, whose poodle art hangs in private homes, businesses and galleries around the world.

To learn more, follow Karen on her Facebook page, Lady Louise Books, or at

Ponderings with Doug – October 18, 2019

Some people read the signs of the time.

Leonard Sweet is a United Methodist minister-author-professor-dreamer-visionary. He has written a shelf full of books that most Methodist ministers have read. He introduced me to the concept of a minister being a semiotician. We should be sign readers.

In 1994, I attended a workshop that Leonard Sweet was leading. Since there were only 20 of us present, he could be more conversational with his presentation. It turned into a four-day, gab-fest-brain-picking session.

We pressed Dr. Sweet to forecast some of the coming trends in American culture. We ministers are interested in trends.

There were some things that this renown thinker missed. Who could have predicted the world would be tweeting? He did predict the use of phones as more than communication devices. He predicted that video calls and conferences would be more prevalent than phone calls.

In 1994, Dr. Sweet was right about some things and missed others. He encouraged us to see the “signs.”

One thing Dr. Sweet said that stuck with me was, “The mallification of America is over.” He went on to describe the Mall of America which had opened in 1992. He said that this giant Mall represented the impending death of the shopping mall. How could it be that in two short years, this great adventure called a shopping mall had reached its zenith and would soon be passé?

I was amazed by much of what Dr. Sweet said at that workshop. I kept the mall quote quiet. I watched and waited.

Who could have imagined that the US Postal service, UPS, FedEx and Amazon were all complicit in the death of the shopping mall? Do you remember shopping malls? They are still around. The last one I remember opening was the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. The malls in Shreveport and Bossier seem mostly empty. The stores and merchandise are there, but the people are doing something else. Malls are hanging on for dear life and wondering how to get the investment back. Meanwhile the “anchor” store chains are folding up quickly.

I was thinking about all this the other day, when I saw a sign at the Donut Hole. The Donut Hole has signed up with the food delivery services that have arrived in our town. I suppose that if I want a donut, I can have it delivered. What? I don’t have to go to the Donut Hole to get my pastries, I can have them delivered now. What is this world coming to?

Are you keeping track? In many towns, Walmart has a delivery service. All sorts of foods are now delivered. I haven’t bought a book in a bookstore in nearly a decade. I do all my banking on my phone. Donuts are delivered too. Malls are fading away. The sad truth is that retail merchandising, where you go the store is on its way out. Amazon and the digital marketplace will do in big box brick and mortar stores, eventually. Everything comes to you now. Health care is even changing its delivery system. The house call is making a comeback.

Hey church-people, is there a sign you should see? We will always have a Sunday morning worship service. The signs say it is time for the church to take Jesus to the world and stop waiting for the world to come to church.

Talk about returning to our first century roots! Can you see the signs?

LSMSA Class of 2019 Highest ACT Scores in School’s History

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts’ (LSMSA) graduating Class of 2019 has achieved the highest composite ACT score in the school’s history with an average 29.6. This is in contrast to the state average of 18.8, down from 19.2 in 2018.

“These scores are not only representative of the hard work and determination of our students, but also the preparation and instruction offered by our dedicated faculty,” said Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “We’re proud of this accomplishment and know that the members of the Class of 2019 are now in college and are excelling in their current scholastic endeavors.”

The Class of 2019’s score beats the previous record of 29.2. The previous record was set by the Class of 2015 and tied by the classes of 2016 and 2018.

LSMSA offers a rigorous and nurturing learning environment that provide college-level instruction from highly qualified professors. More than 74% of LSMSA’s faculty hold a PhD, MFA, or equivalent terminal degree, and they use their studies, research and field experience to impart a knowledge to LSMSA students they won’t find anywhere else.

LSMSA holds articulation agreements with each school in the University of Louisiana system, which award up to 74 hours of college credit for courses taken at LSMSA. This provides a unique opportunity for LSMSA graduates to begin their college careers with an advantage over their peers.

For more information about LSMSA, call 1-800-259-3173.

NSU Football: Former All-Pro Terrence McGee named Exchange Bank and Trust Demon Great of the Game

Terrence McGee’s punt and kick return abilities landed him a spot in the NFL, which turned into a 10-year career.

When Northwestern State returns home for the first time in three weeks for Saturday’s 6:07 p.m. Homecoming matchup against No. 13 Central Arkansas, McGee again will be in the Turpin Stadium spotlight as the Exchange Bank and Trust Demon Great of the Game.

A four-year starting cornerback, McGee set an NCAA record for punt return average at 23.7 yards per clip as a sophomore in 2000. Included in that average were three punt return touchdowns that helped him earn All-American honors as a return specialist that season.

Across his four-year career from 1999-2002, McGee tied the school record for pass breakups with 44, sharing the mark with former teammates Jermaine Jones. McGee also intercepted 11 career passes, a mark that is tied for ninth in school history.

A fourth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2003, McGee spent 10 seasons with the Bills, earning All-Pro honors in 2004 and 2005 and making a Pro Bowl appearance in 2004.

He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2004, including a Bills franchise-record 104-yarder against Miami on Dec. 5, 2004. McGee finished his career as the Bills franchise leader in career kick return yardage (5,450), kick return touchdowns (5), fumble return yardage (106) and passes defended (99).

A Demon Great of the Game is spotlighted at each home football game. In its first six seasons, the Great of the Game presented by Exchange Bank and Trust has honored 31 outstanding figures in the 111-year history of NSU athletics. McGee joins former NSU track and field All-American javelin thrower Latrell Frederick and All-American tight end Justin Aldredge as this season’s Demon Great of the Game honorees.

Exchange Bank and Trust has been a key supporter of NSU Athletics throughout its long history as the oldest financial institution in Louisiana.

Cane River Lake fireworks-low water

Public Notice:

There will be fireworks on the south side of the downtown riverbank for the NSU Homecoming Pep Rally around 6:45pm. 

Cane River Lake is now at 97.1 MSL
Property owners and boaters utilizing Washington Street Landing should be aware that this landing closes at 97.0 MSL for safety. The lake, Point Place landing, and Shell Beach landing will remain open.

Contact Betty Fuller 318-617-3235 for more information. Remember to boat safe, sober, and always wear your life jackets.

Betty Fuller
CRWC Administrator

Lakeview Air Force JROTC Cadet Corps Receives Top Rating, ‘Exceeds Standards’ On Headquarters Unit Evaluation

Lakeview High School and their Air Force JROTC Cadet Corps hosted a representative from Headquarters Air Force JROTC on Oct. 9, to conduct a day-long evaluation of their cadet corps. This intensive evaluation included school and parish support of the program, curriculum reviews, instructor teaching, cadet inspections, drill evaluations, inventory management, community service, cadet “ownership” of Leadership Development Requirement activities, and an hour-long cadet unit mission briefing. This type of unit evaluation occurs every 3 years. For the 4th time in a row, Lakeview’s Air Force JROTC received the highest rating possible, “Exceeds Standards”, which is normally attained by the top 25% of the 950 units worldwide.

Pictured above: Lakeview’s Air Force JROTC Cadets received an “Exceeds Standards” rating as part of the Headquarters Air Force JROTC Unit Evaluation on Oct 9th. As part of the evaluation, Cadet Second Lieutenant Anna Smith (3rd from left) and Cadet Second Lieutenant Ethan Smith (4th from left) were awarded the “Top Performer” award. (l to r) Chief Master Sergeant (ret) John Thomas (Lakeview’s Aerospace Science Instructor), Cadet Captain Zack Favela (Lakeview’s AFJROTC Cadet Group Commander), Cadet Second Lieutenant Anna Smith, Cadet Second Lieutenant Ethan Smith, Major Bob Kellogg (ret) (Lakeview’s Senior Aerospace Science Instructor), and Major Don Bailey (ret) (HQ Air Force JROTC, Region 3 Director).

Pictured below: Cadet Master Sergeant Micah Martin (far right), commanded a group of second year cadets during Lakeview High School’s Unit Evaluation on Oct 9th. Cadet Martin and his flight completed a 30-movement sequence as part of the evaluation and helped propel the unit to a rating of “Exceeds Standards”. Members of the drill flight included Cami Faircloth, Zoie Britt, Emma Hatten, James Owens, Meagan Corley, Morghen Demery, Duston Humphries, Edward Smith, and Shakayla Browder.

Don’t miss Poodle on the Bricks this weekend

Join Poodles on the Brick this Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 am – 12 pm as the canine stars enjoy all that historic Natchitoches Front Street has to to offer including shopping, carriage rides, a photo shoot the Farmers Market and more. That evening, at 6:30 pm Poodles on the Brick will be at the fairgrounds as the gorgeous Poodles Parade a Red Carpet like none has ever seen!

For this evening Gala Event come enjoy a touch of Louisiana, food, live entertainment, silent auction, cash bar and more. Tickets are $30 per person. Proceeds to benefit The Creole Poodle Rescue and St. Mary’s Training School. Silent auction proceeds to the 4-H.


A multi-parish three week investigation by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Detectives with the assistance of Shreveport Police, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office, Many Police Department and the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office has led to the arrests of four people in connection with the recent theft of two tractors in south Natchitoches Parish according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones.

The two-separate investigations began on Wednesday morning September 18 at approximately 8:00am, when Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports of a theft at 3 J’s Four-Way Grocery located in the 11000 block of La. Hwy 1 at Cypress, La.

Deputies arrived on scene and while speaking with store management learned a 2005 John Deere 45-horsepower tractor with front end forks and a bush hog valued over $20,000 dollars had been taken from an area at the rear of the store during the early morning hours.

On Friday morning October 4 at approximately 8:45am, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to reports of another tractor theft at Express Mart in the 1400 block of La. Hwy 490 in Chopin, La.

Deputies arrived on scene and learned that a 2019 New Holland 55-horsepower tractor with a front end loader and rear blade valued at approximately $35,000 dollars had been stolen during the early morning from a fenced in area behind the store.

In both cases, deputies processed the crime scenes, gathered evidence and completed offense reports.

The reports were forwarded to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division for investigative purposes.

High Tech Crime Units Investigators also collected digital evidence from both locations to analyze.

While reviewing the digital evidence, detectives learned that a 1999-2002 white Chevrolet pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer was involved in the theft of both tractors.

The tractors were entered into the National Crime Information Center as stolen along with local and regional law enforcement bulletins issued.

During end of September, a concerned citizen familiar with the thefts observed a vehicle in the Natchitoches area matching the description of the suspect vehicle. The concerned citizen was able to obtain a partial license plate of the vehicle and provided it to deputies.

Shreveport Police began investigating a tractor theft with the possible same suspect vehicle.

Deputies contacted the Louisiana State Police NCIC/LLETS Access Unit for assistance in the investigation.

The investigation continued with limited information being released because we didn’t want the suspects knowing of investigative leads according to Sheriff Jones.

On Saturday afternoon October 5 at approximately 5:00pm, Deputy Victor Kay was patrolling on Interstate-49 south of Natchitoches when he observed and stopped the 2002 white Chevrolet pickup truck pulling a flatbed trailer.

Additional patrol deputies responded to assist.

During the traffic stop, deputies identified the operator of the vehicle as 41-year-old Michael F. Bayonne of Alexandria.

Deputies smelled a strong marijuana odor in the vehicle.

Two passengers in the vehicle were identified as 34-year-old Martha S. Brown of Trout, La. and 43-year-old Shaterrica Ellis, of Alexandria, La.

During the traffic stop, deputies learned through a NCIC Wanted Person Check that Bayonne was wanted by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Texas for Probation Violation.

Deputies say Brown also voluntarily admitted that she had illegal narcotics on her person and handed them a small amount of suspected marijuana and two syringes.

Ellis told deputies she threw a marijuana blunt in the ditch to avoid arrest.

All three suspects were placed under arrest without incident.

During an inventory and search of the vehicle due to probable cause, deputies seized bolt cutters, straps, pulleys, jacks, wiring and other assorted equipment that could be used in the theft of tractors.

All three suspects were transported to the Criminal Investigations Division, informed of their Miranda Warnings and interviewed.

Deputies arrested:

* Michael F. Bayonne, 41, of the 3000 block of Tulane Avenue, Alexandria, La. transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 2-counts of Felony Theft in connection with the theft of the tractors and Texas Fugitive for Probation Violation.

* Sheritica D. Ellis, 43, of the 4200 block of Shady Lane, Alexandria, La. transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center with Criminal Obstruction of Justice. Ellis, would be charged later with Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamines and Possession of Hydrocodone after she attempted to hide the narcotics under a deputy’s back seat while transporting her to the Criminal Investigations Division.

(3). Martha S. Brown, 34, of the 100 block of Stump Road, Trout, La. transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

During the week of October 7th-9th the investigation began to progress.

Through investigative means, detectives identified an additional suspect in the investigation as Stephan Morton, 38, of Shreveport who had ties to Natchitoches, Caddo, and Rapides Parishes.

Detectives also obtained sufficient evidence and probable to cause to secure criminal warrants for the arrest of Morton signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge.

On October 8th, Detectives then traveled to Alexandria and with the assistance of Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered a John Deere tractor on Tulane Street, which was stolen from Avoyelles Parish according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

Later that evening, Sheriff Victor Jones, Asst. Chief of Investigations Reginald Turner and Detective Darrel Winder traveled to Colfax and with the assistance of Grant Parish Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the John Deere and New Holland tractors in the Bagdad Loop and Murphy Road areas that were stolen in Natchitoches Parish.

Both tractors were transported back to Natchitoches and released to the owners during the morning of October 9th.

On October 9, Alexandria City Marshal’s Office arrested Stephan Morton while at an Alexandria motel on Natchitoches Parish warrants.

Morton was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 2-counts of Felony Theft in connection with the tractor thefts.

All suspects remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center with the exception of Ellis and Brown who have been released on bond pending their court appearances.

Detectives believe these individuals were involved in a theft ring across Central and Northwest Louisiana that may involve the theft of tractors, motorcycles and all terrain vehicles.

The investigation is continuing with charges pending by other law enforcement agencies according to Chief Greg Dunn.

Sheriff Jones expresses has thanks to all of the deputies involved in this investigation including the cooperation from the Louisiana State Police NCIC/LLETS Unit, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office, Shreveport Police Department, Alexandria City Marshal’s Office and Many Police which led to the apprehension and arrests of these suspects and recovery of stolen property.

Contact the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division at 318-357-7830 for additional information.

Boys to Men Club Carwash Event this Saturday

The Boys to Men Club members is holding a carwash fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 am – 2 pm at O’Reilly Auto Parts.

The club is only accepting donations for whatever your heart desires to give.

Come on out and let these young men do a fabulous job on your vehicle while the weather permits.