Dan Poole Honored by his Alma Mater for his Service

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

NSU alumnus and U. S. Army veteran Dan Poole was honored for his service to our nation at the basketball game Saturday, Feb 16th. NSU President, Dr. Chris Maggio, presented Poole with a “Salute to Service” certificate of thanks from the NSU community. The certificates are part of a program in which the university recognizes veterans who have made a contribution to the university and community.

Dan Poole, a 1948 graduate of Natchitoches High School, earned his bachelor’s degree at the then Northwestern State College of Louisiana in 1952. He then entered the U. S. Army, leaving the service in 1954 to pursue a master’s degree at LSU. While a student at Northwestern, he was a three sport athlete playing football under Coach Turpin, basketball under Coach Prather and track under Coach Ledet.

The Northwestern State University Demons have no more loyal fan than this man who once wore the Demon uniform in three sports. He is a fixture at nearly every NSU home game. Dan Poole has spent a lifetime in service to our state’s youth. He taught in Ouachita and Waterproof before spending over twenty years teaching in the Natchitoches parish school system. As a coach and teacher, he has been a positive influence in the course of innumerable young lives. Dan Poole has selflessly given of himself to his family, community, university and nation and is eminently deserving of this recognition from his beloved alma mater.

CP-TEL sponsors upcoming Conservation Tree and Shrub Sale

CP-TEL is a proud to be a Sponsor of the Natchitoches Soil & Water Conservation District’s Annual Conservation Tree and Shrub Sale. The sell will take place on March 13-15 in Downtown Natchitoches at the corner of Williams Avenue and St. Clair. Established in 1980, the Natchitoches Soil and Water Conservation District is a local unit of State government working with landowners upon request, to conserve their natural resources according to their individual needs and priorities.

All donations and proceeds will greatly help the organization to fund community projects that create awareness in soil, water and forestry conservation.

In the photo from left to right: Brandy Hinds, Chris Lee (CP-TEL) and Benny Dobson. For more information call 357-8366, Ext 3. You can also request information by email at benny.dobson@la.nacdnet.net or brandy.hinds@la.nacdnet.net.

Louisiana Early Ed Week Closes with Success

Shreveport– Legislators and local business leaders from across the area joined United Way of Northwest Louisiana in honor of Louisiana Early Education Week. The event is one of several others across the state that highlight the need to increase access and affordability to high-quality early care and education for Louisiana’s children and families.

The latest ALICE Report says childcare is often a family’s greatest expense averaging $975 per month for two children.

“Our mission is to help our families achieve their potential and live healthy, financially stable lives,” said Bruce Willson, President/ CEO at United Way of Northwest Louisiana. “We believe that must begin with access to affordable, high-quality early care and education. It sets the child up for a successful education and career, while allowing working parents to do just that- work!”

The local leaders gathered at The Arc Caddo-Bossier Goldman School to see, firsthand, an example of quality early education. The event began with a tour of the Goldman School – an inclusive daycare that relies on state funding – where children with developmental delays are educated alongside their typically developing peers. Following this, legislators and business leaders had a round table discussion and the opportunity to read to the children.

Early Education Week ran from February 11-15 hosted in partnership by the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children and Louisiana Association of United Ways.

Painting class to be held Thursday

Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will offer a Pick Up Your Brush painting class on Thursday, Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the second floor of South Hall.

In the class, participants will learn the art of painting using step-by-step instructions to create a masterpiece. No special or prior skills are required. Students will take home a completed painting at the end of every class. Children ages 7 – 12 years old are allowed to enroll, but a parent must accompany the child the entire class. The parent does not have to enroll unless they participate. All supplies are included. In the class, the students will paint an abstract guitar.

 To register for classes, call (800) 376-2422 or (318) 357-6355 or go to checkout.nsula.edu.

LSMSA continues its winning ways at SLAMT Tournament

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

One of the area’s longest running, though not as well known, tournaments was held this weekend, Feb. 15-16 as the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts hosted the 25th annual SLAMT (Schools in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas) competition. The SLAMT is an annual competition held between the LSMSA and its sister schools in nearby states. While the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science could not make this year’s event, the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science joined the competition and brought a team to the event. The SLAMT is held at a different school each year and a traveling trophy is kept by the winning school. The LSMSA once again hosted the competition and students battled it out in flag football, soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, tennis, and volleyball. The school also hosted a bonfire to close out the competition.

The LSMSA Eagles repeated last year’s performance and handily won the competition. The trophy will reside in Natchitoches for the next year – right where it belongs!

Notice of Death – February 17, 2019


Doris Washington
February 15, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Beulah Helaire Jackson
February 15, 2019
Arrangements TBA

John Clark
April 7, 1950 – February 14, 2019
Service: Saturday, February 23 at 2 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches

Sharon LaCaze
August 3, 1970 – February 14, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, February 23 from 9-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, February 23 at 11 am in the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Rockford Baptist Church Cemetery


Joseph Daniel Davis
August 23, 1982 – February 15, 2019
Visitation: Tuesday, February 19 from 6-8 pm at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Tuesday, February 19 at 11 am at Bethel Baptist Church
Interment: Bethel Cemetery

Virgil “Bo” Desadier
September 06, 1956 – February 15, 2019
Visitation: Tuesday, February 19 from 6-9 pm at at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home
Service: Wednesday, February 20 at 10 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery

Buyer Beware: Posted Price

NPJ Reader submitted:

As I was driving to church this morning, I was keenly aware of the fact that I needed gas. Since I live outside of town, I was able to determine which station had today’s best price. Anyone who lives here knows that Walmart almost always has the best price so I was really surprised to see that Shop-Rite had them beat by 4 cents. I didn’t bother to look at the pump when I went in to pay since the sign still said $1.93. When I got back out to the pump, I was shocked and somewhat outraged to see that the price per gallon was $2.09, a full 16 cent difference from what they are advertising on their board. Lesson learned: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is not and always check the pump before paying!

Demons hope to continue Saturday success, strong shooting Saturday when SFA visits

NSU 20 Ishmael Lane

There are several fairly predictable factors, along with trends that could extend, Saturday afternoon as rivals Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin collide in a 3:30 Southland Conference basketball battle at Prather Coliseum that will be carried on ESPN3.

The outcome could be decided late in the game, or even at the end of it, as it was Jan. 12 at SFA when NSU’s Ishmael Lane tipped in a shot at the buzzer for a 61-59 Demons win. In Northwestern’s 12 conference games, nine have been decided in the final minute, including the last five straight.

“We’ve become a tough basketball team,” said Lane. “We fight for 40 minutes, or more if it takes that.”

Lane, the Demons’ 6-8, 250-pound senior forward/center, will be a pivotal factor. He’s had double-doubles in seven of the last eight games, averaging 16 points and 13.3 rebounds while sinking 63 percent from the floor in that stretch.

Over the last four games, NSU is on its most successful stretch of shooting in four seasons. The Demons have been over 50 percent in each of the last four, posting an aggregate 52 percent rate. Not since the middle of the 2015 conference race has an NSU team strung together four straight games over 50 percent.

“We’re moving the ball better and that creates better shots, open looks from outside and lanes to get to the basket,” said 20th-year coach Mike McConathy. “And when you have a player who’s producing at such a high level like Ish is (75 percent, 30-40, in that four-game span), that confidence is contagious and at the same time, the defensive focus on him provides better opportunities for the rest of our team.”

The Demons have won their last two Saturday outings and are 4-1 on Saturday in Southland contests, including the victory at SFA.

With six league games left, NSU (9-16 overall, 4-8 in the SLC) has to surge in the final third of the 18-game conference schedule to be one of the eight qualifiers to reach the Southland Tournament March 13-16. SFA (13-10, 6-5, 2-3 in Southland road contests) has an extra game to play and is fifth in the 13-team conference standings.

Another indication of the Demons’ progress recently has been their defensive performance in league action. Opponents are making only 41 percent of their shots, after making 48 percent last season.

SFA is led by the conference’s top scorer in SLC games, Kevon Harris, with a 22.7 average. Teammate Shannon Bogues (16.6) is fifth in league play.

Saturday’s contest, with the Demon Sports Network’s broadcast by 14-year veteran announcer Patrick Netherton, can be heard on Streaming audio available at www.NSUDemons.com/watch and through the new Northwestern State Athletics mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or on Google Play.

The Demons will play on the road again next Wednesday at Houston Baptist, then are off next Saturday. Their penultimate homecourt appearance comes Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Incarnate Word in Prather Coliseum.

Natchitoches Central Powerlifters qualify for USAPL High School Nationals

Tucker Henderson

Several lifters from Natchitoches Central’s Powerlifting Teams competed in a qualifying meet for USAPL High School Nationals this past weekend, Feb. 9-10. Four of the six lifters qualified for Nationals, which will be held March 29-30 at Alexandria Senior High School.

Qualifying for Natchitoches Central:

Paige Delsa – 47kg – equipped

Sara DeMattie – 84kg – equipped

Rodney Robinson – 83kg – equipped

Tucker Henderson – 93kg – equipped

Congratulations to these talented lifter and their coach, Derek Toro.

Steels repeats as Southland female field athlete of the week

January 14, 2017 – UAB Vulcan Invite – Birmingham, Alabama

Northwestern State Lady Demon jumper Jasmyn Steels was voted Southland Conference Female Field Athlete of the Week for a second straight week Wednesday as she continued her national dominance at the UA Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas this past weekend.

Steels’ astonishing personal best jump of 20-9 ¼ moved her up two spots in the national rankings to seventh, first in the Southland, and second in the school record book, only 1 ¼ inches behind by four-time All-American Stephanie Sowell in 2004.

The junior remains unbeaten in the long jump over four straight meets, also winning the award this past week after claiming gold at the LSU Bayou Bengal meet with a mark of 20-7 ¼.

The distinction now gives the Northwestern State track and field teams an award winner three weeks in a row for the indoor season.

Ceaser Stephens joined Steels this past week as the male field athlete of the week with his winning triple jump (50-9 1/2) in Baton Rouge. Stephens most recently finished sixth in the triple at the UA Tyson Invitational this past weekend with a career best and SLC best 51-8¼. The mark is currently the 25th best in the country.

Natashia Jackson was the first NSU athlete to be honored by the conference this season. The junior was voted female track athlete of the week after winning the 400 meter dash at the Pittsburg State Invitational on Jan. 26 with a time of 55.11.

NSU returns to Baton Rouge on Friday for the LSU Twilight meet before heading to Birmingham for the Southland Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 24 and 25.

LaCap Senior Spotlight: Vrat Joshi

LaCap Senior Spotlight recognizes Vrat Joshi, a senior at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), as an outstanding high school senior.

Vrat has a 4.0 GPA and scored a 34 on the ACT. He was on the winning team out of 20 that competed at the LSU Mathematics competition. He was also selected to be in the National Society of High School Scholars.

Vrat interned at Harvard Student Agencies where he won the “Best Business Pitch” competition during the Summer Business Academy.

At LSMSA, Vrat was selected as a Academic Peer Mentor to tutor his fellow students in Vector Calculus, Differential Equations, Computer Science, Chemistry, Spanish, and Economics. He also serves as an ambassador for the school. During the summer he participated in an Economic for Leaders Program at Rice University where he received recognition for “Excellence in Economics” on his post-exam.

As a student, he formed a non-profit organization called Project Polio. Project Polio’s purpose is to educate, coordinate, and provide aid and relief to eradicate undocumented cases of the poliovirus around the world. Vrat organized the inaugural Project Polio 5K Fun Run in 2018, which raised over $3,000.

Vrat plays soccer for LSMSA, serving as the team captain during his senior year. He is also a member of the Math Club, where he’s participated in national and state competitions. Outside of school he studies business markets through finance-oriented online courses, websites, books like “Intelligent Investor,” and business-newsletters.

LaCap believes it takes good grades, community involvement, and hard work to make a successful leader. Vrat Joshi is being recognized for these qualities.

LaCap is committed to improving our community’s well-being by offering financial and volunteer support to organizations that enhance the quality of life through programs for youth, education, and financial literacy.

La Capitol Federal Credit Union has two locations in Natchitoches: 311 Keyser Avenue and 926 University Pkwy. Call 318-357-3200 or go online to lacapfcu.org for more information.

Lakeview Air Force JROTC Cadet Corps Conducts Quarterly Promotion and Recognition Ceremony

Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Cadet Corps recently hosted parents and family members as guests to take part in their 2nd Quarter, School Year 2018-19, Cadet Promotion and Recognition Ceremony. The program recognized the achievements of the corps 75 cadets. Overall, 33 cadet promotions, 101 unit level ribbons, and 8 trophies were presented to cadets for achievements in leadership courses, academics, fitness, community service, and overall performance for the 2nd Quarter.

Pictured above: Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Quarterly Trophy Winners (Oct-Dec 2018) from left are: Cadet MSgt Tierra Stacks (Overall Academic Award, Jr. Category), Cadet MSgt Joshua Long (JROTC Academic Award, Sr. Category), Cadet SMSgt Karmen Jarriett (Overall Academic Award, Sr. Category) and Cadet A1C Cami Faircloth (JROTC Academic Award, Jr. Category).

Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Quarterly Outstanding Physical Fitness Award Winners, from left, were Cadet 2Lt Zack Favela (Outstanding PT, Male Category) and Cadet Amn Shakayla Browder (Outstanding PT, Female Category).

Cadet 2Lt Anna Smith (Sr Category) and Cadet MSgt Ethan Smith (Jr Category) were selected Lakeview High School’s Air Force JROTC Cadets of the Quarter. Cadet Anna Smith posted a 4.0 GPA, a 100% average in Air Force JROTC, performed 21 hours of community service this quarter, and is a Drill Team and Color Guard Commander. Cadet Ethan Smith also had a 4.0 GPA, a 99% average in Air Force JROTC, performed 25 hours of community/school service, and is a drill team and color guard team member.

NSU Associate Professor to speak on Louisiana’s role in WWII

Join the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum for a special presentation on “The Pelican State Goes to War: Louisiana in World War II” on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 2-3 pm. The public is invited to this free event.

Northwestern State University Associate Professor Dr. Susan Dollar will discuss the role Louisiana played in preparation for the United States’ entry in World War II. Dr. Dollar will share “behind the scenes” stories from central Louisiana on how mobilizing for the impending fight impacted its citizens.

Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibition features artifacts, photographs and oral histories that highlight Louisiana’s extraordinary contribution to America’s war efforts during World War II. It will be on display at the museum through March 15.

“Louisiana, played a pivotal role in World War II, especially in the early stages of the war before the Pearl Harbor attack,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “President Eisenhower and General Patton met at the Hotel Bentley in Alexandria, LA, to plan the Fort Polk training exercises, called the Louisiana Maneuvers, and the Higgins boats that were used in the D-Day invasion were built in New Orleans. Our state played a tremendous role, and we are excited to partner with The National WWII Museum for this exhibit.”