Ponderings with Doug – November 1, 2019

“Integrity means that your words have meaning. The Apostle Paul writes, “… am I like people of the world who say yes when they really mean no? As surely as God is true, I am not that sort of person. My yes means yes” (2 Corinthians 1:17-18b NLT).

That is extremely important today because more and more we are surrounded by meaningless words. You can’t turn on the radio without an announcer yelling at you that there has never been a better time to buy a car. Infomercials hawk products that if you act now, they will throw in an additional dicer and mincer at no extra charge.

There is a story of meaningless words about a high-level executive who traveled weekly for his job. Every Monday morning, he went through the same routine. He arrived at the airport early, picked up his Wall Street Journal, sipped his Starbucks coffee, boarded the plane in first class, and waited for his breakfast to be served. On one occasion, as he was glancing at the headlines, he lifted the cover off his bagel and saw this huge, ugly roach upside down on his bagel, legs still twitching.

He came unglued. Not only did the flight attendant hear about it, but the entire airplane could not help but overhear his ranting about the roach. He demanded the name of the flight attendant and the pilot and the caterer and their next of kin. As soon as he got to his first-class hotel, he wrote a letter on his impressive stationary to the president of the airline, issuing his complaint.

To his satisfaction, he received a prompt letter back from the president of the airline. It read: “I am terribly sorry about your unfortunate incident on our airplane. I take full responsibility. We have canceled our contract with the meal service, fired the flight attendant and the pilot, removed all the upholstery, and fumigated the entire plane. It will be out of service for the next nine months. I hope this is acceptable to you and that you will consider flying with us again. Signed …”

The executive felt pretty good about himself and the fear he caused in the airline until he noticed a sticky note absentmindedly left on the back of the letter from some secretary. It was from the president’s assistant and read, “Send this guy the roach letter!”

Do your words, do your actions have integrity? Does your yes mean yes and your no mean no?

What about in your business? Do your words have integrity? I remember a story about the boardroom in which the CEO felt the company had lost its focus. So, as an illustration, he wrote on the whiteboard, “2 + 2,” and asked the entire board, “Let’s get down to basics once again. What is two plus two?”

There was a mathematician on the board who said, “The answer is 4.” The vice president of marketing said, “I agree. The answer is 4, give or take a margin of error of 1 point.” However, the company CPA silently got up, shut the door, pulled the shade, and whispered, “What do you want it to equal?”
Can God trust you when you are alone with the door closed and shades pulled? Integrity means that you are the same person in or outside the spotlight, with or without the cameras running, standing alone or in front of the audience.

Integrity doesn’t mean perfection. Integrity means authenticity, consistency, and an undivided life. Do your words and your actions have meaning? Are you a person of your word? George Burns once said, “The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

John Bernard has a passion for helping people in Natchitoches Parish

John Bernard had a desire to invest in real estate as far back as he can remember. Becoming a real estate agent seemed the best way to pursue it. But the path to real estate wasn’t straight forward.

Born and raised in Natchitoches Parish, he graduated from Natchitoches Central High School and went to work at his family’s dairy with his 11 brothers and sisters. Before becoming a licensed agent in 2006, Bernard worked for 20 years as a game warden.

“We didn’t have much when I was growing up,” said Bernard. “I thought of the things I always wished I could do and I knew the best way to go about it was to get involved.”

Luckily, his years as a game warden meant he knew a lot of people and a lot about the Parish, which has a large demand for rural property. Growing up with such a large family taught him how to work with people. These skills fit hand-in-hand with his work as a real estate agent.

“Basically every day you’re trying to solve problems and I like that,” he said. “I keep all the ‘thank you’ notes I’ve received over the years and I read them every so often. It helps me remember that I’ve worked hard for them and they appreciate that.”

Bernard is a strong believer that you can change a house, but there’s not much you can do to change the land. You can add a bathroom easily, but you can’t add 100-year-old Oak Trees to a tract of land. In real estate the house is just as important as the property it sits on.

“That’s my strong suit,” he said. “I can help people find the perfect piece of land for timber, hunting, a weekend retreat, or to build their home on. All these facets are what makes the real estate business so intriguing for me. My favorite part of it all is helping people find what they need or want in life.”

Growing up Bernard worked for a carpenter in his spare time. This gave him a big insight into how houses are constructed and what to look for, or look out for, structurally.

“You can dress a house up nice on the outside, but sometimes it’ll still have issues on the inside,” he said.

Bernard is a big believer in inspections, which he says can save home owners thousands in the long run and can help with negotiations.

Now a real estate agent at Rhodes Realty in Natchitoches, it’s important to Bernard to be brutally honest. He gives his clients advice and tries to help them understand every aspect of the buying and selling process.

“A lot of people are on a short time frame,” he said. “This is just a fact of life. But I like going over everything and I truly enjoy spending the time with them.”

Bernard is on the board for the Women’s Resource Center and passed his broker’s test in 2019, which is something he’s wanted to do for a long time.

“A happy day for me is one spent with a client,” he said.

John Bernard
Associate Broker

On Halloween Day, NSU unveiled a portrait of campus ghost Isabella

Northwestern State University’s Student Government Association unveiled a portrait of the school’s campus ghost Thursday, Halloween day. The painting of Isabella, the spirit which according to legend has inhabited the campus since the Civil War era, was created by Camilo Mantilla, a graduate student from Cienfuegos, Cuba, who is pursuing a master’s degree in fine art at NSU. The painting will hang in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union.

Isabella is a beloved fixture at Northwestern who bridges the early history of the campus when it was the site of the Academy of the Sacred Heart to the modern day, according to SGA President Jacob Ellis of Athens.

“The legend of Isabella has been with us since the first students arrived at what was then the Louisiana State Normal School. From whispers in late night dormitory rooms to now having students chase her across campus to celebrate Halloween, the spirit of our campus ghost has grown and developed along with our students,” Ellis said.

Ellis said the SGA was intentional in creating a likeness of Isabella in a way that did not reduce one of NSU’s oldest traditions to a cartoon or caricature.

“We wanted to ensure that she was portrayed as a real person of her era and vocation, a Civil War-era nun of the Convent of the Sacred Heart,” Ellis said.

Prior to NSU’s establishment as the Louisiana State Normal School in 1884, the site of the campus was home to the Bullard family and a mansion the family completed in 1832. In 1850, the property was acquired by Bishop Auguste Martin who ceded the buildings and acreage to the Academy of the Sacred Heart for an expanded school and convent. The Academy operated for several years until declining enrollment in post-Civil War years forced its closure in 1875.

Isabella, according to legend, has occupied the campus’s oldest buildings since the days of the Sacred Heart Academy, moving locations as buildings burned or were torn down. When Caldwell Hall burned in 1982, more than 750 students gathered on Halloween night and performed a ceremony to aid Isabella in her transition to the Old Women’s Gymnasium, now home to the National Center of Preservation Technology and Training. But some sightings have been reported around Varnado Hall and the three columns on Normal Hill that are all that remain of the Bullard mansion.

Mantilla depicted Isabella in her convent robes in a ghostly hue, lonely and saddened at the loss of her lover, in the style of the era in which she lived and died. Caldwell Hall, her long-time home, burns brightly in the background.

Ellis said he hopes the portrait will also serve as a reminder for those who feel hopeless or alone to seek help.

“Isabella may invoke a bit of fright from time to time but she is overwhelmingly viewed by the NSU family as a spirit who watches, welcomes and helps preserve Northwestern’s rich history,” he said. “We hope this portrait is an appropriate to honor her and share her story with current and future Demons.”

NSU’s SGA initiated the portrait program last year in collaboration with Marcus Jones, vice president of University and Business Affairs, to ensure that buildings and prominent spaces named after individuals features a portrait of that person and highlights individuals who made significant contributions to the university, particularly women and people of color. Isabella is the third portrait unveiled, joining those of Dr. Randall J. Webb and Joe Delaney. The program also highlights the talents of student artists and alumni with the works commissioned to artists who are current or former students.

Pictured above: A portrait of Isabella, Northwestern State University’s legendary ghost, was unveiled on Halloween Day by SGA President Jacob Ellis, left, and graduate student artist Camilo Mantilla. The portrait will hang in the Sylvan Friedman Student Union.

NSU Calendar of Events for Nov. 3-9

NSU – Here is a look at the week of Nov. 3-9 at Northwestern State University.

Nov. 4 – Start of registration for spring semester by NSUConnect

Nov. 4 — NSU Trumpet Studio Ensemble and Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Men’s basketball vs. Centenary, Prather Coliseum, 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Cane River Reading Series, Friedman Student Union Ballroom, 7 p.m.

Nov. 5 – NSU Percussion Ensemble, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 – Women’s basketball vs. LeTourneau, Prather Coliseum, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 – NSU Jazz Orchestra, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 – 9 – Northwestern Theatre and Dance present “Songs for a New World,” Theatre West, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 8 – Women’s basketball vs. Central Baptist College, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 – NSU Crew St. Denis Rowing Regatta, Natchitoches Riverbank, 8 a.m.-until

Nov. 9 – Fall N Side View Day, Fine Arts Annex, 10 a.m.

Nov. 9 – NSU Pom Clinic, Health and Human Performance Building, 1 p.m.

Nov. 9 – Football vs. Lamar, Turpin Stadium, 6:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s recognizes Virtue of the Month students

St. Mary’s Catholic School recognized its Virtue of the Month students for October. The virtue for the month was Faith.

Students chosen, pictured on front row from left are Roderick Braden, Hendrix Harrington, Anna Johnson, Hudson Harrington, Addi Rhodes, Tenley Thornton, John Paul Thibodaux, and Jenna Sklar. On back row are Principal Andrea Harrell, Chris Lirette, Jace Miley, Adam Parker, Daniel Johnson, Peter Kautz, and Ian Gardner.

CITY OF NATCHITOCHES: Utility Service Center – Manager

POSITION: Utility Service Center – Manager

DESCRIPTION: Responsible for supervising the Meter Department, Utility Billing, Cash Receipts, Collections and Cashiering while managing the overall operations of the Utility Service Center. Will also be responsible for budgeting, adjusting utility rates, daily security issues and data processing tasks for the Utility Service Center.

CONTACT: City of Natchitoches, Human Resources Department located at 1400 Sabine St. or P.O. Box 37, Natchitoches LA 71458-0037. Applications may also be picked up upstairs at City Hall located at 700 Second St. or you can download an application on line at http://www.natchitochesla.gov

Qualifications: Four year degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting or other related field and four years of management experience or any equivalent combination of education and experience.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted through

November 15, 2019


Northwestern State sees increase in annual NCAA Graduation Success Rate report

Northwestern State student-athletes often have lived up to the athletic department’s core value of “academic success.”

The NCAA’s recent release of its annual Graduation Success Rate data earlier this month simply quantified it.

Northwestern State’s freshman cohort of 2012-13 produced the department’s highest GSR at 82 percent while NSU’s student-athlete Federal Graduation Rate of 62 percent tied its highest mark, set in 2017. The GSR marked an increase of 4 percent from the 2011-12 cohort and stands 22 percent higher than the Federal Graduation Rate.

“What an accomplishment for NSU Athletics to set a record for graduating its student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Greg Burke said. “This achievement surely generates a great sense of pride both internally and externally for our university.

“Credit for the 82 percent Graduation Success Rate goes to the student-athletes, faculty, staff and coaches who were a part of the most recent six-year cohort. Moving forward, the focus by all involved with our athletic program will continue to be encouraging and guiding our student-athletes toward that ‘academic finish line.’”

For the second straight year, three Northwestern State athletic programs – tennis, softball and volleyball – placed 100 percent of their student-athletes in the graduate cohort.

Among Southland Conference schools, Northwestern State saw four programs – women’s basketball (plus-6), football (plus-4), baseball (plus-2) and soccer (plus-1) – enjoy an increase in the conference standings from a year ago. The three programs with 100 percent rates tied for first while football (2nd) and men’s basketball (3rd) gave NSU two more top-three programs among the 13 conference schools, according to data gathered by Faculty Athletics Representative Jody Biscoe.

Northwestern State’s 82 GSR score placed it in a fifth-place tie among Southland Conference schools and fifth among Louisiana’s 12 Division I athletic programs.

“These numbers are extremely positive for our overall student-athlete experience when compared to other institutions,” Biscoe said. “This success would not have been possible without the character and drive of the student-athletes, the willingness of coaches to recruit quality individuals to their sports both in the classroom and in competition, academic support within the athletic academic arena, throughout academic departments at the university, and faculty who establish sound expectations for all students. Further, this is evidence that academics and the student-life experience here at Northwestern State is the foundation for a great career.”

The Division I Board of Directors created the GSR in response to Division I college and university presidents who wanted data to more accurately reflect the mobility of college students than the federal graduation rate. The federal rate counts any student who leaves a school as an academic failure, regardless of whether he or she enrolls at another school. Also, the federal rate does not include student-athletes who enter school as transfer students.

The GRS formula removes from the rate student-athletes who leave school while academically eligible and includes student-athletes who transfer to a school after initially enrolling elsewhere. This calculation makes it a more complete and accurate look at student-athlete success. The federal graduation rate, however, remains the only measure to compare student-athletes with the general student body.

NSU Chamber Choir to perform at national choral conference

Northwestern State University’s Chamber Choir will perform at the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference on Nov. 7-9 at the University of Maryland.

NSU’s Chamber Choir conducted by Dr. Nicholaus Cummins was one of 12 ensembles from around the country selected to perform for college/university and choral professionals from around the country. More than 80 choirs applied to perform at the conference. According to Cummins, this is the first national invitation for a choir at Northwestern State.

“Northwestern State will be singing on the same stage as Temple University, Kansas State University, the University of Maryland and other significantly larger state and private universities,” said Cummins. “It is a testament to the ability of our students and faculty at Northwestern State and the Dear School of Creative and Performing arts to be showcased alongside these other fine schools.”

The Chamber Choir will present a program they performed for a local audience in an Oct. 24 concert. The program will include “Alleluia Sancti Henrici” by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, “Ave Maris Stella” by Trond Kverno “Aftonen” by Hugo Alfven, “Maya Danser” by Per Nørgard, “Trilo” by Bengt Ollen featuring mezzo-soprano Emily Saldivar of Brownsville, Texas, and “Sakkijarven Polkka” arranged by Jonathan Rathbone, featuring sopranos Amanda Charles of Shreveport and Valentina Herrazo Alvarez of Cartagena, Colombia, and bass Jayvian Bush of Lafayette.

Last summer, the Chamber Choir recently earned third prize in the Ave Verum International Choral Competition in Baden, Austria. The ensemble also performed in three European capitals at Saint Martin’s Basilica in Prague, Czech Republic, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vienna, Austria, and Saint Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, Slovakia.

In 2018, the Northwestern State Lyric Choir won a Gold Medal in the Female Choirs category at the 3rd Budapest International Choral Celebration and Laurea Mundi International Open Competition and Grand Prix of Choral Music. The Chamber Choir received a Laurea Summa Cum Laude diploma in the Mixed Choir category and a Laurea Cum Laude diploma in the Musica Sacra (Sacred Music) category.

The National Collegiate Choral Organization exists to serve the specific needs of university and collegiate choral conductors by providing a national forum for their collegiate choruses to perform, by offering lectures and promoting repertoire suitable to their interests, and by aiding in their professional development and program growth through performance as well as scholarly and research opportunities.

NCCO sponsors biennial conferences that focus on the particular needs of the college/university and other choral professionals. These conferences include performances by university and college choirs, presentations/clinics/workshop sessions appropriate for university and college conductors and sessions that feature literature appropriate for university and college choirs.

For more information on Northwestern State’s choral programs, go to capa.nsula.edu/music.

Registration for spring semester begins Monday

Northwestern State students can begin the registration procedure by checking the online schedule of classes through NSUConnect then meeting with their advisor. Students can sign up for spring classes through NSUConnect based on the following registration schedule.

Graduate students, authorized ADA students with a permit, honor students with a cumulative 3.5 grade point average and 12 or more hours, active military, veterans, ROTC cadets and student-athletes can begin registering Nov. 4.

Seniors can start signing up on Nov. 5 and juniors can begin registering on Nov. 6. On Nov. 7, sophomores can begin scheduling spring classes and freshmen and non-traditional students (adults 25 and over) with less than 30 hours can start registering on Nov. 8.

Registration for the spring semester is available through Jan. 12, 2020. Late registration will be held Jan. 13-22, 2020. Spring classes start on Jan. 13, 2020.

For more information on spring registration at Northwestern State, go to nsula.edu/registrar.

Natchitoches Police urge shoppers to practice safe shopping tips as holiday season approaches

The Natchitoches Police Department would like to share with our community a few shopping tips with holiday season approaching. During this special time of year we can all become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. Below are a few tips on how to stay safe while shopping.

Avoid driving alone or at night.
If you must shop at night try to park in a well-lighted area.
Try to park as close as you can to your destination.
Never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the motor running or with children and pets inside.
Never leave packages or valuables in the seat of your vehicle. If you must leave any items in your vehicle try to lock them in the trunk or put them out of sight to prevent a potential burglary.
Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your vehicle.
Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbags or items. You can also use this technique to secure your purse or handbag to a shopping basket.
The Natchitoches Police Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

NSU will offer 5-year Scholars’ BA plus Master’s in English

Northwestern State University will launch a program in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree in humanities and social thought plus a master’s degree in English in five years. The program is a joint initiative between the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Louisiana’s designated honors college, and NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. Dr. Keith Dromm will serve as program coordinator.

The program will begin in the Fall 2020 semester, but students can begin applying in the Spring 2020 semester.

“Students can and should expect the same depth and breadth of learning that they get in any degree with the Scholars’ College,” said Dr. Kirsten Bartels, director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College. “Although we are taking a year off the standard time to complete a B.A. and M.A., we are not sacrificing any of the quality. Student still complete 108 hours with the Scholars’ College and complete a thesis, but in their fourth year they begin taking graduate classes and in their final year they complete their thesis.”

According to Dromm, students will complete the program with 138 total credit hours, rather than the 150 required if the degrees were pursued separately, allowing them to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years as opposed to the usual six.

“This is achieved by allowing the dual-counting of 12 credit hours towards both the B.A. and M.A. requirements,” he said. “This will save students both time and money, but without any sacrifice to the quality of their education.”

Employers have in recent years rediscovered the value of employees who hold liberal arts degrees for soft skills that include interdisciplinary learning, communicating in a team setting, challenging conventional thinking to offer creative solutions to problems and adapting to industry changes. The curriculum prepares graduates for careers as journalists, educators, librarians, communications specialists, lawyers, publishers, public health advocates, marketing specialists and many other job fields.

“The program is unique among other accelerated programs around the country in offering degrees in two different fields,” Dromm said. “This gives students a wide range of opportunities after graduation. They could pursue a doctorate in English. They’d also be qualified for graduate studies in other humanities fields and the social sciences. The program will provide excellent preparation for law school. A career in education is another option. They would also be well-prepared for careers in the public or private sector, as more and more employers are seeking employees with the type of high-quality liberal arts education provided by Scholars’ and English at NSU.”

For more information on the program, contact Dromm at drommk@nsula.edu

NSU Middle Lab Orchestra holding Hamburger Fundraiser today

NSU Middle Lab Orchestra will hold a hamburger fundraiser this Friday, Nov. 1 from 11 am – 1 pm. A meal for $7 includes a hamburger or cheeseburger, chips, water and a cookie. Pickup will be available at the Collins Pavillion on the NSU Campus. Delivery is available on local orders of 5 or more within the City limits. For more information or to place an order call Orchestra Director Katrice Lacour at 318-527-9245.

Community invited to Cancer support Group

The Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Foundation is proud to announce the first meeting of our Community Cancer Support Group (All Cancer Diagnosis). The group will meet monthly at the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center; 211 Medical Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457. Refreshments will be served.

Follow the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center on Facebook to keep up to date with all events and meetings!

Monday, November 4, 2019 NLCF Community Cancer Support Group (Friendsgiving)

Monday, December 4, 2019 NLCF Community Cancer Support Group (Christmas Party)

Some groups focus on specific areas of cancer, but this group is for all types of cancer regardless of when or where you received or are receiving treatment. Support groups can give you a chance to vocalize your journey, feel more hopeful because you are not alone, and allow you to learn from others stories as well.

Cancer diagnosis can often generate powerful emotions such as fright, shock, worry, anger, and disbelief. Feeling as if no one can understand or relate can lead to feeling all alone and isolated. Sometimes even the most supportive family members, loved ones, and friends cannot understand exactly how it feels to experience living with and beyond cancer.

Survivors and caretakers created this group so that no one has to feel alone. These meetings are for anyone with cancer and/or anyone touched by the disease (Caretakers, Family Members, Friends, etc.) no matter where you have taken or are taking your cancer treatments. Group members can share feelings and experiences that may seem strange or difficult with others that can relate.

This group includes both cancer survivors and family members. It is important to invite your loved ones, caretakers, family, and friends that are along this journey with you. We will focus on family concerns such as understanding how they can support the person with cancer, share resources for assistance, and how to cope with financial worries.

Group members can also share practical information and helpful tips amongst each other. Some examples are what one might expect during treatment, how to manage pain and other side effects of treatment, and how to communicate with health care providers. Exchanging information and advice can provide a sense of control and reduce feelings of helplessness. Involvement in a support group can often create a sense of belonging that can help people feel more understood and less alone.

The Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Foundation also has a Breast Cancer only Support Group that meets bi-monthly (every two months).

The Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization run by the Northwestern Louisiana Cancer Center to further help its patients. The Foundation offers the Community Cancer Support Group and a Breast Cancer Support Group “Bosom Buddies.”

Any questions about these groups may be directed to:

Laurie Morrow- 318-332-2066
NLCC Community Cancer Support Group Leader

Sarah Stewart- 318-464-3850
NLCC Administrator

Notice of Death – October 31, 2019


Florene “Flo” Brouillette
March 25, 1926 – October 27, 2019
Visitation: Friday, November 1 from 5-8 pm at the Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, November 2 at 10 am at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Helen Kay Mitcham Taylor
October 17, 1940 – October 27, 2019
Visitation: Saturday, November 2 from 12-2 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home Service: Saturday, November 2 at 2 pm at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

Junior Wright
October 28, 2019
Arrangements TBA

Carlton Alexander
October 20, 2019
Arrangements TBA


Calvin Keith Johnson
May 9, 1957 – October 23, 2019
Service:Saturday, November 2 at 11 am at Emmanuel Baptist Church


Weldon Joseph Blanco
August 2, 1926 – October 26, 2019
Service: Friday, November 1 at 12 pm at Beulah Baptist Church

Governor John Bel Edwards to visit with Natchitoches residents tonight at Legacy Cafe

The Legacy café extends a special public invitation to the public to come and meet with Governor John Bel Edwards at the restaurant (400 MLK Drive, Natchitoches, LA 71457) Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 4:15 p. m. Call (318) 460-7460 or email drussell@bdjcenter.org to RSVP so additional seating can be put out. Hear the Governor on this final lap before one of the most critical elections in the State of Louisiana. The Legacy Café will have light and quickly prepared menu items on sale at this time to provide an opportunity to experience its food offerings and support this non-profit community effort.

Troopers Urge Safety this Halloween Night

Halloween is now upon us and Troopers want everyone to make sure safety is a top priority. As our children in costumes walk and ride through neighborhoods across Louisiana, parents and guardians should be mindful of possible hazards and dangerous situations. To ensure that trick-or-treating is a safe and memorable event for everyone, we recommend following these common safety tips:

· Ensure that your child carries a flashlight or glow stick, and/or wears reflective clothing or costumes to alert drivers of the child’s location.

· Masks can restrict vision and breathing, restricting sight of oncoming vehicles. Face painting is a safe option.

· Costumes should fit children correctly and not drag the ground, as this could create a tripping hazard.

· Children should be accompanied by adults/parents and should not be allowed to enter homes or vehicles without their supervision.

· Plan your trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.

· Always walk on sidewalks when available. If walking on the street is necessary, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

· Children should also know their address, phone number, and how to dial 911 for emergencies. Young children should have this information attached somewhere on their costume in the event they get separated or lost.

· Parents are urged to inspect all candy for safety after returning home.

Motorists should also use caution and drive slowly through residential areas and intersections leading to neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters may run across the street without looking for vehicles or their vision could be obscured by masks. Also, Troopers ask that you drive with your headlights on, even during daylight and dusk hours, so that other vehicles and pedestrians are able to see you from farther distances.

Under current State Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween trick-or-treat activities. Parents can find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods by visiting the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry online at: http://www.lsp.org/socpr/default.html. If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties or giving out candy where children are present, notify your local law enforcement immediately.

Halloween has also been a deadly night due to impaired drivers. Adults that take part in Halloween parties and trick-or-treating while consuming alcoholic beverages are strongly encouraged to have a plan for a safe ride home. Your plan can include calling a taxi or having a designated driver. Troopers ask that sober party goers also help out by keeping impaired friends from getting behind the wheel.

Regional Construction, LLC: Accounting & Contract Assistant


Regional Construction, LLC is currently seeking applicants for a full time (40 hour per week) accounting and contract assistant position to handle accounts receivable and submittals for various contract requirements in the civil construction industry.

– Must have a good work ethic; be able to work individually but understand value of communication to work with other office personnel or the outside public in a team environment;

– Will work closely with accounts payable and human resources to document various contract requirements;

– Must have general accounting knowledge and be capable of working with Microsoft Excel, Word, Quickbooks;

– Will prepare invoices and pay requests and document verification of billable charges;

– Submit invoices to customers, track, receive and document payments;

– Reconcile accounts receivable billings and payments with invoices, noting and communicating any discrepancies;

– Secure and maintain records for 1099 compliance and insurance reviews;

– Assist with projects as needed and perform other duties as assigned;

– Must maintain confidentiality of information and data at all times;

– Must possess strong organizational and time management skills, be detail oriented, and exhibit successful experience in meeting multiple deadlines.

– High School diploma required; Preference will be given to applicants holding associate or bachelors degree in business accounting and those with a minimum of 2 years experience.

Applicants should email resume to accounting@regionalconst.com no later than Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

NSU will screen Native American made films

Northwestern State University will celebrate Native American Heritage Month by screening a series of indigenous made films on Thursdays in November. Screenings will begin at 5 p.m. in the Cane River Room of the Student Union. The screenings are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided and discussion will follow each film.

“Smoke Signals,” the first native-written and -directed film to reach mainstream distribution, will be screened at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7. Two Couer d’Alene, Idaho, frenemies Thomas Builds the Fire and Victor Joseph take a road trip to recover Victor’s father’s ashes, reflecting on families, truth and modern indigeneity along the way.

“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” will be screened at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Do you think of American Indian influences when you think of rock music? This documentary looks at Native artists and the influences of Native music traditions from Link Wray to Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis to Buffy Ste. Marie.

“Skins” will be screened at 5 p.m. Nov. 21. A Lakota tribal police officer takes the law into his own hands in this darkly humorous look at colonization, justice and communities.

Dr. Rebecca Riall, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, History and Social Sciences, initiated the Native American Film Series, which was a tradition at her alma mater that she wanted to carry to NSU.

“It is something that is fun for Native students, faculty and staff, but also a way to challenge stereotypes without putting people on guard and without adding to the constant pressure on Native people to perform culture in ways that outsiders recognize,” Riall said. “Often, when people who do not know or realize they know American Indian people in their daily lives think about Native portrayals in film, all they are familiar with is stereotypes that draw on a really limited image of Native people as all being Plains Nations and all living in the past and behaving in very limited ways. Films that are made by Native people really challenge it.”

Films selected for the series were all directed and written by Native people, Riall said. She worked with Dr. Pete Gregory, anthropologist, to select films and with Brittany Broussard, director of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, in organizing the series.

“For the first year, we selected two well-loved older feature films and one that is a more recent documentary. In future years, if the attendance is good, we will show films around an annual theme,” she said.

“’Smoke Signals’ seemed like a good place to start because it really launched American Indian filmmaking with major distributors. Over the two decades since its release, American Indian filmmaking has moved into every genre and become a major way for us to tell our stories in our own voices. One thing I love about “Smoke Signals” is that, although you don’t have to be American Indian to relate to its themes, there are also a lot of references that feel like ‘home,’ particularly in the humor.”

The film series is sponsored by NSU’s Center for Inclusion and Diversity, the NSU anthropology program, the Department of Criminal Justice, History, and the Social Sciences and the pre-law and paralegal studies program. More information is available by contacting Riall at (318) 357-6963.