Applications for E Lab kindergarten draw are due March 20

Applications for the Northwestern State University Elementary Lab School kindergarten draw for the 2020-21 school year are due at noon Friday, March 20.

Applications are available at the school office. A current utility bill showing proof of residency is required with the application.

Tuition for NSU Elementary Lab is $2,200 annually and must be paid by April 30 of the attending school year. A $100 supply fee is due upon enrollment.

For more information, contact Kellie Cedars, school secretary, at (318) 238-6385.

Northwestern State grinds out huge win against Abilene Christian

Northwestern State freshman Nikos Chougkaz didn’t mince words when describing the importance of Wednesday’s 73-69 win against Abilene Christian.

Chougkaz made a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to seal the hard-fought Demons (9-12, 6-6 SLC) win, which snapped a three-game NSU home losing streak against a Wildcats’ team that entered fourth in the Southland Conference standings.

“Everyone is happy because this was a must win game. We had to win this game,” Chougkaz said. “I was struggling the whole game, missing free throws and 3-pointers. I had turnovers. But I stayed focus on the game, and I was always believing in myself.”

The lead changed hands 14 times, but NSU made a decisive 11-4 run to erase a three-point ACU lead and build a 69-65 lead of their own.

Chougkaz scored eight of his 10 points in that run, adding to his eight rebounds.

NSU coach Mike McConathy said he implored his team to match ACU’s effort and intensity Wednesday, and the Demons answered the bell.

“We talked to them about playing hard every play because ACU does that, and tonight, I think we didn’t take many plays off,” said NSU coach Mike McConathy. “ACU is a great team that went to the NCAA Tournament so this is an important win

“It was definitely a grind out win, and Nikos had taken great shots, and he finally dropped them in there when we needed them. He saved the best for last, and that’s quite alright.”

Junior Chudier Bile recorded his sixth double-double of the season by recording 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Bile made 8-of-10 free throws, including five in the final five minutes that helped protect NSU’s lead. The Demons made 16-of-24 from the line, holding an edge against ACU (12-16).

“It feels good because ACU is a really physical team, maybe the best win of the year,” Bile said. “ACU won the conference tournament last year, so we proved to ourselves that we can hang with the best teams in the conference.

“We played harder than in other games. Against (UCA), we didn’t play hard. We saw the difference tonight.”

The win vaults NSU into a three-way tie for sixth place with Central Arkansas (7-16, 6-6 SLC), and Lamar (12-11, 6-6 SLC).

The Demons slugged out a win against the Wildcats by forcing ACU to shoot just 36 percent from the field (25-69).

“I felt like we did a great job on recovering out on shooters and making sure we contested shots,” McConathy said. “We had a little trouble inside because they had 34 points in the paint.

“But I thought we mixed it up well and had guys get critical rebounds like Bile and Chougkaz. We still gave up too many rebounds (41-39), but we got key boards.”

NSU continues to lead the league in field goal percentage defense and lowered its number to under 39 percent after Wednesday’s win.

Seven Demons scored at least six points including eight each from Brian White and Jairus Roberson.

NSU shot 7-18 from 3-point range, including crucial shots by Gatdoar Kueth and John Norvel in the second half.

Four ACU players reached double figures – Joe Pleasant (16 points), Payten Ricks (14 points), Airion Simmons (10 points) and Clay Gayman.

The Demons head to Houston Baptist on Saturday after the Huskies have won its last two games to bring its win total to three. LISTEN LIVE to the game on 95.9 Kix Country at 7:00pm.

CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Notice of Death – February 5, 2020

Delores Chevalier Sylvie
October 18, 1930 – January 22, 2020
Service: Saturday, January 25 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Natchez

Margaret Pauline Holland Chesser
December 15, 1941 – February 1, 2020
Visitation: Thursday, February 6 from 5-9 pm at Trinity Baptist Church, located at 527 Howard Street in Natchitoches
Service: Friday, February 7 at 10 am at Trinity Baptist Church
Interment: Ramah Cemetery in Ashland

Marshall Martin Hearne, III
December 3, 1944 – February 1, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 8 at 2 pm at Highland Park Cemetery near Sicily Island

Johnnie Calvin Emmons, Jr.
November 22, 1928 – February 1, 2020
Service: Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchitoches

Fannie Rachal LaCour
July 18, 1926 – February 1, 2020
Service: Saturday, February 8 at 11 am at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Natchitoches
Interment: St. Augustine Catholic Mausoleum in Isle Brevelle

Otis Cook
February 1, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Hiram Phillips, Jr.
November 7, 1984 – January 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Larry “Thigh-Thigh” Batiste
September 3, 1978 – January 27, 2020
Arrangements TBA

Norma Jean Boyett Rozelle
September 05, 1931 – February 04, 2020
Service: Friday, February 7 at 11 am at Southern Funeral Home

Texas fugitive arrested in Natchitoches Parish

According to a Task Force Official, on 2/4/2020 Agents with the NMJDTF received information from the United States Secret Service, in reference to a homicide suspect, Cordarius Golston, 28, B/M, of the 1400 block of Honey Bee Ln., Lancaster, TX allegedly residing within Natchitoches Parish. Golston was wanted in connection for a homicide that happened in Dallas County Texas in 2018. Upon further investigation, Agents were able to apprehend Golston in the 1900 block of Hwy 6 East; without incident. Golston was transported to NPDC awaiting extradition from Dallas County.
The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force would like to thank the Citizens of Natchitoches for their support. Many times an investigation begins with a simple phone call or tip from a concerned citizen. For this reason the Task Force encourages all citizens to report any crimes in their neighborhoods anonymously by calling 318-357-2248, The Natchitoches Police Department, or the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.

NEWS RELEASE: Date: February 5, 2020


Keith and Nobles

A traffic stop in Campti on Tuesday afternoon has led to the arrests of two men on various charges according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Tuesday afternoon, February 4 at approximately 2:53pm, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were patrolling on US-71 in Campti when they stopped a 2013 Ford pickup truck for a traffic violation.

Deputies said the operator of the vehicle identified himself as Timothy W. Keith of Coushatta, La.

A NLETS computer check revealed that Keith’s drivers license was suspended and that he was wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office for Issuing Worthless Checks and by the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office for Failure to Appear in Court.

An additional unit responded to assist.

Deputies observed a passenger in the vehicle identified as 40-year-old Charles Chase Nobles of Goldonna, La. sweating profusely and acting extremely nervous in the vehicle.

While speaking with Nobles, deputies observed suspected drug paraphernalia in plain view in the vehicle.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies seized approximately 1-gram of suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies arrested:

Timothy Wayne Keith, 47, of the 100 block of Woodrow Ridge, Coushatta transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Issuing Worthless Checks, Failure to Appear in Bossier Parish, and Driving under Suspension.

Charles Chase Nobles, 40, of the 100 block of Ash Street, Goldonna transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine-2nd Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Probation Violation.

Nobles had just recently been released from the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on bond for an Attempted Unauthorized Entry of a Dwelling charge at a residence in the Goldonna area.

Both Keith and Nobles remain in the Natchitoches Detention Center.

The vehicle was impounded by a local wrecker service.

Deputies S. Axsom and D. Caballero made the arrests.

Lakeview FFA Chapter helps plant pansies

The Lakeview FFA Chapter volunteered to help plant pansies for the City of Natchitoches. Lakeview FFA members were: Salem Johnson, Gracie Niette, Karmen Jarriett, Meagan Corley, Emily Windham, and Haley Windham. These members are involved with plant science career development events (CDE), such as floriculture and nursery landscape. The Floriculture CDE requires students to identify plants, judge flower arrangements, and solve problems. Participants also demonstrate skills in flower arranging, propagation, and preparation of floral and foliage products for sale. The Nursery/Landscape CDE test students’ skills in aspects of maintaining landscape plants and related products, evaluating equipment and services, and landscape design. Our members look forward to helping the City of Natchitoches in the future!

Pictured are Gracie Niette, Salem Johnson, Emma Hatten, Chloe Peacock, Haley Windham, Emily Windham, and FFA Advisor Sarah Mallette.

Natchitoches Magnet’s First “STEAM Night” Celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math!

The 359 students of Natchitoches Magnet School, their families and teachers gathered at the school Tuesday, February 4 to sign up students and showcase their school’s STEAM efforts. The busy night started with the superb musicality of the school’s band and orchestra. The school library hosted a silent auction of student art. Students and their families were able to meet with representatives of a variety of companies that employ people with skills in STEAM areas. The cafeteria hosted the school’s 109 participants in that day’s science fair, the winners of which will go on the compete at the regional science fair at LSU-A. From the robotics team to the extensive extracurricular opportunities, the Natchitoches Magnet School has much to offer its students.

According to Kris: 5 Ways to Wear Red and Pink

TGIW Stylers! Of course, Valentine’s Day always brings multiple red and pink color combos. But, honestly, I like pink and red together year-round! I always wanted to try this combo but I have a fear of playing with color, but this year I’m stepping out of my box, starting with Valentine’s Day. Some color combinations are typically associated with a certain time of year or around a particular holiday. Like red and green, orange and black. Pink and red certainly fall under that category. However, pink and red can be worn throughout the year, not just around mid-February.

So how do you wear pink and red together when it’s not Valentine’s Day?

Be bold with red pieces

Invest in a bold red statement piece. A suit or dress, which is a classic and versatile wardrobe staple. Keep the other items neutral in cream, camel, or gray. Then, bring in a pop of pink accessories.

Stay saturated or move to muted

When mixing red and pink, go either all-out vivid with hot pink and electric red or move towards the muted tones like baby pink and soft rosy red. Stay in the same realm of saturation.

Work it into your wardrobe warmly

If you’d like to bring this bold color combo into a conservative office place. Infuse pink and red into your work wardrobe with a mauve top and deep brick red shoes and handbag. In other words, go for warmer shades rather than the bold versions of red and pink.

Consider color for casual date night

For date night, wear a red and pink t-shirt with distressed denim. Add jewelry, a bag, and fun heels – and you’re ready to go!

Brace for bold blocking

Go bold by color blocking a blouse and skirt. Glossy accessories, cat eye makeup, and a bold red lip or pink lip complete the look!

Second cohort of students graduate from Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program

The Second Cohort Graduation Ceremony for the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center’s Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program took place on Jan. 31 at the Legacy Café in Natchitoches. Founder and Board Chair, Claire Prymus welcomed the crowd of volunteers, donors, board members, and the four graduates with their families. Dallas Russell, Executive Director, highlighted the center’s accomplishments over the last year, including opening the Legacy Café, starting the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program, and creating the Ben Johnson Garden. The program culminated with JoAnna Cooper, Program Instructor, acknowledging each student’s accomplishments and providing them with their Legacy Foodservice and Hospitality Training program certificate. The program participants gained skills over 16 weeks through classroom instruction and hands-on learning during their rotations at the Legacy Café.

Offered four times a year, the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program offers young adults, ages 17 to 24 years old who are out of work and out of school, training in career development, culinary, life and leadership skills, while receiving support to overcome their barriers to employment.

Program graduate Keyairra Mitchell, “I stayed motivated through the program because of the kindness and encouragement of the staff at the BDJ center.”

Program graduate Mario Jackson, “I want to be able to provide for my family and the BDJ center has taught me how to do that.”

Program graduate Akeadra Nash said she participated in the program, “to better myself and my situation for the sake of my children.”

Program graduate Indenysia Johnson stayed motivated to participate because of her daughter. She said, “Attending the program helped me with my communication skills.”

Fourth annual Flavor of Louisiana set for April 3

The Northwestern State University Foundation will host the fourth annual Flavor of Louisiana, the university’s popular spring food festival that raises funds for student scholarships, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, April 3 in Prather Coliseum. Presented in partnership with the Louisiana Seafood Board, Flavor of Louisiana will feature samplings of Louisiana seafood dishes prepared by chefs, caterers and restaurateurs from around the state, as well as specialty cocktails, desserts and choices for non-seafood diners. The event will also include music, raffles, a silent auction and features from each college at the university.

“Flavor of Louisiana has been our premier spring fund raiser and one of the most well-received, well-attended events presented by the university,” said Erin Dupree, assistant director of donor relations. “By partnering with the Louisiana Seafood Board, we are able to feature the cuisine of Louisiana with more than two dozen vendors preparing specialty dishes for guests to sample while they mingle with friends and enjoy music and prizes. All proceeds go to supporting our students, faculty, academic programming and scholarships.”

About 750 guests attended last year’s event, raising more than $77,000.

NSU will welcome back Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser as a special guest at the event. Last year, NSU presented Nungesser with an Nth degree and inducted him into the hospitality management and tourism (HMT) program’s Hall of Distinguished Hospitalitarians in thanks for efforts to promote Louisiana tourism, particularly Natchitoches and NSU.

“We have received tremendously positive feedback about Flavor of Louisiana and are grateful to be able to present this event for our donors, community partners, alumni and friends,” Dupree said. “Best of all, the event supports student scholarships. NSU has been very strategic in doing all we can to help our students grow academically and personally. The funds we raise at Flavor of Louisiana enhance academic programing and help ease the burden for students with financial hardships that are trying to complete their degrees.”

Last year’s vendors offered samplings of seafood lasagna, blackened alligator, charbroiled oysters, seafood gumbo, seafood cornbread, catfish creole, crawfish frittatas, Cajun crab balls, marinated crab claws and shrimp prepared in a variety of ways with grilled chicken, barbecue and sliders available as non-seafood options. Desserts included baked-from-scratch treats such as peach cobbler, bread pudding, chocolate brownies, pralines, key lime bites and crème brulee with specialty coffees, teas and lemonade. Regional craft beers, wine and specialty drinks will also be available.

Dozens of student volunteers help with logistics, set-up, event management and clean-up, Dupree said.

“It’s been important to get students involved in Flavor of Louisiana. They are hands-on in hosting the event because they know that proceeds have a direct impact on them and their friends,” she said.

Academic departments and registered student organizations will host booths that feature raffles, silent auctions and items for purchase to raise money for their individual programs. Last year’s items included NSU and athletic memorabilia, weekend getaways, gift baskets, certificates to area restaurants and spas, unique artwork and more.

Tickets to Flavor of Louisiana are $65 per individual and $125 per couple and can be purchased by calling the Office of University Advancement at (318) 357-5699. Sponsorships are available at the Louisiana ($5,000), Bayou ($2,500) and Magnolia ($1,000) levels, which include reserved seating, signage and other perks. The deadline for sponsorships is March 27.

For more information or to purchase tickets call (318) 357-5699.

Get ready for Krewe of Dionysos Mardi Gras Parade

The Krewe of Dionysos Mardi Gras Parade will be Saturday, Feb. 22; rolling at 6 pm.

If groups or organizations would like to enter the parade, parade participation forms can be submitted on-line through their website, or request a form at

The parade will start at the River South Common shopping center (Stage) parking lot; turning right onto South Drive; turning left at Keyser Avenue; crossing the Keyser bridge and turning right on Jefferson Street, continuing onto Front Street; turning left onto Texas Street; and turning left onto Second Street to Church Street to end the parade route.

Chelsey Sharplin, Lauryn Sharplin and Jill Leo graduate from Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy

The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) celebrated the graduation of Chelsey and Lauryn Sharplin , of Sharpco Hotels Group, and Jill Leo, with Natchitoches Historic District Business Association, from the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA) at the association’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Charenton.

The 22 members of the LTLA class spent all of 2019 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned professionals from throughout the tourism industry. The goal of the program is to equip each class member with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, therefore strengthening the state-wide tourism industry.

“I’m excited to graduate as part the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy class of 2019,” said Chelsey Sharplin. “I was exposed to a lot of new ideas and learned so much from established leaders in the tourism industry.” Lauryn Sharplin reiterated that statement, “LTLA was an incredibly fun learning opportunity. Not only did we gain knowledge about tourism, we did it while traveling across our great state seeing everything Louisiana has to offer. And we got to do it with an amazing group of professionals.” Jill Leo added, “Networking with key tourism leaders has been one of my most valuable experiences to date. “

Members of the class also gave back to the tourism community by selecting businesses within the industry for pro-bono projects. Collectively, the value of the class’ tourism product enhancement and marketing work exceeded $100,000.

“LTLA has been a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Louisiana’s tourism industry, and we are proud of the 2019 graduating class,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “Not only has this program individually benefited these emerging leaders, but the LTLA class projects are paying off significant dividends for the entire industry.”

About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.9 billion for Louisiana in 2018 and employs more than 237,200 people throughout the state. For more information, visit

St. Mary’s students participate in 47th annual March for Life

By Jeannie Petrus

More than an estimated 800,000 pro-life supporters marched in 47th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. Jan. 24. Among them were 29 students from St. Mary’s Catholic School.

“It was absolutely amazing!” said first-time marcher Anna Kate Jackson, an SMS sophomore. “It was so exciting to see so many young, passionate, pro-life people – from all walks of life, from every part of the country, and from so many different faiths – all walking in the support of saving the lives of the unborn.”

Jackson said she believes that so many people mistakenly have the idea that the pro-life movement is made up of only a bunch of ‘religious’ people, or that it is a “Catholic” thing.

“That was definitely not the case,” she said. “We saw so many different groups like “Atheists for Life,” “Climate Change Activists for Life,” “Feminists for Life,” and “Vegans for Life!” We even saw a “Nazis for Life” guy out there that was kind of strange, but interesting.”

“For me, this year’s march was a little more spiritual for me,” said junior Luke Zeagler, who has made the trip the past three years. “I was sick for most of the trip, so when we visited the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near Catholic University, I was attracted to the spiritual protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an iconic symbol of strength and perseverance. When I felt like I may not make it through the day, I prayed and found strength. In the end, it was all definitely worth it.”

Tracie Key, an SMS high school religion teacher and Director of Religious Education, was impressed by the maturity and peacefulness of the marchers.

“The media portrays this event as a confrontational place of protesters and unrest,” said Key. “It was nothing like that. I saw very few protesters. I was amazed at how calm, peaceful, and united the march was.”

A highlight of the march for many was having President Donald Trump as the guest speaker at the rally. It marked the first time in history that a president has ever attended the rally and gave an address.

“When I found out Trump was speaking, I knew I wanted to be up and center of where he was,” said senior Mary Anna Scruggs, and a second-year marcher. “While waiting for the whole group to make it through security, a few of us made it through the crowd, all the way to the front. It was awesome to hear Trump speak!”

Scruggs said she will always remember his words, “Every life is special. Every life matters. Every life has potential.”

In the days before and after the Friday March, Key said the St. Mary’s 43-member group, that also included 10 chaperones, two seminarians, and one priest (Fr. Luke LaFleur), spent time around Washington touring the sites.

The group was given a private tour of the White House Jan. 23 by three interns from U.S. House of Representative Steve Scalise’s (LA 1st District) office. They also visited the Smithsonian’s National History Museum the same day.

On the day of the March, the group celebrated Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of the campus of Catholic University. “It was breath-taking to see such an absolutely beautiful church!” said Scruggs. “I was in awe the whole time!”

On the day after the march, the group toured the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where two SMS alumni are currently enrolled. Naval cadets Matt Thibodaux and Jeremy Friedel led the tour of the Academy and visited with their siblings, Jessica Friedel Spear and Sarah Thibodaux, who were also part of the Pro-Life group.

Pictured: A group of 42 students, chaperones, seminarians, and one priest (Rev. Luke LaFleur) from St. Mary’s School assemble outside the steps of the United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C. as they wait for the 47th annual March of Life to begin. In addition to participating in the March, the group also heard President Donald Trump speak at the rally, visited several historic sites in Washington, and visited the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where they met up with two St. Mary alumni currently attending the Academy.