Natchitoches Police arrest individual for five counts of Principal to attempted Second Degree Murder

On November 22, 2022 around 12:40 p.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to the 400 block of Lakeview Drive in reference to gunshots in the area. Upon officers arrival they spoke with several witnesses who said that two vehicles began shooting towards people at the apartment complex.

Investigators with the Natchitoches Police Department were able to process the scene and speak with the witnesses.

As a result of their investigation, Dymond Johnson, (B/F, 22 y.o.a. of Natchitoches) was arrested for five counts of principal to attempted second degree murder and was placed in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated.

If you would like to report suspicious activity or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender. 

St. Mary’s looking for first quarterfinals win since 2015 – Tonight

LEADING THE CHARGE: St. Mary’s heads to St. Martin’s Episcopal looking for its first quarterfinals win since 2015.

BY Dwain Spillman Jr., Journal Sports  

METAIRIE – Living in the moment.  

The big question for St. Mary’s this week is now what to do with its moment 

The crucial answer to the season-extending or season-ending question will be revealed as the Tigers travel to the deep southern part of our state Friday as No. 5 St. Mary’s collides with No. 4 St. Martin’s Episcopal in Metairie in the Division IV Select quarterfinals.  

St. Mary’s (9-1) has enjoyed the moment, the victorious moment, every week after opening the 2022 football campaign with a loss to Class 3A powerhouse Abbeville on the road. 

Ever since, the champions of District 3-1A have reeled off nine straight wins including this past week’s 45-0 shutout drubbing of Hanson Memorial in the second round. 

“I told our kids this week that we are in the moment,” Tigers head coach Aaron York said of his team’s success to this point. “I then asked them, what are we going to do now that we are here, here in the moment?” 

York then made his point immediately after posing that insightful inquiry with the Tiger squad this week. He has instructed his crew to remain focused and continue to strive to accomplish what they have set out to do since the Tigers began prepping for the season back in the spring. 

 “I just reminded them, we have to come out and play our game,” York said. “We have to come out and play physical, not turn the ball over, and move the ball on offense. I completely believe that we can move the ball offensively, but we cannot make mistakes against this team.” 

St. Martin’s Episcopal, runners-up in District 10-1A to Riverside Academy, enters the matchup at 10-1 on the year and dumped Delhi Charter, 48-12, in the second round.  

The No. 4 seeded Saints are led by sophomore running back Harlem Berry (No. 25). The 6-foot 165-pound sophomore has carried the St. Martin’s offense to success this season with 1,292 rushing yards on just 83 carries (15.6 yards per carry) while tallying 27 touchdowns via the ground game. Additionally, he has collected four catches for 50 yards via senior signal caller Matt Mannino. On the season, Mannino is 13-22 through the air for 218 yards and two TDs. 

“We have seen a lot of athletes on our schedule this year,” York said in reviewing the Saints. “They are really no different than many of the challenges we have already faced. However, they are probably the most fundamentally sound football team that we have played this season. We just have to work very hard to contain them. This will be a very good test for us. We are completely focused this week on playing the next school on our schedule, this one just happens to be very far away from us.” 

Since Abbeville scored 21 points in the opener, St. Mary’s has held its other nine opponents to 14 points or fewer, including seven to single digits. 

The Tigers slammed the brakes on offenses like Logansport (24-8), Peabody (58-6) and Holy Savior Menard (35-7). 

Not to mention an offense led by quarterback Adam Parker that has topped the 40-point marker six times in 10 games. 

The Tigers attack on the ground with Parker and running backs Joe Metoyer and Drake Griffin while St. Mary’s offers an aerial assault thanks to weapons like Ethan Busby, Mixon Bankston and Payne Williams, who’s also an outstanding kicker. 

The winner of this quarterfinals showdown has a date next week in the semifinals with the victor of the battle between No. 1 seed Vermillion Catholic and No. 9 seed Southern Lab.  

St. Mary’s was last in the quarterfinals in 2017 and last won a quarters game in 2015 when the Tigers advanced all the way to the state championship game. 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

First responders work single-vehicle crash near Marthaville

Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS, Robeline Police and Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #7 responded to NATCOM 911 Center reports of a single-vehicle crash with possible injuries on Nov. 23 at 12:51 pm on Hwy. 120 near Marthaville according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriffs Office.
Deputies arrived on scene finding the operator of the vehicle and two children, ages: 2 and 3, suffering from only scratches and bruises.
The operator of the vehicle and two children were properly restrained in the vehicle by seat belt and child passenger restraint seats.
Deputies say the 20-year-old female operator of the 2004 Lexus and her two passengers, ages: 2 and 3, were traveling eastbound on La Hwy 120 near Rawls Loop when the vehicle partially left the roadway on the right side for reasons still under investigation.
The operator then over corrected crossing over to the left side, then crossing back over to the right side overturning in the ditch.
The occupants of the vehicle were assessed at the scene by EMS and released without transport.
The crash is unfortunate, however, we commend the vehicle operator for taking a few seconds to properly restrain herself and the 2 children in the vehicle. Wearing a seat belt and properly restraining your children in certified child restraint seats may reduce significant injury or death in traffic crashes.
The crash is being investigated by Troopers assigned to LSP Troop-E Alexandria.

Bruce Brown, Lori Lyons are 2023 sports journalism inductees in LSHOF

Two transformational and highly-decorated figures in the state’s sports journalism field, Lafayette writer and editor Bruce Brown and longtime New Orleans Times-Picayune prep writer Lori Lyons, have been selected for the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

The duo will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next July 29, LSWA president Raymond Partsch III and Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland announced Wednesday.

Brown, whose journalism career is nearing 50 years, is an acclaimed writer whose 20 years as sports editor of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser saw the paper earn well over 100 LSWA honors as the industry, and the Advertiser, went through radical changes.

Lyons, a Houma native, rose through the ranks from starting as a sports agate clerk to winning LSWA Prep Writer of the Year honors twice and becoming the second-ever woman president of the state sports writers’ association.

Both have authored books and branched out into other aspects of journalism, with Brown contributing to online publications and being a regular panelist on an award-winning sports talk show, and Lyons also dabbling in broadcasting and continuing as a correspondent for various publications as she is now teaching the vocation to high school students.

The DSA honor, to be made official next summer in Natchitoches, means Brown and Lyons will be among an elite 12-person Class of 2023 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. They were selected from a 29-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.

The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients are chosen by the 40-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on nominees’ professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national circles, with leadership in the LSWA as a beneficial factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.  

Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 467 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Just 71 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 39 years ago in 1982.

Brown and Lyons will be among the 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Ceremony on Saturday evening, July 29, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Ceremony culminates the 2023 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, July 27, with a press conference followed by a public kickoff reception in  the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning Joins four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard and College World Series champion LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri in a star-studded 10-member group of 2023 competitive ballot inductees announced in September.

The LSHOF Class of 2023 also includes New Orleans native Ron Washington, who managed the Texas Rangers to a pair of World Series appearances and last year helped the Atlanta Braves win the world’s championship; two-time LSU track and field USA Olympian and world champion Walter Davis; and Slidell native, Tulane great and Chicago Bears two-time Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte.

Also elected for induction next summer are All-American LSU pitcher Paul Byrd, a 14-year Major League Baseball veteran who made the 1999 All-Star Game; Shreveport native Wendell Davis, who shattered LSU football receiving records before heading to the NFL; multiple national champion and world class weightlifter Walter Imahara, a UL-Lafayette legend; and retired Baton Rouge-Parkview Baptist baseball coach M.L. Woodruff, whose teams claimed 11 state championships.

The 2023 inductees will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

“Lori Lyons and Bruce Brown are the epitome of ‘service’ when it comes to sports journalism in Louisiana,” said Partsch, the LSWA president. “Yes, you could easily cite the plethora of award-winning work Lori was responsible for during her time working at The Times-Picayune. But what stands out to me is what she has done behind the scenes for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.  Bruce was one of the most respected scribes in our state but what stands out to me is the journalists he helped mentor and develop at The Daily Advertiser.

“We are extremely fortunate to have both Lori and Bruce help tell Louisiana’s storied sports history. I can’t think of a better way to honor them, and their tireless work over the years, than having them inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”

Brown served on the sports staff of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser for 21 years, and worked for 37 years overall as part of theAdvertiser editorial staff. Most of that time – 20 years – he served as sports editor and helped guide the Advertiser through radical changes in both that newspaper and in the industry.

During that time, the Advertiser sports department won more than 100 LSWA awards for writing, layout and photography, as well as numerous Louisiana Press Association honors. The Advertiser also won a coveted national Best of Gannett award in 2005 for its coverage of Lafayette’s team in the Little League World Series.

Brown began his career as a part-timer in January of 1975, covering a prep basketball game between Pecan Island and Meaux as his first assignment. He joined the Advertiser staff full-time in August of 1975 under then-editor Bob Tompkins, and one year later he took over as sports editor, serving in that capacity for two decades. In 1995 he left that role to concentrate on writing and covered prep, college and pro sports as well as military, faith and values and non-profit organizations for the Advertiser. He moved back fulltime to sports coverage in 2011 before retiring in 2012.

In 1980, Brown wrote “Prides of Acadiana,” a book about legendary UL sports standouts including Hall of Famers Walter Imahara (a fellow 2023 inductee), Ron Guidry, Bo Lamar, Harold Porter and Chris Cagle. He served two years as LSWA vice president and another two as secretary, and has been a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee for two decades. In retirement, he has been a freelance writer for the UL Athletic Network, for Quick Slants and Tiger Rag magazines, the Crowley Post-Signal and the Abbeville Meridional, and still contributes pieces to the Baton Rouge/Acadiana Advocate and the UL Athletic Network.

Lyons started her newspaper career as the assistant society editor at the Houma Courier while still in high school. She was a member of The Mirror staff at Terrebonne High School and, later, The Maroon while majoring in English and journalism at Loyola University in New Orleans. She began as a sports agate clerk at The Times-Picayune in 1986 and rose to become the president of the LSWA (the second woman in that role) with an impressive collection of writing awards. 

Climbing a steep hill at a time when women sports journalists were uncommon in Louisiana, she became the high school reporter for the T-P’s River Parishes Bureau in 1991, remaining there until 2012. She continued to cover the River Parishes as a freelancer until she became the sports editor at L’Observateur in LaPlace, winning an Louisiana Press Association writing award as well as an award for Best Photo. After leaving L’Observateur in 2017, she continued to freelance for multiple outlets.

Lyons was twice chosen by out-of-state judges as the LSWA Prep Writer of the Year, was honored by the Louisiana High School Athletic Assocation as its Prep Writer of the Year in 2008 and won the LSWA’s prestigious Mac Russo Award that year for contributing to the ideals and progress of the organization.

She was president of the LSWA from 2012-2014, helping to oversee the opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches. Lyons created, launched and continues to maintain the LSWA’s website ( and Facebook page. 

She is a longstanding member of the LSHOF selection committee, and for 25 years served on the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame selection panel.

An occasional mom blogger, Lyons also authored Adoption in America: The Diary of a Mom-in-Waiting, an account of her and husband Marty Luquet’s quest to adopt a baby. Their daughter is now a senior at Northwestern State University and the editor of The Current Sauce, the century-old student newspaper.Lyons is now teaching high school journalism, creative writing and multimedia at Riverside Academy in Reserve and is the advisor for the Rebel Express student news website. She is also the social media manager and content provider for the Baton Rouge Rougaroo summer collegiate league baseball team.

The 2023 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, July 27, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, July 29 Induction Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2023 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the website.

The Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame.  The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors.  For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or  Standard and customized sponsorships are available.  

Oh, the Shame of Zeroing

By Steve Graf

It doesn’t matter how good you think you are or how many tournaments you have won, there will come a time when you just can’t figure the fish out and you come to the scales with nothing. This is the number one fear amongst all anglers who fish in tournaments. Anglers will literally wake up in a cold sweat at night when they have this nightmare. But let’s take a deeper look at the psyche of what goes through an angler’s mind as the day unfolds and they come in with no fish in the live well.

Very few times an angler left the ramp on tournament day because he did not feel good about his game plan. Most anglers usually have a good idea about what and how they’ll catch them on that particular day. But as the day unfolds and the clock is ticking, if an angler does not have fish in the live well by 10:00 AM, at some point he starts to second guess his game plan. He starts thinking (which is usually not a good thing) about how he should have started out deep rather than shallow, how he should have thrown a topwater bait early instead of a worm. Maybe he should have run up the lake instead of staying on the south end or how he should have fished the grass instead of the bushes. But no matter what, pressure starts to build especially when the clock strikes one o’clock with no fish in the box and a weigh-in time of three o’clock. For me, I tell myself, “If I’m going to catch them, I’ve only got two hours to figure them out!”

The next thing you know it’s two o’clock and you still have nothing to show for all the casts you’ve made. It’s at this point most anglers start to panic and start to visualize coming to the weigh-in with a big fat zero. You start to fish too fast and make bad casts, you get hung up more often and have to go and retrieve your bait in places you can’t get to. So, then you end up breaking off whatever bait you’re throwing, with the internal clock in your head moving faster, as you waste even more time looking for another bait and having to re-rig. It’s during these high-pressure times that you backlash a reel so bad that you have to put it away so that you can cut the backlash out when you get home. Then with only minutes to go, you hook the fish of a lifetime, only to watch it come off and swim away right before you get ready to swing it into the boat. A fitting end to a very frustrating day!

Then it’s time to head for the weigh-in and you hope everyone is gone by the time you get there…but that’s never the case. It’s funny how when you have twenty pounds of fish in the live well, no one ever asks how you did. But when you have zero, it seems everyone in the tournament, including their grandma, wants to know what you’ve got. But oh, the shame and embarrassment of having to say, “Zero!” It just doesn’t get any worse than that! So, it’s at this time you head straight for the boat ramp, load your boat, tuck your tail between your legs, pull your cap down low so maybe no one recognizes you, and head home. If you want to see who did not catch fish that day, watch the parking lot at the ramp and see just how fast an angler can load his boat and get out of there.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about the misery of what an angler goes through on those days when he just doesn’t catch them. But the thing that’s great about the end of a tournament is it means there’s an opportunity for redemption at the next event. Forget it and move on because that tournament is over and there’s nothing you can do to change the outcome of that event. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show &
Tackle Talk Live

Blessed: Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

The Thanksgiving holidays have taken on a different look during this strange season of my life. Prior to my divorce they were affectionately stressful and full of chaos, trying to make sure we visited all of the places. Grandparents, in-laws, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors. There was so much cooking, chopping, mincing, baking, freezing, brining and stuffing going on that I felt like I was running a small catering business for a week.

After the divorce, visitation schedules set in and truly changed the way we celebrate the holidays. Once that part of my life seemed to be settling down my oldest daughter moved four states away. I never know if I should cook or how much I should cook. I am a holiday cooking victim of circumstance. One year I prepared way too much as if feeding a small army and ended up wasting most of it. One year I refused to cook and ended up eating fast food. It seems like I can never get it right.

This year while scrolling through Facebook I noticed that a friend of mine, who is a down right tasty southern cook, was selling pans of dressing, cheesecakes, and pumpkin rolls. Once I saw her post I felt like it was a message delivered directly from the Lord, giving me permission to purchase a Thanksgiving meal. I think he saw me toiling away in my kitchen for the past two decades and decided I needed a break this year.

I felt the peace of the Lord wash over me as soon as I messaged her with my order. If I had a few faces to feed, I would be prepared. If I were invited somewhere I would not show up empty handed. If I ended up being solo, I could freeze the extras. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, I kept scrolling through Facebook only to stumble upon some students who were selling hams, turkeys and hens for their Agriculture class fundraiser. Here I was killing two birds, no pun intended, with one stone. I order a fully smoked turkey while supporting students.

The Lord was at it again. He was blessing me during my holiday quandary. At this rate all I needed was rolls and a can of green beans. (Why go to all of the trouble of cooking a green bean casserole?)

I was on a roll. (Pun noted) As joyful as I was not having to cook a full meal, I somehow felt like I was cheating on some level. Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater.

Not long after I placed my orders I found myself in throes of a minor kitchen remodel that was becoming delayed. It was planned and long overdue. I was not sad to bid farewell to my formica countertops who overstayed their welcome a few years back. They were the base layer of many family meals, tons of junk mail, and lots of children who used them as a conversation area. With all of the constant love they were receiving, it was simply time. Little did I know that the counter top installation crew was not responsible for hooking up my faucet, sink and dishwasher once they were complete.

This lack of knowledge on my part left me sitting on a waiting list for my favorite local plumber. My plumbing business of choice is so popular that they were not available until after Thanksgiving.

When I found this out, it only made me grin again like that Cheshire cat. God made a way for me before I even knew I needed a way to worry less about cooking a Thanksgiving meal. He actually had me pre-arrange a Thanksgiving dinner for my little family that would not require loads of pots, pans and washing dishes. He knew this, I did not. He was caring for us before we even knew we needed him to intervene. I wasn’t a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.
I was actually being provided for by our heavenly father. Sure my kitchen looks like a wreckage pile right now and we are having to wash a few dishes in our laundry room but we are still making Thanksgiving memories while the Lord is providing the necessities. He truly carries about the smallest details of our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” Psalm 37:23-25 NLT

32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches

32 Degrees Cryo and Wellness Studio in Natchitoches offers aesthetics, wellness, and pain management services through localized Cryotherapy. The NPJ sat down to learn more about cryotherapy and what it can do for you!

Studio Owner, Suzette, has been in healthcare for over 18 years.

“I have always had a passion for working with people and helping them reach their goals,” she shared. “It makes my heart smile to see their results and progress. When I saw the difference localized CRYOTHERAPY could make in peoples’ lives, I knew immediately that I wanted to offer those services in our area.”

What are the benefits of CRYOTHERAPY?

Helps with recovery and relieves pain. Targeting injured muscle tissue with localized CRYOTHERAPY helps relieve the systemic inflammation of the treatment area.

CRYOTHERAPY helps reduce wrinkles and tighten loose skin in just a few treatments. Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to repair the basal layer in your skin to restore the supply of collagen, elastin, and hydration to regain a smoother, tighter appearance.

CRYOTHERAPY can help lose inches after one treatment, with permanent fat loss. The ice-cold temperatures cause Cryo – Lipolysis or fat cell suicide – safely breaking down the fat cells, which are permanently removed from the body through the lymphatic system.

CRYOTHERAPY increases focus, attention, energy, and mood. CRYO stimulation to your scalp and Vagus nerve will release hormones and neurotransmitters that affect the brain beneficially.

How do I book an appointment?

To book an appointment or schedule a free consultation call 318-228- 3520 or book online at our website: CRYOSTUDIO-LA.COM

Who is not a candidate for CRYOTHERAPY?

Pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
If you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.
Blood clotting issues.
Have Cancer or currently receiving treatment / Could be a candidate after 6 months of receiving treatments (We ask that you consult with your Physician)

What is the difference between a CRYOTHERAPY tank ( walk-in ) vs Localized CRYOTHERAPY?

CRYOTHERAPY tanks treat the entire body.
Localized CRYOTHERAPY is able to focus on your specific problem areas for a quicker recovery /quicker results.

More bad birds stories sure to please turkey hunters

A year or so ago, Jim Spencer, my good friend and avid, make that obsessed, turkey hunter, put together a book about his encounters with wild turkey gobblers, birds he described as “bad birds.” In fact, that was the name of his first book — Bad Birds.

Realizing that his book that took readers step by step up mountains, through briar thickets and across creeks to chase bad birds only covered part of his experiences, Spencer has assembled his accounts of more brushes with bad birds. His new book, “Bad Birds 2,” is hot off the presses and is available for the perfect Christmas gift for turkey hunters.

Beneath the title on the cover of his new book, Spencer adds…”Another collection of ‘mostly’ true stories starring the gobblers we all love to hate.”

Just who is this guy, Jim Spencer, anyhow? Here’s what a blurb on the back cover of the book says about this turkey fanatic….”Jim Spencer’s name and reputation are well-known in the turkey hunting subculture. A self-described turkey bum, Spencer has written more than a thousand magazine and newspaper features about turkeys and turkey hunting, and now, a third book on the subject. In more than 40 years of being whipped by turkeys, he has hunted them in three countries and 30 states. He and his wife Jill (also a well-known outdoor writer) live in the north Arkansas Ozarks, near Calico Rock.”

The book is beautifully illustrated in photos taken by Spencer, his wife, and renowned wildlife photographer Tes Jolly. The foreword was written by Tes and her husband, Ron Jolly. Here’s what Ron Jolly wrote in the book’s foreword about the kind of turkey man Spencer is.

In describing a hunt in which Spencer was the shooter and Jolly the cameraman shooting a video for television, they had set up on a gobbler and when the gobbler closed the distance and was within shooting range, Spencer never got the signal to shoot before the gobbler walked away.

“When he was gone, Spencer pulled down his mask and grinned at me over his shoulder. ‘You couldn’t see him, could you?’ I shook my head. ‘You should have killed him anyway,’ I said. ‘Naw,’ he said, ‘that wasn’t the deal. You couldn’t get any footage, so I didn’t want to shoot. It’s just a turkey.’”

Giving it their all for two more days to film Spencer taking a gobbler they never had another chance but Jolly added, “Spencer proved to us to be a turkey man.”

Bad Birds 2 contains 40 stories of Spencer’s encounters with tough old birds, some he was able to conquer; some where the gobbler got the best of him. He affixed monikers to each of the bad ones he has met, names like Lazy Bones, Gabby, Sir Edmund, Ringo, Blinky and on and on.

As thrilling and frustrating and fun to read as Spencer’s stories are about the bad birds he has encountered, the book ends soberly with his epilogue where he describes in a manner only he can muster of the problems wild turkeys are facing in today’s world. “Something is happening out there in turkey country, and we need to get a handle on it,” he wrote.

This is a book every turkey hunter should read, for enjoyment, for pleasure and for instructions on what not to do. It’s also one that needs reading for his serious message about the plight of wild turkeys today.

To order your copy in time for Christmas giving, send a check for $26, which includes cost of shipping and handling to Treble Hook Unlimited, P.O. Box 758, Calico Rock, AR 72519.

Contact Glynn at

Demons announce challenging 2023 schedule

Plenty of familiar faces and a single new one populate Northwestern State’s 2023 baseball schedule.

Head coach Bobby Barbier announced his team’s schedule Wednesday, a slate that features 23 home games, 20 matchups with in-state foes and a pair of weekend tournaments.

In addition to a second straight season with a 24-game Southland Conference schedule, the Demons have loaded their non-conference slate with typically challenging opponents.

The Demons will play 10 games against teams that reached the 2022 NCAA Tournament with seven of those coming in non-conference matchups. The highlight of that group are a four-game series at Pac-12 member Oregon from March 24-26.

Those four games will mark the Demons’ first action against a Pac-12 member since the 2018 NCAA Corvallis Regional matchup against eventual national champion Oregon State.

Additionally, NSU will have a home-and-home series against Louisiana Tech and a single game at LSU (May 9) among its games against NCAA Tournament participants.

The Demons’ non-conference weekends see them playing in the South Alabama tournament that features the host Jaguars, UAB and Eastern Kentucky on opening weekend Feb. 17-19.

The next weekend takes the Demons back to Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, which hosted the Southland Conference Tournament for the better part of a decade, for the WAC-Southland Challenge from Feb. 24-26.

“We are really excited about this year’s schedule,” said head coach Bobby Barbier, who begins his seventh season at the helm of his alma mater. “We work every year to challenge our team in non-conference to get them ready for what they will see in a very good Southland.”

NSU sandwiches its home opener – a Feb. 21 matchup with LSU-Alexandria – between the two tournaments. Following those tournaments, the Demons play three straight home weekends, hosting UT Arlington (March 3-5), Alabama A&M (March 10-12) and Little Rock (March 17-19) ahead of the trip to Oregon.

Once back from the West Coast, the Demons open Southland Conference play at New Orleans from March 31-April 2.

The Demons’ first home SLC series comes Easter weekend against Lamar (April 6-8). NSU also has home conference series against UIW (April 21-23), Nicholls (April 28-30) and against defending regular-season champion McNeese (May 12-14).

In addition to New Orleans, the Demons take SLC road trips to Houston Christian (April 14-16), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (May 5-7) and to defending league tournament champion Southeastern (May 18-20) to cap the regular season.

After a two-week format a year ago, the Southland Conference Tournament will revert to its pre-2022 format and will take place at McNeese’s Joe Miller Ballpark from May 24-28.

Season tickets for Northwestern State baseball are available for $225 (VIP seating) and $125 (reserved). For VIP seating, $100 of the cost is donated to the Demons Unlimited Foundation.

Single-game tickets will go on sale Feb. 1. For more information, visit or call 318-357-4268.

Newcomer of the Year Patterson, first-teamer Jones highlight Demons’ All-SLC selections

In their first season at Northwestern State, Travon Jones and Zach Patterson made an impact on Southland Conference coaches.

Patterson was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and Jones earned first-team All-Southland Conference acclaim as part of the league’s postseason honors that were announced Wednesday morning.

Patterson, a sophomore wide receiver from East Mississippi Community College, snared 83 passes in his first season with Northwestern State – the second-most catches in a single season in program history. His 7.5 catches per game paced the Southland and are the fifth most in the FCS entering the playoffs.

Patterson paced the Demons with 710 receiving yards and ranked second on the team with five touchdown catches en route to earning a spot on the second-team offense.

Jones was Northwestern State’s lone first-team selection, earning the tight end/H-back spot after emerging as a factor in the Demon passing game while being an adept and willing downfield blocker for the NSU running game.

A freshman who transferred from Chattanooga, Jones was the Demons’ fifth-leading receiver with 20 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown. His 13.3 yards per catch average was tops on the team among receivers with a minimum of 15 catches.

Three Demon offensive players and three Demon defenders earned second-team All-Southland Conference honors.

Quarterback Zachary Clement collected the first Southland award of his career after throwing for 2,498 yards and 19 touchdowns, ranking in NSU’s single-season top 10 in attempts (410, 2nd), completions (222, 4th), touchdowns (4th) and yards (5th).

In his eight starts, Clement averaged 312 passing yards per game. He twice accounted for four touchdowns (vs. Lamar, at Texas A&M-Commerce) and added 303 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

A Lafayette Christian product, Clement ranked second in the Southland Conference in passing yards per game (227.1), touchdown passes (19), points responsible for (128) and points responsible for per game (11.6).

Wide receiver Javon Antonio earned second-team honors after returning from a redshirt season in 2021 as he and Patterson were two of the three second-team receivers. Antonio finished second on the Demons with 64 catches and 684 yards while leading NSU with six touchdown grabs.

His 5.8 receptions per game were second in the Southland behind Patterson and ranked 25th nationally.

Antonio, a product of East St. John High School and Hinds Community College, has moved into a pair of NSU top-10 lists, sharing eighth place in single-season touchdown catches and 10th place in career touchdown grabs with 10.

Antonio’s appearance marks his second, second-team all-conference selection, having been honored in the spring 2021 season.

Defensively, the Demons picked up a trio of honors as well.

Jomard Valsin Jr. capped his Northwestern State career with his second all-conference honor.

Valsin, named as a second-team defensive lineman, tied for fourth on the team with 51 tackles and was fourth in tackles for loss (5.0) while shifting between defensive end and linebacker.

Valsin added a pair of blocked kicks, ranking 11 nationally and leading the Southland Conference.

A Port Arthur Memorial product, Valsin previously was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection in the spring 2021 season.

Like Valsin, a pair of Demon defensive backs earned their second career all-conference honors.

Safety PJ Herrington filled the stat sheet in his final season at Northwestern State, finishing third on the team with 63 tackles while adding 3.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, a sack, a quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Herrington, a Natchez, Mississippi, native, returned his lone interception of the season 38 yards for a touchdown in a Nov. 5 with at Texas A&M-Commerce. It was the Demons’ first interception return touchdown in nearly three years, dating to Shemar Bartholomew’s 2019 score at Sam Houston.

Herrington, a spring 2021 third-team all-conference pick, also earned second-team all-conference honors as a punt returner after averaging 11.5 yards per return on 13 attempts. Herrington had three punt returns of at least 19 yards, topped by a 31-yard burst against Lamar on Sept. 24.

Cornerback William Hooper, another senior, ranked second in the conference and 24th nationally in passes defended at 1.2 per game.

A Montgomery, Alabama, native, Hooper started all 11 games as the Demons battled injuries at cornerback. He added 29 tackles (20 solo) and blocked an extra point against Grambling – a game where the Demons blocked three extra points as a team.

Hooper’s 13 pass defended nearly equaled his career total entering his senior season as he finished his Demon tenure with 29 passes defended. 

Jr. High JAG students attend virtual conference

Natchitoches Junior High JAG members virtually attended RoyOMartin’s Women in Manufacturing Day Virtual Conference on Oct. 28.


The event is designed for young women to gain awareness of career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry. Students heard testimonials from women who work in RoyOMartin’s production and support roles.

Pictured are: Ethan Gourdon, Michael Brown, Makalia Kneuppel, Jayna Curry, Dominic Shaver, Carolina Baltazar, Amiyah Willams and Bra’nya Smith. 

LSMSA invites community to upcoming events

Free events open to public from Wednesday, Nov. 30 through Tuesday, Dec. 6

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) invites the community to join students, faculty, and staff for the following free events:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – An Evening of Voice
  • Friday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Science Speaker Series
  • Friday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m., LSMSA Dance Studio – Artist in Training Capstone Performances: Victoria Friddle and Grace Guidry (limited seating)
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m., High School Building – Saturday Tour (registration required)
  • Sunday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Music Department Fall Concert
  • Monday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m., LSMSA Recital Hall – Music Department Fall Concert
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m. – LSMSA Auditorium – NSU Folklife Center Christmas Concert

LSMSA is a tuition-free, residential, public high school for high-achieving rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a nominal room and board fee to cover housing, meals, and campus activities. The LSMSA Foundation offers assistance for families in need. For more information about the Louisiana School or to apply for the 2023-24 school year, visit

Notice of Death – November 24, 2022


Melba Jordan Cruse
March 18, 1947 – November 22, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Jennings Chapel CMC near Marthaville
Leo “Jim” Llorens
January 29, 1938 – November 19, 2022
Service: Saturday, November 26 at 11 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Isle Brevelle

Alexander Ryan Nobles Jr.
July 29, 1949 – October 31, 2022
Service: Wednesday November 30 at 1 pm at Blanchard St. Denis funeral home in Natchitoches

Stephen Lane Stroud
October 26, 1959 – November 2, 2022
Service: Tuesday, November 29 at 10:30 am at Rosemary Beach Town Hall in Panama City Beach, FL


Shirley Ann Rivers
June 24, 1946 – November 20, 2022
Service: Saturday, November 26 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Ronald Lee Preston
April 7, 1954 – November 18, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Welcome Home Baptist Church

Judy Fay Conerly
February 24, 1945 – November 22, 2022
Service: Friday, November 25 at 2 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Natchitoches Parish Journal publishes paid obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Notice of Death shown above are FREE of charge. You may email them to

Update: Parent and Guardian charged in connection of juveniles theft of city vehicle and other charges


Detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department arrested two additional juveniles on Nov. 21 for the theft of a city vehicle that occurred last week.

During their investigation detectives were also able to connect the two fourteen year old suspects with a vehicle burglary that occurred on November 7 and a theft that happened on November 9 in the Downtown Historic District.

The juveniles were arrested and charged with one count of theft of a motor vehicle, burglary of a motor vehicle and theft.

Detectives also arrested a parent and a guardian of the two juveniles.  The parent and guardian were charged with improper supervision of a minor.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911.  Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388.  All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

Original Story: Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for theft of city vehicle

On November 12, 2022 around 9:24 a.m., officers with the Natchitoches Police Department responded to 500 North Street (J.W. Thomas Apartments) in reference to a vehicle crash.  Upon officers arrival they were told by several witnesses that the driver who caused the crash fled the area.  Officers were able to determine that a truck involved in the crash had been stolen from the MLK Recreation Center the previous day along with another city vehicle that was also located near the J.W. Thomas Apartments.  

On November 16, 2022 detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department were able to locate and arrest one of the juvenile suspects without incident.  The twelve year old juvenile was charged with one count of theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of simple escape.

This investigation is ongoing and the Natchitoches Police Department will release more details as they become available.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective William Connell at (318) 238-3911.  Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

Natchitoches Police arrest juvenile for five burglaries

On November 22, 2022, detectives with the Natchitoches Police Department arrested a juvenile for five burglaries that occurred over the past month at several businesses near I-49.

Detectives assigned to the cases were able to learn that items stolen from the burglaries were inside an apartment in the 500 block of North Street. Investigators made contact with the occupants of the apartment and placed a seventeen year old juvenile under arrest without incident.

The seventeen year old juvenile was charged with five counts of simple burglary.

Detectives also arrested the mother of the juvenile who was charged with improper supervision of a minor.

If you would like to report suspicious activity please contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective Shermaria Lewis at (318) 238-3911. Remember all information given shall remain confidential.

How to report an anonymous tip via Natchitoches Crime Stoppers:

You can also report a tip anonymously by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smart phone or by calling Natchitoches Crime Stoppers at (318) 238-2388. All tips remain confidential and the caller can receive a cash reward up to $2,000 for the arrest of an offender.

St. Mary’s quarterback excels in every way 

BE ALL YOU CAN BE: St. Mary’s quarterback Adam Parker uses his team’s and coaches’ confidence in him to achieve on and off the field.

By DWAIN SPILLMAN JR., Journal Sports  

When your head coach has full confidence in your ability, it only feeds fuel to a fire that already burns torridly in an optimum competitor. 

That’s the belief that St. Mary’s coach Aaron York has in his quarterback Adam Parker. 

“We’ve got a shot with (Parker) leading us in every game.” York started as he shared comments on his senior quarterback. “He’s not the biggest kid or has the strongest arm, but Parker finds a way to get it done. And the other kids feed into that and it makes them better. It makes the whole team better.” 

The Tigers have enjoyed one of the best regular seasons in program history in 2022, winning the District 3-1A crown  and earning a first-round playoff bye after bulldozing through the competition and outscoring league opponents 197-28.  

Now 9-1 after rolling past Hanson Memorial last Friday in their playoff opener, the Tigers earned the No. 5 seed in the LHSAA Division IV Select playoff bracket. They play in the state quarterfinals Friday night at Metairie against No. 4 St. Martin’s.

The St. Mary’s signal caller has been a major part of the Tigers’ success story. 

In just nine regular-season games this season, he was often limited to only first-half appearances because of the Tigers’ starters moving to the bench for most of the second halves. After a bye in the opening playoff round, Parker upped his statistical line to completing 127 of his 181 passing attempts for 1,805 yards with 20 touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 180.7.  

He also contributed heavily as a dual threat with 289 rushing yards on 57 carries and finding the end zone an additional 11 times on the run. Parker has accounted for 2,094 yards of total offense.

When not leading the Tiger offense, Parker doubles as a free safety on defense and has 10 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. 

“He’s a competitor,” York continued in his praise of his offensive field general. “It doesn’t matter what he plays or what he does off of the field, he is going to find a way to be the best at it.” 

Parker reflected on his approach to the game of football.  

“I just want to understand the (opponent’s) defense the best that I can in order to exploit them in every way and just win,” he said. “I just want the ball. I’m a little nervous when the game starts but that all goes away and I become completely focused with the first touch.” 

He was also quick to give praise to his teammates and described just how enjoyable this season has been playing alongside trusted colleagues.  

“I believe we are the most complete team we have been in a while,” Parker added. “Our comradery is so high, probably as high as it has been since we have been teammates. We are all on the same page.” 

Parker added the extraordinary attention that coaches have given both him and the team and the impact that has. 

“The coaches prepare us 100 percent for each game. It’s like having a second set of parents out there. We can always go to them, and they discuss things with us and help us where they can.” 

He also expressed immense gratitude for family support as well.  

“It means everything to me just knowing they are there and that they believe in me,” Parker said. “They can truthfully tell me the good and help me correct anything they see as bad. It makes me want to be the best that I can be.” 

Parker also shines off the field. The senior Tiger carries a 4.0 GPA while participating in Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, BETA and the Pro-Life group. He also plays basketball for the Tigers. 

Like most high school athletes, especially those with great talent and superior work ethic, Parker has hopes of playing at the next level. He also expressed that his focus is earning a college degree while gaining a professional career after football.  

His future appears to be bright and successful. Parker just finds a way to be the best at whatever he does and “just gets it done.” 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations

Over the river and through the ’hood, complaining away we go

With the Pilgrims held up as our example, we learned early to “be grateful.” 

As they dragged us to various in-laws’ in assorted neighborhoods for turkey and pumpkin pie and secondhand smoke, our parents reminded us that at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 (give or take), the settlers of the New World had it much tougher than we do. They had to eat outside. They didn’t have potatoes over here yet. The yeast rolls didn’t rise. William Bradford forgot to pick up a Marie Callender’s Apple Crumb Cobbler at the store, and the cable went out halfway through the Detroit Lions-Chicago Cardinals football game. 

“And they didn’t even complain,” our parents said. 

“Bet they got drunk then,” I said. 

“No, they most certainly did not!” 

The Pilgrims really WERE tough; I would have complained if there’d been no potatoes. Loud and clear. They could have heard me back over in England.  

But to hear our parents testify, no one 40 years ago ever complained about anything, especially on Thanksgiving. When you are spoiled like I am, that is setting the bar sort of high. But hey, I’m old school too and really not much of a complainer – as long as everything goes right. That’s just me. 

This week, complaining is a given. This week is about the pre-Thanksgiving misgivings about “where we’re going for Thanksgiving.” Do you know where you’re going yet? Or what you’re bringing? Or the order in which you’re going to whomever’s house when? Are we all on the same page? 

It can be dicey. 

“Are we going to grandmama’s?” 

“Not this year. But we’re not sure. We might.” 

“When will we know?” 

“I don’t know. Who are you, Dan Rather? We’ll know when we hear from everybody and decide.” 

“It’s Tuesday.” 

“Then good! Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, as it usually is, that means we don’t have to know yet.” 

“We’re cutting it close.” 

“I’ll show you what cutting it close is, mister!” 

“I was just asking…” 

“Well just quit just asking, mister man. Your grandmother might meet us at Big Aunty’s. We might go there.” 

“Not to Big Aunty’s! Big Aunty can’t cook, momma. Big Aunty won’t have nothing even done until supper. We’ll starve.” 

“She most certainly will have and you most certainly will not starve. I’ll make you a pimento cheese to hold you over. We might just all bring different things.” 

“What do you mean, ‘we all?’ Who all is coming?” 

“Aunt Jean will bring the macaroni and cheese and we’ll bring the bean casserole and…” 

“Momma that means Uncle Lester is coming. He’s a professional smoker. We’ll all smell like something burnt. They’ll be ashes in the macaroni.” 

“No there will not!” 

“There was last year.” 

“You’ll think last year if you don’t shut up! Now I mean it!” 

“Can we just stay home and make hamburgers?” 

“NO! We can be thankful and not complain about gummy rice and ashes in the food and Jello with nuts in it and getting your picture taken. And if I hear one word, ONE MORE WORD….” 

Precious memories. And Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you get where you’re going. 

(Originally ran Nov. 20, 2009) 

Contact Teddy at 

Charlie Brown once said, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything?”

This Thanksgiving I had the distinct pleasure of talking turkey with several of Goldonna’s residents. Each one of them were grateful for different things but they all held one common thread. All of them choose to be grateful and thankful every day of the year and not just on a beautiful fall day that is riddled with delicious food, parades and football games.

Natchitoches Parish School Board Member, Eugene Garner, shared, “Thanksgiving means a lot for my family and grandchildren. I love them so much and enjoy spending time with them. Soon it will be Christmas time and life gets even better! Living with grandchildren is a life-changing experience for and I will always cherish this time.”

Goldonna Assembly of God Pastors, Timmy and Pam Harris said, “Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, stop for a moment and reflect on God’s blessings! Simply take a breath, be quiet for a few moments, bow your heads in humble surrender to the creator and lover of our souls, and just say thank you. The list of things to be thankful for is forever long we all know; but if I had to mention just one it would be, Jesus! Our Savior. John 3:16”.

Linda Dupree- One blessing leads to another. I can most clearly see my blessings in my rear view mirror! Paul tells us to always be grateful. That’s difficult in some areas, but he encourages us to have an attitude of gratitude. It lasts a lifetime. Salvation. Family. Church. Friends. Opportunities for serving and helping.

Goldonna Baptist Church Pastor Ben Dupree- “Ive always liked 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There are blessings everywhere. Once we begin to search for them, even in situations we may deem as unpleasant, we will soon find out that God is far more good than we can ever imagine and certainly more than we deserve. So this Thanksgiving season, I’m thanking God for himself. He’s a God so powerful, he extinguished the sting of sin at the cross but he did so because he couldn’t imagine eternity without you. I can’t limit that Thankfulness to just the 3rd Thursday in November.

River of Life Family Worship Center Pastor George Procell “Thanksgiving is a reminder of how much God has given us. Blessings and hardships. We must be thankful for everything, all year long and not just one day of the year.”

Goldonna Mayor Jennifer Smith – “Every year as we enter the Thanksgiving season, we often find ourselves taking assessment of our lives and what we are most thankful for. One thing that comes to mind is my upbringing. I’m thankful my parents were Godly parents who made it a priority to raise me and my siblings in church. Their dedication to seek God has been a cornerstone of my life.”

Mayor-Elect Gayle Cloud- “I am thankful for my family, my health and the ability to continue an active lifestyle. I am also very thankful that I am still able to keep the store open, and especially for all of my incredible customers.

Don’t forget the following events happening soon!

On Saturday, November 26th at 1:00 the Village will welcome back the Indian Santa who visited last year. Children of all ages are invited to take pictures with Santa and he will have a special gift for everyone that comes to Town Hall.

Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee is still seeking donations and volunteers for the Festival that will take place on Friday, December 9th. Pictures with Santa will take place at 4:00pm until 5:30pm. The parade will begin at 6:00pm with lineup beginning at the School. The fireworks show will start at 8:00. There will be refreshment served. If you have a business who would like to sponsor please reach out to Mayor Smith or one of the councilmen.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may God shine his face upon you.

If you have news to share please email Reba Phelps at