• Key words are avoid, deny, defend:

    Jesse Taitano says in an active shooting situation, there are three things you should do. Avoid. Deny. Defend. Taitano is the assistant chief and training director for the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff ’s Office. An active shooter situation can occur anywhere and at any time. In Natchitoches, all police officers carrying a gun must go through active shooter response training annually. Things can still happen even if all security precautions are taken, Taitano said.

    Payne Subd. bounces back onto State list with other projects: If it weren’t such a serious issue, you could liken the Payne Subdivision to a bouncing ball. One day it’s on the State Capital Outlay bill and the next day it’s not. This week, it’s back on. But there’s no guarantee it will stay there. It could bounce off again in July.

    NPD looking for scam artists:

    The Natchitoches Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying two suspects wanted in a quick-change scam that occurred at a local grocery store. Two men entered a local grocery store and began looking at several products June 17 just after 8 a.m..  One of the suspects selected two bags of popcorn and proceeded to the checkout line while the other suspect distracted another cashier.  The one in the checkout line handed the cashier a $100 bill and was able to trick her into giving the $100 bill back to him by saying he wanted to pay with a smaller bill. The suspect then took $96.87 that the cashier had counted out for him and exited the store with the other suspect. According to Crime Stoppers, “the quick change scam occurs when an individual targets inexperienced cashiers by paying for small priced items with a large bill ($100). Before the cashier has time to give back the change the suspect would engage the cashier in a speedy series of money exchanges thereby confusing the cashier.  While confused the suspect would tell the cashier how much money to give back thus short changing the cashier.  In some instances the suspects will work in teams of two where one suspect would handle the money exchange while the second suspect acts as a distraction to confuse the cashier even more. Detectives suggest to avoid being a victim of the scam only complete the transaction for the purchase then close the cash register. If the customer is asking to exchange bills be weary of the scam and contact your manager before engaging in further interactions.” If you would like to report suspicious activity or an emergency  contact the Natchitoches Police Department at (318) 352-8101 or if you have additional information in regards to this investigation please contact Detective John Greely at (318) 357-3811. Information will remain confidential.

    Commercial photographer creates NSU scholarship: NATCHITOCHES – A Northwestern State University alumnus who enjoyed a long career as a successful commercial photographer has created the first-ever endowed scholarship for a student interested in pursuing photography as a career. The Robert Davis Endowed Scholarship will be presented to a junior or senior minoring in photography with first preference given to students who aspire to become professional photographers.  The student must maintain a 2.5 grade point average. Davis of Baton Rouge began was a photography hobbyist but an elective course he took at Northwestern State pointed him in the direction of serious photography.  Davis attended NSU majoring in business and participating in ROTC from 1965 until he graduated in 1968.  After serving in the Army for three years, he returned to NSU on the GI Bill to pursue an MBA and enrolled in a photography class to learn the darkroom skills of processing film and developing prints.

    Sheriff Jones swearing-in ceremony

    Celebrate with Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. as he begins his fifth term as sheriff of Natchitoches Parish. There will be a Mass at Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church Thursday, June 23 at 9 am. for Jones and his deputies followed by a swearing-in ceremony. A reception will follow at the Natchitoches Events Center.

    Cleco customers see lower bills through one-time credit: All retail Cleco customers will see lower energy bills beginning July 1, 2016, thanks to a one-time credit of approximately $475 per customer account. The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) ordered the credit as part of a set of commitments the new owners agreed upon to acquire the company. Cleco customers who have a valid 13-digit account number at the close of business on June 30, 2016, will be eligible for the credit. Cleco will apply the credit to each account for those customers with multiple accounts. “We are pleased the credit is coming at a time when our customers begin to use more energy because of the summer heat,” said Shirley Turner, vice president of customer experience. “For many of our customers a portion of the credit will roll over for several months. This will be a big help to those who struggle to cover all of their bills each month.” Cleco will apply the total credit of approximately $475 to a customer’s bill in July. If the customer’s bill for July is less than the credit amount, a credit balance will roll over to the August bill. The credit balance will continue to roll over each month until the credit is fully exhausted. “This credit is just one way we are showing our commitment to our customers and ensuring they receive a direct benefit from our transaction,” said Darren Olagues, CEO and president of Cleco. “Supporting our customers and the communities where we live and work will remain a top priority for us as we plan for our company’s future.” Cleco was purchased by a North American-led investor group in April. To gain approval for the sale, Cleco’s new owners agreed to 77 commitments that benefit the company’s customers, employees, retirees and the communities served. Media Contact: Robbyn Cooper, (318) 484-7136

    Child gets his wish granted to go to Disneyworld and Legoland

    Jackson Bryant, 7, was granted his wish by the Make-A-Wish foundation to go to Disneyworld. The mission statement of the Make-A-Wish foundation is to “… grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” The foundation offered the Bryant family the trip four months ago.

    City Council agenda looks to be brief: The agenda for the City Council meeting Monday, June 27 looks to be rather brief. The meeting will be at the Natchitoches Arts Center and will start at 5:30 p.m. with a pre-meeting at 5 p.m. There will be a final vote on changing the zoning at 226 Keyser Ave. for W&W Builders to build a car wash. The lot is near the corner of Williams and Keyser that was once the site of a Burger King.

    Parish Council considering revamp of some deteriorated roads: The Parish Council is considering a method to try and improve rural roads. In his report to the Parish Council Monday, Director of Public Works Nick Verret has proposed scarification of badly deteriorated paved roads because there is no money to resurface them. The surface would be removed, ground up, reapplied and compressed.

    Cancer devastates family but leaves Hero of Hope

    The American Cancer Society’s Mid-South Division recently named Stacey Rachal a Hero of Hope. Rachal is one of 11 cancer survivors and caregivers from the Mid-South states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee to be recognized.  

    Family and community support provide silver lining in aftermath of devastating fires

    The City of Natchitoches fire department responds to approximately 300 fire related calls each year, said Fire Chief Crit Miller. While only 19 percent of calls are actual fire ignition, the fire department always sends someone to check it out. “It’s a terrible thing no one should have to go through, but it shows you what’s important in life,” said Andrea Maley who lost her home to a house fire on Nov. 21, 2014. Maley, her husband Anthony and three daughters MiKenzie, Morgan and Melanie had lived in the Provencal home for eight years before the fire caused by electrical problems in their attic occurred.

    Prissy and Israel shoot ‘The Johnny Star Show’ in Natchitoches

    Natchitoches was chosen as the location for the short film “The Johnny Starr Show.” It is a short film made for the Louisiana Film Prize 2016. It was made by codirector and executive producer Laura “Prissy” Scott and Israel Varela. Scott is a native of Natchitoches. Scott and Varela have wanted to collaborate on a film together since meeting at The Louisiana Film Prize three years ago.

    City Park will have new look, to be user friendly with significant updates

    Natchitoches City Park is undergoing a three-phase renovation to update and transform the park. The park has been there a long time and it’s starting to show age and is not functional for a lot of people, including the mobility impaired,” said Edd Lee, the mayor’s chief of staff and head of the park project. “We’re trying to make significant updates to make it more user friendly.”


    Openings Still Available for Children Age 6 - 13

    NATCHITOCHES – The City of Natchitoches Recreation and Parks Program’s Natchitoches Summer Day Camp for youth ages 6 to 13 has began.  This year there will be two program locations for Natchitoches Summer Day Camp – Abbie Drive and East Natchitoches (split between Weaver Elementary and East Natchitoches Elementary Middle School).  Natchitoches Summer Camp will have four 2-week themed sessions in June and July.  Spots are still available for all sessions. Natchitoches Summer Day Camp will offer various activities including arts and crafts, sports, life skills, academics, swimming and field trips.  Breakfast and lunch will be served. Camp will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The sessions are as follows:

    NOW – July 1: Cultural Connections (Abbie Drive and Weaver Elementary) July 5 – July 15:  Go Green (Abbie Drive and East Natchitoches Elementary Middle School) July 18 – July 29: Wacky and Wonderful (Abbie Drive and East Natchitoches Elementary Middle School)

    Registration for Natchitoches Summer Day Camp is $30 per session, per child and $25 for each additional sibling.  Natchitoches Summer Day Camp is funded by grants from International Paper. Registration for the Summer Day Camp can be completed at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Community Center located at 660 MLK Drive in Natchitoches or by emailing Dallas Russell at drussell@natchitochesla.gov.  For questions and more information, please call Dallas Russell at (318) 238-7508.

    NPSO’s Arrest report for Monday June 20 – Wednesday June 22, 2016

    Arrested were:

    1.Michael A Rachal – 39 (WM) – 354 Eight Mile Loop, Natchitoches, La  - Theft & Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    2.Jerol L Ewell – 27 (BM) – 403 Walnut St., Oil City, La  71061 – Theft of a Motor Vehicle

    3.Alexandria Coleman – 17 (BM) – 266 Lake St., Campti, La  71411 – Theft of a Motor Vehicle

    4.Quinton G Zeno – 22 (BM) – 1109 Pavie St., Natchitoches, La  - Aggravated Burglary, Criminal Trespass & Theft

    5.Seankalyn J Chatman – 17 (BM) – 114 Sylvan Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contempt/FTA, Criminal Trespass, Aggravated Burglary & Theft-From Building

    6.Brandon B McHenry – 17 (BM) – 119 Texas Ave., Powhatan, La  71066 – Disturbing the Peace/Language

    7.Jamario M Kennedy – 30 (BM) – 620 Brenda Ave., Gulfport, MS  39508 – Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    8.Craig D Jackson – 24 (BM) – 3601 Texas Dr., New Orleans, La  70114 – Resisting an Officer, Battery of a Police Officer & Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    9.Joshua R Boykin – 33 (WM) – 12574 Hwy 10 #441, St. Francisville, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    10.LaReginald D Doyle – 31 (BM) – 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility & Resisting an Officer

    11.Brandon L Garrett – 39 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    12.Marion T Hullaby – 42 (BM) – 3159 Milton St., Shreveport, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    13.Christopher D Smith – 27 (BM) – 9425 West Jamica St., Baton Rouge, La  70805 - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    14.Louis A Gordon – 28 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility, Obstruction of Justice, Unlawful Establishment of Accounts on Internet Social Websites & Improper Phone Communications

    15.DeAundrey B Clayton – 25 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility & Obstruction of Justice

    16.Michael Dawson – 31 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    17.Derreginald L Perrow – 30 (BM) – 1006 Clarence Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    18.Christian C Payton – 25 (BM) – 7546 HWY 6, Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    19.Robert J Guillard – 37 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    20.Dwayne A Williams – 37 (BM) - 299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    21.Finderick Edwards – 26 (BM) – 1430 Martin Luther King, Ville Platte, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    22.Brandon E Bernstine – 26 (BM) – 310 Ragan St., Natchitoches, La  - Contraband Defined, Taking to and from a Penal Facility

    23.Terrance C Brossett – 32 (WM) – 16019 HWY 1, Cloutierville, La  71416 – Simple Burglary

    24.Jerry L Higgins – 47 (BM) – 215 Bayou St., Campti, La  - Signals by hand or lamp, Driving Under Suspension & Violation of Protective Orders

    25.Timothy J Bradham – 30 (WM) – 117 Potts Rd., Campti, La  71411 – Probation/Parole Violations

    26.Quinton Zeno – 22 (BM) – 1109 Pavie St., Natchitoches, La  - Aggravated Burglary, Criminal Trespass & Theft

    27.Karrie M Smith – 18 (WF) – 4049 HWY 480, Campti, La  71411 – Contempt/FTA & Domestic Abuse Battery

    28.Quentonn B Jarnigin – 19 (WM) - 4049 HWY 480, Campti, La  71411 – Resisting an Officer

    29.Shannon N Patterson – 42 (BF) – 5650 HWY 1 Bypass #42, Natchitoches, La  - Contempt/FTA

    30.Sharon M Foster – 54 (WF) – 673 Orb Atkins Rd., Goldonna, La  71031 – Simple Criminal Damage to Property

    31.Shelby C Parrish – 21 (WF) – 6567 HWY 6, Natchitoches, La  - Accessory After the Fact