Hodges Gardens will revert to AJ and Nona Triggs Hodges Foundation

SPJ-Hodges 2017

Located directly across from Emerald Hills Golf Resort is the famous Hodges Gardens State Park featuring over 700 acres of wild and cultivated beauty. It was originally designed and opened to the public in 1956 by oil and gas businessman A.J. Hodges Sr. The park’s gardens consist of a variety of plants and flowers, from a formal rose garden to a collection of Japanese Red Maple trees. The park also features one of the nations largest botanical gardens.

Effective Oct 1, 2017, the property will revert to the A.J. and Nona Triggs Hodges Foundation. The Louisiana State Parks Office is not aware of any future plans of the property. The foundation has decided to execute a clause in the contract that allows it to take back the park from the state.

Robert Barham said, “Hodges Gardens has fallen into disrepair because of state budget woes. Money allocated for operation and maintenance of the system’s 22 state parks has been redeuced by 40% over the past decade.” Robert is the Director of State Parks and Historical Sites in Louisiana.

Charlie Weems, an Alexandria attorney who represents the foundation stated, “The state did all it could,” and followed that up by saying “It’s just a casualty of the funding crisis.”

Teal Tea is Sunday, part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

SPJ-Teal Tea and Nails


Turn Teal Natchitoches is creating awareness of national Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September by hosting its annual Teal Tea at Trinity Episcopal Church, 533 Second St., at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.  The tea will take place in the Parish Hall and will feature tea, treats, nail painting and information about ovarian cancer. The Teal Tea is free and open to the public. Organizer Leah Lentz hopes to educate both women and men about ovarian cancer, the importance of knowing one’s family medical history and the effectiveness of early detection.

“Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system,” said Lentz, a counselor at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.  Lentz lost her mother, Sue Gregory Coleman, to ovarian cancer and initiated Turn Teal Natchitoches in her memory.

Northwestern State University is also getting involved with Demons Turn Teal, a series of events to support Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  Campus Living Villages and NSU’s Office of First Year Experience are presenting events to take place in the Student Union and at campus residence facilities with snacks and ovarian cancer information as part of Demon Days 2017.

Drivers in Natchitoches may have noticed the teal ribbons on the Church Street Bridge that honor ovarian cancer patients, survivors and those who lost their battle to the disease.   Ribbons have also been placed in the LSMSA courtyard, Lentz said.

According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, an estimated 22,400 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, with more than 14,080 deaths expected to result from the diagnosis. While all women are at risk of ovarian cancer, the overall lifetime risk of developing the disease is one in 75.  The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose ovarian cancer is detected early is about 93 percent. However, only 15 percent of women are diagnosed at the early stages.  Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose because initial symptoms are similar to gastrointestinal illness and indigestion.

“We have received outstanding community support since we started Turn Teal Natchitoches six years ago,” Lentz said. “There is currently no screening test for ovarian cancer, which is why it is often discovered in later stages.  Our goal is to create awareness and increase research funding for early detection tests that could save more lives.”

For more information on Turn Teal Natchitoches, visit the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/turntealnatchitoches or email Lentz at llentz@lsmsa.edu.

Zwolle Tamale Fiesta unveils 2017 Commemorative Poster

SPJ-Zwolle Poster 4

The Zwolle Tamale Fiesta Association unveiled their 2017 Commemorative Poster Sept. 14 at the fesival grounds activity building. The 2017 Fiesta Royalty, Visiting Queens, local dignataries, and friends of the Fiesta attended the event. The poster committee was honored to have the 2017 Poster Sponsors, Anna Garcie Cash and Michael Cash present. The artist Richelle Dorris, who was born in Shreveport and raised in Hornbeck, LA by her parents Toni and Richard Doris, shared her excitement about her participation in the Poster Project.

An authentic George Rodrique “Blue Dog” was awarded in a 52 card raffle. Some of the artwork auctioned off was the original poster, the number 1 poster and the 32nd Anniversary poster. After the auction posters were revealed, the auction began for the participants from local business and a few festival friends.

The Tamale Fiesta Committee would like to thank Anna Garcie Cash and Michael Cash for sponsoring the poster this year as well as bidding to purchase the number one poster. The Tamale Fiesta Committee would also like to express appreciation to Lisa Sonnier for bidding on the original poster and donating it back to be auctioned again. Thanks goes out to Harold Stewart who bid and purchased the Original Poster. Also winning the bid was Don and Virginia Burkett for the Anniversary poster. Again, the committee would like to thank everyone in attendance who continue to support the festival. Last, but not least, a HUGE thank you goes out to Richelle Dorris for creating the 2017 Commemorative Poster.

SPJ-Zwolle Poster

Photo Credit: Phyllis Lehr

Community makes pumpkin decorations at Many Depot Art Gallery

By Brooke Shirley


Shanna Gaspard, the President of the Depot Art Guild, instructed a “Happy Hours” class where they made fall pumpkin home decorations Sept. 16 at the Many Depot Art Gallery. Everyone was given a wooden pumpkin cut out, paint, and were instructed to pick their favorite design. Some of the students went the traditional route with orange and brown paint while others chose colors such as blue and white. The youngest attendees painted a Batman pumpkin and an Emoji pumpkin.

Mrs. Gaspard asked for us to share a sneak peek of the next craft she will be working on. It is a wreath made of recycled bags.

SPJ-recycled bag wreath

The “Happy Hours” classes, co-sponsored by the Town of Many Cultural District Advisory Committee and the Depot Art Guild, are hosted every 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturday in the month. Mayor Ken Freeman and the Town of Many are also sponsors. All of the class instructors are members of the Depot Art Guild.

Mr. and Miss Sabine Parish 4-H winners announced

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We at the Sabine Parish Journal want to congratulate all of the participants in the Mr. And Miss Sabine Parish 4-H Interviews. Winners are as follows:

Senior King: Ja’Darius Williams from Zwolle High School
Junior High King: Jackson Beasley from Negreet High School

High School Queen: Lora Peace from Negreet High School
Junior High Queen: Matea Whittington from Zwolle High School
Elementary Queen: Sarah Kate Green from Florien Elementary School
Cloverbud Queen: MacKinleigh Knippers from Florien Elementary School

Ja’Darius Williams and Lora Peace will each be awarded with a $500 scholarship upon graduation. Contestants will be given trophies and certificates at the end of the year’s award ceremony.

We would also like to congratulate the winners of the 2017 Youth Baking Contest.

The winners in the Cloverbud Division are:

Sugar Cookies
1st: Mya Ferguson
2nd: Branson Merriman
3rd: Chloe Clark

Chocolate Chip
1st: RyLeigh Morales
2nd: Mya Ferguson
3rd: Zoey Chavez

Peanut Butter
1st: Mya Ferguson
2nd: Chloe  Clark
3rd: Braylee Veuleman

The winners for the 4th-6th Grade Division are:

Cookie Bars
1st: Josey Parler
2nd: Aiden Freeman
3rd: Caleb Corley

Blueberry Muffins
1st: Marcus Davis
2nd: Saylor Fitch
3rd: Madelyn Wilson

Tea Cakes
1st: Cash Sepulvado
2nd: Patrick Parrie
3rd: Preslee Sepulvado

M&M Cookies
1st: Emily Eason
2nd: Selena Ebarb
3rd: Randi Jo Kelly

Chocolate Cookies
1st Addison Martin
2nd Sara Kate Booker
3rd Maliyah McCoullough

The winners for the 7th and 8th Grade Division are:

Decorated Cookies
1st Alyah Markham
2nd Collin Canik
3rd Karley Martinez

Lemon Cookies
1st Max Martinez
2nd Ariel Sepulvado
3rd Blayne Dillard

1st Kagan Sandel
2nd Grace Manuel
3rd Maggie Walker

Thumbprint Cookies
1st Lilly Rains
2nd Karley Martinez
3rd Allison Russell

Oatmeal Cookies
1st Jaeger Ebarb
2nd Tyler Gibbs
3rd Navy Britt

Pecan Pie Bars
1st Presley Pleasant
2nd Hannah Hippler
3rd Matea Whittington

The winners for the 9-12th Grade Division are:

Sugar Cookies
1st: Shemar Carhee
2nd Jaycee Limon
3rd Joseph Hinds

Chocolate Chip
1st Caleb Pilkington
2nd Aiden Martinez
3rd Lilly Rivers

Peanut Butter Cookies
1st Madison Mulligan
2nd Tristaan Ross
3rd Kelsie Etheridge

1st Bailey Leone
2nd Emily Ferguson
3rd Cheyenne Pilkington

Funfetti Cookies
1st Millie Tarver

Shortbread Cookies
1st Joely Vines

Jewelry Making classes


Cheryl Pearsall, a talented, experienced jewelry maker, will teach the newly added Happy Hours Jewelry Making class which begins on Sept. 23 in Many.

Students will make a brightly colored tangerine beaded bracelet for this first class.

The class is from 1-4 p.m. at Many’s Historic  Depot Museum.  The fee is $25 which covers the cost of supplies and materials.   A place in the class, which is expected to be popular, can be reserved by calling 727-534-1057.

Pearsall will teach the jewelry classes on the fourth Saturday of each month from September through December.  Her classes are expected to be popular, so people interested in jewelry making are encouraged to call early to reserve their spots.

A native of Sabine Parish, Cheryl lived in Florida and worked for an upscale art gallery for more than 20 years.  She learned to make jewelry and has been making one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and brooches for the past 16 years.  Her work can be seen every Saturday at the Many Depot Guild Art Gallery.

Shanna Gaspard, president of the Depot Art Guild, works closely with the Cultural District Advisory Committee to plan art-related classes on each Saturday afternoon.  She is hoping to add a photography class on the first Saturday of each month, starting in January.

Painting classes are offered on the second Saturday of each month. Crafts classes are offered on the third Saturday, and the newly added  jewelry making classes are taught on the fourth Saturday.

The Demons are Ready!

By Kevin Shannahan

Don’t miss “Kevin’s Gallery” link below.

PEP Rally-09-2017-8.JPG

Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University’s 1st Year Experience, Alumni Association and Student Activities Board got the student body fired up for Saturday’s home opener against Lamar University with a truly epic pep rally. Hundreds of loyal Demon fans of every age packed the alumni tailgating area in order to see the show. They didn’t leave disappointed. The NSU Cheerleaders kicked off the action with their signature high flying moves followed by spirited performances by the NSU Pom Line and Demon Dazzlers. The Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band kept the crowd entertained throughout the evening and ended the pep rally with the alma mater and fight song.

The evening concluded with a high energy, crowd pleasing concert by the ’80’s tribute band The Molly Ringwalds. The band dressed in costumes from that era and kept the crowd on their feet and dancing with their collection of 1980’s hits.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend the NSU community for putting on this superb event and to extend our best wishes to the football team this season. Fork ’em Demons!

Sabine Parish to hold Trash Bash Sept. 30

Sabine Parish - Trash 2017
Sabine Parish is on a mission — to clean up trash and litter throughout the parish.
The big trash bash day will be Saturday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. until 10  p.m.  Church groups, civic groups, sports teams, 4-H groups, co-workers, family  and friends can join in to keep Sabine clean.
Linda Curtis-Sparks, director of the Sabine Parish Tourist Commission, said that tourists visiting the parish sometimes complain about the litter along the roadways. She said it creates a bad impression and can have an negative impact on tourism. She thinks having a cleaner parish will positively affect the number of tourists who visit Sabine Parish.
Several committees have been working hard since March to educate everyone in the parish about litter and how it damages the image of the parish, creates health hazards, is harmful to wild life, and has a negative impact on the environment.

The Educational Committee for Children, headed by Deb Pennington, has been presenting  programs to all 4th grade classes in the parish schools.  The program is funded by the Toledo Bend Lake Association. Presentation manpower is provided by the Rotary Club and other volunteers.  Children learn about the negative aspects of litter, what litter is, how wild animals can be trapped and disabled by litter, what the effects on the environment are, how litter affects everyone, and what kids can do to prevent littering by setting a good example and volunteering for litter pick-up events.  Other members of the committee are Sheriff Ronny Richardson, Bill Thomas, Geri Alford and Sarah Ebarb.

The Educational Committee for Local  Adults, with members Matthew Couvillion, Jim Mifflin, Mandy Cathy, Warren Founds, Mare Gore, and Suzanne Williams  presented information to groups in the parish including churches, civic clubs, hunting clubs, fishing clubs, volunteer fire departments, business groups, and at City Council meetings. It was also their suggestion to have a parish-wide trash pick-up day.

Other committee  groups that have been working hard to teach people about cleaning up Sabine Parish  include an  Educational Committee for Businesses, an Educational Committee for Tourists, and an Educational Committee for Government Officials.

September 30 and the Sabine Parish Trash Bash are fast approaching, and volunteers to help out are still needed.  For more information on how you or your group can help, please contact Linda Curtis Sparks at 318-332-8240 or Deb Pennington at 318-315-2448.

Should You Handle Your Own Accident Claim?

ad-harrington-law-firm 092017

Now think about it, if you needed a surgical procedure, would you try to perform your own surgery on yourself in order to try to save a few dollars?  Odds are that would not turn out too well for you.

Although that sounds a bit farfetched, many times that is tantamount to what a person does when they try to handle their own automobile accident claim, especially when there are injuries involved.

“Why should I hire a lawyer?”, you may ask.  You’ve heard that lawyers generally handle accident claims on a contingency basis and that you will have to pay the lawyer part of your recovery as his fee.  You may think that you can just deal with the insurance company yourself, handle your own claims, thereby saving the portion of the recovery that you would have to pay your lawyer.

There you go again, trying to perform your own surgery.

First of all, you need to understand that insurance companies are generally some of the most profitable corporations in America.  One of the ways they are able to maintain this favorable profit margin is by paying out the least they can on claims.

Sure, insurance companies spend millions on slick advertising campaigns that say things like “Like a Good Neighbor,” or “You’re in Good Hands.”  But at the end of the day, they have experienced claims adjustors working for them whose sole purpose is to get claims settled while paying out the least amount possible.  They also have armies of attorneys working for them with the same goal.

If you are involved in an automobile accident and try to handle your own claim, then it will be you pitted against an experienced claims adjuster or even potentially an army of attorneys.  You’re going to need some experienced, qualified assistance to help level the playing field.

While the handling of a personal injury claim may seem simple to you, it is certainly not.  In fact, there are many issues out there that the average layman would have no way of knowing and which could potentially cause a claimant to get much less than they are entitled to or lose their claim all together.

Here’s an example of just a few of questions/potential pitfalls which could come up in an automobile accident case:

1.  What are the types of insurance coverages available to compensate you and what are the policy limits?

2.  What types of damages can you collect?  Damages to you automobile?  Pain and Suffering?  Lost Income?  Medical Bills? Rental automobile expense?  Other damages?

3.  How long do you have to make a claim with the insurance company before you lose your rights forever?  What is the true value of your claim? (To know this you would have to know the amount that Louisiana courts have awarded in similar type claims.)

Are you confused yet?  These are just a few examples of the type of questions that will need to be answered to properly handle a personal injury claim.  While it may not be brain surgery, it can get very complicated.

If you’ve been in an automobile accident and, particularly if you’ve been injured, do the prudent thing.  Hire a lawyer, one that is experienced in handling accident cases.    If you try to deal with the insurance company yourself, then you very likely will not be in “Good Hands” and they may not treat you “Like a Good Neighbor.”

I think another insurance company advertises that they are “On Your Side.”  Well, that is what you need, someone on your side, to take on the adjusters and insurance company lawyers who are definitely on the company’s side.

The Harrington Law Firm located at 459 Jefferson Street in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  The attorneys are C. Rodney Harrington and C. Edward “Eddie” Harrington.  They handle all types of Personal Injury cases together with Bankruptcy, Social Security Disability, Successions and Divorces.  For free consultation call (318) 352-5900.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code. Results may vary. Free initial consultation.