CPR class to be held Feb. 19


Northwestern State University’s Office of Electronic and Continuing Education will present a Family & Friends CPR course Monday, Feb. 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 119 of Fournet Hall. The fee is $10 plus a $5 material fee.

The course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult hands-only CPR, adult CPR with breaths, child CPR with breaths, adult and child AED use, infant CPR and mild and severe airway block for adults, children, and infants. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the American Heart Association (AHA) research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible.

Family & Friends CPR is for people who want to learn CPR but do not need a CPR course completion card to meet a job requirement. This course is ideal for community groups, new parents, grandparents, babysitters and others interested in learning how to save a life. A certificate of participation will be provided at the end of the course.

For more information, call (318) 357-6355, (800) 376-2422 or go to nsula.edu/ece/non-credit-programs.

Happy Hours Craft Class: Feb. 17

Saturday Craft Many


Happy Hours Depot arts and crafts classes are slipping in a bonus class on Saturday, Feb. 17, when Shanna Dees Gaspard teaches special class on making individual decorative table coasters from personal photos.

The crafts class is from 1 to 4 p.m at the Art Guild at the Many Depot. Cost is $20 which goes to pay for the materials and supplies needed tomake the coasters.

Gaspard has been teaching the craft classes for the past year and said that this class is especially fun because the coasters are individually personalized.

The president of the Depot Art Guild, Gaspard is always on the lookout for arts and craft classes that are both fun and provide the students with highly individualized instruction.

A highly talented artist and craftswoman, Gaspard stays busy with her art projects and volunteer work at the depot and in the Many Cultural District.

It’s important to reserve a space in the craft class in advance since Gaspard purchases all the supplies needed to make the coasters. Potential students should call 318-602-1614 and speak to Gaspard to reserve a class spot for Saturday, Feb. 17.

“These really are Happy Hours classes,” Gaspard said. “We enjoy visiting with old friends and making new friends. And…the students get to be creative and then take something special home with them when class is over.”

The Happy Hours classes are sponsored by the Depot Art Guild, Many Mayor Ken Freeman and the Many Cultural District Advisory Committee.

Northwestern State has record spring enrollment of 9,931

Record Enrollment

Northwestern State University has a spring enrollment of 9,931, the largest for a spring semester in the university’s 134-year history. The previous record was 9,881 in 2004 prior to the implementation of selective admissions.

The registration count increased by 740 students or 8 percent over last spring. The strong growth in students follows a 6.1 percent rise last spring.

“The record spring enrollment is a reflection of the positive momentum taking place at the university,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Chris Maggio. “More students are choosing to enroll at Northwestern because of the university’s positive image. They choose to remain here and graduate because of the outstanding academics, vibrant student life and the knowledge that they are being prepared for today’s workforce.”

In recent months, nine online academic programs at Northwestern State have been ranked in the top 10 in the nation by higher education ranking groups.

The Online Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems was ranked first by bestcollegereviews.org. The website affordablecolleges.com ranked NSU’s bachelor’s program in accounting third, the bachelor’s in criminal justice and bachelor’s in liberal arts fourth, the bachelor’s in general studies seventh, the master’s in secondary education eighth and the bachelor’s in business administration 10th. Northwestern State’s bachelor’s in psychology is ranked as the seventh best counseling program by bestcolleges.com. NSU’s master’s in English was ranked sixth by onlineu.org.

The university added a Post Master’s Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and two Post Bachelor’s Certificates in Radiologic Science. NSU began a competency-based program allowing students seeking a computer information systems degree or certification to complete the program at a fraction of the time and cost. The university is seeking approval for additional academic programs that would attract more students.

A number of campus improvements have taken place including resurfacing of Sam Sibley Drive and additional parking at Watson Library. The New Academic Success Center, which was enhanced with a gift from Sen. Gerald Long and the late Rose Long, has been moved to Watson Library and work has begun on the new Academic Tutoring Center in an adjacent area under construction located on the first floor. The University Testing Center has been located in the southwest corner of Watson Library. Campus housing has been enhanced with the renovation of Varnado Hall, which was transformed into a 21st century living/learning residential college for students in the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

Enrollment on the Natchitoches campus increased from 3,385 to 3,548. The total number of students on the Alexandria campus went from 192 to 249. This semester, 652 students took classes on the Shreveport campus compared to 614 last spring. The number of students at other sites, which includes electronic classes improved from 4,777 to 4,925. Enrollment on the Leesville campus decreased from 223 to 197.

New less visible, semi marked and unmarked cars added to State Police patrol fleet

SPJ-Troopers New Cars


For the vast majority of people who travel Louisiana highways, State Police vehicles are easily recognizable. Many people have grown accustomed to seeing our iconic white Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Tahoes with blue Louisiana boot badges and red lettering. Beginning in February 2018, motorists will begin to see Troopers patrolling our highways in Dodge Chargers. Troopers will be using multiple variations of the new Dodge Charger patrol vehicles across the state to perform day to day duties. The fully marked Dodge Charger equipped with the traditional Louisiana State Police logo and overhead light bar will serve alongside the Tahoes and Crown Victorias as our primary patrol vehicles.

New to our patrol fleet will be less visible, semi-marked and unmarked Dodge Chargers. These vehicles will be used to help our Troopers combat aggressive, impaired, and distracted driving. For years we have heard the concerns of the motoring public about increasingly dangerous driving behaviors on Louisiana highways. Unfortunately, the highly visible and detectable patrol vehicles used by our Troopers have often hindered efforts in conducting enforcement related to dangerous driving behaviors. These new less visible vehicles will allow our Troopers to blend in with traffic, and observe and stop drivers who choose to drive recklessly.

The semi-marked Dodge Charger will be outfitted with reflective silver lettering and Louisiana boot badge that will be less visible than our traditional red and blue graphics. The vehicle will be equipped with low profile exterior and interior blue emergency lighting instead of the traditional overhead light bar. The unmarked Dodge Chargers will be equipped with blue low profile exterior and interior mounted emergency lights, and will carry no identifiable exterior markings.

Despite the fact that the exterior look of some of our vehicles will be changing, the interior will remain the same. Troopers conducting enforcement activities in our fully, semi, and unmarked vehicles will still be wearing the official and highly identifiable blue Louisiana State Police Uniform. These new Dodge Charger patrol vehicles will help Louisiana State Police continue our mission of keeping our highways safe for our citizens and visitors.


Argentina Was a Land of Huge Contrasts — And Fascinating

By Joe Darby



Last week I began to tell you about a travel writers’ trip I had taken to Argentina in 1979. I’d told you how the huge and beautiful country was under a harsh military dictatorship and how the leftist opposition murdered Argentina’s minister of utilities in a car bomb just a few blocks from my hotel in Buenos Aires.

Now, with the background on the country’s political and economic problems in hand, I want to tell you what I saw and did on the trip — which was 39 years ago, another example to me of how time is flying.

Two weeks ago I’d shared with you details of an 18-hour airplane ride I took to a NATO air base in Europe and how I struggled to keep awake to interview the Louisiana fighter pilots and ground crew members there.

Well, the flight to Argentina was almost as long. The airline, one of the trip’s sponsors, first flew us from New Orleans to New York then down to BA, as the Argentines call their capital city. As I recall that was 14 hours in the air. However, that trip was made more comfortable by the fact that I and my fellow travel writers were put in business class, which meant free cocktails all the way down to southern South America.

By the time we reached BA, we were all fairly mellow and had dozed intermittently on the trip. Even I, who normally can’t sleep on a plane, had no trouble relaxing, thanks to my seat partner, Mr. Jack Daniels.

BA is a beautiful, sophisticated city, called by its natives the Paris of Latin America. And indeed it does have the appearance of a European city. It was clean, full of traffic and had many streets full of posh shops, hotels and night clubs.

Social life in BA doesn’t get started until around 11 p.m. or midnight. I don’t know how its residents get up and go to work every morning. In any case, we were taken to a plush supper club, which featured a lovely Argentine stand up comic, but with my lack of Spanish, I could not understand a word she said. She got lots of laughs, though. I doubt if she was criticizing the government, however or she would have wound up in one of Argentina’s secret prisons.

We were fed some Argentine beef. It was quite tasty but rather tough for those of us used to eating good old American steaks.

The reporters were given an extensive driving tour of the city, which included the area where working class Argentines had invented the tango, back in the early 20th century, and we saw a dance performance to the strains of that mesmerizing music.

We made a side trip to one of the most fascinating places on earth — Iquasu Falls, up near the border of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. After a long, long road trip, we arrived at our lovely hotel, right smack in the middle of the jungle. Except for the tourist facilities there were few or no other signs of civilization. Consequently, when I went out on my balcony that night I saw the most amazing sky I’d ever seen in my life.

First of all, it was the Southern Sky, which us northern hemisphere residents cannot see from where we live. So all of the familiar constellations were gone and the sky was full of new star formations I’d never even imagined. And the brilliant clarity of the stars, because no ambient light was around for miles, made for the most brilliant view of the heavens I’d ever seen.

The next day they took us out in small boats on to the water above the falls. (If you want to get a sense of this place, look it up on the Internet.) It was rather scary because the boats were powered by a single outboard engine that looked like it had been built in the 1930s. If the engine had conked out, there was nothing to prevent the whole boat from being swept over the edge of the falls, which we approached as near as about 25 yards away.

Another interesting side trip was to a ski resort in the Andes, the mighty South American mountain chain that separates Argentina from Chile. By the time we got to our destination, the weather had turned and it began to snow heavily. I don’t know if it was a genuine blizzard, but it sounded like one to me, as the wind howled shrilly. But, we all piled into a small car suspended from a cable, to be lifted up to the resort. On the way up the car began to sway back and forth, causing some measure of concern among some of the writers, but we arrived safely at the top. After we enjoyed refreshments and snacks, the weather eased up and we once again entered the car for what turned out to be a more gentle descent.

It was a beautiful, intriguing country, but I was glad to return to New Orleans, where no soldiers armed with automatic weapons were patrolling every street corner. I wrote a story detailing the nation’s attractions, but also emphasized the political problems as well as an inflation that made everything one purchased quite expensive.

Next week I want to tell you about another fascinating Latin American country, but one that could not be more different from Argentina — in size, wealth and culture — and that will be Guatemala. I hope you can come along.


Get ready for Chicken Express: Meet Owners Roy and Robert Harris


Get ready for some legendary food when Chicken Express opens in Natchitoches next month. The restaurant will hold a soft opening Monday, Feb. 5 from 10 am – 10 pm. It’s grand opening event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 10 am – 10 pm.

Owners Roy and Robert Harris grew up working in their father’s poultry farming business in Texas. In operation since 1957, Roy and Robert are still involved in its daily operations. Robert manages the business. Roy helps with the family business. He and his wife Mary both teach in Texas and own Bridge Bay Resort in Many.

Going from one end of the chicken to the other, Roy and Robert decided to open a Chicken Express. “You gotta start with something you like,” said Robert with a smile.

“Chicken Express doesn’t have that corporate food chain feel,” said Roy. “It’s a family run business.

With family ties to the Many, Converse and Negreet areas, the Harris brothers have always enjoyed taking trips to Natchitoches. When looking at locations for their restaurant, it felt like a perfect fit.

“We’ve always loved Natchitoches,” said Roy. “We liked the town’s history and culture and, with it being a college town, we felt like it was a good place for this business opportunity.”

All the “fresh” (not frozen) chicken products are precisely marinated; dipped in a secret batter mix and cooked to perfection. This gives the customer a hot and juicy flavoring, that’s unique to Chicken Express. The best part is, up to a 3-piece meal, you can choose any combo of chicken at no additional charge.

But that’s not all. There’s also whole filets of catfish fried to golden perfection and Chicken Express’s famous sweet tea, which is sold by the gallon. Choose from a variety of sides including cheese sticks, fried pickles, jalapeño poppers, mac & cheese, corn poppers, fried okra, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn on the cob and cherry/apple pie.

It’s not just about the products for Roy and Robert Harris. They never want to meet a stranger and feel engaging with the community is essential. First Responders will receive a 10% discount.

“We want to know the people who come into our store and we want them to know us,” said Roy.

Chicken Express Building

MidSouth Bank is looking for a Universal Banker II


MidSouth Bank is looking for a Universal Banker II to join our team at our Natchitoches location.
2 to 4 years experience in a banking center environment preferred.
Knowledge and experience in new accounts and loans required.
Please visit the Employment Opportunities of our website to learn more about this position and to apply online!

Come Work Somewhere Awesome!

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against applicants due to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin,
veterans or on the basis of disability.



Natchitoches Ivan Smith store receives awards at annual banquet


Ivan Smith Furniture held their annual awards banquet on Jan. 30. The Natchitoches store received several awards including:

Rookie of the Year, Ricky Hatchet:
This award goes to the top Salesperson in the first full year with the company.

First Runner Up Salesperson of the Year, Robbie Tarpley:
This award goes to the second place overall salesperson in the company.

Commitment to Service, Robbie Tarpley:
This award goes to a single employee who best exemplifies the company’s commitment to improved and enhanced customer relationships.

Ivan Cup:
This award goes to the best store in the company in combined sales categories.

Pictured above, from left, are Ricky Hatchet, Robbie Tarpley, Store Manager Dane Terrell, and Regional Manager Cary Nissen.


Louisiana Travel Association announces new officers and directors


The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) – which voted Jan. 23 to change its name to the Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) – installed a group of tourism industry leaders as new officers for its executive committee and board of directors during the association’s Annual Membership Meeting Jan. 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette.

“For 57 years, LTA has strengthened Louisiana’s tourism industry through our marketing program, advocacy efforts and educational opportunities,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “We are thrilled that our members have selected tourism industry leaders from throughout the state to lead this organization as we continue to promote a viable job-creating and revenue-producing industry.”

New officers installed on the executive board committee include:

Chairman Travis Napper, Ruston-Lincoln CVB
Vice-Chair Janice Delerno Verges, The Stockade Bed & Breakfast
Secretary Ben Berthelot, Lafayette CVC
Treasurer Kerry Andersen, Pinnacle Entertainment
Immediate Past Chair Mark Romig, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation

New directors:

Timothy Bush, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou
Dustin Gontarski, Compass Media
Jennifer Ritter Guidry, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
Kevin Kelly, Houmas House Plantation & Gardens

Returning directors:

Marc Becker, New Orleans Hotel Collection
Peggy Benoit, Carmel Inn & Suites Thibodaux
Dickie Brennan, Dickie Brennan & Company
Alana Cooper, Monroe-West Monroe CVB
John Crook, Vernon Parish Tourist Commission
Brandy Evans, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
Marion Fox, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission
Arlene Gould, Natchitoches Parish CVB
Andy LeBouef, Mardi Gras World
Ralph Ney, Marriot Hotel Baton Rouge
Donna O’Daniels, St. Tammany Parish Tourist & Convention Commission
Lynette Tanner, Frogmore Plantation & Gins
Denise Thevenot, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping

About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA, formerly the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. The membership voted in early 2018 to shorten the association’s name and staff is working with an agency to reveal a full rebrand later this year. Tourism generated $1.04 billion for Louisiana in 2016 and employs more than 230,000 people throughout the state. For more information, visit LTPA.org.

NSU announces Fall 2017 Honor Roll

nsu honor roll

NSU- One thousand one hundred and sixty-eight students were named to the Fall 2017 Honor Roll at Northwestern State University. Students on the Honor Roll earned a grade point average of between 3.0 and 3.49. Those named to the Honor Roll, in Natchitoches Parish and surrounding areas, are as follows.

Alexandria — Ashley Ammons, Gavin Arabie, Brandi Beaudoin, Samantha Bergeron, Raquel Bishop, Quiana Briggs, Keana Byone, Alyssa Carpenter, Anne-Marie Carpenter, Irisia Cayton, Karly Constantino, Ahsley Day, Linzay Dickson, Joshua Dorsey, Angela Dunn, Aubrey Farque, Bailey Gaspard, Maeghan George, Sarah Guillory, Roderick Henry, Jasmine Johnson, Kimberly Jones, Leslie Katz, ShaKiyla Lindsey, Aaron Martin, Olivia Mosley, Kellie Pebbles, Kylah Porter, Sailor Reed, Zachary Roberts, Breona Ross, Taijha Silas, Carlos Sykes, Alexander Trotter, Shanequa Watkins, Destinie White, Samantha Wynn;

Barksdale AFB — Aleigh Rosenberry;

Bossier City — Traci Adkins, Shelby Ansley, Christina Ashley, Austin Averitt, Lauryn Bakalis, Alexander Bequette, Janeth Bird, Breanna Black, Alexandra Borrmann, Brandice Bowers, Emilee Branch, Kayli Brewer, Takeynea Brown, Sheldon Busby, Tanner Church, Callie Crockett, Karla Cruz, Gabriel Decuir Kasey Dice, Caitlyn Drake, Ri’Kaela England, Kelly Flores, Bailey Freeman, A’Reonna Gilbert, Milla Gonzalez, Devonte Hall, Amanda Harner, Ashlynn Henderson, Christian Henley, Anton Inyakov, Casey Johnson, Keyaira Kimble, Mikayla Lehane, Savannah Lewwe, Jasmine Lynch, Samantha Maiette, Gina Masson, Carolina McKee, Sarah McMillan, Amanda Mings, Michelle Moline, Brittany Morris, Andrea Parks, Sabri Parks, Brittani Phillips, Kathryn Pierce, Colby Ponder, Nigmeh Rahman, Megan Redmon, Jade Reich, Jasmine Roberson, Kassidy Robideaux, Reid Rogers, Chloe Romano, Ranya Shihadeh, Hope Spaw, Allisyn Steele, Tabitha Stevenson, Joshua Straub, Amber Suttle, Laura Vance, Chandler Vascocu, Lacey Velasquez, Kimberly Ventura Gonzalez, Michael Weaver, Jalan West, Jordan Wilcox, Eric Zheng, Andrea Holley Saray Leigsring, Lauren Lindy;

Boyce — Seth Baggett, Amanda Land, Kortney Lashley, Timothy Miller, Ashley Smith, Quaneshia Washington, Christopher Woodard, Sydney Yerby;

Campti — Laura Alford, Zachary Friday, Domonique Gardner, Kortney Greer, Destiny Potts, Dorianna Telsee, Donta’ Turner, Brittney Arnold;

Clarence — Mayshonna Bayonne, Malik Metoyer, Ajha Pikes;

Coushatta — Janet Cogburn, Dillon Foshee, Christopher Grigg, Jason Gross, Tristen Jones, Emily King, William Lee, Keyairrowa Thomas, Mackenzie Williams, Treasure Wilson,

Derry — Hannah Antee;

Florien — Hillary Charles, Tyler Johnson, Ashton Remedies, Kaitlin Sepulvado, Shari Wilson;

Fort Polk — Anuhea Iyo, Heidi Konieczny, Amanda Kuhn, Nydia Prince, Stephanie Reid, Hannah Sweeney, Maria Magdalena Torres, Amber Travis, Diana Withers;

Leesville — Jebediah Barrett, April Beck, Katrina Brinson, Haleigh Edinger, Brittany Edwards, Sean Grady, Alexis Greavu, Beatrice Green, Robert Green, Dazarie Hall, Morgan Hall, Alexis Harbin, Leila Hardy, Ronicia Howze, Brandon Judd, Yvonne Kenani, Reagan Koury, Taylor Martin, Stephanie Miller, Taylor Newman, Brittany Paris, Rossana Potempa, Jessica Ramirez, Kayla Richards, Claudia Rouleau, Tiffany Rubin, Cesar Santos, Jeffrey Santos, Marissa Skursky, Payton Soto, Jessica Taylor, Devin Toups, Haley Tucker, Megan Tucker, Michael Zschach;

Lena — Kamryn Glenn, Jacob Ingraham;

Mansfield — Kiley Cloud, Hannah Hughes, Jairus Lane, Ashley Shelton, Najee Taylor, MuKayla Walton, Tremeon Allen, Adrion Sudds;

Many — Madilyn Armstrong, Chancell Branam, Toby Bruce, Hannah Chanler, Patrick Colston, Destinee Dowden, Alison Garcia, Savannah Garcie, Emmy Hinds, Kelsi Horn, Ashley Lafitte, Chase Manning, Tanner Mizell, Emiley Mowad, Andrew Penfield, Tanner Rains, Alan Schexnider, Heather Trichel, Kimberly Voorhies, Nykeon Wolfe;

Marthaville — Renee Bergeron, Erica James, Kendrick Moore;

Natchez — Henry Cooley, Alexis Moses, Brittany Slaughter;

Natchitoches — Shelton Adams, Alissa Addison, Sharlexus Addison, Adrian Alfaro-Fontalvo, Tyler Anderson, Bobby Armstrong, James Armstrong, Kayla Arnold, Aaron Averett, Ariel Bailey, Ramon Barralaga, Catherine Batson, Aaron Berry, Megan Berry, Janieya Bobb, Joshua Bolton, Ciera Bonvillian, Whitney Brock, Keyana Brown, John Byone, Emilio Castro, Kaleb Chesser, Lane Clevenger, Jessica Coleman, Kaia Collins, Joshua Davis, Chasity Dupree, Virginia Falgoust, Ehris Faulkner, Moises Florez-Perez, Mitchell Garcia, Benjamin Gewin, James Gillyard, Christopher Gistarb, Fernando Gonzalez, Hannah Haigh, Rodney Harrison, Taji Helaire, Tyler Henry, Jesmin Huff, Omari Irchirl, De’Ja Jenkins, Holly Jenkins, Lakeshia Johnson, Hannah Jones, Jiyoon Lee, Cady Leger, Emily Leone, Brandon Lewis-Graham, Caitlyn McCauslin, Michael McClung, Melonia McDaniel, Taiwania Mitchell, Destiny Moody, Sarah Moody, Ethan Mouton, Karmen O’Connor, Donovan Ohnoutka, Kaitlin Oliphant, Eden Parker, Kenneth Poleman, Jarrot Remo, Jazlyn Revels, Antavious Roberson, Tyler Roberts, Maria Rushing, Richard Sargee, Chasity Saucier, Jonathan Simmons, Athena Smith, Nicholas Smith, Skyler Speer, Martha Squyres, Alexis Stewart, Blake Teekell, Harrison Thomas, Shayna Tilley, Ryan Tobin, Austin Townsend, Alexis Turner, Kaleb Usleton, Kristan Valdez, Christina VanTassel, Kenikka Wafer, William Warford, Anna Waxley, Kathryn White, Leah Wilkins, Shavon Williams, Chad Willis, Laurence Wynder, Christine Fuller, Jasmine Howard, Tracy Maricle, Kary-Katharine McCormick, Jarquiese Solomon, Naloni Walker Weston Cremeans, Tracy Jones, Robert Lee, Rebecca Thomisee, Kierra Charles;

Oak Grove — Richard Allen;

Pineville — Savannah Hope Andries, Kaitlyn Burns, Victoria Burns, Noelle Carruth, Erika Carter, Lauren Collins, Payten Collins, Alexis Connella, Madison Crooks-Saucier Sarah Desselle, Sydney Duhon, LaShundra Duncan-Williams, James Ellison, Katelynn Frost, Brooke Gongre, Sharell Graves, Katelyn Hebert, Kaylin Jameson, Jessica King, Michael King, Jeffery Lepage, Brittany Mathews, Sonya McClellan, Jessica Nichols, Diane Richey, Loren Ryland, Relen Sanders, Brittany Shackleford, Courtney Squyres, Rhett Thiels, Tyler Thompson, Timothy Tracy, Steven Wimberley Tiana Puckerin;

Provencal — Cregg Brundige, Jamie Litton;

Robeline — Arin Ammons, Willie Garcia, Patricia Goodwin, Hannah Hennigan, Keira Huff, Emily Killian, Megan Maley, Angela Mitchell, Travis Mitchell;

Saline — Makayla Jackson, Bayli Quick, Aaron Savell;

Shreveport — Phillip Adams, Mackenzie Allen, Ashlee Arkansas, Ar’keli Armstrong, Yasmeen Bader, James Baldwin, Grace Bates, Austin Beene, Maddison Benge, Azhani Bennett, Ethan Branch, Castaralla Brown, Crystal Brown, Shequita Brown, Tiffany Carr, Ronitra Clark, Brashaun Cornelius, Colby Cranford, Charlette Crawford, Courtney Curtis, Taylor Davis, Kaitlyn Doyal, Takea Dorsey, Chenara Dredden, Sarah Elbert, Hannah Ellis, Nicholas Ferguson, Amye Falir, Zachary Fussell, Michael Ghattas, Jayla Gilmore, Savon Gipson, DeAndre Grant, Eddie Green, Mitchell Gregorski, Lindsey Hagan, Jamelynn Halley, Jennifer Hardey, Regyne Hardy, Petronel Harris, Larry Hawkins, Jalen Hewitt, Monica Holloway, Jamie Holmes, Melinda Hunt, Thomas Jaynes, Brittany Jefferson, Shelby Jennings, Zachary Johnson, Chardunae Jones, Laura Jusselin, Molly Kelly, Kassidee Kennedy, Alica King, Tradeya King, Tatyanna Kinsey, Joscelyn Landers, Princess Lane, Katie Layfield, Madison Layfield, Hannah Lee, Rachal Mangum, Brianna Mason, Caitlin McCarty, Alaina McMillian, Brooklyn McWilliams, Samantha Metoyer, Jessie Miller, Alyssia Mobley, Dylan Molenhour, Takaria Nash, Hillary Nicholls, LaTaunna Oes, Karina Pena Morla, TreSor Pennington, Jared Perkins, Elizabeth Peterson, Panasia Peterson, Patrick Pierce, Falon Prentiss, Gertrud Rankin, Shleby Reddy, Harrison Reeves, Kendall Reeves, Kiersin Richter, Jalisa Roberts, Savonya Robinson, Amanda Rushing, Jasmin Samuels, Ashlee Sanders, Elizabeth Scott, Catherine Shaw, Robert Stegall, Kashonda Stewart, Morgan Strickland, Jordan Taylor, Rachel Taylor, Breyonna Thompson, Magen Tucker, Rodkeia Turner, Madison Wallace, Yao Wang, Ilyanna Warlen, Keshun Washington, Harley Waters, Gia-Caroline Weber, Kristin Welch, Victoria Whaley, Aljata Willilams, Donald Williams, Lana Williams, Shamolia Williams, Tre’Darius Williams, Ansonia Wisner, India Wright, Yao Wang, Erica Zuniga David Homes, Chandris Tucker;

Sibley — Madison Mouser;

Winnfield — Jermesia Anderson, Mia County, Tammy Folden, Ili Habash, Leah Hines, Saquan Jenkins, Branden Jennings, Brooklyn Johnson, Hunter Johnson, Lana O’Bryan, Jake Roberts, John Shelton, Katreiona Starks, Tashari Stringer;

Zwolle — Dayton Craig, Larisa Malmay, Treveon Perry, Ali Remedies, Chyna Sepulvado.

Forsyth recital to be held Feb. 2


Saxophonist Paul Forsyth will present a recital Friday, Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Forsyth will be accompanied by pianist Chialing Hsieh.

The recital will feature works by Henry Tomasi, William Albright and Astor Piazzolla.

Equally adept at both the classical and jazz repertoire, Forsyth has performed recitals and taught masterclasses at numerous concert halls, universities, and conferences around the world. Forsyth has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician at North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, World Saxophone Congresses, John Donald Robb Composer Symposiums, and International Saxophone Symposiums. He has been instrumental in commissioning several new works for solo saxophone, saxophone quartet and saxophone/oboe duo. As a top-call saxophonist in northern Louisiana, he has performed with such performers as Regis Philbin, Lew Soloff, the Temptations and Bobby Vinton. In 2012, Paul Forsyth was named the Collegiate Division Chairman of the Louisiana Association for Jazz Education (LAJE).

Forsyth joined the faculty of Northwestern State in 2007. He has been on the faculties of Albion College, Spring Arbor University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He received his doctoral and master’s degrees in saxophone performance from Michigan State University and his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee.

Forsyth is a member of two renowned chamber ensembles, the Three Reeds Duo and the Iridium Quartet.

An Interesting Visit to Argentina, a Proud but Conflicted Nation


This week I’d like to continue sharing stories about some of my travels, this time to the huge South American nation of Argentina.

How did I end up in Argentina, you may well ask. Well, in the good old days, when newspapers were still newspapers, with seven-days-a week home delivery, deadlines that allowed for late-breaking news and thick editions chock full of advertising, there was such a thing as the “press junket.”

A press junket — an all-paid trip for travel writers — was sponsored by a US state or city, or a foreign country, along with the appropriate airlines, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. In exchange for which, the travel writers would pen stories about their host country and its amenities. Naturally, the hosts hoped that all the stories would be favorable but in actuality the writers were free to tell what they really thought of the country and its tourist facilities.

Back in the 1970s, the New Orleans Times-Picayune was receiving so many offers for press junkets that the travel writer couldn’t handle them all so he began distributing them to regular beat reporters. In 1979, I was offered a trip to Argentina.

Argentines like to think of themselves of being set apart from other Latin American countries. They call their lovely capital of Buenos Aires the “Paris of South America” and think of themselves of more European than simply Hispanic. Their percentage of immigrants of German and Italian ancestry is in fact much greater than that of other countries of the region.

Argentina had outlasted the cruel dictatorship of Juan Peron in the 1950s and ’60s but after failed attempts at democracy, was under a strict military rule in 1979 and this created a violent leftist opposition.

Troops armed with automatic weapons were on every street corner in downtown Buenos Aires and there was an overall feeling of repression. It was the second day, I believe, that I was in country when I heard a terrific explosion while in my hotel room. It turns out that just a few blocks away, the opposition had killed the country’s minister of utilities with a car bomb. This was clearly a nation in crisis.

When I returned to New Orleans I left none of this out of my story, which I doubt made any reader eager to jump on an airplane and fly to Argentina. Also at that time, the US dollar was weak against the Argentine currency. For example, a whisky highball in a Buenos Aires lounge was the equivalent of about $5, quite expensive for 39 years ago, and a McDonald’s hamburger was about $3.50 at a time when it’s twin back in the states probably cost about $1.50, if that much.

By the way, the same bunch of military officers who ran the country at that time were responsible for the ill-advised invasion of the British-ruled Falkland Islands in 1982, three years after my visit. The islands were retaken by British forces under the resolute leadership of Margaret Thatcher after a brief but bloody little war.

And yet Argentina has so much to offer the visitor, by way of natural scenery, culture and history, along with a dynamic, intelligent people, fertile land and abundant natural resources.

So, what about my trip? Because of space limitations and the fact that I wanted to give you some background on this fascinating country, this column will be written in two parts and I will tell you all about what I saw and did in next week’s offering.

Buenos noches.

BOM Recognized as Top Grassroots Bank in the State

BOM_Grass Roots.jpg

Ken Hale, BOM President & CEO, received the Top Grassroots Bank in the State Award at the LBA Annual Government Relations & Grass Roots Meeting in Baton Rouge.

BOM received this honor in result of their participation in Voter Voice responses, PAC donations and overall involvement with the grassroots efforts.

In the picture from left to right: Ken Hale & Ryan Kilpatrick of Origin Bank